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Bible Commentaries
1 Timothy 2

The Bible Study New TestamentBible Study NT

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Verse 1


First of all, then. It is plain that Paul here speaks about church worship, But see 1 Timothy 2:8; 1 Timothy 2:15. Yet at this time, worship had not been divorced from ordinary life, as it has in our time. If the church-meeting is viewed as “The Assembly” in the sense of a discrete entity, it is easy to begin believing that the church only exists when “The Assembly” has come together. I urge that. Paul does not fear the circumcision party, and he boldly urges that Christians pray for the people of all nations and religions. Paul uses four words to describe prayer in general, so that every kind is covered. Paul understands better than we do, the relationship of Christian to non-Christian (1 John 5:19), but he also knows that God’s purpose is to save as many as possible! Every Christian must have that same attitude!!! “God’s act in Christ is available to all mankind! My own work among the Gentiles is one example of God bringing His estranged children home.”

Verse 2


For kings and all others. Whether they are “worthy” has nothing to do with it. Christians are to pray for all who are in authority, no matter who they are or what they are! [It is very possible that the circumcision party opposed praying for non-Christians.] That we may live. Plummer writes: “Only in the attitude of mind which makes us pray and give thanks for our fellowmen is the tranquility of a godly life possible.” [Johnson takes this to mean the prayers ask God to overrule the authorities to allow Christians to live and worship in peace. But this might contradict 1 Thessalonians 3:3.]

Verse 3


This is good. The habit of praying for rulers and all men (mankind).

Verse 4


Who wants all men to be saved. This is why God acted in Christ! He has made salvation available to everyone who will seize it (Revelation 22:17).

Verse 5


For there is one God. “Not many gods, as the pagans think.” And there is one. “Not one for Jews and another for Gentiles!” God’s act in Christ is universal, not restricted to any one nation as was the Law. The man Christ Jesus. Our High Priest understands us (Hebrews 4:14-16)! As Paul writes, there was a danger that the humanness of Christ would be denied. Compare 1 John 5:6 and note.

Verse 6


Who gave himself. See John 10:17-18 and notes. The entire earthly career of Christ Jesus, from his virgin birth to his ascension, was to redeem (Revelation 5:9-10) all men. Compare 2 Corinthians 5:14; Romans 5:18 and notes. That was the proof. The right time for proving Christ gave himself to redeem all men, was after he had done it. Compare Acts ch 2. MacKnight writes: “So that, since Christ gave himself for all, it is certainly the will of God that we should pray for all.”

Verse 7


And this is why. To tell the Good News of God’s act in Christ! See Acts 26:18. I am not lying. Some tried to discredit Paul’s appointment to be an apostle. Also, what he taught contradicted what they believed! He strongly affirms the TRUTH of what he preaches. Compare Romans 1:9; 2 Corinthians 11:10; 2 Corinthians 12:19; Galatians 1:20.

Verse 8


I want men everywhere to pray. White takes this to mean: “That the men should conduct public worship.” But this would force “everywhere” to mean “in places of public worship.” MacKnight writes: “Everywhere By this precept, the apostle condemned the superstitious notion both of the Jews and Gentiles, who fancied that prayers offered in the temples were more acceptable to God than prayers offered anywhere else. – The worshipping of God in all places was foretold as the peculiar glory of the gospel dispensation. Malachi 1:11. “F. I. Stanley writes: “The rest of the chapter is used in telling Timothy how to teach men to lead the kind of life that Christian men and women should live. Frankly, it has nothing to do with the assembly [public worship], but with the daily lives of men and women.” Can lift up their hands. Ancient Christians often prayed with their hands held above their heads, with their eyes looking up toward the sky. Without anger or argument. See 1 Timothy 1:3-4 and notes.

Verse 9


Women to be modest. Probably no one applies this verse only to the church meeting. It certainly speaks to everyday life, just as 1 Timothy 2:8 does. Notice that modest here refers to overdressing. Not with fancy hair styles. The point here is not to dress in such a way as to “show off.” Read Isaiah’s description in Isaiah 3:16-24. Tertullian writes: “What is the use of showing a decent and Christian simplicity in your face, while you load the rest of your body with the dangling absurdities of pomps and vanities?” Compare 1 Peter 3:1-6 and notes.

Verse 10


But with good deeds. Ellicott takes this as adding good deeds. I do not understand Paul to specifically forbid women to braid their hair, etc., but to forbid them to show off in their use of such things and so put to shame the poor of their group (compare 1 Corinthians 11:22 and note). “Actions speak louder than words!” Compare Acts 9:36-39.

Verse 11


In silence and all humility. “Silence” is HESUCHIA = not bossy, not meddlesome. A different word is used in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. But the key to understanding these next verses is “to whom it is directed.”

Verse 12


I do not allow women. White says: “This refers of course only to public teaching, or to a wife’s teaching her husband.” But 1 Timothy 2:13 points to a man-woman relationship. F. I. Stanley sees this parallel to what Paul says in Ephesians 5:22-28. The relationship of husband and wife is exactly the same as that of Adam and Eve. If we view this chapter in that way, we see Paul talking about: Our country; Our rulers; Our prayers; Our clothing; Our having children. He deals with life in general, and not just church worship only. Adam and Eve did not make the first church-meeting, but they were the first husband and wife = home. Compare 1 Corinthians 11:7-12. They must keep quiet. This is HESUCHIA. See note on 1 Timothy 2:11. Since scripture cannot contradict itself, what Paul says here must be understood in view of the things said in other places. C. R. Nichel writes: “That Women are to teach in the Christian Dispensation is a matter of prophecy (Joel 2:28-30; Acts 2:17). Not only did Joel and Peter declare that women would teach, but the record is clear that Philip had four unmarried daughters who did prophesy, they taught (Acts 21:9)! But to teach under conditions which will place woman in authority over man, for her to refuse to recognize the leadership of man, for her to refuse to be in ‘subjection’ to man, is to flaunt sex relationship, and that is a sin.” [From “God’s Woman.”]

Verse 13


For Adam. Paul shows that the fact that Adam was created first, sets a pattern for rank. Woman is subordinate, but not inferior. Compare 1 Corinthians 11:11-12.

Verse 14


It was the woman who was deceived. Paul says “woman,” rather than “Eve,” to emphasize sex rather than individual. Adam is representative of every male; Eve of every female. In them we see the different psychology between man and woman. Eve’s sin was unbelief. She was deceived and broke God’s law. Paul says Adam was not deceived. Note that God treats Eve’s unbelief more severely than Adam’s deliberate act (see Genesis 3:16).

Verse 15


But a woman will be saved. Lipscomb thinks this shows woman’s role to be: having children and taking care of them (the husband-wife relationship). MacKnight says: “However, though Eve was first in transgression, and brought death on herself, her husband, and her posterity, the female sex shall be saved equally with the male, through childbearing; through bringing forth the Saviour; if they live in faith, and love, and chastity [holiness], with that sobriety [modesty] which I have been recommending.” Compare 1 Timothy 1:14 and note. Probably Paul says some of these things to refute those who said that woman was guilty of destroying the human race. Certain religious sects have taught that a woman has no soul. Paul shows us, that if woman brought sin into the world, she also brought the Savior into the world! “Salvation is the goal of both man and woman. They both achieve great happiness in working out the primal penalty which God placed on Adam and Eve.” [It is argued there were no women apostles, but neither were there any Gentile apostles. However, there were no women church leaders (elders) or evangelists in the church of the First Century.]

Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 2". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ice/1-timothy-2.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.
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