Women Have To Bear Children Before They Can Be Saved?

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It is written:

1 Timothy 2:11-15-Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12  And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13  For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 15  Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.

Does Paul here teach that women must have children before they can be saved from spiritual death?

Not at all.

Let’s study.

First, Paul is writing to Timothy regarding a very specific set of circumstances that the young preacher was experiencing in the church at Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3). One of the problems was that some in the church were going from one house church to another and were spreading false teachings.

1 Timothy 5:13-And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.

Speaking of this passage, Burdette notes:

“An examination of Acts 19: 21-41 reveals the background for a proper interpretation of the Pastoral Epistles. Earlier in Chapter 19, Luke gives other comments that help us to understand Paul’s negative comments in his two Epistles to Timothy. One word (periergos) utilized by Luke will assist us in our interpretation of the Pauline Epistles. Luke writes: Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. 19 A number who had practiced sorcery (períergos, “magic”) brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. 20 In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power. (19: 18-20) G. K. Barrett296 makes the following succinct observation concerning the word sorcery: “períerga” is a semi-technical term for magical practices.” 297 This is the same word that Paul employs in his First Epistle to Timothy as he reflects upon the practices of the women in the church in Ephesus. Paul unfolds some of the problems associated with the women in Ephesus: As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry. 12 Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge. 13 Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips (phlúaros, “silly talk, nonsense, tattler, babbler”) and busybodies (períergoi, practicing magic), saying things they ought not to. 14 So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander. 15 Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan. (1 Timothy 5: 11-15) Unfortunately, some scholars, so it seems, fail to capture the luggage associated with períergos in 1 Timothy 5: 13. Even though translations give “busybodies” as the translation of the Greek word, we still need to examine this Scripture in light of Acts 19: 19. This unique term only occurs twice in the New Testament. Generally, this expression is associated or translated as “busybodies” or “meddlesome.” In Acts 19: 19, the word períerga is translated correctly. This Greek word is a term for black acts of magic. This term pointed to the lengthy and various rituals involved in incantation ceremonies. Apparently, the women mentioned in 1 Timothy 5: 13 were women who were going about from house to house meddling in magic, that is to say, they were involved in perverted activities. Cleon L. Rogers Jr. and Cleon L. Rogers III make the following comments on Acts 19: 19 concerning the Greek word períerga: 19 periergos (# 4319) things belonging to magic. Also a t.t. [technical term] for a magical spell (BS, 323; BAGD; DPL, 580-83; BBC; MM; NDIEC, 1: 47-49; 6: 1099-96; GMP; for the well-known “Ephesian Letters,” which were six magical terms thought to be words of powers. Trebilco, “Asia,” BAFCS 2: 314; CIE, 95f. 298 (Emphasis mine)”. (Dr. Dallas Burdette, Women’s Role in the Christian Community:: Interpreting First Timothy through First-Century Eyes, 4245-4279 (Kindle Edition); Xulon Press)

These women who had been converted from paganism were now reverting to their old religious beliefs, and were going from home to home in Ephesus and turning entire house churches from the Gospel. So Paul put a moratorium on women preaching in this location and under these circumstances Paul was not saying that all women were forbidden from all teaching (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:5; Philippians 4:3).

Second, Paul is also going to point out that the sin in the Garden of Eden which led to the devastation in the world had Adam as its’ main channel of introduction in the world. The reason why is because Adam had failed to instruct Eve in God’s Word so that she was deceived in the transgression while Adam was not deceived.

“Some of the rabbis did, however, explain Eve’s sin at the tree as partly the fault of Adam. He had added to God’s words when he relayed God’s commandment to Eve; this was why she told the serpent that God had forbidden her not only to eat of the tree, but also to touch it.[ 110] In other words, the woman was deceived in part because she had not received the commandment directly from God, and the one who had passed it on to her had misrepresented it. This point may be significant to our discussion below….The third possibility is that Paul intends to connect Eve’s later creation to why she was deceived: she was not present when God gave the commandment, and thus was dependent on Adam for the teaching.[ 117] In other words, she was inadequately educated—like the women in the Ephesian church.” (Craig S. Keener, Paul, Women & Wives: Marriage And Women’s Ministry In The Letters Of Paul, 2176-2202 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Academic)

Third, readers familiar with the account of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden would remember the promise of the “Seed” that would come into the world through woman:

Genesis 3:15-And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”

The reference to woman being saved in childbearing (1 Timothy 2:15) has reference to “THE CHILDBEARING,” i.e., the birth of Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

“The most likely understanding of this verse is that it refers to spiritual salvation through the birth of the Messiah. Some commentators (Alford, Bernard, Guthrie, Ward) have rejected this view without giving adequate reasons. But good reasons exist for adopting it (so Ellicott; Lock; H. von Soden; Wohlenberg; Huizenga, “Women”; cf. RV, RSV margin, NEB margin; with undue emphasis on Mary, Ignatius, Eph. 19; Irenaeus, Haer. 5.19; Justin, Dial. 100). First, the context: V. 14 summarizes the woman’s fall into sin (iv aaeaPa1EL yryovEv) described in Genesis 3. The one about whom it speaks is “the woman” (f yuvij), Eve, and this one is the natural subject to be understood in v. 15, “she will be saved” = the woman, Eve, will be saved. From what does Eve need to be saved (in both 1 Timothy 2 and Genesis 3)? From ev aQ(XPdaEL yeyovev, the last words preceding this verse. In the protevangelium of Gn. 3:15, which speaks of “her seed” and says “He [the seed] shall bruise you [the serpent = Satan] on the head,” salvation is announced in terms of a child to be borne by the woman. Furthermore, this understanding fits the flow of Paul’s argument. He points out that Eve (f1 yuv~) brought herself into transgression by abandoning her role and taking on that of the man. But by fulfilling her role, difficult as it may be as a result of sin (Gn. 3:16), she gives birth to the Messiah, and thereby “she” (h yuv~, fulfilled, of course, in Mary; cf. Gal. 4:4) brings salvation into the world. The conditional clause (eav µeivwaLV XrX.) signifies that the previous statement is true only when conditions are met, and aw61jaetaL, understood as referring to spiritual salvation, would seem to be the only understanding that fulfills that requirement. Thus deliverance from transgression comes to those who have a true and sincere faith, which points to the usual correlation between salvation and faith in Paul and the attendant and abiding manifestation of faith in a godly life (cf. Romans 6 and 8). There is thus a transition from Eve (11 yuv~, singular a(OOijartar) back to women in general (µeiv(OaLv, plural); in this way the passage serves to show women the importance of their role and of carrying it out in an obedient way, the note on which the passage ends (aytaoµw ista 0(04ioathr 1 ; cf. Mary’s words in Lk. 1:38). Second, the vocabulary, consideration of which brings us to the detailed examination of the text on the basis of which the view presented above can be tested. be here suggests the contrast between w. 14 and 15. The subject of awOijaetaL is “the woman” (Eve, but also as typical woman) “in transgression..” That GWEh OETaL is passive indicates that the deliverance is wrought for her by another. That its tense is future points forward from Eve to the promised future deliverance by means of the seed of the woman, which is Christ (Gn. 3:15). oc w (NT 106x; Pl. 29x) is used by Paul in the sense of “save or preserve from eternal death, from judgment, and from all that might lead to such death, e.g., sin, also in a positive sense, bring Messianic salvation, , bring to salvation” (BAGD s.v. 2 [798], which places all Pauline occurrences in this category [Rom. 9:27 and 1 Cor. 3:15 being placed both in this category and in another]; cf. also J. Schneider, NIDNTT III, 214f.; W. Foerster, TDNT VII, 992-95). In line with this comprehensive evaluation is the usage of awi;w (1:15; 2:4) and niot1g (1:2, 4, 5, 14, 19[2x]; 2:7) in 1 Timothy up to this point in the flow of the argument. &a with the genitive is used here to express means, instrument, or agency (cf. BAGD s.v. A.III.ld [180]). There are seven occurrences in the NT of the verb ath w with SLa (Acts 15:11; Rom. 5:9; 1 Cor. 1:21; 3:15; 15:2; here; 1 Pet. 3:20), all except 1 Cor. 1:21 passive and all except 1 Cor. 3:15 (which has Se ci)g and thus has a different relationship) and 1 Pet. 3:20 (leaving 1 Tim. 2:15 aside for the moment) indicating with Spa the means through which salvation is brought, accomplished, or appropriated (where an element is mentioned, i.e., fire or water [1 Cor. 3:15; 1 Pet. 3:20], salvation tion is brought through these elements, not by them). Since mxvoyovia may well indicate the seed of the woman, Jesus (cf. especially Rom. 5:9), it would be in accord with Paul’s usage to understand Spa with the passive form of aw~w in this same manner, which is a normal understanding of &a and fits best with the interpretation being proposed.” (George W. Knight, The Pastoral Epistles (The New International Greek Testament Commentary), 2555-2580 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company)

Paul (in 1 Timothy 2:15) has reference to the fact that humanity can be saved through the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.

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