vs 4 What does salvation have to do with knowledge?
If God wants all men to be saved does that mean they will be? If not, why not?
vs 8 What type of anger and disputing do you suppose Paul has in
(Who is angry at what and who in disputing with whom?)
vs 9 What right does Paul have to command women how to dress? What does dress have to do with Christianity? (1Cor 11:1-16)
vs 10 What types of deeds are appropriate for women who profess God? (1Tim 5:10)
vs 11 Are these gender-specific commands? Are we not all equal in
What does it mean to learn in quietness and full submission? As oppose to what?
vs 12 What was Paul telling Timothy not to do? Does the society do
Does your church do this?
Was this just a cultural thing just applied back then, or also now?
Do you suppose Timothy understood this to mean that he could still assign women to be teachers over men if they had a male authority (himself) over them? (And if this were the case, what relevance would Paul's command have been?)
vs 13,14 The "for" statement here is Paul's explanation for his
in vs 12.
So what is his explanation? Is it just a cultural idea - only for those times, or applicable to Christians today?
So how would you apply the ideas in 12-14 today?
What is wrong with women having positions of authority over men?
Increasingly in these days we see that the attitude, such as Isaiah and Paul have, as being male chauvinist and politically incorrect. This is true both in the society and in the modern-day church. Why? Might this not be yet another sign of the corruption of the society as Isaiah points out? Or are modern-day church leaders perhaps more "enlightened" than Paul? Shouldn't the philosophy of feminism be integrated into the church so we don't offend women in the church or hinder those in the society we want to come to church? And there are many places where Paul gives gender-specific commands. Aren't these contrary to the idea of "equality in Christ"? I suggest before Christians reject what Paul says, they consider what they are rejecting.
Paul's explanation for not assigning women to positions of authority over men or positions of teaching men has to do with the role relationships that God had established in Genesis between Adam and Eve. It appears that becoming a Christian doesn't change that role relationship. If one is born female, God has a different role for that person to play in the body of Christ from one who is born male. And He has commands specific to particular genders. Furthermore we notice that the application of what Genesis says about Adam and Eve goes beyond just the husband-wife relationship, (as Paul applies in Ephesian 5), and applies to male-female relationships in general.
I have had conversations with pastors who violate this principle and I generally find one of two excuses. One is the proposition that the command only applies to the culture back then. To which I respond - Paul's explanation was not based on the "culture back then", but on Genesis as I had pointed out above, which also applies to Christians today.
The other excuse I've heard from a very popular pastor is that you can assign women to positions of teach and authority over men as long as they have a male authority over them. To which I reply - then what is the relevance of Paul's command, for if he assigned women to positions of authority, wouldn't he be a male authority over them? Yet he doesn't because if he did so, he would see it as a violation of the principles in Genesis.
I won't even mention others who outright reject what Paul says as just putting his own chauvinistic attitude into the Bible, whom I reckon to be merely unbelievers destined for condemnation. For Jesus said, "If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also." John 15:20b and John writes concerning the apostles teachings, "We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us." 1John 4:6
What might be inferred from the present day rejection of the gender-specific commands in the New Testament within the modern-day church? There is a lack of the acceptance of the concept of submission among Christians today, which just as in Isaiah's days is a sign of the corruption of the church. And as Isaiah pointed out, excuses for such are made by false teachings. And just as Paul points out in Eph 5:23,24 that the submission of wife to husband is a reflection of the church's submission to Christ, so also submission of Christian women in the church to male authority figures is also a reflection of the church's submission to Christ. So putting women into such positions of authority is simply the church saying to God, "We do not submit ourselves to You. Rather we demand that You submit Yourself to us."
The heresy is to suggest that women can teach men and have authority over men as long as these women are under the authority of a church elder.
Neither the English nor Greek text allow for such an interpretation. In fact the Greek makes such a reading impossible. There are no secret Greek rules of grammar that support it. You can get an idea of what they're up against just looking at the Greek word for word:
a woman but to teach not I allow nor to have authority over a man but to be in silence.
While I hate to use the word "clearly" in arguments, clearly "to teach" and "to have authority" are presented as separate categories here.
Secondly notice the last word "silence" is the same word "silence" as in the previous verse: "Let a woman learn in silence with all submission."
By choosing "silence" rather than "submission", Paul is further
stating his position that women are to keep quiet. It is not
for women to simply "be in submission" to elders to justify them
and teaching men. The text is emphatically against that position.
So far he's been focussing on right doctrine. But right doctrine goes hand in hand with prayer, just as he connects them in Eph 6:17,18"the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit."
Supplication speaks of asking for things.
Prayer "proseuche" speaks of the sacred and devote nature of such requests.
Intercessions speak of a sense of prayer in which one is meeting with God - conversing with God. (Example: John 17)
And giving thanks speaks of an attitude of gratitude.
These are not different styles of prayers, but rather different
and attitudes of the one style. But in particular these Paul is
to be made a behalf of all men. All men? Yes, all men. "Be
anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with
thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God" Php 4:6
Even when they were taken away into captivity to live in an enemy
the Lord commanded Judah "seek the peace and
of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD
it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper." Jer 29:7 And
not simply a matter of personal benefit. "When
the wicked arise, men hide themselves; But when they perish, the
increase." Pr 28:28 And "When it
well with the righteous, the city rejoices; And when the wicked perish,
there is jubilation." Pr 11:10 In many countries today,
as Islamic countries, the gospel is hindered by secular authorities,
it illegal to openly share the gospel. A spirit of darkness pervades
areas. Paul requested of the Christian community,
"brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly
and be honored." So pray for the secular authorities around the
world, that Christians may live the Christian life free from civil
and be allowed to speak openly of their faith.
What good thing can you do today? What kind of service would be acceptable to God? Well here's something good and acceptable to God - pray on behalf of everyone around you. Pray for civil and religious authorities - that they may do their job well as servants of God - for that would be beneficial to the Christian community. For God is our Savior, not only saving us from the wrath our sin had incurred, and not only saving us from our sinfulness unto righteous living and holiness, but also saving us from time to time from the evils of society, often by using secular authorities. For "the authorities that exist are appointed by God." Rom 13:1 Their job is to keep order.
For example remember in Acts 21 that Paul was rescue from an angry
by the secular Roman authorities, in Acts 19 the Christians in Ephesus
were delivered from an angry mob by a civil authority. When they
with God "rulers are not a terror to good works,
but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is
and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you
for good." Rom 13:3,4
Today when you're around a crowd, look at each individual and think, "God desires to save that person - and that person". God desires to save each and every individual around you. So if and when you were to present the gospel, you might tell them that God desires that they be saved.
Eze 18:23 "Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?"But for people to be saved they need to come to the knowledge of the truth - which is the gospel. So part of the job of saving them has been entrusted to us - in cooperation with the Holy Spirit - to deliver to them the Word of God. And since it's God desire that people to be saved, and He has given us a role in that process, consider how you might involve yourself in that role.
John 3:16,17 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."
Now just digress into a little theological controvesy here, many in the Christian community have a different point of view than what I have expressed here. They would say that God does not desire every individual to be saved. That is they would say that God desires all kinds of people to be saved, but not every individual. In fact they would claim that God does not love most people, that God doesn't desire most people to be saved, and that Christ didn't die for most people. These are those of an Augustinian theology, like Calvinists for example. Their theology prevents them from considering that God desires to save every person around them, and when they present the gospel to someone, their theology prevents them from telling that person that God desires to save them. For they would say that they don't know whether God desires to save them or not.
I bring this up for a number of reasons. For one thing I want
to be aware of the diversity of viewpoints within the Christian
on this point. And I want readers to understand that I am not of an
theology. I am aware of it however. I have read Augustine and Calvin. I
have web pages under the Theology Menu which critique such ideas. I
debated with those of that viewpoint, and am open to discussing such
with any of you. But I've come to the conviction that they are mistaken
on a number of points, the interpretation of this verse being one of
In distinguishing the roles of the the Father and Son, Paul elsewhere writes, "For us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live." 1Co 8:6
Concerning Jesus' role as Mediator John writes, "No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him." John 1:18
There's joke that NASA once proposed a mission to land on the sun. When asked how they would avoid the intense heat, they said they would travel at night!
Imagine the analogy of God being like the sun. You cannot get near it without being burned up, just as it is written, "our God is a consuming fire." Heb 12:29 But when you look at the sun in the sky, what are you really seeing? Are you seeing the sun? What you're seeing is the light that comes from the sun. That light is likened to Jesus who said, "I am the light of the world." John 9:5 Now while that light that comes from the sun is characteristically different than the composition of the sun itself, we nonetheless call the light that comes from the sun "the sun". For when you say, "look there's the sun in the sky", you call the light comes from the sun "the sun". So also when we see Jesus, we see God. As so how do you get to God? By following the light of Jesus - the Son of God.
Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’" John 14:8,9
As light is to the sun, so Jesus is to the Father.
A ransom is what is given in exchange for another as the price of his redemption. We all needed redemption. We all needed someone to pay a price to redeem us from the consequences of our sin - so that forgiveness may be graciously and judiciously dispensed. For God's judicial nature prevents him from forgiving sin unless the penalty first be paid. Such was Jesus' primary mission on earth. Jesus' suffering at the hands of lawless and wicked men paid our ransom.
But some may question as to where is the justice in that. For it is
written in Ps 49:7,8 "No man can redeem
life of another or give to God a ransom for him— the ransom for a life
is costly, no payment is ever enough" Such would be the case if
Jesus were only a man. But while Jesus was a man, he was also more than
a man. For "All things were made through Him" So
it says of him, "In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God ... And the Word became
flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the
only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." John
while "no man can redeem the life of another", Jesus could, as
was something significantly more than a man, being the Word incarnate,
and thus of such high value as the only begotten Son of God that his
paid the ransom for all.
Here Paul is alluding back to the phrase in the previous verse "to be testified in due time". Starting with New Testament times the revelation of Jesus Christ - his Person, works, mission, and teachings were to be testified of. And Paul was one whom God appointed a preacher and an apostle. An "apostle" having a sense of authority more than simply that of a preacher, as he would be a primary reference as to what constituted the faith and the message of truth. And this fact of his apostleship Paul reminds readers in all of his letters, and particularly an apostle to the Gentiles.
For this reason we should pay particular attention to what Paul
as God's emissary of doctrinal truth.
What is of first importance in Christian prayer is not what to pray, but rather the holiness of the one praying. Man whom received his sight in John 9 I think accurately expresses the Biblical understanding of this concept, if by "sinners" he's referring to unrepentant sinners where he says, "We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will." John 9:31 For Isaiah also writes, "Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear." Is 59:1, God listening to us is contingent upon our dealing with the issue of our own sinfulness. This is what Paul means when he refers to lifting up holy hands - "hands" representing our deeds, our behavior.
So also the prayer he is advocating here is to be without wrath.
may be some dispute as to what he is referring to here, but it seems to
me he may be referring to the kind of prayer which may be characterized as an angry complaint, rather than praying in meekness, in spite of difficult circumstances.
The Christian faith touches upon every area of life - including how one dresses. What one wears tells something about the person. Vain is the obsession with bringing attention to one's outward appearance. It communicates the idea that what one holds as important is that which is of the flesh, and that which is shallow - not of virtue or character. But the Christian life is about virtue and character. So also women dressing modestly causes less distraction among men - less distraction of the flesh. So Christian women can be of service in considering what would constitute appropriate dress for them.
How should women adorn themselves? Here Paul says with good works. For "charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate." Pr 31:30,31
Peter also gives us further insight into this issue saying, "Do not let your adornment be merely outward——arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands." 1Peter 3:3-5
So if Christian women want to call attention to themselves, let it
by their good works, and by a gentle and quiet spirit.
This verse is probably best understood in light of the verses which follow it. There Paul not only gives a particular application of this idea but also defends it with scripture, of which I will deal with in the next few days.
What Paul means by this verse is much the same as he meant in 1Cor 14:34 "Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says." That is, it is not appropriate for women to exercise authority over men - one of the main exercises of authority in the Christian community being that of teaching (Explaining the Word of God) or prophecy (speaking applications of the Word of God), the context of 1Cor 14:34 being that of public prophesying. And the verse which follows 1Cor 14:34 also says, "And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church." Here we see the allusion to teaching as well. But interesting to note his saying that "it is shameful for women to speak in church." This is much along the lines of what he was saying in 1Tim concerning women these last few verses - dealing with dress, for example. These all allude to the issue of appropriateness.
To be yet dealt with in the next few verses is whether the
or shamefulness had to just do with the culture back then, or whether
is speaking of a more universal principle which applies even today.
In God's culture - the Kingdom culture - it is shameful for women to rule men. Thus Isaiah noted, "Youths oppress my people, women rule over them. O my people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path." Is 3:12
Note again the similar words used in these two sets of verses:
1Cor 14:34,35 "Let your women keep SILENT in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be SUBMISSIVE, as the law also says. And if they want to LEARN something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church."From verse 12 we gain insight as to what he means by the "silence" he was speaking of in the previous verse, as well as the silence he had spoken of with respect to women in 1Cor 14:34. Essentially women are not allowed as spokesmen in the church.
1Tim 2:11,12 "Let a woman LEARN in SILENCE with all SUBMISSION. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in SILENCE."
As we saw in 1Cor 14:34,35, women are not allowed to publicly teach men, whether by way of explanation or prophecy. But in addition we see in this verse they were not allowed to hold positions of authority over men. And thus many churches today don't allow women in leadership roles in the church in which they would either be instructing men or otherwise exercising authority over men.
And we can see this principle also in Jesus' ministry - as well as
the Bible. For example none of the apostles Jesus chose were women.
Next Paul explains this principle from the scriptures.
This is the first of Paul's two scriptural reasons as to why he does not allow women to teach or hold positions of authority over men.
The first thing we notice is that it's not a "cultural issue". Rather it's based upon the very nature of the relationship God define between men and women from Genesis. Therefore we can discard any sort of "that was then, this is now" notion towards these commands concerning women.
Secondly, remember the similar application he had in 1Cor 14:34, but which he added the defense "as the law also says". Where in the law was he alluding? Well we see from this verse that one place he had in mind was Genesis chapter 2. Remember that Genesis is the first book of the Law of Moses. Though he may also have had other places in the law in mind.
It is interesting that he has a very similar approach to the applications of what Genesis says of Adam and Eve as Jesus did when he spoke on the issue of divorce. Notice in Mark 10 Jesus' usage of Genesis saying:
"But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, ‘and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate."
So also using the same hermeneutic as Paul and Jesus with respect to Adam and Eve one could argue against homosexuality or polygamy. Thus what the Bible says of Adam and Eve apparently is to be viewed as a precedent from which applications can be derived.
Now the particular fact that Paul focused on in this case was the ORDER of creation. From the order of creation Paul inferred that is was contrary to the design for a woman to exercise authority over a man.
Also we notice from Paul's application that what the Bible says of Adam and Eve doesn't apply exclusively to husband-wife relationships. For here he is applying it more generically - not just to marriages.
In 1Cor 11 he argues in a similar fashion using the Genesis of Adam and Eve, but with a view towards the application of women taking on a SYMBOL of one being under male authority - which is an outward affirmation of God's created order, when he says,
"For man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels." 1Cor 11:8-10
Thus Paul is concerned with the church acknowledging God's design,
created order, both in symbol and in practice.
This is the second scriptural reason as to why Paul does not allow
to teach or otherwise practice authority over men. And again it's based
on the precedent of Adam and Eve. But what is the precedent in this
In the previous verse Paul had spoken of the order of creation. And
while here he might be alluding to the order of the Fall, it appears
rather he's alluding to the nature of the Fall, the manner of the Fall,
twice using the word "deceived". He's speaking of Eve's gullibility,
being easily led astray. (She even appears to have misrepresented God's command: ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ Gen 3:3)
Paul's implying that Eve's behavior is characteristic of women, being
in some sense more gullible than men. Well that's not a particularly
correct thing to say these days. But if it was gullibility Paul was
of, one can understand why he didn't allow women in positions of
authority, in that they would be more susceptible to being led astray
thus leading others astray. (In 1Tim 4:7, for example, he speaks of "old wives' tales", not old husband's tales)
And it's furthermore possible that while verse 13 is the explanation
as to why it is not appropriate for women to hold positions of
over men, this verse may be a further explanation as to why they
be in the position of teaching men. In fact even among men the Bible
"let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a
judgment." Jam 3:1 Such positions are reserved for those
with the appropriate abilities and the maturity which comes from
experience "casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against
the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the
of Christ." Teaching is a battle in the realm of ideas - not suited for
the gullible. I don't recommend relying upon women to accurately handle the Word of God. (In
fact how feminists among the Christian community deal with these verses
is an example of such mishandling of the Word of God)
And speaking of the gullible, some have fallen into the false idea
upon becoming Christian, women are no longer under the precedents of
concerning the creation and fall of Eve - but that Christian
are to have an equal role - equal positions - with that of men in all
Such people have been deceived. For in contrast to such an egalitarian
notion, the apostle applies those precedents in Genesis to Christian men
and women in his gender specific commands. (As politically incorrect as
that may be!)
And finally concerning the Fall and men allowing women to usurp authority: To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life..." Gen 3:17
In contrast to the previous verses in which Paul was speaking of roles in which women are to be omitted, here Paul speaks of a role clearly designed for women by their very nature - namely childbearing - a role saved for them.
And notice a similar style in 1Cor 11 where Paul first speaks of the subordinate role of women, and then switches to speak of the essential role of women.
1Cor 11:8-9,11-12But what is the meaning of the conditional phrase "if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control." What I think he means is that the physical bearing children is of itself not necessarily what constitutes the childbearing role God assigned to women. Rather it is if in bearing children they also continue in faith, love, and holiness, then they are conformed to their God-given childbearing role. For God designed the role of childbearing to be more than that of just bearing children. And the nurturing of children requires much more than meeting their physical needs.
"For man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. ... Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God."
The Berean Christian Bible Study ResourcesSep 12,2020