In view of these considerations, what does the phrase “she will be saved in childbearing” mean? Several views have been offered:
(1) Women will be kept safe physically during childbirth.1 However, many godly women have died in childbirth. Moreover, the term “salvation” regularly has a spiritual meaning in Paul’s writings.
(2) Women in Paul’s day would be kept from teaching false doctrine through their maternal roles.”2 Nevertheless, “Paul roots his teaching deeply in the culture-transcending events of the Creation and Fall of man and woman. There is absolutely nothing in the passage which would suggest that Paul issued his instructions because of a local situation of societal pressure.”3
Reprinted (with permission) from Faith Pulpit, March/April, 2010.
The topic of a woman’s role in the church has been one of the most heated debates in contemporary Christianity. Moreover, a woman’s role in the home, as a wife and mother, is under attack in our culture. In this article, Mrs. Martha Hartog, adjunct faculty member at Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, Iowa, addresses this issue with a thoughtful examination of the phrase, “she will be saved in childbearing” (1 Tim. 2:15).
In I Timothy 2:8-15 Paul focused on a woman’s role in the church as well as her role as a mother. The passage closes with these words: “Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control” (2:15).1 A brief look at its context and some grammatical matters should help us understand the meaning and importance of this verse.
Read Part 1.
The biblical Deborah is relevant to today’s Christian woman because she symbolizes strong and courageous femininity in a culture of weak and fearful men. Deborah’s times and our times are similar. The eminent historian, Jacques Barzun, has pointed out that in times of decadence there is a “loss of nerve,” and this was the milieu in which Deborah lived. Decadence had broken down the moral fiber of men and women in Israel. Of all the judges mentioned in the Book of Judges, Deborah is the most virtuous. She lived and served with virtuous faith practically alone in an environment full of men who had simply buckled their knees to the oppression of the enemy. The people of Israel had rejected the Law of Moses by living in flagrant immorality and were now obsequiously serving people they had been called to destroy. Without virtue, therefore without spine.
The all-too-normal American woman lives in a world of boys—men with a pathological immaturity that has emasculated them and shriveled them into moral and spiritual wimps. The home of the average American woman is unmanned.