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1 Timothy 2:11–13

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While this paragraph is not a matter of orthodoxy, it is nevertheless important since there are so many women in the church. Paul lays out the basic principle that women should learn with a submissive attitude, and then restates that principle with an eye to application; they cannot teach certain people in certain situations. Paul looks to the pre-Fall creation and the relationship that Adam and Eve were created to fulfill, and then spells out a consequence of what happens when that relationship is not honored. Because Paul references Genesis 2 and not Genesis 3, this is not a cultural teaching but transcultural.



Controversial passage

My procedure

Not an issue of orthodoxy

Context: disruption of the church

2:11 — “Let a woman learn quietly, with all submissiveness

“A” woman


Submissive to whom?

Does not say women are to learn so they can teach

2:12 restates v 11 with an eye to practical application


“Am not permitting”

“A” woman

“Teach” — what (no object to the verb) and where?

Can’t mean she can’t teach anything, anywhere

Does not prohibit teaching heresy

“Exercise authority”

1. Meaning

2. Relationship to “teach”

“A man”

Teaching whom?


“Man” or “husband”

Reason #1: “For Adam was formed first, then Eve”


Paul’s understanding of Genesis 1–2 and the order set in creation

Men and women both are created equal in God’s image

Application in the Ephesian situation and ours

What is this not saying?

1. Jewett

2. Due to lack of education

3. Prohibition because women teaching would cause offense

Isn’t this a cultural thing?

If I were ever going to change my mind …

Very careful of cultural biases and the effects of sin

V 14–15

1. Traditionally saying something about women in general

2. Illustrates the consequences

V 15 is not as weird as it sounds

Paul wants to move theologically from the past and the singular Eve, to his pre-sent and the plural Ephesian women, and from deception to salvation.

Eve became a sinner but she and the Ephesian women can be saved, and that salvation will work itself out, not by changing God’s assigned roles but by doing what God has called and gifted her to do — among other things this includes bearing of children as well as continuing in faith, love, and holiness.


1. God created us to be different

2. Worth is not determined by role

3. There is so much work to be done in the church

4. Most men also have restricted authority in the church

5. Affirm women’s role in the church throughout history

6. Men — get off the stick

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