1 Timothy 2:11
Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(11) Let the woman learn in silence.—The thought of public ministration is still in the Apostle’s mind, when he gives this injunction. The very questioning on difficult points is forbidden them at the public assembly (1Corinthians 14:35). So averse was St. Paul to anything which might mar the quiet solemnity of these meetings for prayer and praise and authoritative instruction.

This prohibition to speak publicly in assemblies for prayer and praise in the case of Christian women, was renewed in the North African Church, at the Council of Carthage, held A.D. 398. The same Council, however, specially permitted women to teach those of their own sex in private; indeed, the power to teach “ignorant and rustic women” was required as one qualification in deaconesses. The employment of deaconesses as private instructors seems to have been the custom generally in the Eastern Churches.

1 Timothy 2:11-14. Let the women learn in silence — Let every woman receive instruction in religious matters from the men in silence, in your public assemblies; with all subjection — With becoming submission to the other sex, neither teaching nor asking questions there. I suffer not a woman to teach — Namely, publicly; nor to usurp authority over the man — Which she might seem to do if she officiated under the character of a public teacher. The word αυθεντειν, here used, signifies both to have, and to exercise authority over another. In this passage it is properly translated usurp authority; because, when a woman pretends to exercise authority over a man, she arrogates a power which does not belong to her. See note on 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. For Adam was first formed — As the head and chief; then Eve — To denote her subordination to and dependance on Adam. So that the woman was originally inferior. As if he had said, What I now enjoin is agreeable to what was intimated at the first formation of the human race. And Adam was not deceived — The serpent did not attempt to deceive Adam. But he attacked the woman, knowing her to be the weaker of the two. Hence Eve, in extenuation of her fault, pleaded, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat, Genesis 3:13. And Eve did not deceive Adam, but persuaded him; for he said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat, Genesis 3:12; insinuating that, as the woman had been given him for a companion and help, he had eaten of the tree from affection to her, which is also intimated Genesis 3:17, in God’s words to him, Thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife. “In this view of the matter, the fall of the first man stands as a warning to his posterity to beware of the pernicious influence which the love of women, carried to excess, may have upon them to lead them into sin.” The preceding verse showed why a woman should not usurp authority over the man: this shows why she ought not to teach. She is more easily deceived, and more easily deceives. Let it be observed here, however, that the apostle’s doctrine concerning the inferiority of the woman to the man, in point of understanding, is to be interpreted of the sex in general, and not of every individual; it being well known that some women, in understanding, are superior to most men. The woman being deceived, was first in the transgression — And prevailed upon Adam, by her solicitations, to transgress also. “The behaviour of Eve, who may be supposed to have been created by God with as high a degree of understanding as any of her daughters ever possessed, ought to be remembered by them all, as a proof of their natural weakness, and as a warning to them to be on their guard against temptation. Perhaps also the apostle mentioned Eve’s transgression on this occasion, because the subjection of women to their husbands was increased at the fall on account of Eve’s transgression, Genesis 3:16.” — Macknight.2:8-15 Under the gospel, prayer is not to be confined to any one particular house of prayer, but men must pray every where. We must pray in our closets, pray in our families, pray at our meals, pray when we are on journeys, and pray in the solemn assemblies, whether more public or private. We must pray in charity; without wrath, or malice, or anger at any person. We must pray in faith, without doubting, and without disputing. Women who profess the Christian religion, must be modest in apparel, not affecting gaudiness, gaiety, or costliness. Good works are the best ornament; these are, in the sight of God, of great price. Modesty and neatness are more to be consulted in garments than elegance and fashion. And it would be well if the professors of serious godliness were wholly free from vanity in dress. They should spend more time and money in relieving the sick and distressed, than in decorating themselves and their children. To do this in a manner unsuitable to their rank in life, and their profession of godliness, is sinful. These are not trifles, but Divine commands. The best ornaments for professors of godliness, are good works. According to St. Paul, women are not allowed to be public teachers in the church; for teaching is an office of authority. But good women may and ought to teach their children at home the principles of true religion. Also, women must not think themselves excused from learning what is necessary to salvation, though they must not usurp authority. As woman was last in the creation, which is one reason for her subjection, so she was first in the transgression. But there is a word of comfort; that those who continue in sobriety, shall be saved in child-bearing, or with child-bearing, by the Messiah, who was born of a woman. And the especial sorrow to which the female sex is subject, should cause men to exercise their authority with much gentleness, tenderness, and affection.Let the woman learn in silence - Listen attentively to instruction, without attempting to teach in public; see the notes on 1 Corinthians 14:35.

With all subjection - With due subjection to those who are in authority, and who are appointed to minister in holy things; notes, 1 Corinthians 14:34.

11. learn—not "teach" (1Ti 2:12; 1Co 14:34). She should not even put questions in the public assembly (1Co 14:35).

with all subjection—not "usurping authority" (1Ti 2:12). She might teach, but not in public (Ac 18:26). Paul probably wrote this Epistle from Corinth, where the precept (1Co 14:34) was in force.

That is, in the public assemblies for worship, it is the woman’s part silently to learn, showing thereby a subjection to the man, who is the head of the woman. Let the woman learn in silence,.... The apostle goes on to give some other instructions to women, how they should behave themselves in public worship, in the church of God; he would have them be learners and not teachers, sit and hear, and learn more of Christ, and of the truth of the Gospel, and to maintain good works; and he would have them learn in silence, and not offer to rise and speak, under a pretence of having a word from the Lord, or of being under an impulse of the Spirit of the Lord, as some frantic women have done; and if they should meet with anything, under the ministry of the word, they did not understand, or they had an objection to, they were not to speak in public, but ask their own husbands at home; see 1 Corinthians 14:34. And thus, they were to behave

with all subjection; both to the ministers of the word, and to their own husbands; obeying from the heart the form of doctrine delivered to them; and submitting cheerfully to the ordinances of Christ; the whole of which is a professed subjection to the Gospel, and which becomes all professing godliness.

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Timothy 2:11-12. Further injunctions for women.

γυνὴ ἐν ἡσυχίᾳ μανθανέτω] ἐν ἡσυχίᾳ, “without speaking herself;” μανθάνειν denotes here, as in 1 Corinthians 14:31, attention to the word in order to learn from it what is necessary for advancing and building up the Christian life.

ἐν πάσῃ ὑποταγῇ] “in complete subordination,” i.e. without contradiction.

The thought here expressed is to be filled up by what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14:35 (which passage should be particularly compared with this[104]): ΕἸ ΔΈ ΤΙ ΜΑΘΕῖΝ ΘΈΛΟΥΣΙΝ, ἘΝ ΟἼΚῼ ΤΟῪς ἸΔΊΟΥς ἌΝΔΡΑς ἘΠΕΡΩΤΆΤΩΣΙΝ.—“Spiritual receptivity and activity in domestic life were recognised as the appropriate destiny of women, and therefore the female sex was excluded from the public discussion of religious subjects” (Neander, Geschichte der Pflanzung der Kirche durch die Aposteln, Part I. p. 125). Though in Christ there is no distinction, yet Christianity does not put an end to the natural distinctions ordained by God; it recognises them in order to inform them with its higher life.

διδάσκειν δὲ γυναικὶ οὐκ ἐπιτρέπω] Διδ. stands first in emphatic opposition to ΜΑΝΘΆΝΕΙΝ; in the parallel passage (1 Corinthians 14) ΔΙΔ. stands instead of the more general word ΛΑΛΕῖΝ.

ΟὐΔῈ ΑὐΘΕΝΤΕῖΝ ἈΝΔΡΌς
] Leo: “ΑὐΘΕΝΤΕῖΝ et ΑὐΘΈΝΤΗς apud seriores tantum scriptores ita occurrit, ut dominii notionem involvat; melioribus scriptoribus est αὐθέντης idem quod ΑὐΤΌΧΕΙΡ” (see Valckenaer, Diatr. in Eurip. rell. chap. 18 pp. 188 ff.; Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 120). Luther has rightly: “that she be master of her husband;” whereas in the translation: “to assume to herself respect or mastery” (Heydenreich, de Wette, van Oosterzee), the notion of assumption is imported. Hofmann, too, is wrong when he says that αὐθεντεῖν in conjunction with the genitive of the person should mean: “to act independently of this person, i.e. as one’s own master” (!).

Many expositors (Matthies, and earlier, Estius, Calovius, and others) assume in this word a reference to domestic relations; whereas Heydenreich, de Wette, Wiesinger, and others, limit even this command to behaviour in the assemblies for divine worship.[105] This last is correct, as is shown by ἈΛΛʼ ΕἾΝΑΙ ἘΝ ἩΣΥΧΊᾼ, corresponding to ἘΝ ἩΣΥΧΊᾼ in 1 Timothy 2:11. Yet ΟὐΔῈ ΑὐΘΕΝΤΕῖΝ Τ. ἈΝΔΡ. puts the prohibition to teach under a more general point of view, and at the same time confirms it. Nor can it be denied that women are not ΑὐΘΕΝΤΕῖΝ Τ. ἈΝΔΡ. in the assemblies, because in the apostle’s opinion that does not beseem them at any time. The reason why not, is given in the verses that follow.

It is to be observed, further, that 1 Timothy 2:12 corresponds exactly with 1 Timothy 2:11 : ΓΥΝῊΓΥΝΑΙΚΊ; ΜΑΝΘΑΝΈΤΩΔΙΔΆΣΚΕΙΝ ΟὐΚ ἘΠΙΤΡΈΠΩ; ἘΝ ΠΆΣῌ ὙΠΟΤΑΓῇΟὐΔῈ ΑὐΘΕΝΤΕῖΝ ΤΟῦ ἈΝΔΡ.; ἘΝ ἩΣΥΧΊᾼἈΛΛʼ ΕἾΝΑΙ ἘΝ ἩΣΥΧΊᾼ. This parallelism is clear proof that the same thing is spoken of in 1 Timothy 2:12 as in 1 Timothy 2:11, which Hofmann denies. Still 1 Timothy 2:12 is not therefore superfluous, since it both emphasizes and more precisely defines the particular ideas in 1 Timothy 2:11.

ἈΛΛʼ ΕἾΝΑΙ ἘΝ ἩΣΥΧΊᾼ] The same construction is found in 1 Corinthians 14:34. The infinitive is dependent on a ΒΟΎΛΟΜΑΙ to be supplied from ΟὐΚ ἘΠΙΤΡΈΠΩ—an abbreviated construction which occurs also in classic Greek.

De Wette rightly directs attention to these points, that we must not by arbitrary interpretations take away the clear definite meaning from the commands here laid down, in order to make them universal in application; and, on the other hand, that they are not to be considered as local and temporal ordinances: they are rather injunctions to be still held valid as applying to public assemblies.[106]

[104] Otto quotes the agreement of these passages with one another as a proof that the letters are contemporaneous. It is, however, to be observed that Paul himself, in the words: ὡς ἐν πάσαις ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις τῶς ἁγίων (1 Corinthians 11:33), describes the maxim as one which he was seeking to establish in all the churches. Hence there is nothing strange in his urging it on Timothy’s attention at a later period, just as he had urged it before on the Corinthians.

[105] Hofmann, in opposition to these two views, maintains that the apostle here speaks of the “Christian life in general,” “of all action for which there was occasion in ordinary life;” but the context gives no ground for his assertion.

[106] Compare with this apostolic expression, Const. Apost. iii. 6 : οὐκ ἐπιτρέπομεν γυναῖκας διδάσκειν ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ, ἀλλὰ μόνον προσεύχεσθαι καὶ τῶν διδασκάλων ἐπακούειν. Tertull. De Virg. Vel.: non permittitur mulieri in ecclesia loqui, sed nec docere, nec tinguere, nec ullius virilis muneris, nedum sacerdotalis officii sortem sibi vindicare. It is curious that in the Apost. Const. it is permitted to women προσεύχεσθαι in church, while here it is granted only to men to do so. But, on the one hand, προσεύχεσθαι in the Constitutions does not mean exactly prayer aloud; and, on the other hand, this passage here does not plainly and directly forbid προσεύχεσθαι to women; it only forbids distinctly διδάσκειν on their part.—There is the same apparent contradiction between 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, and 1 Corinthians 11:5; 1 Corinthians 11:13. While in the former passage λαλεῖν is forbidden to women, in the latter προσεύχεσθαι and even προθητεύειν are presupposed as things done by women, and the apostle does not rebuke it.—The solution is, that Paul wishes everything in church to be done εὐσχημόνως καὶ κατὰ τάξιν; while, on the other hand, he holds by the principle: “τὸ πνεῦμα μὴ σβέννυτε” (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Meyer on 1 Corinthians 11:5 differs.1 Timothy 2:11 sqq. With these directions compare those in 1 Corinthians 14:33-35.

ἐν πάσῃ ὑποταγῇ: with complete subjection [to their husbands]. Cf. Titus 2:5.11. Let the woman learn in silence] The reference is still to the public assemblies. The exact rendering in our idiom of the article is, with R.V., Let a woman learn, in silence, in quiet, as in 1 Timothy 2:2. Cf. 1 Corinthians 14:34-35.1 Timothy 2:11. Μανθανέτω, let the woman learn) The antithesis of to teach, 1 Timothy 2:12.—ὑποταγῇ, in subjection) The antithesis is to the phrase, to use (usurp) authority, 1 Timothy 2:12.Verse 11. - A for the, A.V.; quietness for silence, A.V. Quietness is not so good a rendering as "silence," because the quietness here meant is silence, as appears clearly by the parallel direction in 1 Corinthians 14:34. So Acts 22:2, παρέσχον ἡσουχίαν is properly rend red in the A.V., "They kept silence." And ἡσύχασαν (Luke 14:4 and Acts 11:18) is read, red, both in the A.V. and the R.V., "They held their peace." With all subjection (ἐν πάσῃ ὑποταγῇ); as 1 Timothy 3:4. The words occur also in 2 Corinthians 9:13; Galatians 2:5. But the verb ὑποτάσσομαι is very common in the sense of "being subject." It is used of the subjection of the wife to her husband (1 Corinthians 14:34; Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18; Titus 2:5; 1 Peter 3:1). Learn (μανθανέτω)

Comp. 1 Corinthians 14:35.

In silence (ἐν ἡσυχίᾳ)

See on peaceable, 1 Timothy 2:2. Rev. renders quietness; but the admonition concerns the behavior of women in religious assemblies. Comp. 1 Corinthians 14:34. The word is used in the sense of silence, Acts 22:2 : with the broader meaning quietness in 2 Thessalonians 3:12.

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