“But women will be saved through childbearing” (NIV): this simple statement has mystified average Bible readers as well as Christian scholars for centuries. Is Paul here suggesting salvation by works?
In what sense can a woman be “saved” by bearing children? What would be so virtuous about bearing children that could become the cause of women’s salvation? And what about single women or married women who do not or cannot have children?
Even apart from these interpretive questions, the passage sounds horribly sexist and out of date in the days of female Prime Ministers or Supreme Court Justices.
How are we to understand this passage, and how are we to apply it?