gerettet – saved, rescued
Infinitive: retten – to save, to rescue
Meaning: aus einer Gefahr, einer bedrohlichen Situation befreien und dadurch vor Tod, Untergang, Verlust, Schaden o. Ä. bewahren – To free from danger or a threatening situation, and so saveguard from death, doom, loss, harm, etc.
Etymology: From Middle High German retten, from Old High German hretten or retten.
1. Timotheus 2,15 Sie wird aber gerettet werden in Kindesnöten, wenn sie bleiben in Glauben und Liebe und Heiligkeit mit Sittsamkeit.
1 Timothy 2:15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
The word is retten, but this part of the post discusses what it could mean to be saved through childbearing.
There are some proposed interpretations of what this means:
1. Women are saved from spiritual uselessness by having children.
This is a special way for women to serve God. In fact, I think this was what was in the book that the series came from… though I don’t recall how strongly they worded it.
What then of those who naturally cannot have children or are single? It seems rather absurd to make such a statement.
2. Eve bearing of the child of Jesus, the Messiah
Since “she” in the first part is in the singular, and should refer to Eve. It is known that Jesus Christ, the Messiah, would eventually be born through her line, providing redemption for all mankind.
However, it does seems a rather thin connection, to refer to the birth of the Son of God as “childbearing”.
A Third Interpretation
John Piper shares Henry Alford’s interpretation, which I found to be helpful. We look for another place where Paul uses “saved” in this manner, and we find it in 1 Corinthians 3:15.
1. Korinther 3,15 wenn das Werk jemandes verbrennen wird, so wird er Schaden leiden, er selbst aber wird gerettet werden, doch so wie durchs Feuer.
1 Corinthians 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
In Greek, this is: εἴ τινος τὸ ἔργον κατακαήσεται, ζημιωθήσεται, αὐτὸς δὲ σωθήσεται, οὕτως δὲ ὡς διὰ πυρός.
Compare this with the Greek for 1 Timothy 2:15:
σωθήσεται δὲ διὰ τῆς τεκνογονίας, ἐὰν μείνωσιν ἐν πίστει καὶ ἀγάπῃ καὶ ἁγιασμῷ μετὰ σωφροσύνης.
The words are σωθήσεται διὰ – saved by/in/through. (διὰ can mean “by”, “in”, or “through”.)
“Saved… by fire” in this context means “saved in spite of fire”.
Along the same lines: “Saved… in childbearing” can mean “saved in spite of childbearing”
It (clearly) cannot mean “by means of” (like in Ephesians 2:8 – more on this in the last section).
Fire is clearly not a means of salvation, but an obstacle to it.
Why Mention Childbearing?
Childbearing (with its associated pain) is where God’s curse touches and threatens women most:
1. Mose 3.16 Zu dem Weibe sprach er: Ich werde sehr mehren die Mühsal deiner Schwangerschaft, mit Schmerzen sollst du Kinder gebären; und nach deinem Manne wird dein Verlangen sein, er aber wird über dich herrschen.
Genesis 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
Despite this very painful experience of childbearing (modern painkillers aside), there is an assurance of salvation for women.
Women can still be saved on the condition that they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
This is nothing but the normal path for all to come to salvation. Having the curse is not an obstacle to salvation.
Saved Through Faith in Eph. 2:8
The Greek is in the perfect tense, denoting a past action with present results.
The KJV uses present tense: For by grace are ye saved…
But the NKJV: For by grace you have been saved through faith…
Clearly, that makes sense as the work was done once Christ had died for us.
By contrast, in 1 Cor 3:15 and 1 Tim 2:15, “shall be saved by/through” is in the future tense.
So apart from how it doesn’t make sense in light of 1 Cor 3:15, in terms of the grammar also it doesn’t make sense to say that women are saved because of childbearing.
This is part of series of words taken from 1 Timothy 2:11-15. I recently studied these verses in detail as they were something that I shared during Sunday School just a few weeks ago. I thought I could do something slightly different.
Many of the ideas were taken from the messages by John Piper on these verses: Manhood, Womanhood, and the Freedom to Minister and Affirming the Goodness of Manhood and Womanhood in All of Life, as well as the article How Are Women Saved Through Childbearing?
Also… tomorrow is Christmas day. Have a blessed Christmas everyone! 😀