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Location: Allentown, PA

I'm a Christian wife and a mom to three daughters and two sons. I'm a member of the board of directors of EmPoWeReD Birth. In my "spare time" I'm a doula, and a certified childbirth instructor.

Monday, May 09, 2005

"She shall be saved through childbearing..."

My husband asked me today: What do you think of this passage I came across a writing from Paul in 1 Tim 2, Your thoughts???

I just wanted your ideas about it because I was reading this very wacky guy's view on sex and he quotes this verse and I thought.. "scripture twisting" and I brought up the whole chapter and was kinda surprised at what I read:

9I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with
braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10but with good deeds,
appropriate for women who profess to worship God.
11A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. 13For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15But women[a] will be saved[b] through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

What is Paul's problem with women with braided hair? Was this a cultural thing? And what does he mean by verse 14. It seems very chauvanistic?

So of course I gave my response to him...I hope that is not in contradiction to the instruction of the passage. ;-)

The braids are a cultural thing...women were getting really outrageous with intricate braids in their hair and he was saying that they should focus less on hairstyle and clothes, and more on being the type of women God wants them to be. Its a statement kind of along the lines of Christ saying that for someone to truly love Him he must hate his family. Christ doesn't truly want people to hate their families, its just that our love for Him should be so great that our love for our families is so paltry in comparison as to seem like hate. Likewise, I do not believe that Paul is banning all braids, but he is saying that their significance should be WAY below the significance of a woman's internal beauty.

And no, vs. 14 is not chauvinistic. Not mentioning Adam's sin is not meant to imply that he did not sin--but it accurately states that he was not deceived. Eve was deceived. I've heard many teachings that Adam's sin was worse because he knew full out that what he was doing was wrong--God had told him directly not to eat of the tree. But Eve was deceived--tricked--into eating it. Yes, she did sin since she had some knowledge that she should not eat of it, but her knowledge was less full than Adam's.

Now that reference to childbirth...ooo...that is often ignored. It's just too "difficult" to figure out. While it is discussed in the very extensive commentary on the passage available at Bible Gateway, the discussion hardly comes to a conclusion, and kind of leaves it out there as a passage that can't really be interpretted.

My thoughts is that it is that most commentators don't know what to make of it because of their preconceived notions about birth. This passage mirrors Genesis 3--and if you really think about it, it is interesting. Because Eve's sin is mentioned but not Adam's, it has been taught in the past that Eve's sin is worse than Adam's. This is partly what was used by the church to justify the idea that women should not receive pain medication in labor because they had to atone for their sins through pain in labor--believing the passage meant that women would be saved through experiencing that pain.

So what then happens to the childless woman? Can she not be saved? No--and that is part of where this interpretation falls apart.

This passage does not mention Adam's sin...but clearly Adam sinned, so one can not interpret the silence about that in this passage to mean that Adam did not sin. No, this passage is a CLARIFICATION on Eve's sin. She was deceived. Adam out and out disobeyed, there was no deception. This passage gives women not a punishment, but a HOPE. It is not saying that through the process of childbearing that a woman will somehow earn salvation, but rather that if she will "continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety" she can possibly be restored to what God intended childbirth to be--not a painful agony, but a blessing--that is to say "saved through the period of childbearing of the agony." This is expounded upon rather beautifully by Jennifer Vanderlaan in her workbook "The Lord of Birth" that I use for my Christian classes.


Blogger Gem said...

I was asked recently in a discussion "Where was Adam when Eve ate of the fruit?". I have this picture in my head of Eve and the serpent alone, him deceiving her, then Eve going to Adam and saying "Hey, look at this cool fruit!" But no, he was RIGHT THERE WITH HER! Did he tell her not to listen or question her about what she was doing? Nope. If a man is answerable for his family, Adam is surely answerable for the sin of all mankind, not Eve. He was right there, allowed her to fall into sin, sinned himself, then when asked by God about it, blamed her!

7:57 AM, May 11, 2005  
Blogger Glenn said...

A careful search of KJV Gen.3;9-13 shows that God asks Adam what he did. Adam's honestly answers. Eve is then asked and honestly answers. There is NO blame. Adam and Eve are NOT cursed. Gen.3:14 Satan is cursed. Gen.3:17 The Lord said "cursed is the ground for thy sake". Gen.3:21 In his tender mercy the Lord God made "coats of skins and clothed them"
Gen.3:22 The Lord is apparently pleased that Adam became more like God "And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as ONE OF US, to know good and evil" Knowledge is one of the attributes of God.If we today did not have our eyes opened to know the difference between good and evil, how many horrible sins would we commit?
KJV Genesis does NOT state that that Adam or Eve sinned. The only statement mentioned by the Lord in Gen.3:17 "And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened to the voice of thy thy wife and hast eaten of the tree"
If God has been merciful to them should not we be merciful also?
Consider also: If Adam had not eaten of the tree would that have made the word of the Lord null and void as stated in Gen.2:17?
In the garden there is no evidence that Adam and Eve in their child like innocence ever had children. Was there a change needed to have their eyes opened by the tree of knowlege?
If Adam had not eaten, Eve would be cast out and Adam would have frustrated God's command to mutiply and replenish the earth.
If neither had eaten of the tree of knowledge then Adam and Eve would have lived in an eternal marriage status forever.
If they had not eaten there would have been no need for our Redeemer Jesus Christ! This also would further frustrate God's plan because Christ had chosen us before the foundation of the world was even laid Eph. 1:4, 2Tim. 1:9, Also note that Christ was foreordained BEFORE the foundation of the world. 1Peter 1:20 Also note that in Rev. 13:8 Christ is referred to as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
In conclusion, the bible clearly testifies that Christ was foreordained to make his atoneing sacrifice before the foundations of the world and if Adam and Eve had failed to partake of the fruit, then God's plan would have failed and his perfect plan to provide a savior would have been no longer needed. This failure would also have made God a liar for the bible clearly states that there is only one (1) name in heaven whereby man can be saved.

8:52 PM, April 30, 2006  
Anonymous Glenn said...

Dear Jenn,
Your response to 1 Timothy 2 was beautifully given.

I hope the following comments may be food for thought and deeper insight.
All scripture has been given by holy men of God as moved upon by the Holy Ghost. Does it also stand to reason that we can only comprhend those scriptures when we our selves are moved upon by that same holy spirit? Vs 11 and 12 are not given to make the woman less or inferior in any way. Rather these verses clearly imply that a tremendous responsibility and burden is laid upon the man (husband)to search know and love the scriptures and live a perfect example of humility and righteousness by following Christ's teachings so that the wife would with joy submit to the daily spiritual feast from a loving husband who was not barren or unfruitful in the love and knowlege of the scriptures. How many women would honor and rejoice if their husbands would only do the above? Is there anything that prevents a husband from becoming as from becoming as faithful as any prophet or apostle in the bible? The husband is not to "rule as a dictator", but rather to "preside" as a perfect Christ like example so that he would become worthy of his wifes honor.

How may a woman be saved by child birth? Before responding further on this subject I recognize that many wonderful women through no fault of theirs may never have the opportunity to marry a wonderful man.Also many married women are unable to have children of their own. Our hearts feel their pain and my witness is that Christ has ALL power will grant them all their righteous desires. They need not feel inferiour in any way.

Did Eve know she would bear faithful Able or Seth? Did Noah's mother know she would bear a great prophet? Or Abraham's mother? Did Rachel know she would bear Joseph who was sold into Egypt to become their temporal salvation from the 7 year drought? Did a humble hebrew woman know the great spiritual destiny of her son Moses? This names only a few.

Look at this another way is there anyone who could be saved without a child bearing mother? Name me even ONE? You cannot! If Mary had not given birth to Jesus Christ then NONE of us could be saved. For do not the scriptures clearly testify that there is only one name under heaven whereby man can be saved,the MAN CHRIST JESUS.

Only when we can comprehend this in it's full majesty depth, height and all the ramifications therof can we understand the miraculous gift of life provided by noble woman! How glorious is noble womanhood and noble motherhood! Indeed without the birth of the Master you or I or anyone could not be saved....

I hope the above will give somone food for thought and a better insight to the vital role of women in the salvation of all mankind.

11:20 PM, May 06, 2006  
Anonymous Glenn said...

If there are any who still question the high regard and station that women occupy, and whom should be honored by all men then consider the following:

I was not man, but "Mary" whom was honored to be the very first to behold and experience that mighty transformation from bitter and painful grief to ecstatic joy in that wondrous moment as she recognized the resurrected and risen Lord! The very next appearance of our risen Lord was again, not to men, but to those "other faithful women". Here we see manifest, the great honor and respect of our risen Lord for women.

As I see it, it becomes the sacred responsibility of all men to so honor, protect and respect all women as our exemplar Jesus Christ. If this were universally followed, today, then we would have achieved a great milestone towards a vitally needed step to prepare ourselves to dwell in that great millennial period when he shall reign "whose right it is to reign".

8:54 PM, May 28, 2007  

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