8 I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; 9 likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness-with good works. 11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing-if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.
-1 Timothy 2:8-15
1 Timothy 2:9-10
"Women aren't allowed to have braided hair, pearls, gold, or expensive clothes?"
Some women in Timothy’s church drew attention to themselves by flaunting their wealth and physical appearance. Paul’s point is that their beauty should come from a strong moral character rather than superficial, external appearances. There's nothing inherently wrong with braided hair, jewelry, or dressing nicely—the passage simply addressed their sinful motives. These verses make even more sense when compared with 1 Peter 3:3-4, which refers to this concept as "adorning the hidden person of the heart with imperishable beauty". We should seek inner beauty that pleases God rather than just physical beauty that fades over time.
1 Timothy 2:11-12
"Why do women have to learn quietly with submissiveness? Isn't that oppressive?"
Paul clarified his use of the words “quiet” and “submissive” in the next verse. Women shouldn’t teach (remain quiet) or exercise authority over men (submissiveness) in the context of church service. Women, along with all men in the congregation, should submit to the male leadership of the church. Women can serve in many ways, just not as pastors or elders. Although women are capable of teaching men and are allowed to do so in every other context, God has simply chosen men to shepherd his churches. The reason is grounded in headship; God’s chain of authority. This doesn’t make men superior to women just as childbirth doesn’t make women superior to men. God chose to create both sexes equal in value, yet with different roles in the church.
When some people hear the word submissive, they immediately picture an oppressor forcing his will on a weak, submissive person. However, this is a false assumption. People willfully submit to others all the time without being weak or oppressed. Whenever you submit to a friend or boss who needs something, it doesn’t mean you’re being weak or that they’re oppressing you. Christian women (and men) willfully submit to male church leadership out of thankfulness to Christ. That’s why it’s difficult to find Christian women who feel weakness or oppression in Bible based churches.
1 Timothy 2:12
"Why aren't women permitted to teach or exercise authority over a man?
Many women are capable of authoritative teaching positions over men, and are allowed to do so outside of the church context (in the workplace, schools, government, etc.). There’s nothing about being a man that makes you more capable than women in this regard. However, God uses the church structure as an object lesson to teach an important spiritual truth. Having men lead congregations is intended to communicate that Christ (who is male) teaches, guides, and protects the church (which is represented as female, Ephesians 5:25-31). Women teaching and having authority over men would illustrate that the church has authority over and teaches Christ, which is backwards. Again, men are no more able or valuable than women. The authority structure is an object lesson and we have no reason to be offended by it.
It’s also worth mentioning that the metaphor of men representing Christ is obviously limited. It would be blasphemous to suggest men are godlike, and sinful to say men are more valuable than women (Galatians 3:28).
1 Timothy 2:13
"Is this passage implying that because Adam was formed first, men are greater than women?"
Not at all. Genesis is very clear that women are equally made in God’s image, and Galatians 3:28 says we are all equal in Christ regardless of gender. Paul simply pointed to the order of creation to reinforce the symbol of headship—that husbands are spiritual leaders of their wives and Christ is the spiritual leader of the church.
1 Timothy 2:14
"Is this passage implying that women are deceived easier than men?"
No. The purpose of pointing to Eve’s deception in Eden was to give an example of headship gone wrong. Adam failed to be spiritual leader/head of his wife and it resulted in her sinning. God entrusted Adam with spiritual knowledge (Genesis 2:16-17) and he failed to lead his wife. When she was deceived by Satan’s twisted theology, Adam failed to guide her and joined in her sin, even though he knew the truth. This resulted in the fall of mankind. A good husband/head would have exposed the false theology and protected his wife from sin.
1 Timothy 2:15
"Is this verse teaching that women are saved from God’s judgement by having children?"
Whatever this verse means, we can be certain that Paul didn’t mean women are saved from God’s judgment by having children. The previous verses, along with his other letters, make it clear that Jesus is only the source of salvation for all people (1 Timothy 1:15-16, 1 Timothy 2:5-6, Romans 3:23-26, Romans 5:1-2, Colossians 2:13-15).
To understand this passage, we have to start with verse 11. Paul was saying that, although women are limited in authority (1 Timothy 2:11-12), and the first woman was deceived into sin (1 Timothy 2:13-14), God used the uniquely female role of childbearing to bring about the very Messiah who would save them. From Eve to Mary generations were born, culminating in the arrival of Jesus. We are saved by Jesus’ sacrifice, but we are saved through childbearing, in the sense that Jesus was born of a woman, so he could become a human and die for our sins (Galatians 4:4-5). The second half of verse 15 is a disclaimer that this “salvation through childbearing” only applies to true converts: those who continue in the fruits of the Spirit (faith, love, holiness, self-control Galatians 5:22-23). For further clarification of this verse, tap here.