1 Timothy 2:15, Saved Through Childbearing

But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

//This particular section of scripture (attributed to Paul, though probably written after his time) draws little appreciation from most women. First, “Paul” insists that a woman may not speak in church, but should “learn in quietness and full submission.” Then he says that women will be saved by having children.


Actually, there is another interpretation of this verse. In no translation does it actually say saved by having kids. It says through, or in. And what, exactly, does “saved” mean? We tend to read the New Testament through the lens of today’s afterlife-oriented Christianity, but that may be inappropriate.

Consider, for example, that Timothy (the letter’s addressee) lived in Ephesus. Just down the street from him would be the world-famous temple dedicated to Artemis, the goddess who protected women from harm as they gave birth to children. I’ve heard it said that one out of two women in Ephesus died during childbirth; if that’s true, then Artemis wasn’t doing a very good job.

Artemis’s failure should come as no surprise. Recall God’s promise to Eve because of her sin in the Garden of Eden: To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. But in the new age, the paradise of Eden will be restored, and this age, according to the first Christians, lived in its birth pangs. It was supposed to be just around the corner.

Thus in today’s verse “Paul” exposes Artemis as a fraud while at the same time reminding believers of the promise of safe child bearing through faithfulness to the true God.

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