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.
4: 7 But have nothing to do with irreverent and silly myths. Rather, train yourself in godliness, 8 for, the training of the body has a limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 9 This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance. further refutation of the Gnostics.
4:10 In fact, we labor and strive for this, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of everyone, especially of those who believe. 11 Command and teach these things. This is imiportant because the Gnostic salvation wasnt' for everyone, it was for those who had the secret spark of spirit from the plaroma. Paul is contrasting with the true Gospel, which is for everyone. Training the body and living ascetically is not of value for salvation, this is a direct attack upon the Gnsotic efforts as seeking their brand of mystyical conscoousness.
Paul returns to the topic of women
One argument which has already been brought against my argument,on the ECA board, is that Paul does not name a specific group of women, now does he say "we are fighting a group of women." I have been challenged to prove that he was concerned with women as leaders of the oppossition. But he doesnt' name a spcific group of men either. We know he was oppossing a group of speicific opponents because he says he is (v1:3 "command certian people") those whom Timothy knew, so it was not necessary to name them. But in dealing with the widows list we see that Ephesus Christians has a problem with sensually inclined widows. This is not a commentary on the nature of widows, but probably is a direct raction to the situation in Ephesus;Gnosticism did appeal to women becuase it promised freedeom from Marriage, childbirth and sensual indulgence.
The real widow, left all alone, has put her hope in God and continues night and day in her petitions and prayers; 6 however, she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives. ...11 But refuse to enroll younger widows; for when they are drawn away from Christ by desire, they want to marry, 12 and will therefore receive condemnation because they have renounced their original pledge. 13 At the same time, they also learn to be idle, going from house to house; they are not only idle, but are also gossips and busybodies, saying things they shouldn't say. 14 Therefore, I want younger women to marry, have children, manage their households, and give the adversary no opportunity to accuse us. 15 For some have already turned away to follow Satan. 16 If any believing woman has widows, she should help them, and the church should not be burdened, so that it can help those who are genuinely widows.
Was Paul insisting that no woman is justified in living a single lifestyle? The single woman was not well known in the ancient world, and was usually atttched to some religious communial way of life. But the concern here is celary connected to the larger probelm of Gnostic heresy. He doesn't want to command just any woman to marry, but younger widows. He doesn't say its because they need the "umbrella of authority" or any such rot, but because many have already been lured away to an indulgent and sinful lifestyle. He is refurring to the sitaution at hand, the appeal of Gnstocism for women. We can see this in what he says, because what are these women doing? They are not only living an indulgent and sensual lifestyle, but "say things they shouldn't...turned away to follow satan..." they are part of the overall Gnostic milieu of Ephesus. They gossip and probabbly spread the doctrines of Gnosticism to which Paul has alluded many times as the "doctrines of demons."
In 17 and 18 he speaks again of elders, and of teachers. Of course, because the theme of the letter is the valid leader vs the ingorant "would-be" leader.
19 Don't accept an accusation against an elder unless it is supported by two or three witnesses. 20 Publicly rebuke those who sin, so that the rest will also be afraid. 21 I solemnly charge you, before God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing out of favoritism.
What a conincidence he just happens to talk about disciplining bad leaders while talking about false teachers. He's prompting Timothy to get ready to clean house. We are going to stop the heresy, kick out the bad leaders, and then we will be ready to put in some good leaders who suppport our view and not theirs.
22 Don't be too quick to lay hands on anyone, and don't share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure. Don't lay hands too quickly, because we don't want to ligitimize just anyone, we need to know is this a Gnostic supporter whose going to claim that you have confirmed his authority by laying on of hands? chapter 6:1-2 he deals with slaves. I'm not sure why he sticks that in at tha point. In v 3, he takes up heresy and sound doctrine again: 3 If anyone teaches other doctrine and does not agree with the sound teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the teaching that promotes godliness, 4 he is conceited, understanding nothing, but having a sick interest in disputes and arguments over words. From these come envy, quarreling, slanders, evil suspicions, 5 and constant disagreement among men whose minds are depraved and deprived of the truth, who imagine that godliness is a way to material gain.
Disputes and arguments over words. Gnostics used magical incantations and made a great deal out of termenology.
6 But godliness with contentment is a great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. 9 But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains. 11 Now you, man of God, run from these things; but pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight for the faith; take hold of eternal life, to which you were called and have made a good confession before many witnesses.
13 In the presence of God, who gives life to all, and before Christ Jesus, who gave a good confession before Pontius Pilate, I charge you 14 to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which God will bring about in His own time. He is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords, 16 the only One who has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom none of mankind has seen or can see, to whom be honor and eternal might. Amen. 17 Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant or to set their hope on the uncertainty of wealth, but on God, who richly provides us with all things to enjoy. 18 Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, willing to share, 19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the age to come, so that they may take hold of life that is real. 20 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding irreverent, empty speech and contradictions from the "knowledge" that falsely bears that name. 21 By professing it, some people have deviated from the faith. Grace be with all of you.
He's contrasting the true life of the Spirit with the false doctrine of the Gnostics. The term "knowledge that falsely bears that name" makes it beyond doubt that he's dealing with some early form of Christian/Jewish Gnosticism. The true Godly minister lives by the grade of God, is content with a simple good life, and lives to pass on the love of God, he/she does not become embroiled in metaphysical mumbo jumbo and meaningless speculatrion about asteral hierarchies and illusry "powers" and strange realms of the Plagroma.
It is inescapable that Paul faced battle with a faction of Gnostic teachers who oppossed him, and that many of them, or at least some, were women.
(1) Why does he single out women for silencing?
If no women headed the opposstion, why would it be necessary to prohbit women from teaching? If no women were putting themsevles forward, why would that be mentoined at all? The area in Asia Minor accorded women higher status, it is no streach to assume that there were such women in Gnostic leadership.
(2) He urges Timothy to throw them off the widows list, and gives instructions for cleaning ecclesiastica house.
The Gnostic women may have been trying to get on the widows list because that would legitimize them as chruch members, and pherhaps put them on the first rung of chruch authority. Paul is preparing Timonty to sweep them out. Therefore, the odds are there were false teachers who were Gnostic females and that they sought chruch authority. Thus Paul's prohibition on women teaching and having authority over men is probably in direct response to an immediate sitaution. In so far as he does not put it in the imparative or issue a universal command, it is more than likely that the intent was not for all places and all times, but that immediate sitaution. The authority alluded is of a nature beyond that proper for a chruch offical to hold. The gnostic teacher had the power of a guru and sought big prizes. Paul is negatting the attempts of this group to enter the chruch authority structure through the think end of a wedge.
There were legitimate orthodox female teacher in the Pauline circle, and we turn to that next.Specofoc oppomemnts