2:1So I am advocating above all that serious requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanks are done for all people,2:2especially for kings and those in positions of influence so that we can conduct tranquil and respectable lives, with the utmost devotion and dignity.2:3This is best and welcome in the sight of God our Savior,2:4who intends for all people to be saved and to come to know the truth.2:5For there is one God and one mediator between God and people: the person Anointed Jesus,2:6who gave himself as the ransom payment for all, and as a testimony at the right time.2:7And I tell you in all honesty that I was appointed to this as an announcer and Ambassador, a true and faithful teacher of the non-Judeans.
2:8It would be nice if the men in every place could manage to pray with clean lives and without argument.2:9The same goes for the women, too. I’d like them to dress themselves tastefully and decently, with modesty and good sense; not with fancy hair or expensive jewelry and clothing,2:10but as is fitting for women who are professors for converts to Judaism1 while they do good things.
2:11The woman must learn, and she must do so in a respectful and supportive manner.2:12At this time I am not even conferring teaching privileges on the woman, much less allowing her to perform fertility rites on the man;2 she must be still.2:13For Adam was formed first and Eve afterward,2:14and Adam was not deceived. But the woman, being completely fooled, has crossed the line.32:15Even so, she will be restored by the mentoring, as long as they remain in faith and love and holiness, with good sense.
- 1“Professors for converts to Judaism” is the proper meaning in the Greek; ref. Jews and Godfearers at Aphrodisias, J. Reynolds and R. Tannenbaum, Cambridge Philological Society Supp. Vol. 12, 1987, p. 50.
- 2“I am not even… much less” can also be thought of as simply “neither/nor,” but in the context of the Artemis cult in Ephesus, this rendering seems a better fit. The term “perform fertility rites” was chosen to convey the meaning of authentein in the context of the Artemis fertility cult, wherein a priestess would teach men and then impart divine wisdom to them through sex; ref. Ancient Heresies by Catherine C. Kroeger.
- 3This passage is highly controversial. But note that Paul has not only switched abruptly from plural to singular (women/woman), he has also gone from instructions for women who are already teaching to a woman who must stop for a time. But whoever the woman is, she is still “over the line” at the time of Paul’s writing. This is a vital key to understanding the passage.