Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on 1 Timothy 2:8-14

<< Previous Note(s)1 Timothy Main PageNext Note(s) >>

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.

Learn in quietness - 1 Timothy 2:11

a woman should learn. In contrast to the Jewish community, where most women were not taught to read the Law, Jesus and his apostles taught and addressed women publically (cf. Lk 10:39, 42; Jn 4:1-30; Acts 16:11-15). in quietness and with all submission. It is clear from Paul's use of this same word (Greek. hsychia) earlier in this context (1 Tim 2:2), and his discussion about prayer, prophecy and other forms of vocal participation in corporate worship (cf. 1 Cor 11:4-16; 14:1-40) that he did not require absolute silence. Rather, Paul made clear that, in order to learn, students must listen, and recognize their teachers' authority. Evidently, like the male, would-be teachers of the law, whom Paul corrected in 1 Tim 2:8, some women in the congregation needed to be reminded to recognize the primary teaching authority of their elders (cf. 3:1-7).

I do not permit a woman to teach - 1 Timothy 2:12

I do not permit. Translators debate how Paul used the present tense of the verb "to permit" (Greek. epitrepō). Did Paul mean "I am not permitting" in this particular instance or did he establish an ongoing policy? On the basis of the prepositional phrases "in every place" in 1 Tim 2:8 and "in all the churches" in 1 Cor 14:33b, as well as, Paul's appeal to the story of Adam and Eve in 1 Tim 2:13-15, it seems clear he was establishing an ongoing policy for conduct in corporate worship. To teach or have authority. Because many other passages affirm women in teaching roles (e.g. Jdg 4:4; 2 Kgs 22:14; Prov 1:8; 6:20; Acts 18:26; Rom 12:6-8; 1 Cor 14:26; Tit 2:3), and the apostle Paul urged all Christians to "instruct one another" (Rom 15:14; Col 3:16), this prohibition must be understood in its particular context of corporate worship. This context, along with the parallel syntax of the sentence, points to a particular kind of authoritative teaching and moral supervision that Paul prohibits, because it is the responsibility of the elders, the church's authorized and accountable male leaders (see notes on 3:1-7; 5:17-20; Tit 1:5-9).

Related Resources

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

<< Previous Note(s)1 Timothy Main PageNext Note(s) >>