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1 Timothy Chapter Two                            


I. Content of the Chapter


God’s Workers should Take Keeping A Godly Life as Their Own Duty

I. Workers themselves should keep a godly life through prayers (v.1-7):

  A. Praying for all men and all who are in authority (v.1-2a).

  B. That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence (v.2b).

  C. Praying for all men is in accordance with the will of God (v.3-7):

1. because this is acceptable in the sight of God (v.3).

2. because God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (v.4).

3. because the Lord Jesus gave Himself a ransom for all (v.5-6).

4. because workers are appointed for this aim (v.7).

II. Workers should teach believers how to lead a life in godliness (v.8-15):

  A. Teaching men not to be with wrath and doubting but to pray (v.8).

  B. Teaching women to lead a life worthy of profession godliness (v.9-15):

1. adorning themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation and with good works (v.9-10).

2. learning in silence with all submission (v.11-14).

3. continuing in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control (v.15).


II. Verse by Verse commentary


1Tim. 2:1 “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,

   YLT: “I exhort, then, first of all, there be made supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, for all men:”

   Literal Meaning: Therefore I exhort first of all” “exhort” in the original implies pressing hard and therefore it is not the normal advisement but beseeching. “First” not only refers to the beginning but also stresses on the importance of the thing that is recounted, showing that it has the first priority. “All men” refer to all men in the world.

  “That supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men” “supplications” refers to praying earnestly for some special needs; “prayers” refers to drawing near to God through prayers and having communion with God generally; “intercessions” refers to praying for others; “giving of thanks” refers to giving thanks and blessing to God.

  The word “therefore” in the beginning of this verse connects the above-mentioned contents (chapter 1). It indicates that men have to pray first if they want to wage the good warfare (See 1:18).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Prayer is quite important to the individual and the life in the church. We should give priority to prayer and give the first priority to praying for all men.

2) Prayers should be many-sided: we should not only pray for ourselves but also pray for others; we should not only pray but also give thanks.

3) “Intercessions” in the original imply presenting a petition to the emperor for others. The Most-high God exalts us to pray for all men before Him and ask for favor for them. What an honorable work and we should never think little of it.

4) The salvation of the Lord is for all men and therefore we should pray for everyone and ask God to show mercy to him no matter how bad and unworthy of grace he is.

5) Christians are the kingdom of priests and the chief task of priests is to pray for all men and give their mind to praying for the benefits of men.

6) The more our hearts are broadened by the Lord, the more the realm of prayers shall be broadened naturally. And the more the realm of our prayers is broadened, the more meaningful our life shall be naturally.

7) Paul mentioned prayer before he talked about the government of the church in this epistle (See v.3), showing that the ministry of prayers is the prerequisite for the government and shepherding of the local church.         


1Tim. 2:2 “for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.

   YLT: “for kings, and all who are in authority, that a quiet and peaceable life we may lead in all piety and gravity,”

   Meaning of Words: “godliness”: piety, honorable, like God; “reverence”: dignity, gravity, worthy of men’s esteem.

   The Background: at that time, Nero was the emperor of the Roman Empire and he was extremely unfriendly to Christians. He got worse later and persecuted Christians vigorously. In A.D. 64, a big fire took place in the city of Rome and almost the whole city was burnt. Nero, regarding the Christians in the city of Rome as scapegoats, imputed the fire to them in order to pacify the resentment of the people.

   Literal Meaning: for kings and all who are in authority” the plural word “kings” refer to kings of various countries. If we replace it with the modern word, it refers to presidents, premiers, emperors, prime ministers and etc who reign in various countries. “All who are in authority” refer to headmen who reign in all levels of the government apparatus.

  “That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” “godliness” refers to respecting God, i.e. their life of faith is not interfered unreasonably; “reverence” refers to respecting oneself and others, i.e. having the appropriate individual and corporate life; “quite and peaceable” refers to living tranquilly, without any disturbance.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) We should pray for the kings and presidents who are leaders and those who are in authority in the governments and ask God to give them wisdom and power to govern the country and deal with people kindly according to the principle and grace of God so that the whole country could be acceptable to God and be given His blessing.

2) When believers pray for all principality and power, we equally confess that the one who truly reins the country is our God instead of the government upon the earth.

3) The world establishes and advances the regime by vote; believers push forward and influence the regime by prayers.

4) Only when Christians have the pure faith (See 1Tim.1) and lead a life in godliness (lead a life in all godliness and reverence) shall they be acceptable to God (See v.3). Christians’ godly life is based on prayer.

5) There aren’t rebellious ideas to the country in the spiritual life of Christians and the benefits of Christians accord with the benefits of the country. Only when Christians seek the benefits of the country shall they lead a quite and peaceable life in godliness and reverence.

6) Christians lead a life in selflessness and they are willing to have a share with all men.

7) Since God has entrusted us the responsibilities for intercessions, He shall certainly give us the rights of intercessions that the intercessors could lead a life without interference and work for the gospel. 


1Tim. 2:3 “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,

   YLT: “for this right and acceptable before God our Saviour,”

   Meaning of Words: “good”: beautiful, perfect, kind; “acceptable”: accepted.

   Literal Meaning: For this is good” “This” refers to making intercessions for all men and all who are in authority (See v.1-2). This is good because it is acceptable to God.

  “And acceptable in the sight of God our Savior” “acceptable” means that it is a good thing in which He takes delight and the reasons are recorded in v.4.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Everything that accords with the will of God is good. Contrarily, what are acceptable to men may not be good because the thoughts of God are not our thoughts (Is. 55:8).

2) Since God desires all men to be saved (See v. 4), He certainly takes His delight in Christians’ making intercessions for all men that they would be saved (See v.1).


1Tim. 2:4who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

   YLT: “who doth will all men to be saved, and to come to the full knowledge of the truth;”

   Meaning of Words: “knowledge”: recognition, understanding, full discernment; “truth”: verity, genuineness, reality.

   Literal Meaning: “who desires all men to be saved” “all men” is in the tone of emphasis in the Greek; “desires all men to be saved” means that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2Pet. 3:9). Please note that “desiring all men to be saved” does not mean that “all men shall be saved” and the so-called statement “the whole world shall be saved” is the misunderstanding of the scripture here. And it is not the established evidence. Though God desires all men to be saved, only those who believe in the Lord Jesus shall be saved. And therefore if men are unwilling to believe, God cannot save them because He cannot disobey His principle of righteousness, even though God has love.

  “To come to the knowledge of the truth” “the knowledge” is the full and complete knowledge in the original and such knowledge needs the revelation of the Holy Spirit (See Eph. 1:17 “the knowledge” and the knowledge here are the same word in the original). “The truth” refers to reality. “The knowledge of the truth” means knowing the real things that have been revealed in the word of God and Christ is the center of the revelation of the Bible (John. 5:39). And therefore the emphasis on knowing the truth is the knowledge of Christ.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) We should make supplications for all men (See v.1) because God desires all men to be saved. When believers are willing to make intercessions for all men, they have the same mind with God------desiring all men to be saved.

2) The burden of intercessions is from the knowledge of God: if one understands the wide heart of God, he shall certainly have great burden to make intercessions for all men.

3) Though God desires all men to repent and believe in Christ, God’s such wish cannot make the salvation come to all voluntarily. Men cannot be saved unless they cooperate with God and repent and turn to God (See Acts. 3:19). And therefore believers have to make intercessions for all men.


1Tim. 2:5 “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,

   YLT: “for one God, one also mediator of God and of men, the man Christ Jesus,”

   Meaning of Words: “Mediator”: a go-between, guarantor.

   Literal Meaning: For there is one God” “God” refers to the one who creates and judges the universe, the God whom we Christians believe in. The other so-called “gods” are false gods imagined and made by men. God is one and only (1Cor. 8:4-6). We could confirm it from the phenomena of the universe that if there were two or more gods, the universe won’t be in such an orderly way.

  “And one Mediator between God and men” “Mediator” is a go-between between two parties. “Between God and men” refers to facing both God and men. And therefore the Mediator must have both the divinity and humanity (on one hand He must be God completely so that He could represent God and on the other He must be a perfect man so that He could represent men). The Lord Jesus is the Son of God (John. 20:31) and therefore He is God (John. 1:1). He is also the word that became flesh (John. 1:14) and therefore He is a man. In addition, after he was risen from the dead, He is still both God and man (Heb. 1:8; Acts. 7:55-56) and therefore He has the qualification for a mediator forever (Heb. 7:22-25).

  “The Man Christ Jesus” “The man” is the procedure for Christ’s being the Mediator, otherwise He could not be qualified to die for men (See Heb. 2:9, 14-15) and His experiences as a man make Him sympathize with our infirmities more (Heb. 4:15; 2:18).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The word “for” in the beginning of this verse explains why Christians need to make intercessions for all. It shows that it is uneasy for men to know the only true God and the man Christ Jesus, the only Mediator between God and men, without the intercessions of believers.

2) Since God is sole, we should believe and love Him whole-heartedly and we should not worship the visible or invisible idols------all men and things.

3) We should know not only that there is only one true God in the universe but also there is one true “man” in the universe, i.e. the man Christ Jesus. Only He is the man after God’s own heart and who reaches the standard of God and therefore we have to rely on Him.

4) The man Christ Jesus is the only Mediator between God and men and only through Him shall we be acceptable to God and reconciled with God. And He is the only way (John. 14:6) and only through Him shall we draw nigh unto God and have communion with Him.

5) Christ Jesus is the only Mediator and therefore it indeed disobeys the truth that the Roman Catholic taught men to pray to God for blessings through St. Mary or angels.


1Tim. 2:6 “who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,

   YLT: “who did give himself a ransom for all -- the testimony in its own times --”

   The Background: “ransom” at that time slavery prevailed in the Roman Empire and a slave cannot be set free until he himself or someone else paid the “ransom”.

   Literal Meaning: who gave Himself a ransom for all” “gave” in the original means giving up, sacrificing or dedicating; “ransom” refers to the cost of compensation.

  “To be testified in due time” It refers to the matter that Christ Jesus, as the Mediator between God and men, gave Himself a ransom for all. “Be testified” refers to being confirmed.

Concerning the “time”, the Bible exegetes have four different kinds of explanations: 1) it refers to the time that the Lord Jesus was crucified. The truth of redemption is manifested by His giving Himself. 2) it refers to the time Christians preach the gospel and make men hear the message of the gospel. The truth of redemption is manifested by the gospel. 3) it refers to the time when men receive the gospel, i.e. the time of the individual’s being saved. The truth of redemption is manifested through the subjective experiences. 4) it refers to the second coming of the Lord. Before the judgment seat of Christ, both believers and unbelievers shall confirm that believers have received the redemption and unbelievers shall bear their own sins.

    According to the context, “for which I was appointed a preacher” in v.7 seems to show that he preached the gospel in order to testify the truth of redemption. And therefore the second explanation is quite reasonable.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The Lord Jesus gave Himself a ransom for all, including those who haven’t been saved yet. And therefore we should try our best to preach the gospel to save men in order to be worthy of the will of the Lord.

2) One of the aims that Christians are redeemed from sins is to declare and prove the genuineness and reliability of redemption. And therefore how should we ignore such a weighty mission.


1Tim. 2:7 “for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle--I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying--a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

   YLT: “in regard to which I was set a preacher and apostle -- truth I say in Christ, I do not lie -- a teacher of nations, in faith and truth.”

   Meaning of Words: “preacher”: herald, announcer; “apostle”: he that is sent.

   Literal Meaning: for which I was appointed” “for which”: in order to confirm that Christ Jesus gave Himself a ransom for all (See v.6). “I was appointed” indicates that he was sent by God.

  “A preacher and an apostlea teacher of the Gentiles” “A preacher” refers to the one who is sent to preach the message, i.e. an evangelist. “An apostle” refers to the one who is sent to accomplish the mission, usually it refers to a worker who has the authority to represent God to establish churches in various places. “A teacher” refers to the one who teaches and explains the truth of the Bible. “A teacher of the Gentiles” refers to a teacher who mainly teaches the Gentiles.

“In faith and truth” it refers to a teacher’s two tasks: 1) leading men to receive the correct faith; 2) teaching men to know the right truth.

  I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying” this insertion shows that the Lord entrusted Paul to be a apostle mainly to teach the Gentiles to know the truth of the gospel (Gal. 2:7-8) and such commitment is an absolutely true fact. At that time many Jews who were zealous in the law (including believers and unbelievers) followed up Paul and destroyed his work of preaching everywhere (See Acts. 15:1, 5; 17:5, 13; 18:12; 23:20-21, 27-28). And their main excuse was that Paul was not the normal apostle and he was not appointed by the Lord.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) “For which I was appointed a preacher” It shows that what preachers do is according to what the Lord Jesus has done (See v.5-6). And therefore if preachers know the will and work of the Lord more, they shall have more burdens and motives to serve Him.

2) The main obligations of preachers are to teach men to receive the faith and know the truth. Unfortunately, today many preachers do not do their proper business. On the contrary, they turn to do the social welfare.


1Tim. 2:8 “I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;

   YLT: “I wish, therefore, that men pray in every place, lifting up kind hands, apart from anger and reasoning;”

   Meaning of Words: “doubting”: discussion, opinions to the doubtful point, statements of opinions; “holy”: upright, pious, kind.

   The Background: pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands” In ancient times, men usually prayed by lifting up their hands (See Exod. 9:29, 33; 17:11): when praying, one stood, lifted up his hands and looked into the heaven, with his palms facing up. It seemed that he hoped to receive the answer of his prayer from God in heaven.

   Literal Meaning: I desire therefore that the menwithout wrath and doubting” In the original the word “desire” implies ordering and it is a polite order. “Wrath” is of feelings and “doubting” is of thoughts and both of them are the expressions of soul. When one’s soul is not regulated or controlled appropriately, it shows that something is wrong with his soul. One must pray to God and worship Him in Spirit and in truth (John. 4:24). And therefore here without wrath and doubting are listed as the prerequisites to prayer.

Conversely, when one leads a normal life in prayer, his heart must be in the normal state and naturally he will not (or seldom) become wrathful or dispute with others. And therefore it also means “if men want to be without wrath and doubting, they must pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands”.

Generally, it is easy for men to lose their temper and dispute with others. And therefore Paul pointed out the problem for correction, aiming at the features of men.

  “Pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands” “hands” in the Bible symbolizes what men have done (See Ps. 28:4-5); “holy hands” refers to clean hands and a pure heart (Ps. 24:4), i.e. walking uprightly with pure motives.

Life in all godliness and reverence (See v.2) is the backing of prayers and the prayers shall be heard by God. And prayers are the power of source of the life in all godliness and reverence. And therefore “holy hands” and “pray everywhere” are closely related to each other and they are each other’s essential prerequisite.

    Usually, women are more pious and they pay more time in prayer; and men are too lazy to pray and they like to neglect prayers with excuses that they are too busy in their work to have time and they cannot find out the suitable place. And therefore Paul put an end to men’s excuses.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Christians should not argue with men or cause disputes. Only when we have harmonious relationship with men shall we have normal relationship with God (See Matt. 5:23-24).

2) Wrath and disputes will hinder us from leading the normal life in prayers and therefore we should learn to bridle our feelings and thoughts and do not allow them to be let off randomly.

3) “Without doubting” means that one should pray by faith and not doubt. We should have pure motives in our prayers and rely on God only.

4) The spiritual things cannot be understood by men’s wisdom (1Cor. 2:13-14) and therefore the principle of Christians’ walkings is that believing is before understanding instead of that understanding is before believing. It is praying by faith first instead of disputing by rationalities first.

5) The pious life (the hands are holy) support and strengthen the life of prayers. And the life of prayers is also contributive to the pious life (one is able to have holy hands to life up).

6) Prayers should be made at all seasons (See Eph. 6:18). One should have the fixed times and places to lead a normal life in prayers, however, he cannot be restrained by times and places.


1Tim. 2:9 “in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing,

   YLT: “in like manner also the women, in becoming apparel, with modesty and sobriety to adorn themselves, not in braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or garments of great price,”

   Meaning of Words: “propriety”: bashfulness, shame; “moderation”: soundness of mind, keep the mind; “modest”: orderly, decorous, dignified; “adorn”: dress up, decorate oneself.

   The Background: at that time, women under the control of the Roman Empire liked braiding various kinds of complex hair styles with silk ribbons and knots of flowers and wore various precious and luxurious jewelry in order to compete with each other for beauty of looks. 

   Literal Meaning: in like manner also, that the womenwith propriety and moderation” “propriety” refers to the state of mind that is constricted by the noble sense of shame and it is shown in one’s polite, modest and restrained behavior. “Moderation” refers to the sober and self-controlled mind and one could control himself.

    “Propriety” stresses on the attitude and “moderation” stresses on the heart.

  “Adorn themselves in modest apparel” “in modest apparel” refers to the clothes conforming to the status and positions of the Saints. “Adorn” refers to wearing and manner.

  “Not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing” “Braided hair” indicates that one is particular about his hair style and spends too much time and money in the hair. “Gold or pearls” refers to the precious jewelry and ornaments, including earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings and etc. “Costly clothing” refers to excessively luxury clothes.

   Controversial Clarification: some conservative Christians, according to this verse, criticized sisters for their clothes easily and they thought that they were covetous of the world. And some sisters misunderstood this verse and they all wore the identical cheongsam and simple hair. They thought these conformed to the Bible. But actually, they were overstrict in correcting mistakes and it was helpless to the witness of Christians. Here I provide following several opinions carefully for reference to clothes:

1) Everyone has different standard, concerning whether he is covetous of the world in his clothes. To the degree of our spiritual life, let us walk by the same rule (Phil. 3:16) and we should not use the identical standard.

2) The clothes of Christians may also change with the times and environments more or less. To give an example: it was fashionable one hundred years ago to be dressed in a suit and it is normal today. Our clothes should neither be ahead of the time nor old-fashioned or improper.

3) Though the general likes and dislikes of the times change all the time, however, most of the fashions are conspicuous to meet the needs of the flesh. And therefore Christians should not follow the fashions invariably and but choose properly according to the principles of the Bible.

4) Principles that conform to “propriety and moderation”: a) do not be scantily-clothed; b) not be frivolous, coquettish and do not solicit fanciful thoughts.

5) Principles that conform to “modest apparel”: a) clothes should be neat and tidy instead of shabby or sloppy; b) clothes should be decent and worthy of the Saints and their social positions; c) the colors of the clothes should be elegant and sober instead of gorgeous; d) we should not be dressed in exotic clothes to attract others’ attention.

6) Principles that conform to “not with braided hair”: a) the hair style should be natural and pleasing to the eye and not be conspicuous; b) we should not wear heavy make-up and sometimes we need to make up ourselves properly for politeness.

7) Principles that conform to “not with gold or pearls”: a) we’d better not wear ornaments except the wedding ring; b) we should not be richly bejeweled.

8) Principles that conform to “not with costly clothing”: a) we should take economical and practical cloth into consideration and avoid fur and other expensive cloth; b) we should not pay high price of dress designing and cutting out for the style.

9) Principles that conform to environments and occasions: a) leisure wear is different from clothes for the outdoors; b) sports wear is different from working clothes; c) summer clothes are different from winter clothes; d) mourning clothes are different from ceremonial dress.

10) Principles that conform to the feelings of life: we wear some clothes if there is peace in us and we do not some clothes if there is peace in us.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Today the worldly women dress themselves, following the fashion at will and usually they are found shameless. Though it is not suitable for sisters to be old-fashioned, we should not follow the customs of this world blindly but have a sense of propriety.

2) “The sense of shame” is the best protection of women. And “modest apparel” is women’s strongest line of defense and the most beautiful expression.

3) Generally it is easy for men to become wrathful and dispute with others (See v.8) and women like showing off themselves in their wearing. However, brothers should replace wrath and disputes with prayers and sisters should replace exotic wear with modest apparel. In this way, the witness of Christians shall be manifested.

4) If we put in time and effort in dressing so as to cause jealousy and disputes, it will harm, not profit the friendly communication among believers in the church.

5) Costume and accessories represent one’s appearance. Believers should not be particular about clothes excessively, however, we should not regard it as unimportant. We should pay attention to others’ impressions.

6) The clothes of preachers should be examples to believers and they should show the piety according to the principles of the Bible.


1Tim. 2:10 “but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.

   YLT: “but -- which becometh women professing godly piety -- through good works.”

   Meaning of Words: “good works”: good behavior; “professing”: announce, promise; “proper”: suitable, right, fit, worthy, symmetrical.

   Literal Meaning: “but…with good works” “good works” refer to the outer good behavior shown from the inner hearts (See 1Pet. 3:4-5).

  “Which is proper for women professing godliness” “professing” implies estimating oneself; “godliness” is fearing God; “proper” means veritable.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Sisters had better not pay too much attention to their appearances but stress on the inner characters and virtue shown by characters (See Phil. 4:8).

2) Believers should conduct ourselves worthily of faith (See Phil. 1:27) and be separate to unbelievers. Then we shall shine as lights in the world (Phil. 2:15).

3) One’s behavior proves the intentions in his heart. The true godly men must show behavior worthy of godliness.


1Tim. 2:11 “Let a woman learn in silence with all submission.

   YLT: “Let a woman in quietness learn in all subjection,”

   The Background: at that time, women had low rights within the border of Roman Empire and generally women’s level of knowledge was not high. And therefore not only the Gentile women had low positions in the society but also the Jewish women were not respected all the time in the ceremonies of worship in the synagogue. However, the faith of Christianity broke down the barrier between men and women (Gal. 3:28) so that women could positively participate in the church life and some sisters had excellent performance, for example, Lydia, Priscilla, Phoebe and others (See Acts. 16:14, 40; 18:2, 18, 26; Rom. 16:1-2). However, some negative problems were also caused because of this. Some women that believe were ignorant of controlling themselves and spoke improperly in the meeting and influenced the meeting. Paul was forced to ask sisters to keep the order established by God in public meetings (See 1Cor. 11:3; 14:34-36; Gen. 3:16).

   Literal Meaning: Let a woman learn in silence” “in silence” refers to quite; “learn” refers to learning the truth.

“With all submission” “all” refers to everything. In the original the word “submission” stresses on submitting instead of obeying. “Submitting” indicates that one submits himself to God’s arrangement willingly and “obeying” refers to the outer obedience of actions. If one “obeys” God externally and does not submit to Him, it is not the “submission” in the Bible.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) In Christianity all believers are allowed to have the rights and responsibilities to learn the truth. The male or the female and the young or the old all need to grow in the knowledge (2Pet. 3:18). And therefore every believer has to put in time and effort in learning. However, we should not be those who learn but are unable to come to the knowledge (See 2Tim. 3:7; Heb. 5:12).

2) What’s the most important in learning the truth is to have “the ears of the instructed” first and then we shall have the “the tongue of the instructed” (See Is. 50:4). We should be swift to hear and slow to speak (James. 1:19) and in this way we won’t make mistakes.

3) The submission of the Bible is not the one-sided, rude and unreasonable subduing but the spontaneous and willing submission. Such submission comes from the spiritual knowledge.


1Tim. 2:12 “And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.

   YLT: “and a woman I do not suffer to teach, nor to rule a husband, but to be in quietness,”

   Literal Meaning: And I do not permit a woman to teach” “do not permit” refers to not allowing and not giving permission to; “teach” refers to explaining and teaching the truth with authority and here it means teaching men.

“Or to have authority over a man” “or” shows that this sentence is parallel to the previous sentence. And it is not the repetition or reinforcement. “Have authority over a man” refers to attempting at grasping more power to give orders.

“But to be in silence.” “Being in silence” refers to being quite and clam. This sentence could be the supplement to the first sentence------“do not permit a woman to teach” and be used to explain the second sentence------“or to have authority over a man” because speech is the main method to have authority over others.

   Controversial Clarification: the principle of interpreting the Bible is “not of any private interpretation” (2Pet. 1:20, not of its own interpretation in the original). It means that it cannot conflict with other scriptures and should be balanced with “it is written again” (Matt. 4:7). According to this principle, in this verse women were not fully forbidden from teaching and some conditions were forbidden in accordance with the special background at that time (please see the background in v.11). The reasons are as follows: 

1) Paul allowed women to prophesy with their heads covered in other scripture (1Cor. 11:5) and from the context in that place, the reason why women covered their heads is men’s presence.

2) Paul also allowed that “the older women likewise…teachers of good things…that they admonish the young women” (Tit. 2:3-4), showing that women could teach women.

3) There is no lack of living examples that women bore witness, proclaimed the gospel and talked about Christ (John. 4:39; Luke. 2:38; Acts. 18:26; Ps. 68:11) in the Bible.

4) In the church of the New Testament, there are both prophets and prophetesses who prophesied (Acts. 21:9-10).

5) The “not permitting” in this verse should specially refers to: a) not permitting the unlearned women to teach; b) not permitting women to teach with their heads uncovered (i.e. surpassing their original states).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) In the new creation men and women are equal (Gal. 3:28), however, their functions and roles are different (1Cor. 11:3). What matters is how to fulfill one’s own duty instead of how to strive for power and position.

2) We could learn a lesson from the church history: once a woman surpasses her state and lifts up her head, she is usually utilized by the devil to make some heresies (for example, Christian Science, Seventh Day Adventists, Church of Almighty God and etc).

3) Silence is the best tactic. Christians are the light of the world and salt of the earth and salt and light take effect in silence.


1Tim. 2:13 “For Adam was formed first, then Eve.

   YLT: “for Adam was first formed, then Eve,”

   Meaning of Words: “form”: mould, shape; “Adam”: man, red; “Eve”: living, mother of all men.

   Literal Meaning: For Adam was formed first” “For” expresses the first reason why a woman is not permitted to have authority over a man. “Being formed first” refers to the order in which God created men. It shows that Paul did not belittle women but brought us back to the plan and arrangement in the beginning when God created men (See 1Cor. 11:8-9).

  “Then Eve” means that “Eve who was formed then” should submit to “Adam who was formed first”. It is of God’s arrangement and we should not reply against God (See Rom. 9:20).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Christians should not judge the rationality of everything according to faits accomplis and we should turn to “the beginning” of it (See Matt. 19:8; 1Cor. 11:8) and seek God’s purpose and arrangement for it.

2) The essence of “submission” (See v.11) is to respect the order that God has arranged. All feelings or actions that ignore the order are the resistance to God.


1Tim. 2:14 “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

   YLT: “and Adam was not deceived, but the woman, having been deceived, into transgression came,”

   Literal Meaning: And Adam was not deceived” “And” expresses the second reason why a woman is not permitted to have authority over a man. “Deceived” indicates that Satan lured men into transgressing the order of God (See Gen. 2:16-17; 3:1-6).

“But the woman being deceived, fell into transgression” “the woman being deceived” refers to the case that Eve was deceived by the serpent (See Gen. 3:13). “Fell into transgression” refers to the case that sin entered into the world (Rom. 5:12).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) God formed Adam first (See v.13) and Satan deceived Eve first and the orders of them are opposite to each other. The result of God’s order is “very good” (Gen. 1:27, 31); the result of Satan’s order is depravation (Gen. 3:6, 13).

2) Everyone who exalts himself and surpasses the order that God has arranged falls into Satan’s principle of depravation and in the result, he shall fall into transgression.

3) The fact that Satan deceived Eve shows that it is easier for women to be deceived. And therefore it is the best protection that God has arranged for women to submit to men’s judgment and decisions.

4) Men and women have different gifts in the physiology and psychology, for example, men are stronger and women are weaker; men stress on sense and women stress on sensibility; men make decision easily and women are more irresolute and hesitant and etc. And therefore purely from the viewpoint of God’s creation, the safest way for women is to receive the protection of men instead of flaunting their superiority. 


1Tim. 2:15 “Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.

   YLT: “and she shall be saved through the child-bearing, if they remain in faith, and love, and sanctification, with sobriety.”

   Meaning of Words: “continue”: abide, remain, adhere to.

   Literal Meaning: Neverthelessif they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.” “Nevertheless” shows the way to receive grace and be saved from distress. The emphasis of “faith” is towards God, i.e. relying on God (Heb. 6:1; Rom. 14:22). The emphasis of “love” is towards men, i.e. loving unto all the Saints (Eph. 1:15). The emphasis of “holiness, with self-control” is towards oneself, i.e. possessing his vessel in sanctification and honor (1Thess. 4:4).

  “She will be saved in childbearing” “childbearing” refers to giving birth to child. “Be saved” indicates that one is kept and saved from the natural and potential danger and tribulations (See Acts. 27:20, 31, 34), i.e. coming through the danger and tribulations.

All through the ages, the Bible exegetes had various explanations to this verse: 1) one is kept by God physically in the course of pregnancy and childbirth. 2) one receives comfort and strength from God during the painful course of childbirth. 3) one finds her greatest achievement in the mission of bearing and rearing children which could redeem the failure that Eva transgressed first. 4) even if a woman bears children with pain (Gen. 3:16), she herself shall be saved (1Cor. 3:15). 5) women, being deceived, fell into transgression (See v.14), however, they were redeemed from sins because of “the seed of the woman”------Christ, just as what Eve had received. 6) one receives the salvation of spirit and soul through giving birth to Jesus the Savior, just as what Mary had received (Luke. 1:28-31, 46-48).

The editor agreed on explaining this verse literally rather than explaining it spiritually------the modern Bible exegetes with modern scientific insight held that faith was not related to the easy delivery. And consequently there is not practical help to us. To many pious sisters of all the past dynasties, such precious promise gave them special help in the course of childbearing. And therefore we should understand and receive it literally and experience God’s promise subjectively and we shall have peace which surpasses every understanding. However, we should take care of the application of this verse: 1) this promise is conditional and it is only effective to the women who continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control. 2) we should receive the professional suggestion from physicians and if that they held that Cesarean section was necessary according to the physical conditions, we should not ignore the suggestion.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Believers please God by faith (Heb. 11:6), manifest the Lord by love (John. 13:35) and see the Lord boldly by holiness and self-control (Heb. 12:14).

2) Those who continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control shall receive God’s blessings and it profits the life that now is and of that which is to come (See 4:8).

3) Though childbearing is a kind of tribulation to women, the pious women could turn the tribulation to joy and blessings. 


III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons


The Knowledge of Prayer

I.  The kinds of prayer (v.1):

  A. supplication.

  B. prayer.

  C. intercession.

  D. giving of thank.

II. The objects of prayer:

  A. all men (v.1).

  B. kings and all who are in authority (v.2).

III. The reasons for intercession:

  A. we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence (v.2b).

  B. this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior (v.3).

IV. The four main essence of prayer (v.8):

  A. we should pray in quietness and without any wrath towards others.

  B. we should pray by faith, without doubting. 

  C. we should pray with the support of holy hands (walkings).

  D. we should pray everywhere.


The Main Workers of Preachers

I. Praying for all men that they would be saved (v.1-4a).

II. Teaching all men to understand and believe the truth of being saved (v.4b-7a).

III. Teaching believers learn the truth and lead a life in all godliness (v.7b-15).


The Reason Why God Desires All Men to Be Saved

I. Because there is one God (v.5a)------all races and all nations are of one true God.

II. Because there is one Mediator between God and men (v.5b)------there is not salvation in any other.

III. Because He gave Himself a ransom for all (v.6)------the objects of redemption include all the world.

IV. Because God appointed preachers, apostles (missionaries) and teachers for this purpose (v.7).


The Essential Points of the Faith of Christianity

I. Believing in the one true God (v.5a; Deut. 6:4).

II. Believing in the one Mediator (v.5b; Acts. 4:12).

III. Relying on the one redemption------Jesus gave Himself a ransom for all (v.6; Matt. 20:28).


What Women that Believe should Know

I. In a public place:

  A. women should adorn themselves in modest apparel (v.9).

  B. women should have good works (v.10).

II. In the meetings of the church:

  A. women should learn in silence with all submission (v.11-12a).

  B. women should not have authority over men (v.12b-14).

III. In the house------women should continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control (v.15).


The Conditions that Women should Have in the Meetings of the Church 

I. Being proper both in the appearance and in the inner hearts (v.9-10).

II. Learning in silence (v.11-12).

III. Continuing in holiness, with self-control (v.13-15).


── Caleb HuangChristian Digest Bible Commentary Series

   Translated by Sharon Ren