Bible Reading Day 296
Day 296: October 23 (1 Timothy 2)
Good morning !
Today we read chapter 2 of 1 Timothy, which is mainly about prayer and worship. Paul gives instruction for orderly worship in the Ephesian church, and portions of the later part of the chapter have been misused by religion (and especially male-dominated religion) to restrict and disenfranchise women in church. I don’t believe this was Paul’s intent (because it is inconsistent with many other instructions and practices recorded in Paul’s ministry.
So take care in reading verses 11-15! If you want to be challenged in the traditional interpretation of these verses, you can find an argument for a typological approach here, input from a reformed perspective here, and a valuable gathering of thought from the original languages here.
Now let’s see what else Paul says: we are to pray for all people, especially those in authority, because God wants everyone saved. Men and women both need to consider their behavior and appearance in worship services to be congruent with God’s desire for everyone to be saved. Behavior or dress that distracts or is likely to be misinterpreted says more about the wearer than God, and should be avoided.
Then the radical part of Paul’s teaching (in a culture where women teachers were basically highly educated prostitutes and the religious reaction was to ban women from even learning). Paul says LET women learn in an atmosphere conducive to learning, don’t let them dominate men (as the Greek women teachers were known to do) and beware of the power of false teaching (as with Eve being deceived by the serpent before the Fall). All good advice, tuned to a specific situation in first-century Greece, and then misunderstood and manipulated for centuries by a male-dominated religious system!
So ladies: please be hungry to learn, and take your rightful place in the church alongside men. Men: be more concerned for truth and the revealing of false doctrine than maintaining the status quo.
And finally, here is a tongue-in-cheek list of “Ten reasons why I believe in women in leadership”, from a friend of mine in England.
Have a great day!