Helen Barrett Montgomery
- Notwithstanding she will be saved by the Child-bearing; (so will they all), if they live in faith and love and holiness, with self- restraint. (From the Montgomery NT found in the The Bible Tool .)
I also received an email from a commenter to this effect.
- Do you think this verse might be placed over against God's pronouncement to Eve about bearing children in pain (or "sorrow")? That through Christ, faithful women will experience victory even in the painful processes of birthing and raising children?
What women do not think this means is being preserved from temptation by Satan through remaining within the domestic sphere. What could be more soul-destroying for a single woman than feeling she must, that is, be obliged to, remain within the child-rearing sphere even though she has no children of her own. What a delight it may be to choose to do this, but to regard it as an obligation could only cause grief, not preservation from Satan.
However, Köstenberger does apply this to the single woman,
- Passages such as the present one appear to indicate that it is precisely by participating in her role pertaining to the family that women fulfill their central calling. Moreover, if the reference to “childbearing” should indeed be understood as synecdoche, even unmarried women are to retain a focus on the domestic sphere and all that it entails.
In summary, I most certainly agree with Köstenberger that women should not seek liberation from all encumbrances of family responsibilities. The absence of any mention of my own family, husband and children, from this blog only indicates how carefully I guard their identity from public. However, they are my 'central calling'.
Regarding the single woman, she should not be bound by synecdoche.
Thank goodness, I don't have correspondingly strong opinions about some of the other 'woman passages' in the Bible. It has been instructive, however, to look at an example like this, where woman is not only the object, the pawn of the text, but also agent, the translator. Thanks to Helen Montgomery.