Video: Man, Woman, Deception and Authority in 1 Timothy 2

Today’s question:

How do we explain 1 Timothy 2:14? On the one hand it appears to have a novel idea that Adam was not deceived in the fall. While on the other it appears to ground the submission of women in a tendency to be deceived. What’s going on here?

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About Alastair Roberts

Alastair Roberts (PhD, Durham University) writes in the areas of biblical theology and ethics, but frequently trespasses beyond these bounds. He participates in the weekly Mere Fidelity podcast, blogs at Alastair’s Adversaria, and tweets at @zugzwanged.
This entry was posted in 1 Timothy, Audio, Bible, Controversies, NT, NT Theology, Podcasts, Questions and Answers, Sex and Sexuality, The Church, Theological, Video. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Video: Man, Woman, Deception and Authority in 1 Timothy 2

  1. Sarah Allen says:

    Hi Alistair, Thanks for this podcast. I’m really fascinated by your emphasis on the man as being primarily made after the Image of God, and the connection of the woman with the Holy Spirit. I’m familiar with this latter from discussions in feminist theologians, but would really like to know where else this is discussed, if it occurs either in the Church Fathers or later writers. I’m writing a dissertation critiquing Sarah Coakley’s work at the moment, and your thoughts provide really stimulating connections and counterpoints. Blessings, Sarah

    • Thanks for the comment, Sarah.

      One place I would suggest looking would be in early Church discussions of Wisdom that identify the figure primarily with the Spirit, rather than primarily with Christ (e.g. Irenaeus). The Syriac tradition is often mentioned here too. Origen and Jerome reference traditions speaking of the Spirit in maternal terms too. There are plenty of other examples of such designations of the Spirit in the early tradition (see this for some examples).

      There are reasons to be careful here, lest speaking of the Spirit in such ways can lead us in the direction of a sort of tritheism, with three separate centres of consciousness. We should note the way that the figure of the Spirit is not anywhere near as defined as that of the Son as a cautionary warning against the persons of the Trinity in terms of human categories of personhood. This said, though, there is little doubt in my mind that the Scripture strongly associates the Spirit and women. While the tradition draws such a connection from other sources, I believe that the connection is already to be recognized from a Christian reading of Genesis 1.

      Sarah Coakley is a stimulating writer with whom to engage. Good luck in your dissertation!

      • Sarah Allen says:

        Thanks, that’s really helpful. I’m familiar with the Wisdom/Spirit/Christ connections – will go back to Irenaeus! And, yes, I can see this too in Genesis 1 as well. Will venture further into Jerome now…

      • The Wisdom-Spirit connections are much clearer in the book of Wisdom than in Proverbs. I also think that they help to solve a number of things that might otherwise be puzzles.

  2. Pingback: Alastair on Themes of Household and Sexuality – A Pilgrim's Missives

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