Not Permitted to Teach (4) Opponents were Gnostics

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1 Tim.2:11

11 A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. 12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. 14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 15 But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.

Characteristics of opponents indicates Gnosticism is chief concern

1 Timothy 2:

1 First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, 2 for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and man, a man, Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself--a ransom for all, a testimony at the proper time. 7 For this I was appointed a herald, an apostle (I am telling the truth; I am not lying), and a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. 8 Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument.

Why does Paul suddenly break into this disjointed rambel about praying for peace, and then gives a summary of the Gospel? At first glance this would seem to be some irrelivant tiadribe, disconnected from the rest. Yet, he just got through talking about God's mercy to him, about thow who want to teach the law and abotu Grace. He's giving Timothy a breif summation, or a stamp of the Gospel, of the key message that Timothy should work with. He knows Timothy had heard this a thousand times and knows it, but he's reinterating it. Why? Because they are combating heresy. They are dealing with people who think that slavation is a matter of secret knowledge pertaining to hidden hieararchies and unkown spiritual powers and erotic conscousness that justifies sexual escapades. Paul is making sure Timonthy doesn't get cought up in the dertials, he's giving him a key to focuss on,keeping on message. He knows Timothy knows the right doctrine, that he wont be taken in by the Gnostic aburdities, of creatures with names like "bildobab" and the talk of "archones" and so forth. But he wants to offer a simple tag line that focusses the truth on the core of the message.Salvation is not about knowing strange geneologies, nor is it a matter of knowing what to say to the powers when we die, (as the Gnostics whom Iranaeus comabtted believed) but of Jesus Christ lays down his life as a rasom for many.

From this point he transists into speaking of women.

2:9 Also, the women are to dress themselves in modest clothing, with decency and good sense; not with elaborate hairstyles, gold, pearls, or expensive apparel, 10 but with good works, as is proper for women who affirm that they worship God.

Why is he suddenly concerned with women's hairstyles? Because the Gnostic sect was headed by women who believed their secret knoweldge of spiritual advancement, their knowledge of those endless geneologies, justified them in their pursuit of sensual pleasure. They forbade marraige, they actually perached the evils of childbirth. In Ephiphanius day they would much worse. They would wind up going far beyond abortion in their descrations of the unborn. Paul is trying to ground Timothy in an understanding of what makes a woman godly and holy. Not knowing endless geneologies, not knowing what to say to the powers, but knowing God in such a way as to live a life empowered by the grace of God.

He then launches into the "subordiantion passages" that we have just looked at (2:11-15).

11 A woman should learn in silence with full submission. 12 I do not allow a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; instead, she is to be silent. 13 For Adam was created first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and transgressed. 15 But she will be saved through childbearing, if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with good sense.

Connect this to what he says in Chapter one:

My paraphrase:

command certin ones not to teach heresy.They want to be teachers of he law but dont' know anything about it, they think it's a matter of geneoliges and secret knowlege, but they don't even understand the basic nature of the law as moral, how could they understand the Gospel as a life enpowered by grace that takes us above the law? Keep people on trace, keep the women focussed on a holy life (becusee its women who lead the other faction). I don't permit them to teach at this time, but permit them to learn in a good studious atmosphere. They will keep salvation and not be condmened through childbirth (even though the opponents teach that chiildbirth is a sin) if they live a godly life and remain in the faith.

From here he transists into discussion of overseers, quailfications for Elders and Deacons. Again this seems very disjointed and stuck in for no real reason. the disjointed nature might imply that he was rushed. Of course it's usually taken as an arguement for the pesudopigraphal nature of the work.

1 Timothy 3: 1 - 16

3:1 This saying is trustworthy: "If anyone aspires to be an overseer, he desires a noble work."

It says "anyone," not just men. Of course the complamentarians always take this to be qualified by what follows. They assume that since it doesn't spcirifically say women can be Elders too, that they cant' be. In my view that is just aburdly legalistic. It's only habitual that trandically incluscive language used "he" for indefinate people of either gender. Moreover, after discussing Elders (v2-7)and then Decons (v8-10)He speaks of "the women" here translated as "wives."

3:11 Wives, too, must be worthy of respect, not slanderers, self-controlled, faithful in everything. 12 Deacons must be husbands of one wife, managing their children and their own households competently. 13 For those who have served well as deacons acquire a good standing for themselves, and great boldness in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

The Greek uses the definate article: "the women." It probably should be translated "women" rather than wives, and may as eaisly refur to famle Elders and Deacons. Of course we know that Phoebe was refurred to as "decon" althuogh not Dacnos but a word more often translated as "minister." In any case, he's brining oversight into it because the point of the epistle is to combat those who would lead while being unqualified. So of cousre he talks about what makes a leader qualified.

v14 sounds like it should be the ending of the book, but there are still three chapters after it:

3:14 I write these things to you, hoping to come to you soon. 15 But if I should be delayed, I have written so that you will know how people ought to act in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. The cause of the rush is uncertain, but the letter may be constructed out of several letters, small notes, sent together at one time, as though he saved them up. Yet the concerns don't change, the next secotion contains even more references to the heretics and their views.

v 16 he gives another summary of the message, these are phrases he wants Timothy to use in countering the Gnsotics:

3:16 And most certainly, the mystery of godliness is great: He was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.

What is the nature of this progration, manifested/flesh>justified/spirit>see/angels>preached/Gentiles>believed/world>taken/glory? Clearly this is aimed at the Gnostics. The bit about manifested in the flesh is a dead give away. The only reason that would be impoprtant to say is in combatting Gnostics. No one else doubted that Christ was a flesh and blood being. He's using the Gnostic dichotomy of flesh/spirit, to say that Jesus had both based covered, he was both flesh and spirit."Seen by Angles" is important because as Ramsey pointed out, the cult of angle worship was strong in Asia Minor. Angles and spiritual powers were very crucial to the Gnostics. Paul is reminding them Jesus is above all such beings. He goes further to remind them that Jesus is being believed by gentiles. He is not just for the Jews only, there was a current of Jewish Gnosticism at Ephesus. Taken up to glory is important for Gnostics, since their ulitimate goal was to obtain glorification through reunity wiht the Pleroma ("fullness") the spirit realm free from matter. Clearly Paul is preaching the Gospel to Gnostics in thsi passage.

1 Timothy 4: 1 - 16

Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, 2 through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. 3 They forbid marriage and demand abstinence from foods that God created to be received with gratitude by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing should be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 since it is sanctified by the word of God and by prayer.

This passage is so veg that in my Chruch of Christ youth we were told it predicted the Catholic chruch. Yet for one who has studied the Gnostics a great deal, it's more than obvious that Paul was dealing with a Gnostic faction at Ephesus and was trying, perhaps racing against time, to arm Timothy to deal with them. Earmarks of Gnosticism seen clearly in bolding above. The docetic kind of Gnostic forbade marraige and abtrained from many kinds of foods. Matter was considered evil for the Gostmics and senses meyered one in the physical.It would be childish and naive to assume that Paul issues this warning for us today and not for the man he writes the letter to. Obviously he's telling Timothy that the group he fights is this group warned aginst, because this is what they do.

Follow the analyssi for the rest of the book on the next page.

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