What if we've been trying to unlock 1 Timothy from a modern, western, Age of Enlightenment perspective when the letter itself is based upon the logic, letter-writing customs, and Greek idiosyncrasies of the ancient near east?
The Chiastic Structure or Pattern shows a different emphasis in 1 Timothy, one in which proto-gnostic teaching was becoming a problem that must be addressed head on. Timothy was to make sure everyone was properly educated before they were entrusted with being deacons and elders, teachers and leaders within the church.
The part people often miss is that Paul wanted women in the classroom, learning scripture, theology, Greek and Hebrew, reading and writing, and presumably teaching and evangelizing, right alongside the men.
Excerpts from Cynthia Long Westfall and NT Wright, trying to get a handle on the word translated "Authority" in 1 Timothy 2:12
There are four important points to consider before wading into a Bible passage in order to try to understand what it's saying and what it means, let alone to try and figure out how to live it out.
How do we live in the place of is great joy, in the humility of Christ, to be like Christ in willingness to surrender all, even to death, for love? This was Paul's focus in his letter to the believers in Philippi.
Take a moment and reflect on the nature of God. Think about one word that you might choose to encompass the totality of God, the overarching portrayal of who God is.
If you are feeling a heavy load, or weathering a tempest, then you will be able to resonate with something of what the first century church was enduring.
You and I are not only to keep our focus on Jesus as we each individually follow him just as closely as we can, we also are to trust each other’s sensitivity to God’s guidance, and help each other the best we can
In the last fifty or so years great piles of ancient papyri and inscriptions have been unearthed, and the weight of the evidence support agapeo and phileo having the same power to them