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Bible Commentaries
1 Timothy 2

Gann's Commentary on the BibleGann on the Bible

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Verse 1

1 Timothy 2:1

Prayer is 1) vital and 2) varied. To be done with a heart of reverence, of concern and confidence.

2:1 prayers.. In its various forms and aims, prayer is the cornerstone of worship. If people do not believe enough in God to address him in clear, coherent speech, other worship exercises (praise, confession, Scripture reading, proclamation) are unlikely to be fruitful.

First -- in this set of instructions regarding worship

Supplication -- concerning deep personal needs of the heart, fervent cries.

2:1 petitions.. The word deesis refers to requests made on the basis of urgency or need. Sometimes these requests are made on behalf of others as an act of intercession (see Luke 22:32; Acts 8:24).

Prayers -- general communication with God

Intercessions -- petitions submitted to a higher being, pleading on behalf of others. Believers demonstrate their love for others through intercession. Intercession also presents believers with an opportunity to show their unity.

Giving of thanks -- Gratitude,

All -- the key word. all people Regardless of race, social status, or gender. God does not discriminate between persons (see Acts 10:45); neither should the believers in Ephesus. The prayers offered on behalf of all people become an expression of faith in God and love for others (1 Timothy 1:14). This is the kind of good work Timothy should encourage among believers.

The Christian’s Duty to His Nation

1 Timothy 2:1-2 Pray for the king, and all in authority.

Romans 13:1 ff. vs. 1-7 Be in subjection to government.

Acts 4:19 More important to listen to God

Acts 5:29 We ought to obey God rather than men.

Mark 12:17 To render to Caesar (pay our taxes)

Matthew 22:21 -- Render to Caesar His Due

Luke 20:25

Romans 13:1 Remember that governments are appointed by God

John 19:11 God grants governments their power

Romans 13:2 Not to be a rebel to overthrow

Romans 13:3 Governments must support good

Romans 13:4 Governments are God’s servants

They are God’s ministers of vengeance

Romans 14:5 We are to be in subjection for two reasons.

Romans 13:6 We are to pay our taxes

Romans 13:7 Render them their due, respect and honor

The Nation’s Responsibility

Romans 13:3 Support good, punish the evil

Romans 13:4 Execute justice upon the evil

What God Says About Nations

Proverbs 14:34 Nations obliged to do right.

2 Chronicles 7:14 Nations to turn from wicked ways

Verse 2

1 Timothy 2:2

Prayer for Kings ..Ezra 6:10; Jeremiah 29:7;

2:2. kings -- The Ephesian church was to pray “for everyone” (v. 1, lit., “all men”), but especially for the leaders of civil government. Having recently been released from his Roman imprisonment, Paul was greatly aware of the deteriorating political atmosphere.

2:2 all those who are in authority.. This instruction parallels Jesus’ command to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44).

2:2 all who are in authority: Those who had the power to persecute or to protect the church (see also Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17).

Quiet -- absence of external disturbances, (cf 1 Timothy 2:11)

quiet life.. In this context, “quiet” does not mean “silent” or “inactive;” rather, it describes a life free from the turmoil of persecution (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12)

Peaceable = inner

Honest -- reverence, dignity

godliness -- The word eusebeia refers to living according to religious standards and values.

The word godliness and its cognates (also at 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 Timothy 4:7-8; 1 Timothy 5:4; 1 Timothy 6:3, 1 Timothy 6:5-6, 1 Timothy 6:11) sum up the beliefs, attitudes, and lifestyles that accord with right and reverential knowledge of God, obedience, and authentic worship.

dignity -- The state of being worthy of respect. Persecution was used to shame believers and pressure them to renounce their faith.

[Lesson: Aim of prayer; for 1) Lost v.4; 2) Leaders, v.2; 3) Life]

Verse 3

1 Timothy 2:3

good and acceptable -- Thus Paul defended his instructions by pointing out that such a prayer is good, and pleases God our Savior (cf. 1 Timothy 1:1). Literally, the Greek says that such a prayer is “acceptable before” (in the presence of) God. Many prayers are unacceptable to God, but not this one.

Verse 4

1 Timothy 2:4

God’s will that we pray for all men, for God desires all people to be saved.

Key of verse = all men, cf. vs 1, not for just an "elect" nation of Israel.

come knowledge of the truth -- Refers to hearing, understanding, believing, and committing one’s self to following (obeying) the gospel message. It covers all aspects of conversion Romans 10:17; Hebrews 11:6; Luke 24:47; Hebrews 5:9;

Four arguments for universal prayer to the One True God -- 1 Timothy 2:5-6

1) One God for all men

2) One mediator for all

3) Availability of ransom for all

4) Paul’s commission to the Gentiles - cf 1 Timothy 2:7

Verse 5

1 Timothy 2:5

One God for all men! One God means one faith and one gospel for all people.

mediator.. A person who brings reconciliation between two parties in conflict. The need for a mediator testifies to the sinfulness of humanity, while the provision of a mediator demonstrates the kindness of God.

Jesus “mediates,” or serves as the bridge, between the invisible God and people who seek God (John 1:18; 1 Peter 3:18).

the man Christ Jesus.. He is fully human and fully God, and thus able to reconcile God and humanity (see 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:5-6).

Various people groups do not each have their own gods, though they may imagine they do; all must come to the one true God for salvation. This means that Jesus, God’s incarnate Son, is the one and only mediator, the only way to salvation (cf. Acts 4:12).

Four arguments for universal prayer to the One True God -- 1 Timothy 2:5-6

1) One God for all men

2) One mediator for all men

3) Availability of ransom for all men - 1 Timothy 2:6

4) Paul’s commission to the Gentiles - cf 1 Timothy 2:7

Verse 6

1 Timothy 2:6

Ransom for all -- payment exchange; this speaks of the worth of Christ.

2:6 Ransom -- (Gk. antilytron) refers to purchasing someone’s release and describes a common Pauline and NT understanding of Christ’s work as redemptive (cf. Galatians 1:4; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 5:2; and related NT concepts of “redemption” [Luke 1:68; Luke 2:38; Luke 24:21; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 9:12; 1 Peter 1:18] and “ransom” [Matthew 20:28; cf. Revelation 5:9]).

This language also reflects Jesus’ words, “the Son of Man came … to give his life as a ransom [Gk. lytron] for many” (Mark 10:45). Since Jesus gave himself as this “ransom,” the idea of substitution (dying on behalf of sinners) is also included.

Testified -- the truth mentioned in v. 1 Timothy 2:5 & 6.

Due time -- when the fulness of time was come, Galatians 4:4; Hebrews 1:1-2; Titus 1:3.

Verse 7

1 Timothy 2:7

Preacher and apostle -- to "testify" to things in v.6, this was Paul’s commission as an apostle; appointed a "Herald" (Gk. keryx) to proclaim this "good news." Paul did not appoint himself, his authority to herald this message comes from God.

Paul’s assurances of his truthfulness were stylistic devices designed to stress the importance of his point (cf. Romans 9:1; 2 Corinthians 11:31; Galatians 1:20). Paul may be addressing charges that his ministry is bogus.

a teacher of the Gentiles -- Underscores the universality of the gospel message and God’s desire that all people be saved (see note on 1 Timothy 2:4). Paul’s reminder to the Ephesian church that Christ came for both Jewish people and Gentiles.

Verse 8

1 Timothy 2:8

Men -- ἀνήρ anēr -- specific for men, males, (acc. pl. masc.) In the public assembly Paul specified that men (andras, lit., “males”) everywhere are to lead the congregation in prayer. Moreover, these prayers were to be offered with lifted hands. This was a common Old Testament practice (cf., e.g., 1 Kings 8:22; 2 Chronicles 6:13; Ezra 9:5; Psalms 28:2; Psalms 141:2; Lamentations 2:19). (It was also common in the pagan religions of the first century and in the early church. Paintings on the walls of the catacombs in Rome portray this posture.)

Everywhere -- Not limited to Ephesus or the area where Timothy was; not a provincial command, or custom, but universal.

Lifting up hands -- Psalms 141:2; Psalms 63:4; Psalms 28:2

Cf. Solomon in 1 Kings 8:22

2:8 lifting up holy hands -- A common posture in prayer (Exodus 9:29; 1 Kings 8:22; Psalms 28:2).

Holy hands -- devoted, pleasing to God, cf. James 4:8 "Holy hands” symbolize living according to God’s standards.

Wrath -- anger, (protects the attitude)

Doubting -- dissension, disputings, debate (? within one’s self ) -- disputings or quarreling (thus a call for harmony and unity.)

Our Approach to Prayer

1) Without defilement = in holiness

2) Without discord = in harmony

3) Without doubts = in hope

Verse 9

1 Timothy 2:9

In like manner - i.e. "everywhere" v. 8 1 Timothy 2:8

Adorn -- kosmeo -- to make something or someone attractive

Shamefacedness -- decency

Broided -- braided (a common hair style of the time was to brad strands of gold and silver into an elaborate upswept hair-do.)

The specifics Paul mentioned (braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes) become inappropriate when they indicate misplaced values (cf. 1 Peter 3:3). These styles seem have been associated with the temple prostitutes. Christians must be careful about letting a pagan culture set their fashions.

Peter gives similar counsel and points to the example of righteous OT women (1 Peter 3:3-6).

Lesson: sign of worldliness in excessive devotion of time and money on outward adornment. cf. 1 Peter 3:3

Lesson point:

1) Attire -- vs. 9-10 - meekness & restraint - not vain

2) Attitude -- 11-14 - (why - v. 13-14)

3) Assurance -- vs. 15

Special Study Note:

2:8–15 These verses have raised much controversy in recent decades and deserve special comment. Paul holds to the fact that (Genesis 1:27; 1 Corinthians 11:11-12), Adam’s origin differs from Eve’s (Genesis 2:15-25; 1 Corinthians 11:8-9) and therefore their assigned roles by God differ. Their roles in God’s church are in ways that are both important but not always identical.

There are three general approaches to vv. 8–15.

(1) Some feel that Paul’s views on women in this section are patriarchal, wrong, and do not reflect God’s will.

(2) Others agree that Paul has a patriarchal outlook, but they accept that his counsel was binding for the church of his time. Yet they hold that since some in the West now affirm a post-patriarchal or egalitarian view of marriage and society, Paul’s teaching must give way to current relational and social convictions. A variation of this view is that there were unique circumstances at Ephesus, and the teaching of vv. 8–15 is not binding in those cultures in which social circumstances have changed.

Some hold that Paul’s teachings here addressed to women may allude to a movement in Roman society that undermined traditional family values and caused widespread concern in secular Greek and Roman society.

(3) Still others, including most Christians through almost all of church history, have understood Paul’s teaching to be that in general men are called to certain leadership responsibilities in the church that women under most circumstances are not.

This does not means that men are more capable or gifted than women but that God has distinct expectations for women and for men, expectations consistent with differences he bestowed on them in creation.

Verse 10

1 Timothy 2:10

2:10. Instead of stressing external beauty, according to the world’s standards, Christian women should manifest a different set of values. They should adorn themselves with (lit., “by means of”) good deeds. They should depend on their faithful service in the name of Christ to render them attractive to others.

Becometh -- proper, appropriate

Godliness -- devoutness, piety, reverence toward God

Refers to women who claim to live according to God’s standards and values.

Verse 11

1 Timothy 2:11

2:11 a woman -- Paul uses the indefinite singular gyne, “a woman,” in both vv. 11–12. This is a switch from the plural used in vv. 9–10. The subtle change in wording may serve to mark this usage as generic and applicable to all women everywhere in the church instead of just the wealthy women criticized in vv. 9–10.

Learn ..learn, thus not shut out, or denied a learning experience

Silence -- "quiet" in 1 Timothy 2:2 ( cf. 1 Corinthians 14:28; 1 Corinthians 14:34) not to be insubordinate

The word, hesychia, translated “quietness” in 1 Timothy 2:11 and silent in verse 12, does not mean complete silence or no talking. It is clearly used elsewhere (Acts 22:2; 2 Thessalonians 3:12) to mean “settled down, undisturbed, not unruly.” A different word (sigao) means “to be silent, to say nothing” (cf. Luke 18:39; 1 Corinthians 14:34).

Subjection -- submissiveness, (obedient = 1 Timothy 3:4). The unity, harmony, or the Father & Son is not threatened by the Son’s subjection. Lit. "lined up under." hupotage. [Makes one think of the English word, queue or Cue.]

The females in the congregation should receive instruction from the male leadership with quietness and full submission.

Verse 12

1 Timothy 2:12

2:12 permit -- When the NT uses this word, it always refers to what a figure in authority allows (or prohibits). As an apostle (see 1 Timothy 2:7), Paul fits this description. The first-person form (“I do not”) makes sense as Paul pens these personal reminders to Timothy.

Teach -- Acts 11:26; Titus 2:3-4; (cf. Philip’s four virgin daughters who prophesied, or taught by inspiration, Acts 21:8-9)

2:12 teach or to exercise authority over a man -- The closest parallel to this instruction appears in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. The context there is the church’s public gatherings.

(1) Women are not permitted to publicly teach Scripture and/or Christian doctrine to men in church (the context implies these topics), and (2) women are not permitted to exercise authority over men in church. (The reference for both “teaching” and “exercise authority” here is within the context of the assembled church.)

Women teaching other women, and women teaching children, are not in view here, and both are encouraged elsewhere (on women teaching women, cf. Titus 2:4; on women teaching children, cf. 2 Timothy 1:5). Nor does this passage have in view the role of women in leadership situations outside the church (e.g., business or government).

The presence of the word or (Gk. oude) between “to teach” and “to exercise authority” indicates that two different activities are in view, not a single activity of “authoritative teaching.”

Usurp authority -- ASV "to have dominion" the role of one who is master.

“Exercise authority” represents Greek authenteo, found only here in the NT. Over 80 examples of this word exist outside the NT, however, clearly establishing that the meaning is “exercise authority” (not “usurp authority” or “abuse authority,” etc., as sometimes has been argued).

Since the role of pastor/elder/overseer is rooted in the task of teaching and exercising authority over the church, this verse would also exclude women from serving in this office (cf. 1 Timothy 3:2).

Silence -- quietness, cf note on v. 11 (1 Timothy 2:11

When Paul calls for the women to be quiet, he means “quiet” with respect to the teaching.

Verse 13

1 Timothy 2:13

For -- the reason! For introduces the biblical basis for the prohibition of v. 12.

First .. 1) Thus, fact of priority in the order of creation 1 Corinthians 11:8, an eternal truth, thus an eternal principle. Was Adam was given dominion before God made Eve. Genesis 2:19-20 or, consider Genesis 1:27-28.

Created -- “Formed” (Gk. plasso) is the same term that the Septuagint uses in Genesis 2:7-8, which evidently refers to creation (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:8-9). Paul’s argument indicates that gender roles in the church are not simply the result of the fall but are rooted in creation and therefore apply to all cultures at all times.

2) cf. v. 14 (1 Timothy 2:14) the woman was deceived - an established principle Genesis 3:1-7. She left Adam’s headship, leadership, and Saan deceived her by lies.

Some interpreters argue that the prohibition of 1 Timothy 2:12 does not apply today because:

(1) the reason for Paul’s command was that women were teaching false doctrine in Ephesus; or

(2) Paul said this because women in that culture were not educated enough to teach; or

(3) this was a temporary command for that culture only.

But Paul’s appeal to the creation of Adam and Eve argues against those explanations. In addition, the only false teachers named in connection with Ephesus are men (1 Timothy 1:19-20; 2 Timothy 2:17-18; cf. Acts 20:30), and no historical evidence exists of women teaching false doctrine in first-century Ephesus.

Moreover, ancient inscriptions and literature speak of a number of well-educated women in that area of Asia Minor at that time (cf. also Luke 8:1-3; Luke 10:38-41; John 11:21-27; Acts 18:2-3, 11, Acts 18:18-19, 26; 2 Timothy 4:19).

Finally, some have claimed that this passage only prohibits a “wife” from teaching or exercising authority over her “husband,” since the Greek words gyne and aner (translated “woman” and “man” in 1 Timothy 2:12) can also mean “wife” and “husband” in certain contexts. Given the immediate context of vv. 1 Timothy 2:8-9, however, the most likely meaning of the Greek words gyne and aner here in vv. 11–14 would seem to be “woman” and “man” (rather than “wife” and “husband”).

Verse 14

1 Timothy 2:14

See the extended note on previous verse.

2:14 Adam was not deceived, but the woman was. Paul’s second reason.

Deceived -- the woman was deceived - an established principle. Genesis 3:1-7 She left Adam’s headship, leadership, and Saan deceived her by lies. (Not saying that Adam was less sinful, but the reason for sinning was different. She was deceived, she trusted a lie.)

Verse 15

1 Timothy 2:15

2:15 This is a notoriously difficult-to-understand verse.

Saved in childbearing -- Several ideas:

1) She, Eve, (and everyone) would be saved by a child that a woman would bear -- Genesis 3:15 - the child being the Messiah (definite article in the Greek, gen. sing, fem.) Alternatively, he may be arguing that women will be saved because a woman helped bring about the defeat of the devil (compare Genesis 3:15).

2) Perhaps an idiom, referring to the entire role that God has given the woman in homemaking and child-rearing 1 Timothy 5:14. God’s role for her to is to guide the home and to diligently teacher her family (meaning also the rearing of her children) cf. 2 Timothy 3:14-15.

The words saved through childbirth have given rise to several diverse interpretations: (a) preserved (physically) through the difficult and dangerous process of childbirth; (b) preserved (from insignificance) by means of her role in the family; (c) saved through the ultimate childbirth of Jesus Christ the Savior (an indirect reference to Genesis 3:15); and (d) kept from the corruption of society by being at home raising children.

Lexical/Grammatical: Literally “if they continue,” a shift from generic singular (“she will be saved”) to generic plural; in the translation the singular has been maintained in keeping with English style ["if she (pl) continue in faith -- ." WG]

The meaning of the verse must also consider the conditional clause at the end: if they, that is, mothers, continue in faith, love, and holiness with propriety. Whatever one understands the first part of the verse to be affirming, it is contingent on a woman’s willingness to abide in these four virtues.

They -- Woust believes it refers to wife and husband. But probably to all homemakers collectively (WG).

Some understand this to mean that a woman will find her greatest satisfaction and meaning in life, not in seeking the male role, but in fulfilling God’s design for her as wife and mother with all “faith, love, and holiness with propriety”.

Continue in faith... = Homemaking alone will not save a women, she must also be a person of faith and holiness, etc. People are saved as they persevere (continue) in the faith to carry out the Lord’s calling in their life, one example being the unique role of women in childbearing. (The change from singular she to plural they is a literal rendering of the Gk. text.) Matthew 10:22; Matthew 24:13, etc.

Bibliographical Information
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 2". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gbc/1-timothy-2.html. 2021.
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