Tuesday, April 14, 2009

There Was A Time I Did Not Care To Take Note Of 1 Timothy 2:11-15

(Let me just preface this post by stating I was going to post this last week but because it was Holy Week and this post is a little sarcastic towards my husband Ray and my brother-in-law Donald [okay, a little more than a little sarcastic, I actually resort to name-calling] I thought it was inappropriate for Holy Week. Although this post does pertain to Bible verses, and it was brought to my attention during Lent, in fact, time and time again it was brought to my attention during Lent. Now, on to Raymond and Donald - my apologies [NOT really] in advance for any lack of respect or seeming dominance on my part towards men in general [sincere apology] and towards you two men in particular [insincerity here].)

My brother-in-law Donald wants me to cross-stitch a sampler to hang in my kitchen of
1 Timothy 2:11-15 as a reminder to me of St. Paul’s preaching on how women should conduct themselves:
11 Let a woman learn in quietness with all subjection.
12 But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to have dominion over a man, but to be in quietness.
13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve;
14 And Adam was not beguiled, but the woman being beguiled hath fallen into
15 But she shall be saved through her child-bearing, if they continue in faith and
love and sanctification with sobriety.

Donald’s thought process is tainted to say the least. The man is a lunatic. (Forgive me, but I often have to take verbal abuse from this man who blogs about the natives on Skull Island building a fortress to keep King Kong out, and that is mild among other such nonsense. So I think it’s only natural that I reciprocate in kind every once in awhile.)

My husband, funny man that he is, and not to be outdone by his big brother, wrote on his blog profile that his one and only interest was 1 Timothy 2:11-15. I asked him if that really and truly was of such an ardent interest to him, why did he marry such a bossy big-mouth and then why remain with me for over thirty-five years?!

Both men have moved beyond merely bizarre and are on to full-fledged off-the-wall Loonie Tunes. (I’m not even going to ask forgiveness or offer an explanation this time, the reasons are self-explanatory to anyone who knows them, and those who do not will just have to trust me on this.)

Now, this Bible verse always bothered me, it made me feel inadequate and doubtful, surely there was no way I could emulate this teaching (nor did I really want to), surely Saint Paul could not have meant to say these (in my opinion) discriminating things. Then I did a little research on 1 Timothy 2:11-15. The more I delved into the different meanings and interpretations, and the more I studied the customs of that time, the more I came to like this Bible verse very much. I know men (two men in particular) want to say of this Bible verse that ‘it is what it is’, but if you don’t take into account the time that St. Paul was living in, and if you disregard the meaning behind the message, I think you discount a wealth of the wisdom contained in the reading.

I learned that 1Timothy 2:11 – Let a woman learn in quietness with all subjection was actually quite pro-woman for that period in time. St. Paul was, in fact, an early pro-feminist as St. Paul wanted women to learn, which, by the way, was not an acceptable practice to the Jews at that time, and that is why St. Paul said for them to learn in quiet.

I learned that 1Timothy 2:12 – But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to have dominion over a man, but to be in quietness, was really just pertaining to education in general at that time. Women could not teach because women at the time were uneducated, so it would be improper for anyone (man or woman) who was uneducated to assume the role of teacher. Women were singled out here because the subject of women is what St. Paul was discussing at the time. If he were discussing uneducated men he would have told them not to have dominion over educated men, it would have read, ‘but permit not an uneducated man to teach, nor to have dominion over an educated man, but to be in quietness’, so it actually has nothing to do with gender but with education.

1Timothy 2:13&14 – For Adam was first formed, then Eve; And Adam was not beguiled, but the woman being beguiled hath fallen into transgression:
St. Paul preached as the Bible taught that Adam was made first, and Adam was not beguiled, St. Paul is suggesting that Adam had been taught (before Eve was even formed) whereas Eve had not been taught, telling us that Adam knew better, suggesting that Adam deliberately sinned while Eve who knew no better, did not deliberately sin, Eve was tricked or beguiled while Adam was not. Eve was not the only transgressor, Adam was by no means innocent here, in fact, just the opposite it seems.

1Timothy 2:15 – But she shall be saved through her child-bearing, if they continue in faith and love and sanctification with sobriety.
Child-bearing at the time was a woman’s main role, so of course St. Paul told women to be good at their ‘jobs’ just as he told Timothy to be good at his ‘job’ of teaching and of being a pastor to the people. If a woman’s main role at the time was to teach, St. Paul would have told her she would be saved through her teaching if she continued in faith, and love, and sanctification, but her main role was to bear children at that time, so of course that is what St. Paul told women to do. St. Paul is telling all of us to be the very best (in whatever role we are living) in faith and love, for there is our Salvation.

So while Holy Week was certainly not a time for vendettas, it certainly was a time for Bible study. And considering that this particular Bible verse had been bought to my attention numerous times throughout Lent it’s only natural that this Bible verse was uppermost in my mind, so it made perfect sense to examine it then. (My husband claims that I did my research with a feminist interpretation of the Bible, I did not.) I am sorry to bring attention to the senselessness and blatant discrimination of both my own husband and my brother-in-law, (I especially didn’t want to do so during Holy Week, so I waited to post this), I guess I should not be posting it at all, I should be turning the other cheek, but maybe these two men would be wise to open their minds to the varied interpretations of Timothy 2:11-15. Maybe they too will find (as I do now through my studies) that the insight of Paul enlightens us to who the man really was, surely a man with great respect for women, a man who could see beyond his time.
And I will now be more than happy to cross-stitch a sampler of 1Timothy 2:11-15 for Donald if he still so desires, for him to hang in his own kitchen (but maybe I’ll use a more contemporary text).

How about it, Donald? I anxiously await your reply.


  1. Well actually one must keep in mind that when God created man, he was only a prototype. To really maximize (or make up for this error), His creation, He created woman!

    Actually, this is where my christian challenge comes in, Eileen, as I would be tempted to hang, instead of that cross-stitch on your kitchen wall, two naughty men with duct tape (can't get too violent here) and if they get too loud, there is always the elephant tranquilizer dart(until they come to their senses)!



  2. I apologize for any anxiety I have caused, by attempting to have my dear sister-in-law read and research the Bible. I, at this time, can not respond to my scholarly sister-in-law's hours of research and her vast knowledge of the life and times of Saint Paul of Tarsus.

  3. Donald, stop trying to act like you're nice, and stop trying to act like you have an ounce of sanity in your head, you're making a liar out of me! Grrrrr!!
    Or, have you actually reached a turning point? No snide remarks? No comeback? No more Bible quotes on how I should be conducting myself? How ever will I get used to this?
    No matter, I am not going to question it, I will just embrace the refreshing personality change, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind words (no sarcasm intended this time). Now, if you could just work on your brother for me and become the good influence that I know you can be (you know good or bad, he always tries to beat you), I'll be a very happy camper!

  4. "First of all, you must understand this: No prophecy in Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation." - 2 Peter 1:20

    So to "be in quietness" means what then? I didn't write the Bible, I just read it.

  5. Oh, I'll be quiet, all right. That's fine. Silent treatment begins immediately.

  6. It means, go where it is quiet, where there are no men talking nonsense or sports.

  7. You Know what? I think the photos of the grandkids are beautiful!!!!

  8. Okay, I can do much better than this...by simply offering lots of prayers for peace, harmony and love as you are all God's delightful creatures and a blessing as well.

    praying for tons of joy for all and peace to you,


  9. Eileen,

    You are truly a Proverbs 31 woman! Searching the scriptures and applying them to our lives is what the Lord desires of us as we grow closer in Him!

    If you enjoy cross stitching you may want to visit my website of designs that feature Bible verses - may make nice gifts for those precious grandchildren! There is a free design called, "His Name is Jesus" that has blessed many.



    Donald is NOT really anti-woman, nor is my husband, and we really do love each other and we get along just fine and we love spending time together, this is just our way of teasing each other!

    Oh, and by the way, 'The Battle of the Sexes' is most likely to continue!

  11. I wonder if when you stated "St. Paul is suggesting" did you at that time read Genesis Chapter 3 ? ( especially Genesis 3:16 )

  12. Okay, Genesis 3:16 "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."
    I see more research in my future. Thank you very much, Donald!
    To be continued...

  13. I also wonder if you have done any research on St. Paul. Do you believe he wrote all thirteen of the epistles that are accreditted to him?

  14. Well, some Bible Scholars say St. Paul wrote 1 Thessalonians, Galatians, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Philippians, Philemon, and Romans.
    Others also rule out 1 Thessalonians and Galatians.
    I don't know what to believe. What do you think?

  15. How many characters from the Loonie Tunes think? In your research, did you come across the big argument between St. Peter and St. Paul?

  16. Daffy Duck, are you talking about how St. Paul felt that St. Peter treated the Gentile converts as inferior to Jewish Christians? And that he was making Gentiles live like Jews, and said the Gentile men had to be circumcised? I know a little of that but not a lot. Obviously I have not done as in-depth a study on the Bible.