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Christians for Biblical Equality

Biblical studies

Below is an article by Jamin Hübner: Revisiting the Clarity of Scripture in 1 Timothy 2:12

It is used with the permission of the author.

Dr. Jamin Hübner is an American theologian, biblical scholar, philosopher and musician from South Dakota. He is a graduate of Dordt College (BA Theology), Reformed Theological Seminary (MA Religion) and the University of South Africa (ThD Systematic Theology), and a student at Southern New Hampshire University (MS Economics) and currently serves as the Director of Institutional Effectiveness and founding Chair of Christian Studies at John Witherspoon College, South Dakota.

Abstract: In the evangelical debate regarding women in ministry, both 1 Timothy 2:12 and
the clarity of scripture have played a critical role. While few theologians and biblical scholars
have brought the “perspicuity of scripture” directly to bear on the text, this article systematically
evaluates how the verse is handled in light of the traditional hermeneutical principle of interpreting
obscure passages in light of the more clear. The article concludes that 1 Timothy 2:12 is
inconsistently interpreted by complementarians as a clear passage—potentially out of an effort
to legitimize the ban on women pastors.

By Gordon Fee &Mark Strauss

The meanings of words change over time, and translations must be periodically updated to keep up with these changes. One of the most significant changes in English over the last quarter century has been related to gender language. While it was once commonplace to refer to people as “men” and all fellow Christians as “brothers,” such usage has declined significantly in recent years. More inclusive terms like “people” and “brothers and sisters” are used more often today. Bible translators, seeking to stay current with contemporary English, have adapted to these changes. Over the past thirty years, almost every English Bible version either produced or revised has adopted this kind of “gender accurate” language (TNIV, NET, NLT, GW, CEV, NAB, NJB, NRSV, REB, NCV, GNT, NIrV). This is in line with the goal of translating words according to their meaning in context.

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