need questions to be answered….

are women allowed as well to share the kingdom of God or we need to be silent just as in 1 Timothy 2:11-15… please i need the answer need some advice. thanks.

What do YOU think?

comments

Comments

  1. Thank you for your edifying response to the question on women. I have had related questions; and, this helps a great deal.

    Thanks again!

    YT

  2. alethesia dipsos says:

    I have long been told by my uncle (wise beyond years) to always read the Bible with the three “C’s” in mind – the three C’s being:
    1) Context
    2) Context
    3) Context

    What that means is Context of the verse in the chapter (one), Context of that chapter in the book (two) and Context of that book in the Bible as a whole. Individual verses can be misinterpreted with greater ease when NOT coupled with the context in which it was meant.

    Having made that point, let me ask a few questions:
    When you go to church, do women cover their heads?
    (As commanded in 1 Corinthians 11:2-16)
    Not the ones I have been to. So do Muslims have it right and “Christians” wrong? Hmmmm…
    Let’s look at what the Bible says:
    “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.” 1 Timothy 2:12
    So there it is, bold as brass and plain as day… What can be said? There are MANY points of view regarding the specific intended meaning. None of which (in my opinion) are proven correct, beyond doubt. The one I DO happen to agree with most goes like this:
    “As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain ones (“men” is not in the Greek text but “tisin” meaning ones) not to teach false doctrines any longer nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God’s work…” 1 Timothy 1:3-4, New International Version Bible quoted throughout.

    The situation has gotten so bad that Paul writes the young minister Timothy that he must command some to stop their false teaching of “myths and genealogies”. He describes the situation further.

    1 Tim 1:6-7 “Some have wandered away from these (a pure heart, a good conscience, and faith) and turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.”

    Paul complains that these would-be teachers don’t know what they are talking about, yet are expressing their wrong opinions confidently. Then Paul launches into a discussion of sin and the law that seems to be refuting concepts taught by these wrong “teachers of the law”. We see only Paul’s half of this communication; we do not have the message from Timothy that explains the current problems in Ephesus that Paul is responding to.

    What was Ephesus like?

    Ephesus was a wealthy city that revolved around the massive Temple of Diana, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Understanding the religion of Diana, also known as Artemis, is very important in understanding the background of the Ephesians. Notice in the passage below that Diana/Artemis was believed to protect women during childbirth.

    “‘Artemis of the Ephesians’ was not a Greek divinity, but Asiatic. This is shown by the fact that eunuchs were employed in her worship– a practice quite foreign to Greek ideas. She was not regarded as a virgin but as mother and foster-mother, as is clearly shown by the multitude of breasts in the rude effigy. She was undoubtedly a representative of the same power presiding over conception and birth that was adored in Palestine under the name Ashtoreth. Her worship, frantic and fanatical after the manner of Asia, was traced back to the Amazons. Her temple at Ephesus was one of the wonders of the world, but its great glory was the ‘image which fell down from heaven’ (Acts 19:35).” New Unger’s Bible Dictionary published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois, 1988.

    Thousands of women died in childbirth or in illnesses following childbirth. A goddess that could supposedly protect them would have a very loyal following.

    How were men attracted to this religion of a multi-breasted goddess? Ritual prostitution was a part of the worship of Diana. Paul may be fighting these sexual practices when in chapter 1:20 he addresses “adulterers and perverts” and then urges Timothy to “fight the good fight (against wrong doctrines), holding on to the faith and a good conscience.” Some who have rejected faith and a good conscience (meaning they are engaged in sinful practices) are Hymenaeus and Alexander whose teachings are blasphemy.

    Next Paul urges prayers for peaceful lives. Recorded in Acts 19:24-41 is Paul’s violent conflict with Demetrius, a silver craftsmen making shrines to Diana and the city-wide riot that followed. Paul probably has this specific episode in mind when he urges church members at Ephesus to offer “prayers…that we may live peaceful and quiet lives…” 1Tim 2:1-2. The word he uses for peaceful, (heesuchion from hesuchios, Strong’s 2272), is the male form of the word and it translates as “peaceful”. The feminine form of the same word (hesuchia, hay-soo-khee’-ah, 2271); is used twice in 1 Tim. 2:11-12 describing the atmosphere in which a woman should learn and what Paul feels should be a woman’s attitude. The same word used in the same chapter should have the same translation, “peaceful”—a peaceful learning atmosphere—the same atmosphere Paul urges them to pray for so that they might have undisturbed lives! Instead of being translated as “peaceful” as it is in the male form, the female form of the same word was translated as “silence”. There are many clues in the second chapter of 1Timothy that an angry dispute has occurred in church, and peacefulness is the exact attribute that Paul advocates for both women and men.

    So in 1 Tim 2: 11 when Paul uses the female form of the same word, he is requesting a peaceful atmosphere free of anger and disputing. But lets go on with our understanding of the ideas that Paul and Timothy were fighting at Ephesus.

    Myths and Genealogies

    Remember when Paul argued against “myths” in 1 Tim 1:4? It was commonly believed at Ephesus that the original founders of the city were Amazons, and that the present residents were descended from these Amazons. An “AMAZON, was one of a race of warlike women who made slaves of the men they captured. According to ancient Greek tradition, ….The largest city they built was Ephesus. There they built many magnificent temples for the worship of Ares and Artemis.” The World Book Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, article by Padraic Colum, pg. 344.

    The Amazons are believed by some historians to have been real women whose exploits were magnified into myth. These Amazons are reported to have believed they were not only equal to men, but far superior to men! Therefore, proponents of the Amazons’ goddess Diana taught female superiority, and this background was causing marital problems for the Christian couples of Ephesus! Paul addresses this problem in Ephesians 5:22 as he urges wives to defer to their Christian husbands. The problem was that Ephesian women had been taught in their pre-Christian days that they were descended from Amazons– a superior female race! This would explain the false teachers devoting themselves to “myths and endless genealogies” mentioned in 1 Tim 1:4. The long genealogies linked them to their Amazon predecessors, whom they believed to be real people that founded Ephesus. Paul was convinced that they were mythological.

    There is another hint that there were some angry confrontations going on in the Ephesus church when Paul inserts in 1 Tim 2: 8, “I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.” Would this comment be necessary if there hadn’t been some anger and some disputing going on? Paul is correcting the men who participated in these angry outbursts, urging prayer not anger or arguments!

    What was the likely cause of these disputes? The next verses tell us. Some women were dressing immodestly, even indecently, and were dripping with gold and pearls like the prophetesses of Diana. These women were very likely advocating that one old standby of Diana’s religion…female domination! Paul upbraids them for their indecent clothing and tells them to “dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls…but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.” Did you notice his sideways swipe at “women who profess to worship God”? Paul felt these women weren’t truly worshipping God, only professing to worship God!

    A Dilemma of Unconverted Wives?

    At Pentecost both men and women miraculously spoke foreign languages, Acts 1:14, 2:4. Acts 2:7 should read, “…are not all thesethese (The word “men” is not in the Greek in verse 7, 8, 13, or 15) who are speaking Galileans?” Because women were speaking also, Peter felt the day of Pentecost fulfilled the prophecy of Joel 2:28-30. “…Your sons and daughters will prophesy….” Since women spoke languages during Pentecost services, following Pentecost, both men and women members could use their God-given spiritual gifts during church services. Women were praying and prophesying during services, 1 Cor 11:5, and a controversy arose over women wearing veils in public.

    In this setting, men bringing unconverted wives to services could create problems. Were these wives allowed to participate as converted women did? If so, would they teach false doctrines? Was this the case with the wealthy women with low-cut dresses, gold and pearls, who “profess” to worship God, but still are loyal to Artemis and the Amazons? Notice especially 1 Tim 4:7, where Paul links “godless myths” directly to wives!

    After dealing with the immoral appearance of these women, Paul launches into his decision. A literal translation from the Greek is: “A wife, in peacefulness, I let learn in all obedience (learning quietly and not causing angry disputes), but to teach a wife (the Greek for wife or woman is the same word, “gunee”) I am not allowing (Paul uses the present indicative tense), not even to dominate (a) husband, but to be in peacefulness.”

    Paul is letting an Ephesian wife learn peacefully, obediently, but he is not allowing a wife to teach nor to dominate a husband, but to be in a peaceful state. Were unconverted wives the ones who first needed to learn peacefully and who were not presently allowed to teach because they were spreading myths? We lack Timothy’s account sent to Paul.

    The following chart shows the original order of the Greek words and information about their translation. The simplified, unaccented Greek is followed by English transliterations, and the numbers are from Strong’s Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. The English words below the Greek are from accepted Greek-English sources.

    THE ORIGINAL ORDER OF THE GREEK WORDS
    of I Tim. 2:11-12

    Greek 
      
    English 
    Strongs

    gunh 
    Gunee 
    1. Wife/Woman 
    1135

    en 
    en 
    in 
    1722

    hsucia  
    heesuchia  
    peacefulness 
    2271

    manqanetw 
    manthanetoo 
    2. I let learn 
    3129

    en  
    en 
    with/in 
    1722

    pash  
    pasee 
    all 
    3956

    upotagh 
    hypotagee 
    obedience 
    5292

    didaskein 
    didaskein 
    3. to teach 
    1321

    de 
    de 
    4. but 
    1161

    gunaiki 
    gunaiki 
    5. wife/woman 
    1135

    ouk  
    ouk 
    not  
    3756

    epitrepw  
    epitrepoo 
    I am allowing 
    2010

    oude 
    oude 
    6. not even 
    3761

    auqentein 
    authentein 
    7. to dominate 
    831

    andro 
    andros  
    8. husband/man 
    465

    all 
    all 
    but 
    235

    einai 
    einai 
    to be 
    1511

    en 
    en 
    in 
    1722

    hsucia 
    heesuchia 
    peacefulness 
    2271

    “Gunee” can be translated either wife or woman, Strong’s Greek Hebrew Dictionary, 1135, “a woman;…a wife.”

    let learn The w ending indicates “I” as in “I am allowing” two lines below. Basic Greek in 30 Minutes a Day by Jim Found, Page 84. Most translations omit this.

    didasko Jesus uses a form of the same verb, “didasko” 1321: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching (“didaskontes” 1321) them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20.

    “de” In Greek usage the particle “de” modifies the word that comes directly before it, and becomes “but to teach” in this case.

    “Gunaiki” translated “wife” in I Cor. 7:3 and 27. Can be a wife or a woman. see 1)

    “Oude” translated “not even” in I Cor. 11:14, “Doth not even nature teach….”

    to dominate – Vincent’s Word Studies of the New Testament I Tim. 2:12,”The King James Version ‘usurp authority’ is a mistake.” Strong’s: to act of oneself, dominate.

    “Andros” can mean husband or man, Thayer’s Greek Definitions, 435. The same word is used in Luke 2:36, “Anna…lived with her husband seven years….”

    “A wife, in peacefulness, I let learn in all obedience (not causing angry disputes), but to teach (a) wife I am not allowing (present indicative tense—he is not presently allowing a wife to teach), not even to dominate (a) husband, but to be in peacefulness.”

    Paul uses the Greek verb form that indicates present action, not a command verb form, for the present he is not allowing these women of Ephesus to teach.

    “Paul does not command the women not to teach. He employs the present active indicative for “allow.” The present tense in Greek principally denotes continuous present action. It can refer to present necessity and obligation and to potential action. Greek has its own imperative mood which is not here employed. Commands can also be phrased in the aorist or the future indicative. Neither of these tenses is here used. Nor does Paul use the perfect tense to denote an action in the past which has changed the state of affairs. Paul is saying: ‘I am not presently allowing a woman to teach.'” Beyond the Curse, Aida Besancon Spencer, Pg. 84-85.

    An already established universal rule on women not teaching would already be understood by Timothy. Paul would not be writing in the present active indicative mood.

    “Paul does not assume that Timothy already knows this rule. Had this rule been established and universal, is it possible that Timothy, who had worked many years with Paul, would not have known it already? Paul often reminds readers of traditions they should know by saying, ‘You know,’ or ‘Do you not know?’ or ‘According to the traditions which I delivered to you.'” Paul, Women and Wives, Craig S. Keener, Pg. 112.

    Wives Dominating Husbands?

    The fourteenth Greek word in this passage, “authentein” is used only this one place in the entire New Testament so there is some controversy about its rightful interpretation. Several sources say that the KJV “to usurp authority over a man” is over translated, meaning more is added than is in the original word. Vincent’s Word Studies of the New Testament states of 1 Tim. 2:12,”The King James Version ‘usurp authority’ is a mistake.” Strong’s defines “authentein” 831, “to act of oneself, to dominate”.

    What were these errant wives teaching? They taught the old doctrine from Diana, female superiority! They were teaching “to dominate a man” (Strong’s 831) or more specifically, “to dominate a husband”.

    Paul uses the first married couple as his example. “For Adam was formed first, then Eve,” verse 13. Paul is saying, “Wives can’t be superior to husbands! Adam, the first husband, was formed before his wife, Eve! Next Paul argues in 1 Tim 2:14, “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman (wife) being deceived was in the transgression.” Not only was Adam formed first, he was also not deceived, but his wife was deceived! (Here Paul presents a doubtful argument, as both were tricked by Satan.)

    Remember that Diana promised wives protection during the dangerous process of childbirth? Paul deals with this next in 1 Tim. 2:15, “But women (wives) will be saved through (or throughout) childbearing (she will be protected throughout the dangerous process of childbearing)– if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.” The Phillips Bible translates the first part, “Women will come safely through childbirth”.

    Some think that this passage refers to spiritual salvation, but Paul knew that salvation can come only through Jesus Christ. The literal translation is “But she (the wife) shall be saved throughout the childbearing, if…” Paul is encouraging these women, “You wives don’t need Diana to save you during childbirth, God will save you if you stay in faith, love and holiness!” This reference to a safe childbirth is another strong proof that he is dealing with wives influenced by the teachings of fertility goddess Diana/Artemis of the Ephesians.

    Notice that childbirth was normally for wives, not for all women. Paul is concerned with wives who were teaching wrong concepts of female superiority and teaching other women to dominate their husbands. Since he says in verse 10 that the women in question “profess to worship God,” Paul seems to have misgivings about their real intentions. They claim to worship God, yet he implies that these particular elaborately dressed women with the ornately braided hair may not really be worshipping God. Paul seems to be dealing with problems arising from unconverted wives still clinging to pagan myths and teachings, and these wives are passing myths and false doctrines on to others in the congregation. They are not to teach or practice female superiority any more!

    Again, what were these wives teaching that was stirring up controversy? Most likely they taught the old myths that they were descended from Amazon women with long genealogies to prove it! Remember the charge not to devote themselves to myths and long genealogies in 1 Tim 1:4 “nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God’s work– which is by faith.”

    There had been an angry dispute in the Ephesus church causing Paul to urge the men:
    1 Tim 2:8 ” I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.”

    Paul has obviously been asked to mediate in a fight over women in Ephesus teaching female domination, and his answer was to stop letting those Ephesian wives teach! At the start of Paul’s letter he had urged “command certain ones not to teach false doctrines any longer”. We begin to see that some of these false teachers were female.

    Paul tells Elder Women to Teach

    Yet in Titus 2:3, Paul tells Titus that elder women should be teachers of the right way of life:

    “Likewise, teach the older women (elder women) to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good,” (or, to be a “teacher of the right” way of life).

    Paul says elder women are to be “teachers of the right” in the original Greek phrase “kalodidaskalos” Strong’s 2567, a teacher of the right. He suggests they start with instructing the younger women, but he does not limit them to teaching only women.

    Paul was not against all women everywhere teaching, he was against Ephesian women teaching female superiority as was one of the many problems in Ephesus. Paul argues that Adam was formed before Eve, and therefore wives can’t be superior to husbands. Also he reassures Ephesian wives that God will save them during childbirth!

    Paul is reacting to a local problem. He is not dealing with dedicated Christian women teaching the Ten Commandments and true doctrines.

    In Paul’s second recorded letter to Timothy, 2 Tim 2:2, he writes, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable ‘anthroopois’ (men and women, Strong’s 444– defined by Thayer’s Greek Definitions as ‘a human being, whether male or female’) who will also be qualified to teach others.” If a person, male or female, is reliable, sound, and qualified– then Paul says he or she should teach others God’s truth!

    There are many instances of Paul praising women who teach the truth such as Priscilla, see Acts 18:2,18,26; 1 Cor. 16:19; and Romans 16:3; Phoebe, a “diakonon” servant/minister in Romans 16:1, Junia in Romans 16:7, “outstanding among the apostles” Nympha, and “her house church”– the only leader mentioned by name in Laodicea, Col. 4:15. Also Euodia and Syntyche who “contended at my side in the cause of the gospel” Phil. 4:1-3. He hails many other women as co-workers in Christ Jesus. Had Paul issued a blanket edict against all women teaching everywhere he would have reprimanded these women instead of praising them!

    The Words of Jesus

    Jesus tells us “…whoever practices and teaches these commands (the Ten Commandments), will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matt. 5:19. Jesus put no gender restrictions on teaching, but said “whoever” and promises greatness for both men and women who teach the commandments. Paul was not dealing with dedicated Christian women teaching the true gospel, he was dealing with false teachers teaching myths and wrong ideas learned from the religion of the goddess Diana of the Ephesians.

    Jesus praised the woman of Samaria that publicly preached the words of Jesus to the men and women of her village. He did not tell her to stop teaching them because she was a woman! Jesus praised her and told the disciples that they were harvesting where she had sowed. As a result, “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, ….” John 4:39. Her public witness –her teaching– resulted in conversions, and Jesus praised her and held her up as an example for the disciples!

    All of that to say that it is my belief that women have plenty to offer the kingdom of God. Additionally, even IF women are NOT to teach or have authority over a man at ALL, it may be a blessing… As it says,
    “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment” James 3:1

    And I may very well be wrong. Seeing as how my salvation does NOT hang in the balance, I would be inclined to let my faith and (well scrutinized) conscience guide me. God bless you!

    • faithishearing says:

      I never understood this chapter of the Bible well, especially 1 Tim. 2:15. I guess it is important to read the Bible in context. Thanks for this.

      • alethesia dipsos says:

        You are in good company when you state that this passage has been difficult for you to understand. Indeed, it is the same for me. Greater minds than mine have wrestled with the intended meaning and have not agreed conclusively…
        There are an equal number of faithful servants of God that absolutely hold fast to the belief that Paul (God) intended those mandates to be observed through the ages (and make compelling arguments to that end)
        As I mentioned, the opinion expressed is my own and may very well be in error. Please test the scriptures yourself and pray for wisdom as I shall pray for wisdom. I am in short supply and need the light of God’s truth to see past my own nose.
        God bless!

    • sweet.gee says:

      hi alethesia. i really thank God for the wisdom He has given you to share for every woman who has the strong faith and willing to share. i’m sorry for the late response, i do appreciate the time you spend for this. but you know what? even though i haven’t got the chance to read this comment of yours, our God guides me to continue what He wants me to do… to share what He wants me to share. when the time that i have the spiritual battle with this passage, i really grieve the Spirit He has given me, because i refuse to teach for a while and ask for His guidance. and now i’m still growing in love with Him and to everyone, that’s why i have this passion to introduce Him. 🙂 God bless you my sister. 🙂

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