1 Timothy 2:13-15: Paul’s Retelling Of Genesis 2:4-4:1 -- By: Andrew B. Spurgeon

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 56:3 (Sep 2013)
Article: 1 Timothy 2:13-15: Paul’s Retelling Of Genesis 2:4-4:1
Author: Andrew B. Spurgeon


1 Timothy 2:13-15:
Paul’s Retelling Of Genesis 2:4-4:1

Andrew B. Spurgeon*

* Andrew Spurgeon is professor of NT studies at ACA-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Hosur, Tamil Nadu, India.

I. Introduction

1 Timothy 2:15 is one of the most difficult passages to interpret in the NT.1 One reason is its placement within the contexts where Paul was instructing how men and women ought to pray (2:8-10), and how a γυνή (“woman” or “wife”) and an ἀνδρός (“man” or “husband”) interact (2:11-12)—the latter passage being a greatly debated passage on the topic of women’s role in ministry. Another reason is the verse division between verses 14 and 15 that imply Paul might have left the discussion of Eve and was now speaking of Christian women, a presupposition supported by the presence of the plural verb μείνωσιν (“if they remain”) and Christian terminologies of faith/faithfulness, love, holiness, and clear-mindedness. Another reason is Paul’s supposedly odd statement, “A woman is saved by childbirth,” and the connotations associated with it. The proposal of this paper is that Paul was still narrating Adam and Eve’s stories in all three verses (1 Tim 2:13-15), that is, Paul was retelling of Adam and Eve’s creation (Gen 2:13), fall (Gen 2:14), and restoration (Gen 2:15). And they together form an illustration for his main discussion on prayer, especially as it relates to γυνή-ἀνδρός interactions.

The verses may be subdivided so as to see the connection:

1 Timothy 2:13-15: (a) Adam was created first, (b) then Eve. (c) Adam was not deceived; (d) but his wife, being deceived, came into transgression (e) but she [Eve] would be saved through bearing children, (f) provided they [Adam and Eve] remained in faith/faithfulness, love, and holiness with clear-mindedness.

Genesis 2:4-4:1: (a) The Lord formed the dust from the ground [into] a man, (b) then the Lord

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