Opening Prayer

Lord God, I need your wisdom as I read your Word today. Holy Spirit, speak not only to my mind, but to my heart.

Read 1 TIMOTHY 2:8-15

Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

11 A woman[a] should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man;[b] she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women[c] will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

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  1. 1 Timothy 2:11 Or wife; also in verse 12
  2. 1 Timothy 2:12 Or over her husband
  3. 1 Timothy 2:15 Greek she

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Ask God to enable you to read his Word through his lens.

Think Further

Kevin Giles refers to this portion of Scripture as ‘the most disputed text amongst evangelicals for the past forty years.’1 Understandably, many have accused the biblical writers of being ‘patriarchal’ and these verses are an example. What can we take from these verses today that will help us to hear the voice of God? Context is key, and I’m mindful that I write as a White, evangelical, Western male. I am aware that my comments come from this perspective and that there are voices that have been stifled in the past, of women, minority ethnic groups, etc. We cannot read Scripture without our own situations and experiences influencing our understanding of its message.

From the men, Paul desires hands to be lifted in worship and not in shows of aggression. For the women, permission to study undisturbed must be given. I’ve encountered verses like verse 9 used as proof-texts for dress codes within church worship settings. I’m convinced this misses the point, as Paul is more concerned with the public flaunting of wealth than with styles of clothing. Reading the entire New Testament, it is clear that women have significant roles within the early church as apostles, deacons, and prophets.2 How are these verses to be taken at first glance? I believe Paul wanted those under Timothy’s charge to be freed from the cultural stereotypes of the time – let the men lift up hands in worship and let the women study without distraction. What would Paul encourage us to let go of, or pick up?


‘There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.’3

Closing prayer

Heavenly Father, not everyone interprets all of your Word as I do. For those truths critically important for salvation, help me to never waver. For all other things, give me a gracious and generous heart as I relate to my brothers and sisters in Christ who may differ from me.

Last Updated on September 2, 2023 by kingstar

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