Re: 1 Timothy 2:12 and Hermeneutics

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Mon Oct 18 1999 - 07:17:59 EDT

At 5:13 PM -0700 10/17/99, George Goolde wrote:
>If it be allowed that "Scripture is the best interpreter of Scripture"
>If it be recognized that "Greek meanings are best determined by their context"
>I submit that there are two (or more) possible meanings of 1 Tim 2:12 until
>we put it in its context. But when put into its context considering
>1 Tim 2:11 AND
>1 Tim 2:13-15
>I submit the choices narrow to, IMO, only one.

While the second principle does have something to do with assumptions about
understanding the Greek text--although its relevance is hardly limited to
meanings of GREEK words--, stating the first one is sneaking hermeneutics
in by the back door. PLEASE don't do that. I might very well agree with
what you're saying about the relationship between verses 2:11, 2:13-15 and
2:12; I might agree that "Scripture is the best interpreter of Scripture"
too, although you and might very likely disagree about how to apply such a
principle legitimately, but it is a hermeneutical principle with which we
don't necessarily expect list-members to agree. The question confronting us
with regard to 2:12 is what alternatives may legitimately be implied by the
grammatical construction. Once that is sorted out, I think individual
interpreters go their own way about how they see that in context--whether
guided, or misguided.

I confess that I don't much like this text and what it has to say, but I
submit that it is irrelevant whether I like it or not; the question is what
is the Greek text really saying. I want to address Michael Haggett's view
of the verse separately as time permits.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649

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