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Conduct of Women

And that the women would also pray[a] with clean hearts, dressed appropriately and adorned modestly and sensibly, not flaunting their wealth.[b] 10 But they should be recognized instead by their beautiful deeds of kindness, suitable as one who worships God.

11 Let the women who are new converts[c] be willing to learn with all submission to their leaders and not speak out of turn.[d]

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  1. 1 Timothy 2:9 Prayer is implied, but made explicit from the context of v. 8.
  2. 1 Timothy 2:9 Literally “not with braids of gold, or with pearls, or gorgeous robes.”
  3. 1 Timothy 2:11 Implied and understood by the cultural context of that day.
  4. 1 Timothy 2:11 Literally “quietly.” In the context of that day, it referred to women arguing with their male congregational leaders. In the temple worship of Diana, the goddess of the Ephesian people, it was most common to have female leadership. For the women who converted to Christ, their only cultural context of worship was that the women were the leaders. In the church, however, it was the men who more commonly made up the leadership of the congregations. Paul telling the women to “be willing to learn” means he was instructing them to take a respectful posture of a disciple in this new way of worshiping the true God. When Paul instructs them not to be teachers, he was apparently referring to their old religious system where it was the women who were the temple leaders and teachers of their goddess religion in Ephesus. This entire passage from 1 Tim. 2:9-15 is arguably one of the more difficult texts to translate in Paul’s writings, and has a number of plausible translations and interpretations. However, the translator has chosen to make clear what was implicitly understood by the early Christians in Ephesus, making it explicit for those of us from another culture and another era.

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