In a recent sermon I found that I had to touch upon one what I consider of the trickiest passages in the Bible: 1 Timothy 2:15. Here is what this verse says: “Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.” Taken on its own, this is a remarkably sexist statement. But I’m convinced there is truth and freedom here if we are willing to go looking for it. Let me take a shot at explaining that passage or at least to show you how I went about trying to figure it out.
In this part of his letter to Timothy, Paul is writing about the local church and about how things are to be ordered there. He explains that the public gatherings of the church are to show some kind of order. He speaks of the way men and women are to worship and focuses specifically on the character of a godly woman and then on the conduct of a godly woman. A woman is to respectful and respectable, not showing off her wealth and not seeking to draw attention to herself. And she is to understand that the Lord has not called her to leadership within the church—this is a part of God’s created order. Paul explains this by referring to the order in which God created man and women. “For Adam was formed first, then Eve.” He goes on to show that humanity’s problems began when this order was reversed—“Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.” It was when Eve usurped Adam’s leadership (and when Adam abdicated leadership) that all of these problems began.
And now we get to that tricky statement, “Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.” If we want to understand that statement, we need to look at two things: what it means that the woman will be saved and what it means that they will be saved by childbearing.
I’ve reflected on this a lot and believe this article was a swing and a miss. I’ve decided to remove it and take another, better shot at it.