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Yet she will be saved through childbearing, if they continue in faith and love, and holiness with modesty. 1 Timothy 2:15

1 Timothy 2:15 is a difficult verse to understand. One of the more disturbing interpretations of this verse is that women cannot be saved unless they have children. I have heard several well-known ministers teach this faulty interpretation.[1] For example, Jim Hamilton, (an associate professor of biblical theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a preaching pastor at a Baptist Church in the USA) has stated that “All women must embrace their role as women by bearing children and, if they do this in faith, they will then be saved.” (Bold added.)

I challenged Jim on this and he responded, “Well, read 1 Tim 2:15—Paul isn’t contradicting Jesus.”

I have no idea what Jim meant by this. I’m aware of what Paul said in 1 Timothy 2:15, but Jesus never said anything at all about women having to have kids in order to be saved.

What did Jesus say to women?

On one occasion Jesus had the opportunity to affirm the “virtue” of motherhood. A woman in the crowd cried out and said to him, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” Jesus replied, however, “Blessed rather are those who are hearing the word of God and obeying it” (Luke 11:27–28 NIV). In no way did Jesus indicate that being a mother was necessary, or the only way, women can obey God’s word.[2]

In his conversation with a Samaritan woman—the longest conversation between Jesus and an individual recorded in the Gospels—Jesus does not broach the subject of motherhood. Instead, he and the woman have a long theological discussion about true worship, during which, Jesus offers the woman the gift of Living Water (John 4:4). It is not recorded that Jesus offered this gift with the proviso that she embraces her role as a woman and have children.

Mary and Martha of Bethany, good friends of Jesus, may have been ascetics. If so, they would have been unmarried and childless. When Mary sat at Jesus’ feet learning from him, was he teaching her about the necessity of being a mother in order to be saved? When Jesus later had a theological discussion with Martha about the resurrection and eternal life, did he insist that Martha embrace her womanhood in order to receive eternal life? (John 11:25–27). I doubt it.

Jesus and Paul contradict Jim

By saying that “All women must embrace their role as women and bear children, and if they do so in faith they will be saved,” Jim effectively adds a clause to the gospel.

The gospel message I know is that Jesus died for our sins and rose again. And that, if we continually put our trust in Jesus as Savior and faithfully follow him as Lord, we—both women and men, and girls and boys—share in his eternal life. This is the gospel message, the message of salvation.

I don’t recall any New Testament author, including Paul, saying or implying, “Oh, and by the way, women must embrace their role as women and have children if they want to be saved because Jesus’ blood spilt on the cross isn’t enough to save you” (cf. 1 Cor. 15:1ff).

Paul does not contradict Jesus. That is because neither Paul nor Jesus connects salvation with supposed gender roles. I believe that Jim has misunderstood Paul’s meaning and intention in 1 Timothy 2:15. (My understanding of this verse, and its backstory, is here.)

What about childless women?

In 1 Corinthians 7:34, Paul says that singleness is a better state than marriage for people who want to serve the Lord with undivided devotion. But if having kids is how women are saved, how will single and childless Christian women be saved?

Jim bears the childless women in mind and adds yet another caveat to the gospel: “This doesn’t mean that single women or barren women can’t be saved, but they should by faith embrace what it means for them to be women.” (Bold added.)

It is easy for the majority of people to embrace their sex, as our sex is an intrinsic part of who we are. As a female, I know what it is to be female. And I don’t need faith to embrace what it means to be a woman—I just am a woman!

Being a woman is not a defining role, however, as there are many varied roles that godly women can take. The Bible shows us that women were involved in all kinds of activities, ministries, and life situations. Many of these Bible women were not defined by their marital status or by whether, or not, they had children. (I list more than 25 biblical roles for women, here.)

What did Paul mean in 1 Timothy 2:15?

From 1 Timothy 4:3, we know that some people in the Ephesian church were forbidding marriage and were probably teaching that celibacy was a moral, and even a necessary, virtue. In more than a few early Christian texts, virginity and celibacy were associated with salvation and the resurrection in some way. (I quote from several such texts here.)

With this backstory in mind, here is my understanding of 1 Timothy 2:15.

But shea woman mentioned in 1 Tim. 2:11–12
be savedshe won’t lose her salvation
through the bearing of children—through the experience of having sex and having children
if theya woman and man mentioned in 1 Tim. 2:12 who are probably wife and husband
continue in faith and love—usual expressions of following Jesus
and holiness with moderation—piety without asceticism.

Paul did not want an Ephesian woman (and women like her) to take the notion of holiness to the extreme of refusing to have sex and babies with her husband. He wanted her to know that having sex and having children would not jeopardise her salvation. I explain this interpretation further, here.

1 Timothy was written because of false teachings. 1 Timothy 2:15 addresses one of these false teachings. This verse does not represent Paul’s or Jesus’s general views on salvation or on having children. Jesus didn’t have children, and it’s possible that neither did Paul. If having children was actually necessary for women to be saved, wouldn’t they have helped a woman this way?

The gospel of Jesus has no gender bias

There is something very wrong with a gospel message that has a gender bias, where faith in Jesus Christ’s redemptive work is not enough for women, and they are required to negotiate extra “ifs” and “buts” that apply only to them. Moreover, it is unsound to alter the gospel to make it fit with a faulty interpretation of one single Bible verse, namely 1 Timothy 2:15.

Paul warned about people who try and pervert the gospel of Christ.

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! Galatians 1:6-8


[1] Jim’s article is not new, but I would think that if he had changed his mind on this topic he would have taken down his post. Jim’s post is here. Other complementarians, such as Bruce Ware, hold similar views. John MacArthur implies in this video on YouTube that the only redemptive act women can perform is having godly offspring.

[2] Procreating is a joint responsibility. The command to be fruitful and multiply was given to both men and women (Gen. 1:27–28). Having children is not the sole responsibility of women.

© June 2013 Margaret Mowczko

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A shorter version of this article was published by Christians for Biblical Equality (International) in their Arise e-newsletter on July 25th, 2013.

Explore more

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Celibacy, Salvation, and 1 Timothy 2:15
1 Timothy 2:13–15: The Creation and Salvation of Women
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Is motherhood the highest calling for women?
Busy at Home: How does Titus 2:4–5 apply today?
Working Women in the New Testament
Gender Obsessions: Emphasizing our Differences or Similarities?
25+ Biblical Roles for Biblical Women
Instant Christianity
Becoming a Christian

30 thoughts on “1 Timothy 2:15: What must a woman do to be saved?

  1. The Bible says believers put on Christ (Rom. 13,14; Gal. 3,27); it doesn’t say there is a pink and a blue version of the Christ garment.

  2. This is a great article, thanks Marg!

  3. Thank you for this. I’ve shared it.

  4. Thanks, Karin, Sarah, and J.

  5. Anyone who adds a single requirement of salvation, save grace, preaches heresy. Period.

  6. 1 Tim. 2:15 is more often quoted ignorantly making it out to be heresy than it is quoted responsibly. As you point out women do not have a different route to salvation than men do.

    It is of note that after Christ was born, women are no longer praised in Scripture for bearing children. Why? In the OT the promise was that the Messiah would come through the seed of a woman. All of God’s people looked for the birth of the Messiah. After Christ was born, lived, died and resurrected, it was done. Now, all of God’s people should be looking for how men and women can live after the example of the Messiah. That is God’s gift to us through Christ’s great sacrifice and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit given to all who believe if we continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.

  7. TL, It amazes me that many serious Bible teachers suddenly forget the basics of salvation when they read 1 Tim 2:15, and they try to make this single verse fit in, somehow, with the gospel.

    These teachers are reading too much into the verb sōzō (which means save, deliver, keep safe, preserve, or make well, etc) and making this single verse apply to all women, everywhere, rather than recognizing that Paul is addressing a local problem and a local heresy that forbade marriage, and therefore having children (1 Tim 4:3a).

    I suggest that Paul’s real meaning here was that he wanted the Christian women of Ephesus to know that getting married and having children would not jeopardise their salvation. Paul associates moral purity with childbearing because some people in the Ephesian church were forbidding marriage and teaching that celibacy was a necessary moral virtue (1 Timothy 4:3a).

    I agree that our main responsibility is to live our lives by following Jesus’ example. The earth has been populated; the command in Genesis 1 to “be fruitful and multiply” has been fulfilled. Perhaps Christians should focus on taking better care of the people who are already on earth, rather than encouraging marriage and motherhood as the primary calling for women.

    I also think it’s warped to say that women have a greater responsibility than men to have children. Having children is a joint responsibility (Gen. 1:26ff) and blessing.

    1. I could not agree more with this statement. We have a massive problem with modern day Bible teachers, preachers, and influencers who are tearing down the Gospel and destroying the Law of Liberty with any chance they get because they just have to do something about the stuff that they don’t like, and the sad thing is that most of them claim to come from the more “biblical” denominations.

      I shouldn’t be too surprised that this view is being pushed by a Baptist professor, though I am simultaneously grieved and nauseated. I was raised Baptist in the USA, and from my experience, most Baptist teachers didn’t really like women, and all but the best of them effectively undermined the Gospel by subtly or not-so-subtly adding requirements to faith to receive salvation, as if we can do more to be born of God than God already has.

      Luther’s commentary on Galatians gives a lot of scathing rebukes aimed toward “religious fanatics” and “legalists” who add requirements to salvation, invent more rules, and take things way further than they were ever intended to go in the interest of “holiness.” This happened then, and it’s happening today. The Scriptures teach us in many places that Jesus is the one who sanctifies us (makes us holy). Luther pointed out that there is this pernicious need for people to justify themselves even after Jesus already did, and that is nothing less than an abomination to God because it effectively denies what Jesus did on their behalf and replaces his finished work with man’s deeply flawed and never-finished works.

      1. Thanks, Nolan.
        I’m dismayed that a respected and educated man could make those comments. And his article is still online which presumably means that he hasn’t retracted his comments.

  8. This is a difficult passage, perhaps the most strange one in the NT. A Japanese non-Christian asked me what it means. In this post, so far you have explained what it does NOT mean. I already know that, and I explained that to her. But can you please offer your interpretation of what it DOES mean? How can we equalitarians interpret this responsibly? What statement can we make about its contents rather than about what it doesn’t contain? It would be extremely helpful if you can provide an answer to this, or point me to one.

  9. Anonymous, It is indeed a strange verse in a difficult passage.

    I attempt to provide an explanation of the meaning of 1 Timothy 2:15 in my series on 1 Timothy 2:12 in Context. The series begins here: https://margmowczko.com/1-timothy-212-in-context-1/

    All my articles on 1 Timothy 2:12 are here: https://margmowczko.com/category/1-timothy-212/

  10. I have always, ever since I became a Christian, understood this verse in the meaning of woman’s role in general: women are the ones who give birth to children – not men. The verse is not about each women individually.

    1. Hi Joanna,

      The noun in this verse is not strictly speaking about giving birth, there is another Greek word for that. The Greek noun teknogonia is a broad term and also covers the raising of small children. (The related infinitive occurs in 1 Timothy 5:14.)

      I believe that 1 Timothy 2:11-15 is addressing the behaviour of a particular man and woman in the Ephesian church, probably a high-status couple, as they are spoken about diplomatically. They are also spoken about anonymously.

      It was difficult to keep correspondence private in the ancient world, so sensitive information about certain people was written without names (and without articles), but the correspondents would know who was being referred to.

      We can see this in the following papyri where the person being spoken about is simply referred to as “a person” without a name and without a definite article. (In English, however, it would be translated into English as “the person”.)

      ~P.Oxy. 3.531 Letter of Cornelius to his sweetest son (2nd century)
      ~P. Princ. 2.67 Letter of Theano to her brother (1st or 2nd century)

      Even though the couple are spoken about anonymously, the letter would have been read aloud in church meetings in Ephesus. (We are still reading the letter aloud.) And the couple would have recognised that Paul was speaking about them. But their identity remains hidden to us.

      The Greek verb “she will be saved” is singular, indicating an individual woman. The Greek word for “woman/wife” used in verse 11 and 12 is also singular, as is the word for “man/husband”. This is in contrast to previous verses where men and women are spoken about in plural words. The Greek verb for “they remain/continue” is plural, suggesting that this is speaking about the couple.

      Thus Paul is speaking about a woman in verse 11 who must learn quietly. In verse 12, Paul tells Timothy he is not allowing her to teach a man (possibly her husband) in an unacceptable manner. In verses 13-14 Paul gives a correction to the faulty teaching and behaviour of the woman. (More about this faulty teaching here.) And in verse 15, Paul provides reassurance that the woman will be saved (or not lose her salvation) if she has children and the couple behave themselves.

      Note that the verse immediately following verse 15, 1 Timothy 3:1, contains the phrase: “This is a faithful word.” This phrase is always used when speaking about salvation. I believe verse 15 is speaking salvation and not just health and safety.

      The woman will not lose her salvation is the couple abide in godly virtues. In the early church, chastity and abstinence were considered godly virtues. Some even taught that chastity and abstinence were necessary for salvation. But Paul is telling Timothy that the woman will be saved if she raises children. More about chastity in the early church here:https://margmowczko.com/chastity-salvation-1-timothy-215/ 

      Note that in modern western society, in many families, men and women share the role of raising children.

      1. Thank you so much for your elaborated reply! I think I understand this passage better now.

        1. You’re very welcome, Johanna.

  11. At 44 I have been struggling like crazy since my teens to find a godly Christian husband because I was told God would never be pleased with me until I married and bore children. Lately I began to question my salvation. I searched my life for sin, but a lot of women with sin in their lives easily found husbands long ago simply because God blessed them with beauty and charm. (He blessed me with minimal amounts of those.)

    How does that make them righteous and a 44 year old virgin like me a Jezebel? Can God still love me? Why are beauty and charm more important than holiness? I’m going through the change and have despaired of God ever loving me.

    If faith saves me why is elaborately scheming and manipulating a man into marriage and having his children necessary? Isn’t that a work? Why do churches teach this?

    It’s not simple idolatry, but I have been taught God hates women who have failed to be wives and mothers. We have no part in the Kingdom of God. And the Body of Christ wants to cut us off.

    Please tell me He can love me anyhow despite this abysmal failure and life long shame!

    1. Hello Marah,

      Being single and childless is not a failure in God’s eyes. It doesn’t even come close to being a failure. In fact, for most of the history of the church, singleness and celibacy was seen as a more holy state than being married.

      Were Mary and Martha married? I doubt it. Were Philip’s four daughters married? No. Paul encouraged single and celibacy.

      “An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord” 1 Corinthians 7:34-35.

      Marriage and motherhood is not the ultimate or highest calling for women, as some say. Being a devoted disciple of Jesus is. I hope you will find rest in this calling.

  12. Hello Marg,
    Oh, how thrilled I am to find this! I was searching for some clarification on verse 15, and happen to stumble upon yours Your interpretation gives me so much understanding of these scriptures. I’ve been searching in Hebrew and Greek for a lot of interpretations, for scriptures to make sense! Thank You for your study and insight. I will be reading more of your posts.

    Filled with Joy,

    1. That’s great to hear, Paula!

  13. I remember hearing the interpretation that women have to embrace motherhood as a good work to be saved. I remember feeling incredibly confused about how any work could save us, much less a work that some women cannot do. I like the point about how Jesus never extolled the virtues of motherhood. But I was curious about the verb “continue” in 1 Timothy 2:15. Does it indicate that the couple was already living in faith, love, and holiness; or that they should start living in that way and persevere it in? The idea that 1 Timothy 2:11-15 is dealing with specific misbehavior makes sense, but if “they” are to continue living in faith, love, and holiness as they already were, I wonder how the woman could be misbehaving by being domineering, since that is an unholy and unloving behavior. So I was wondering if it indicates continuing those actions, or taking up those actions and being consistent in them.

    1. Hi Taylor,

      The verb for “they continue/remain/abide” (meinōsin), which is subjunctive, does not presuppose the couple were already abiding in the three virtues: faith, love, and holiness with self-control. Maybe they were, maybe they weren’t.

      The verb can be used when something or someone begins to remain/abide or when something or someone continues to remain/abide. (See here.)

      The point is that childbirth (the result of sex) will not jeopardise a woman’s salvation, especially if the couple are abiding in Christian virtues such as faith and love …

      I believe the woman thought abstinence was a Christian virtue, tied to salvation, but Paul does not think this, so he mentions other virtues.

  14. I know this is an old post. I’ve been reading it occasionally since around 2015. Still, I wanted to share my story here.

    I’m a 25 year old woman, never married nor had a relationship. I’m in the “neither complementarian nor egalitarian” camp. I think there’s Biblical proof that women can’t be pastors or elders, but I don’t buy the “gender role stereotypes” that are way too common in strict complementarianism. I always had the suspicion that those circles would not know what to do with me, because I’m more logical than emotional, enjoy scientific research, and… well, I’m not the pink frilly 1950s housewife type.

    Back to my point.

    I always had trouble understanding 1 Timothy 2:15. I wondered how Christian women in the past 2000 years interpreted it. The verse has… caused me to have salvation anxiety.

    For example. Last year in 2022, I panicked and… tried to visit a sperm donor because deep down, there was a part of me that feared I won’t be saved if I don’t have 1 child. But another part of me wondered if I was being stupid – trying to be justified by works. You know, “begin with the Spirit and complete with the flesh”, or a verse like that. So I stopped talking to the sperm donor. We lost touch.

    My fertility won’t last forever, but I don’t want to rush to have a child just because I fear eternal damnation. (That poor child, who would’ve been born due to my confusion.) And I wonder about the broader implications of 1 Timothy 2:15. What about little girls? Did Jairus’s daughter go to hell before Jesus raised her from the dead, because she was too young to have kids? I highly doubt it, to say the least. What about women who have terrible illnesses and are bed-ridden? If they came to Christ, should we just… good heavens, should we just force them to have a child to ensure their salvation? What kind of Handmaid’s Tale dystopia is this?! I want to believe in whatever the text actually says, and I don’t want to be clouded by my emotions when it comes to Bible study, but the implications of 1 Timothy 2:15 are… huge, if one takes the “salvation through childbirth” route.

    I’ve even seen a blog post where someone pointed out that the vast majority of “justification through faith” verses are aimed at “brethren” – that is, men.

    Also: 1 Corinthians 7. In which singleness in women = good. I always loved those verses, but I as I said, I cannot let emotion cloud my judgement.

    To be honest, I’m depressed and confused. And I will likely be confused until I find the true interpretation of this verse. Or at least, I need to know what it absolutely doesn’t mean.

    Thanks for your blog, Marg. There may be points we disagree on, such as whether a woman can be a pastor, but we have this in common: we both believe that women are human. And that too many churches have mistreated women. I wish you only peace and happiness. If we could correspond through email, that would also be fantastic. Because I’m all alone and there’s nobody I can tell my troubles to.

    1. Hi Lili,
      Paul, and most people in the church until the Reformation, thought that singleness and celibacy was preferable to being married and having children. There is no way Paul was suggesting in 1 Timothy 2:15 that women who don’t or can’t have children won’t be saved.

      The backstory for 1 Corinthians 7 is that some Corinthians were renouncing sex: some single people were choosing not to get married and some married people were leaving their spouse. 1 Corinthians 7 doesn’t make sense unless we understand this scenario.
      I’ve written about this here:

      I believe the backstory for 1 Timothy 2:15 is similar.
      I’ve written a detailed article about this backstory here:
      I have a much simpler explanation in the second half of this article:

      There are lots of early church documents that reveal how strongly life-long virginity and celibacy were encouraged, and this theme of sexlessness lurks in some New Testament letters.

      Paul wrote his letters to specific people or specific churches that were experiencing a culture and issues that are totally foreign to us. I’ve devoted my life to understanding the world of Jesus and Paul, etc, so that I can understand their words better. Also, for more than a decade I’ve been studying and improving my knowledge of ancient Greek. I’m nearly fluent in New Testament Greek.

      Paul usually used the word adelphoi (traditionally translated as “brethren”) for male and female followers of Jesus. We are siblings (adelphoi) in Christ.
      I’ve written about this here:

      The salvation that Jesus secured for anyone who comes to him is the same whether we are male or female. It’s not that hard. Jesus loves us, died for us, dealt with sin, and he welcomes those who accept him. Furthermore, he shares his resurrection life with us and gives us the Holy Spirit and sanctifies us. There are not different male and female versions of this.

      1. Thanks for you quick reply! As I said, I’ve known the existence of your blog for 8 years now. This is the first time I’ve reached out to you. It’s so nice to hear back.

        It does bother me strongly that some people on the Internet have (seemingly) said, “By grace through faith is addressed to the brethren, therefore men are saved by faith alone and women are not necessarily given the same path”. If that interpretation is true, then it would dismantle everything we know about the gospel. We would have to force girls so young, and women in hospital, to have children if they want a place in Heaven – I’m sure that Handmaid’s Tale parallels are relatable in this case. (*Sigh…*)

        One thing is for sure, I have to get this right. And I can’t just rush off and make a child with some random dude due to fear of hellfire. The very premise sounds unthinkable in the 21st century. Granted, just because something sounds unthinkable in modern times doesn’t mean it’s not true, but on this matter, it just… as I said, something’s off.

        I thought the Holy Spirit would lead us into understanding the Bible. So I wonder why there is so much confusion over verses, this one included. I don’t blame God – not at all. Don’t get me wrong. But I’m still depressed.

        Henry Alford’s interpretation of this verse is interesting, and does not contradict “by grace through faith”. Neither does it fall into excessive symbolism that likely wasn’t meant by Paul. However, other commentators say that Alford’s interpretation of “dia” (by, through) is strained, or “awkward”. Nonetheless, another commentator named Hubbard (forgot his full name) says that dia = passing through instead of “because of” is no less awkward in 1 Corinthians 3:15, yet it makes sense in that context.

        As you can tell, I’ve done TONS of research on this verse alone. I’ve searched through the Internet, looking up commentators from the Early Church Fathers to the Victorian Age to modern times. King Solomon was right when he said, “Much study wearies the body”. But how can I stop studying this when it’s a salvation issue?

        I’ll probably email you later. Or DM you on Twitter. If that’s alright.

        1. Hi Lili, I get numerous emails every day from people asking me questions. And I sometimes miss a few. You’re much more likely to get my attention on my blog or on Facebook or Twitter. (I’m not on Instagram much.)

          I can’t see that 1 Timothy 2:15 was, or is, a salvation issue. My understanding of 1 Timothy 2:15, considering the surrounding verses, is this:

          Yet she [a woman/wife mentioned in 1 Tim 2:11-12] will be saved [she won’t lose their salvation] through childbearing [if she has sex and gets pregnant] (singular language is used for “she will be saved” in the Greek) …

          … if they [the couple, man/husband and woman/wife mentioned in 1 Tim 2:11-12] continue in faith, and love, and holiness with moderation. (plural language is used for “if they continue”).

          I believe a wife in Ephesus, or possibly a group of wives in Ephesus, were taking their notions of holiness too far and refusing sex and procreation. Again, we have lots of early church documents where this is a theme. Paul wanted to dial down the wife’s expression of holiness.

          Note also that in Greek, the last word and the first word in sentences and paragraphs are in an emphatic position. “Moderation” is being emphasised in 1 Tim. 2:15.

          If Paul really thought women can only be saved if they have children (which would be alarming for infertile women) why didn’t he help a woman by getting married and having kids, and why does he tell the Corinthians it’s better to be single? And why does he say nothing at all about having children in his many other statements on salvation and justification.

          Also, in Genesis 1, God states that procreation is the joint responsibility of male and female humans (Genesis 1:27-28a).

          There is no chance whatsoever that 1 Timothy 2:15–a single verse with no others in scripture that echo the idea of childbearing and salvation–is general teaching on salvation.

          I’m happy to talk about this more, but only if you’ve read the four articles I shared previously. These will explain where I’m coming from. Otherwise, I may just be repeating myself.

          And just letting you know, I’m content to not discuss women pastors.

          1. Don’t worry, I have no intention to debate about woman pastors. 🙂 I’ve said before that I think we agree more than we disagree; and I do hate to “argue and debate for the sake of it”. I’m sure the writers of the New Testament would also agree that trying to endlessly “out-debate” each other is just pointless and not useful for “building up one another in a caring spirit”.

        2. Hi Lili,
          I am sorry you have been spirtually abused.
          I have taken verses out of context and it seemed like Jesus suddenly didn’t seem like Jesus anymore. But I was confused – and He led me anyway.

          It seems to me that childbirth was very frightening then – because of how many moms died during childbirth – and possibly a promise that God would help them through it.

          But for sure, I know that salvation is simple. John 3:16 really clears a lot up for me. Galatians 3:28 has been very freeing to me: “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.”
          I will be praying for God to heal you from perceived rejection.
          I also think of Colossians 2:6 – As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.” May you walk in great freedom!

          1. I wasn’t spiritually abused by others, thank God for that, but perhaps I spiritually abused myself! Unless, of course, you are referring to the many, many authors I’ve read who did suggest that procreation = salvation for females – but even though, I would not call them spiritually abusive, since none of these authors had malicious intent. On the other hand, if their interpretation really is wrong, then… well. Then in that case, they were teaching heresy all along because they got the salvation message wrong.

            Sometimes I tempted to make plans for childbirth in the future to “prove my salvation” (even though I’m not even married); other times, I fear this would be a “works salvation” approach that dismisses the blood of Christ. Whatever decision I end up making, I know either way I’m still going to be really confused – until I finally figure out what that verse means. At least, I need to know what interpretations can be “dismissed” for sure.

            Regardless, thanks for your prayers – it means a lot.

          2. Lili, I’ve just now added a section to the article about how I understand 1 Timothy 2:15, and I plan on posting a new article on this verse in a couple of days.

            I believe a woman in Ephesus (or group of women) was taking notions of holiness too far and was refusing to have sex and children with her husband. This was a fairly common occurence in the early church and we see the beginnings of this in 1 Corinthians 7 (cf. 1 Tim. 4:3).

            Whichever way we understand 1 Timothy 2:15, this verse is Paul addressing the faulty ideas and behaviour of an Ephesian woman (or group of women). This is NOT Paul’s general teaching on salvation. Nowhere else does he mention that having children has any bearing whatsoever on salvation. In fact he encourages permanent virginity and celibacy (in 1 Corinthians 7) while recognising it’s not for everyone. And of course, some men and women cannot have children.

            Whether a man or a woman has a child or not has zero effect on their whether they will be saved: a follower of Jesus will be saved either way. I hope that you can see that.

  15. […] What must a woman do to be saved? (1 Timothy 2:15) […]

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