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Paul’s Concept of Teaching and 1 Timothy 2:12

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Editorial Preface: This essay was presented at the 49th annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society in Orlando, FL on November 1988.

What does it mean to teach or be a teacher? Is a teacher simply someone who prepares and delivers a message or lesson with good illustrations and humorous stories and has an easily retainable outline, and then is finished for the day? Is a teacher someone who merely communicates truth, or are they something more? If we look at teachers in the educational/academic arena, we see they are something more. Teachers exercise a great deal of authority over the people they teach. They administer assignments which, if not completed or done well, carry with them a stiff penalty, a penalty which may hinder their progress in that particular field. They encourage those who do well, and seek ways to admonish and motivate those who do not. Teachers genuinely care about there students and want them to do well. They realize the importance of their education and the consequences of failing in meeting the requirements for that education. Does a teacher in the church have any less responsibility? Is not what is true in the academic realm also true in the realm of the spiritual and ethical?

Most studies of 1 Tim 2:12 focus on the meaning and significance of αὐθεντέω, and have virtually ignored the meaning and significance of δvιδάσκω.1 Many state the prohibition of teaching in terms of communicating truth: Paul prohibits women from teaching the Bible or doctrine. I submit that that is not quite Paul’s concern. Paul’s concern lays more in the area of spiritual, moral, and ethical authority that is associated with that truth. This paper will survey the use of διδάσκω and its cognates in the Pauline epistles, then investigate its meaning and significance in 2 Tim 2:12.

A Survey of διδάσκω and
Its Cognates in Pauline Literature

There are 56 uses of διδάσκω and its cognates in 50 verses of the Pauline Epistles. In classical Greek διδάσκω ςis the word used more especially for the impartation of practical or theoretical knowledge when there is continued activity with a view to gradual, systematic and therefore all the more fundamental assimilation.”2 In the LXX διδάσκω is concerned with the volitional, as well as the intellectual; it deals with the whole man and his education in the deepest sense. The emphasis is on doing the will of God.3 It is this concept that is seen in Paul’s writings. Paul’s concern is not so much that believers have knowledge, as important as that is, but that they act on that knowledge. Out of the 56 references to διδάσκω and its cognates, 26 emphasize doctrinal content.4 Of these 26 διδάσκω is only used three times. The majority of the references are to διδαχή (4) or διδασκαλία (12). Also out the 26 references, seven refer to false doctrine. Six of the uses refer to the position or office of the teacher.5 The rest refer to ethical and spiritual teaching.6

The majority of these passages imply that some kind of authority is exercised along with the content of the teaching.  In Rom 2:20-21, the teacher of the immature is also to be a guide and an example. Paul teaches his ways in Christ in every church (1 Cor 4:17). The position of the teacher implies some type of exercise of authority (1 Cor 12:28-29; Eph 4:11; 1 Tim 2:7; 2 Tim 1:11). One of the qualification of the elders is the ability to teach (1 Tim 3:2; Titus 1:9) and elders who teach well are worthy of double honor (1 Tim 5:17). Teaching is also associated with admonishment, reproof, and correction (Col 1:28; 3:16; 2 Tim 3:16; 4:2).

The Nature of the Authority of Teaching

While the association of authority with teaching is often recognized, the nature, manner, and outworking of that authority are rarely discussed. This authority goes beyond the authoritative message. Most recognize that the message itself has implications for our lives and that we have a responsibility to obey it. But what steps do teachers take to insure that we obey the message. Is it not the teacher’s responsibility to hold those whom he teaches accountable to that which he teaches? There seems to be several ways in which the teacher exercises his authority: encouragement, modeling, monitoring, admonishment, rebuke, correction, and church discipline.

Teaching is often associated with exhortation (Rom 12:7; 15:4; 16:17; 1 Tim 1:3; 4:13; 6:2; 2 Tim 4:2; Titus 1:9). Paul considered himself both an apostle and a teacher (1 Tim 2:7), and his letters are filled with commands and exhortations. The teacher has the authority to relay such commands and to enforce them. The teacher positively reinforces these commands through encouragement, modeling, and monitoring. While encouragement is a mutual responsibility of every believer (Phil 2:1; Heb 3:14; 10:25), the teacher has a special responsibility to encourage. He should commend those who are doing well in their spiritual growth.

The teacher should be an example to those whom he teaches. Paul often exhorted his audience to imitate him and to follow the example that he set (1 Cor 4:16; 11:1; Eph 5:1; Phil 3:17; 2 Thess 3:9), and urged both Timothy and Titus to be examples to the churches in which they ministered (1 Tim 4:12; Titus 2:7). This is particularly important for the women in Titus 2:3-5: “Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips, nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored.” They are to examples in their behavior so that they may teach the younger women what is good. How can they encourage the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be sensible, pure , submissive, and kind if they don’t model these things themselves? Therefore, modeling is an important part of the teaching process.

The teacher should also monitor the progress of those whom he teaches. Paul kept a close watch over the churches he planted (1-2 Cor;  Gal; Phil; 1-2 Thess; Pastorals). Teachers are accountable to God for keeping watch over our lives (Heb 13:23). This may be why they will incur a stricter judgment (Jas 3:1). While this would be an overwhelming task for one teacher with a large church or class, it should also be kept in mind that there are many teachers and leaders in the church and they all share this responsibility. Paul often delegated the responsibility of monitoring the progress of the churches to Timothy, Titus, and others.7 If this process of monitoring was not going on, how would Timothy know who would be able to teach others (2 Tim 2:2)? Therefore, teaching is reinforced positively through encouragement, modeling, and monitoring.

Negatively, a teacher reinforces his teaching through admonishment, correction, rebuke, and church discipline. The terms ἐλέγχω, ἐλεγμός, ἐπανόρθωσις, ἐπιτιμάω, and νουθετέω all overlap in meaning.  ᾿Ελέγχω has the idea of “to state that someone has done wrong, with the implication that there is adequate proof of such wrongdoing.”8 It is often associated with refuting error as well as confronting someone who is in sin. ᾿Επανόρθωσις is aimed at changing wrong behavior.9 ᾿Επιτιμάω has the meaning “rebuke, reprove, censure also speak seriously, warn in order to prevent an action or bring one to an end.”10 It may be that ἐλέγχω involves speaking to those who are in error or doing wrong and attempting to convince them of that, while ἐπιτιμάω is concerned with telling those who are doing wrong to stop.11 Νουθετέω refers to admonishing someone for having done something wrong.12 It involves setting the mind of someone in proper order, correcting him and orienting him toward right behavior.13 Therefore, the teacher seeks to point out doctrinal errors that one holds and provides evidence of that error. He also points out wrong behavior and explains why it is wrong. When one persists in sin the teachers urges him forcefully to stop and warns him of the consequences the sinner’s behavior will bring. If the person does not repent the teacher is to initiate the process of church discipline and excommunication. Because the teacher has the responsibility of upholding right doctrine and encouraging right behavior, he should also have a major role in the church discipline and excommunication process. He must not become safely “unattached” to this stage. The church discipline process is important both to the community and to the individual. The church should be a loving community that brings joy to the believer. To be cut off from such a community should be perceived as a less preferred experience than giving up one’s sin.14

It should also be mentioned that there is a graded scale of authority among the different teachers of the church. Note Saucy’s words:

When we move to the nonapostolic “teachers” within the Church, there is obviously some lesser degree of authority. The highest authority was probably assigned to the regular teaching of a recognized leader—that is, elder/bishop/pastor. Teaching by those who were not elders or pastors and therefore had no authority as official leaders was no doubt somewhat less authoritative in the Church. Similarly the various “teachings” that individuals may have brought in the gathered church and the mutual teaching of all would not have functioned with the same authority as that of leaders.15

To sum up, teaching not only includes effectively communicating doctrinal and ethical content, but also includes holding people accountable to that content and helping them assimilate it into their lives. This accountability aspect includes encouragement, monitoring one’s spiritual progress, admonition, correction, reproof, and church discipline. In many ways teaching incorporates many aspects of the master/disciple relationship, although it may not be that personally intense.16 But it should be more similar than it is different.

An Exegesis of 1 Timothy 2:11-15

In an effort to more precisely define the prohibition in 1 Tim 2:12 it is necessary to look at the passage as a whole. The church at Ephesus was having a problem with false teaching. It is likely that the false teachers have arisen from within the church and some of them may even be elders (1 Tim 1:3-11; 4:1-5; cf. Acts 20:17-28).17 These false teachers also seemed to prey on women (1 Tim 5:3-16; 2 Tim 3:6-9). In light of the prohibition in 1 Tim 2:12, it is also possible that some of the false teachers were women. The nature of the false teaching seems to be an overrealized eschatology where some have taught that the resurrection had already arrived (2 Tim 2:18) and thus marriage and the eating of certain foods is superfluous (1 Tim 4:1-5). In light of this situation, Paul instructed Timothy to refute the false teachers (1:3-11; 6:3-10), to teach the truth of the apostolic tradition (4:6, 13-16; 6:2, 17-18), to promote proper conduct in the church and the assembly (2:1-15; 3:1-13), to select qualified church leaders (3:1-13), and to ensure godly conduct among the leaders as well as the rest of the church (5:1ñ6:2, 17-19).

Paul begins his instruction to the women in 2:9-10 by exhorting them to dress modestly, and to be known more for their good works than for their “keen fashion sense.” This is not an absolute prohibition against jewelry and dresses, but a prohibition against excessive display and an encouragement towards modesty and wisdom. In light of the exhortations concerning wealth in 6:9-10, 17-19, it may be that the wealthy women of the church were displaying their wealth through their mode of dress. This suggests that there was a tendency toward vanity and arrogance among these women. If so, it may be some of the same women had assumed a role of teaching men.

After encouraging the women to modesty and good works, Paul instructs the women to be engaged in learning. The passage has an interesting structural pattern:

A. Γυνὴ ἐν ἡσυχίᾳ

B. μανθανέτω

C. ἐν πάσῃ ὑποταγῇ

B’. διδάσκειν δὲ γυναικὶ οὐκ ἐπιτρέπω ἀλλ ᾿

C. οὐδὲ αὐθεντεῖν ἀνδρός,

A’. εἶναι ἐν ἡσυχίᾳ.18

There are several things to notice about this passage. First, ἐν ἡσυχία forms an inclusio framing the verses. This does not suggest absolute silence on the part of the women, but that they are to receive instruction with a quiet demeanor, unlike the false teachers who engaged in arguments about words and all sorts of disputes (1 Tim 6:4-5). Second, μανθανέτω is parallel to διδάσκειν. Third, ὑποταγῇ is parallel to αὐθεντεῖν. Finally, διδάσκειν is moved forward denoting emphasis. Therefore, the basic instruction is that women are to learn, not to teach men. They are to be in submission, not to exercise authority. And they are to do this in a quiet manner.

So Paul’s second injunction is for the women to receive instruction in a quiet and submissive manner which corresponds with their sex role. The question remains, to whom is this submission given? There are several suggestions. They are to be submissive to (1) God,19 (2) the church in general,20 (3) sound doctrine,21 (4) the contemporary social structure,22 or (5) the women’s teachers.23 Most likely the referent is to both (3) and (5). Women are to submit themselves24 to both the teachers/elders and the sound doctrine which they teach.25

In contrast to the exhortation to learning is the prohibition to teaching. Paul uses ἐπιτρέπω as an exercise of his apostolic function. It neither reflects simply his opinion, or a temporary situation.26 The reasoning given in verses 13-14 suggest that a universal principle is being applied, even though the situation that raises the issue is occasional. As was discussed above teaching27 involves communicating clearly the apostolic tradition, guiding the church in assimilating that teaching into their lives, and holding them accountable to it. But Paul does not leave his prohibition there. He also demands that women not exercise authority over men. Kôstenberger persuasively argues that οὐδέ links two concepts or activities that are either viewed positively or negatively by the author. Since διδvάσκω is always viewed positively when used absolutely in the NT, then αὐθεντέω should also be viewed positively.28 This suggests that αὐθεντεῖν means “to exercise authority.”29 In light of all this, it is possible that the οὐδέ is epexegetical. This use may be found in Rom 2:28; 3:10; 1 Cor 5:1; and 15:50.30  In other words the passage may be translated, “I do not permit a woman to teach, namely, to exercise authority over a man. Even though two prohibitions are given, the second seems to be the basis for the first, and perhaps the second infinitive elaborates on the aspect of teaching that is at the heart of the prohibition. If so, then women are not to teach in the assembly, not so much because they would be communicating the apostolic tradition to men, but because teaching does not stop there, but goes on to exercising an oversight relationship over men, and thus violate the principle of submission.31 Paul’s concern is not so much that women are publicly communicating truth to men, but that they are engaging in an oversight relationship over men.

The rationale for Paul’s instruction is in verses 13-14 and are based on the creation and fall. Paul appeals to Genesis 2 and the priority of the creation of man and the fact that woman was created to be a helper suitable to him. This is also the appeal made in 1 Cor 11:2-16. Paul seems to be saying that women are given a role of submission for this was their created purpose and it is the role in which she would be most fulfilled. Thus, Paul’s first reason is the Adam’s priority in creation.

His second reason is the deception of Eve. Paul appeals to the fall in verse 14 pointing out that it was Eve that was deceived by the serpent. Paul is not holding Eve responsible for the fall, that he clearly places on Adam (Rom 5:19). He is clarifying the fact that Eve’s relationship to the serpent was one of a victim being deceived; one to which she admits (Gen 3:13). But how does the deception of Eve constitute an argument for the prohibition? While at first glance Paul seems to be saying that women are more gullible or intellectually inferior to men, this is most likely not his point. If this was his point then why is the prohibition limited to men? Women are permitted to teach children and other women. Some suggest that the women of Ephesus—like Eve—were temporarily deceived by false teaching or were simply uneducated.32 Schreiner replies to such argumentation:

Neither does the appeal to the Genesis narrative in verse 14 support the idea that women were disallowed from teaching merely because they were duped by false teaching or uneducated. If Eve was at a disadvantage in the temptation, as some progressives declare, because she received the commandment from God secondhand through Adam, then the implication is that Adam somehow muddled God’s command in giving it to Eve.  But if he gave it to her accurately and clearly, then we are back to the view that Eve (before the fall!) could not grasp what Adam clearly said, which would imply that she was intellectually inferior. But if Adam bungled what God said so that Eve was deceived by the serpent, then the argument of 1 Tim 2:11-15 makes little sense in its historical context. For then Eve was deceived because Adam muddled God’s instructions. And if Eve sinned because man communicated God’s command inaccurately, then why would Paul recommend here that men should teach women until the latter get their doctrine right? If a man teaching a woman is what got the human race into this predicament in the first place, Paul’s appeal to Eve’s being deceived would be incoherent and would not fit the argument he is attempting to make in 1 Timothy 2.33

It also does not help matters to argue that Adam sinned willfully while Eve sinned mistakenly. This would argue more against men teaching women because at least Eve wanted to obey God, while Adam sinned deliberately.34

Moo has suggested that Paul may be saying this: the woman, created to be man’s helper and subordinate to him (Gen 2), acts independently when confronted with temptation, to the downfall of both (Gen 3). It may be that Paul views the teaching/ruling activity of women in the assembly as just such an improper reversal of intended roles. Thus, in verses 13-14, Paul substantiates his instruction by arguing that the created order establishes a relationship of subordination of woman to man, which order, if bypassed, leads to disaster, and by suggesting that there are some activities for which women are by nature not suited.35 While the point of reversing the created order is correct, Moo is unclear about how women are by nature unsuited for certain activities.

Both Schreiner and Doriani suggest that the solution is in the serpent targeting Eve, rather than Adam. In approaching Eve the serpent undermined the pattern of male leadership and interacted with Eve during the temptation.36 They suggest that God’s order of creation is mirrored in the nature of men and women. Satan approached the woman not only because of the creation  order but also because Adam and Eve had different inclinations. Schreiner writes:

Generally speaking, women are more relational and nurturing and men are more given to rational analysis and objectivity. Women are less prone than men to see the importance of doctrinal formations, especially when it comes to the issue of identifying heresy and making a stand for the truth. Appointing women to the teaching office is prohibited because they are less likely to draw a line on doctrinal non-negotionables, and thus deception and false teaching will more easily enter the church. This is not to say women are intellectually deficient or inferior to men. If women were intellectually inferior, Paul would not allow them to teach women and children. What concerns him are the consequences of allowing women in the authoritative teaching office, for their gentler and kinder nature inhibits them from excluding people for doctrinal error. There is the danger of stereotyping here, for obviously some women are more inclined to objectivity and are “tougher” and less nurturing than other women. But as a general rule women are more relational and caring than men.37

This view makes good sense38 because the point is not women understanding right doctrine but how they respond when doctrine and relationships come into conflict. According to this view, women would be less likely to implement the negative aspects of rebuke and church discipline that is part of the teaching role.

Paul finally rounds off his argument in verse 15 stating that women will be saved through childbearing. This qualification is to lessen the impact of verses 13-14. There are several problems in this verse which include: (1) the meaning and significance of σωθήσεται; (2) the subject of σωθήσεται  and μείνωσιν; (3) the meaning of τεκνογονίας; (4) the use and significance of διά; and (5) the relationship of the protasis to the apodosis of the conditional clause. The switch from a singular subject is not that particularly difficult since the singular subject is the generic “woman” who represents all women so the switch to the plural is not unnatural. There has already been a switch from the plural to the singular in verses 9-12. The use of διά is probably instrumental. The meaning of τεκνογονίας is either “childrearing” or “childbearing.” Schreiner insists the meaning is “childbearing” then states that “childbearing” is “selected by synechdoche as representing the appropriate role for women.” This essentially is the role of motherhood, which includes childrearing, so the distinction in this passage is superfluous.

The meaning and significance of σωθήσεται is much more difficult. There are several views on this. (1) Women will be delivered physically through childbirth.39 (2)Women will be saved spiritually, even though they must bear children.40 (3)Women will be saved through the birth of Christ.41 (4) Women will be saved equally with men through fulfilling their God-given role.42 (5) Women will be delivered from the temptation of seizing men’s roles in the assembly by fulfilling their role in the home.43 (6) Women will be eschatologically saved through faithfulness to their role of motherhood.44 (7) Women will be delivered from the deception of reversing the roles of man and women through faithfulness to their role of motherhood. This is similar to (5) above but is broader than the assembly.

The best of these interpretation seems to be either (6) or (7). The strength of (7) rests in giving σωθήσεται its full theological weight. Its weakness is that spiritual and eschatological salvation is somehow dependent on bearing children. Schreiner attempts to get around this difficulty by pointing to the fact that Paul brings up this aspect “because it is the most notable example of the divinely intended difference in roles between men and women, and most women throughout history have children.45 In other words, childbearing is true of most women and it is a representative example of women maintaining their proper role. But if there are exceptions, then how is one saved through childbearing? Schreiner appeals to the conditional clause as a clarification of the means of salvation but then turns right around and calls these virtues “necessary as evidence of a salvation already given.”46 The means of salvation is now a result of salvation. Childbearing clearly denotes an instrumental cause of this salvation and Schreiner’s explanation seems to confuse the issue.

The major objection to (7) is that it does not give σωθήσεται its full theological weight. Paul  could have used ῥύομαι to denote a nonspiritual deliverance. But deliverance from deception is a spiritual deliverance. It is an aspect of spiritual salvation. What Paul seems to be saying here is that childbearing will deliver women from being deceived into falling into Eve’s error of reversing male and female roles, as long as they continue in faith, love, and holiness. Continuance of faith, love, and holiness denote their participation in spiritual salvation, and its deliverance from sin and deception. The experience of childbearing will deliver them from the specific deception that they have no real significance or contribution to the community if they are not exercising a leadership role. The experience of childbearing and motherhood combined with faith, love, and holiness will assure them that they have an important role in the church.47 This seems to do the best justice to all the terms involved.

Significance and Conclusion

If this understanding of 1 Tim 2:9-15 is correct, then women are prohibited from teaching and exercising authority over men, not because it involves the public communication of truth to men, but because teaching involves exercising oversight and correction over men, even to the point of exercising excommunication, if the need arises. Generally speaking, women are less inclined to exercise these necessary negative aspects of teaching. Women can and should teach and exercise oversight over other women and children. The negative aspects remain, and some may find it difficult to confront, rebuke, and possibly recommend church discipline,48 but it is still part of the process of teaching. Women are prohibited from teaching men because of the creation order and the tendency to be deceived into thinking that relationships take priority over doctrine, even non-negotiable issues.

These factors would not necessarily prevent a woman from giving an occasional message to the assembly, since the oversight and accountability aspects would be handled by the other leaders and teachers of the church. But this would not really constitute teaching in the Pauline sense. Nor would the Pauline concept of teaching necessarily prohibit women from teaching in seminaries or other academic institutions, for the oversight and authority exercised there is academic in nature, not spiritual and ethical. This is not to say that seminaries and academic institutions should not exercise spiritual and ethical oversight and authority, only that these types of oversight functions can be separated from the academic teaching process in a way that should not be done in the church. Finally, Paul’s perspective on women seems to be that they would find greater significance in God’s eyes in fulfilling the role of motherhood, the role for which they were uniquely designed. That role may be augmented by teaching other women and children, but they should not consider teaching men a “greater glory.”


1 The exception is Robert L. Saucy, “Women’s Prohibition to Teach Men: An Investigation into Its Meaning and Contemporary Application,” GTJ 37, no. 1 (March 1994): 79-97.

2 Karl Heinrich Rengstorf, “διδάσκω,” in TDNT, ed. Gerhard Kittel and Gerhard Friedrich, trans. Geoffrey W. Bromiley, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964), 135.

3 Ibid., 137.

4 διδάσκω: 1 Cor 11:14; 1 Tim 4:11; Titus 1:11; διδαχή: 1 Cor 14:6, 26; Gal 1:12; Titus 1:9; διδασκαλία: Eph 4:14; 1 Tim 1:10; 4:1, 6; 6:1, 3; 2 Tim 4:3; Titus 1:9; 2:1, 7, 10; διδάσκαλος: 1 Tim 2:7; 2 Tim 4:3; ἑτεροδιδασκαλέω: 1 Tim 1:3; 6:3; νομοδιδάσκαλος: 1 Tim 1:7; καλοδιδάσκαλος: Titus 2:3.

5 διδάσκαλος: 1 Cor 12:28-29; Eph 4:11; 1 Tim 2:7; 2 Tim 1:11; διδάκτικος: 1 Tim 3:2.

6 The passing on of the “apostolic tradition” as most consider teaching would include both doctrinal and ethical content. However some see the “apostolic tradition” as merely doctrinal instruction; cf. Daniel Doriani, “Appendix 1: A History of the Interpretation of 1 Timothy 2,” in Women in the Church: A Fresh Analysis of 1 Timothy 2:9-15, ed. Andreas J. Kôstenberger, Thomas R. Schreiner, and H. Scott Baldwin (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995), 265, n. 202.

7 Timothy: 1 Cor 4:17; 16:10; Phil 2:19-24; 1 Thess 3:1-6; Titus: 2 Cor 2:13; 7:6-16; 8:6-24; 12:18; others: Phil 2:25-30; 4:2-3 .

8 Louw and Nida, “ ἐλέγχω,” 33.417.

9 BAGD, “ ἐπανόρθωσις,” 283 suggests this is a positive term with the meaning “improvement.”

10 BAGD, “ ἐπιτιμάω,” 303.

11 George W. Knight, The Pastoral Epistles: A Commentary on the Greek Text, NIGTC, ed. I. Howard Marshall and W. Ward Gasque  (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992), 454.

12 Louw and Nida, “ νουθετέω,” 33.418.

13 Peter T. O’Brien, Colossians, Philemon, WBC, ed. David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker, vol. 44 (Waco: Word, 1982), 88.

14 Unfortunately, the church is often not the loving community that it should be and, therefore, excommunication is not perceived as a “great loss.”

15 Saucy, “Women’s Prohibition to Teach Men,” 84.

16 Ronald Pierce, “Evangelical and Gender Roles in the 1990’s: 1 Tim 2:8-15: A Test Case,” JETS 36, no. 3 (September 1993): 349 argues for this point:

“To teach” (didaskein) in the Jewish rabbinical context of the NT Church certainly carried with it an emphasis that surpassed our modern conception of transmitting data or educating persons in an academic sense. It even went beyond authoritative proclamation of religious truth to include a mentoring relationship between teacher and student analogous to the master/disciple motif in the NT. This is supported by the connection of the term with the function of “overseer/elder” in 1 and 2 Timothy (cf. 1 Tim 3:2; 4:11-16; 5:17; 2 Tim 2:2; 4:2).

Elsewhere the master/disciple relationship connoted by didaskalos is illustrated in two accounts of Jesus’ ministry. In Matt 23:8 he uses the noun as a synonym for “rabbi.” Moreover the connotation of power or authority is so strong in that context that Jesus forbids his disciples to invoke the titles in this sense for anyone besides God. Though the term itself does not appear there, a relevant parallel theme is found in 20:25-28, where Jesus admonishes the disciples to be servants rather than to “exercise authority” (katexousiazousin) over one another like the rulers of the Gentiles did (v. 25). What is especially instructive about these two accounts is that the cautions of Jesus are not simply set against being “teachers” or “rulers” in a general sense but rather condemn the kind of un-Christian practices one might expect to find among unbelievers.

17 Gordon D. Fee, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, NIBC, ed. W. Ward Gasque, vol. 13 (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1988), 7-8, 40.

18 Both Moo and Fung suggest chiastic structures. Moo’s pattern in a ABCB’A’ pattern while Fung’s is a simpler ABB’A’ pattern. See Ronald Y. K.  Fung, “Ministry in the New Testament,” in The Church in the Bible and the World, ed. D. A. Carson (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1987), 336, n. 186; and Douglas J. Moo, “1 Timothy 2:11-15: Meaning and Significance,” TrinJ 1 (1980): 64.

19 Thomas C. Oden, First and Second Timothy and Titus (Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1989), 97.

20 Mary Evans, Woman in the Bible (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1983), 101.

21 Sharon Hodgin Gritz, Paul, Women Teachers, and the Mother Goddess at Ephesus: A Study of 1 Timothy 2:9-15 in Light of the Religious and Cultural Milieu of the First Century (Lanham, MD: University Press Of America, 1991), 130.

22 Philip H. Towner, The Goal of Our Instruction, JSNT Sup, vol. 34 (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1989),

23 Alan Padgett, “Wealthy Women in Ephesus: 1 Timothy 2:8-15 in Social Context,” Interpretation 41 (1987): 24.

24 If ὑποταγῇ has a reflexive sense then the idea is that they voluntarily submit themselves for their own benefit.

25 Ann L. Bowman, “Women in Ministry: An Exegetical Study of 1 Timothy 2:11-15,” BSac 149, no. 594 (April 1992): 198-99; Moo, “1 Tim 2:11-15,” 64; Thomas R. Schreiner, “An Interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:9-15: A Dialogue with Scholarship,” in Women in the Church: A Fresh Analysis of 1 Timothy 2:9-15, ed. Andreas J. Kôstenberger, Thomas R. Schreiner, and H. Scott Baldwin (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995), 124.

26 Contra Fee, 1 Timothy, 72.

27 Denoted by the epexegetical infinitive διδάσκειν.

28 Andreas J. Kôstenberger, “A Complex Sentence Structure in 1 Timothy 2:12,” in Women in the Church: A Fresh Analysis of 1 Timothy 2:9-15, ed. Andreas J. Kôstenberger, Thomas R. Schreiner, and H. Scott Baldwin (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995), 81-103.

29 H. Scott Baldwin, “A Difficult Word: αὐθεντέω in 1 Timothy 2:12,” in Women in the Church: A Fresh Analysis of 1 Timothy 2:9-15, ed. Andreas J. Kôstenberger, Thomas R. Schreiner, and H. Scott Baldwin (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995), 80; Kôstenberger, “A Complex Sentence Structure,” 103; Moo, “1 Timothy 2:11-15,” 66-67; Schreiner, “A Dialogue with Scholarship,” 130.

30 While some may argue that none of these examples coordinate two infinitives, there are examples outside the NT where οὐδέ seems to have an epexegetical sense when coordinating two infinitives: Isa 42:24; Ezek 44:13; DanTh 5:8; Pol. Hist. 30.5.8.4-6; Jos. Ant. 6.20.3-5.

31 Contra Moo, “1 Timothy 2:11-15,” 68 and Schreiner, “A Dialogue with Scholarship,” 127 who give the impression that the public communication of the apostolic tradition constitutes an authoritative act. However, they fail to point out why a public communication would constitute exercising authority while a private communication would not.

32 Gritz, Mother Goddess, 140.

33 Schreiner, “A Dialogue with Scholarship,” 142. Besides this, Gen 3:2-3 makes it clear that she did understand the command, even though she made it more strict. But the addition “or to touch it” could hardly argue that Eve was uneducated or deceived.

34 Ibid., 143.

35 Moo, “1 Timothy 2:11-15,” 69-70.

36 Both Schreiner, “Dialogue with Scholarship,” 145, and Doriani, “A History of Interpretation,” 259, adopt the view of Scholer, which was also made popular by Larry Crabb, that Adam was present during the temptation of Eve and simply passively stood by without intervening. This view has one basic assumption: that the temptation and the fall occurred at the same time and place. However, this assumption has several problems. First, it seems that the temptation and the eating of the fruit were not collocated. Eve refers to the tree of knowledge of good and evil as “the tree which is in the middle of the garden” in contrast to all the other trees. By referring to the forbidden tree by a geographical referent, it suggests that both Eve and the serpent were someplace else other than the middle of the garden. In fact they were most likely some distance from the middle of the garden. This then implies that the eating of the fruit took place at another time. Second, the waw consecutive of ar<Tew” is often translated in a temporal sense as in the NASB, “When the woman saw that the treeÖ” This also suggests there is a separation in time between the temptation and the eating. Third, the wording of Gen 3:6 suggests that the woman did not instantly give in to the serpent’s temptation. Instead, it suggests that she pondered what the serpent said when she passed by or stood by the tree. Fourth, apparently there was some discussion about the issue of eating the fruit because God begins his curse statement to Adam with “Because you have listened to the voice of your wifeÖ” Fifth, the OT often telescopes events both historical and prophetic. Genesis 3 shows such signs of telescoping. Finally, the view that Adam was present at the time of temptation begs certain theological questions. It suggests that Adam’s first sin was a failure to exercise dominion over the serpent rather than eating of the fruit, the sin which God points out to Adam. The point about the reversal of leadership roles and Adam following Eve’s lead is correct, but this does not demand Adam’s presence at the temptation. For a more detailed account of the Adam’s presence view see Larry Crabb, Don Hudson and Al Andrews, The Silence of Adam: Becoming Men of Courage in a World of Chaos (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995),11-12, 89-93; David Scholer, “Women in Church Ministry: Does 1 Timothy 2:9-15 Help or Hinder?” Daughters of Sarah 16, no. 4 (1990): 210.

37 Schreiner, “A Dialogue with Scholarship,” 145-46; see also Doriani, “A History of Interpretation,” 263-67 for a more thorough articulation and defense, marshaling evidence from psychological and sociological studies.

38 It is possible to see this priority for relationships even in Genesis 3. The serpent declares that she would not die (be separated from God) if she ate the fruit. It would open her eyes and make her more like God, and thus more able to relate to God better. This understanding maybe better than viewing Eve as wanting to be independent from God before the fall, and her first sin really being pride. She sacrificed God’s non-negotiable command for the (false) potentiality of a better relationship with God.

39 Craig S. Keener, Paul, Women, and Wives: Marriage and Women’s Ministry in the Letters of Paul (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1992), 118-19.

40 E. F. Scott, The Pastoral Epistles (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1936), 28.

41 Knight, Pastoral Epistles, 145-147.

42 N. J. D. White, “The First and Second Epistles to Timothy,” in EGT, vol. 4, ed. W. Robertson Nicoll (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1983), 110.

43 James B. Hurley, Man and Woman in Biblical Perspective (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1981), 222-23.

44 Moo, “1 Timothy 2:11-15,” 71-73; Schreiner, “A Dialogue with Scholarship,” 151-53. Bowman, “Women in Ministry,” 208-13 has a variation of this view that emphasizes eschatological rewards.

45 Schreiner, “A Dialogue with Scholarship,” 151.

46 Ibid., 151-52. He apparently views the conditional protasis as having a grounds/inference relationship to the apodosis. However, there needs to be specific contextual and logical reasons for conditional clauses with a future indicative in the apodosis to be grounds/inference in which the apodosis actually denotes the cause.

47 What is present here is a complex condition. The protasis consists of remaining in the three virtues of faith, love, and holiness. These three virtues can be understood in terms of a causal chain. Faith brings about love. Faith and love together bring about holiness. Faith is a necessary and sufficient  condition for bringing about spiritual salvation. Faith plus the Holy Spirit bring love, then holiness. The three virtues together are all necessary conditions for deliverance from deception. But for deliverance from the deception of role reversal, childbearing is also a necessary condition, and when combined with the others, is sufficient for deliverance.

48 At this juncture, however, the male leadership of the church take primary responsibility.

Related Topics: Issues in Church Leadership/Ministry, Leadership, Teaching the Bible