Three verses in 1 Timothy 2 have puzzled interpreters for centuries. I am grateful for the work of Ben Witherington III, who explores these verses and brings golden nuggets of truth out of confusion.
The verses in question are 1 Timothy 2.13-15.
Paul’s words about Adam and Eve are not a slight toward women when the account in Genesis is carefully considered.
For Adam was formed first, then Eve, and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor (1 Timothy 2.13-14).
Adam received a direct prohibition about the tree from God.
And the Lord God commanded the man, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden,
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die” (Genesis 2.16-17).
Like the Ephesians who received defective teaching from immature teachers, Eve learned God’s direction through Adam, not God.
The lack of good teaching made Eve and the church more susceptible to temptation.
Paul didn’t place all of the blame on Eve for the fall of humankind. He devoted Romans 5.12-20 to label Adam guilty for the fall.
In a sense, Adam is first in creation, but Eve is first in the fall.
Saved Through Childbearing
Paul followed this statement with another puzzling statement, “Yet she will be saved through childbearing, provided they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control” (1 Timothy 2.15).
Greek grammar is a tremendous aid in understanding these words. The literal translation is “she will be saved through the childbearing.”
What is “the childbearing”?
“The childbearing” refers to the virgin birth of Jesus through Marry.
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children” (Galatians 4.4-5).
Human fallenness came through a woman, but so did human salvation.
Eve is an example of a woman who was deceived because she had not been taught properly in the first place.
Mary is a picture of a woman, whose faith, love, holiness, and self-control made her the perfect Savior of the world’s mother.
In later blog articles and videos, we will consider more information that will illuminate the crucial role of women in the church.
For today, let’s be certain that we receive correct instruction on how to live a Jesus-kind-of-life. That will protect us from temptation and enhance our witness to society.
Rudy Ross and I talk about this passage today on YouTube. You can see the video on the Bob Spradling channel.
Please email your prayer request to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.