Board index Specific Bible verses, texts, and passages 1 Timothy

1 Timothy 2:12 - Need I say more?

Postby Silver Spoon » Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:28 pm

"I do not permit a woman to teach, nor have authority over a man, but she must remain silent."

This is in the New Testament and cannot be dismissed by saying "oh that's just the Old Testament". Why don't we follow this anymore?
Side note. Glad Christianity had its reformation. Waiting on Islam...
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Re: 1 Timothy 2:12 - Need I say more?

Postby jimwalton » Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:28 pm

First of all, and mainly, the context is everything. You can't just jerk this verse out into the air with smug satisfaction.

Secondly, we know that the Bible allows women to have authority over men (like Deborah in Judges 4). The Bible offers an impressive array of example of women exercising social or political authority without raising any questions to the propriety of it (Dan. 5.10-12; Neh. 2.6; the Queen of Sheba, Vashti, Candace, Athaliah, and Esther). So we know this teaching was a local thing, not a universal thing.

Third, we know that in 1 Corinthians 11.5 the women were allowed to speak, by the mandate of Paul, so we know this teaching in 1 Timothy is a local problem and a local mandate, not a universal one.

Some background would also help. The Ephesians (where Timothy was) were overrun by Gnostic-influenced women taking a particular twist on Genesis 2 to claim superiority, ignoring legitimate teaching and morality. He is addressing the women who refuse to be taught. The church was being overrun by false teachers, and the women were being drawn in and then rising up as the big cheeses with false teaching. It was affecting the church in the whole region, and Paul needed to put a stop to it.

Contextually, the reference is to public assemblies. He is concerned for proper teaching. These women need to listen when the truth is being taught and learn from it (v. 11).

The word in question ("to have authority over") is αὐθεντεῖν. This is the only time it appears in the Bible, and its occurrence in the ancient world is rare (only 7 times, I think). It seems to mostly carry the idea of tyrannical domineering.

So don't jump to Islam yet. Christianity doesn't have the misogyny problems you are false assuming.
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Re: 1 Timothy 2:12 - Need I say more?

Postby Thunder Drug » Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:59 pm

So how do you rationalize your statement on "context" with Matt 5?

I mean, how many times does God/Jesus need to say something for it to not be ignored in totality?
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Re: 1 Timothy 2:12 - Need I say more?

Postby jimwalton » Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:08 pm

I'll admit I'm confused by your post and your question. How do I rationalize my statement on "context" with Matt 5? Hmm. Not sure what you're asking. Are you claiming that Matt 5 has a context of misogyny? If so, I'm not sure where the misogyny is in Matt 5, and you'll have to be more specific. Are you wondering what the context of Matt 5 is? I can easily comment on that, but what does that have to do with the question at hand? You'll need to be more clear for me. I'll be glad to comment if I know what direction to go in—what you are actually asking or implying.

Then you ask, "How many times does God/Jesus need to say something for it to not be ignored in totality?" Again, I'm sitting here going hmm. We should never ignore Jesus, but we also understand that Jesus' teachings are always multi-layered. You can rarely, if ever, just assume Jesus is speaking superficially. There are always layers of meaning. Jesus used hyperbole, parable, metaphor, allegory, simile, synecdoche, prophecy, and many other literary techniques. We never ignore him, but he wasn't always saying (1) what he seems to be saying, and (2) just one thing. But I'm not aware of anything in Matt 5 that is misogynistic, or able to be interpreted that way, so please, try again in different words to ask me what you're asking or to make the assertion you are trying to make. I'll be glad to respond.
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Re: 1 Timothy 2:12 - Need I say more?

Postby Thunder Drug » Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:43 am

The assertion is that he said rather bluntly that he did not come to destroy or do away with the law of Moses, and that not one dot of the old law should be ignored until the heat death of the universe.

So, I'm wondering what hoops you need to jump through to be able to ignore the plain meaning of his saying when it is taken in the context of when and where he was speaking.
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Re: 1 Timothy 2:12 - Need I say more?

Postby jimwalton » Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:48 am

Thanks for the explanation, but I'm still confused. Please be patient with me.

Jesus did say he came not to put away the Law but to fulfill it. What does this have to do with 1 Timothy 2.12? 1 Timothy 2.12 is in the New Testament and was written after Jesus was alive. I'm missing the connection. So I'm not jumping through any hoops. The message of Jesus (about fulfilling the law) was spoken in about AD 27 or so, give or take. 1 Timothy was written in about AD 60 or so, and isn't making any reference to OT Law. I'm really missing your point, but I'm trying. Please explain. Thanks.
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Re: 1 Timothy 2:12 - Need I say more?

Postby Ostrich » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:17 am

The context of that time was of a patriarchal society, one in which women were treated as objects and property. It's an insult to intelligence to claim that women of that time had more freedom than todays women do.
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Re: 1 Timothy 2:12 - Need I say more?

Postby jimwalton » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:18 am

Oh, I never claimed they had more freedom than today's women do. What I was claiming is that women under Christianity had more freedom than their contemporaries.

As far as 1 Tim. 2.12, the context is everything. You can't just jerk this verse out into the air.

Secondly, we know that the Bible allows women to have authority over men (like Deborah in Judges 4). The Bible offers an impressive array of example of women exercising social or political authority without raising any questions to the propriety of it (Dan. 5.10-12; Neh. 2.6; the Queen of Sheba, Vashti, Candace, Athaliah, and Esther). So we know this teaching was a local thing, not a universal thing.

Third, we know that in 1 Corinthians 11.5 the women were allowed to speak, by the mandate of Paul, so we know this teaching in 1 Timothy is a local problem and a local mandate, not a universal one.

Some background would also help. The Ephesians (where Timothy was) were overrun by Gnostic-influenced women taking a particular twist on Genesis 2 to claim superiority, ignoring legitimate teaching and morality. He is addressing the women who refuse to be taught. The church was being overrun by false teachers, and the women were being drawn in and then rising up as the big cheeses with false teaching. It was affecting the church in the whole region, and Paul needed to put a stop to it.

Contextually, the reference is to public assemblies. He is concerned for proper teaching. These women need to listen when the truth is being taught and learn from it (v. 11).

The word in question ("to have authority over") is αὐθεντεῖν. This is the only time it appears in the Bible, and its occurrence in the ancient world is rare (only 7 times, I think). It seems to mostly carry the idea of tyrannical domineering.

As far as patriarchalism, I read an interesting article by Carol L. Meyers called, " 'Eves' of Everyday Ancient Israel" by Carol L. Meyers, (Biblical Archaeology Review, November/December 2014, pp. 51-54, 66, 68). I'm just posting a few excerpts here.

"While there were certain activities in the household that the women exclusively did, such as the grinding of grain into flour, anthropologists note that most household activities were not performed exclusively by one gender. ...

"Although the Bible may have its biases, details of daily life are largely realistic. Because Biblical authors intend to communicate with an audience, they surely used background information that rang true.

"Anthropological studies can also elucidate women's relationships with other members of their families, especially their husbands. Were women really as subordinate in Biblical times as many people think? Anthropological studies from societies similar to ancient Israel provide useful analogies. Interactions between household members are an example. Because women often have critical roles in maintaining household life, the senior woman in an extended family is often in a position of parity and interdependence, not subordination, with her husband for most aspects of household life. This is an especially significant observation for ancient Israel because the household was the major unity of society for most Israelites. ...

"Feminist Biblical study has grown exponentially in the past 25 years. [One recent book] deals specifically with how issues of gender are handled in translations of the opening chapters of Genesis. Looking at these and other studies, it became clear to me that the negative images of Eve that persist until today can be traced to ancient sources beginning in the Greco-Roman world. Those images were influenced by ideas about women that were current in Greco-Roman times but not in Iron Age Israel. ...

"Social scientists alert us to what they call "presentism," the phenomenon in which perspectives and ideas that we take for granted in today's world affect how we understand the past. We tend to read the present into the past anachronistically, which can lead us to misunderstanding the past. It is surely true that human beings have much in common throughout time, but there are also sometimes basic differences, and these must be taken into account. For example, today cooking and cleaning and caring for young children are often seen as unpaid housework. These chores may be undervalued, even trivialized. But in a pre-modern peasant society without supermarkets and day-care centers, these tasks have significant economic value. They are essential for household survival, and they earn women positive regard.

"Similarly, 'presentism' can affect how we view the division between work and family, between what is public and what is private. How these divisions are understood may be very different between a post-industrial capitalist society, on the one hand, and a pre-modern agrarian society on the other. In the latter, the household is the workplace for both women and men, and household activities for both women and men were connected to larger community and kinship structures.

"Consider the concept of patriarchy. Typically this concept has been taken to imply near total male domination in families and in other social institutions. But anthropologists, classicists, feminist theorists, theologians and others who have more recently studied the concept have shown that this understanding of patriarchy does not take into account that women often had considerable agency in certain aspects of household life and that women's groups and institutions had their own hierarchies. Moreover, focusing so exclusively on the supposed subordination of women can result in overlooking other inequalities that were a result of social class or caste. Servants, slaves, and people of other ethnicities held inferior positions in ancient Israel. And men who were not of the priestly tribe were excluded from the national priesthood.

"To get a balanced view of Israelite society in the Iron Age, the broader picture must be considered. Patriarchy is a term that was invented millennia after the Iron Age and is probably unsuitable for characterizing ancient Israel.

"A more accurate term, although it may initially seem to be a jarring neologism, would be what recent anthropologists are calling 'heterarchy.' This concept allows for multiple but different ranking systems in any given society. Heterarchy recognizes the existence of inequalities in multiple areas of life but also understands that these inequalities were not necessarily all-pervasive."
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Re: 1 Timothy 2:12 - Need I say more?

Postby Thunder Drug » Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:38 pm

The point is that, if you take the plain language of Matt 5, then Timothy 2:12 has a totally different meaning. The Torah is plain that women are beneath men, they are property like a donkey or tool, and can be disposed of at will by their male relatives.

There are far too many problems with trying to be a Paulite. But it's easier to stomach being a Paulite than a Christian because the teachings of Christ are sometimes in direct opposition of Paul - and not in a good way as this demonstrates.
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Re: 1 Timothy 2:12 - Need I say more?

Postby jimwalton » Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:25 am

First of all, you need to be explicit, since you are claiming the Torah is plain.

1\. Where does it clearly state that women are beneath men?
2\. Where does it clearly state that women are property?
3\. Where does it clearly state that women an be disposed of at will by their male relatives?

As you see, I still need explanation. Thank you for your patience. And still, since Paul makes no reference in 1 Tim. 2.12 to anything in the Torah, where is our problem? I'm not aware of places where the teachings of Christ are in direct opposition to Paul. Maybe you need to explain that also.


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