Saturday, July 30, 2011

Bible Study 1 Timothy 2 Praying & Roles of Men & Women in Church

Q1 What is the most important thing for men do and why?
  1. Praying - First of All (1Tim 2:1)
  2. For Who? 
    1. All People, everyone.
    2. In particular, for Kings (i.e. Government) and those in high positions (e.g. our leaders and bosses).
  3. Why?
    1. We may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly, and with dignity;v2:2
    2. so that the Gospel may be preached and all be saved.v2:4
    3. It is pleasing to God v2:3
note: there is no need to differentiate supplications, prayers, intercessions because in the original Greeks, there is no 'and' and the original meaning is essentially presenting the needs of the people/kings to and in the presence of God and with thank givings that our requests are heard and answered by God.

Q2 What is the Gospel? Is Christ the only way?

The Gospel is God saving all human beings through one mediator, the man Jesus Christ, who gave Himself as a ransom, appearing at the proper time.v2:4-6

There is only One God and One Mediator - Jesus Christ. There was no other mediator between God and men. John 14:6. New International Version (NIV). 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me". 

Q3  What is the mission of Paul?
Paul was appointed a preacher, apostle, a teacher to the Gentiles(non-Jews) for the faith in Jesus Christ. v2:7

Q4  What is the main difficulty in the interpretation of the roles of man and woman in the New Testament?

In the Greek, the word for man can be used as the male-man and as husband. The word for woman can be used as the female and as wife. Hence, we must look at the context to see whether 'male or husband' and 'female or wife'. Here are the additional details:

1Ti 2:5  For there is one God,and one mediator between God and menG444, the man(G444) Christ Jesus

Thayer Definition:
Man G444 anthrōpos 1) a human being, whether male or female

1Ti 2:8  I will therefore that men(G435) pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

Man G435 anēr
1) with reference to sex
    1a) of a male
    1b) of a husband
    1c) of a betrothed or future husband
2) with reference to age, and to distinguish an adult man from a boy

Woman G1135 gunē
1) a woman of any age, whether a virgin, or married, or a widow
2) a wife 2a) of a betrothed woman

I personally think that in this context, husband and wive are the better terms to use.

Q5  What should men/husbands do?
Paul was addressing man's tendency to fight by v2:8 telling us that husbands should pray by:
  1. lifting holy hands
    • dedicate the hands for good use rather than fighting with one another
  2. without anger or quarreling
Q6 What should women/wives do?
In the same way, Paul was addressing ladies' tendency towards outward beauty and ignoring inward beauty.
  1. pray too (likewsie in v2:9)
  2. adorn themselves respectably that reflect their godliness and not going for costly attire and jewelries. (But don't go to the other extreme of not even taking care of good appearance). The warning is not to overdo it externally.
  3. attitudes should be modesty, self-control, holiness, faith, love and submissive to their own husbands (i.e. not to any other men. Other men has no say over others' wives). v9,15.
  4. Women tend to be impressed and hence easily deceived by outward appearance as exemplified by Eve who saw the fruit was desirous.
  5. v15 could have many interpretations. Jesus was born through woman (Mary) to save the world is one interpretation. For me, it tells me that a wife becoming a mother will have greater wisdom and not be easily deceived. Mother has a different view and priority of life than a unmarried and a wife. However, no matter what the role and age, faith, love, holiness and self-control remain the good virtues.
Lim Liat copyrighted 30 July 2011

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