I Suffer Not a Woman: Rethinking I Timothy 2:11-15 in Light of Ancient Evidence

ISBN: 0801052505
ISBN 13: 9780801052507
By: Richard Clark Kroeger Catherine Clark Kroeger

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About this book

Presents scriptural and archaeological evidence which refutes the traditional interpretation used to bar women from leadership.

Reader's Thoughts


Richard and Catherine Clark Kroeger (founder of Christians for Biblical Equality) offer here a solid, well-reasoned interpretation of I Timothy 2:11-15. I found their arguments for women in ministry as supported by Scripture to be persuasive-- although, of course, I came to the table already persuaded. Their detailed research and obviously encyclopedic knowledge of the ancient world lends support to their contention that the Pauline prohibition in this text was NOT meant to prohibit all women from teaching and authoritative positions int he church. This is a great resource to have handy, ladies, when the patriarchal types start giving you flack about using your gifts.

Cara Meredith

Although terribly boring and academic, the book provided a solid argument and truth for an incredibly controversial and dividing text. With that in mind, I'd recommend it for anyone - men or women - interested in understanding the 2 Tim passage.

Kevin Bensema

Dr. Kroeger presents an interesting argument that I Timothy 2:11ish should be seen as an attack on Gnostic heresies rather than any sort of limitation on women in Christianity. When he sticks to the verses at hand, he makes a fair argument, but resorts to assuming the consequent to make his points. He cannot accept Biblical complementarianism, therefore, it cannot *possibly* be that 'usurpation' would be a good description of female leadership in the church. Rebuttals to it have been thorough. Additionally, what could have been an interesting and in-depth study of a few verses was tarnished by an out-of-context and shallow accompanying analysis of various other New Testament verses in an attempt to ultimately argue for clerical egalitarianism and women's ordination. The author touts Galatians 3:28 (sans context, of course) and conveniently ignores Ephesians 5, Paul's words to Timothy on the Bishops, and the entirety of Christian Tradition.

Jessica Larson

This is a very difficult text (Timothy 2:11-15). The English translation never made any sense to me, considering the rest of the bible. I felt that the authors did a lot of work to get the meaning of the original text and did a great job supporting it. It may have been how I read it but I felt like the book ended abruptly. Maybe that was just me though. I know I will be reading it again.

Gayle Fallon

I so terribly want to believe the scholarship in this book, but the many bad reviews it spurned across Christian academia have confirmed my gut feeling that the Kroegers are cleverly playing with Greek grammar and Roman history. Granted, the majority of reviews against the book are written by anti-feminists who hold "traditional" views of women's roles in the Church; however, the historical scholarship employed by some of these (passionate, mind you) reviews does make more sense. What to believe about 1 Timothy 2? I'm still not sure. I am convinced that, in light of Paul's positive references to female Church leaders elsewhere in the NT, Paul cannot be flat-out condemning female leadership, nor can he be claiming that women are more easily "deceived" than men just because they are women. That is unbiblical and ridiculous. So, I'm still searching for a well-researched book on this topic that has not been written by a raving misogynist. Even the most complementarian of authors admit that this section of Scripture presents translators with considerable difficulty, and I would like to see this passage explored thoroughly without the veil of an egalitarian/complementarian agenda. I guess my next step is to just learn some Greek and do it myself.

Joel Jackson

Well researched! This book really helped me understand the issues in Ephesus at the time that Paul wrote Timothy to give him advice. It is a shame that we have misread I Timothy 2:11-15 for so long. How many have been harmed? How many have not been able to accomplish the work that God set forth because the church has not given careful enough consideration to this passage? The Kroegers give great wisdom and help us to understand God's will for His people. "I do not allow a woman to teach nor proclaim herself the author of man." According to the Kroegers Paul wrote this to counter the seeds of Gnostic heresy occurring in the church in the first century, not to proclaim that women should not have a position as teachers among God's people. The Kroegers give fantastic evidence regarding the mystery religions, the beginnings of Gnostic thought, and the interweaving of Greek mythology with the creation myths of Scripture. In giving these insights, they allow us all to understand that Paul was seeking to counter the teachings of some in the church at Ephesus when giving his directive in I Timothy. He was not suggesting that women have no place of leadership in Christ's redeemed community. Such a thought would certainly be inconsistent with teachings from other letters by Paul and the fact that he partnered with many women while teaching the Gospel. The church consistently needs to consider the books of the Bible and to what context they were written so that we can better live as God's people in the world and so that we can better follow His guidance in making disciples. All of those created as His church in this world have the opportunity to make disciples, teaching them, both men and women alike.

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