In a list of Bible verses that no one knows what to do with, 1 Timothy 2:15 has to rank near the top!
“Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.“
There are three predominant theories about this verse that go a little something like this:
-Some see this as saying women who have faith won’t die in childbirth. The challenge here is that many women without faith don’t die either, and some of faith have, at least by our judgment.
-Some see that Paul says women who have kids are automatically saved. The only person I’ve heard seriously back this view was someone who was trying to prove how dumb Paul was. This verse was used to show that Paul doesn’t even understand salvation, why should we trust him on anything else?
-Some see the difference in pronouns (she and they) to mean the individual will be saved by women in general carrying out their childbearing until the Messiah came and salvation is available to all now through the child, Christ, who was born of a woman. This is an intriguing theory, but seems to resort to gymnastics.
To me, I would lean toward the simplest reading of the text, which would make me then lean toward the first option.
However, “nevertheless” begins the verse, which is a word used to tie in the following statement with what went before.
Before that, Paul was talking about Eve and her transgression. Right after talking about that, Paul says “nevertheless she shall be saved in childbearing.”
Taking just that part, it seems as though Paul is saying, “Eve messed up big time, but God was gracious to her and allowed her to live and even to go on and have children.”
God could have ended the humanity experiment right there, but He didn’t. He allowed humanity to multiply.
This I am cool with and really like that explanation.
However, Paul goes on to say “she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.”
Who are “they,” is the big question. My simple answer to that is: I have no idea. But, Adam and Eve are the last two people he talks about. I have no idea if they continued “in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety,” but I do know they had kids.
Perhaps he’s not talking about women in general. Maybe he limited it to Eve specifically. When God judges the world and burns it all, it is because He will not find faith on the earth.
In other words, no one will have kids anymore if there is no faith anymore. Humanity will be gone. God will be done with them and their rebellion.
I like this explanation, but will refrain from saying it is definitive. But I’ll stick to it and try it out for a while and see how it holds up.