1 Timothy 2
There are some really difficult verses in this chapter about the role of women. There is a prohibition against them teaching men, women are told to be silent numerous times, there is this weird verse about women being saved through childbearing. I’m never entirely sure what to do with verse like these. They don’t fit with how I practice my faith, nor do they fit with my understanding of God – one who calls all people and uses anyone, male or female for His purposes.
I think the best I can do is point to other scriptures that value women: Phoebe is recommended by Paul at the end of Romans, Paul also talks about missionary partners, men and women working together as equals. Most striking, in Galatians, Paul declares that there is no male or female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus. This doesn’t even mention all the encounters that Jesus had with women, nor does it account for all the female heros in the Hebrew Scriptures: Sarah, Deborah, Jael, Esther, Naomi, Ruth…
Sometimes people want to toss out Timothy and Titus because of chapters like these. I don’t want to ignore them, but I also want to acknowledge that there are other perspectives in Scripture. I don’t want to explain difficult verse away either, but I do want to try to find something that I can learn in them – just not sure what that is right now.