Libertarian Women In Ephesus: A Response To Douglas J. Moo’s Article, “1 Timothy 2:11-15: Meaning And Significance” -- By: Philip B. Payne

Journal: Trinity Journal
Volume: TRINJ 02:2 (Fall 1981)
Article: Libertarian Women In Ephesus: A Response To Douglas J. Moo’s Article, “1 Timothy 2:11-15: Meaning And Significance”
Author: Philip B. Payne


Libertarian Women In Ephesus:
A Response To Douglas J. Moo’s Article,
“1 Timothy 2:11-15: Meaning And Significance”

Philip B. Payne

Kyoto, Japan

Douglas J. Moo’s article in Trinity Journal 1 (1980) contends that “in every age and place: Women are not to teach men nor to have authority over men because such activity would violate the structure of created sexual relationships and would involve the woman in something for which she is not suited” (p. 82).

Our response will consider, first, exegetical weaknesses, and second, logical weaknesses in Moo’s evaluation of the meaning and significance of 1 Tim 2:11–15. Third, we will examine more closely the situation in the Ephesian church which 1 Timothy addressed. Finally, we will examine whether Paul intended 1 Tim 2:12 as a universal prohibition of women teaching or having authority over men.

I. Exegetical Weaknesses In Moo’s Article

ἡσυχία in 1 Tim 2:11, 12

Moo on p. 64 interprets ἡσυχία as meaning “silence” rather than “quiet.” In support of this he adduces Acts 22:2. Although translations are not always a faithful guide, practically all of the major English versions translate ἡσυχία in Acts 22:2 as “quiet.”1

All of the main Greek lexica including LSJ, BAG, Moulton-Milligan, and Thayer give “quiet” as the primary meaning for ἡσυχία. In 1 Tim 2:11–12 ἡσυχία is translated “quiet” by the majority of English translations. The same is true of every other occurrence of ἡσυχία or ἡσυχιον in the NT, contrary to the impression given by Moo in n.15, p. 64.

When Paul wished to specify “silence” he commonly used σιγάω (1 Cor 14:28, 30, 34). A strong case can be made that every time Paul used ἡσυχία or ἡσύχων he intended to convey the idea of quietness. All major English versions agree that it is this idea and not “silence” that Paul intended in You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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