Title

Kept safe through childbearing: maternal mortality, justification by faith, and the social setting of 1 Timothy 2:15.

Publication Date

12-2012

Abstract

First Timothy 2:15 has been called “enigmatic,” a “great exegetical puzzle,” and even “one of the strangest verses in the NT.”1 Less flattering epithets are also applied.2 The riddle of this verse is the phrase σωθήσεται δε δια τής τεκνογονίας. Most modem versions translate this clause in line with the ESV, ‘Ύεΐ she will be saved through childbearing.”3 The NASB is virtually alone in interpreting σώζω in the non-salvific sense of being kept safe from harm: “But women shall be preserved through the bearing of children.” A third option is defended by, for example, Philip Payne: “But she shall be saved through the childbirth,” that is, the birth of the Messiah.4 As the title of this article indicates, 1 am going to argue that this puzzling phrase should be translated, “But she will be kept safe through the ordeal of childbearing.” In essence, I will be arguing that the most obvious sense of the words σωθήσεται δε δια τής τεκνογονίας is actually the intended sense of these words.

Keywords

Mothers in the Bible; Justification (Christian theology)

Publication Title

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

Volume

55

Issue

4

First Page

743

Last Page

762

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