Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on 1 Timothy 2:13-3:13

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For Adam was formed first - 1 Timothy 2:13

For Adam was formed first. Whether used causally or illustratively, the story of Adam and Eve rooted Paul's policies for public worship in the order of creation. Paul addressed men first (2:8), then women (2:9-15a), in step with their order of creation in Genesis 2:7, 21-22. Similarly, in 1 Cor 11:8-12, Paul argued that God's gifts of life are experienced in and through the covenantal interdependency of man and woman with God and each other (11:11-12). In the Greek creation myths, man is formed from the mud, but seen as a threat to the gods. Woman is formed, not from man as his strong ally, but separately to address the threat as his adversary, tempter and deceiver.

The woman was deceived- 1 Timothy 2:14

the woman was deceived. Designed by God as the man's advocate, 'the woman' only becomes a source of temptation and corruption in the biblical account of creation after she herself is deceived and sins (Gen 3:1-6). Paul's point is not, like that of the Greek creation myths, that women are tempters or that they are more gullible than men. Indeed, at that time in Ephesus, male false teachers were deceiving women in the church (1 Tim 5:11-15; 2 Tim 3:6-7), and priestesses in the Temple of Artemis were apprenticing the women and men of Ephesus in a false creation narrative.

Saved through childbearing - 1 Timothy 2:15

Husbands and Wives Should Relate to One Another in Faith, Love and Holiness. Paul is continuing his reading of Genesis. He referred first to Adam (2:13), then to Eve (2:14), and here (2:15) to the result of their physical and spiritual union. She will be saved through bearing children. The Greek word, sōzō, has a range of meaning—to save, heal or deliver safely'—which illustrates the holistic character of salvation. In the context of childbirth, however, some commentators have emphasized mere physical safety. Artemis, the great goddess of Ephesus, protected women during childbirth. But, she did so in exchange for their religious devotion. Repeatedly, Paul used the word, sōzō, in 1 Tim 1:15, 2:4, and 4:16 to describe redemption from sin, which is the meaning here in relation to Eve's deception and transgression (2:14). Paul described the next sequence in the narrative of Gen 2:5-4:1, that signifies Adam's and Eve's redemption after the fall, the birth of their first child (cf. Gen 3:15, 20; 4:1). If they continue. The important shift from singular to plural between the two verbs in v15 has perplexed readers. Is Paul drawing an analogy between Eve and the women at Ephesus, then, with all women? More likely, 'they' refers to Adam and Eve, since Paul has been re-telling their story. This analogy teaches that the salvation of men and women depends on their fidelity and love in covenantal interdependency with God and each other. 'They' must 'continue' in the covenant established by Jesus, the seed of the woman, who shall crush the serpent's head (cf. Gen 3:15).

Church Leadership - 1 Timothy 3:1-13

God's Household Must Select Leaders, who Manage Their Own Households Well. In addition to renewed corporate worship, the church at Ephesus needed exemplary leaders to cultivate its identity as God's household, and its vocation as "the pillar and support of the truth." Instead of writing a job description of duties, Paul provided lists of character qualities to identify these leaders, whose positive qualities contrasted with the negative qualities that marked the false teachers. In other passages, Paul made clear that these qualities should characterize all Christians (cf. Rom 12:9-21; Eph 4:17-5:21; Col 3:5-17). But, elders and deacons are to be examples of Christian character, known and proven by their faithfulness to manage their own household relationships and material goods with love and equity.

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