1 Timothy
Chapter 2

Commentary for 1 Timothy 2

Prayer to be made for all persons, since the grace of the gospel makes no difference of ranks or stations. (1-7) How men and women ought to behave, both in their religious and common life. (8-15)1-7 The disciples of Christ must be praying people; all, without distinction of nation, sect, rank, or party. Our duty as Christians, is summed up in two words; godliness, that is, the right worshipping of God; and honesty, that is, good conduct toward all men. These must go together: we are not truly honest, if we are not godly, and do not render to God his due; and we are not truly godly, if not honest. What is acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, we should abound in. There is one Mediator, and that Mediator gave himself a ransom for all. And this appointment has been made for the benefit of the Jews and the Gentiles of every nation; that all who are willing may come in this way, to the mercy-seat of a pardoning God, to seek reconciliation with him. Sin had made a quarrel between us and God; Jesus Christ is the Mediator who makes peace. He is a ransom that was to be known in due time. In the Old Testament times, his sufferings, and the glory that should follow, were spoken of as things to be revealed in the last times. Those who are saved must come to the knowledge of the truth, for that is God's appointed way to save sinners: if we do not know the truth, we cannot be ruled by it.

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.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for 1 Timothy 2

  • Precious Muchemwa on 1 Timothy 2:4
    What does it mean to dream of a bible verse (Isiah 42 and Isiah 44)
  • Israel Kuda on 1 Timothy 2:12
    I agree with Paul 100% and I believe the Bible does not contradict itself.

    It is true a woman should not teach out of her womanhood or femininity. When she teaches, she is preaching/teaching not as a woman but as a member of the body of Christ, one together with other men and women. The womanhood in her should keep silent in church and be subject to her husband but the new creature in her cannot certainly be forbidden to speak the Word. In any case it was women who brought the first news of the resurrection and it was a woman (Anna) who blessed the then baby Jesus, speaking in the temple (the church). Was it not a woman who preached to the whole city and brought the whole of Samaria to Christ in John chapter 4? They later graduated in their belief (v42), after they had come to hear of the Lord first hand but their first instance of belief (v39) was at the testimony of the woman! Yes women were considered property in the Jewish traditions but now Christ has come to redeem them that are under the legalistic tendencies and nitty-gritties of the law that we might receive the adoption of sons and now we are all sons of God by faith!

    It would be foolish to be legalistic and petty by clinging to do's and don'ts in taking this verse at its literal value; any saved Spirit filled, baptized believer can speak in church for there is neither male nor female but we are all one in Christ Jesus!
  • Bethany on 1 Timothy 2:12
    "But i suffer not a woman to teach". You have to remember and know that back then women were not taught nor as a whole literate. Women who tried to teach often had no idea to what they were speaking because they were not taught, and that led people astray. Paul would have also known that Deborah was a female prophet who taught the word of God. I believe women can be pastors, but they should not be the sole authority. A female pastor could work with a male pastor or come in for lessons and teaching, but should not be the sole authority in the church unless there is no one else to teach. We are all called to share the word of God. "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection." Since women were not taught Paul was very for the rights of women. Look at it as if you were in school, when a teacher is talking you are to learn and be silent, so that you may hear and understand.
  • CARLOS RAMIREZ TREVINO - in Reply on 1 Timothy 2:12
    Just to put my two cents in, was Paul addressing a specific problem that specific church was having? What was the issue? Paul himself encourages believers to listen to the teaching of the women running some congregations of the time.

    Is there too much being made by some of this particular passage? What is the history of it?

    As Christians, there is no male or female when it comes to the things of God. Throughout history God has used women in the church as Pastors, Evangelists, Deacons, Elders, Teachers.

    Do we sometimes get all tied up in something we shouldn't even be worrying about? Might it be good to keep in mind that we are living under the freedom, both spiritual and social, that we have in Christ? Did Christ save us so we could be bound to laws, regulations, procedures that limit our ability to proclaim His Gospel?

    IMO: Don't let petty, legalistic issues like that bound you up, weigh you down and bundle you up in a confusing mess of do's and don'ts. In Christ there is no male or female. The Gospel can be preached and taught and proclaimed by male, female, donkey or rock. What is important is the proclamation of Christ, not whether your dress is too short, your hair too long, your shoes too bright, your tie is tied wrong, you wear jeans and sandals, you are male, female, child or octogenarian.

    Clearly, Paul was addressing pagan customs of the time and people that were steeped in ways of doing things that might not have been beneficial to a group of Christians meeting in homes and other venues. He was establishing order in the congregations. But we are living in the 21st Century and things have, of necessity, changed. And change is OK.

    We are called to tell people about Christ, not about rules we must follow if we want to be Christians, that is, Spirit filled followers of Christ.

    I, for one, don't really understand 1 Timothy 2:12 in its entirety. And there are other things said we don't fully understand. But "I press on!".
  • Chris on 1 Timothy 2:12
    Michelle, the purpose of Paul's letter to the Church in Galatia was because in their midst, were Jews & Gentile believers. There was a group (Judaizers) who still held onto Jewish law & traditions, meaning that both God's Grace & human effort are needed for salvation. Or, in another way, one had to become a Jew before becoming a Christian. Paul said that this was heresy. He goes on in Chap 3 to say that Abraham was justified by faith & not by any works plus faith, so all believers, whoever they are, are God's children: whether Jew or Gentile, bond or free, male or female. There is still an order in the Church to be observed that does not detract from our glorious & equal position in Christ.
  • D W L - in Reply on 1 Timothy 2
    James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

    James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

    James 2:20 View whole chapter | See verse in context

    James 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead

    Luke 6:46 Jesus said why call me Lord Lord and DO NOT the things which I say --

    2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God.
  • Michelle on 1 Timothy 2:12
    God also says that there is neither male or female, Jew or Greek, slave or free man, but that we are all one in Christ Jesus and, further, if we belong to Christ, that we are Abraham's descendants and heirs according to the promise. To preach that women should be silent and not teach or usurp authority over a man is to bring yourself under the bondage of the flesh, because the word teaches us that there is no male or female when you walk in the spirit
  • Key words.... "But I" not God, but Paul is saying personally himself and gave the reasons why. If a pastor take over a church there may be rules of conduct
    from the organization or former pastor. It's always important to know what is God and what is "I". I believe Paul had good reason for this and gave this counsel to Timothy as a young pastor. There are definitely preachers and teachers in the bible like Deborah the prophetess in Judges, Priscilla and Aquila in Acts. Paul was concerned with the women absurbing authority over the man (becoming the pastor or shepherd). Guess what, he was right! In some cases this has happened. Women can not cover the man, but them preaching is not sin.
  • Alex on 1 Timothy 2
    PPL need to realize that the Woman Paul is refering to is the CHURCH that will be healed in CHILD BIRTH which is the heavenly birth. Thats y he is saying as we have born the image of the earthy we must also bear th image of the Heavenly which is the H.G. A new heart and new spirit is what we need. As the CHURCH IS THE BRIDE of Christ.We are dead to the law by the body of Christ that we should be MARRIED to Another even to him that was raised from the dead that we should bring forth FRUIT (CHILD BIRTH) unto God.The curse started at Adam N Eve but it can only be lifted by CHILD BIRTH,Th child being the H.G. A NEW HEART A NEW SPIRIT I.E YOU ARE MADE CLEAN BY THE WORD/SEED I HAVE SPOKEN UNTO YOU
  • David on 1 Timothy 2
    Paul , in corinthians lays a huge reprimand on them for telling the woman to keep silent in the church, goes so far as to say, if you insist on being ignorant, be ignorant. So in Timothy he is not contradictory. He is speaking about a woman and the man. Those are singular. A man and his wife or Jesus and the church. We know the scriptures say in Christ there is neither male nor female. We also know a man and wife are one, neither male nor female, but both as one. Take the scriptures in their entirety, everything has to fit, if it doesn't it's our understanding that lacks, not Gods word.


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What should Christians do for those in government authority?
  • Write letters of encouragement
  • Pray for them
  • Vote them out if unrighteous
  • Demand they govern according to Scripture
  • Talk about them to other believers