Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 2 Study # 2
October 10, 2004
11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
1901 ASV Translation
11 Let a woman learn in quietness with all subjection.
12 But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to have dominion over a man, but to be in quietness.
13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve;
14 and Adam was not beguiled, but the woman being beguiled hath fallen into transgression:
15 but she shall be saved through her child-bearing, if they continue in faith and love and sanctification with sobriety.
The words "woman" and "to teach" in 2:11 are reversed in order in the Textus Receptus and Nestle/Aland 26. The difference is a matter of emphasis. The Textus Receptus has Paul writing, "Now I do not suffer a woman to teach..." while the Nestle/Aland 26 has Paul writing, "Now I do not suffer a woman to teach...". In 2:14, the Nestle/Aland 26 has an emphatic form of the Textus Receptus' word for "deceived". That makes the Nestle/Aland 26's statement "...the woman was quite deceived...", whereas the Textus Receptus simply says "...the woman was deceived...". These variations are modest differences and do not overly affect Paul's meaning.
- I. The first issue is Paul's term "silence".
- A. The term is used by Luke in Acts 22:2 to indicate that those who were listening were deeply interested in being able to "hear"...so they became all the more "quiet".
- B. In 2 Thessalonians 3:12 Paul uses the word in respect to the possibility that people are stirring up conflict and he tells them to "work with quietness" and to "eat their own bread".
- C. This term is directly linked to 2:2 where Paul said it was the "objective" of a four-fold prayer approach to "authority" issues...that by prayer we might come to "quietness". In our study of that text we discovered that the word means "to be lightly touched" by the circumstance(s).
- D. In our present context, we have a deliberate focus upon the possibility that a woman might not wish to be "in submission" and that she might rather wish to be "in authority over". To both of these possibilities, Paul exhorts "quietness".
- 1. That the overall impression of the paragraph is that the women Paul senses a need to address are women who want "status" but are going about it the wrong way...both with the way they dress and the way they seek to dominate what is being taught.
- 2. The clear implication is that he is addressing the tendency that a person has when she is "unvalued" to assert herself...which does not bring her the "value" she seeks. Rather, it makes her brassy and unlovable and, thus, unloved.
- 3. Paul's instruction is to be very much interested in learning what is being taught, and that can only happen if one is "quiet".
- II. The next word of significance is "subjection".
- A. There are those who see the "subjection" as a matter between women and men, but the bigger picture is that of a matter between women and God.
- 1. The entire point of this chapter has to do with properly relating to God in His often declared methods of servanthood.
- a. In 2:1-2 it is the point of the paragraph that we are to respond to issues of submission to human authority by a four-fold prayer approach whereby we come to a "tranquil and quiet life [bios]".
- b. This focus fundamentally addresses the human foible of thinking that "life" results from "being able to determine the circumstances" rather than from "being able to confidently rest in the sovereign oversight of God". It is a very basic issue that has to do with one of the most basic of methods for dealing with circumstances that are unpleasant to the body, soul, or spirit.
- 1) In the larger picture of man's attempts to "live", there are only the two fundamental issues: what is valuable?; and, what is true?
- 2) Within this context, values address goals and truth addresses methods.
- 3) Men have "bought" a fundamentally false system of values (the love of the world--1 John 2:16 in context) and a fundamentally false system of methods of pursuing that value system.
- 4) For this cause, there is a great host of instructions in the Bible which confront man's false methods of approach...and this text before us is just one of that host that tells us that God's "method" of life is relating to Him in confidence and not relating to circumstances with control.
- 5) At the root of this "methodological perversion" is the quest for "value" ... status lust, which is a "given" under God's love, but which must be believed in order for God to be seen as both dominating the circumstances and loving those in those circumstances ... a "sight" that Daniel 4:25 necessitates: God rules over the realm of mankind.
- 2. A woman cannot really gain any greater value than she already has before God, so to sacrifice His approval in order to try to compel men to give that value is really quite foolish...for two reasons.
- a. God is compelled to resist her "demand" that she have her value "proven" to her.
- b. Men are never going to give "value" to a woman who demands it. Love cannot be demanded.
- 3. The instruction has to do with a woman being able to learn how to relate to God so that she has a quiet soul and spirit in the face of her experiences.
- B. There is no compromise here as Paul inserts the word "all" before the word "subjection".
- 1. The point is this: Life only becomes the experience of those who practice its absolute principles consistently. The principles are not wishy washy and the occasional practice of them only invites disaster.
- 2. The text is contextually significant in that Paul is addressing the woman's place and practice in the church, not in some "religious organization" or some other setting.
- III. Then There is the Concept of "Suffering" and "Usurping".
- A. Paul does not "suffer" a woman to teach...means he disallows it altogether.
- B. The problem of "usurping" a man's position (he uses the word for "male") is that the woman who does this completely destroys any possibility that she can be treated as the valuable woman that she is. When a woman takes a "man's" place, she begins to be treated as an abberration of nature.