My friend Emily will be doing a series of posts on women in ministry, or more particularly, women in scripture. You should check it out. She has started the discussion with a post on her presuppositions and experience. In the comments section this verse came up (1 Tim 2:14-15):
“Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.”
This is my take on the verse (which I posted on Emily’s site). Let me know if this makes me a heretic:
Women, whether in the kingdom or outside of the kingdom, will bear children. That seems to be a given. So, there are women who will bear children, die, and and not know Christ (not ‘delivered’) and there are women who will bear children, die, and be in the presence of the Lord (or ‘delivered’).
In addition to being ‘delivered through childbearing’ Paul gives us a big ‘if’. That is, ‘IF she continues in faith and love and holiness with self-control’ (NET).
So, the constant seems to be bearing children while the determining factor of ‘being delivered’ seems to be faith, love, etc.
My guess is that ‘saved through childbearing’ is a reference to the line through which God’s promises and salvation came. God said to Eve after the fall “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and HER SEED; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” (Gen 3:15)
Moreover, through salvation history, time and again, God opened the wombs of BARREN WOMEN to fulfill and establish His covenants: Sarah (Gen 16:2), Rebekah (Gen 25:21), Leah (Gen 29:31-from which came the tribe of Judah> King David > Joseph the father of Jesus), And, last but not least Mary, the mother of Jesus, who having no sexual union with a man, gave birth to the Christ.
So, back to the verse you quoted: 2:14b-15, “Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.”
My dynamic equivalent (hopefully non-heretical) INTERPRETATION (I emphasize this word): It wasn’t Adam who was tricked, it was the woman, and because of this, she became a law-breaker. Don’t worry though, women aren’t stuck being law-breakers, they will be saved, because through their childbearing came salvation, which in turn comes by faith, love, holiness and self-control.
Paul is addressing women alone in these particular verses (for whatever reason that might be). We all know that Adam also sinned, but that’s not what Paul is addressing so he leaves it out. So, I think one could even possibly say that men too will be saved through [women’s] childbearing.