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Chapter Two: Survey Of Interpretations on 1 Timothy 2:15

Every student of the Pastoral Epistles is forced to grapple with the message of 1 Tim 2:15. The number of different interpretations of this one verse seems to indicate that there are almost as many viewpoints as there are students! In this chapter, thirteen different interpretations are described, though some overlap in certain aspects and many are often associated together. The major points of these views are simply surveyed and described here; a discussion of the critiques and major disadvantages of each view awaits chapter three. The first major section sets out views of 1 Tim 2:15 which focus on the lexical and grammatical issues of the sentence, while the second major section describes several views which utilize the historical and literary context of the verse to explain its oft-confusing statement.

Saved Through Childbirth: Physical or Spiritual?

The following sub-sections describe nine different views of 1 Tim 2:15 which can be grouped under two headings: those which understand swqhvsetai as referring to physical salvation or deliverance and those which understand it as referring to some aspect of spiritual salvation. The different nuances in each individual interpretation center on the exact understanding of this verb swqhvsetai, the function of the preposition diav, and the meaning of teknogoniva".

Physical Salvation or Deliverance

Two interpretations grouped together based upon similar understandings of swqhvsetai include the physiological interpretation and the deliverance interpretation. Rather than seeing this occurrence of the verb as referring to spiritual salvation with eschatological consequences, these two views reflect a sense of physical safety or deliverance from a present temptation.

Physiological: "Brought safely through childbirth"

Supporters of this interpretation understand the main clause of 1 Tim 2:15 as referring to the safety and deliverance afforded to women throughout the events of labor and childbirth.1 This view suggests the common temporal use for the preposition and an understanding of teknogoniva" as limited to the specific act of childbirth. This idea relates well to the implied connection to Gen 3 found in the immediately preceding verses (1 Tim 2:13-14). Verse 14 may imply the curse of pain in childbirth found in Gen 3:16, and as such, the following phrase in verse 15 adds a promise of physical protection through that process.2 Eve's place in creation and the fall places women in a certain amount of distress and danger, through which verse 15 insists she shall be preserved.3 The conditional clause confirms that this preservation comes as women remain committed Christians.4 Supporters of the physiological interpretation may point to 1 Tim 4:16 and 2 Tim 4:18 for other uses of sw/vzw in the Pastorals which may refer to physical deliverance or to other parallels for their understanding of this verb outside the Pastorals.5 In 1 Tim 4:16, Paul urges Timothy to watch himself and hold tight to his teaching so that he might "save" himself and his parishioners, and in 2 Tim 4:18, Paul speaks of God rescuing him from evil and "saving" him for the heavenly kingdom. These two uses are understood to have a sense of physical preservation and thus supporting this meaning in 2:15.

Deliverance: "Delivered from committing the errors mentioned in 2:12"

Supporters of this interpretation understand 1 Tim 2:15 to refer to a woman's deliverance from the errors described and illustrated in verses 12-14.6 Women will be delivered from the temptations of Satan, specifically the temptation to transgress into the role of teacher, by keeping their proper role in family responsibilities. The bearing of children will save her from falling into the error of exercising authority over men and thus, like Eve, being deceived by Satan.7 Thus, sw/vzw is understood as referring to deliverance from a particular transgression or temptation found in the immediate context, and diav is used with a standard sense expressing means. For this interpretation, the meaning of teknogoniva" covers the spectrum of the family responsibilities of a woman, including but not limited to childbirth. This view is closely linked to the overall context of modesty and submissiveness found in verses 9-15 and is supported by the discussion in chapter 5 concerning young widows.8 For these young widows whose behavior was less than desirable, the remedy was to marry, bear children, and manage their household, similar to this understanding of 2:15. The explicit mention of Satan in chapter five gives an added probability of a reference to woman's preservation from Satan in 2:15.9 Further support comes from a proposed motif of deliverance from Satan in the Pastoral Epistles as a whole (c.f. 1 Tim 3:6; 5:15; 2 Tim 2:26).10 One other advantage of this interpretation is its connection of verse 15 with verse 14, where the fall and temptation of the first woman are explicitly mentioned.11

Spiritual Salvation

Seven interpretations of 1 Tim 2:15 may again be grouped together based upon their understanding of swqhvsetai. These include the Christological, concessional, attendant circumstance, perseverance, proof of salvation, spiritual children, and faithful children interpretations. All view the verb as here referring to spiritual salvation; whether that reference be to initial conversion or to perseverance toward final salvation depends upon the particular interpretation at hand.

Christological: "Saved by the Childbirth"

This view understands teknogoniva" as referring to the birth of Jesus Christ, and thus the entire phrase refers to the spiritual salvation of women through the birth of the Messiah.12 The common spiritual sense is assigned to sw/vzw, an instrumental understanding to the preposition, and a more specific, technical meaning to teknogoniva". This Christological interpretation takes the reference to Adam and Eve in verse 14 seriously and picks up the promise of Gen 3:15 concerning the seed of the woman.13 First Timothy 2:15, then, reflects the idea that Jesus is the one who ultimately fulfilled this promise by undoing the curse. Eve and all women like her, who are enslaved by the curse and power of sin, will be saved by the birth of Jesus Christ. The conditional clause follows smoothly and logically within this interpretation by indicating that such salvation comes only to those who have a true faith that is reflected in a righteous lifestyle.14

Supporters propose that this Christological interpretation fits well both with the context and with the Pauline understanding of salvation. First, it builds on the allusion to Gen 3 found in verse 14, by referring to the fulfillment of the promise. Second, the conditional clause affirms that though objectively accomplished, salvation is not automatically experienced without sincere faith.15 Further support for this interpretation comes from its recognition of the presence of the article with teknogoniva" as implying a specific event, as well as its assignment of common meanings to both sw/vzw and to diav when it follows a passive form of sw/vzw.16 Additionally, this view seems to have been adopted by some of the early Church Fathers.17

Concessional: "Saved even though she must suffer childbirth"

The concessional view interprets this clause as reaffirming salvation for women despite having to endure the pain of the curse in childbearing.18 Woman shall be linked with man in salvation in spite of the penalty for transgression imposed upon her.19 Verse 15 is seen as a way of consolation to women, with the purpose of comforting them and reminding them that salvation is secure though they suffer the pains of punishment at the moment.20 This view then recognizes for both sw/vzw and teknogoniva" their normal meanings of spiritual salvation and childbirth in the narrow sense respectively, but holds a unique meaning thus far for diav. In this understanding the prepositional phrase is not dealing with the basis or means of salvation but the way through which God leads to salvation.21 Thus diav is assigned a sense of accompaniment with a concessional idea in that it describes the route to salvation. The idea is that women will be saved although they must go through the pains of childbirth. The conditional clause fits well with this interpretation by reaffirming the true source of this salvation as steadfast faith in Christ.22 This understanding of verse 15 also follows well after the reference to Eve's transgression and the implied reference to the curse of Gen 3:16, by confirming that women will be saved despite this curse.23 One strength of this interpretation is that it clearly shows how the original curse referred to in verse 14 is mitigated by Christian salvation.24 Additional support comes from parallel passages which use a passive form of sw/vzw plus a diav prepositional phrase to express a difficult circumstance through which one must pass in salvation (1 Cor 3:15—through fire, 1 Pet 3:20—through water).25 Other passages in which this construction appears with a similar meaning are Acts 14:22 and Rev 21:24.26 Coupland argues that this is the only explanation of the verse which both makes sense in the context and is in accordance with Pauline theology.27

Attendant Circumstances: "Saved in the experience of childbirth/motherhood"

This interpretation is similar to the previous one in that it views diav as having a sense of accompaniment, but here the focus is on the attendant circumstances of salvation rather than on a difficulty which must be passed through.28 Swqhvsetai is understood in its spiritual sense and teknogoniva" is viewed as referring to all of the responsibilities and tasks of motherhood. The normal and natural duties of a woman are found in the tasks of childrearing, and it is in these duties that women (and men alike) work out their salvation, as far as individual efforts can contribute.29 Falconer, the major supporter of this view, understands the entire phrase as referring to the spiritual salvation of women from the effects of the transgression and as proposing that this salvation occurs in the experience of childbirth and motherhood.30 This phrase, then, is related to the entire passage by discouraging a woman's effort to find fulfillment in public teaching because it declares motherhood as the highest function for women.31 Motherhood is seen as a mysterious and almost sacramental function in that it retrieves a blessing out of the primitive curse.32 This understanding of the phrase finds close parallels with the same passages mentioned above for the concessional view (1 Cor 3:15, 1 Pet 3:20) in that all three describe an experience which accompanies salvation.33 Further support for this view may be gleaned from the historical context of the book. By honoring and exalting motherhood as an experience connected to salvation, this phrase may have had significant impact in combating the false teachings that renounced marriage and exalted virginity.34

Perseverance: "Saved by childbirth/motherhood"

The perseverance interpretation understands 1 Tim 2:15 as referring to the perseverance of women in and towards final salvation. This perseverance is found in the proper role of women, including but not limited to the domestic bearing and nurturing of children.35 Thus the future tense verb, swqhvsetai, is significant and refers specifically to the perseverance towards final salvation rather than the initial conversion experience. The preposition carries its normal instrumental meaning and teknogoniva" functions as a synecdoche for the proper role of women.

Supporters see this interpretation as connected to the context of the passage. The outworking of a woman's salvation as she perseveres toward the return of Christ consists in accepting God-given roles, one of which is bearing children, as opposed to altering the roles for men and women in the church discussed in verses 8-12.36 Verses 13-14 allude to Gen 3:16 with its prediction that motherhood is a woman's appointed role, thus this phrase in 1 Tim 2:15 proposes that a woman's path to salvation consists in accepting this role. The statement also confirms that childbearing, with its connection to the curse, does not imply that women are under God's permanent displeasure.37 The conditional clause reveals that perseverance is not automatic with childbirth and motherhood, but only comes through fulfilling these roles in the practice of true Christianity, with the right spirit of faith, love, and holiness.38 The entire verse is not a definitive soteriological statement, but is more practically concerned with women carrying out their divinely given roles and living a life which issues in salvation.39 Many supporters admit that 1 Tim 2 :15 is an unusual if not awkward way of expressing this idea, but see the context of the letter and the present argument of the passage as producing such a statement.40

A major strength for this interpretation is its normal understanding of the preposition. It has been previously mentioned that of six occurrences of this construction in the NT (passive verb plus diav prepositional phrase), in all but two the preposition is functioning instrumentally.41 A second strength is its understanding of the function of teknogoniva" as synecdoche. To identify teknogoniva" as the means of attaining salvation is certainly strange, unless it is seen as counteracting the means by which the fall occurred and includes other proper duties, as this interpretation proposes.42 Additionally, the term teknogoniva" was most likely chosen as a synecdoche here because of the circulating false teachings which were downplaying the importance of marriage (c.f. 1 Tim 4:3).43 A third major strength exists in that, with the conditional clause, this phrase agrees with the Pauline thought that salvation requires a believer's continual perseverance in good works, which are not meritorious but give evidence to the work of grace in a true Christian.44 A final strength is its link to the context. The concept of urging women to adorn themselves in good works is similar to the message of verse 10 and this interpretation recognizes and builds on the allusion to Gen 3 found in 1 Tim 2:14.45 The perseverance view also parallels the discussion in 1 Timothy 5 concerning the perseverance of young widows in good works rather than destructive behavior.46

Proof of Salvation: "She proves her salvation by childbearing"

The proof of salvation view proposes that women find their deepest satisfaction from their accomplishments in the Christian home.47 Supporters understand swqhvsetai in its spiritual sense referring to forgiveness of sins and teknogoniva" as a synecdoche for motherhood as a whole.48 Diav is understood as functioning instrumentally, but the force of the entire phrase is that becoming a good wife and mother proves the reality of a woman's salvation. Women whose good deeds include marriage and raising children in faithfulness provide concrete testimony of God's gracious work of redemption in their lives.49 Supporters insist however that this does not exclude a woman from working outside the home, but rather her career opportunities should not take priority over her commitment to domestic duties.50

Spiritual Children: "Saved by her 'spiritual children' or good works"

Augustine and Gregory of Nyssa both understood the message of 1 Tim 2:15 to be that a woman's salvation is found in her "spiritual children".51 Gregory of Nyssa's interpretation of this verse appears in the midst of his defense of the superiority of virginity as he writes:

Every one knows that the propagation of mortal frames is the work which the intercourse of the sexes has to do; whereas for those who are joined to the Spirit, life and immortality instead of children are produced by this latter intercourse; and the words of the Apostle beautifully suit their case, for the joyful mother of such children as these "shall be saved in child-bearing;" as the Psalmist in his divine songs thankfully cries, "He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children." Truly a joyful mother is the virgin mother who by the operation of the Spirit conceives the deathless children, and who is called by the Prophet barren because of her modesty only.52

These early interpretations understand both swqhvsetai and diav with their normal meanings (spiritual salvation for the verb and an instrumental/means preposition), but understand teknogoniva" symbolically. Childbirth refers to a Christian woman's "spiritual children" or her good works. It is these good works which bring about a woman's salvation.

Faithful Children: "Saved by childbirth, if her children remain faithful."

This interpretation proposes that a woman's salvation may be contingent upon the perseverance of her children in faith, love, and holiness. Chrysostom and Jerome both appear to take 1 Tim 2:15 as referring to women's reward for bringing up faithful Christian children. Chrysostom writes:

God hath given her no small consolation, that of childbearing. And if it be said that this is of nature, so is that also of nature; for not only that which is of nature has been granted, but also the bringing up of children. "If they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety"; that is, if after childbearing, they keep them in charity and purity. By these means they will have no small reward on their account, because they have trained up wrestlers for the service of Christ.53

In one of his letters, Jerome compares the message to women in 1 Tim 2:15 first, with the story of Eli and God's displeasure with him because of the evil sins of his sons and second, with the prohibition of appointing to the office of bishop men who have unruly children.54 Both of these early interpretations understand the plural subject of the conditional clause to refer to the children of the woman who is the subject of the main clause.55 A woman's spiritual salvation is thus connected to the faithfulness of her children.

Other Explanations

The following subsections present four interpretations of 1 Tim 2:15 which center on concerns beyond the grammatical and lexical issues of the text including issues of authorship, historical context, and literary context. Many of these ideas are often found in connection with one or more of the views mentioned in the preceding sections. These proposals are grouped below under "dismissive" explanations, recasting/response theories, the proverbial statement proposal, and the Midrash connection.

"Dismissive" Explanations

First Timothy 2:15 is considered by some who study it as a statement to be dismissed as lacking authority and irreconcilable with other teachings of Scripture. Four different causes for this lack of authority have been proposed.

First, there is the question of the authorship of the Pastoral Epistles. First Timothy 2:15 appears in an unpopular section of an epistle in which Pauline authorship is highly questioned. The concepts of the verse which link women with the fall of humanity and equate redemption with childbirth are seen to reflect a later reactionary movement rather than the apostolic teachings of Paul.56 Specifically, the hermeneutic of the Old Testament in 1 Tim 2:13-15 is seen as discernibly different from Paul's usual style. The use of Genesis in the 1 Timothy passage is more dependent upon popular notions and Jewish exegesis than is normally found in the widely accepted Pauline material.57 Therefore, the seemingly repressive position towards women found in 1 Tim 2:9-15 could not come from the authentic Paul, who was much more of an egalitarian.58 Some propose that the close parallel in 1 Cor 14:33-36 is actually a later interpolation into the Corinthian letter by an editor familiar with the Pastorals, obviously placed there to find support for the Corinthian editor's and the Pastoral's own views on women.59 Support for such an idea comes from the placement of 1 Cor 14:34-35 after 1 Cor 14:40 in certain Western manuscripts.60

A second proposal is similar in that it also seeks to question, if not plainly deny, the authority of the passage. However, the question of authority is not based on issues of authorship but on the message of the passage alone. Though canonical, this passage cannot be authoritative because it leads to the continued repression of women rather than to their liberation.61 The proposal is that not all canonical passages have equal authority, and 1 Tim 2:15 would be included among those which have little to no authority in the church, or at least over women. Though not always a conscious thought, this mindset is illustrated, as Luke Timothy Johnson articulates, in the absence of this text from recent lectionaries, sermons, devotionals, and Bible study material.62

A third reason for questioning the authority of this verse is the possibility that 1 Tim 2:12-14 is merely a quotation of 1 Cor 14:34-35. Supporters claim that in the 1 Timothy quotation, the material from 1 Corinthians is taken out of context and excludes Paul's apparent dismissal of these ideas found in the original passage.63

A fourth and final suggestion for a lack of authority in 1 Tim 2:15 is the belief that verse 15 is a later interpolation to 1 Timothy, probably inserted to oppose Montanism.64

The common strength of these arguments is in their recognition of a clear sense to the meaning of the phrase and their adoption of the usual meaning for each of the terms used. Supporters simply find the meaning morally offensive and non-authoritative because it seems first, to either rely upon oppressive sexual stereotypes or reflect a type of primitive mythology, and second, to contradict the teachings of Paul and other New Testament writers concerning women and salvation.65

Recasting/Response theory

Several theories concerning 1 Tim 2:15 propose that this statement is used by the author to respond to or recast a statement from another well-known source, or to respond to or recast a teaching of his opponents.

The message of 1 Tim 2:15 may be related to a Jewish idea or a Jewish- Christian source with which the original readers would have been familiar. Falconer alludes to this concept when he states that the writer of 1 Timothy may have adopted a Hebrew maxim and then inserted the conditional clause attempting to conform the original statement to full Christian truth.66 Support for this idea comes from the argument that a Jewish view did exist in which enduring the pains of physical childbirth was believed to overcome the curse pronounced in Genesis.67 Quinn and Wacker see evidence of such a Jewish-Christian source in the awkward Greek of the first statement in 2:15.68 The previous verses (2:13-14) may come from such a Jewish-Christian source which is glossing the narrative about Eve in the Septuagint, and thus verse 15 is just a continuation from this source.69 The sentence of verse 15 begins in a Semitic fashion (verb first), and the passive voice is used with God as the unnamed ultimate agent.70 All such evidence is believed to point to some type of source, probably with Jewish origins, which is being utilized by the author in 1 Tim 2:15.

Other theories understand this statement in 2:15 as a recasting of the thoughts and teachings of Paul's opponents, used here to provide a response to those teachings.71 It is possible that certain false teachings were encouraging women to give up conventional roles like motherhood in order to be saved and were ultimately declaring childbirth to be a condemnation.72 The response in verse 15 would then intend to combat such teachings by restoring the vocation of motherhood to its rightful place of honor and dismissing those who teach that it prevents salvation in any way.73 Second Timothy 2:18 reveals that the opposition was probably teaching some form of triumphalism, and thus the force of 2:15 could also be to remind readers of the reality of a sin-cursed world still dependent upon God's promised salvation.74 Each of these recasting/response theories has the advantage of listening closely to the historical and literary context of the book, and attempting to assign a normal meaning and explanation to the words and phrases in the verse.

Response and recasting explanations of 1 Tim 2:15 are commonly found in connection with other more grammatical proposals. Falconer's connection was mentioned above, and various forms of these ideas are commonly found in association with the perseverance view, the proof of salvation view, and the deliverance view in order to help explain the awkward nature of the verse's teachings.

Proverbial Statement

Another possible explanation is that 1 Tim 2:15 represents a reference to a type of proverbial expression that would have had a specific meaning to the original audience, but which has now been lost.75 Classifying it as a proverbial statement yields more flexibility to the nuance of the words and phrases, increasing the possibility of uncommon uses and meanings. One theory is that the expression would most likely have referred to deliverance from the devastating effects of the role reversal that took place in the Garden, and the idea of childbearing would stand as a synecdoche for activities that represent a woman's submission to the leadership of man. Therefore, the statement would not have salvific importance but would refer to the working out of redemption in everyday life. Support for this interpretation comes from the appearance of many such proverbial sayings in the Pastoral Epistles (1 Tim 1:15, 3:1, 4:9; 2 Tim 2:11; Tit 1:12, 3:8) and its explanation of the awkwardness of the phrase. This theory, like the recasting/response explanations, lends itself to associations with other proposals because it may provide for uncommon or rare usages for words and phrases and explain the difficulties of interpretation for the modern reader. Most often it is found in relation to the deliverance view to help explain the unique understanding of swqhvsetai in that proposal.

Midrash Connection Theory

A brief comment in a journal concerned with Bible translation suggests a possible link between 1 Tim 2:15 and a Midrash comment on Prov 5:21.76 The Midrash comment at Prov 5:21 states "Just as a woman's iniquities are recalled to her only during her labor pains, so a man's iniquities are recalled to him only when he comes to the pains of the nether world; hence it is said He will be caught up in the ropes of his sin."77 The proposal is that Paul had this comment in mind when writing 1 Tim 2:15. Thus, the basic sense of the verse is simply as an observation that in facing possible death, as a woman in labor does, people tend to face up to spiritual realities and are thus brought closer to salvation.78

1 Supporters include C. K. Barrett, The Pastoral Epistles, The New Clarendon Bible, ed. H. F. D. Sparks (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1963), 56-7; and J. H. Bernard, The Pastoral Epistles, Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges (Cambridge: University Press, 1899), 49.

2 I. Howard Marshall, The Pastoral Epistles, The International Critical Commentary, ed. J. A. Emerton, C. E. B. Cranfield, and G. N. Stanton (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1999), 469.

3 Barrett, The Pastoral Epistles, 57.

4 Ibid.

5 Although, these other uses of the verb are debated. See critique of this view in chapter two.

6 Supporters include S. Jebb, "A Suggested Interpretation of 1 Ti 2:15," The Expository Times 81 (July, 1970): 221-2; James B. Hurley, Man and Woman in Biblical Perspective (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1981), 221-3; and Andrew J. Kstenberger, "Ascertaining Women's God-Ordained Roles: An Interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:15," Bulletin for Biblical Research 7 (1997): 107-44.

7 Jebb, "Suggested Interpretation," 221.

8 Ibid., 222.

9 Kstenberger, "God-Ordained Roles," 121.

10 Marshall, Pastoral Epistles, 469.

11 Kstenberger, "God-Ordained Roles," 121.

12 Supporters include George W. Knight, The Pastoral Epistles: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary, ed. I. Howard Marshall and W. Ward Gasque (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1992), 144-9; Walter Lock, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles, The International Critical Commentary (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1924), 33; Donald Guthrie, The Pastoral Epistles, The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, ed. R. V. G. Tasker (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1957), 77-9; and Charles J. Ellicott, A Critical and Grammatical Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles with a Revised Translation (Andover: Warren F. Draper, 1860), 54.

13 Marshall, Pastoral Epistles, 469.

14 Knight, Pastoral Epistles, 147.

15 Ibid.

16 Ibid. Knight points out that the passive form of sw/vzw occurs 6 times with diav following it (Acts 15:11, Rom 5:9, 1 Cor 3:15, 15:2, I Tim 2:15, and 1 Pet 3:20). All but two of these have the preposition functioning instrumentally and those two (1 Cor 3:15 and 1 Pet 3:20) mention the elements through which salvation is brought. Thus, he argues that the instrumental use is the normal use for diav following a passive form of this verb.

17 Ibid., 146.

18 Supporters include E. F. Scott, The Pastoral Epistles, ed. James Moffatt (New York: Harper and Brothers Publishers, 1946), 27-9; John Calvin, 1,2 Timothy and Titus, The Crossway Classic Commentaries, ed. Alister McGrath and J. I. Packer (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1998), 49-50; and Simon Coupland, "Salvation Through Childbearing? The Riddle of 1 Timothy 2:15," The Expository Times 112 (September, 2001): 302-3.

19 Guthrie, Pastoral Epistles, 78.

20 Calvin, 1,2 Timothy and Titus, 49.

21 Ibid.

22 Coupland, "Riddle," 303.

23 Ibid.

24 Guthrie, Pastoral Epistles, 78.

25 Coupland, "Riddle," 303.

26 Marshall, Pastoral Epistles, 469. In Acts 14:22 ( . . . through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God) the prepositional phrase describes the hardships which accompany the Christian life. In Rev 21:24 (The nations shall walk through its light . . .) the prepositional phrase describes the light in which the nations will walk.

27 Coupland, "Riddle," 303.

28 Supporters include Robert Falconer, "1 Timothy 2, 14.15. Interpretive Notes," Journal of Biblical Literature 60 (1941): 375-79; Newport J. D. White, The First and Second Epistles to Timothy and the Epistle to Titus, The Expositor's Greek Testament, ed. W. Robertson Nicoll, vol. 4 (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1897-1910; reprint, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1974), 110 (page citations are to the reprint edition).

29 White, First and Second Epistles, 110.

30 Falconer, "Interpretive Notes," 376.

31 Ibid.

32 Ibid.

33 1 Cor 3:15 states, " . . . He himself will be saved, but only as through fire." ( . . . aujto" deV swqhvsetai, ou{tw" deV wJ" diaV purov".) 1 Pet 3:20 says, " . . . that is eight souls, were delivered through water." ( . . . tou't' e[stin ojktwV yucaiv, dieswvqhsan di' u{dato".)

34 Falconer, "Interpretive Notes," 377.

35 Supporters include Marshall, Pastoral Epistles, 467-71; J. N. D. Kelly, A Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles, Black's New Testament Commentaries, ed. Henry Chadwick (London: Adam and Charles Black, 1963), 69-70; Gordon D. Fee, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, New International Biblical Commentary, no. 13 (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1988), 74-6; Anthony Tyrrell Hanson, Studies in the Pastoral Epistles (London: SPCK, 1968), 73-4; J. L. Houlden, The Pastoral Epistles: I and II Timothy, Titus, TPI New Testament Commentaries, ed. Howard Clark Kee and Dennis Nineham (London: SCM Press, 1989), 71-3; Arland J. Hultgren, I-II Timothy, Titus, Ausburg Commentary on the New Testament (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1984), 70; Joh. Ed. Huther, Critical and Exegetical Handbook to the Epistles of St. Paul to Timothy and Titus, trans. by David Hunter (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1881), 133-5; Ann Bowman, "Women in Ministry: An Exegetical Study of 1 Timothy 2:11-15," Bibliotheca Sacra 149 (1992): 193-213.

36 William D. Mounce, Pastoral Epistles, Word Biblical Commentary, ed. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard, and Glenn W. Barker, no. 46 (Nashville: T. Nelson, 2000), 146.

37 Kelly, Pastoral Epistles, 69.

38 Marshall, Pastoral Epistles, 470.

39 Hultgren, I-II Timothy, Titus, 70.

40 Fee, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, 76.

41 Mounce, Pastoral Epistles, 147.

42 Houlden, The Pastoral Epistles, 72.

43 Mounce, Pastoral Epistles, 147. Another possible reason for using this term is because it is a most notable example of the divinely intended differences in roles for men and women.

44 Ibid., 146.

45 Marshall, Pastoral Epistles, 471.

46 Mounce, Pastoral Epistles, 146.

47 Thomas D. Lea and Hayne P. Griffin, Jr. 1, 2 Timothy, Titus, The New American Commentary, ed. David S. Dockery, no. 34 (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1992), 102.

48 Ibid.

49 Ibid.

50 Ibid., 103.

51 Augustine, De Trinitate, A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series, ed. Philip Schaff, vol. 3 (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1978), 159.

52 Gregory of Nyssa, De Virginitate, A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series, ed. Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, vol. 5 (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1972), 359.

53 St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Timothy, A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series, ed. Philip Schaff, vol. 13 (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1979), 436.

54 St. Jerome, Letter 107, A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series, ed. Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, vol. 6 (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1954), 192.

55 Houlden, Pastoral Epistles, 72-3.

56 Mary Hayter, The New Eve in Christ (London: SPCK, 1987), 131-3.

57 Ibid., 132.

58 Robin Scroggs, "Paul and the Eschatological Woman," Journal of the American Academy of Religion 40 (September 1972): 283-303.

59 Hans Conzelmann, 1 Corinthians, trans. James W. Leitch, Hermeneia—A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible, ed. George W. MacRae (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1975), 246. He argues for the inauthenticity of verses 33b-36 because it interrupts the flow of the passage, contradicts 11:2ff, and has peculiar linguistic usages. He claims that the regulations here are on the level of the Pastorals. See also Gordon D. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, The New International Commentary on the New Testament, ed. F. F. Bruce (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1987), 699-702. He argues that verses 34-35 are not authentic to 1 Cor because of transcriptional probability and intrinsic probability. See also Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, "Interpolations in 1 Corinthians," The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 48 (January 1986): 92. He also argues that verses 34-35 are interpolations into 1 Corinthians and parallel both the ideas and language of the later non-Pauline 1 Timothy passage.

60 Luke Timothy Johnson, The First and Second Letters to Timothy, The Anchor Bible, ed. William Foxwell Albright and David Noel Freedman, no. 35A (New York: Doubleday, 2001), 209. See above footnote 59 for additional support for this proposal.

61 Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Bread Not Stone: The Challenge of Feminist Biblical Interpretation, (Boston: Beacon Press, 1984), 23-63; and Rosemary Radford Ruether, "The Feminist Critique in Religious Studies," Soundings 64 (Winter 1981): 388-402.

62 Johnson, Letters to Timothy, 210.

63 D. W. Odell-Scott, "In Defense of an Egalitarian Interpretation of 1 Cor. 14.34-36: A Reply to Murphy-O'Conner's Critique," Biblical Theology Bulletin 17 (1987): 100-3.

64 J. Alonso Diaz, "Restriccion en algunos textos paulinos de las reivindicaciones de la mujer en la Iglesia," Estudios Eclesiasticos 50 (1975): 77-93; and O. Michel, "Grundfragen der Pastoralbriefe," in Auf dem Grunde der Apostel und Propheten, ed. M. Loeser, 83-99 (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1948): 93; described in Stanley E. Porter, "What Does It Mean to be 'Saved by Childbirth' (1 Timothy 2.15)?" Journal for the Study of the New Testament 49 (1993): 88.

65 Porter, "What Does it Mean," 88.

66 Falconer, "Interpretive Notes," 377.

67 Marshall, Pastoral Epistles, 469.

68 Jerome D. Quinn and William C. Wacker, The First and Second Letters to Timothy (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2000), 231.

69 Ibid.

70 Ibid.

71 Luke Timothy Johnson, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Knox Preaching Guides, ed. John H. Hayes (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1973), 62-71; and Philip Towner, The Goal of Our Instruction: The Structure of Theology and Ethics in the Pastoral Epistles (Sheffield, England: JSOT Press, 1989), 80.

72 David R. Kimberley, "1 Tim 2:15: A Possible Understanding of a Difficult Text," Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 35 (April, 1992): 486.

73 Ibid.

74 Philip H. Towner, 1-2 Timothy & Titus, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series, ed. Grant R. Osborne (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1994), 80. Another possible purpose for 2:15 could be to teach that, because the resurrection is yet future, Christians are to faithfully live in "the confines of a mundane social structure that still awaits the eschaton."

75 NET Bible (New English Translation) note on 1 Tim 2:15 includes and explains this idea.

76 David Thomas, "Saved by Childbearing!" Notes on Translation 10 (February, 1996): 52.

77 Burton L. Visotzky, trans, The Midrash on Proverbs, Yale Judaica Series, ed. Sid Z. Leiman (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992), 35.

78 Thomas, "Saved by Childbearing!" 52.

Related Topics: Soteriology (Salvation), Spiritual Life, Grammar

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