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For Adam was first formed, then Eve … the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety. – 1st Timothy 2:13-15

The Bible has passages that are an enigma and people take them to create whole teachings that have no connection to what we know of God’s character. This is one such verse.

Careless people think the Bible, or at least Paul, says women have salvation only by having children. If that was the case, why would Paul recommend Christ’s followers, both men and women, remain single if they morally could (1st Corinthians 7:28)? Either Paul was schizophrenic or we are misunderstanding something. Some things are lost in translation from one language to another.

I think the key to this verse is noticing the “she” and the “they”. In context “she” refers to Eve not to all women. “They” refers to Eve’s offspring, you and me.

The Bible indicates Adam, who just stood there watching to see what would happen, and Eve, who was tricked into transgression because she was not yet created when God’s prohibition was given (for her it was hear-say), brought great hardship to God’s perfect world. But God chose to use Eve to restore that creation through her offspring, Christ, and to bring about that salvation as women,  and men, of faith live holy and redeemed lives.

I think that is closer to what Paul was saying.

– fritz

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“What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?” – 1st Corinthians 14:36

There’s a curious little literature construct unexpected in the Bible, yet, there it is!

Paul has a “woman-hater” reputation among the uninformed and failure to recognize this construct is partly to blame.

Paul wrote to the Corinthian believers about church life and how to exercise the gifts of the Spirit.  Then, almost out of context he writes,

“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.  And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. – 1st Corinthians 14:34-35

That’s where most stop, without looking at the next word.

That next word, “What!”, is translated various ways and sometimes not at all, but in the original language it not only means, “What!”, but presents a negative to what was just said, sometimes even accompanied by a “God Forbid!”.1 Today, it would be like us presenting a silly idea then saying, “NOT!”. This better translation is further indicated by Paul’s choice of the following word, “YOU”, which literally means, “You men”.

So, Paul is really saying, a little sarcastically, “Everyone can exercise the gifts of the Spirit in Church except your women.   They should be silent, getting their understanding of God from their husbands because it’s a shame for them to speak! — Not!  Does the word of God come just from you men?! Of course not!”

The Holy Spirit moves equally on both men and women and Holy Spirit’s ministry is valid for all!

“I will pour out my spirit … and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy” – Joel 2:28b

Let God’s gifts flow!

-fritz
1 – 1st Corinthians 6:15b-16a

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