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 1 Tim 2:11-12

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PostSubject: 1 Tim 2:11-12   Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:45 pm

What was Ephesus like at the time of Paul’s writing to Timothy?

The Temple of Diana dominated the city and the culture. In order to understand the background to the book of Ephesians the religion of Artemis (Diana) must be understood.
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"'Artemis of the Ephesians' was not a Greek divinity, but Asiatic. This is shown by the fact that eunuchs were employed in her worship-- a practice quite foreign to Greek ideas. She was not regarded as a virgin but as mother and foster-mother, as is clearly shown by the multitude of breasts in the rude effigy. She was undoubtedly a representative of the same power presiding over conception and birth that was adored in Palestine under the name Ashtoreth. Her worship, frantic and fanatical after the manner of Asia, was traced back to the Amazons. Her temple at Ephesus was one of the wonders of the world, but its great glory was the 'image which fell down from heaven' (Acts 19:35)." New Unger's Bible Dictionary published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois, 1988.

Artemis (Diana) was believed to protect women in childbirth. It was not uncommon at that time for women to die in childbirth or from causes directly linked to childbirth and childbearing. She was popularly called upon for protection from death from bearing children.

The Ephesians at the time believed that the Amazons were the original founders of the city. The Amazons were supposed to have founded many towns, amongst them Smyrna, Ephesus, Sinope and Paphos. In Greek mythology the Amazons were a nation of women warriors who reputedly burned off the right breast in order to use a bow and arrow more effectively
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In some versions of the myth, no men were permitted to have sexual encounters or reside in Amazon country; but once a year, in order to prevent their race from dying out, they visited the Gargareans, a neighbouring tribe. The male children who were the result of these visits were either killed, or sent back to their fathers or exposed in the wilderness to fend for themselves; the females were kept and brought up by their mothers, and trained in agricultural pursuits, hunting, and the art of war. In other versions when the Amazons went to war they would not kill all the men. Some they would take as slaves, and once or twice a year they would have sex with their slaves.
In the Iliad, the Amazons were referred to as Antianeira ("those who fight like men")
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Ref. Found here….. They made slaves of the men they captured. It was generally believed that these Amazons were not only thought to be equal to men but far superior to men. Paul in 1 Tim 1:4 argues against myths. He believed this to be mere mythology. However, this belief was causing a ruckus in the church. Women were well taught that they were descended from the Amazons and had the right to dominate the inferior males. In 1 Tim 4:7 Paul writes:
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But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
In 1 Tim 2:8 he writes:
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I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
There is obviously much dispute and anger. The next verse strongly indicates what the disputes were about. Some of the women were dressing in accordance with the worship of Diana, without decency. Prostitution was part of the worship of Diana. They were adorning themselves as was the custom in the accepted religion of the city of Ephesus. They were advocating what this religion taught about women – female domination over inferior males. Paul combats this in the next verses:
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1 Tim 2:9-15 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
Here he is directly instructing that women are not to dominate men. He speaks of women professing godliness – suggesting he could be challenging them in terms of the truth of their profession of faith. He brings in Adam being created first to further combat the strength of the belief of the superiority of women.

When we look closely at verses 11-12…
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"Paul does not command the women not to teach. He employs the present active indicative for "allow." The present tense in Greek principally denotes continuous present action. It can refer to present necessity and obligation and to potential action. Greek has its own imperative mood which is not here employed. Commands can also be phrased in the aorist or the future indicative. Neither of these tenses is here used. Nor does Paul use the perfect tense to denote an action in the past which has changed the state of affairs. Paul is saying: 'I am not presently allowing a woman to teach.'" Beyond the Curse, Aida Besancon Spencer, Pg. 84-85.
And then in verse 15 …….
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Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety
…… he addresses the issue of childbearing and the fears attached to that for women during this time in history. Remember Diana was believed to give protection during this time. This has been so mal-understood. He was allaying their fears. Should they walk before the Lord in holiness, faith and love they would experience salvation in this area. There was no need to look to Diana.
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Kim



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PostSubject: Re: 1 Tim 2:11-12   Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:58 pm

This makes more sense with other Scriptures. You see a sense of we are all one in Christ and all called to the same mission and even women like Joyce Meyer and Marilyn Hickey teachng both women and men. Some churches are embarrasssed by these verses and just avoid them and others like to rub womens noses in it. Makes it a bit confusing till see something like this.
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PostSubject: Re: 1 Tim 2:11-12   Sat Apr 10, 2010 12:37 pm

Yes. It makes me wonder why this was never studied out properly in the Greek.

You can almost empathise with Paul in his need to bring order in the Church. It sounds like it was a mess, with even unbelieving wives behaving obnoxiously in the meetings. Timothy probably had his hands full! Would love to be able to read the letter sent to Paul about it all.

Great pity that through the ages this seems to have brought so much misunderstanding and quenching of all women – even those called to ministry. You mention Joyce Meyer. I remember her saying how she started leading a Bible Study rather successfully in her home and was forced to stop by some male leadership at the Church, and her husband Dave was instructed to teach instead. He is not called to teach – no gift for it – and the Bible Study started to die until Joyce started teaching again. I can see God has blessed her calling. That ministry impacts women and men worldwide now. Without a doubt she has a message that speaks to both genders.
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PostSubject: Re: 1 Tim 2:11-12   Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:38 pm

I have not heard this interpretation before
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