Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Encouragement to Women

Pastor Wes White has provided an interesting exegesis of 1 Timothy 2:15, intended to encourage woman (link), while explaining the difficult phrase "she shall be saved in childbearing."

I'm not fully persuaded by Brother White's exegesis, mostly because it seems to create dicontinuity with "εαν μεινωσιν εν πιστει και αγαπη και αγιασμω μετα σωφροσυνης" at the end of the verse.

I'm inclined to think of the verse as providing something of a "reasons annexed to the commandments." That is to say, preservation in the dangerous (for most of human history) and painful time of childbirth is one of the temporal blessings that God may (at his discretion) provide to a woman of faith, love, and sober holiness.

Thus, I'm inclined to view "saved" in a temporal sense, rather than with respect to salvation from hell. Nevertheless, I'm unwilling to be dogmatic about my own exegesis.

For one thing, it is not clear to me whether the "they" in "if they continue ..." should refer to the women, to their children, to the husbands and wives together, or possibly to the men in verse 1 of chapter 3.

In other words, the exegetical challenges on 1 Timothy 2:15 are many.

The reason I currently favor the interpretation I note above is the seeming possible reference to:

Genesis 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.


P.S. UPDATE 17 Dec. 2007: R. Scott Clark seems to have come out essentially agreeing with Brother White in this recent (as of my updating this) post (link).

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