1 Timothy 2:15 speaks of women being saved through childbirth. What salvation is this referring to? Contractually speaking, there is only one way to be saved (Acts 2:38), so our guess is that it is referring to physical salvation through genetics. Another idea is in the former verse (v. 14) it speaks of Adam and Eve. Could it be referring to Genesis 3:15 (the cross of Christ overcome Satan)? What do you think? — Kevin and Todd
What did Paul mean when he wrote, "Women will be saved through childbirth"?
1 Timothy 2:15 is certainly a strange passage for the modern reader! Certainly Paul is not saying that one can live a godless life, as long as she has children, and will automatically go to heaven! But what is he saying?
To understand, it is essential to know something about the false teachings Paul in 1 Timothy is instructing the evangelist Timothy to combat. The name of this heresy is Gnosticism, from the Greek word gnosis, meaning "knowledge." Gnostics taught that the body–created by the evil god of the Old Testament–was evil, and sex was a necessary evil. Many advocated celibacy, forbade marriage, and prohibited the consumption of various foods (1 Timothy 4:1-5).
Paul told Timothy to oppose these false teachings (1 Timothy 1:3). Whereas the Gnostics thought childbirth was somehow unrighteous, as it necessitated intercourse, Paul insists that women who have children will indeed be saved–provided, of course, they live the right sort of life.
With knowledge of its historical and theological context, this otherwise obscure passage makes sense. While all the basic teachings of the Bible are fairly easy to grasp without a lot of background knowledge, this does not mean that every verse in the scriptures is easy to understand (2 Peter 3:14-16). This particular passage requires a good deal of background knowledge.
For more on the necessary background for 1-2 Timothy, please see my audio series, 1-2 Timothy & Titus: Culture – Conformity or Conviction. Click here.
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