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In 1 Timothy, Paul says:

1 Timothy 2:15 (ESV)
15  Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

Does the "she" refer to Eve, or all women? And does the "they" refer to the same object as the "she"?

The New International Version seems to think that it applies to all women:

1 Timothy 2:15 (NIV)
15  But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

But a natural reading of this doesn't seem to agree with most Scripture, including:

Galatians 3:28 (NIV)
28  There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

How should 1 Timothy 2:15 be interpreted?

  • the way the question is asked, challenges the apostle Paul's statement – Hello Dec 31 '14 at 6:32
  • I know I'm late here, but just as a layperson, the resource here really helped me understand it: desiringgod.org/articles/… – 米凯乐 Feb 13 '19 at 22:25
  • Isn’t what comes after the “if” more important? – Constantthin Mar 4 at 8:22

12 Answers 12

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Who is "she"?

To answer your first question, the "she" in verse 15 probably refers back to the she in verse 12 ("she must be silent"). For "she" to refer to Eve would seem like a digression. It's better to think Paul stays on point.

What does it mean for her to be "saved through child bearing?"

Having read numerous attempts at a reasonable interpretation, I've found Andreas Köstenberger's exegesis the most convincing. The article is for the CBMW, and anyway the issue is emotionally charged, so it's important to me that his arguments stick close to the text. And indeed, he surveys a number of texts; here are three key ones:

1 Timothy 4:16 - Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

1 Timothy 5:14-15 - So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander. Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.

1 Corinthians 7:5 - Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

First, as you remark, a natural reading of the word "saved" doesn't allow this passage to agree with the rest of Scriptures. So we should look at possible defintions. One possibility comes from 1 Timothy 4:16 above. It's plain from that verse that Paul does not think that in the final judgment Timothy's listeners will be saved on the basis of Timothy's careful watch of his own life and doctrine. Rather the idea is probably better seen in a place like 6:20-21: "Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith." Therefore, we might understand "save" as in the sense of "protect someone from wandering from the faith."

Second, then, we ask how does "childbearing" protect anyone from wandering from their faith? The phrase "to have children" in 1 Timothy 5:14 is the only other instance of this term in the New Testament. And here we see it alongside a couple other verbs: "marry" and "manage their homes." It's possible then that Paul's use of childbearing in 2:15 is a shorthand for this larger idea. In the passage in chapter 5, the young widows are in danger of bringing judgment on themselves by being idlers and gossips and busybodies. To protect them from this, Paul counsels that they marry, have children, and manage homes. This will keep Satan from getting a foothold in their lives.

We see a similar pattern in the 1 Corithians 7 passage. Paul is concerned that by depriving one another couples will give opportunity to Satan to tempt them towards sexual immorality. Paul therefore recommends that they come together as a married couple as a means of protection. Thus while we wouldn't say anyone is saved in the final judgment because they had regular intercourse with their spouse, people might be saved from the temptation to go after shrine prostitutes and their idols and so forsake the faith.

Similarly, childbearing is not what saves a woman in the final judgement. A woman is saved in the final judgment like anyone else (their is no Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male or female...): through faith. Yet in this life, childbearing is a gift to help save her from making shipwreck of that faith.

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  • You seem to be reading διά as "on account of". However, "the childbirth" (τῆς τεκνογονίας) is in the genitive, not the accusative, so the sense is "through the [experience of, process of] the childbirth", not "on the basis of" or "on account of" the childbirth. – Ruminator Apr 25 at 0:50
  • @Ruminator My answer must not be clear then, because "through the process of" would, to my mind, be an apt rendering, where "on account of" would not. Is there a particular place that gave that impression? – Soldarnal Apr 25 at 18:53
  • Your summary final sentence seems to suggest that childbearing is the means to an end. The end is a healthy faith that is accomplished by childbearing. But as I read it, the genitive argument dictates that the woman, in Judaism, saved from death throughout the process of childbearing by diligence in her duties. Paul agrees but identifies her duties as faith. Faith is not the result of childbearing rather surviving childbearing owes to her faith. – Ruminator Apr 25 at 19:16
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Bible scholar Ben Witherington argues that the peculiar phrasing of this verse—the singular "she" in the subject combined with the plural "they" after the verb, as well as the form of τῆς τεκνογονίας, literally "the childbearing"—points to a particular birth, namely, the birth of Jesus.

Moreover, the context indicates that Paul is addressing a specific group of women here. Verse 9 refers to women "with braided hair, with gold and pearls and expensive clothes", in other words, high-status women.

In pagan temples these women would have had the right to teach others, simply because of their status. Just like Eve, who had not received proper instruction about the forbidden fruit (only Adam had received the instructions from God, according to the Genesis text, and Eve's response to the serpent indicates that either Adam had relayed the instructions incorrectly or Eve had misheard or misunderstood him), took it and ate and offered it to Adam, these women wanted to offer their wisdom without getting proper instruction.

Mary, on the other hand, submitted to the will of God and gave birth to the one who saves us all. Paul wants these high-status women to follow Mary's example rather than Eve's.


If Witherington is right, then "she" in verse 15 refers specifically to these domineering high-status women, but also more broadly to all women, "if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control." They are saved through Mary's child-bearing, through the birth (and death) of Jesus, and they are exhorted to follow Mary's example of obedience to the will of God.

Witherington acknowledges this interpretation is far from obvious, but insists that it makes the best sense given the cultural context in which this letter was written:

You will notice that all of this interpretation comes after the fact. You might never deduce some of this simply from reading the mere words in the passage above. Unless the text is studied in its historical literary, rhetorical, religious etc. contexts we are bound to distort its meaning and misuse it. A text without a context is just a pretext for whatever you want it to mean.

The only proper hedge against misuse of such controversial texts like this is careful detailed study of the text in its immediate context, in the context of the Pastorals (noting for example how elsewhere in these documents Paul talks about older women who are mature Christians doing some teaching), in the context of Paul's letters in general, and in the context of Ephesus and the social world to which these words were written.

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  • 1
    This is an interesting argument, but it is based on a flawed understanding of Greek. The Greek phrase translated "childbearing" is τῆς τεκνογονίας, literally "the childbearing". This is misleading; ὁ, ἡ, τό ≠ the. The Greek article is not a definite article. It adds definiteness, but there are ways of adding greater definiteness (e.g. using ἐκεῖνος). Moreover, it must be understood that in English we have several ways to denote definiteness, including omitting the article. "Childbearing" is not a looser translation of ἡ τεκνογονία than "the childbearing". – Kazark May 18 '12 at 17:36
  • @Kazark: Gill's commentary (linked in your answer) makes this same case, that this refers to a specific birth: "and the sense is, that notwithstanding the fall of man by the means of the woman, yet there is salvation for both men and women, through the birth of Immanuel, the child born, and Son given; at whose birth, the angels sung peace on earth, good will to men; through the true Messiah, the deed of the woman, through the incarnate Saviour, who was made of a woman, there is salvation for lost sinners: he was born of a woman, and came into the world in order to obtain salvation for them". – Bruce Alderman May 18 '12 at 20:20
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    Good point. However, he doesn't base his analysis on the Greek article, and so evades my criticism. – Kazark May 18 '12 at 20:37
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    @Kazark: It turns out Witherington doesn't either, at least not exclusively. Witherington says the unusual structure of the sentence, including using "she" in the subject and "they" following the verb, contributes to his conclusion that this is intended to point to Christ's birth. – Bruce Alderman May 20 '12 at 5:12
  • Witherington seems to be reading διά as "on account of". However, "the childbirth" (τῆς τεκνογονίας) is in the genitive, not the accusative, so the sense is "through the [experience of, process of] the childbirth", not "on the basis of" or "on account of" the childbirth. – Ruminator Apr 25 at 0:52
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In Genesis 3:17-19, God had cursed the ground because of the sin of Adam, and therefore the earth receives the disobedient curse. Thus the ground produces thorns and thistles and is thus "disobedient" to the cultivation of the land by Adam (mankind), whose sweat of the brow is the turmoil that results. The Apostle Paul accounts for the disturbances of the earth (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tornadoes, etc.) as to the "groanings" of the earth because of this curse (Rom 8:19-22).

The woman is cursed with the pain of childbearing (Gen 3:16). That is, she is not only pained with the physical turmoil of bearing children at the moment of birth, but of bearing the brunt of the burden of child-rearing or -raising (since the man must go out and till and scrounge the ground for food). Children too therefore will seek to be "disobedient" as a part of their nature of disobedience, and therefore cause turmoil to the mother first and foremost. Finally, her desire is for her husband (Gen 3:16), which is the reversal of the authority of man to woman (the created order). That is, contrary to her nature as created by God, she will seek to rule the man, whose turmoil will be his relationship to his wife.

So the sin of Adam threw everything upside down: the woman will seek to rule the man, the children seek to rule the mother (and father), and the ground seeks to thwart man, who walks on the ground, which is cursed.

The context of the passage of 1 Tim 2:13-15 is therefore an acknowledgement of the created order, and its subsequent upset by sin with a specific emphasis on the effect to the woman (Eve, "who was deceived"). In other words, if the believing (female) Christian concerned subordinates herself to the teaching of the Word of God, she will mitigate the collective effect of the Fall on herself. Again, the emphasis here is not limited to childbirth per se, but to her experience as a woman (mother, wife, daughter, and sister in Christ). So, if she is disobedient and disregards the Word of God and its delineation as to God's created order, then she is going to experience the pain as a rebellious daughter to her parents; and/or as a mother with rebellious children; and/or as a wife in a relationship with her husband, whom she does not respect, and for whom the man is not going to be loving. So the emphasis is not restricted to physical "childbirth," because (again) Paul uses the phrase "childbirth" as a figure of speech (called a "metonymy" in hermeneutics) for the collective effect of the Fall on the woman.

SUMMARY
So the scope of the Apostle Paul in context here is wider than simply the idea of giving birth to children after 9 months of pregnancy, since the Fall as a whole is in view in the context. So "childbirth" is a "metonymy" for the effect of the Fall on a woman's life. The Apostle Paul is essentially saying in plain English that for the believing female Christian, outright disregard for the Word of God concerning the created order therefore only will serve to throw gasoline on the fire.

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Calvin and Gill agree that "she" refers to all women. Both take the through to be circumstantial rather than causal; that is, with the sense of passing through rather than by. Having just mentioned how the woman was deceived first, and therefore has the curse of the pain of childbearing upon her, Paul quickly moves to giving comfort that women who persevere in the faith by performing their womanly duties will be saved, and not men only.

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I've recently studied the 1 Timothy 2:11-15 passage and am looking at this perhaps very differently than what I've seen others may be focusing on, given the context in the chapter. I'll be brief...

I think the verse that is the key verses for the chapter is 2:2,3 - the rest is all about helping that cause. Actually, the Apostle is adamant about not violating that cause ("I urge", "I want", "I do not permit"). He is not mad at men or women here, he is jealously safeguarding both and the church as a whole. Let me explain.

These admonitions above are the Apostle's commitments to hold together a new liberating faith so that it could continue to speak that faith in Christ to a hostile culture. His sense of how Christian liberated women could again (just like Eve began Adam's and our destruction) undo God's purposes for the Church was so acute that he issued stern exhortations. One to men about not arguing and being holy, and to women about propriety. Propriety is defined in Webster's as "behavior that is accepted as socially or morally correct or proper". When he says "women will be saved through childbearing", I believe he meant that they would be physically saved from harm, as the culture would more readily accept them. In that culture, unbridled liberality would have been not only unacceptable, but also physically dangerous to the women - and to the message to the community by the Church as a whole. Just as the Apostle did not crusade against slavery, likely for the same reasons (leading to the demise of his mission), he also wasn't about to lead a women's rights campaign at that point of their culture for both Jews, Greeks and Romans.

So, the passage in Genesis is not used to show that man is above woman, but that just about how the same destruction caused by Eve's being deceived could also destroy the Church. There is room to grow this thought, but I think that is enough for now.

Also, this passage isn't about roles or being saved through childbearing or being saved by the Christ-child, but about saving the mission of the church during that specific time.

The implications of this for now? The Church and each one of us must put the Mission first, the Great Commission. Propriety means living in such a way, by the Spirit of Christ, that our lives individually and in community speak of peace, quiet, godliness and holiness. Let the world hate us for the same message it also hated Jesus - but not from either extreme legalism (arguments about all those gray areas/doctrines) or liberalism (I don't know how we could be more liberal than our present day culture, so we may be safe here :) )

Another implication of these thoughts is that this passage, interpreted in this way, is not a proof-text on roles at all. The whole direction of the chapter is not at all about that issue. In fact, what may be viewed by women who read this passage as objectionable and from a woman-hater, instead should be viewed as the Apostle trying to preserve the lives of women, knowing well his times and the nature of man. There was a desperate need to intervene - not only to curtail the possibility of bad doctrine, argumentation and deception, but for the safety of the Church and its people in Christ.

I'll look forward to your thoughts on this and hope I've provided enough thought to share from what is perhaps a different way of viewing this section.

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"Women will be saved through child-bearing".

The obvious meaning that stands out in this passage is that;

1) women have been gifted with the unique role of contributing to, then carrying the newly formed human being, and giving birth to him or her

2) because of this role, and because Mary was a "woman", who contributed to, then carried the newly formed Jesus to term, then gave birth to him,

3) all women can be therefore saved, through childbearing, How so? Because "our role" through Mary, brought about the birth of the unique Jesus Christ, who was God's salvation plan extended to everyone, including women. (and especially women, because without us, through Mary, Jesus wouldn't have come into the world as the son of man.)

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  • to further clarify, our ability to child-bear, as women - brought 'Salvation Himself' into the world, so this is how we women are saved, 'through childbearing' and men can be saved too, because of this – Hello Dec 31 '14 at 6:29
  • You seem to be reading διά as "on account of". However, "the childbirth" (τῆς τεκνογονίας) is in the genitive, not the accusative, so the sense is "through the [experience of, process of] the childbirth", not "on the basis of" or "on account of" the childbirth. – Ruminator Apr 25 at 0:56
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The author of 1 Timothy (hereinafter referred to as "Paul") appears to be alluding to the oral tradition that became part of the Babylonian Talmud (Shabbat 31b to 32a) which expressed the belief that if a woman died as a result of childbirth it was because of specific offenses, such as dereliction of duty in regard to lighting candles on the Sabbath:

מַתְנִי׳ עַל שָׁלֹשׁ עֲבֵירוֹת נָשִׁים מֵתוֹת בִּשְׁעַת לֵידָתָן: עַל שֶׁאֵינָן זְהִירוֹת בַּנִּדָּה, בַּחַלָּה, וּבְהַדְלָקַת הַנֵּר.

MISHNA: This mishna concludes the aggadic treatment of the topic of kindling the Shabbat lights. For three transgressions women are punished and die during childbirth: For the fact that they are not careful in observing the laws of a menstruating woman, and in separating ḥalla from the dough, and in lighting the Shabbat lamp.

גְּמָ׳ נִדָּה מַאי טַעְמָא? אָמַר רַבִּי יִצְחָק: הִיא קִלְקְלָה בְּחַדְרֵי בִטְנָהּ, לְפִיכָךְ תִּלְקֶה בְּחַדְרֵי בִטְנָהּ. תִּינַח נִדָּה — חַלָּה וְהַדְלָקַת הַנֵּר מַאי אִיכָּא לְמֵימַר? כְּדִדְרַשׁ הַהוּא גָּלִילָאָה עֲלֵיהּ דְּרַב חִסְדָּא, אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא: רְבִיעִית דָּם נָתַתִּי בָּכֶם — עַל עִסְקֵי דָם הִזְהַרְתִּי אֶתְכֶם.

GEMARA: The Gemara asks: A woman who was not careful in observing the laws of menstruation, what is the reason that she is punished during childbirth? Rabbi Yitzḥak said: She sinned with regard to the chambers of her womb; therefore, she is afflicted in the chambers of her womb. The Gemara asks: Granted, with regard to menstruation; but with regard to a woman who was not careful in separating ḥalla and in kindling the Shabbat lights, what is there to say? Rather, it must be explained in accordance with that which that Galilean taught before Rav Ḥisda. The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: I placed a quarter [revi’it] of a log of blood in you when you were formed, and about matters of the blood of menstruation I warned you.

32a ״רֵאשִׁית״ קָרָאתִי אֶתְכֶם — עַל עִסְקֵי רֵאשִׁית הִזְהַרְתִּי אֶתְכֶם. נְשָׁמָה שֶׁנָּתַתִּי בָּכֶם קְרוּיָה ״נֵר״ — עַל עִסְקֵי נֵר הִזְהַרְתִּי אֶתְכֶם. אִם אַתֶּם מְקַיְּימִים אוֹתָם — מוּטָב, וְאִם לָאו — הֲרֵינִי נוֹטֵל נִשְׁמַתְכֶם.

I called you first, as it is stated: “Israel is the Lord’s hallowed portion, His first fruits of the increase” (Jeremiah 2:3) and I warned you about matters of the first: “Of the first of your dough you shall set apart ḥalla for a gift” (Numbers 15:20). The soul that I have placed in you is called ner: “The spirit of man is the lamp [ner] of the Lord” (Proverbs 20:27), and I warned you about matters of the Shabbat lamp. If you fulfill these mitzvot, fine, and if not, then I will take your soul.

וּמַאי שְׁנָא בִּשְׁעַת לֵידָתָן? אָמַר רָבָא: נְפַל תּוֹרָא — חַדֵּד לְסַכִּינָא. אַבָּיֵי אָמַר: תַּפִּישׁ תֵּירוּס אַמְּתָא, בְּחַד מַחְטְרָא לֶיהֱוֵי. רַב חִסְדָּא אָמַר: שִׁבְקֵיהּ לְרַוְיָא, דְּמִנַּפְשֵׁיהּ נָפֵיל. מָר עוּקְבָא אָמַר: רָעֲיָא חֲגִרָא וְעִיזֵּי רָהֲטָן, אַבָּב חוּטְרָא מִילֵּי, וְאַבֵּי דָרֵי חוּשְׁבָּנָא. רַב פָּפָּא אָמַר: אַבָּב חַנְוָאתָא נְפִישִׁי אַחֵי וּמְרַחֲמֵי, אַבָּב בִּזְיוֹנֵי — לָא אַחֵי וְלָא מְרַחֲמֵי.

And, if so, what is different during childbirth? Why does the divine attribute of judgment punish them for dereliction in fulfillment of these mitzvot specifically then? The Gemara cites several folk sayings expressing the concept that when a person is in danger, he is punished for his sins. Rava said: If the ox fell, sharpen the knife to slaughter it. Abaye said: If the maidservant’s insolence abounds, she will be struck by a single blow as punishment for all her sins. So too, when a woman is giving birth and her suffering is great due to Eve’s sin of eating from the Tree of Knowledge, all the punishments for her own sins are added to that suffering. Rav Ḥisda said: Leave the drunk, as he falls on his own. Similarly, the time of birth is a time of danger, and if the Holy One, Blessed be He, does not come to her assistance at that time, that is sufficient to cause her death. Mar Ukva said: The shepherd is crippled, and the goats are running, and he cannot catch them. However, next to the gate, he speaks harsh words, and inside the pen he settles the account. Similarly, as long as a woman is in a healthy state, her sins are in abeyance, and she is not held accountable for them. However, when she is giving birth, which is a time of danger, she is held accountable for her sins and a calculation is made whether or not she is worthy of a miracle. Rav Pappa said: At the entrance to the stores, during a time of prosperity, brothers and loved ones abound. When a person is prospering financially, everyone acts like his brother or friend. However, at the gate of disgrace, during a time of loss and poverty, he has no brothers and no loved ones; everyone abandons him.

https://www.sefaria.org/Shabbat.31b.8-32a.3?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en

Paul does not object to the notion of God striking a woman dead if she sins but he ties it to faith, love, holiness and sobriety. In other words, Jewish women were traditionally taught that they would not survive childbirth if they failed in their religious duties. Paul says that they will survive childbirth if they continue in faith.

In support of this view that the godly woman survives childbirth by her faith and godliness rather than the idea that her childbirth is the reason that she or anyone else is saved from Hell or some other notion I appeal to the grammar:

διά is not "on account of" because "the childbirth" (τῆς τεκνογονίας) is in the genitive, not the accusative, so the sense is "through the [experience of, process of] the childbirth", not "on the basis of" or "on account of" the childbirth:

διά prep. w. gen. and acc. (Hom.+) (for lit. s. ἀνά, beg.); the fundamental idea that finds expression in this prep. is separation, esp. in the gen., with the gener. sense ‘through’; in the acc. the gener. sense also is ‘through’ (cp. the semantic range in Eng.), but primarily with a causal focus ‘owing to’. A. w. gen. ① marker of extension through an area or object, via, through ⓐ w. verbs of going διέρχεσθαι διὰ πάντων (sc. τόπων, EpArist 132) go through all the places Ac 9:32; cp. Mt 12:43; Lk 11:24. ἀπελεύσομαι διʼ ὑμῶν εἰς I will go through your city on the way to Ro 15:28; cp. 2 Cor. 1:16. διαβαίνειν Hb 11:29. διαπορεύεσθαι διὰ σπορίμων Lk 6:1. εἰσέρχεσθαι διὰ τῆς πύλης (Jos., Ant. 13, 229) Mt 7:13a; τ. θύρας J 10:1f; cp. vs. 9. παρέρχεσθαι διὰ τ. ὁδοῦ pass by along the road Mt 8:28; cp. 7:13b. παραπορεύεσθαι Mk 2:23; 9:30. περιπατεῖν διὰ τοῦ φωτός walk about through or in the light Rv 21:24. ὑποστρέφειν διὰ Μακεδονίας return through M. Ac 20:3.—Ἰησ‌. ὁ ἐλθὼν διʼ ὕδατος καὶ αἵματος 1J 5:6 first of all refers quite literally to Jesus’ passing through water at the hand of John and through blood at his death (on the expression ‘come through blood’ in this sense cp. Eur., Phoen. 20 in Alex. Aphr., Fat. 31 II 2 p. 202, 10, of the oracle to Laius the father of Oedipus, concerning the bloody downfall of his house: πᾶς σὸς οἶκος βήσεται διʼ αἵματος). But mng. 3c may also apply: Jesus comes with the water of baptism and with the blood of redemption for his own.—AKlöpper, 1J 5:6–12: ZWT 43, 1900, 378–400.—The ῥῆμα ἐκπορευόμενον διὰ στόματος θεοῦ Mt 4:4 (Dt 8:3) is simply the word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (cp. Theognis 1, 18 Diehl3 τοῦτʼ ἔπος ἀθανάτων ἦλθε διὰ στομάτων; Pittacus in Diog. L. 1, 78 διὰ στόματος λαλεῖ; Chrysippus argues in Diog. L. 7, 187: εἴ τι λαλεῖς, τοῦτο διὰ τοῦ στόματός σου διέρχεται, i.e. if one e.g. says the word ἅμαξα, a wagon passes through the person’s lips; TestIss 7:4 ψεῦδος οὐκ ἀνῆλθε διὰ τ. χειλέων μου. Cp. also δέχεσθαι διὰ τῶν χειρῶν τινος Gen 33:10 beside δέχ. ἐκ τ. χειρ. τινος Ex 32:4). ⓑ w. other verbs that include motion: οὗ ὁ ἔπαινος διὰ πασῶν τ. ἐκκλησιῶν (sc. ἀγγέλλεται) throughout all the congregations 2 Cor 8:18. διαφέρεσθαι διʼ (v.l. καθʼ) ὅλης τῆς χώρας be spread through the whole region Ac 13:49. διὰ τ. κεράμων καθῆκαν αὐτόν they let him down through the tile roof Lk 5:19. διὰ τοῦ τείχους καθῆκαν through an opening in the wall (Jos., Ant. 5, 15) Ac 9:25; cp. 2 Cor 11:33. (σωθήσεται) ὡς διὰ πυρός as if he had come through fire 1 Cor 3:15. διασῴζεσθαι διʼ ὕδατος be brought safely through the water 1 Pt 3:20.—διʼ ὅλου J 19:23 s. ὅλος 2. ② marker of extension in time ⓐ of a whole period of time, to its very end throughout, through, during διὰ παντός (sc. χρόνου. Edd. gener. write διὰ παντός, but Tdf. writes διαπαντός exc. Mt 18:10) always, continually, constantly (Hdt. 1, 122, 3; Thu. 1, 38, 1; Vett. Val. 220, 1; 16; PLond I, 42, 6 [172 b.c.] p. 30; BGU 1078, 2; PGM 7, 235; LXX; GrBar 10:7; EpArist index; Jos., Ant. 3, 281; SibOr Fgm. 1, 17; Just., D. 6, 2; 12, 3 al.) Mt 18:10; Mk 5:5; Lk 24:53; Ac 2:25 (Ps 15:8); 10:2; 24:16; Ro 11:10 (Ps 68:24); 2 Th 3:16; Hb 9:6; 13:15; Hm 5, 2, 3; Hs 9, 27, 3. διὰ νυκτός during the night, overnight (νύξ 1b) Ac 23:31. διʼ ὅλης νυκτός the whole night through Lk 5:5; J 21:6 v.l. (X., An. 4, 2, 4; Diod S 3, 12, 3 διʼ ὅλης τῆς νυκτός; PGM 4, 3151; Jos., Ant. 6, 37; cp. διʼ ἡμέρας all through the day: IPriene 112, 61 and 99; 1 Macc 12:27; 4 Macc 3:7). διʼ ἡμερῶν τεσσεράκοντα Ac 1:3 means either for forty days (Philo, Vi. Cont. 35 διʼ ἓξ ἡμερῶν. So AFridrichsen, ThBl 6, 1927, 337–41; MEnslin, JBL 47, 1928, 60–73) or (s. b below) now and then in the course of 40 days (B-D-F §223, 1; Rob. 581; WMichaelis, ThBl 4, 1925, 102f; Bruce, Acts). διὰ παντὸς τοῦ ζῆν throughout the lifetime Hb 2:15 (cp. διὰ παντὸς τοῦ βίου: X., Mem. 1, 2, 61; Pla., Phileb. 39e; Dionys. Hal. 2, 21; διʼ ὅλου τοῦ ζῆν EpArist 130; 141; 168). ⓑ of a period of time within which someth. occurs during, at (PTebt 48, 10) διὰ (τῆς) νυκτός at night, during the night (Palaeph. 1, 10; PRyl 138, 15 κατέλαβα τοῦτον διὰ νυκτός; Jos., Bell. 1, 229. S. νύξ 1b end) Ac 5:19; 16:9; 17:10. διὰ τῆς ἡμέρας during the day Lk 9:37 D (Antig. Car. 128 διὰ πέμπτης ἡμέρας=on the fifth day). διὰ τριῶν ἡμερῶν within three days Mt 26:61; Mk 14:58. ⓒ of an interval of time, after (Hdt. 6, 118, 3 διʼ ἐτέων εἴκοσι; Thu. 2, 94, 3; X., Mem. 2, 8, 1; Diod S 5, 28, 6 of transmigration of souls: διʼ ἐτῶν ὡρισμένων [=after the passing of a certain number of years] πάλιν βιοῦν; OGI 56, 38; 4 Macc 13:21; Jos., Ant. 4, 209): διʼ ἐτῶν πλειόνων after several years Ac 24:17. διὰ δεκατεσσάρων (s. under δέκα) ἐτῶν after 14 years Gal 2:1. διʼ ἡμερῶν several days afterward Mk 2:1. διὰ ἱκανοῦ χρόνου after (quite) some time Ac 11:2 D (X., Cyr. 1, 4, 28 διὰ χρόνου). ③ marker of instrumentality or circumstance whereby someth. is accomplished or effected, by, via, through ⓐ of means or instrument γράφειν διά χάρτου καὶ μέλανος write w. paper and ink 2J 12; cp. 3J 13 (Plut., Sol. 87 [17, 3]). διὰ πυρὸς δοκιμάζειν test by fire 1 Pt 1:7. διὰ χρημάτων κτᾶσθαι Ac 8:20. Hebraistically in expr. denoting activity διὰ χειρῶν τινος (LXX) Mk 6:2; Ac 5:12; 14:3; 19:11, 26. Differently γράφειν διὰ χειρός τινος write through the agency of someone 15:23; cp. 11:30. εἰπεῖν διὰ στόματός τινος by the mouth of someone (where the usage discussed in A1a is influential) 1:16; 3:18, 21; 4:25. εὔσημον λόγον διδόναι διὰ τῆς γλώσσης utter intelligible speech with the tongue 1 Cor 14:9. διὰ τοῦ νοὸς λαλεῖν speak, using one’s reason (=consciously; opp., ecstatic speech) vs. 19 v.l. Of the work of Christ: περιποιεῖσθαι διὰ τοῦ αἵματος obtain through his blood Ac 20:28; cp. Eph 1:7; Col 1:20. Also διὰ τοῦ θανάτου Ro 5:10; Col 1:22; Hb 2:14; διὰ τοῦ σώματος Ro 7:4; διὰ τῆς ἰδίας σαρκός AcPlCor 2:6; cp. 2:15; διὰ τοῦ σταυροῦ Eph 2:16; διὰ τῆς θυσίας Hb 9:26; διὰ τῆς προσφορᾶς τοῦ σώματος Ἰησοῦ through the offering of the body of Jesus 10:10; διὰ παθημάτων 2:10. ⓑ of manner, esp. w. verbs of saying: ἀπαγγέλλειν διὰ λόγου by word of mouth Ac 15:27; cp. 2 Th 2:15. διʼ ἐπιστολῶν by letter (POxy 1066, 9; 1070, 14f πολλάκις σοι γράψας διὰ ἐπιστολῶν πολλῶν; Tat. 12:3 δια γραφῆς in writing) 1 Cor 16:3; 2 Cor 10:11; cp. 2 Th 2:2, 15. διὰ λόγου πολλοῦ w. many words Ac 15:32. διʼ ὁράματος εἰπεῖν in a vision 18:9. διὰ παραβολῆς in an illustrative way, in a parable Lk 8:4. διὰ προσευχῆς καὶ δεήσεως προσεύχεσθαι call on (God) w. prayer and supplication Eph 6:18. διὰ βραχέων ἐπιστέλλειν write briefly Hb 13:22 (cp. 1 Pt 5:12 P72; Isocr. 14, 3; Lucian, Tox. 56; EpArist 128; Ath. 17:1 σκέψασθε … διὰ βρ.). Also διʼ ὀλίγων γράφειν 1 Pt 5:12 (Pla., Phileb. 31d; UPZ 42, 9 [162 b.c.]; 2 Macc 6:17). ⓒ of attendant or prevailing circumstance (Kühner-G. I 482f; X., Cyr. 4, 6, 6 διὰ πένθους τὸ γῆρας διάγων; Just., D. 105, 2 διʼ οὗ πάθους ἔμελλενἀποθνῄσκειν; PTebt 35, 9 [111 b.c.] διὰ τῆς γνώμης τινός=with someone’s consent; Jos., Bell. 4, 105) σὲ τὸν διὰ γράμματος καὶ περιτομῆς παραβάτην νόμου you who, (though provided) with the written code and circumcision, are a transgressor/violator of the law Ro 2:27. διʼ ὑπομονῆς 8:25. διὰ προσκόμματος eat with offense (to the scruples of another) 14:20. διʼ ἀκροβυστίας in a state of being uncircumcised 4:11. διὰ πολλῶν δακρύων with many tears 2 Cor 2:4. Cp. 6:7. διὰ τῆς ἐπιγνώσεως 2 Pt 1:3 (through recognition [of God as source of the gifts], s. Danker, Benefactor 457). διὰ πυρός in fiery form AcPlCor 2:13.—Here prob. belongs σωθήσεται διὰ τῆς τεκνογονίας 1 Ti 2:15 (opp. of the negative theme in Gen. 3:16), but s. d next. On 1J 5:6 s. A1a above. ⓓ of efficient cause via, through διὰ νόμου ἐπίγνωσις ἁμαρτίας (only) recognition of sin comes via the law Ro 3:20; cp. 4:13. τὰ παθήματα τὰ διὰ τοῦ νόμου passions aroused via the law 7:5. διὰ νόμου πίστεως by the law of faith 3:27; Gal 2:19. ἀφορμὴν λαμβάνειν διὰ τῆς ἐντολῆς Ro 7:8, 11; cp. 13. διὰ τ. εὐαγγελίου ὑμᾶς ἐγέννησα (spiritual parenthood) 1 Cor 4:15. Perh. 1 Ti 2:15 but s. c, above. διὰ τῆς σοφίας with its wisdom 1 Cor 1:21; opp. διὰ τῆς μωρίας τοῦ κηρύγματος through the folly of proclamation = foolish proclamation ibid. διὰ τῆς Λευιτικῆς ἱερωσύνης Hb 7:11. Freq. διὰ (τῆς) πίστεως Ro 1:12; 3:22, 25, 30f; Gal 2:16; 3:14, 26; Eph 2:8; 3:12, 17 al. Cp. AcPl Cor 2:8. πίστις διʼ ἀγάπης ἐνεργουμένη faith which works through (=expresses itself in) deeds of love Gal 5:6. διὰ θελήματος θεοῦ if God is willing Ro 15:32; by the will of God 1 Cor 1:1; 2 Cor 1:1; 8:5; Eph 1:1; Col 1:1; 2 Ti 1:1. ⓔ of occasion διὰ τῆς χάριτος by virtue of the grace Ro 12:3; Gal 1:15 (Just., D. 100, 2).—3:18; 4:23; Phlm 22. διὰ δόξης καὶ ἀρετῆς in consequence of his glory and excellence 2 Pt 1:3 v.l. ⓕ in wording of urgent requests διὰ τῶν οἰκτιρμῶν τοῦ θεοῦ by the mercy of God Ro 12:1; cp. 15:30; 1 Cor 1:10; 2 Cor 10:1. ④ marker of pers. agency, through, by ⓐ with focus on agency through (the agency of), by (X., An. 2, 3, 17 διʼ ἑρμηνέως λέγειν; Menand., Fgm. 210, 1 οὐθεὶς διʼ ἀνθρώπου θεὸς σῴζει … ἑτέρου τόν ἕτερον; Achilles Tat. 7, 1, 3 διʼ ἐκείνου μαθεῖν; Just., D. 75, 4 διὰ παρθένου γεννηθῆναι; PMert 5, 8 γεομετρηθῆναι διʼ αὐτοῦ) ῥηθὲν διὰ τοῦ προφήτου Mt 1:22; 2:15, 23; 4:14 al. (cp. Just., A I, 47, 5 διὰ Ἠσαίου τοῦ πρ.). γεγραμμένα διὰ τῶν προφητῶν Lk 18:31; cp. Ac 2:22; 10:36; 15:12 al. διʼ ἀνθρώπου by human agency Gal 1:1. διὰ Μωϋσέως through Moses (Jos., Ant. 7, 338; Mel., P. 11, 77 διὰ χειρὸς Μωυσέως) J 1:17; under Moses’ leadership Hb 3:16. διʼ ἀγγέλων by means of divine messengers (TestJob 18:5 διὰ τοῦ ἀγγέλου; cp. Jos., Ant. 15, 136, but s. n. by RMarcus, Loeb ed., ad loc.) Gal 3:19; Hb 2:2. πέμψας διὰ τ. μαθητῶν εἶπεν sent and said through his disciples Mt 11:2f. Cp. the short ending of Mk. γράφειν διά τινος of the bearer IRo 10:1; IPhld 11:2; ISm 12:1, but also of pers. who had a greater or smaller part in drawing up some document (Dionys. of Cor. in Eus., HE 4, 23, 11) 1 Pt 5:12 (on the practice s. ERichards, The Secretary in the Letters of Paul ’91). In this case διά comes close to the mng. represented by (LWenger, D. Stellvertretung im Rechte d. Pap. 1906, 9ff; Dssm., LO 98 [LAE 123f]). So also κρίνει ὁ θεὸς διὰ Χρ. Ἰ. God judges, represented by Christ Jesus Ro 2:16. Christ as intermediary in the creation of the world J 1:3, 10; 1 Cor 8:6; Col 1:16.—εὐχαριστεῖν τ. θεῷ διὰ Ἰ. Χρ. thank God through Jesus Christ Ro 1:8; 7:25; Col 3:17.—Occasionally the mediation becomes actual presence (references for this usage in BKeil, Anonymus Argentinensis 1902, p. 192, 1; 306 note) διὰ πολλῶν μαρτύρων in the presence of many witnesses 2 Ti 2:2 (Simplicius in Epict. p. 114, 31 διὰ θεοῦ μέσου=in the presence of God as mediator; Philo, Leg. ad Gai. 187 τὸ διὰ μαρτύρων κλαίειν=weeping in the presence of witnesses). ⓑ with focus on the originator of an action (Hom. et al.; pap, LXX, EpArist) α. of human activity (PSI 354, 6 [254 b.c.] τὸν χόρτον τὸν συνηγμένον διʼ ἡμῶν=by us; 500, 5; 527, 12; 1 Esdr 6:13; 2 Macc 6:21; 4 Macc 1:11) 2 Cor 1:11 (where διὰ πολλῶν resumes ἐκ πολλῶν προσώπων). ᾧ παρέλαβε κανόνι διὰ τῶν μακαρίων προφήτων καὶ τοῦ ἁγίου εὐαγγελίου AcPlCor 2:36. β. of divine activity:—of God (Aeschyl., Ag. 1485; Pla., Symp. 186e ἡ ἰατρικὴ πᾶσα διὰ τ. θεοῦ τούτου [Asclepius] κυβερνᾶται; Ael. Aristid., Sarap. [Or. 8 Dind.=45 Keil] 14 K. πάντα γὰρ πανταχοῦ διὰ σοῦ τε καὶ διὰ σὲ ἡμῖν γίγνεται; Zosimus in CALG p. 143 and a magic ring in introd. 133; EpArist 313) 1 Cor 1:9 διʼ οὗ ἐκλήθητε (v.l. ὑπό s. καλέω 4); Ro 11:36 (s. Norden, Agn. Th. 240–50; 347f); Hb 2:10b (s. B 2a, below; cp. Ar. 1:5 διʼ αὐτοῦ … τὰ πάντα συνέστηκεν).—Of Christ Ro 1:5; 5:9, 17f, 21; 8:37; 2 Cor 1:20 al. (ASchettler, D. paulin. Formel ‘durch Christus’ 1907; GJonker, De paulin. formule ‘door Christus’: ThSt 27, 1909, 173–208).—Of the Holy Spirit Ac 11:28; 21:4; Ro 5:5. ⑤ At times διά w. gen. seems to have causal mng. (Rdm. 142; POxy 299, 2 [I a.d.] ἔδωκα αὐτῷ διὰ σοῦ=because of you; Achilles Tat. 3, 4, 5 διὰ τούτων=for this reason; in Eng. cp. Coleridge, Anc. Mariner 135–36: Every tongue thro’ utter drouth Was wither’d at the root, s. OED s.v. ‘through’ I B 8) διὰ τῆς σαρκός because of the resistance of the flesh Ro 8:3.—2 Cor 9:13.—On the use of διά w. gen. in Ro s. Schlaeger, La critique radicale de l’épître aux Rom.: Congr. d’ Hist. du Christ. II 111f. B. w. acc. ① marker of extension through an area, through (Hom. and other early Gk. only in poetry, e.g. Pind. P. 9, 123 διʼ ὅμιλον ‘through the throng’; Hellenistic prose since Dionys. Hal. [JKäser, D. Präpositionen b. Dionys. Hal., diss. Erlangen 1915, 54]; ISyriaW 1866b τὸν πάτρωνα διὰ πάντα of the governor of a whole province) διήρχετο διὰ μέσον Σαμαρείας καὶ Γαλιλαίας Lk 17:11 (cp. SibOr 3, 316 ῥομφαία διελεύσεται διὰ μέσον σεῖο). ② marker of someth. constituting cause ⓐ the reason why someth. happens, results, exists: because of, for the sake of (do something for the sake of a divinity: UPZ 62, 2 [161 b.c.] διὰ τὸν Σάραπιν; JosAs 1:10 διʼ αὐτήν; ApcSed 3:3 διὰ τὸν ἄνθρωπον; Tat. 8:2 διὰ τὸν … Ἄττιν; Ath. 30, 1 διὰ τὴν Δερκετώ) hated because of the name Mt 10:22; persecution arises because of teaching 13:21; because of unbelief vs. 58; because of a tradition 15:3; διὰ τὸν ἄνθρωπον (the sabbath was designed) for people Mk 2:27; because of Herodias Mk 6:17 (cp. Just. D. 34, 8 διὰ γυναῖκα); because of a crowd Lk 5:19; 8:19 al; because of Judeans Ac 16:3. διὰ τὸν θόρυβον 21:34; because of rain 28:2. Juristically to indicate guilt: imprisoned for insurrection and murder Lk 23:25. διʼ ὑμᾶς on your account=through your fault Ro 2:24 (Is 52:5). διὰ τὴν πάρεσιν because of the passing over 3:25 (but s. WKümmel, ZTK 49, ’52, 164). διὰ τὰ παραπτώματα on account of transgressions 4:25a (cp. Is 53:5; PsSol 13:5); but διὰ τὴν δικαίωσιν in the interest of justification vs. 25b; s. 8:10 for a sim. paired use of διὰ. διὰ τὴν χάριν on the basis of the grace 15:15. διʼ ἀσθένειαν τῆς σαρκός because of a physical ailment (cp. POxy 726, 10f [II a.d.] οὐ δυνάμενος διʼ ἀσθένειαν πλεῦσαι. Cp. ἀσθένεια 1) Gal 4:13. διὰ τὸ θέλημα σου by your will Rv 4:11. διὰ τὸν χρόνον according to the time = by this time Hb 5:12 (Aelian, VH 3, 37 δ. τὸν χρ.=because of the particular time-situation).—W. words denoting emotions out of (Diod S 5, 59, 8 διὰ τὴν λύπην; 18, 25, 1 διὰ τὴν προπέτειαν=out of rashness; Appian, Celt. 1 §9 διʼ ἐλπίδα; 2 Macc 5:21; 7:20; 9:8; 3 Macc 5:32, 41; Tob 8:7): διὰ φθόνον out of envy Mt 27:18; Phil 1:15. διὰ σπλάγχνα ἐλέους out of tender mercy Lk 1:78. διὰ τ. φόβον τινός out of fear of someone J 7:13. διὰ τὴν πολλὴν ἀγάπην out of the great love Eph 2:4. διὰ τ. πλεονεξίαν in their greediness B 10:4.—Of God as the ultimate goal or purpose of life, whereas διά w. gen. (s. A4bβ above) represents God as Creator, Hb 2:10a (s. Norden, op. cit.; PGM 13, 76 διὰ σὲ συνέστηκεν … ἡ γῆ). Cp. J 6:57 (s. Bultmann ad loc.) PtK 2. ⓑ in direct questions διὰ τί; why? (Hyperid. 3, 17; Dio Chrys. 20 [37], 28; Ael. Aristid. 31 p. 597 D.; oft. LXX; TestJob 37:8; TestLevi 2:9; GrBar, Tat; Mel., Fgm. 8b, 42) mostly in an interrogative clause Mt 9:11, 14; 13:10; 15:2f; 17:19; 21:25; Mk 2:18; 11:31; Lk 5:30; 19:23, 31; 20:5; 24:38; J 7:45; 8:43, 46; 12:5; 13:37; Ac 5:3; 1 Cor 6:7; Rv 17:7. Simply διὰ τί; (Hyperid. 3, 23) Ro 9:32; 2 Cor 11:11. Also διατί (always in t.r. and often by Tdf.; TestJob 46:2) B 8:4, 6; Hm 2:5; Hs 5, 5, 5. Kvan Leeuwen Boomkamp, Τι et Διατι dans les évangiles: RevÉtGr 39, 1926, 327–31.—In real and supposed answers and inferences διὰ τοῦτο therefore (X., An. 1, 7, 3; 7, 19; oft. LXX; JosAs 7:7; Ar. 12, 2; Just., A I, 44, 5 al.; Demetr.: 722 Fgm. 2, 3 Jac.) Mt 6:25; 12:27, 31; 13:13, 52; 14:2; 18:23; 21:43; 23:13 v.l.; 24:44; Mk 11:24; 12:24; Lk 11:19 al. Also διὰ ταῦτα (Epict.) Eph 5:6. διὰ τοῦτο ὅτι for this reason, (namely) that J 5:16, 18; 8:47; 10:17; 12:18, 39; 15:19; 1J 3:1. διὰ τοῦτο ἵνα for this reason, (in order) that (Lucian, Abdic. 1) J 1:31; 2 Cor 13:10; 1 Ti 1:16; Phlm 15. Also διὰ τοῦτο ὅπως Hb 9:15. ⓒ διά foll. by inf. or acc. w. inf., representing a causal clause, because (Gen 39:9; Dt 1:36; 1 Macc 6:53; GrBar 8:4; Demetr.: 722 fgm 1:1 al.) διὰ τὸ μὴ ἔχειν βάθος because it had no depth Mt 13:5f; Mk 4:5f (διὰ τὸ μή w. inf.: X., Mem. 1, 3, 5; Hero Alex. I 348, 7; III 274, 19; Lucian, Hermot. 31); because lawlessness increases Mt 24:12; διὰ τὸ εἶναι αὐτὸν ἐξ οἴκου Δ.. Lk 2:4; because it was built well 6:48 al. διὰ τὸ λέγεσθαι ὑπό τινων because it was said by some Lk 9:7 (for the constr. cp. Herodian 7, 12, 7 διὰ τὸ τὰς ἐξόδους ὑπὸ τ. πυρὸς προκατειλῆφθαι=because the exit-routes were blocked by the fire). ⓓ instead of διά w. gen. to denote the efficient cause we may have διά, by α. w. acc. of thing (schol. on Pind., N. 4, 79a; 2 Macc 12:11; EpArist 77) διὰ τὸ αἷμα by the blood Rv 12:11. διὰ τὰ σημεῖα by the miracles 13:14. β. w. acc. of pers. and freq. as expr. of favorable divine action (Aristoph., Plut. 468; Dionys. Hal. 8, 33, 3, 1579 μέγας διὰ τ. θεούς ἐγενόμην; Ael. Aristid. 24, 1 K.=44 p. 824 D.: διʼ οὓς [= θεούς] ἐσώθην; SIG 1122; OGI 458, 40; PGM 13, 579 διῳκονομήθη τ. πάντα διὰ σέ; EpArist 292; Sir 15:11; 3 Macc 6:36: other exx. in SEitrem and AFridrichsen, E. christl. Amulett auf Pap. 1921, 24). ζῶ διὰ τὸν πατέρα J 6:57 (cp. PKöln VI, 245, 16 of Isis σὺ κυρεῖς τὰ πάντα, διὰ σὲ δʼ εἰσορῶ φαός ‘you are responsible for everything and thanks to you I can see light’). διὰ τὸν ὑποτάξαντα by the one who subjected it Ro 8:20.—DELG. M-M. TW.

Useful links:

http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/12342-pregnancy

https://books.google.com/books?id=XmOODwAAQBAJ&pg=PT374&lpg=PT374&dq=talmud+shabbat+2.6&source=bl&ots=xunl4-R_82&sig=ACfU3U1K8mxY3GvpVGO73RScirzC7HNzWg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjt1Kjll__nAhW_mXIEHTSdDbYQ6AEwAnoECAsQAQ#v=onepage&q=talmud%20shabbat%202.6&f=false

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  • In your link about διά, doesn't Liddell–Scott–Jones list "causal, through, by" under WITH GEN? – Soldarnal May 5 at 2:01
  • Yes. LSJ covers a broader span of time than does BDAG which is limited to Koine and is explicit as I have bolded. I replaced the LSJ link with BDAG, inline. A much better and more appropriate authority. Thanks for pointing that out. – Ruminator May 5 at 10:47
  • Yeah, BDAG has A. w. gen. ③ - "marker of instrumentality or circumstance whereby someth. is accomplished or effected, by, via, through". They list 1 Tim 2:15 under there in ⓒ – Soldarnal May 5 at 14:28
  • @Soldarnal But see above: "...Here prob. belongs σωθήσεται διὰ τῆς τεκνογονίας 1 Ti 2:15 (opp. of the negative theme in Gen. 3:16), but s. d next. On 1J 5:6 s. A1a above..." – Ruminator May 5 at 16:47
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1 Timothy 2:15: KJV Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing ….

This is not speaking of each individual woman’s act of childbearing. This is speaking of the provable “unique human process” of childbearing that was to not only bring forth a child who would be the Savior, but also that process being a “type” of that Savior’s process to “save all mankind. This is not a “blame-the-woman verse. The man also violated the WORD of God’s command to not eat of the fruit of the tree of the “knowledge of good & evil”. Moreover, they both also refused the fruit of the “tree of life.”

UNIQUE CHILDBEARING PROCESS OF MAN – THE FIRST STEP. (Using KJV throughout)

From the beginning at 1:Ti 2, up through verse 7, Paul is speaking about “all men.” First, asking that prayers, supplications, and thanks be given to those in authority as to their work in allowing all men to lead a quiet and peaceable life, which is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior who gave Himself a ransom for all—all mankind—all men, women, and children. Verses 5-7 reveals:

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.

In verse 7, Paul says that he was ordained a preacher, and an apostle—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. The Gentiles, of course, are not the “all” first referred to in verse 6. However, Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, excludes most Jews from this “teaching moment” because the matters concerning the man and the woman were already well understood by most Jews. They recorded, read, and placed their hopes in the writing of Moses. Gentiles, on the other hand, believed in false gods and various false narratives concerning the beginning of mankind. Therefore, Paul drew the Gentiles attention to Moses.

In verses 8-14, Paul reveals that there is a distinction between the man and the woman. Man and woman were not simply “poofed” into place each having man-or-woman fleshy bodies when they were created. By directing Timothy to their profound truthful distinction, Paul is showing the important aspect of that distinction for Gentiles to understand the “process” of the Salvation spoken of in verse 4, supra. This process is called “childbearing”.

God’s first step was to “create man” as a single invisible compound male-and-female “spirit”, as revealed in Gen 1:26:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

God’s “image” is invisible spirit, which would not have been, and cannot now be seen by flesh and blood man. Also, God’s likeness is that of a certain “ONENESS” in Spirit having more than one H6437—paniym—face—presence—person.

Deu 6:4: Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

This spirit “man” was created OUT OF NOTHING as one pluralistic complex spirit, being both male and female, but only “one” man with only “one” name—Adam—as declared in Gen. 5:1-2:

This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.

God is a speaking God who “verbally” blessed “them” as described in Gen 5:1-2:

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Even as the LORD our God is one LORD having more than one operative capacity—face—presence—person, He also had dominion over all things. Similarly, God gave “them”—male and female—not just “him”—LIMITED dominion over certain things—the water creatures, fish, and fowl, and over every living creature that moveth upon the earth.

Notice, as a side note, that God had NOT “verbally blessed” all creatures, but only man and the “water creatures”, both the fish and the fowl. That is because the “waters” are overwhelmingly established and used repeatedly throughout all scripture as a type of the very WORD of God who “verbally” blessed both man and the water creatures. The WORD of God was Spirit, and man was created as spirit. Therefore, When the WORD of God blessed them, they were not just “spoken about” (as were the water creatures), but rather they were both “spoken to”. They were verbally told “to” be fruitful, and multiply, and to replenish the earth, and subdue it, by their dominion over creatures who had not actually been “spoken to” by their blessings. That gives us full confidence that God gave them the ability to “hear” and comprehend that Spirit-God’s perfectly spoken WORD.

THE SECOND STEP—MADE FLESH.

In order for God to carry out His plan for Salvation, He needed to “make” Adam—male and female—to become flesh. So this second step was accomplished to be able to give “them” (Adam—male and female) dominion over all the other things that the plural God had already “created”, “made”, “formed”, and “established”—all four different actions as proudly emphasized in Isaiah 45:18:

For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.

So after man had already been “created” spirit FROM NOTHING, on that very same day, Gen 2:7 instructively states:

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

So now man—male and female—had just been “formed”—not created— as a single body of earthy flesh. Additionally, He (male and female) then had life breathed into his nostrils that became the “life of the flesh” in man’s “blood”.

THE THIRD STEP – FORMING THE WOMAN –TAKEN OUT OF MAN So at this point, after the second step, we still had only one spirit, one fleshy body, and one living soul—Adam was still both male and female and called “the man”. Still, they need to become a woman, separate from the man, having the physical ability to produce children that could be either male, or female, but still have that same genetic ability that they had—“both male and female”. So this next third step accomplished that result as Gen 2:21-24 explains:

And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Finally, we now have both an individual man and an individual woman, distinctly different, so as to BOTH being able to enjoy the entire “verbal blessing” that the WORD of God bestowed upon them. She was brought back to the man to bear children like them, capable of becoming a duality in pairs—male and female—in love, purpose, and desire. Adam certainly understood this because in Gen 2:23 we read:

And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Then, AFTER gaining the knowledge of good and evil—after having already eaten that fruit providing them with that new guilt-laden knowledge, the LORD God—by SPEAKING—reached out and called unto Adam in Gen 3:9:

And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

THE SEED OF THE WOMAN—THE HOPE OF GLORY.

Many Jews at the time of Christ also understood the precept of childbearing and its importance to them concerning their promised Messiah. The differences in gender of “mankind ” had been explicitly explained and underscored by Moses. Adam had blamed the woman for his sin, and then the woman blamed Satan for her sin. Yet both the man and the woman were guilty of the same sin. The LORD God handed out the sentences in the opposite direction—first to the serpent, then to the woman, and lastly, to the man. As a result of their original sin, both the man and the woman were given DIFFERENT SENTENCES that would remain as “SUFFERINGS” for them and their sons and daughters, respectively, for rest of their mortal lives, YET, would also provide the HOPE OF SALVATION to all mankind through the childbirth of the Son of God as the Son of man, through the woman, without the man. As Romans 8:18-21 explains:

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

That “seed” of the woman was cast in the light of the LORD God placing “enmity” between the serpent and the woman. That seed of the woman would bruise the serpent’s head, and the serpent would bruise the seed of the woman’s heel. This is the under-girding of God’s plan of salvation for all mankind—both for the man and the woman. Man, the responsible one passes sin to all his offspring, yet the woman would pass this promised seed without the man. This seed would be “a begotten “Son of man” through the woman--no man involved, and the “only begotten Son of God” through the woman—no man involved. Moreover, this plan provided for that same “seed of the woman” to also become the Son of Abraham, Jacob, Judah, David, and Nathan, through the woman—no man involved.

As the Son of God, Jesus was obedient to the Father and suffered, even unto the death of the cross, even as an ox suffers under a heavy work load and as the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world. Additionally, since the promise to Israel and his children was that this “seed of the woman” “Son of man” would also be that Lion of the tribe of Judah, Mary—the woman who bare that seed—also became wed to the legal heir to David’s throne--Joseph.

THEREFORE, through the childbirth of the “woman,” SALVATION has been provided by grace through faith in the seed-of-the-woman SAVIOR in accordance with all four gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Moreover, through the childbirth of the woman, the King-of-kings Lion of the tribe of Judah has been provided by Jesus as the now resurrected and only living “heir” to the throne of David in accordance with the gospels of Matthew and Luke. So the process of “creating”, “making”, and “forming” man in three distinctly different stages was God’s plan of Salvation and righteous judgment from before the foundation of the world, as declared by Isaiah 43:3-7:

Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

Accordingly, we should now know for certain that these three processes established the precept that “childbearing” would be used to provide Salvation to everyone that believeth on His name—“Savior”. The eternal WORD of God is Spirit--ONE with God, and in fact is God. The very WORD of God who blessed Adam (male and female) also took on the form of flesh when He was "begotten" of woman at a certain point in time--"this day have I begotten thee." Of course, Jesus accomplished all the work for our Salvation, suffered and died according to the scripture, rose again the third day according to the scripture. Jesus now is both the only-begotten resurrected Son of God Savior, eternal in nature thanks to childbirth of the woman, as well as the rightful "heir" to the throne of David thanks to the childbirth of the woman. The first Adam was "made" a living soul, the last Adam was made a quickening Spirit and an eternal King of the Jews.

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Q: "Are women really saved by childbearing according to 1 Timothy 2:15?

A: The answer is, No!

Paul in the verse 2:15 does not allude to it nor entire Bible does, for that matter. Women's "salvation" is NOT by/through/because of "childbearing!

1. Paul use **But (δὲ - however. )** in v 15 to contrast before and after the v-15.

 Text: 1 Timothy 2:11-15][1] (NET)


11 A woman must learn quietly with all submissiveness.
12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man. 
   She must remain quiet.
13 For Adam was formed first and then Eve.
14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman, because she was fully 
   deceived, fell into transgression.

v 15 But (δὲ - however. ) she will be delivered (sózó sōs, -safe, rescued from the penalty etc.) through childbearing, if she continues in faith and love and holiness with self-control. (emphasis mine)

A. Brief word Study: Verses 11-15:

a). The "Woman" Gr. Γυνὴ (v 11, 12, 14,), means: " a woman; especially, a wife" (Strong NT) "a woman of any age, whether a virgin, or married, or a widow"
(Thyer's)

Therefore, in the context, the woman refers to "woman," in general, in the church.

b. Verse 12:-speaks restriction of women's certain roles in the church.

"But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man. She must remain quiet."

"allow" - Gr. ἐπιτρέπω means, entrusted/permitted, "teach" - Gr. διδάσκειν
"exercise authority" - Gr. αὐθεντεῖν ( to govern, exercise authority),
"quiet" - Gr. ἡσυχίᾳ (quietness, stillness, silence- -not speechless).

Therefore, v-11-14: the proper interpretation should be:

"Woman, in general, is not permitted to teach and exercise power over a man for the reasons of "she was fully deceived", and women's bossy roles in the pagan idol worship culture (as the v 11 & 12 imply). But she to be in quietness"-NOT speechless.

B. In verse 15: speaks an exclusion of women from previous restriction:

“**But** she will be delivered through childbearing if she continues in faith 
and love and holiness with self-control.” (NET)

But she will be delivered (saved)” (σωθήσεται)...." Properly in the context, means “she will be exempted” from..."

a). “however, but” (δὲ) - signify the reversion from the aforementioned
"restriction" put on the woman.

b). "She" will be "delivered" (σωθήσεται) is from sózó sōs, -safe, rescued. The basic idea is to deliver out of current condition or situation of danger, such as healing from sickness, evil-spirit possession, or restraining, into safety. In this verse, it implies "exclusion of, release from, exception to the restriction of the verses 11 & 12, i.e. as the English word "save" in "Destroy everything, but save (except, exclude) the red one."

c) “through" -"διὰ" also means, on account of, because of "childbearing” (τῆς τεκνογονίας)….."

This refers to a woman who had childbearing and is of an exemplary believer as the rest of the verse stated.

ref.1 Tim. 3:11-Their wives (women - Γυναῖκας) likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things.

In sum:

a) The verse 15 is about an exclusion (saved, delivered) of "woman" from the restriction aforementioned, NOT about "ETERNAL SALVATION" of "woman"by "childbearing."

b) "She" in v 15 refers to a woman who has childbearing and reared her children well in faith, and is above approach in her family and the church and has good reputations for her genuine living faith, loving, godliness, and self-control in private and in the church.

c) "Woman" (women) of such sterling quality shall be free (exempt)from such restrictions.

In conclusion: 1 Timothy 2:15-

Is not speaking about women's salvation by childbearing!

*Salvation is the gift of gracious God, which we receive through faith in Jesus Christ, His redemptive works.

And "Justification" is by faith alone for all, men and women!*

Note:

διά with genitive does not always denote means, but in some context the accompanying circumstance. So, a woman with a childbearing, motherhood with other evidences of her spiritual qualities stated in the verse should be considered as acceptable for her exclusion from the prohibition.

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  • You seem to be reading διά as "on account of". However, "the childbirth" (τῆς τεκνογονίας) is in the genitive, not the accusative, so the sense is "through the [experience of, process of] the childbirth", not "on the basis of" or "on account of" the childbirth. – Ruminator Apr 25 at 0:57
  • διά with genitive does not always denote means, but in some context the accompanying circumstance. So, a woman with a childbearing, motherhood with other evidences of her spiritual qualities stated in the verse should be considered as acceptable for her exclusion from the prohibition. – Sam Apr 26 at 19:54
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There are many of us who find great illumination at the late Pastor Jack Kelley's web ministry GraceThruFaith.com in various hard to understand portions of the Bible.

For instance, this is with reference to what you are discussing on this page:

Are Women Saved Through Childbirth?

Q. My question has to do with 1 Timothy 2:8-15 and in particular verse 15. As I was reading this morning, I read my wife this passage and she looked a me in amazement and with a resounding “what do you mean saved through childbearing?”. Now I know we are all saved by first believing in Jesus by grace through faith and nothing else. So does this verse have another meaning to being saved?

A. First of all, on its face 1 Tim. 2:15 appears to be a contradiction of everything we know the Bible says about salvation. Therefore, since the Bible can’t contradict itself, our initial understanding has to be incorrect.

It appears the problem was created when English translations began omitting the article “the” before childbearing. Today most English translations don’t have it. But this omission changes the meaning of the passage from “women, like men, will be saved through the birth of the Child if they come to Him in faith,” as I believe Paul originally intended it, to “women will be saved in a different manner than men by having children and behaving correctly.” Such a change puts this one verse in opposition to every other verse in the Bible that deals with salvation, and can not be correct.

I believe Young’s Literal Translation (YLT) has the correct translation of 1 Tim. 2:15.

“and she shall be saved through the child-bearing, if they remain in faith, and love, and sanctification, with sobriety”.

Further more, Paul’s own statement in Gal 3:26-29 indicates that where salvation is concerned there’s no difference between men and women. As for the switch from singular to plural, since Eve was the woman in view in the previous verses, it implies that from the first woman to the last, salvation is by faith in the Child who was born.

Remaining in faith means to rely on their faith alone, with love, sanctification, and sobriety being the proper expressions of gratitude for their salvation, as it is with men.

Further, I have also come to learn thru Pastor Jack's ministry that at the time of the writing of the Gospels, punctuation marks in the original Greek MSS did not exist so this logical and sensible answer makes sense. As Believers we should be in agreement that (a) the Bible does not contradict itself, (b) scribal errors at duplication were common (as printing presses/repro-graphy did not exist then)

Authoritative notes on the absence of punctuation in early Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic can be found at the The Aquila Report.

Deuteronomy 17:6 tells us - On the testimony of two or three witnesses a person is to be put to death, but no one is to be put to death on the testimony of only one witness. (NIV) - likewise, sage advice I have received from Pastor Jack is that we should have at least two testimonies in Scripture to support an account deserving of our attention. Since this 'salvation through childbearing' has only a single source, it does not hold weight according to The Lord's directive in the need of more than a single witness.

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2 JOHN 2:13; PHILEMON 1:10; 3 JOHN 1:4; 1 THESSALONIANS 2:7; 1 COR 4:14; etc...

The importance here is that wives manage children of faith

But she will be saved by giving birth to children if she remains modestly in faith, love, and sanctification. 1 Timothy 2:15

In Verse 10-11, we read:

But (as befits women who make profession of serving God) with good works. The woman should learn in silence, with all subjection. 1 Timothy 2:10,11

And in verse 12:

But I will not allow a woman to teach, nor to have authority over her husband, but to be silent. 1 Timothy 2:12

Chapter 2 is addressed to men, and of course, the Greek woman behaved with total discretion before men, not without reason, Paul is here, preserving the church from being accused of going against Greek laws and traditions.

Within this context, "giving birth to children" is explained by:

But if one has not taken care of his own, and especially those of his family, he has denied the faith, and is worse than the unfaithful. 1 Timothy 5:8

Bearing witness to good works: If he raised his children, exercised hospitality, washed the feet of the saints, helped the afflicted, did all the good work. 1 Timothy 5:10

Therefore, "giving birth to children" is to generate and administer children of faith, so many natural ones with those who are saved by their witness

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  • But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Timothy 5:8 English Standard Version (ESV) – Betho's Mar 5 at 17:07
  • You seem to be reading διά as "on account of". However, "the childbirth" (τῆς τεκνογονίας) is in the genitive, not the accusative, so the sense is "through the [experience of, process of] the childbirth", not "on the basis of" or "on account of" the childbirth. – Ruminator Apr 25 at 0:58
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Are women really saved by childbearing according to 1 Timothy 2:15?

1 Timothy 2:15 (ESV)

15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

Some translations like the above appear to imply that a woman's salvation is dependant on her having children, this is not an accurate translation of Paul's writings. The scriptures clearly indicate that for a person to be saved, they must come to know God, believe in Jesus and exercise faith in them.

John 17:3 (NASB)

3 "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."

Acts 16:30-31 (NET Bible)

30 "Then he brought them outside and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household.”

James 2:26 (NASB)

26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

The NTE writes, "be kept safe through the process of childbirth, and the ERV "will be saved in their work of having children. What does Paul mean by that?

1 Timothy 2:15 New Testament for Everyone (NTE)

15 She will, however, be kept safe through the process of childbirth, if she continues in faith, love and holiness with prudence.

1 Timothy 2:15 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

15 But women will be saved in their work of having children. They will be saved if they continue to live in faith, love, and holiness with sensible behavior.

Paul refers to the fact that Christian women having children to tend to, along with managing the household chores, may keep them "safe" from becoming an unoccupied gossiper and meddler in other people's affairs.

1 Timothy 5:11-15 (NASB)

11 "But refuse to put younger widows on the list, for when they feel sensual desires in disregard of Christ, they want to get married, 12 thus incurring condemnation, because they have set aside their previous pledge. 13 At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention. 14 Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach; 15 for some have already turned aside to follow Satan."

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