“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).
The statement “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man” from 1 Timothy 2:12 indicates that the lead Pastoral office in a church congregation should be held by men who are called of God to fulfill that office. Paul the Apostle will now go on to provide the justification for that position here in the verses quoted above.
To begin, we should note that the argument given to us in 1 Timothy 2:13-14 is not derived from society or culture. It is not built upon the opinions, ideas, interpretations, assessments, or reassessments of earlier teachings. It does not reflect a targeted response to a local situation within a particular church at a specific point in history. Instead, this teaching reaches back to the Garden of Eden and the very first human beings to inhabit this planet.
These things carry important ramifications. Remember that Paul the Apostle based this directive upon the very first male-female relationship as recorded in the book of Genesis. Therefore, it must transcend every subsequent human culture. This passage also references a point in history prior to the entry of sin into the world. Because of this, we cannot attribute this mandate to a mistaken human interpretation of God’s intent.
One theologian continues by explaining the significance of this passage in light of subsequent Old Testament teaching…
“As ‘firstborn,’ Adam had the rights of primogeniture, which, according to passages about firstborn sons in the OT, entailed not only inheritance rights but authority over the household. The fact that the apostle appeals to the created order is strong evidence against seeing this teaching about the role of women in the church as limited only to the particular circumstances in Ephesus.” (1)
Another pastoral commentator identifies the difference between human responsibility and human value as it relates to this passage…
“The difference Paul is referring to is the difference between a knife and a fork. They do not perform the same functions, yet we use them at the same time while we are eating. But we do not insist that they be employed the same way… we do not get upset because people use their knives and forks in distinctive ways. We do not claim the knife is inferior to the fork or the fork is inferior to the knife. Neither should we with men and women. They are made to do different things.” (2)
(1) Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2015). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (2015 Edition) (p. 2158). Orlando, FL: Reformation Trust.
(2) Excerpted with permission from Adam’s Rib or Women’s Lib? © 1981 by Ray Stedman Ministries. All rights reserved. Visit www.RayStedman.org for the complete library of Ray Stedman material. Please direct any questions to webmaster@RayStedman.org https://www.raystedman.org/new-testament/timothy/adams-rib-or-womens-lib