“For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression” (1 Timothy 2:13-14).
While some may dismiss 1 Timothy 2:11-14 as an archaic remnant of a patriarchal culture, one commentator directs our attention to an important point…
“The reason for the distinction between men and women in the matter of leadership in the church and in the home is then grounded on the relationship between man and women established at the very beginning (vv. 13–14): ‘For Adam was created first, afterwards [eita] Eve.'” (1)
It is also worth noting that Adam made a conscious decision to violate God’s directive while Eve was “completely deceived” in the words of one source. (2) Finally, the phrase “fell into transgression” may be more accurately translated “has come to be in transgression” in the passage quoted above. This places an emphasis on the continuing consequences of the fall. (3)
These ancient realities have an impact upon leadership roles under discussion here in the closing verses of 1 Timothy chapter two. Therefore, we might associate these verses with the cost of falling into deception and the price of acting in a manner that disregards our Creator’s intent. If we choose to do so, it may lead to far-reaching implications that result in lost opportunities.
So as we close our look at these verses, it is important to emphasize once again that this passage does not reflect upon human value. It also does not prohibit women from pursuing various avenues of service as God directs. It simply means that men who are called of God should fill the role of a primary congregational leader.
Dr. Norman Geisler points out that Paul is not negating the ministry of women but limiting the authority of women. Of course, men are also under authority as well. Even Christ is under authority according to 1 Corinthians 11:3. While a woman might be gifted with an ability to teach God’s Word, Paul seems to be saying that it is inappropriate for her to exercise that gift in the position of a Bishop or Pastor over a general assembly.
Geisler summarizes this thought in the following manner…
“This, however, in no way demeans or diminishes the role of women… The fact that men cannot have babies is not demeaning to their humanity or their role in the family. It is simply that God has not granted them this function, but a different one.” (4)
(1) Archer, G. L. (1982). New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House. Page 45
(2) “fully deceived” NET Bible notes on 1 Timothy 2:14 https://netbible.org/bible/1+Timothy+2
(3) “fell into transgression” NET Bible notes on 1 Timothy 2:14 https://netbible.org/bible/1+Timothy+2
(4) Geisler, N. L., & Howe, T. A. (1992). When critics ask : a popular handbook on Bible difficulties (pp. 496–499). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.