Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Priority Argument in 1 Timothy 2:11-15

Perhaps the most controversial text within this study is 1 Tim 2:11–15. The text reads as follows:

A woman must learn in silence in complete submission.
Indeed[1], I neither allow a woman to teach nor to exercise authority over a man, but to be in silence.
For it was Adam who was first created, then Eve.
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman, being very deceived, turned into a disobedient person.
But she will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with modesty.

Of course, it must be acknowledged, along with Schreiner, that “[v]irtually every word in verses 11–12 is disputed,”[2] and much the same can be said for verses 13–15 to follow. In such an environment, it is impossible to pursue every controversy to a satisfactory degree, given the limited scope of this work. However, it should be sufficient to acknowledge that significant points have been made on both sides of the issues involved. I simply must choose those positions which I consider to be weightier in their analyses, and are, as said before, more consistent with all of the evidence at hand.
The ga/r in v. 13 gives the reason for the command/prohibition in vv. 11–12. Hence, Paul roots what he says specifically upon the reasoning to follow. It was Adam who was created first, then Eve. By appealing to the creation narrative to support his conclusion, Paul has made a priority argument already. However, he then gives a priority argument within the priority argument by bringing out what God made first as a way to argue for priority among the sexes.
Knight observes that Paul uses the PA both here and in 1 Cor 11:8–9, noting as well that Jesus uses the same argument to demonstrate “that God intends permanence for marriage between men and women.”[3]
In fact, virtually all commentators acknowledge the intent of the author to establish relational roles of men and women upon the Gen 2 creation narrative, as well as its subsequent narrative in Gen 3. Collins states:

The Pastor follows early Christian tradition in seeing the creation narratives of Genesis 1–2 as providing the basic paradigm for the relationship between man and woman (Matt. 19:5; Mark 10:7; 1 Cor. 6:16; Eph 5:31). Early Christian tradition regarded Adam and Eve as the prototypical human beings. In 1 Cor. 11:2–16 Paul uses the creation narratives as a theological warrant for his own exhortation on the type of hairstyle appropriate to men and women at prayer. The apostle inserts the text, “the two shall become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24), in his reflection on men’s use of prostitutes (1 Cor. 6:12–20). In later correspondence with the Corinthians, Paul writes about Eve’s deception (2 Cor. 11:3). The Pastor picks up the same theme in verse 14 . . . Adam possesses relative superiority because he was created before her (prōtos). In rabbinic tradition, that which was first narrated enjoys priority. Paul uses this hermeneutical principle to good advantage when he writes about righteousness and faith in Rom. 4:9–12 and about the promise and the law in Rom. 4:13–15. Similarly, in early rabbinic thought what God first created was more important (see Siphra Deut. 11:10; Str-B 3:256–58; 645–46).[4]

Guthrie, likewise, comments that “the assumption seems to be that the original creation, with the Creator’s own imprimatur upon it, must set a precedent for determining the true order of the sexes.”[5]

As in 2:5 the taproot for the universality of Christian prayer was found in the Deuteronomic Shema( of Israel, so here the directives for a Christian wife are based upon the Torah, specifically the Genesis creation narrative (recall the Pauline appeal to ho nomos in 1 Cor 14:34). The author of PE evinces no hesitation about the value of the created order, about its goodness, about its belonging to the positive will of God for humankind . . . [The creation account in Gen 2] is exploited in two stages, the first fixing on the creation itself on the archetypal man, Adam, and the second drawing upon the history of the primeval violation of God’s command to his creatures . . . The nerve of the argument here is that not only did God freely create both but he chose to create them in the order noted. Consequently, the priority of the husband over wife as God’s original choice is not to be contravened by his creatures.[6]

Quinn and Wacker also note the comparison between what the author of 1 Timothy argues here and the authority and blessing placed upon the firstborn in the ancient world; but insist that the “argument here goes beyond nature to its personal creator, to whom Adam and his wife (unlike the rest of creation) must personally give an accounting.[7]
However, after acknowledging the PA, many commentators go on to argue that such is employed with merely the intent to establish a cultural ideal. In other words, the cultural idea first presents itself and then is read back into the creation account. Hence, Collins states that “as did other authors writing from within Hellenistic Judaism, the Pastor uses the Jewish Scriptures to endorse cultural values.”[8] Likewise, Guthrie suggests that Paul’s reason for rooting the prohibition in Eve’s transgression is due, not to her transgressing her role and being deceived as a result, but to her lack of acquaintance with the subject matter (i.e., the nature of the tree in the Genesis narrative). Hence, the prohibition in 1 Tim 2:12 is “conditioned by the background of the basic lack of education of women in the contemporary world.”[9]
In the discussion concerning Adam and Eve in 1 Tim 2:13, Küchler correctly observes that it was commonplace to understand what was first made as superior to what was made later.

Es ist eine Alltagsweisheit, die aus der literarischen = zeitlichen Priorität der Erschaffung Adams vor Eva eine qualitative Superiorität Adams (und aller Männer) über Eva (und alle Frauen) zu folgern imstande ist : “Der Erste is der Beste.” Dieser Grundsatz, der dem antiken und modernen Menschen gemeinsam ist, lässt sich in den antiken Texten auf ganz verschiedene Weise ausgedrückt vorfinden. Er wird benutzt, sowohl um literarische wie auch um zeitliche Abfolgen in wertmässige Abstufungen zu übertragen.[10]

But he then argues that such an argument has no place in light of the new Christian reality that the “first will be last and last will be first.”[11] Hence, the progressive hermeneutic he adopts seeks to either (1) place what is said in the realm of the temporary situation and circumstance in which they arise by arguing as to whether it is a legitimate interpretation of Genesis 2 and a legitimate argument to make (thus arguing with the author); (2) assuming a priori that such an argument for hierarchy is inconsistent with the humility statements made by Jesus, rather than attempting to understand what Jesus says as a way of understanding how one ought to conduct oneself within those hierarchies; (3) assuming that the author is attempting to maintain a long history of oppression toward women rather than liberate them (contra 2:15, where the author’s purpose is clearly to show the way of salvation for women rather than to prevent her redemption).
All of the above fail to acknowledge the genuine purpose of the PA, and how it is used in the New Testament (in distinction from texts like Jubilees), when it is employed (i.e., the ancient author does not seek to undermine other scriptural passages, but views other Scripture in light of the PA he is making; he views the source text as cryptically teaching by way of his logic or by the details found within that text, rather than simply reading what he wishes to be universal back into the text; and that restoration to the freedom from the deception and oppression of the demonic world [in continuity with Jubilees et al.] or from a wayward understanding of what God has said due to lack of further contextual principles established at the beginning of an institution, is the very goal of the PA).
Hence, although these scholars acknowledge the appeal to the PA, in failing to understand the nature of the PA, they fail to understand the argument that is being made. The author of the Pastorals is surely aware of Jesus’ teaching concerning humility, and hence, as all PA’s used in the New Testament that have been examined thus far, would not be seeking to undermine what he views as Scripture,[12] but rather to interpret those texts in light of the others.
But it is also important to note that the principle was not simply to state that whatever was first was best, but that whatever God ordered or observed first was to be given priority. Since it was believed that God does nothing that is arbitrary, the order He established in creation was the order He intended all to observe. And this order can be gleaned from texts, precisely, because, as inspired texts, they are not arbitrarily ordering the sequence of the creation of the first human couple. Instead, to the ancient author, they must be delineating the same authority that one observes in nature and political history (i.e., that man is meant to lead). This places the woman in the role of following (as her creation followed that of the man’s), rather than in one of leading. It is this order of authority that Paul expresses in 1 Tim 2:13 and elsewhere (e.g., 1 Cor 11:2–9 and 14:34–35), not merely the idea that whatever comes first is better than what comes later.[13]

Elements that May Indicate Cultural Limitations on the PA
There are a few textual objections raised against the idea that with the use of the PA the author of 1 Timothy intends to convey a universal and absolute principle. There are three that I think should be addressed here.
One of these objections is to view the verb e0pitre/pw as expressing a temporal prohibition rather than an ongoing one. It is argued that the word usually appears in contexts where the prohibition is not permanent, and thus, perhaps, it is not permanent here either.
The problem with this argument is that it attempts to import a nuance of the word from another text, and hence, commits an illegitimate transference of meaning. One could argue that the word e0pilamba/nomai is used in narrative always to refer to a physical apprehension of something temporarily. Yet, in the epistles to Timothy and to the Hebrews, the word refers only to a spiritual apprehension of salvation eternally. One would not be able to limit the semantic range in one context with those in another without completely misconstruing the author’s intentions. The situation with the word e0pitre/pw is parallel to this one.[14]
Other arguments in favor of temporal limitations look to the context to discover whether some heresy is afoot, so as to temporarily cause the apostle to limit the woman’s role in that context alone; but these all beg the question in terms of whether the cultural situation is the cause of the prohibition or merely the occasion for Paul to remind Timothy of a universal principle and the absolute application thereof. Such cultural observations, therefore, must remain neutral until the purpose of the PA can be decided, since it is in the PA that Paul roots his reasons for the prohibition (per ga/r in v. 13), not in some cultural circumstance.
Finally, the issue as to what kind of authority and teaching that the apostle prohibits is hotly debated, but this too bases itself off of the assumptions above. If the apostle roots his teaching in creation, it would seem odd to prohibit women from exercising an abusive authority or teach what is false. One would think such a prohibition was for everyone. It also seems that Paul allows the man to do what he prohibits the woman from doing, so arguing that such authority is abusive or teaching is in error lacks any sense here.
The scope of this study, however, is not to argue in favor of one interpretation over another, but to argue that whatever is being said, by virtue of the employment of a PA, the author intends it to be a universal absolute. Hence, the issues that remain at odds, such as whether the designation gunh/ refers to a woman in general or a wife specifically,[15] would only be a matter of limiting the universal principle to the sphere of husbands and wives, rather than place any temporal/cultural limitation upon the principle itself. As such, there is no need to pursue this objection at length here.
Indications of Universal and Absolute Authorial Intention
Instead, one of the very first indications that Paul is attempting to make a universal argument here is the very fact that he attempts to root what is already culturally acceptable in the creation. The evidence overwhelmingly suggests that both Jews and Greeks agreed that the public domain belonged to males, and such “encompassed the role of proclamation and teaching.”[16] Hence, as Luke Timothy Johnson put it, “everywhere in this male-defined Mediterranean world, the submission of women to men was the basic cultural assumption.”[17] Paul is then seen by many as one who is merely following the winds of both his Jewish and Hellenistic cultural heritage.
However, it is interesting that so common a cultural understanding would require him to make such a bold argument. Why argue that the idea that women are not to take upon themselves authority over, and teach, men is rooted in creation if everyone already believes that women ought not to exercise authority over or teach a man? The PA normally exists to override a cultural assumption, not to simply make one more concrete.
I would submit that the mere employment of a PA in such a context indicates that Paul desires to argue the case apart from cultural assumptions. It is possible that an over-realized eschatology, in terms of the roles of men and women, on the part of his recipients, perhaps produced by a misunderstanding of his own statement in Gal 3:28, may have given occasion for his desire to do this, but apart from the texts that we have, his rationale for its employment cannot be rooted in culture, since the very PA employed, as we have seen, argues that, although he may be addressing a cultural concern, his sights are set on a larger understanding of universal principles that override cultural speculations and traditions.
Hence, it is the very fact that Paul does not need to make a PA argument here, and yet does, that may display the intent of his argument to transcend mere culturally induced pragmatic solutions to cultural questions, and to instead address cultural ideas with universal ones.
But such a claim must be bolstered, as I have been attempting to show, by other statements within the text, besides the PA, that indicate Paul is arguing for a universal and absolute principle. I believe there are three of these within this text: (1) The multiple literary devices that exist between vv. 11 and 12 that indicate absoluteness in what is being said; (2) the fact that the prohibition is only given in regard to women over men, not women over women or children; and (3) the idea found within the concept of teknogoni/a, where the woman is saved by taking upon that role in contrast to the role Paul is describing in terms of authority and teaching with the view toward becoming an overseer in 3:1ff.

Universal Indications via Syntactic Structure
The first supporting elements one must evaluate within the text are the various literary devices used within it. Part of the problem within the modern interpretation of this passage is that verses 11 and 12 have often been interpreted in isolation from one another rather than being seen as a contrastive parallelism.[18] A breakdown of the structure will hopefully illumine my point.

A    Gunh_ e0n h(suxi/a| manqane/tw

            e0n pa/sh| u(potagh|~

A /   dida/skein de\ gunaiki\ ou)k e0pitre/pw

B / ou)de\ au)qentei=n a)ndro/v, a)ll ei]nai e0n h(suxi/a|

The above displays the AB::A/B / pattern that then allows one to see the contrastive parallel.

A The woman is to learn in silence
B [she is to be] in complete submission
A /   She is not permitted to teach [over a man]
B /   Nor is she permitted to exercise authority over a man, but to remain silent in that regard as well

This contrast then sets up a type of merism between the two groups. The woman learning in silence is contrasted with teaching, and her being in complete submission is contrasted with her exercising authority. The merism then displays the absoluteness of what Paul is arguing, since the amount of teaching the woman is to perform over the man is none at all. She is to learn in silence rather than teach anything. To be in silence means one is not teaching anything at all.[19] Likewise, her being in complete submission means that she is not exercising any authority over a man at all. The amount of authority over a man she is given then is nonexistent. If all of that is missed, Paul creates an inclusio with the phrase e0n h(suxi/a|, which could be interpreted as encapsulating everything he says in verses 11 and 12.[20] Hence, silence is to characterize the disposition of the woman rather than one where she voices her opinion through teaching and exercising authority over a man.[21]
What this all means for the reader is that Paul is not simply prohibiting a specific type of teaching or authority over men (i.e., whether it is a heretical teaching or otherwise), but that he is prohibiting any type of teaching and any type of authority that a woman might perform over a man. Such an absolute prohibition already indicates that the particulars of cultural circumstance are not considered.[22] Hence, one must either argue that Paul temporarily prohibits women from all forms of teaching and authority over men, or that he is teaching a universal. The idea that he is merely prohibiting a type of teaching and authority over men, but permitted other types (e.g., women teaching over men in lesser roles than that of the overseer), that limit the prohibition to only certain types of authority and teaching over men, goes against the grain of the literary structure.

The Limitations are not Culturally Produced
 The second indication that Paul’s statement is more absolute and universal, stemming from a universal principle rather than a cultural circumstance, is that his prohibition is specifically over a man (a)ndro/v). If the prohibition was due to a cultural circumstance, such as certain women teaching things that were false, either by way of heresy or by way of their lack of education, the limitation of the prohibition to just the relationship between a woman over a man makes no sense whatsoever. Does Paul mean to say that women cannot teach a man false things but she can teach other women and children what is false? This same critique can be made of those who seek to interpret au)qentei=n as a negative authority, such as domineering or usurping authority.[23] A woman can exercise abusive authority over other women and children, but not over men? Again, such interpretations do not take what is said as a whole, and thus miss the universal rationale that Paul makes himself, which is not rooted in temporary deficiencies of the woman’s abilities, but in specific roles God designated in creation to the man and woman. Hence, since the limitations are not culturally produced, as would be the case if the concern were her lack of education or false teaching, it must be taken as universal as the limitation itself (i.e., if she is not to teach or exercise authority over a man, then whenever a man exists in the assembly, the prohibition exists).

The Woman’s Salvation Is Found in Taking Up
Her Role within the Household

Finally, the absolute or universal ethos of the text can be found in the statement that women shall be saved via childbearing as a head attribute of her gendered expression of her humanity. She, in contrast to taking upon herself the teaching and authoritative roles of men, who function much like fathers in the household of the church (cf. 1 Tim 3:2, 4–5), is sanctified instead by becoming a mother.[24] If teknogoni/a, which literally means “childbearing,” is understood to identify the physical role of the woman in order to represent her primary role within the family, then Paul may be arguing here that it is inconsistent to have her play a fatherly role within the church, since it would be contrary to who she is as a woman conditioned for motherhood instead.[25] Her role is one of motherhood, not fatherhood; and as such, to assign her a role where she takes upon the functions of fatherhood (teaching and exercising authority over the entire family) is to assign her a role against her nature and role within society[26]—a nature to which Paul has already sought to establish from the Genesis narratives by his use of the PA.
Given these factors, Paul would not merely be arguing that the identification of the woman’s role, which is based upon her position in the family, as it is evidenced in her biological makeup to bear children, is merely a cultural assignment designated to her by a patriarchal society that sees men as better than women. Instead, her role is consistent with who God made her to be, and this interpretation is more consistent with what we see her assigned elsewhere in the Pastorals.[27]
Hence, these indicators strongly support the idea that the PA Paul uses here is meant to argue that the woman’s subordinate role is instituted by God, as it is evidenced by her late creation in regard to the man (v. 13), and in the Genesis 3 narrative, where those roles were not observed, and chaos ensued because of it (v. 14).[28] Her salvation is to be found in taking upon her role as mother (v. 15), redeeming who she is as Eve, and hence, this must be accomplished by not recommitting the error that Eve committed by seeking to become like Adam in taking upon herself the role reserved for men (vv. 11–12). Hence, Paul’s answer to her fallen predicament is the same as God’s answer to Eve’s in Gen 3:16, where the woman will find redemption in taking upon the role that God gave to her in Genesis 2 (although in a fallen world with greater difficulty now).[29]
These three elements indicate that Paul’s argument is meant to be an absolute and universal one. Hence, the use of the PA here is also meant to serve this purpose. Like the PA’s found within the wider corpus of Second Temple texts, it serves to root what is in what was at the creation of the world. If this is the way things were and are set up by God to function then this is the way things are meant to be ordered always.
Therefore, all questions concerning the sociohistorical background that may have given rise to Paul’s argument are moot if they seek to determine the cultural limitations of Paul’s words here. The point of using the PA is to argue that there are no limitations, for limitations presuppose superiority in authority to delimit, and that which is rooted in creation, and thus shows God’s intended order for all creation, is superior to all ideas that may arise within the cultural circumstances that follow creation.[30]
Thus, whether due to a concern about heresy, making it an odd prohibition, since it only prohibits one gender to exercise authority over, and teach, another rather than anyone teaching heresy, male or female, or due to a concern that cultural sympathies be not disturbed so that the church would not be seen as culturally subversive because of it, although interesting, are wholly irrelevant in light of the use of the PA.[31]
Hence, what one gleans from the passage is that the author intends to make an absolute statement concerning gender roles within the assembly that are based upon gender roles within the family, which are themselves based upon the divinely ordered roles as they are displayed in the creation and fall narratives of Gen 1 and 2. In other words, he supports his already existing argument concerning the absolute boundaries of gender roles within church government by appealing to the beginning of the world. He does so to place a limit upon the notion that equality before Christ means a dissolution of gender distinctions and their respective expressions within the household of God.

[1] I agree with Thomas R. Schreiner, “An Interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:9–15: A Dialogue with Scholarship,” in Women in the Church: A Fresh Analysis of 1 Timothy 2:9–15  (ed. Andreas Köstenberger et al.; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker, 1995), 124, that the de/ might be but a mild adversative here. However, I have translated it here as emphatic simply because I think it fits the absoluteness of Paul’s argument better.
[2] “A Dialogue,” 121.
[3] George W. Knight III, Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles (NIGTC; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1992), 143.
[4] Collins, I & II Timothy, 70–71.
[5] Guthrie, The Pastoral Epistles, 87.
[6] Quinn and Wacker, 1 Timothy, 226.
[7] Ibid., 226–27.
[8] Collins, I & II Timothy, 72.
[9] Guthrie, The Pastoral Epistles, 88. Although Guthrie does admit that this interpretation of Genesis 3 is somewhat “forced,” he concludes that the “question of women teachers cannot be divorced from the disparity between men and women in the matter of education” (Ibid.). Again, the question as to why this prohibition is only over men, why Timothy’s mother and grandmother are praised for teaching him Scripture, and why it is that Gentiles who had no prior knowledge of the Scripture, but could be taught it, were not excluded from teaching if lack of education of women within the culture was the issue.
[10] Küchler, Schweigen, 21.
[11] Ibid., 32.
[12] e.g., The Gospel of Luke is cited as Scripture in 1 Tim 5:18, and Jesus’ teaching concerning humility can be found in Luke 13:30.
[13] As I have shown, a repudiation of this idea can be found in The Life of Adam and Eve (Vita 14.3), when Satan attempts to make the argument that he was made before Adam and therefore, being superior to him, he will not serve him. This tells us that the ancients did not believe the idea that “Der Erste ist der Beste” in terms of all things, but only in terms of divinely established order within human roles, decrees, rituals, covenants, etc., or in terms of God’s attributes and those things associated with Him (e.g., wisdom).
[14] For a fuller refutation of arguments that center on temporality, see William D. Mounce, Pastoral Epistles (WBC; Nashville, Tenn..: Word, 2002), 120.
[15] Jerome D. Quinn and William C. Wacker, The First and Second Letters to Timothy: A New Translation with Notes and Commentary (ECC; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2000), 221, take the term to refer to a “married woman” based upon the switch from the plural in vv. 9–10 to the singular use in vv. 11–12. This is quite a stretch of the grammar, however, as one would wonder why a command, usually framed in terms of singulars (cf. the law codes in Deuteronomy), needs to maintain a plural use, especially since Paul clearly in the context establishes the idea that a singular woman (i.e., Eve) represents all women (as evidenced by the switch back to the plural in v. 15). For arguments in favor of the generic understanding, see Schreiner, “A Dialogue,” 115–17 and Mounce, Pastoral Epistles, 112.
[16] Johnson, Letters, 135. See also Quinn and Wacker, Timothy, 225.
[17] Johnson, Letters, 136.
[18] Although many scholars do understand the two verses as a couplet (e.g., Kuchler, Schweigen, 11), the merism (a contrast of polar opposites to convey totality) is almost universally missed.
[19] In agreement with Andreas Köstenberger, “A Complex Sentence Structure in 1 Timothy 2:12,” in Women in the Church: A Fresh Analysis of 1 Timothy 2:9–15 (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker, 1995, 81–103, the pattern indicates that the ou)de/ here is coordinating rather than subordinating, and that the evidence points to the two terms having only a positive connotation in this context. This also best explains the qualifying Genitive a)ndro/v, taken in conjunction with the infinitives used,  “over a man,” since if the authority or teaching was negative, it would make little sense to use a qualifier at all here.
[20] Köstenberger, “A Complex Sentence Structure,” 91.
[21] The contrastive parallel between verses 11 and 12 here also allow us, therefore, to conclude that interpreting e0n h(suxi/a as “in quietness,” as opposed to “in silence,” makes little sense. As full submission is the opposite of having authority, so learning in silence is the opposite of teaching. This is over and above the fact that what the woman is told to do here is “learn” e0n h(suxi/a, not “teach” e0n h(suxi/a. The prepositional phrase refers to the manner of her learning, then, not her teaching, and learning in silence makes much more sense given both the textual, intertextual (cf. 1 Cor 14:34–35), and historical context. Also see Schreiner, “A Dialogue,” 123–24.
[22] Of course, whether this is applied to a sphere of life outside of the church is a question of application, not exegesiss, as the context here is the ecclesiastical community.
[23] The word has been the primary subject of debate, but it’s meaning is safely established by employing the appropriate linguistic principles to lexicography in terms of the synchronic rather than diachronic method. See H. Scott Baldwin, “A Difficult Word: au)qente/w in 1 Timothy 2:12,” in Women in the Church,  and “au)qente/w in Ancient Greek Literature” in Ibid., 269–305.
[24] See Schreiner, “A Dialogue with Scholarship,” 151, who argues that “when Paul says that a woman will be saved through childbearing, he means, therefore, that they will be saved by adhering to their ordained role.” Also see Ronald Y. K. Fung, “Ministry in the New Testament,” in The Church in the Bible and the World (ed. D. A. Carson ; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker, 1987), 204.
[25] The familial model upon which this interpretation depends is found throughout the Pastorals. Hence, David G. Horrell, “From a)delfoi/ to oi]koj qeou~: Social Transformation in Pauline Christianity” JBL 120 (2001): 307, states: “This concern for the ‘proper’ and traditional structuring of social relations between household members—the concern central to the household codes of Colossians and Ephesians—appears elsewhere in the Pastoral Epistles, though nowhere is there a concise and complete domestic code comparable to those found in Col 3:18–4:1 and Eph 5:2–6:9. Notable in the Pastoral Epistles is the teaching directed toward the subordinate social parties—women and slaves—that urges these people to remain quietly in their place (1 Tim 2:9–15; 6:1–2; Titus 2:1–10). The male heads of the households are urged to govern their households well—keeping their children submissive, and so on—and thus to qualify as potential leaders over the church itself (1 Tim 3:4–5, 12–13).” See also his further comments in Ibid., 308-9, as well as Vern Poythress, “The Church as a Family: Why Male Leadership In The Family Requires Male Leadership In The Church As Well,” in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (ed. John Piper and Wayne Grudem; Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 2006), 233–47. See also N. Brox, Die Pastoralbriefe (RNT 7; Regensburg: Pustet, 1969), 157, who states that 1 Tim 3:15, which discusses the “household” of God, is the “zentrale ekklesiologische Stelle der drei Briefe.” For a good summary discussion, see Marshall, Pastoral Epistles, 232–36.
[26] I concur with Schreiner (“A Dialogue,”146–54) that the childbearing here is a reference to the woman fulfilling good works that characterize the means of sanctification within her role. The idea is that she is redeemed by becoming who she was meant to be, not by becoming something else. What Philip A. Harland, “Familial Dimensions of Group Identity (II): ‘Mothers’ and ‘Fathers’ in Associations and Synagogues of the Greek World” JSJ 38 (2007): 57–79, argues is most illuminating as that which provides precedence in the ancient world for seeing family as a foundational pattern for all societal institutions. He concludes: “When authors from Aristotle on discuss the building blocks of society, they stress the household as the basic unit of society, suggesting that good management of the household would mean good management of the polis (πόλις). And when they discuss household management, the father’s rule over the household is oft en taken as an analogy for leadership in society more broadly. The household is, in many ways, a microcosm of society or, as expressed by Philo of Alexandria, “a house is a city compressed into small dimensions, and household management may be called a kind of state management” (On Joseph 38 [trans. LCL]). So comparisons worked both ways. Actual parental leadership was a model for leadership and beneficence in the civic setting and, conversely, leadership or benefaction in civic contexts and associations could be expressed in terms of parental activity” (Ibid., 76).
[27] I. Howard Marshall, The Pastoral Epistles (ICC; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1999), 604; Horrell, “Social Transformation,” 308, fn. 61.
[28] The reason for the fiasco is thought by many, including the rabbis to be provided by the Genesis narrative itself and is due to the fact that Adam listened to the voice of his wife (3:17). See Thomas C. Oden, First and Second Timothy and Titus (Interpretation; Louisville, Ky.: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1989), 100. It is clear that when Eve was being deceived by the serpent, Adam was present with her, and yet, the narrative portrays him as a silent partner (v. 7). Schreiner (Ibid., 145) concludes: “The significance of the serpent targeting Eve is magnified, for apparently Adam was with Eve (3:6) during the temptation  In approaching Eve, then, the serpent subverted the pattern of male leadership and interacted only with Eve during temptation. Adam was present throughout and did not intervene. The Genesis temptation, therefore, is a parable of what happens when male leadership is abrogated.” Although what Schreiner says here is probably too much, the idea that Paul finds significance in the details lends itself to the argument that he is appealing to the temptation in the context of gender roles, precisely, because a confusion of gender roles leads to an unprotected stewardship (e.g., Adam’s wife, the family, the Church). Cf. also Fung, “Ministry in the Church,” 202; Hurley, Man and Woman, 214–16; and Moo, “Rejoinder,” 204.
[29] The word teknogoni/av itself is likely taken by Paul from the phrase Mynb ydlt that is translated in the LXX of Genesis 3:16, as te/ch| te/kna. Paul here turns it into a virtuous aspect of the woman’s character to which the woman is to attain by grammatically forming it as a qualitative noun.
[30] Thus refuting the proposal made by Krister Stendahl, The Bible and the Role of Women (trans. Emilie T. Sander; Philadelphia, Pa.: Fortress, 1966), 34, that New Testament teaching points “beyond and even ‘against’ the prevailing view and practice of the New Testament church,” as the employment of the PA would indicate that Paul intends to instruct the church beyond the limitations of its cultural boundaries.
[31] The question concerning the identification of a)nh/r and gunh/ as either “male” and “female” generically, or “husband” and “wife” specifically is an important one. If the prohibition is merely upon wives concerning their husbands then it is possible to see Paul’s concern as merely one where the roles within marriage are applied everywhere, even in the assembly. However, the context strongly suggests that the more generic “male” and “female” are in view here. Paul has just given instructions to males concerning prayer, not just to husbands. Likewise, he has just given instructions to women concerning their modesty, not just to wives. Furthermore, the woman seems to be excluded from being an overseer in the text that follows on the heals of this one (3:1–7), where the man who desires to be an overseer is to be the husband of one wife and manage his household appropriately in discipline.

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