Arm én menswaardig? Perspektiewe op God en menswees in 1 Timoteus 2:8-15


  • E Mouton



Poor and worthy of a human being? Perspectives on God and humanity in 1 Timothy 2:8-15 The Pastoral epistles were concerned with preserving a particular quality of life by focusing on the integrity of God and the Christian gospel. This focus also provided the rhetorical framework for 1 Timothy, within which the identity and ethos of the Christian community (probably in Ephesus during the late first century CE) were to be defined and appreciated. The reception of 1 Timothy 2:8-15 however witnesses to its usage through the centuries inter alia in ways that inhibited or repressed women’s religious leadership and the development of their full potential. The essay explores the literary, socio-cultural and theological-rhetorical contexts of the pericope—with special reference to women’s potential as lifegivers (literally and metaphorically). Of particular interest is the relation of the passage to images for God as savior (σωτηρ) and Christ Jesus as hope (ἐλπίδος ἡμὤν), mediator (μεσίτης) and ransom (ἀντίλυτρον) in 1:1; 2:3-6, and its implications for biblical hermeneutics as a liberative and healing practice “for all” (1:15; 2:1,4,6; 4:10). By searching for the probable reference of metaphors for God and humanity in 1 Timothy 1-2, the essay attempts to account for the world view or perspective of an ancient canonised text as a crucial part of its recipients’ ethical responsibility toward understanding God, themselves and society. How this text functions with respect to presentday societal issues such as poverty – particularly with reference to gender stereotypes – becomes a test case for the interpretation of its (alternative) perspective by later audiences.






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