Are These Topics Connected?
This past week, we’ve tackling the difficult passage of 1 Timothy 2:11-15. What makes this passage difficult, is that it deals with topics associated with women in ministry, which in modern times doesn’t always fit with cultural views.
“11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women will be saved through childbearing – if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.” (1 Tim. 2:11-15)
Today, we’ll try to unpack perhaps, the most challenging section of this chapter, where Paul discusses childbearing in relation to a woman’s salvation. But before we do, here’s this week’s post-series titles:
- WOMEN IN MINISTRY: A Difficult Topic with 3 Positions
- ADAM & EVE’S RELATIONSHIP: An Important Connection to Women In Ministry
- AUTHROITATIVE TEACHING: Is There a Difference Between Men and Women?
Before I comment on this topic, I want to add a caveat: There are women who are not married or because of circumstances out of their control cannot bear children. I’ll start by clearly stating what is not found in this verse.
- This verse is not stating that women have to be married and bear children in order to get to heaven.
- This verse is not stating that single or childless women cannot have an intimate relationship with God.
What I will say is that this verse has been one of the most difficult for scholars to contextualize and understand. That being said, I will present the most widely accepted theological position of this text.
Salvation (Vs. 15B)
Let’s look at the word “saved” in verse 15. Taking all Scripture into account, we can accept that salvation is a matter of the heart. Just like men, women are saved eternally by placing their trust in Jesus Christ as our Saviour, which brings about faith, love and holiness.
This we know. And so this must be understood and stated before moving on.
Childbearing (Vs. 15A)
We can’t ignore this word, “childbearing“. Scholars believe that Paul is trying to explain that women can obtain a deeper understanding of God through being a mother.
This considered, I must admit that as a father, I received a better grasp on my relationship with God after my first son was born; even though my wife was the one who actually carried and gave birth to him.
Moreover, we’d be hard-pressed to find a Christian parent (mother or father) who didn’t gain a deeper understanding into our Heavenly Father’s heart after having or adopting a child. It just happens.
Female readers, you can correct me if I’m wrong. But from what I’ve been told, carrying and bearing a child is one of the most physically, mentally, relationally and spiritually impactful moments of a woman’s life.
Does this explanation fit?
There are other theories and theological positions as to what Paul might have intended in verse 15. It’s clearly a difficult verse to exegete.
From other Scriptures, I struggle believing that Paul’s intent was for this verse to carry a context of judgment. And I do believe that it holds some acknowledgement of the life-changing implications of “childbearing“. But maybe there’s more?
If you have a position or some thoughts to add, I’d appreciate your feedback in the comments section.
CAN I GET YOUR FEEDBACK?
What theological position do you take when reading 1 Timothy 2:15? What’s the connection between salvation and childbearing?