This is part 2 of answering the complementarian objections of Matt Slick on 1 Timothy 2:11-15. See part one here. My article laying out the original argument showing that 1 Timothy 2:12 is a specific woman that Paul forbids from teaching is here.
In Matt’s article on CARM 1 Timothy 2:11-15 here he is making an attempt at refuting my teaching, and in doing so he tries to deny that Paul is talking about false doctrine in the passage, by making a distinction that scripture does not make. Matt tries to prove that the word for false teaching (heterodidaskaleo) must be used when referencing false teaching but this will not stand up under careful inspection of the scriptures as Revelation 2:14, 15, and 20 have the word “teach” that comes from didasko (to teach) and this Greek word is used for teaching that is clearly situations regarding false doctrine. Once again Matt cannot hide the fact that Paul’s reference to the deception of the woman (1 Timothy 2:14) and the deceived false teachers in chapter 1 are the context of the prohibition of 1 Timothy 2:12.
The next issue related to deception is Paul’s reference to the first creation of Adam and the fact that the second one created was deceived. Note that Paul does not tie in the first creation of Adam with leadership nor does he tie in the second creation of Eve with the one must be the follower. Yet Matt says that Adam’s first creation is probably a matter of primogeniture, that is the pre-eminence of the first born. But primogeniture has nothing to do with marriage or male and female issues. It has to do with inheritance of the Father’s estate and in Christ both men and women are inheritors equally. Scripture never says that Adam had preeminence over Eve or that Adam was the only one who had God’s inheritance. This would be reading into the text. It is much better to take the text for what it says not what we can read into the text.
Matt Slick further says that not only are women not to teach men because the man has primogeniture rights but because of Eve’s deception “a woman” is not to teach or exercise authority over “a man”. It is amazing to see that while he had been arguing that 1 Timothy 2:11-15 has nothing to do with deception, he is now arguing that deception is also the reason why “a woman” is not allowed to teach. Now that Matt has agreed that deception is the reason for the prohibition, we can go back and connect 1 Timothy 2:12 to the deceived teachers in chapter 1 who are to be stopped from teaching. There is no doubt from the context that deception is key to understanding the passage and the stopping of one teacher in chapter 2 is related to the stopping of other deceived teachers in chapter 1.
Matt also admits that it is a possibility that the “a man” and “a woman” from 1 Timothy 2:12 could indeed be a husband a wife situation in the congregation. It is good to see Matt agreeing that there is nothing in the passage that would rule out a particular couple that Paul is commanding Timothy to deal with. Matt does say, though, that it is only a theory and the fact that it is a possibility does not make it a fact any more than that “a woman” was a temple prostitute who had a crush on Paul. Matt’s fallacious reasoning amounts to a straw man argument and there is nothing in the passage that would attach such a meaning to a temple prostitute having a crush on Paul. However there is much in chapters 1 & 2 to show that deception was the problem in the congregation and false teachers were to be stopped. Also the grammar of 1 Timothy 2:15 shows that there is a specific “she” and “they” that Paul has been referring to. In a future post I will deal with Matt Slick’s attempt at identifying who the “she” and “they” are from 1 Timothy 2:15 and I will show how his identification is impossible from the text.
I would like to apply Matt Slick’s own words from his article. He says that it is alright to have an opinion, “but it is not alright to insist that is what the text means. If someone does, then he or she is pushing an agenda and not being faithful to the plain reading of the word.” I heartily agree. I would like to ask why Matt Slick has attached a Jewish rule of primogeniture to the marriage of Adam and Eve when God never used this Jewish rule for marriage nor for any male and female issues of teaching or leading? Also, why would Matt Slick deny that the Greek word for “teach” can be used to include false doctrine when a search of this Greek word clearly shows that he hasn’t told us the truth? Why would he deny that deception is the context of 1 Timothy 2:12 when the deception of the woman is clearly given in verse 14? Is it possible that Matt Slick is the one who has an agenda?
Why is Matt Slick not being faithful to the plain reading of the word that lists the deception of the second one created as a reason for Paul’s prohibition? Matt’s final words are very appropriate “But isn’t that the case when people have an agenda? They find ways to make the scriptures fit their “cause”.” Indeed, Matt has tried to make the scriptures fit his “cause” by redefining a Greek word and ignoring the deception of the woman as a reason for the prohibition. His insistence that “a woman” must mean all godly Christian women just doesn’t fit the grammar of 1 Timothy 2:15. Finally after finding no way to refute the teaching that “a woman” is the specific “she” from verse 15, Matt Slick has had to admit that the grammar could include the possibility that Paul was referring to one specific woman. Should we restrict all godly Christian women from using their God-given gifts with the authority of 1 Peter 4:11 just because some have an agenda and want to place all women into the prohibition in a verse that has nothing to do with godly teaching? May it never be!