1 Timothy 2 Study Notes


2:1 Petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings are several different terms for prayer. Paul was referring to “all sorts of prayer.”

2:2-3 Paul says that the “everyone” of v. 1 includes even secular authorities—kings and all those who are in authority. But the purpose of such prayer is clear: so that believers may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.

2:4 Come to the knowledge of the truth is a way of referring to being converted. “The truth” is often used in 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus as a synonym for the gospel. This verse implies the universal offer of the gospel.

2:5-6 These verses provide the theological basis for the preceding statement that God wants people to be saved.

2:8-9 The word therefore resumes the call to prayer from v. 1. Lifting up . . . hands was a typical posture for prayer in the Bible (Ex 9:29; 1Kg 8:22; Ps 28:2; 63:4; Is 1:15; Lk 24:50). With the words I want the men . . . also, the women, Paul addressed specific concerns in regard to each gender.

2:10 Women are to be less concerned about their apparel than about pursuing good works.

2:11-12 The phrase I do not allow is not simply a statement of Paul’s personal wishes, but the statement of an authoritative position. He wrote with the authority of an apostle (1Th 4:2; 2Th 3:6). When Paul called for the women to remain quiet, he contrasted this with teaching. First Corinthians 11:5 assumes women do speak in the church assembly. This verse prohibits women from providing public teaching for men, but it does not prevent women from speaking in other circumstances.

2:13 The word for introduces the biblical basis for the preceding prohibition in regards to women. The order of creation was more significant in the mind of Paul than it is to most people today (1Co 11:8-9). Rooting the command in the order of creation makes this an abiding command rather than something that held only for Paul’s culture and Paul’s era. Gender roles are not the result of the fall but are rooted in creation and God’s original purposes.

2:14 When Paul declared that Adam was not deceived, he did not excuse him for his sin. The point here is not blame but deception. That Adam sinned and bore the primary responsibility for the fall of humanity is clear in Rm 5:12-14.

2:15 This is a difficult verse. Paul did not believe people can earn salvation through childbearing or any other means. The verse is probably best understood as an affirmation of roles particular to women in contrast to the role prohibited to them in vv. 11-14. People are saved as they persevere in the faith. This persevering is expounded here for women as including noble roles unique to them (such as childbearing).