Greetings to the Father, Son, Holy spirit, Holy angels and saints in Christ. Today, I hope to conclude the discussion on the dress of godly women by examining Paul’s style of writing in 1 Tim 2: 8-10.1. He uses a similie, “in like manner” (1 Tim 2:8) to show that peace and quiet in all godliness would be produced in the church when the women dress according to the guidelines given to them. Was this important to the context in which he lived? How could the womens’ dress cause disquiet in the church? What do you think?2. He made a comparison between the dress of the heathen and the desired dress of the godly woman in 1 Tim 2: 9 to strengthen his teaching. The people of his time were certainly aware of the mode of and rationale for female dress in their times. Paul, in typical style, did not go into the details since he must ave even felt that it was a shame for the details of the female dress to be mentioned openly (Eph 5: 12).

3. I suspect that he may have used irony in 1 Tim 2: 9,10 when he said that the women must dress “…with shamefacedness and sobriety, not with broided hair…but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works”. Why do I believe so? I believe that he felt they were well aware of the reason for the exposure of women’s bodies in the society. The issue of shame at one’s nakedness was first felt by Adam and Eve after they had sinned. God covered their bodies to maintain a sense of propriety. I believe that the word “sobriety” was used for very much the same reason. Is he telling the women not to dress the way they did before coming to the truth? He seems to be implying that there was a degree of wantonness in Greek society and pagan worship which they should not transfer into the church. Paul had firsthand information on Greek society, having lived among them. At one time, he was even believed to be one of their gods (Acts 14: 12). We know, for instance, that prostitution was a part of temple worship (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_sex). Was this the reason why the snake goddess was depicted with bare breasts? Was she supposed to incite the worshippers into sexual activity as part of the worship?

4. Hey women, place emphasis on the inside and not on the outside. This is the general scriptural principle about the focus of women’s dress. Perhaps with tongue in cheek, Paul told Timothy to tell them to put on good words. Examples are telling and are found in

* 1 Tim 2: 10, 11 – be quiet, not overbearing and trying to rule men like the goddess Diana
* 1 Tim 3: 2, 5: 10 – be hospitable
* 1 Tim 3: 11 – be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful
* 1 Tim 5: 4 – shew piety at home, requite their parents (widows).
* 1 Tim 5: 5 – continue in supplications and prayers night and day.
* 1 Tim 5: 10 – bring up children, lodge strangers, wash the saints’ feet, relieve the afflicted, diligently follow every good work.
* 1 Tim 5: 14 – younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.
* Titus 2: 3- 6 – behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
* Titus 2:4 – they should teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children (in reference to the aged women/mothers).
* Titus – 2:5 they should be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed

They should not:

* 1 Tim 5: 13 – wander about from house to house; be idle, or tattlers and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

Interesting reading:

http://www.hwhouse.com/Current%20Articles%20Downloads/Theology/tonguesandmystery.htm
How the Greeks worshipped their gods – http://www.widdershins.org/vol5iss3/03.htm

Advertisements