Annie Cressman: Not "Saved by Childbearing"
- But anyway, the women will come safely through the time of delivering a child, if they keep on believing and loving God, and if they live a clean life and keep humble.
Some other interpretations of this verse surprise me, since I see them put against a significant amount of Paul's teaching in other passages. For example, here is a post which I was shocked to read last March. Will Women be "Saved by Childbearing?"
- My conclusion: In 1 Tim. 2:15, Paul says that women will be spiritually preserved (from Satan) by adhering to their God-ordained role related to family and the home. This is contrasted with Eve, who transgressed those boundaries and fell into temptation (v. 14).
The way I construe the logic of 1 Tim. 2:12–15 is as follows. In v. 12, Paul sets boundaries for women in the church. In vv. 13–14, Paul gives two reasons for this: (1) creation order: the man was created first, then the woman (v. 13); (2) the scenario at the Fall: rather than God-man-woman-Satan, a complete reversal had taken place: Satan-woman-man-God. [BTW, Does this make sense to anyone?] In v. 15, Paul addresses the question, “How can women today avoid the mistake made by Eve?” The answer: By adhering to their God-given boundaries and tending to their God-given responsibilities.
- ...the underlying norm of this passage is of permanent validity: women’s central domain, as established by creation and confirmed negatively by the fall, is to be found in her involvement in the domestic and procreative sphere, in the natural household. p. 34
- We may therefore conclude that 1 Tim 2:15 may best be rendered in the following way: “She (i.e., the woman) escapes (or is preserved; gnomic future) [from Satan] by way of procreation (i.e., having a family).”83 Moreover, in line with 1 Tim 5:14, one should view procreation as merely the core of the woman’s responsibility that also entails, not merely the bearing, but also the raising of children, as well as managing the home (synecdoche; cf. also Titus 2:4–5).
- The sense of the injunction in the present passage is thus that women can expect to escape Satan under the condition of adhering to their God-ordained role centering around the natural household. page 39
But what does the Bible say to this? 1 Corinthians 7:32 - 36.
- I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided.
- And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.
What does Jesus himself say? Luke 11:27-28
- As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, "Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!" But he said, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"
But now I see a teaching creeping into the church that would undermine women like Annie Cressman, a single woman Bible teacher, translator of God's word, writer of books like The Pastor. Didn't she know that if she could not marry that she would be preserved by remaining within domesticity? Had she not been taught her boundaries?
If women had been properly taught their 'boundaries' this would have depopulated history of women like Deborah, Huldah, Phoebe, Olympia, Paula, Hilda, Selina Hastings and every other woman on this page.
Don't people know that in God's economy to be married is nothing, to be single is nothing, to bear children or not to bear children, we derive our worth from our submission to God's will and calling.
Annie Cressman and other single women Bible translators - not saved by childbearing.