Women in silence?


Can somone explain this passage to me? 1 Timothy 2:9-15.

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.


In A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture, edited by Bernard Orchard and others, published by Thomas Nelson & Sons: 1953, it says on page 1146, emphasis mine:9. “In like manner” — Women are urged, in the same way as men, to pray and join in the apostolate of prayer. “In decent apparel” — Worship is not the time for display of fashion; on the contrary, women are to dress with becoming modesty, making virtuous acts and good works their glory. On St Paul’s teaching regarding women see an interesting explanation of this passage in Enjoying the NT by Margaret T. Monro (London, 1945) 153 f. 11. It is the duty of men, not women, to rule and give instruction in the public assembly; the reasons for this St Paul adduces from Genesis where it is shown that man was first created and that woman was the occasion of his fall. 15. For their part women are to manifest their own womanly virtues, and St Paul stresses in particular the sanctifying effect of motherhood, which is one of the means (not the only one, cf. 1 Cor 7:24 ff.), by which they will be saved.
It is consistent with this Scripture passage that the Catholic Church reserves the homily at Mass to a man in Holy Orders, a bishop, priest, or deacon.


[quote=trumpet152]Can somone explain this passage to me? 1 Timothy 2:9-15.

So long as you do not mind a non-Catholic explanation…

First, let us look at the “in silence” part. Interpretations tend to fall into certain categories:
[list]this is a permanent instruction and so women must always be silent in church;[/list]
[list]this is a permanent instruction, but only applies to women chattering in the congregation;[/list]
[list]this was a temporary instruction, only for that period and culture;[/list]
[list]Paul was influenced by the patriarchal culture whence he came;[/list]
[list]Paul was a misogynist.[/list]
The list is essentially in chronological order of the period of popularity of the interpretation.

The first interpretation was very popular for a long time. However, it faced certain conflicts with the fact that Paul also talked about women praying or prophesying in public worship: But any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled brings shame upon her head, for it is one and the same thing as if she had had her head shaved (1 Corinthians 11:5).
This is hardly surprising when you consider the number of prophetesses in Scripture, continuing into the NT with Anna (Lk 2:36) and Philip’s four virgin daughters (Ac 21:9). At Pentecost, Peter quoted Joel’s prophecy (Joel 2:28) of men and women prophesying (Ac 2:17-8). Thus, women were able to speak in worship, and to speak in the role of highest authority: the prophet, who presents the very words of God.

Now, let us look at the “teaching” part. The first people to proclaim the message of Jesus’ resurrection were women (e.g., John 20:1-2). In Acts 18:26, we learn that “Priscilla (a woman) and Aquila” taught Apollos (a man) the way of God. In Philippians 4:2-3, we hear of Euodia and Syntyche, who “struggled together with” (in the sense of team athletic sports) Paul “in the Gospel”, “with also Clement and the rest of the co-workers”, which clearly puts these women on the same level as the men.

Most importantly, God is not sexist (nor male!):
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).
Would it really matter to God whether a preacher was male or female? After all, they were both made in the image of God:
God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them (Genesis 1:27).
That verse, incidentally, is sharply emphasised by the fact that it appears in poetic form while it is surrounded by text in prose.

There is a near-parallel to the Timothy 2 passage in 1 Corinthians 14:34-5, shortly after the instruction about women praying or prophesying. I would suggest, therefore, that we are looking at option #2: an injunction against chattering in church. Having said that, cultural sensitivity is important, and I would not go about demanding that people in cultures which remain patriarchal immediately start to accept women teachers in church.


New American Bible notes on the passage in question:
[8-15] The prayer of the community should be unmarred by internal dissension (1 Tim 2:8); cf Matthew 5:21-26; 6:14; Mark 11:25. At the liturgical assembly the dress of women should be appropriate to the occasion (2 Tim 2:9); their chief adornment is to be reputation for good works (2 Tim 2:10). Women are not to take part in the charismatic activity of the assembly (1 Tim 2:11-12; cf 1 Cor 14:34) or exercise authority; their conduct there should reflect the role of man’s helpmate (2 Tim 2:13; cf Genesis 2:18) and not the later relationship of Eve to Adam (2 Tim 2:14; cf Genesis 3:6-7). As long as women perform their role as wives and mothers in faith and love, their salvation is assured (2 Tim 2:15).

From the Catechism:
1577 “Only a baptized man (vir) validly receives sacred ordination.” The Lord Jesus chose men (viri) to form the college of the twelve apostles, and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry. The college of bishops, with whom the priests are united in the priesthood, makes the college of the twelve an ever-present and ever-active reality until Christ’s return. The Church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord himself. For this reason the ordination of women is not possible.


the reference to braided hair and costly apparel may refer to prostitutes and courtesans, who were urged to adopt more modest style when they converted. The rest of the instruction clearly points to preaching and teaching, which were and remain the province of the bishops and priests, and those they delegate. We have a continual problem today with women usurping these functions during the Mass.


Well, think about Molly Yard, Gloria Steinam, Margaret Sanger, Susan Sarandan, and other shrill leftists, etc. etc.

The bible is saying don’t act like these women because they defame the feminine gender. The bible is protecting the dignity of femininity.

Surely you would agree this is a good thing?


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