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What Does Paul's Statement, "She Will Be Saved By Childbearing" Mean?

In 1 Timothy 2:15, Paul mentions that women will be saved through childbearing. Confusion and incredulousness is a common response to this baffling verse. But the meaning of this statement is couched in the story of Adam and Eve (v13-14) and the roles of men and women within the church. Among several different interpretations, the most likely is that the woman is saved from feeling inferior by her role in the home.

Paul has just emphasized that women should not teach men nor exercise authority over them, so naturally the question arises: what contribution can women make within the larger ministry in the church? Paul’s says that one possible answer is that a woman who rears children can have a huge impact in the church. Indeed, an excellent example is Timothy’s mother Eunice and his grandmother, Lois who trained him in the things of God (2 Timothy 1:3-5). In other words, a woman is saved from insignificance because of her important role in the family. There is absolutely no biblical concept that would merit this being interpreted as “pro-creation = eternal salvation.” Salvation is an issue of grace and faith. 

Paul does not address the role of single women in this context, but he would argue that those who are single can devote themselves to the work of the Lord in ways that the married person can’t, and specifically he includes unmarried women in his comments (1 Corinthians 7:34). Thus each person, whether married or single, is important to the church and is saved from the erroneous notion that they don’t fit God’s purposes.   

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