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Usurping Authority? (1 Timothy 2:11-15)

As many other aspects of the passage, the syntax of 1 Tim 2:12 has been the subject of serious scholarly discussion in recent years. It has increasingly become clear that before one can proceed to apply this crucial passage on women’s roles in the church, one must first determine what it means. In this quest for the original, authorially-intended meaning of 1 Tim 2:12, the proper understanding of the passage’s syntax has had a very important place, especially since consensus on the meaning of the rare word authentein has proved elusive. Linda Belleville’s chapter in Discovering Biblical Equality on the syntax of 1 Tim 2:12 offered a critique of the position taken by the present author in Women in the Church. Apparently, Belleville felt that in order to sustain her egalitarian reading of 1 Tim 2:12, she must overturn the findings of this study. As a result, she has lodged several points of critique that will be subjected to closer scrutiny in the pages below.