A friend and I were discussing last week the strangeness of 1 Timothy 2:15. In context, Paul is talking about women’s roles in the church. Of course, this is a very touchy passage for people who think that women have since evolved and can ‘handle tougher roles’. Not the point of this blog. Let’s look at the verse in context:
(All passages unless otherwise indicated come from the ESV translation)
12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing – if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control. (Emphasis mine)
The passage below is taken from an article from the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood entitled Saved Through Childbearing? A Fresh Look at 1 Timothy 2:15 Points to Protection from Satan’s Deception by Andreas J. Köstenberger. The word “saved” is translated from the Greek word “sōzō”.
“sōzō may refer to spiritual protection rather than salvation in 1 Timothy 2:15, we discover that Paul’s concern for the spiritual protection of believers pervades his writings. In 1 Corinthians 7:5, he counsels that husband and wife not make themselves vulnerable to Satan by prolonged abstinence from sexual intercourse. In Ephesians 4:27, he warns that unresolved anger would give the devil a foothold.”
Köstenberger goes on to say “If this be so, (then) “women shall be kept safe by childbearing” is the likely rendering of 1 Timothy 2:15. (W)hat are women to be kept safe from? On the basis of what has been said thus far, and without much further demonstration, it can be argued that what women are to be kept safe from is being deceived, ultimately by Satan himself.
Three factors combine to make this the probable understanding of the passage: first, the close parallel of 1 Timothy 5:14-15 where Satan is explicitly referred to and where “childbearing” is likewise mentioned as the way by which women will be kept safe; second, the fact that Satan is clearly in view in the preceding verse, 1 Timothy 2:14, where Paul conjures up the scenario of the Fall as one of two reasons why women are not to occupy roles of ultimate authority over men in the church (see vv. 12 and 13): “And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.” Eve, Paul implies, was not kept safe at the Fall; she was deceived. Why? Because she left her proper domain under her husband’s care. What happened as a result? She became an easy prey for Satan. How can women under Timothy’s charge (and in churches everywhere) avoid repeating the same mistake? By “childbearing,” that is, by adhering to their God-ordained calling, including a focus on marriage, family, and the home. 1 Timothy 2:15 thus turns out to be Paul’s prescription for women as a lesson learned from the scenario of the Fall described in the preceding verse.”
I suggest that you read the entire article to find out the third factor and for a more detailed explanation on this crazy verse, which can be found at https://www.cbmw.org/Journal/Vol-2-No-4/Saved-Through-Childbearing .
With a little patience and understanding, one can find that God is purposeful in the things He says in Scripture.
…And it’s okay that I don’t have a child right now! 🙂 (phew!)