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 weren't.
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 can't
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), don't 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.3:23-38) 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