from jesus to christ - the first christians

The First Letter to Timothy


The First Letter to Timothy, probably written early in the second century, is believed by many biblical scholars to be the work not of Paul but of someone influenced by Paul's teaching. In addition to a lengthy discussion about widows, deacons, and bishops, the letter contains what can be seen as the most negative statement in the New Testament about women. Women are told that they are not to teach or exercise authority over men, but to keep silence.

1 Timothy 2:8-15.

I desire, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument; also that the women should dress themselves modestly and decently in suitable clothing, not with their hair braided, or with gold, pearls, or expensive clothes, but with good works, as is proper for women who profess reverence for God. Let a woman learn in silence with full submission. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing, provided they continue in faith and love and holiness, with modesty.

From Readings in Her Story: Women in Christian Tradition
Ed. Barbara J. MacHaffie

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published april 1998

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