Category: Pastoral Epistles|1 Timothy|1 Timothy 2 (Page 1 of 4)

Waters, Women, Salvation, and Childbearing

Kenneth L. Waters, Sr., is Professor of New Testament and Associate Dean of Personnel, Contracts, and Undergraduate Studies in the School of Theology of Azusa Pacific University. Those who have sought to probe the depths of the extensive literature on 1 Timothy 2:15 have encountered the two related essays that Waters has produced on this crux interpretum:

“Saved Through Childbearing: Virtues as Children in 1 Timothy 2:11–15.” Journal of Biblical Literature 123.4 (2004): 703–35.
“Revisiting Virtues as Children: 1 Timothy 2:15 as Centerpiece for an Egalitarian Soteriology.” Lexington Theological Quarterly 42 (2007): 37–49.

Waters has now incorporated these two essays into a new, book-length treatment of the debated 1 Timothy 2:11–15:

Women, Salvation, and Childbearing: The Mystery of 1 Timothy 2:11–15. Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2022.

The book also includes a four-page appendix: “Exploring Further: Teknogonía in Classical Literature” (111–14).

Solevåg, “Birthing, Nursing and Mothering Salvation: Metapher und Realität in den Pastoralbriefen”

A new contribution to secondary literature on the Pastorals in ZNW:

Anna Rebecca Solevåg, “Birthing, Nursing and Mothering Salvation: Metapher und Realität in den Pastoralbriefen.” Zeitschrift für Neues Testament 24.48 (2021): 45–60.

The article is in German. No abstract is included, so I provide the section headings:

(1) Einleitung
(2) Die kognitive Metapherntheorie als theoretisches Instrument für die neutestamentliche Forschung
(3) Die Metapher des „Hauses Gottes” in den Pastoralbriefen
(4) „Gerettet durch das Gebären von Kindern” als soziale Realität
(5) Gebären und Nähren der Erlösung als Realität und Metapher
(6) Fazit: Spielt die Metapher eine Rolle?

Merz, “Gendered Power and the Power of Genre” and Van Houwelingen, “Power, Powerlessness, and Authorised Power in 1 Timothy 2:8–15”

A couple of decade-old Pastorals essays have recently been translated and revised for inclusion in a new volume.

Originally published in German in HTS Theological Studies in 2012, an English-language revision of Annette Merz’s “Gen(de)red power: Die Macht des Genres im Streit um die Frauenrolle in Pastoralbriefen und Paulusakten” is now available:

Annette B. Merz, “Gendered Power and the Power of Genre in the Debate about Women’s Roles in the Pastoral Letters and the Acts of Paul.” Pages 173–194 in Power in the New Testament. Edited by Annette B. Merz and Pieter G. R. de Villiers. Contributions to Biblical Exegesis and Theology 107. Leuven: Peeters, 2021.

Abstract from the original article: “Two texts that contributed to the discussion on gender roles in formative Christianity, 1 Timothy and the Acts of Paul, are investigated. In both cases the emphasis is on the much-disputed role of women. Power plays a role on different levels. On the one hand power relations between the sexes are depicted or directly addressed by the text (‘gendered’ power), while on the other hand the power of persuasion is brought to bear on both male and female readers to legitimize the patriarchal, videlicet the encratitic model of gender. This is done by rhetorical means that are text-specific, but also make use of genre-specific persuasion strategies. This ‘genred power’ is still mostly unchartered territory in exegetical discussions and is therefore the focus of my investigation. Especially important in both genres are intertextual allusions to authoritative texts. Fictive self-references which enable the author (’Paul’) to correct himself are one focus of interest. Narrative strategies (i.e. character and plot development) which also have an intertextual dimension are a second focal point. The take-over of the role of Peter who denies Jesus and repents by Paul in the Acts of Thecla turns out to be of major rhetorical significance.”

Originally published in Dutch in HTS Theological Studies in 2012, a English-language revision of Rob van Houwelingen’s “Macht, onmacht en volmacht in 1 Timoteüs 2:8−15” is in the same volume as Merz’s:

P. H. Rob van Houwelingen, “Power, Powerlessness, and Authorised Power in 1 Timothy 2:8–15.” Pages 195–222 in Power in the New Testament. Edited by Annette B. Merz and Pieter G. R. de Villiers. Contributions to Biblical Exegesis and Theology 107. Leuven: Peeters, 2021.

The essay is available on Academia, where a summary is given: “Exploring whether and in what respect the Pastoral Epistles demonstrate thinking in terms of ecclesiastical power, the present essay examines 1 Timothy 2:8–15. This passage is much debated when it comes to the role of women in the church. A close reading of the text within the corpus paulinum, including the self-attestation of 1 Timothy as a letter of the apostle Paul, shows three aspects. Under the heading Power, the underlying problem is discussed that Timothy faced: the male/female relationship within the congregation in Ephesus that threatened to degenerate into a power struggle. With Powerlessness, the creation account as referred to in verses 13–15 comes into view. Its focus is the woman God created, Eve. It tells the story of human weakness, which in 1 Timothy becomes a sort of triptych about Eve and creation, Eve and the fall, and Eve and redemption. From all this, Paul draws the conclusion that a woman is not allowed to teach in the church or to exercise authority over a man. Finally, Authorised power refers to speaking with another’s authority—in Paul’s case, as an ambassador of Jesus Christ. Paul wanted to regulate a problematic situation involving male/female relationships in Timothy’s congregation by giving his apostolic instructions. He did so, in order to create space for the trustworthy Word. Paul’s instructions could easily be considered a kind of misogynistic power play. However, the apostle should be interpreted on his own terms. This applies both to his social context and to his missionary drive, as is explained in a brief reflection.”

The Pastorals at SNTS 2021

I recently came across Todd Still’s report (NTS 68 [2022]: 231–37) of the 2021 SNTS General Meeting, held virtually and hosted by KU Leuven. When I checked the program, I found an unusual number of Pastorals presentations — two of the six main papers and one of the twelve short papers.

Jean-Bosco Matand Bulembat. “Et la femme sera sauvée grâce à la progéniture? Approche contextuelle d’une relecture de Gn 2–3 en 1 Tm 2, 11–15” (main paper)

Simon Butticaz, “De la parenté d’auteurs à la ‘mémoire générationelle’ (P. Nora): L’oeuvre de Luc et les Lettres pastorales en relation” (main paper)

Matthew E. Gordley, “The Role of Hymnic and Epainetic Discourse in First Timothy” (short paper)

Schieferstein, “Formation, Deception, and Childbearing: Reading 1 Timothy 2:13–3:1a in Light of Genesis 2–4”

Another essay has been added to the ocean of literature on 1 Timothy 2:8–15:

Mary Schieferstein. “Formation, Deception, and Childbearing: Reading 1 Timothy 2:13–3:1a in Light of Genesis 2–4.” Presbyterion 47.1 (2021): 112–20.

The paper has no abstract. Schieferstein notes lexical connections between the 1 Timothy and Genesis passages. She finds that “it seems that Paul understands teaching and exercising authority … to be a role for qualified man, rooted in this creational order” (114). She follows Schreiner’s explanation of the situation in Eden: Satan turned the ordered relationship between Adam and Eve on its head, targeting Eve while bypassing Adam, who was present but failed to intervene, abrogating his position of male leadership. In v. 15, it is Eve who will be [spiritually] saved by means of childbearing, and it is Adam and Eve who are in view as continuing “in the virtues which evidence saving faith” (118–19). Being saved by means of childbearing points to the fact that Eve’s giving birth eventuated in the birth of Christ many centuries later; “had Eve never undergone the process of giving birth, there would be no Christ and therefore no salvation” (119).

Schieferstein’s article in Presbyterion comes on the heels of a triad of articles on the larger passage in the same journal:
Marjorie J. Cooper and Jay G. Caballero. “Reasoning through Creation Order as a Basis for the Prohibition in 1 Timothy 2:12.” Presbyterion 43.1 (2017): 30–38.
Marjorie J. Cooper. “The Prohibition in 1 Timothy 2:12 in Light of Eve’s Having Been Deceived (1 Tim. 2:14–15).” Presbyterion 44.1 (2018): 115–25.
Marjorie J. Cooper. “Analysis and Conclusions regarding 1 Timothy 2:9–3:1a.” Presbyterion 45.1 (2019): 96–107.

Archer, “Was the Spirit Poured out on Women to Remain Silent in the Church? Reading 1 Corinthians 14.34–35 and 1 Timothy 2.11–15 in the Light of Pentecost”

The voluminous literature addressing 1 Timothy 2:11-15 has been supplemented by a new essay:

Archer, Melissa. “Was the Spirit Poured out on Women to Remain Silent in the Church? Reading 1 Corinthians 14.34–35 and 1 Timothy 2.11–15 in the Light of Pentecost.” Pages 123–34 in Grieving, Brooding, and Transforming: The Spirit, The Bible, and Gender. Journal of Pentecostal Theology Supplement Series 46. Edited by Cheryl Bridges Johns and Lisa P. Stephenson. Leiden: Brill, 2021.

Towner, “Resonance, Dissonance, Resistance and 1 Timothy 2.8–15”

Phil Towner has added an essay to the voluminous literature on 1 Tim 2:8–15:

Philip H. Towner. “Resonance, Dissonance, Resistance and 1 Timothy 2.8–15: The Eschatological Obsolescence and ‘Rewriting’ of a Proscriptive Text.” Między Oryginałem a Przekładem 53.3 (2021): 67–84.

A PDF of the article (which is in English) may be obtained at https://journals.akademicka.pl/moap/article/view/3861 .

The article is a reworked version of Towner’s 2010 ETS presentation of nearly the same title. According to the introductory article in the journal, the essay was presented “in the Workshop on Contemporary Theory and Practice of Bible Translation, an interconfessional seminar which takes place at the Pontifical Urbaniana University at the beginning of every academic year.

Abstract: “This study asks whether translation might be a valid mode of (literary)
criticism. It approaches a hortatory biblical text (1 Timothy 2.8-14 [3.1a]),
somewhat notoriously and rigidly applied in some quarters of the church
as containing timeless ethical instruction concerning women in the church,
from the standpoint of its intertextual network, listening for resonance and
dissonance as the relevant intertexts and precursor texts are explored. It
is ultimately diagnosed as a text that is eschatologically obsolescent, and
translated/rewritten, on the basis of its intertextual composition, to reflect
the openness inscribed by the authorial Other.

Wedgeworth, “Good and Proper: Paul’s Use of Nature, Custom, and Decorum in Pastoral Theology”

An interesting article which could be considered a “hidden contribution to Pastorals scholarship“:

Wedgeworth, Steven. “Good and Proper: Paul’s Use of Nature, Custom, and Decorum in Pastoral Theology.” Eikon: A Journal for Biblical Anthropology 2.2 (2020): 88–97.

Eikon is the journal of the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, formally known as the Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Wedgeworth’s article uses 1 Tim 2:8-15 as its primary text, thus contributing to the ever-increasing literature on that passage.

The essay does not have an abstract, but an excerpt from the beginning will serve to summarize: “This essay will investigate to what extent the Apostle Paul uses a sort of natural-law reasoning in his argument against women teaching or holding an office of authority in the church. The primary textual subject will be 1 Timothy 2:8–15, but parallel New Testament passages will be considered insofar as they provide additional support for understanding the logic of Paul’s argument. I will argue that Paul is making a kind of natural law argument, by way of custom and decorum. This is not a simple appeal to human intuition, neither is it a generalized observation of empirical data taken from nature. It is, however, an argument based on the concepts of basic honor to authority figures, an element of the natural law, and the social power of decorum, of what is proper or fitting for social relationships between men and women. These are concepts grounded in a particular philosophy of nature and the morally formative role of custom. While appropriately using language and categories from the creation order, Paul is indeed employing a particular kind of natural-law application of this biblical account in order to prescribe customary social relations between men and women in the church.”

The full issue of Eikon which includes Wedgeworth’s article is here, and an online version of the full article is here.

Gourgues, “‘…Lui qui veut que tous soient sauvés et arrivent à la connaissance de la vérité’ (1 Tm 2,4). Quelle vérité?”

Michel Gourgues has just published a new article on ἀλήθεια and religious pluralism in the Pastorals:

Michel Gourgues, “‘…Lui qui veut que tous soient sauvés et arrivent à la connaissance de la vérité’ (1 Tm 2,4). Quelle vérité?” Science et Esprit 73.1­-2 (2021): 65-77.

As the title indicates, the article is in French, but Science et Esprit provides an English-language abstract. Note that the article contains excellent bibliographies of 1 Tim 2:1-7 (n. 6) and 1 Tim 4:9-10 (n. 15).

Abstract: Truth is one of the most important notions in the First Letter to Timothy, as is the case for all the Pastoral Letters, which overlap on this matter (except the beginning and the end of 2 Tim). Taking account of other uses of the word alētheia, we observe that in 1 Tim 2:4 “the knowledge of the truth” is the same as the revelation offered by God in Jesus Christ. So God’s will to save everyone (1 Tim 2:3-5) coincides with his will that all human beings greet revelation and thus come to faith in Christ, unique mediator. Two chapters further on, 1 Tim 4:10, while introducing faith in Christ as the privileged way of having access to God’s salvation, nevertheless suggests that this way is not exclusive. As present-day theology of religious pluralism focuses on 1 Tim 2:4, it would surely benefit from paying a similar attention to the complementary witness offered by 1 Tim 4:10.

Hoag, “Demystifying Gender Issues in 1 Timothy 2:9–15, with Help from Artemis”

I received notice today of a new article on that most controversial of Pastorals passages in 1 Timothy 2:

Gary G. Hoag, “Demystifying Gender Issues in 1 Timothy 2:9–15, with Help from Artemis.” Evangelical Review of Theology 44.3 (2020): 242–49.

Abstract: “1 Timothy 2:9-15 is a source of considerable debate over women’s role in the church. Many aspects of the passage have long mystified interpreters. This article shows how a little-noticed contemporary love story from Ephesus may enable us to unlock this influential and often troublesome text. “

I have not seen the article yet, but it apparently draws upon Hoag’s work on the passage in his dissertation-turned-monograph, Wealth in Ancient Ephesus and the First Letter to Timothy: Fresh Insights from Ephesiaca by Xenophon of Ephesus (BBRSup 11; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2015), in which he engages the socio-rhetorical methodology of Vernon Robbins in conjunction with 1 Timothy and an ancient novel.

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