1st Timothy: A Cultural Sign of the Times?

If you have read “About the Jimmy Monologues” you will see that one of my goals is to tackle tough topics, and try to find answers.  This is one of those posts.  I don’t suspect I’ll find an answer within the words I pen to this post, but I’ll be asking questions for sure.  Maybe it is a question you have asked?  Perhaps sometime down the road I will find some answers that make sense to me.

As is the case on most nights, I finish my evenings reading, blogging, or doing something to help me unwind.  I also find that I can’t sleep without my headphones on, and my ipod working overtime.  I never listen to music at night as that wakes me up, but I generally fall asleep with an audiobook or a podcast.  With the timer set, I don’t think I last more than 10 minutes as a rule, though the timer is always set for 120 minutes just in case.

1st Timothy  Caught Me Off Guard
The other night I chose my audio Bible from “Word of Promise“, I highly recommend it.  I had decided to hit a book I don’t refer to very often, that being 1st Timothy.  As I was fading away, I had gotten to the part where Paul talks about women and their expectations.  Whoa!  I could tell that it had been too long that I had paid attention to that book as I was now wide awake.  I really took issue with Paul’s advice on women’s behavior, particularly within the church.  I simply asked myself one question, “Hmmm, why?”

A Cultural Sign of the Times?
I see the Bible as several things, one is the word of God, another is a historical record, and another as the culture in which the writers of the Bible lived.  I tend to see 1 Timothy as a lot of the latter.  I had the pleasure of speaking with a woman once who, when she found out I was a Christian, told me she had a hard time with Christianity due to 1st Timothy.  I’m not a feminist, and I had to agree with her.  Given our western culture, and practices, it wasn’t hard for me to agree with her in many regards.  Do I think Paul was a misogynist as some people like to believe?  No I certainly don’t, but it is still hard for me to reconcile.  Is 1 Timothy a look at the cultural sign of the times?  It might make me feel better if it were, but I realize the Bible isn’t there just to make me feel good, though it does, most of the time.

I also need to say that looking at one book of the Bible is not the way to judge biblical validity, but I didn’t have enough time to discover if the woman I was speaking to was dismissing Christianity based on one book; I would hope not, but I honestly don’t know.  Bringing things like this to God in prayer is certainly one way to deal with things, but not the only way.  As this blog is me searching for answers, does anyone out there have a resource that helps define an answer as to what Paul meant when he was writing this?

Here is a link to an ELCA article about What Paul Really Thinks About Women.  Perhaps you will find the article interesting too.

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