1 Timothy
Introduction

1 2 3 4 5 6


Contradictions
Interpretation
Absurdities
Women
Injustice
Intolerance
Science and History
Good Stuff
Family Values
Language
Prophecy
Homosexuality
Politics


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"Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence." -- 1 Timothy 2:11-12

First Timothy for Skeptics

First Timothy is one of the post-Pauline Pastoral Epistles (the others are 2 Timothy and Titus). Though all three claim to have been written by Paul, they werenít. They were written in the  second century, long after Paul had died (1).

Still, First Timothy has important information for women, slaves, and dieters. Women are not allowed to have authority over men, must dress modestly and be silent in church (2:11-12). They canít teach, braid their hair, or wear expensive clothes or jewelry (2:9). Every woman is inferior to every man in every way. But there is a bright side: they are saved in childbearing! (2:13-15)

Slaves must obey their masters; otherwise God is somehow blasphemed (6:1).

And for all you health freaks out there: Eat meat (4:1-4), donít exercise (4:8), and stop drinking water. Drink wine instead. (5:23)

Here are some other highlights.

  • Ignore "fables and endless genealogies." (Like Gen.10, 1 Chr.1-9, Mt.1, and Lk.3?) 1:4

  • Homosexuals are lawless, disobedient, unholy, and profane. 1:10

  • "Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme." 1:20

  • Women are to dress modestly, "with shamefacedness" -- "not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array." 2:9

  • "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence." 2:11-12

  • Men are superior to women since Adam was made before, and sinned after, Eve. But even though women are inferior to men, they shouldn't be discouraged because they shall "be saved in childbearing." 2:14-15

  • "In the latter times some shall depart from the faith" by becoming vegetarians. 4:1-4

  • "Bodily exercise profiteth little." 4:8

  • Real widows are "desolate" and pray "night and day." But those widows that experience pleasure are "dead while [they] live." 5:5-6

  • You should help a widow only if she : is over 60 years old, had only one husband, has raised children, has lodged strangers, has "washed the saints feet," has relieved the afflicted, and has "diligently followed very good work." Otherwise, let them starve. "But the younger widows refuse [to help]: for ... they will marry; having damnation." Besides the young widows are always idle tattlers -- "busybodies, spreading things which they ought not ... some are already turned aside after Satan." 5:9-15

  • Publicly humiliate those who sin by announcing their sins in front of God and everybody so "that others may also fear." 5:20

  • Stop drinking water. Drink wine for your "stomach's" sake. 5:23

  • "Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed." 6:1

  • "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be ... ready to distribute." 6:17-18

  • Avoid "science falsely so called" -- especially if it disagrees with the Bible. 6:20


(1)
Bart D. Ehrman, The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings, 3rd ed. (2004), chap.23
Pagels, Elaine, Adam, Eve, and the Serpent, 1988, p.xxiii.
Wikipedia
First Epistle to Timothy
Authorship of the Pauline epistles: The Pastoral Epistles