Original Research

‘The woman was deceived and became a sinner’ – a literary-theological investigation of 1 Timothy 2:11–15

Abiola I. Mbamalu
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 70, No 3 | a2062 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i3.2062 | © 2014 Abiola I. Mbamalu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 September 2013 | Published: 16 July 2014

About the author(s)

Abiola I. Mbamalu, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa


In 1 Timothy 2:11–15 women are forbidden to teach and have authority over men in the church. The ground for this instruction is the creation account in Genesis 2 that asserts the priority of Adam over Eve in the order of creation. The second reason for the instruction is the deception of Eve according to the account of the Fall in Genesis 3. This pericope has elicited arguments between advocates of egalitarianism and complementarianism revolving over the issues of grammar, the context of the Ephesian church with regard to false teachings and the comparison of this text with the other writings of Paul, for those that subscribe to the authorship of Paul. The contention of this article is that verse 15 provides a major clue as to how this text should be understood. In addition, the author’s rhetoric in this text is interrogated with regard to the text’s own internal literary and theological logic. In this regard, the author is found to be inconsistent in his outlook, for the grace that was poured out abundantly on him: a blasphemer, a persecutor and a violent man and on account of his ignorance andunbelief (1 Tm 1:12–16) is apparently, being denied women on account of Eve’s deception.


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