1 Timothy 2:15

How many have heard of Arthur Sanders Way (1847-1930)?

Wikipedia has a good description of him as a Greek scholar, teacher and translator. Let me quote a bit from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Way

Way’s versions give accurate renderings of the meaning of the originals expressed in vigorous verse. The list of his translations in Miller’s Australian Literature includes Odyssey, the Iliad, Euripides, Æschylus, Sophocles, the Epodes of Horace, Vergil’s Georgics, the Nibelungenlied, the Chanson de Roland, Theocritus, Bion, Moschus, the New Testament Biblical letters of Paul and Hebrews entitled, The Letters of St. Paul to Seven Churches and Three Friends with The Letter to the Hebrews, Aristophanes, Hesiod, Virgil, Lucretius, The Lay of the Nibelung Men, The Song of Roland and others. Way was also the author of Homer (1913), Greek through English (1926), and Sons of the Violet-Crowned, a Tale of Ancient Athens (1929).

What is of most interest to me is his excellent translation of Paul’s Letters from 1906. In the preface to his translation he says the following which may ring a bell for those of you who teach Greek:

“Conceding all that is urged in praise of the dignity and beauty of the Authorised Version, and the charm of its rhythm, it can hardly be denied that, if the first requisite of a translation is that it shall convey with absolute clearness the meaning of the original, that version is in many parts of the Epistles far from adequate. If a student handed in such a rendering of a passage of Thucydides or Plato, as the Authorised Version supplies (to give but one instance) of 2 Corinthians, 10:13-16, he would be told by his tutor that he did not understand his author.”

One famous passage where all English versions that I know off (except Way and an NLT and CEV footnote) have failed to understand the author is 1 Tim 2:15, and they therefore present non-sensical translations. The reason for their failure is the lack of awareness or recognition of metonymy (and synecdoche) which is much more common in NT Greek than it is in English. Some commentators, like D. Moo, have understood Paul, as quoted by the NET bible note: ““It is not through active teaching and ruling activities that Christian women will be saved, but through faithfulness to their proper role, exemplified in motherhood” (Moo, 71). In this view τεκνογονία [TEKNOGONIA] is seen as a synecdoche in which child-rearing and other activities of motherhood are involved.”

Way translates: Yet through her motherhood shall woman be saved, if your women swerve not from faith and love and self-consecration, coupled with virtuous self-control.

Arthur Way’s translation of Paul’s letters may be found at:

http://www.archive.org/details/lettersofstpault00londuoft

Iver Larsen

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32 thoughts on “1 Timothy 2:15

  1. Daniel Buck says:

    Iver Larsen wrote: < >

    The CEV footnote left no stone unturned: saved by having children: Or “brought safely through childbirth” or “saved by the birth of a child” (that is, by the birth of Jesus) or “saved by being good mothers.”

    Ironically, however, the Greek does not read “by the birth of A child”, but “by the birth of THE child.” If Paul wanted to emphasize that it was motherhood in general–or, even less specifically, just traditional womanly behavior (so not to exclude motherless children from salvation)–how effectively could he expect to communicate that by putting the article THS in front of TEKNOGONIAS?

    Daniel Buck

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  2. Oun Kwon says:

    Neither the Greek reads “by the birth of THE child”; it just says ‘THE child-bearing’, whatever it signifies which would fall under the domain of exegesis.

    FYI http://www.sbl-site.org/Publications/JBL/JBL1234.pdf JBL 123/4 (2004) 703–735 Saved through childbearing: Virtues as children in 1 timothy 2:11–15 Kenneth L. Waters, Sr.

    Oun Kwon. — B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek B-Greek mailing list B-Greek@lists.ibiblio.org http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-greek

  3. "Iver Larsen" says:

    —– Original Message —– Sent: 18. november 2010 22:12

    Footnotes are often a defense mechanism. Since various commentators have suggested all these possibilities, then it is safest to mention them. Bible translators once risked to be burned at the stake, but usually were are just told how wrong we are and how we are mistaken. Better to be safe, though, and cover your bases, when the verse is disputed.

    But the text does not say DIA THS GENESEWS TOU TEKNOU (through the birth of the child). Nor does it say TWN TEKNWN. The interesting Greek question is: what does TEKNOGONIA really mean? When the NT talks about the birth of a child, it usually uses GENESIS as in Matt 1:18 (the birth of Jesus Christ), Luke 1:14 (his birth). John 9:1 has GENETH. Common verbs for giving birth (to children, no less!) are TIKTW and GENNAW (Luke 1:57). hO TEKWN is used to refer to the father as procreator as opposed to GONEUS as a parent. Similarly hH TIKTOUSA can be used to refer to the mother as child-bearer as opposed to parent. hOI TEKONTES refers to both father and mother. Both the TIKTW and GENNAW words focus on bringing a child into the world. TEKNOGONIA does not.

    TEKNOGONIA is a rare word, not occurring elsewhere in the Bible, but it does have a relationship to both TEKNON and GONEUS. My suggestion is that rather than referring to child birth with focus on birth, the term refers to parenting. You hardly need to specify that a woman bears a child. What else would she bear?

    The definite article indicates a known scenario. In the culture of the time, especially for the Jews, the place of the woman was in the home. That may not be the case in modern Western society, but that is irrelevant for understanding what Paul is saying. The woman will eventually inherit eternal life in the new world (which is the meaning of the future – shall be saved) as long as she does not get sidetracked from her faith by teaching things she is not qualified to teach, but rather fulfills the calling she was expected to fulfill in that society, namely good parenting. Isn’t that a Christian value?

    The corresponding verb TEKNOGONEW does occur in the same letter, namely 1 Tim 5:14.

    NIV translates: “So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.”

    But translating TEKNOGONEW as “have children” does not make much sense. It is expected in the society at the time that once you marry (and are still a young woman) then you will have children. Paul is not counseling them to have children, but counseling them, when they have children, to parent them properly. That is (was?) an honorable calling of wives together with managing their homes well.

    NET is better here: “So I want younger women to marry, raise children, and manage a household…” It is not a matter of bearing children, but of rearing or raising children, of good parenting.

    I have looked at the JBL article from 2004 that Oun Kwon referred to. It seems that the best way to get an article published is to suggest an entirely new reading of a passage, no matter how far-fetched the suggested idea is. He says: “1 Timothy 2:11–15 is an allegory in which the virtues faith, love, holiness, and temperance are portrayed as the children of those women in Ephesus who will be saved.” It is ingenious, but I am sure that this is not what the text means. The author violates the most basic principles of exegesis by imposing the philosophy of Philo on Paul.

    Iver Larsen

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  4. Mark Lightman says:

    I understand the subject of σωθησεται to be Eve, and construe the verb not as a passive, but as a middle with active force. I would english the verse as

    “But she (Eve) will provide salvation through the birth of the child (Jesus) if they (Christian women) remain in faith and love and holy self control.”

    Iver wrote:

    Hi, Iver,

    No, no, I don’t think it is a Christian value. I think that is a Hindu value. That is a Victorian value. The Christian value is that the form of this social world, with it’s gender roles, is passing away (1 Cor 7:31) and that Christian men and woman are saved in exactly the same way, (Gal 3:28), through faith in Jesus Christ, who came from Mary and before that from Eve.

    I do like Way’s translation, though, as far as it goes.

    Mark L Φωσφορος

    FWSFOROS MARKOS

    ________________________________ href=”mailto:B-Greek@lists.ibiblio.org”>B-Greek@lists.ibiblio.org Sent: Fri, November 19, 2010 12:48:30 AM

    Sent: 18. november 2010 22:12

    and through

    Footnotes are often a defense mechanism. Since various commentators have suggested all these possibilities, then it is safest to mention them. Bible translators once risked to be burned at the stake, but usually were are just told how wrong we are and how we are mistaken. Better to be safe, though, and cover your bases, when the verse is disputed.

    “by in expect

    But the text does not say DIA THS GENESEWS TOU TEKNOU (through the birth of the child). Nor does it say TWN TEKNWN. The interesting Greek question is: what does TEKNOGONIA really mean? When the NT talks about the birth of a child, it usually uses GENESIS as in Matt 1:18 (the birth of Jesus Christ), Luke 1:14 (his birth). John 9:1 has GENETH. Common verbs for giving birth (to children, no less!) are TIKTW and GENNAW (Luke 1:57). hO TEKWN is used to refer to the father as procreator as opposed to GONEUS as a parent. Similarly hH TIKTOUSA can be used to refer to the mother as child-bearer as opposed to parent. hOI TEKONTES refers to both father and mother. Both the TIKTW and GENNAW words focus on bringing a child into the world. TEKNOGONIA does not.

    TEKNOGONIA is a rare word, not occurring elsewhere in the Bible, but it does have a relationship to both TEKNON and GONEUS. My suggestion is that rather than referring to child birth with focus on birth, the term refers to parenting. You hardly need to specify that a woman bears a child. What else would she bear?

    The definite article indicates a known scenario. In the culture of the time, especially for the Jews, the place of the woman was in the home. That may not be the case in modern Western society, but that is irrelevant for understanding what Paul is saying. The woman will eventually inherit eternal life in the new world (which is the meaning of the future – shall be saved) as long as she does not get sidetracked from her faith by teaching things she is not qualified to teach, but rather fulfills the calling she was expected to fulfill in that society, namely good parenting. Isn’t that a Christian value?

    The corresponding verb TEKNOGONEW does occur in the same letter, namely 1 Tim 5:14.

    NIV translates: “So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.”

    But translating TEKNOGONEW as “have children” does not make much sense. It is expected in the society at the time that once you marry (and are still a young woman) then you will have children. Paul is not counseling them to have children, but counseling them, when they have children, to parent them properly. That is (was?) an honorable calling of wives together with managing their homes well.

    NET is better here: “So I want younger women to marry, raise children, and manage a household…” It is not a matter of bearing children, but of rearing or raising children, of good parenting.

    I have looked at the JBL article from 2004 that Oun Kwon referred to. It seems that the best way to get an article published is to suggest an entirely new reading of a passage, no matter how far-fetched the suggested idea is. He says: “1 Timothy 2:11–15 is an allegory in which the virtues faith, love, holiness, and temperance are portrayed as the children of those women in Ephesus who will be saved.” It is ingenious, but I am sure that this is not what the text means. The author violates the most basic principles of exegesis by imposing the philosophy of Philo on Paul.

    Iver Larsen — B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek B-Greek mailing list B-Greek@lists.ibiblio.org http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-greek

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  5. "Iver Larsen" says:

    —– Original Message —– href=”mailto:B-Greek@lists.ibiblio.org”>B-Greek@lists.ibiblio.org Sent: 19. november 2010 17:05

    I understand the subject of σωθησεται to be Eve, and construe the verb not as a passive, but as a middle with active force. I would english the verse as

    “But she (Eve) will provide salvation through the birth of the child (Jesus) if they (Christian women) remain in faith and love and holy self control.”

    Iver wrote:

    Hi, Iver,

    No, no, I don’t think it is a Christian value. I think that is a Hindu value. That is a Victorian value. The Christian value is that the form of this social world, with it’s gender roles, is passing away (1 Cor 7:31) and that Christian men and woman are saved in exactly the same way, (Gal 3:28), through faith in Jesus Christ, who came from Mary and before that from Eve.

    I do like Way’s translation, though, as far as it goes.

    Mark L Φωσφορος ———————

    Well, I meant, isn’t good parenting a Christian value? How the parents divide the task between them is a cultural issue, and that has greatly changed in the West in the last 100 years. Anyway, that is a side issue in our discussion.

    Your understanding of the verse is new to me. In the preceding verse, the subject is not Eve, but hH GUNH in a general sense, and that is carried over as subject for the passive verb in v. 15. It is because of this general sense, that Paul can easily switch from the singular to the plural.

    There are 55 occurrences of a passive form of SWiZW in the NT (and 51 actives). The verb does not lend itself to a middle sense in the NT, since that would probably mean “save yourself”, but that sense is expressed by a reflexive pronoun with the active as in 1 Tim 4:16. If you can find one middle of this verb in the NT, show me. How you can suggest that it could mean “provide salvation” I do not understand, but you don’t provide any supporting arguments. I cannot see how a future passive SWQHSETAI can have an active force. It is not a future middle (*SWSETAI). To “provide salvation” would require an active form.

    My point is that if you take TEKNOGONIA to mean childbirth or childbearing here, you have already ended up in the mud and will try all sorts of ways to pull yourself up by the hair.

    Another thing to look at is that SWiZW is used with different referential meanings whether it is in the past, present or future – as it is here. But your theology will come into play with this word.

    Iver Larsen

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  6. Carl Conrad says:

    I have nothing to add to clarify the matter of the meaning of 1 Tim 2:15, but I don’t think that construing SWQHESTAI (σωθήσεται) as “middle with active sense” is an option. So far as I can see, SWZW is a transitive verb and requires an object. I can see the active being used intransitively in the sense of “be a savior” but I really can’t see how the middle would be used that way.

    Carl W. Conrad Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

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  7. George F Somsel says:

    Mark’s take on ἡ γυνὴ hH GUNH is interesting and would seem to take into consideration the context of the passage.  As regards σωθήσεται SWQHSETAI, the passive of σῳζω SWiZW does appear in the LXX a number of times.  I point to one such instance in Gen 19.20

    20ἰδοὺ ἡ πόλις αὕτη ἐγγὺς τοῦ καταφυγεῖν με ἐκεῖ, ἥ ἐστιν μικρά, ἐκεῖ σωθήσομαι, οὐ μικρά ἐστιν; καὶ ζήσεται ἡ ψυχή μου.

    20 IDOU hH POLIS hAUTH EGGUS TOU KATAFUGEIN ME EKEI, hH ESTIN MIKRA, EKEI SWQHSOMAI, OU MIKRA ESTIN?  ZHSETAI hH YUXH MOU.

    I’ll give Brenton’s translation as well as the NETS translation to avoid suspicion that I am injecting my personal view here.

    Brenton Behold this city is near for me to escape thither, which is a small one, and there shall I be preserved, is it not little? and my soul shall live because of thee. NETS 20 Look, this city, which is small is near enough for me to flee for refuge there; I shall escape there.  Is it not small?  And my soul shall live!

     george gfsomsel

    … search for truth, hear truth, learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth, defend the truth till death.

    – Jan Hus _________

    ________________________________ Cc: B-Greek@lists.ibiblio.org Sent: Fri, November 19, 2010 12:34:09 PM

    I have nothing to add to clarify the matter of the meaning of 1 Tim 2:15, but I don’t think that construing SWQHESTAI (σωθήσεται) as “middle with active sense” is an option. So far as I can see, SWZW is a transitive verb and requires an object. I can see the active being used intransitively in the sense of “be a savior” but I really can’t see how the middle would be used that way.

    Carl W. Conrad Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

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  8. Oun Kwon says:

    B-Greek@lists.ibiblio.org

    I agree. His exegesis could be a source for a nice sermonette 😉

    TEKNOGONIA is translated as ‘motherhood’ also in Goodspeed N.T. and Twentieth Century N.T. This way the difficulty of the text is half way to be resolved.

    If we move out of a fixed mindset of Biblish thinking of SWZW = save (for ‘salvation’), the text may become more intelligible. Being a woman, being a mother, or taking on motherhood is nothing to do with her ‘salvation’. I take 2:15a to read ‘a woman will be made whole through motherhood’ (in a sense of maturity and well-being).

    Oun Kwon. — B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek B-Greek mailing list B-Greek@lists.ibiblio.org http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-greek

  9. "Kevin P. Edgecomb" says:

    What of the option of reading this as a woman’s being preserved throughout the process of childbirth? I haven’t seen that mentioned yet, though it seems a distinct possibility. I recall that several years ago childbirth was cited as remaining the leading cause of death for women aged 19-26, even in this day and age.

    Regards, Kevin P. Edgecomb Berkeley, California

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  10. George F Somsel says:

    σωθήσεται δὲ διὰ τῆς τεκνογονίας, ἐὰν μείνωσιν ἐν πίστει καὶ ἀγάπῃ καὶ ἁγιασμῷ μετὰ σωφροσύνης·

    SWQHSETAI DE DIA THS TEKNOGONIAS, EAN MEINWSIN EN PISTEI KAI AGAPHJ KAI hAGIASMi META SWFROSUNHS.

    Are you suggesting that “Paul” is stating that “she” shall be preserved during childbirth if “they” continue in faith …?  Of course, the “she” could be simply the genus “woman.”  It’s an interesting problem.  I don’t know as there is a solution which would be generally acceptable, but that isn’t unusual in virtually any passage.

     george gfsomsel

    … search for truth, hear truth, learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth, defend the truth till death.

    – Jan Hus _________

    ________________________________ href=”mailto:b-greek@lists.ibiblio.org”>b-greek@lists.ibiblio.org Sent: Fri, November 19, 2010 3:08:45 PM

    What of the option of reading this as a woman’s being preserved throughout the process of childbirth?  I haven’t seen that mentioned yet, though it seems a distinct possibility.  I recall that several years ago childbirth was cited as remaining the leading cause of death for women aged 19-26, even in this day and age.

    Regards, Kevin P. Edgecomb Berkeley, California

    — B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek B-Greek mailing list B-Greek@lists.ibiblio.org http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-greek

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  11. "Kevin P. Edgecomb" says:

    George F. Somsel wrote: Are you suggesting that “Paul” is stating that “she” shall be preserved during childbirth if “they” continue in faith …?  Of course, the “she” could be simply the genus “woman.”  It’s an interesting problem.  I don’t know as there is a solution which would be generally acceptable, but that isn’t unusual in virtually any passage.

    I write: Yes, precisely. The number agreement between clauses differs no matter what the construal of the first clause, though this disagreement is generally avoided in translation. The second clause may be read as alluding to Adam and Eve, just under discussion, who pointedly did not “remain etc”, so that the plural reflects the husband and wife, contrasting them with Adam and Eve. And, of course, the converse is that unfaithful couples suffer from the women not being preserved through the course of childbirth. There is a logic there.

    An interesting problem, to be sure.

    Regards, Kevin P. Edgecomb Berkeley, California

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  12. "Bryant J. Williams III" says:

    Dear List,

    ISTM that it would be better to go back to the beginning of the entire section of 2:8-15.

    2:8 BOULOMAI OUN PROSEUCHESQAI TOUS ANDRAS EN PANTI TOPWi EPAIRONTAS hOSIOUS CHEIRAS CHWRIS ORGHS KAI DIALOGISMOU. 2:9 hWSAUTWS [KAI] YUNAIKOS EN KATASTOLHi KOSMIWi META AIDOS KAI SWFROSUNHS KOSMEIN hEAUTAS, MH EN PLEGMASIN KAI CHRSIWi H MARGARITAIS H hIMATISMWi POLUTELEI, 2:10 ALL’ hO PREPEI GUNAIXIN EPANGELLOMENAIS QEOSEBEIAN, DI’ ERGWN AGAQWN. 2:11 GUNH EN hHSUCHIAi MAQANETW EN PASHi hUPOTAGHi; 2:12 DIDASKEIN DE GUNAIKI OUK EPITREPW OUDE AUQENTEIN ANDROS, ALL’ EINAI EN hSUXHIAi. 2:13 ADAM GAR PRWTOS EPLASQH, EITA hEUA. 2:14 KAI ADAM OUK HPATHQH, hH DE GUNH EXAPATHQEISA EN PARABASEI GEGONEN; 2:15 SWQHSETAI DE DIA THS TEKNOGONIAS, EAN MEINWSIN EN PISTEI KAI AGAPHi KAI hAGIASMWi META SWFROSUNHS.

    First, GUNH is found in vss. 9, 10, 11, 12, 14. Second, the allusion to Genesis 2-3 is found in 13-14 is used as an illustration of the commands in vs. 12. Third, hEUA (Eve) in vs. 13 is the referent to hH GUNH of vs. 14. Fourth, DIA THS TEKNOGONIAS is attendant circumstance (p. 180, BAGD, “Here prob. belongs …”). Fifth, TEKNOGONIAS in the Infinitive is used 5:14 referring to the young widow, “to bear children,” or better yet, “to raise children.” Sixth, THS TEKNOGONIAS is used as the object of the preposition to refer to Genesis 3:16 and the phrase, TECHH TEKNA. Seventh, the translation of “child rearing” or “parenting” appears to be a better way to deal with the meaning of TEKNOGONIAS. Eighth, SWQHSETAI, Passivie Participle has, its understood subject carried over from vs. 14, hH GUNH (collective singular), should be translated to mean “thrive, prosper, get on well.” Ninth, the bracketing of SWFROSUNHS in vss. 9 & 15. Tenth, it seems that what we have in vs. 15 a reversed conditional with 15b being the protasis and 15a being the apodosis. 15b: If they continue in faithfulness (faith), love and holiness with soberness, 15a: (then – implied) she shall be delivered through the childrearing. but 15a is first in position for emphasis. Robertson and Davis, ***A New Short Grammar of the Greek NT,*** p. 350: “(c) Third Class: Undetermined with Prospect of Determination (EAN or EI with the subjunctive in the condition, usually future or present indicative or imperative in the conclusion, much variety in the form of the conclusion).” P. 353; “The condition states the condition as a matter of doubt, but with some expectation of realization. Hence the subjunctive is the mode of doubt used, not the optative the mode of still greater doubt. It is undetermined and so does not use the indicative mode, but there is more hope and that marks it off from the optative. We have seen that future indicative is a development of the aorist subjunctive so that the difference between the first-class condition and second-class condition with EAN or EI and the aorist subjunctive on the other is not very great, though real and a bit subtle.”

    Blass-DeBrunner-Funk (BDF), ***A Greek Grammar of the New Testament and Other Early Greek Literature,*** p. 188, paragraph 188, under Conditional Sentences: “4) EAN with the subjunctive denotes that which under certain circumstances is expected from an existing general or concrete standpoint in the present: ‘case of expectation’ and ‘iterative case in present time.’ ” p. 353: “3) The aorist subjunctive appears in the great majority of cases, both in general conditions and in those referring impending, and occasionally also in those referring to something which was impending in past time.”

    See also Commentary on the NT Use of the OT, edited by G. K. Beale & D. A. Carson, “I-II Timothy and Titus,” by Philip H. Towner, pp. 894-898.

    En Xristwi,

    Rev. Bryant J. Williams III

    —– Original Message —– Sent: Friday, November 19, 2010 2:08 PM

    process of childbirth? I haven’t seen that mentioned yet, though it seems a distinct possibility. I recall that several years ago childbirth was cited as remaining the leading cause of death for women aged 19-26, even in this day and age. href=”mailto:B-Greek@lists.ibiblio.org”>B-Greek@lists.ibiblio.org 3:19 PM

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  13. "Iver Larsen" says:

    —– Original Message —– Sent: 20. november 2010 00:14

    I agree that SWiZW covers more than spiritual salvation if that is what you mean by “Biblish thinking”. It covers being healed from sickness and being saved from drowning and other dangers. In the future passive it can refer to come into a position of being saved or be safe as George gave an example of from Gen 19:20. The intended meaning in a specific passage depends on the context. However, for coming to maturity I would have expected the use of TELEW.

    What to me is the foremost responsibility of an exegete before even looking at a particular passage is to put himself or herself into the mindset of the author. That includes an awareness of the general culture of the time, both in Ephesos and in Israel, both Greek and Jewish traditions and beliefs. It also includes a great degree of familiarity with and respect for Paul’s letters in general and 1 Timothy in particular.

    I hope I am not going too far beyond the parametres of the list, but my aim as a bible translator is to thoroughly understand verse 2:15, because I cannot translate meaningfully what I do not understand. That includes lexical and grammatical issues, but it also goes into context.

    In this letter several themes are prominent. Let me mention some that are relevant:

    1. False teachers move away from and destroy the faith and a godly life – these can be both men and women, but most of them would be men, since at the time religious teachers in the synagogues and churches were generally if not exclusively men. This is Paul’s main theme as he brings it up immediately after the initial greeting: 1 Tim 1:3-7: “As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.” (ESV) 1 Tim 6:3-5: “Some people may contradict our teaching, but these are the wholesome teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. These teachings promote a godly life. Anyone who teaches something different is arrogant and lacks understanding. Such a person has an unhealthy desire to quibble over the meaning of words. This stirs up arguments ending in jealousy, division, slander, and evil suspicions. These people always cause trouble. Their minds are corrupt, and they have turned their backs on the truth. To them, a show of godliness is just a way to become wealthy.” (NLT)

    2. False teaching may lead people to lose their faith completely: 1:19-20: “…holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith. Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.” (NIV) 4:1 “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” (NIV) 4:13-16: Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save (!) both yourself and your hearers.” (NIV) 6:10 “The love of money causes all kinds of trouble. Some people want money so much that they have given up their faith and caused themselves a lot of pain.” (NLT)

    3. Maturity and proven good conduct is required for both leaders (elders/overseers) and helpers (deacons). This includes good parenting: 3:2-4: “an elder must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money (!). He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church? (NLT) 3:8-12: “In the same way, deacons must be well respected and have integrity. They must not be heavy drinkers or dishonest with money (!). They must be committed to the mystery of the faith now revealed and must live with a clear conscience. Before they are appointed as deacons, let them be closely examined. If they pass the test, then let them serve as deacons. In the same way, their wives (or: the women deacons) must be respected and must not slander others. They must exercise self-control and be faithful in everything they do. A deacon must be faithful to his wife, and he must manage his children and household well.” (NLT)

    Paul has other admonitions for the conduct of Timothy as well as the men and women of the church in Ephesus. For instance, the word σωφροσύνη SWFROSUNH (thoughtful self-control) occurs twice in Paul’s letters, both of them describing the conduct of women in 1 Tim 2:9 and 2:15.

    From these and other parts of 1 Timothy, we can gather a picture of the situation in the church in Ephesos. Timothy was a bit lax or hesitant in correcting false teachers, be they women or men. He was young, and did not dare to speak with the authority of Paul. There were reports of false teaching going on, apparently by both men and women. A love for money may be involved. In Jewish tradition, the women were used to staying in the background and learn in silence and submission, but that was not the case in Greek society where many women had positions of authority and wealth.

    If we look at 1 Tim 2:8-15 as a unit, verse 8 suggests a problem with “anger and controversy” among the men. (maybe heated discussions about doctrinal matters or interpretations of the (Jewish) law). Verse 9 suggests a problem with some wealthy women showing off with expensive clothes, hair-do and jewellery. A lack of thoughtful self-control. Verse 10 suggests that the conduct of these women did not live up to the expected behaviour of mature Christian women. Verse 11-12 suggests that these women (not all women in the church) had a problem of being too proud of themselves (not wanting to be submissive) and they were more eager to talk and teach their opinions in church than to listen and learn. Verse 12 tells us that Paul is objecting to this situation in the church in Ephesos. In verse 13-14 Paul gives us the background for his objection and advice (Note the explanatory GAR – “after all”). In his view it is significant that Adam was formed before Eve. It was not an egalitarian society. In Paul’s world the man had authority over the woman. Verse 14 gives an additional (note the KAI) reason for Paul’s cautioning of these women teachers: It was not Adam who was deceived, it was the “woman”. By talking about “woman” rather than Eve, I suggest that Paul was considering women to be more vulnerable and susceptible to be deceived by and become false teachers. He says it was the prototypical woman who after having been deceived, came into transgression (παράβασις – PARABASIS). But (note the DE) says Paul in v. 15, a woman in general and these Ephesian women in particular do not need to succumb to the eventual or possible result of false teaching. i.e. shipwrecking or abandoning their faith. These women in focus only need to move away from trying to teach doctrines in the church in Ephesus that they are not qualified to teach and instead concentrate on their more immediate and important task: bringing up their children, which they should do ἐν πίστει καὶ ἀγάπῃ καὶ ἁγιασμῷ μετὰ σωφροσύνης – EN PISTEI KAI AGAPH KAI hAGIASMWi WITH SWFROSUNHS, with faithfulness/faith, love, sanctification/holiness together with a thoughtful self-control.

    It seems clear to me that Paul is advising these women both what they should no longer do and what they should do instead, which they may have been neglecting to do properly. He does is for their own good to keep them on the path of faith and salvation.

    Iver Larsen

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  14. Mark Lightman says:

    Kevin egrapsed:

    < ...the plural reflects the husband and wife, contrasting them with Adam and Eve...>

    Hi, Kevin,

    I had never heard this before, but I like it. My current (what time is it?) solution to this, the mother of all cruxes about mothers, is to accept:

    1. Your idea that μείνωσιν (MEINWSIN) refers to the Christian husband and wife. 2. Daniel Buck’s idea that τῆς τεκνογονίας (THS TEKNOGONIAS) refers to THE birth of Jesus. 3. Iver’s idea that the subject of σωθήσεται is the Christian wife.

    Thus the verse means:

    BUT (don’t worry about the sin of Eve) because the Christian wife will get saved through the birth of Jesus, as long as she and her husband remain in faith and love and holiness and prudence.

    This interpretation, while not completely satisfactory, seems to me to do the least damage to both the Greek and to Paul’s idea that salvation is never about anything other than faith in Jesus.

    Mark L Φωσφορος

    FWSFOROS MARKOS

    ________________________________ href=”mailto:b-greek@lists.ibiblio.org”>b-greek@lists.ibiblio.org Sent: Fri, November 19, 2010 4:17:09 PM

    George F. Somsel wrote: Are you suggesting that “Paul” is stating that “she” shall be preserved during childbirth if “they” continue in faith …? Of course, the “she” could be simply the genus “woman.” It’s an interesting problem. I don’t know as there is a solution which would be generally acceptable, but that isn’t unusual in virtually any passage.

    I write: Yes, precisely. The number agreement between clauses differs no matter what the construal of the first clause, though this disagreement is generally avoided in translation. The second clause may be read as alluding to Adam and Eve, just under discussion, who pointedly did not “remain etc”, so that the plural reflects the husband and wife, contrasting them with Adam and Eve. And, of course, the converse is that unfaithful couples suffer from the women not being preserved through the course of childbirth. There is a logic there.

    An interesting problem, to be sure.

    Regards, Kevin P. Edgecomb Berkeley, California

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  15. Daniel Buck says:

    Iver Larsen wrote: < >

    The CEV footnote left no stone unturned: saved by having children: Or “brought safely through childbirth” or “saved by the birth of a child” (that is, by the birth of Jesus) or “saved by being good mothers.”

    Ironically, however, the Greek does not read “by the birth of A child”, but “by the birth of THE child.” If Paul wanted to emphasize that it was motherhood in general–or, even less specifically, just traditional womanly behavior (so not to exclude motherless children from salvation)–how effectively could he expect to communicate that by putting the article THS in front of TEKNOGONIAS?

    Daniel Buck

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  16. Oun Kwon says:

    Neither the Greek reads “by the birth of THE child”; it just says ‘THE child-bearing’, whatever it signifies which would fall under the domain of exegesis.

    FYI http://www.sbl-site.org/Publications/JBL/JBL1234.pdf JBL 123/4 (2004) 703–735 Saved through childbearing: Virtues as children in 1 timothy 2:11–15 Kenneth L. Waters, Sr.

    Oun Kwon. — B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek B-Greek mailing list B-Greek@lists.ibiblio.org http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-greek

  17. "Iver Larsen" says:

    —– Original Message —– Sent: 18. november 2010 22:12

    Footnotes are often a defense mechanism. Since various commentators have suggested all these possibilities, then it is safest to mention them. Bible translators once risked to be burned at the stake, but usually were are just told how wrong we are and how we are mistaken. Better to be safe, though, and cover your bases, when the verse is disputed.

    But the text does not say DIA THS GENESEWS TOU TEKNOU (through the birth of the child). Nor does it say TWN TEKNWN. The interesting Greek question is: what does TEKNOGONIA really mean? When the NT talks about the birth of a child, it usually uses GENESIS as in Matt 1:18 (the birth of Jesus Christ), Luke 1:14 (his birth). John 9:1 has GENETH. Common verbs for giving birth (to children, no less!) are TIKTW and GENNAW (Luke 1:57). hO TEKWN is used to refer to the father as procreator as opposed to GONEUS as a parent. Similarly hH TIKTOUSA can be used to refer to the mother as child-bearer as opposed to parent. hOI TEKONTES refers to both father and mother. Both the TIKTW and GENNAW words focus on bringing a child into the world. TEKNOGONIA does not.

    TEKNOGONIA is a rare word, not occurring elsewhere in the Bible, but it does have a relationship to both TEKNON and GONEUS. My suggestion is that rather than referring to child birth with focus on birth, the term refers to parenting. You hardly need to specify that a woman bears a child. What else would she bear?

    The definite article indicates a known scenario. In the culture of the time, especially for the Jews, the place of the woman was in the home. That may not be the case in modern Western society, but that is irrelevant for understanding what Paul is saying. The woman will eventually inherit eternal life in the new world (which is the meaning of the future – shall be saved) as long as she does not get sidetracked from her faith by teaching things she is not qualified to teach, but rather fulfills the calling she was expected to fulfill in that society, namely good parenting. Isn’t that a Christian value?

    The corresponding verb TEKNOGONEW does occur in the same letter, namely 1 Tim 5:14.

    NIV translates: “So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.”

    But translating TEKNOGONEW as “have children” does not make much sense. It is expected in the society at the time that once you marry (and are still a young woman) then you will have children. Paul is not counseling them to have children, but counseling them, when they have children, to parent them properly. That is (was?) an honorable calling of wives together with managing their homes well.

    NET is better here: “So I want younger women to marry, raise children, and manage a household…” It is not a matter of bearing children, but of rearing or raising children, of good parenting.

    I have looked at the JBL article from 2004 that Oun Kwon referred to. It seems that the best way to get an article published is to suggest an entirely new reading of a passage, no matter how far-fetched the suggested idea is. He says: “1 Timothy 2:11–15 is an allegory in which the virtues faith, love, holiness, and temperance are portrayed as the children of those women in Ephesus who will be saved.” It is ingenious, but I am sure that this is not what the text means. The author violates the most basic principles of exegesis by imposing the philosophy of Philo on Paul.

    Iver Larsen

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  18. Mark Lightman says:

    I understand the subject of σωθησεται to be Eve, and construe the verb not as a passive, but as a middle with active force. I would english the verse as

    “But she (Eve) will provide salvation through the birth of the child (Jesus) if they (Christian women) remain in faith and love and holy self control.”

    Iver wrote:

    Hi, Iver,

    No, no, I don’t think it is a Christian value. I think that is a Hindu value. That is a Victorian value. The Christian value is that the form of this social world, with it’s gender roles, is passing away (1 Cor 7:31) and that Christian men and woman are saved in exactly the same way, (Gal 3:28), through faith in Jesus Christ, who came from Mary and before that from Eve.

    I do like Way’s translation, though, as far as it goes.

    Mark L Φωσφορος

    FWSFOROS MARKOS

    ________________________________ href=”mailto:B-Greek@lists.ibiblio.org”>B-Greek@lists.ibiblio.org Sent: Fri, November 19, 2010 12:48:30 AM

    Sent: 18. november 2010 22:12

    and through

    Footnotes are often a defense mechanism. Since various commentators have suggested all these possibilities, then it is safest to mention them. Bible translators once risked to be burned at the stake, but usually were are just told how wrong we are and how we are mistaken. Better to be safe, though, and cover your bases, when the verse is disputed.

    “by in expect

    But the text does not say DIA THS GENESEWS TOU TEKNOU (through the birth of the child). Nor does it say TWN TEKNWN. The interesting Greek question is: what does TEKNOGONIA really mean? When the NT talks about the birth of a child, it usually uses GENESIS as in Matt 1:18 (the birth of Jesus Christ), Luke 1:14 (his birth). John 9:1 has GENETH. Common verbs for giving birth (to children, no less!) are TIKTW and GENNAW (Luke 1:57). hO TEKWN is used to refer to the father as procreator as opposed to GONEUS as a parent. Similarly hH TIKTOUSA can be used to refer to the mother as child-bearer as opposed to parent. hOI TEKONTES refers to both father and mother. Both the TIKTW and GENNAW words focus on bringing a child into the world. TEKNOGONIA does not.

    TEKNOGONIA is a rare word, not occurring elsewhere in the Bible, but it does have a relationship to both TEKNON and GONEUS. My suggestion is that rather than referring to child birth with focus on birth, the term refers to parenting. You hardly need to specify that a woman bears a child. What else would she bear?

    The definite article indicates a known scenario. In the culture of the time, especially for the Jews, the place of the woman was in the home. That may not be the case in modern Western society, but that is irrelevant for understanding what Paul is saying. The woman will eventually inherit eternal life in the new world (which is the meaning of the future – shall be saved) as long as she does not get sidetracked from her faith by teaching things she is not qualified to teach, but rather fulfills the calling she was expected to fulfill in that society, namely good parenting. Isn’t that a Christian value?

    The corresponding verb TEKNOGONEW does occur in the same letter, namely 1 Tim 5:14.

    NIV translates: “So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.”

    But translating TEKNOGONEW as “have children” does not make much sense. It is expected in the society at the time that once you marry (and are still a young woman) then you will have children. Paul is not counseling them to have children, but counseling them, when they have children, to parent them properly. That is (was?) an honorable calling of wives together with managing their homes well.

    NET is better here: “So I want younger women to marry, raise children, and manage a household…” It is not a matter of bearing children, but of rearing or raising children, of good parenting.

    I have looked at the JBL article from 2004 that Oun Kwon referred to. It seems that the best way to get an article published is to suggest an entirely new reading of a passage, no matter how far-fetched the suggested idea is. He says: “1 Timothy 2:11–15 is an allegory in which the virtues faith, love, holiness, and temperance are portrayed as the children of those women in Ephesus who will be saved.” It is ingenious, but I am sure that this is not what the text means. The author violates the most basic principles of exegesis by imposing the philosophy of Philo on Paul.

    Iver Larsen — B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek B-Greek mailing list B-Greek@lists.ibiblio.org http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-greek

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  19. "Iver Larsen" says:

    —– Original Message —– href=”mailto:B-Greek@lists.ibiblio.org”>B-Greek@lists.ibiblio.org Sent: 19. november 2010 17:05

    I understand the subject of σωθησεται to be Eve, and construe the verb not as a passive, but as a middle with active force. I would english the verse as

    “But she (Eve) will provide salvation through the birth of the child (Jesus) if they (Christian women) remain in faith and love and holy self control.”

    Iver wrote:

    Hi, Iver,

    No, no, I don’t think it is a Christian value. I think that is a Hindu value. That is a Victorian value. The Christian value is that the form of this social world, with it’s gender roles, is passing away (1 Cor 7:31) and that Christian men and woman are saved in exactly the same way, (Gal 3:28), through faith in Jesus Christ, who came from Mary and before that from Eve.

    I do like Way’s translation, though, as far as it goes.

    Mark L Φωσφορος ———————

    Well, I meant, isn’t good parenting a Christian value? How the parents divide the task between them is a cultural issue, and that has greatly changed in the West in the last 100 years. Anyway, that is a side issue in our discussion.

    Your understanding of the verse is new to me. In the preceding verse, the subject is not Eve, but hH GUNH in a general sense, and that is carried over as subject for the passive verb in v. 15. It is because of this general sense, that Paul can easily switch from the singular to the plural.

    There are 55 occurrences of a passive form of SWiZW in the NT (and 51 actives). The verb does not lend itself to a middle sense in the NT, since that would probably mean “save yourself”, but that sense is expressed by a reflexive pronoun with the active as in 1 Tim 4:16. If you can find one middle of this verb in the NT, show me. How you can suggest that it could mean “provide salvation” I do not understand, but you don’t provide any supporting arguments. I cannot see how a future passive SWQHSETAI can have an active force. It is not a future middle (*SWSETAI). To “provide salvation” would require an active form.

    My point is that if you take TEKNOGONIA to mean childbirth or childbearing here, you have already ended up in the mud and will try all sorts of ways to pull yourself up by the hair.

    Another thing to look at is that SWiZW is used with different referential meanings whether it is in the past, present or future – as it is here. But your theology will come into play with this word.

    Iver Larsen

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  20. Carl Conrad says:

    I have nothing to add to clarify the matter of the meaning of 1 Tim 2:15, but I don’t think that construing SWQHESTAI (σωθήσεται) as “middle with active sense” is an option. So far as I can see, SWZW is a transitive verb and requires an object. I can see the active being used intransitively in the sense of “be a savior” but I really can’t see how the middle would be used that way.

    Carl W. Conrad Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

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  21. George F Somsel says:

    Mark’s take on ἡ γυνὴ hH GUNH is interesting and would seem to take into consideration the context of the passage.  As regards σωθήσεται SWQHSETAI, the passive of σῳζω SWiZW does appear in the LXX a number of times.  I point to one such instance in Gen 19.20

    20ἰδοὺ ἡ πόλις αὕτη ἐγγὺς τοῦ καταφυγεῖν με ἐκεῖ, ἥ ἐστιν μικρά, ἐκεῖ σωθήσομαι, οὐ μικρά ἐστιν; καὶ ζήσεται ἡ ψυχή μου.

    20 IDOU hH POLIS hAUTH EGGUS TOU KATAFUGEIN ME EKEI, hH ESTIN MIKRA, EKEI SWQHSOMAI, OU MIKRA ESTIN?  ZHSETAI hH YUXH MOU.

    I’ll give Brenton’s translation as well as the NETS translation to avoid suspicion that I am injecting my personal view here.

    Brenton Behold this city is near for me to escape thither, which is a small one, and there shall I be preserved, is it not little? and my soul shall live because of thee. NETS 20 Look, this city, which is small is near enough for me to flee for refuge there; I shall escape there.  Is it not small?  And my soul shall live!

     george gfsomsel

    … search for truth, hear truth, learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth, defend the truth till death.

    – Jan Hus _________

    ________________________________ Cc: B-Greek@lists.ibiblio.org Sent: Fri, November 19, 2010 12:34:09 PM

    I have nothing to add to clarify the matter of the meaning of 1 Tim 2:15, but I don’t think that construing SWQHESTAI (σωθήσεται) as “middle with active sense” is an option. So far as I can see, SWZW is a transitive verb and requires an object. I can see the active being used intransitively in the sense of “be a savior” but I really can’t see how the middle would be used that way.

    Carl W. Conrad Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

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  22. Oun Kwon says:

    B-Greek@lists.ibiblio.org

    I agree. His exegesis could be a source for a nice sermonette 😉

    TEKNOGONIA is translated as ‘motherhood’ also in Goodspeed N.T. and Twentieth Century N.T. This way the difficulty of the text is half way to be resolved.

    If we move out of a fixed mindset of Biblish thinking of SWZW = save (for ‘salvation’), the text may become more intelligible. Being a woman, being a mother, or taking on motherhood is nothing to do with her ‘salvation’. I take 2:15a to read ‘a woman will be made whole through motherhood’ (in a sense of maturity and well-being).

    Oun Kwon. — B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek B-Greek mailing list B-Greek@lists.ibiblio.org http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-greek

  23. "Kevin P. Edgecomb" says:

    What of the option of reading this as a woman’s being preserved throughout the process of childbirth? I haven’t seen that mentioned yet, though it seems a distinct possibility. I recall that several years ago childbirth was cited as remaining the leading cause of death for women aged 19-26, even in this day and age.

    Regards, Kevin P. Edgecomb Berkeley, California

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  24. George F Somsel says:

    σωθήσεται δὲ διὰ τῆς τεκνογονίας, ἐὰν μείνωσιν ἐν πίστει καὶ ἀγάπῃ καὶ ἁγιασμῷ μετὰ σωφροσύνης·

    SWQHSETAI DE DIA THS TEKNOGONIAS, EAN MEINWSIN EN PISTEI KAI AGAPHJ KAI hAGIASMi META SWFROSUNHS.

    Are you suggesting that “Paul” is stating that “she” shall be preserved during childbirth if “they” continue in faith …?  Of course, the “she” could be simply the genus “woman.”  It’s an interesting problem.  I don’t know as there is a solution which would be generally acceptable, but that isn’t unusual in virtually any passage.

     george gfsomsel

    … search for truth, hear truth, learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth, defend the truth till death.

    – Jan Hus _________

    ________________________________ href=”mailto:b-greek@lists.ibiblio.org”>b-greek@lists.ibiblio.org Sent: Fri, November 19, 2010 3:08:45 PM

    What of the option of reading this as a woman’s being preserved throughout the process of childbirth?  I haven’t seen that mentioned yet, though it seems a distinct possibility.  I recall that several years ago childbirth was cited as remaining the leading cause of death for women aged 19-26, even in this day and age.

    Regards, Kevin P. Edgecomb Berkeley, California

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  25. "Kevin P. Edgecomb" says:

    George F. Somsel wrote: Are you suggesting that “Paul” is stating that “she” shall be preserved during childbirth if “they” continue in faith …?  Of course, the “she” could be simply the genus “woman.”  It’s an interesting problem.  I don’t know as there is a solution which would be generally acceptable, but that isn’t unusual in virtually any passage.

    I write: Yes, precisely. The number agreement between clauses differs no matter what the construal of the first clause, though this disagreement is generally avoided in translation. The second clause may be read as alluding to Adam and Eve, just under discussion, who pointedly did not “remain etc”, so that the plural reflects the husband and wife, contrasting them with Adam and Eve. And, of course, the converse is that unfaithful couples suffer from the women not being preserved through the course of childbirth. There is a logic there.

    An interesting problem, to be sure.

    Regards, Kevin P. Edgecomb Berkeley, California

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  26. "Bryant J. Williams III" says:

    Dear List,

    ISTM that it would be better to go back to the beginning of the entire section of 2:8-15.

    2:8 BOULOMAI OUN PROSEUCHESQAI TOUS ANDRAS EN PANTI TOPWi EPAIRONTAS hOSIOUS CHEIRAS CHWRIS ORGHS KAI DIALOGISMOU. 2:9 hWSAUTWS [KAI] YUNAIKOS EN KATASTOLHi KOSMIWi META AIDOS KAI SWFROSUNHS KOSMEIN hEAUTAS, MH EN PLEGMASIN KAI CHRSIWi H MARGARITAIS H hIMATISMWi POLUTELEI, 2:10 ALL’ hO PREPEI GUNAIXIN EPANGELLOMENAIS QEOSEBEIAN, DI’ ERGWN AGAQWN. 2:11 GUNH EN hHSUCHIAi MAQANETW EN PASHi hUPOTAGHi; 2:12 DIDASKEIN DE GUNAIKI OUK EPITREPW OUDE AUQENTEIN ANDROS, ALL’ EINAI EN hSUXHIAi. 2:13 ADAM GAR PRWTOS EPLASQH, EITA hEUA. 2:14 KAI ADAM OUK HPATHQH, hH DE GUNH EXAPATHQEISA EN PARABASEI GEGONEN; 2:15 SWQHSETAI DE DIA THS TEKNOGONIAS, EAN MEINWSIN EN PISTEI KAI AGAPHi KAI hAGIASMWi META SWFROSUNHS.

    First, GUNH is found in vss. 9, 10, 11, 12, 14. Second, the allusion to Genesis 2-3 is found in 13-14 is used as an illustration of the commands in vs. 12. Third, hEUA (Eve) in vs. 13 is the referent to hH GUNH of vs. 14. Fourth, DIA THS TEKNOGONIAS is attendant circumstance (p. 180, BAGD, “Here prob. belongs …”). Fifth, TEKNOGONIAS in the Infinitive is used 5:14 referring to the young widow, “to bear children,” or better yet, “to raise children.” Sixth, THS TEKNOGONIAS is used as the object of the preposition to refer to Genesis 3:16 and the phrase, TECHH TEKNA. Seventh, the translation of “child rearing” or “parenting” appears to be a better way to deal with the meaning of TEKNOGONIAS. Eighth, SWQHSETAI, Passivie Participle has, its understood subject carried over from vs. 14, hH GUNH (collective singular), should be translated to mean “thrive, prosper, get on well.” Ninth, the bracketing of SWFROSUNHS in vss. 9 & 15. Tenth, it seems that what we have in vs. 15 a reversed conditional with 15b being the protasis and 15a being the apodosis. 15b: If they continue in faithfulness (faith), love and holiness with soberness, 15a: (then – implied) she shall be delivered through the childrearing. but 15a is first in position for emphasis. Robertson and Davis, ***A New Short Grammar of the Greek NT,*** p. 350: “(c) Third Class: Undetermined with Prospect of Determination (EAN or EI with the subjunctive in the condition, usually future or present indicative or imperative in the conclusion, much variety in the form of the conclusion).” P. 353 “The condition states the condition as a matter of doubt, but with some expectation of realization. Hence the subjunctive is the mode of doubt used, not the optative the mode of still greater doubt. It is undetermined and so does not use the indicative mode, but there is more hope and that marks it off from the optative. We have seen that future indicative is a development of the aorist subjunctive so that the difference between the first-class condition and second-class condition with EAN or EI and the aorist subjunctive on the other is not very great, though real and a bit subtle.”

    Blass-DeBrunner-Funk (BDF), ***A Greek Grammar of the New Testament and Other Early Greek Literature,*** p. 188, paragraph 188, under Conditional Sentences: “4) EAN with the subjunctive denotes that which under certain circumstances is expected from an existing general or concrete standpoint in the present: ‘case of expectation’ and ‘iterative case in present time.’ ” p. 353: “3) The aorist subjunctive appears in the great majority of cases, both in general conditions and in those referring impending, and occasionally also in those referring to something which was impending in past time.”

    See also Commentary on the NT Use of the OT, edited by G. K. Beale & D. A. Carson, “I-II Timothy and Titus,” by Philip H. Towner, pp. 894-898.

    En Xristwi,

    Rev. Bryant J. Williams III

    —– Original Message —– Sent: Friday, November 19, 2010 2:08 PM

    process of childbirth? I haven’t seen that mentioned yet, though it seems a distinct possibility. I recall that several years ago childbirth was cited as remaining the leading cause of death for women aged 19-26, even in this day and age. href=”mailto:B-Greek@lists.ibiblio.org”>B-Greek@lists.ibiblio.org 3:19 PM

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  27. "Iver Larsen" says:

    —– Original Message —– Sent: 20. november 2010 00:14

    I agree that SWiZW covers more than spiritual salvation if that is what you mean by “Biblish thinking”. It covers being healed from sickness and being saved from drowning and other dangers. In the future passive it can refer to come into a position of being saved or be safe as George gave an example of from Gen 19:20. The intended meaning in a specific passage depends on the context. However, for coming to maturity I would have expected the use of TELEW.

    What to me is the foremost responsibility of an exegete before even looking at a particular passage is to put himself or herself into the mindset of the author. That includes an awareness of the general culture of the time, both in Ephesos and in Israel, both Greek and Jewish traditions and beliefs. It also includes a great degree of familiarity with and respect for Paul’s letters in general and 1 Timothy in particular.

    I hope I am not going too far beyond the parametres of the list, but my aim as a bible translator is to thoroughly understand verse 2:15, because I cannot translate meaningfully what I do not understand. That includes lexical and grammatical issues, but it also goes into context.

    In this letter several themes are prominent. Let me mention some that are relevant:

    1. False teachers move away from and destroy the faith and a godly life – these can be both men and women, but most of them would be men, since at the time religious teachers in the synagogues and churches were generally if not exclusively men. This is Paul’s main theme as he brings it up immediately after the initial greeting: 1 Tim 1:3-7: “As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.” (ESV) 1 Tim 6:3-5: “Some people may contradict our teaching, but these are the wholesome teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. These teachings promote a godly life. Anyone who teaches something different is arrogant and lacks understanding. Such a person has an unhealthy desire to quibble over the meaning of words. This stirs up arguments ending in jealousy, division, slander, and evil suspicions. These people always cause trouble. Their minds are corrupt, and they have turned their backs on the truth. To them, a show of godliness is just a way to become wealthy.” (NLT)

    2. False teaching may lead people to lose their faith completely: 1:19-20: “…holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith. Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.” (NIV) 4:1 “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” (NIV) 4:13-16: Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save (!) both yourself and your hearers.” (NIV) 6:10 “The love of money causes all kinds of trouble. Some people want money so much that they have given up their faith and caused themselves a lot of pain.” (NLT)

    3. Maturity and proven good conduct is required for both leaders (elders/overseers) and helpers (deacons). This includes good parenting: 3:2-4: “an elder must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money (!). He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church? (NLT) 3:8-12: “In the same way, deacons must be well respected and have integrity. They must not be heavy drinkers or dishonest with money (!). They must be committed to the mystery of the faith now revealed and must live with a clear conscience. Before they are appointed as deacons, let them be closely examined. If they pass the test, then let them serve as deacons. In the same way, their wives (or: the women deacons) must be respected and must not slander others. They must exercise self-control and be faithful in everything they do. A deacon must be faithful to his wife, and he must manage his children and household well.” (NLT)

    Paul has other admonitions for the conduct of Timothy as well as the men and women of the church in Ephesus. For instance, the word σωφροσύνη SWFROSUNH (thoughtful self-control) occurs twice in Paul’s letters, both of them describing the conduct of women in 1 Tim 2:9 and 2:15.

    From these and other parts of 1 Timothy, we can gather a picture of the situation in the church in Ephesos. Timothy was a bit lax or hesitant in correcting false teachers, be they women or men. He was young, and did not dare to speak with the authority of Paul. There were reports of false teaching going on, apparently by both men and women. A love for money may be involved. In Jewish tradition, the women were used to staying in the background and learn in silence and submission, but that was not the case in Greek society where many women had positions of authority and wealth.

    If we look at 1 Tim 2:8-15 as a unit, verse 8 suggests a problem with “anger and controversy” among the men. (maybe heated discussions about doctrinal matters or interpretations of the (Jewish) law). Verse 9 suggests a problem with some wealthy women showing off with expensive clothes, hair-do and jewellery. A lack of thoughtful self-control. Verse 10 suggests that the conduct of these women did not live up to the expected behaviour of mature Christian women. Verse 11-12 suggests that these women (not all women in the church) had a problem of being too proud of themselves (not wanting to be submissive) and they were more eager to talk and teach their opinions in church than to listen and learn. Verse 12 tells us that Paul is objecting to this situation in the church in Ephesos. In verse 13-14 Paul gives us the background for his objection and advice (Note the explanatory GAR – “after all”). In his view it is significant that Adam was formed before Eve. It was not an egalitarian society. In Paul’s world the man had authority over the woman. Verse 14 gives an additional (note the KAI) reason for Paul’s cautioning of these women teachers: It was not Adam who was deceived, it was the “woman”. By talking about “woman” rather than Eve, I suggest that Paul was considering women to be more vulnerable and susceptible to be deceived by and become false teachers. He says it was the prototypical woman who after having been deceived, came into transgression (παράβασις – PARABASIS). But (note the DE) says Paul in v. 15, a woman in general and these Ephesian women in particular do not need to succumb to the eventual or possible result of false teaching. i.e. shipwrecking or abandoning their faith. These women in focus only need to move away from trying to teach doctrines in the church in Ephesus that they are not qualified to teach and instead concentrate on their more immediate and important task: bringing up their children, which they should do ἐν πίστει καὶ ἀγάπῃ καὶ ἁγιασμῷ μετὰ σωφροσύνης – EN PISTEI KAI AGAPH KAI hAGIASMWi WITH SWFROSUNHS, with faithfulness/faith, love, sanctification/holiness together with a thoughtful self-control.

    It seems clear to me that Paul is advising these women both what they should no longer do and what they should do instead, which they may have been neglecting to do properly. He does is for their own good to keep them on the path of faith and salvation.

    Iver Larsen

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  28. Iver Larsen says:

    Iver Larsen wrote (excerpts only):

    Quote

    TEKNOGONIA is a rare word, not occurring elsewhere in the Bible, but it does have a relationship to both TEKNON and GONEUS. My suggestion is that rather than referring to child birth with focus on birth, the term refers to parenting. You hardly need to specify that a woman bears a child. What else would she bear?”

    Unquote

    LJ: TEKNOGONIA does mean “childbearing.” According to “An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon” (based on Liddell and Scott’s), TEKNOGONIA means “child-bearing, N.T. From [TEKNO-GONOS, ON], begetting or bearing children, Aesch[ylus].”

    IL:

    Quote

    The corresponding verb TEKNOGONEW does occur in the same letter, namely 1 Tim 5:14. NIV translates: “So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.” But translating TEKNOGONEW as “have children” does not make much sense. It is expected in the society at the time that once you marry (and are still a young woman) then you will have children. Paul is not counseling them to have children, but counseling them, when they have children, to parent them properly. That is (was?) an honorable calling of wives together with managing their homes well. NET is better here: “So I want younger women to marry, raise children, and manage a household…” It is not a matter of bearing children, but of rearing or raising children, of good parenting.”

    Unquote

    LJ: According to the above-mentioned lexicon, TEKNOGENEW means “to bear young, bear children, Anth[ology of Greek poets], NT.”

    As you will note, the sense “to bear children” is attested for TEKNOGENEW in the Greek Anthology in addition to the NT.

    You argue that it doesn’t make sense for Paul to exhort the Christian women to have children in a society which expected it of married women. In response, I would say that, by the same token, it would not then have made sense for Paul to have exhorted the younger women “to marry” either, since this, too, was expected of them. I think you have the wrong end of the handle. Paul exhorted the younger women “to marry, to bear children” precise BECAUSE he expected them to do so.

    With that out of the way, let me now present what I think what Paul says in 1 Timonthy 2:15 (if it has not already been mentioned under this thread–because I have not read all of it).

    1 Timothy 2:14-15:

    [v. 14] KAI ADAM OUK HPATHQH, hH DE GUNH EXAPATHQEISA IN PARABASEI GEGONEN. [v. 15] SWQHSETAI DE DIA THS TEKNOGONIAS, EAN MEINWSIN EN PISTEI KAI AGAPHi KAI hAGIASMWi META SWFROSUNHS.

    As always the context is the key. In v. 14, Paul says that Eve, having been deceived, fell into transgression. Just recall the familiar story in Genesis. After Adam and Eve sinned, God told Eve, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you shall bring forth children…” (Genesis 3:16).

    In ancient times, giving birth was an extremely dangerous and risky event and it was not uncommon for the women to die giving birth. In modern times, reduction of maternal mortality rate and suffering have been achieved through better care and advances in medicine. In poor countries, maternal mortality rate is still high. “Sierra Leone has the highest maternal death rate at 2,000, and Afghanistan has the second highest maternal death rate at 1900 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births”–source: Wikipedia, “Maternal Mortality.”

    After mentioning that Eve sinned, Paul’s mind goes to the consequence of that sin for Eve and womenkind, and so in v. 15 says that, if women fulfill the condition he states, they will be preserved from harm at childbirth (SWQHSETAI DE DIA THS TEKNOGONIAS). James Moffat translates it well: “However, women will get safely through childbirth…” (The New Testament: A New Translation).

    Compare the same language in 1 Peter 3:20:

    … OLIGOI, TOUT’ ESTIN OKTW YUCAI, DIESWQHSAN DI’ hUDATOS.

    Noah and his family “were brought safely through the water” (The NeW Testament in Modern Speech [Richard Francis Weymouth]). God preserved them from being harmed by the flood.

    Leonard Jayawardena — B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek B-Greek mailing list B-Greek@lists.ibiblio.org http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-greek

  29. Mark Lightman says:

    Kevin egrapsed:

    < ...the plural reflects the husband and wife, contrasting them with Adam and Eve...>

    Hi, Kevin,

    I had never heard this before, but I like it. My current (what time is it?) solution to this, the mother of all cruxes about mothers, is to accept:

    1. Your idea that μείνωσιν (MEINWSIN) refers to the Christian husband and wife. 2. Daniel Buck’s idea that τῆς τεκνογονίας (THS TEKNOGONIAS) refers to THE birth of Jesus. 3. Iver’s idea that the subject of σωθήσεται is the Christian wife.

    Thus the verse means:

    BUT (don’t worry about the sin of Eve) because the Christian wife will get saved through the birth of Jesus, as long as she and her husband remain in faith and love and holiness and prudence.

    This interpretation, while not completely satisfactory, seems to me to do the least damage to both the Greek and to Paul’s idea that salvation is never about anything other than faith in Jesus.

    Mark L Φωσφορος

    FWSFOROS MARKOS

    ________________________________ href=”mailto:b-greek@lists.ibiblio.org”>b-greek@lists.ibiblio.org Sent: Fri, November 19, 2010 4:17:09 PM

    George F. Somsel wrote: Are you suggesting that “Paul” is stating that “she” shall be preserved during childbirth if “they” continue in faith …? Of course, the “she” could be simply the genus “woman.” It’s an interesting problem. I don’t know as there is a solution which would be generally acceptable, but that isn’t unusual in virtually any passage.

    I write: Yes, precisely. The number agreement between clauses differs no matter what the construal of the first clause, though this disagreement is generally avoided in translation. The second clause may be read as alluding to Adam and Eve, just under discussion, who pointedly did not “remain etc”, so that the plural reflects the husband and wife, contrasting them with Adam and Eve. And, of course, the converse is that unfaithful couples suffer from the women not being preserved through the course of childbirth. There is a logic there.

    An interesting problem, to be sure.

    Regards, Kevin P. Edgecomb Berkeley, California

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  30. Iver Larsen says:

    Iver Larsen wrote (excerpts only):

    Quote

    TEKNOGONIA is a rare word, not occurring elsewhere in the Bible, but it does have a relationship to both TEKNON and GONEUS. My suggestion is that rather than referring to child birth with focus on birth, the term refers to parenting. You hardly need to specify that a woman bears a child. What else would she bear?”

    Unquote

    LJ: TEKNOGONIA does mean “childbearing.” According to “An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon” (based on Liddell and Scott’s), TEKNOGONIA means “child-bearing, N.T. From [TEKNO-GONOS, ON], begetting or bearing children, Aesch[ylus].”

    IL:

    Quote

    The corresponding verb TEKNOGONEW does occur in the same letter, namely 1 Tim 5:14. NIV translates: “So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.” But translating TEKNOGONEW as “have children” does not make much sense. It is expected in the society at the time that once you marry (and are still a young woman) then you will have children. Paul is not counseling them to have children, but counseling them, when they have children, to parent them properly. That is (was?) an honorable calling of wives together with managing their homes well. NET is better here: “So I want younger women to marry, raise children, and manage a household…” It is not a matter of bearing children, but of rearing or raising children, of good parenting.”

    Unquote

    LJ: According to the above-mentioned lexicon, TEKNOGENEW means “to bear young, bear children, Anth[ology of Greek poets], NT.”

    As you will note, the sense “to bear children” is attested for TEKNOGENEW in the Greek Anthology in addition to the NT.

    You argue that it doesn’t make sense for Paul to exhort the Christian women to have children in a society which expected it of married women. In response, I would say that, by the same token, it would not then have made sense for Paul to have exhorted the younger women “to marry” either, since this, too, was expected of them. I think you have the wrong end of the handle. Paul exhorted the younger women “to marry, to bear children” precise BECAUSE he expected them to do so.

    With that out of the way, let me now present what I think what Paul says in 1 Timonthy 2:15 (if it has not already been mentioned under this thread–because I have not read all of it).

    1 Timothy 2:14-15:

    [v. 14] KAI ADAM OUK HPATHQH, hH DE GUNH EXAPATHQEISA IN PARABASEI GEGONEN. [v. 15] SWQHSETAI DE DIA THS TEKNOGONIAS, EAN MEINWSIN EN PISTEI KAI AGAPHi KAI hAGIASMWi META SWFROSUNHS.

    As always the context is the key. In v. 14, Paul says that Eve, having been deceived, fell into transgression. Just recall the familiar story in Genesis. After Adam and Eve sinned, God told Eve, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you shall bring forth children…” (Genesis 3:16).

    In ancient times, giving birth was an extremely dangerous and risky event and it was not uncommon for the women to die giving birth. In modern times, reduction of maternal mortality rate and suffering have been achieved through better care and advances in medicine. In poor countries, maternal mortality rate is still high. “Sierra Leone has the highest maternal death rate at 2,000, and Afghanistan has the second highest maternal death rate at 1900 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births”–source: Wikipedia, “Maternal Mortality.”

    After mentioning that Eve sinned, Paul’s mind goes to the consequence of that sin for Eve and womenkind, and so in v. 15 says that, if women fulfill the condition he states, they will be preserved from harm at childbirth (SWQHSETAI DE DIA THS TEKNOGONIAS). James Moffat translates it well: “However, women will get safely through childbirth…” (The New Testament: A New Translation).

    Compare the same language in 1 Peter 3:20:

    … OLIGOI, TOUT’ ESTIN OKTW YUCAI, DIESWQHSAN DI’ hUDATOS.

    Noah and his family “were brought safely through the water” (The NeW Testament in Modern Speech [Richard Francis Weymouth]). God preserved them from being harmed by the flood.

    Leonard Jayawardena — B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek B-Greek mailing list B-Greek@lists.ibiblio.org http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-greek

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