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« The Walls of Jerico . . . and When Archaeology and the Bible Disagree | Main | The Mormon Mirage, part 1 of 5 by Latayne C. Scott »


Do you think Paul is drawing on protological themes? v. 15 follows immediately on the heals of two points made concerning Adam and Eve. Do you think Paul is playing with the seed promise?

I had always been given to understand that Paul was making a veiled reference to the birth of Christ...

You can't quote a negative passage on staying out of marriage (1 Tim. 4:3) and not quote the positive for those who've been so gifted - 1. Cor. 7. Nor is it really helpful to tie childbearing in with salvation without addressing the very real issue of infertility - in God's sovereignty, even many biblical women struggled with that.

I just finished a paper on this passage (2:8-15) a week ago. My interpretation of verse 15 is heavily influenced by this article by Andreas Kostenberger. I'd highly recommend it; it seems to make the verse fit quite well in its context, and is very reasonable exegesis.

Check it out here:

Saved Through Childbearing?

By the way, I guess I could actually articulate my interpretation. There are three basic elements:

1) I think Paul's use of sozo here carries the less common sense of preservation, or being kept safe (Cf. 1 Cor. 3:15; 7:16; 1 Tim. 4:16; 2 Tim. 4:18).

2) It does not mean that women will be physically protected from the difficulties of childbirth. Rather, with Eve's deception by Satan in view from verse 14, Paul means to say that the woman will be kept safe from deception by the evil one.

3) Childbearing may serve as a representative of the domestic sphere of a woman's role (See 1 Tim. 5:14-15, where teknogonia (childbearing) is used in connection with marriage and managing of the household.).


If a woman embraces her role in the domestic sphere of life (represented in v. 15 by childbearing), she will be kept safe from being deceived by Satan into exchanging God's gender design for the world's (which is fully in keeping with the context of 1 Tim. 2:12-15).

One can note that God does not preserve women from dying in childbirth.

One can also note that God blesses women who perform needed work that has nothing to do with the domestic. ie. Phoebe, Deborah,

These are both equally true. I don't see how all women, with or without children, can be restricted from teaching at university or doing some of the other things that men do.

I don’t know any Greek, so please accept my apologies in advance. But the Timothy passage looks to me, in context, to be a prophecy about Eve (v13-15). Not about women in general. Even though she sinned, their race (humans) will be saved by her offspring (the Messiah). And “––if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control” sounds like the covenant agreement God entered into with his people. Which is only possible for us to uphold in The Messiah.

I also feel that 1 Corinthians 7:6-8 makes it clear that both marriage and celibacy are blessings (gifts from God) for both men and women. He goes as far as to say it's better to remain single, but if we can't control our sexual passions we should marry.

While I agree that women have roles in submission to their husbands and a wife’s role is in support of her husband in care of the home –– the rot we have in our hearts can grow whether we are devoted to our homes and husbands or not. Jesus saves, not wifely devotion –– even atheists can be devoted wives.

I’ve noticed that most preaching nowadays is just aimed at families or couples. We should be careful of this. There are more singles out there today than ever before and also many couples who marry late facing infertility. The gospel is news for everyone, not just families. With respect, I feel sometimes the church makes an idol out of marriage and the family.

Childbirth does confer a protection against certain types of cancer developing. This is one valid interpretation of GOD saving women from danger through childbirth.

From Strong's:
From a primary word σῶς sōs̄ (contraction for the obsolete σάος saos, “safe”); to save, that is, deliver or protect (literally or figuratively): - heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole.

From Thayer:

Thayer Definition:
1) to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction
1a) one (from injury or peril)
1a1) to save a suffering one (from perishing), i.e. one suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health
1b1) to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save or rescue
1b) to save in the technical biblical sense
1b1) negatively
1b1a) to deliver from the penalties of the Messianic judgment
1b1b) to save from the evils which obstruct the reception of the Messianic deliverance
Part of Speech: verb
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from a primary sos (contraction for obsolete saoz, “safe”)
Citing in TDNT: 7:965, 1132

First, if we look at other texts we can see that this verse is unlikely to be talking about women's spiritual salvation,

27As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, "Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!" 28But he said, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!" Luke 11

Second, there are many promises in scripture that do not have immediate fulfillment.

2(B) "Honor your father and mother" (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3"that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land." Eph. 6

Third, we see in other epistles, that the word sozo is used for physical healing,

15And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. James 5

This passage in James is not ambiguous, as it continues,

16Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

I have not yet seen compelling evidence to support any particular exegesis of 1 Tim. 2:15. However, I think we can be certain that Christ did not tell women that they were to seek spiritual salvation by bearing children.

For behold, the days are coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!'

Jesus said, "Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.

Many godly women have committed their lives to mission work and given up the opporunity to bear children for the sake of the gospel.

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