Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on 1 Timothy 2:7-14

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A herald and an apostle - 1 Timothy 2:7

a herald and an apostle . . . and a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. Paul echoed his earlier testimony about his personal experience of God's grace (see 1:12-17 and related notes), which resulted in Christ's commission to send Paul as his representative to show-and-tell this good news to all nations. As an apostle, Paul was 'sent' under Christ's authority to represent the interests of his kingdom (see note 1:1). As a herald, he was authorized to communicate an official message from the king. As a teacher, Paul cultivated relationships and learning communities by personal example (see note 1:16) to enact the values and policies of Christ's kingdom (cf. 2 Tim 1:11). This repeated emphasis, along with Paul's unusual avowal—'I am telling the truth'—strongly indicates that false teachers in the Ephesian church questioned Paul's apostolic credentials and disputed his teaching of the true faith (cf. Acts 20:17-35; 1 Tim 4:1-5).

Men Should Pray, Not Dispute the Elders' Teaching in Corporate Worship - 1 Timothy 2:8

Having addressed the whole congregation about the focus and content of their prayers in 2:1-7, Paul specifically addressed the men in 2:8, then the women in 2:9-15a. He returned to address both in 2:13b, and followed the same alternating pattern in 3:1-13. Instead of submitting themselves to the elders (see note 3:1-7), the authorized teachers of the congregation, false, would-be teachers of the law (see note 1:7) disputed them, even in corporate worship. Paul and Timothy confronted these men by commanding them to refrain from their angry arguments, and to limit their speech to prayers and praise. In 2 Tim 2:23-26, Paul laid out a pattern of attitudes, practices and content for Christian teachers.

Women Should Dress Modestly - 1 Timothy 2:9-14

Women Should Dress Modestly and Learn, Not Dispute the Elders' Teaching in Corporate Worship. In keeping with his alternating pattern of address, Paul turned the focus of his exhortations about proper conduct in worship from the men to the women. First, he addressed their outward appearance, which in some cases signified the cultural influence of the goddess, Artemis, and the dominant cultural narrative of ostentatious wealth, instead of the good works which fit the narrative of the gospel. Second, like the men addressed in 2:8, Paul and Timothy called the women to learn, instead of teach, by submitting themselves to the elders, who were authorized as the leading teachers of the assembly. 2:9 Likewise . . . women. Literally meaning "in the same way" or "similarly," Paul started his address to the women of the church at Ephesus within the same defining narrative of the gospel and the same social context of corporate worship (see note 2:1-7). Dress themselves in proper clothing with modesty. The "braided hair, gold, pearls and expensive clothing" of some women in the assembly honored the goddess, Artemis, and/or displayed their acquisitive ambitions and use of slave labor (cf. 1 Tim 6:17-19).

Good works- 1 Timothy 2:10

Paul called these women of means to contribute good works to support a public reputation for godliness. In Paul's day, godliness or piety (Greek. theosebeia; Latin. pietas) was public, not merely private, referring to acts of worship and generosity that supported the city and honored its gods or goddesses. Though not an avenue for earning salvation (cf. Eph 2:8-9; Tit 3:5), Paul taught repeatedly that Christians have been created for and should be devoted to "good works" (cf. Eph 2:10; Tit 3:1, 8), which benefit the whole community, not merely the church.

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