1 Timothy 2:12
But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
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(12) But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.—The whole purpose of these weighty admonitions of the great founder of the Gentile Churches relegates Christian women to their own legitimate sphere of action and influence—the quiet of their own homes. St. Paul caught well the spirit of his Master here. He raised once and for ever the women of Christ out of the position of degradation and intellectual inferiority they had occupied in the various pagan systems of the East and West, and taught with all the weight of an Apostle—of an accredited teacher of divine wisdom—that woman was a fellow-heir with man of the glories of the kingdom,—where sex would exist no longer; but while teaching this great and elevating truth, St. Paul shows what is the only proper sphere in which woman should work, and in which she should exercise her influence and power; while man’s work and duties lay in the busy world without, woman’s work was exclusively confined to the quiet stillness of home. The Apostle then proceeds to ground these injunctions respecting the duties in public and private of the two sexes upon the original order of creation, and upon the circumstances which attended the fall.

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.But I suffer not a woman to teach - see the notes on 1 Corinthians 14:34.

Nor to usurp authority over the man - notes, 1 Corinthians 11:3.

12. usurp authority—"to lord it over the man" [Alford], literally, "to be an autocrat." But I suffer not a woman to teach; not to teach in the public congregation, except she be a prophetess, endued with extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, as Mary, and Anna, and Huldah, and Deborah, and some women in the primitive church, concerning whom we read, 1 Corinthians 11:5, that they prophesied.

Nor to usurp authority over the man: ordinary teaching of the woman was a usurpation of authority over the man, who is the head, which the apostle also forbade in 1 Corinthians 11:3, and here repeateth. It is probable that the speaking of some women in the church who had extraordinary revelations, imboldened others also to aim at the like, which the apostle here directs his speech against. Nevertheless women may, and it is their duty to instruct their children and families at home, especially in the absence of their husbands.

But I suffer not a woman to teach, They may teach in private, in their own houses and families; they are to be teachers of good things, Titus 2:3. They are to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; nor is the law or doctrine of a mother to be forsaken, any more than the instruction of a father; see Proverbs 1:8. Timothy, no doubt, received much advantage, from the private teachings and instructions of his mother Eunice, and grandmother Lois; but then women are not to teach in the church; for that is an act of power and authority, and supposes the persons that teach to be of a superior degree, and in a superior office, and to have superior abilities to those who are taught by them:

nor to usurp authority over the man; as not in civil and political things, or in things relating to civil government; and in things domestic, or the affairs of the family; so not in things ecclesiastical, or what relate to the church and government of it; for one part of rule is to feed the church with knowledge and understanding; and for a woman to take upon her to do this, is to usurp an authority over the man: this therefore she ought not to do,

but to be in silence; to sit and hear quietly and silently, and learn, and not teach, as in 1 Timothy 2:11.

But I suffer not a woman to teach, {8} nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

(8) The first argument, why it is not lawful for women to teach in the congregation, because by this means they would be placed above men, for they would be their masters: and this is against God's ordinance.

1 Timothy 2:12. διδάσκειν: This refers of course only to public teaching, or to a wife’s teaching her husband. In Titus 2:3 St. Paul indicates the natural sphere for woman’s teaching. In 1 Cor. women are forbidden λαλεῖν in the Church. The choice of terms is appropriate in each case.

αὐθεντεῖν ἀνδρός: dominari in virum, to have dominion over (R.V.). “The adj. αὐθεντικός is very well established in the vernacular. See Nägeli, p. 49 … the Atticist warns his pupil to use αὐτοδικεῖν because αὐθεντεῖν was vulgar (κοινότερον) … αὐθέντης is properly one who acts on his own authority, hence in this context an autocrat” (Moulton and Milligan, Expositor, vii., vi. 374).

ἀλλʼ εἶναι: dependent on some such verb as βούλομαι implied, as opposed to οὐκ ἐπιτρέπω.

12. The direction is made more emphatic by the position of the verb ‘to teach’ (according to the better supported reading) at the beginning of the clause: But teaching I permit not to a woman.

to usurp authority] The verb does not go so far as this in later Greek, only to the extent of the R.V. to have dominion over. From authentikos ‘from first authority’ we get our ‘authentic’ in its proper meaning (Trench’s Select Glossary, p. 15; Cic. ad Att. x. 9) of ‘coming from the pen of the writer to whom a work is attributed.’ ‘The Turkish “effendi” (lord) is from the same word.’ Wordsworth.

1 Timothy 2:12. Οὐκ ἐπιτρέπω) I do not commit to the charge of the woman [suffer]; i.e. I cannot commit or entrust it. Litotes (see Append.).—αὐθεντεῖν ἀνδρὸς) to use authority in respect to [over] the man, viz. by teaching, by speaking, for example, in prayer.—ἀνδρὸς, in respect to [over] the man) This implies not merely a husband, but the whole race of men.

Verse 12. - Permit for suffer, A.V.; have dominion for usurp authority, A.V.; a for the, A.V.; quietness for silence, A.V. Permit. Why "permit" is better than "suffer" it is difficult to see. Ἐπιτρέπειν is rendered "suffer" in the R.V. in Matthew 8:21; Matthew 19:8; Mark 10:4; Luke 9:59, etc. Quietness (see preceding note). The true type of the womanly attitude is that of Mary, who "sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his Word" (Luke 10:39). 1 Timothy 2:12Suffer (ἐπιτρέπω)

Lit. turn over to; thence, permit. See 1 Corinthians 14:34.

Usurp authority (αὐθεντεῖν)

N.T.o. olxx, oClass. It occurs in late ecclesiastical writers. The kindred noun αὐθέντης one who does a thing with his own hand, Wisd. 12:6, and also in Herodotus, Euripides, and Thucydides. Ἁυθεντία right, 3 Macc. 2:29. The verb means to do a thing one's self; hence, to exercise authority. The A.V. usurp authority is a mistake. Rend. to have or exercise dominion over.

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