Search Tools

Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

2:1 intercessions. Christ makes intercessions for us (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25) and so does the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26-27). Our prayers, therefore, should surely include intercessions for others.

2:4 to be saved. This is also the testimony of II Peter 3:9 (God is “not willing that any should perish”), and God has proved His universal love by sending His beloved Son to die for the whole world (John 3:16; I John 2:2). Yet He has also given us the responsibility and opportunity of either receiving or rejecting His loving offer of full forgiveness and free salvation in Christ. Unfortunately, many choose not to come to repentance and be saved.

With regard to the seeming conflict of our freedom to choose wrong with God’s will that we choose right, and also in view of the fact that God knew those who would choose wrong before He created them, yet created them anyway, we must simply say: “O man, who art thou that repliest against God?” (Romans 9:20). “How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33). It is enough to know that God wants us to be saved, has provided full and free salvation to all who receive it, and has said that whosoever will may come.

2:4 the truth. This is the first of eleven references to “the truth” in the two epistles to Timothy, and it stresses the vital importance of knowing the truth. See note on II Timothy 4:4.

2:5 one mediator. To the pagan Greeks with their pantheon of gods and goddesses, it was vital for Timothy to insist on worship of the one true God who created all things. This emphasis is urgently needed today as well. Furthermore, in contrast to all those ancient religions with their priests and priestesses—and modern ones as well—it was vital to stress that only one who was both God and man, the man Christ Jesus, could mediate between men and our Creator God. He is the only way to God (John 14:6), and our only true Advocate with the Father (I John 2:1,2).

2:6 ransom. In order to pay the price of our redemption, so that He might indeed bring us to God, Christ Himself had to be the ransom (see also Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45).

2:8 lifting up holy hands. This is not a prescription for a certain physical posture in prayer, but rather of heart attitude. The “hands” are to be holy hands, clean hands, open hands, exhibiting neither wrath nor doubting.

2:9 modest apparel. The “men” (literally “males,” not men in a generic sense) are to lead in public prayer, but only if in right standing before God. Women are to pray “in like manner also,” but in silent agreement, rather than leading the congregation. Further, they are to be dressed modestly—that is, decorously, neatly and pleasantly—but not in such a way as to draw special attention to themselves and their appearance.

2:9 shamefacedness. Originally “shamefastness,” which meant modest mien or reverence.

2:12 not a woman to teach. Paul is not saying that women should never teach, for he later said they should teach the younger women (Titus 2:4), and commended Lois and Eunice for teaching Timothy (II Timothy 1:5; 3:14-15). He knew Priscilla, and evidently approved of her part in teaching Apollos (Acts 18:2,26). The emphasis here (and in I Corinthians 14:34-35) is on authoritative public teaching in the church, a ministry for which God-called men had been specially created. They are not to take over the primary teaching ministry (which would clearly include that of the pastor) from the men.

2:13 first formed. The intended leadership role for men in the basic institutions of the home and church dates from the creation itself. That is, Eve was formed from Adam’s side, to be “an help meet for him” (Genesis 2:18). This is not an invention of the supposedly anti-feminist apostle, as some have alleged, but the stipulation of God Himself, even before the entrance of sin and the curse into the world. This in no way means that man is superior to woman in God’s sight, for both were created “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27), and both are “one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). Each, however, was created for a distinctive role and purpose, and neither is truly fulfilled apart from that.

2:13 then Eve. There is no conceivable way in which some process of evolution could first form men, and then women. According to theistic evolution, both male and female human beings evolved simultaneously from a population of hominids, and this verse, as well as many others, flatly contradicts this notion. Note also I Corinthians 11:8-9. “Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”

2:14 not deceived. In addition to the nature and purpose of her creation, there is a secondary reason why woman should not be taking the leadership role in the home or church. When the first woman took such a role, yielding to the temptation to reject God’s Word without first consulting her husband, she then induced Adam also to sin, thereby bringing sin into God’s perfect world (Genesis 3:6; Romans 5:12). Adam was not deceived by Satan’s lie, but deliberately associated himself also with Eve in her sin because of her wanting him to join her in eating the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:12) and presumably also because of his love for her and his willingness to share her punishment. The many daughters of Eve share the trusting nature of their first mother and so (in general, at least) are more easily deceived by those evil spirits who can masquerade as angels of light (II Corinthians 11:13-15). Although there may be exceptions when—for want of masculine leadership—a Christian woman may be forced to assume the spiritual leadership in the home (for example, Timothy’s own mother and grandmother) or even in the family of God (e.g., Deborah—Judges 4:4, 8), this is not the divinely ordained way. There is no New Testament example of a woman serving as an elder or bishop or pastor of a local church, with the possible exception of the false prophetess Jezebel in the church at Thyatira (Revelation 2:20), who was evidently herself also deceived by Satan.

2:15 childbearing. In the original, there is a definite article here—that is, “the childbearing.” It is probable that a very specific birth is in view, not child-bearing in general. If so, and in light of the context, it seems that Paul is referring to the great protevangelic promise of Genesis 3:15: “And I will put enmity between thee [i.e., Satan] and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; [He] shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” It is in the very next verse (Genesis 3:16) that God told Eve that, henceforth, “in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” Because of being “in the transgression,” Eve and her daughters would bring forth children, begotten of the husband’s seed, in sorrow (a word implying labor and suffering), but there would be one particular birth one day, uniquely born of “her seed,” rather than of her husband’s seed, and He (the virgin-born God/man) would finally inflict a mortal wound on the old Serpent. It was by this “childbearing” that “she shall be saved.” In a secondary sense, every birth is a type of that special birth, in its reminder and promise that salvation is preceded by suffering, and that the joy of life follows travail and possible death (or at least willingness to die). As Jesus said: “A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world” (John 16:21).

2:15 continue in faith. The childbearing would bring salvation to woman, but on condition that they continue in “faith and charity and holiness with sobriety” (that is, soberness of mind and demeanor). This cannot, of course, contradict the doctrine of salvation by grace. However, such salvation is received through faith and its reality demonstrated by charity (Christian love), holiness and soberness in the true Christian woman.

About the New Defender's Study Bible