Re: 1 Tim 2:12

From: Larry Swain (
Date: Mon Jun 29 1998 - 04:04:24 EDT

Here is where I think this discussion as relates to this list:

But with that teaser, let me first issue a caveat. This is a HOT issue and
passage and many of our traditions hold different views on how this is to
be interpreted. So please, please, please be sensitive to your fellow
Christian as you make your points, and please please please on this list
stick to dealing with GREEK-hard to do, I realize, but nevertheless it is
Greek we are here for.

Ok, on to the issues:
1) First, anyone, any side of this question must it seems to me deal with
the fact that in the first 7 verses of this chapter, the author uses the
word ANTHRWPOS-for he wished to save all ANTHRWPOS (v4) and there is one
mediator between QEOS and ANTHRWPOS, hO ANTHRWPOS XRISTOS IHSOUS and then
in verse 8 and after he uses ANHR and GUNH. Why the change? Stylistic?
Then prove it. A change because he is here talking not about humanity,
but specifically husbands and wives? Prove it. Does Paul use ANHR and
ANTHRWPOS interchangeably in other places, particulary in Timothy? If not,
what does it mean to these verses.

2) One must remember that any language is a product of the people who used
it. The churches by and large in the Pauline tradition seem to have been
household churches with occasional gatherings of a larger body. Given this
(secondary sources discussing this issue provided on request), does the use
of ANHR and GUNH in this passage then shift because we are dealing with a
household church? Why or why not?

3. In verse 12, what does AUTHENTW signify and how does it relate to
Outside of this forum some areas to deal with are:

1) What are we to make of the inscriptions that clearly show that there
were female leaders in the early, i. e. First Century church?

2) Same question for those female leaders mentioned in the New Testament-a
few in Acts, Phoebe in Rom 16, I Cor 16?

3) What are we to make of the citation at the end of the chapter of Adam
and Eve-is the understanding of the male/female relationship accurate?
What did Judaism, particularly Paul's branch of the Pharisees make of Adam
and Eve? How does Paul refer to the story elsewhere?
               a) It must be remembered that Adam and Eve are not just the
first man and the first woman, they are also the first couple, the first
parents. These relationships are different for us, but for the ancient
world they weren't quite so demarcated. A man was assumed to be married
(very, very few bachelors or old maids) as was a woman and their
relationship to the world was defined in part by this relationship. How
does the socio-sultural background of marriage help in determining the
meaning ot this passage?
                 b) Given that in the Genesis story, Eve does the talking
with the serpent, not Adam, what possibly might this portend to the EN
HSUXIA in v. 12 and to the citation of Adam and Eve in 13ff?

4) How do later "Pauline" writers understand the passage?

5) Finally are the canonical questions:
        a) Some have stated that Timothy (i. e. the Pastorals) is
deutero-Paul and therefore have explicitly or implicity cast doubt on their
        b) Others have merely claimed that Paul is a product of his time,
and therefore misogynist, and these verses did really have the modern world
in mind
        c) Still others claim that these verses are to be taken literally
and women have no authority in the church, although they are not willing to
take the last verse in the chapter literally. There are valid arguments
        d) How do we reconcile these verses with the parallels Ward has
mentioned with other verses discussing the husband-wife roles, part. I Pet
3 Ward has brought to mind?

I'm certain I've missed a few facets of the discussion. But hopefully you
get the idea. Only the first two really deal with B-Greek.

All of this may be covered in Ward's work-I suggest we start there.

Finally, to address Paul's question:

1) Your questions depends on several important interpretations of the
"shape" of the early church-if these are housechurches, they already had
authority over other men-i.e. the servants and slaves, who would also be
Christians. If they aren't house churches, but a larger community, then we
have to make sense of the inscriptional evidence. Is Paul combatting early
Christian practice of female leadership in the church? Needs to be
answered before really answering your question.

Larry Swain


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