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1 Timothy 2:15

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

Ok,

Checking out Biblehub.com, translators, in general, have come down on the side of "childbearing," for "τῆς τεκνογονίας" but what do you fine scholars think?

How should "τῆς τεκνογονίας" really be translated and why?

  1. Should the definite article be translated?
  2. Should we be thinking about childbearing in general or a particular childbearing event or childbirth?
  3. Which is a superior translation "childbearing" or "childbirth?"
  4. If you think it should be translated differently why did most translations get it wrong

And...

Bonus Question: How does the definite article and noun in question being in the genitive versus the accusative case impact meaning? Is there a practical difference in this context?



Clip from BibleHub.com - 1 Timothy 2:15 Interlinear

Bible Hub

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15A Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing,

The first half of the verse applies only to Eve. Eve's only hope was in her future offspring, the snake crusher, the Messiah.

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Genesis 3:15

15B if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

The second half of the verse applies to all believing women addressed by Paul.

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  • Sorry, I don't think my question was super clear. Hopefully it's a little more clear now what I'm asking and that my focus is on τῆς τεκνογονίας.
    – Austin
    Sep 11 at 16:39
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Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety. (1 Timothy 2:15, KJV)

Translation of "Childbearing"

The Greek word translated here as "childbearing" is actually broader than that English word portrays. It can mean childbearing, but extends also to the rearing/raising of children.

The Definite Article

The definite article which precedes the word in Greek is probably best left untranslated into English. In English, a definite article makes something more specific, whereas when generalizing, as is the context here, English speakers would omit the article. For example, "he likes animals"; no "the" precedes "animals" because he doesn't like only a specific group of animals, but rather all animals generally. In this text, the application is also general in nature. Some languages require the definite article when generalizing, while English is the opposite.

A Look at "Saved"

There are actually several words in this verse whose meanings are broader in the original Greek, giving room for alternate translations that are equally accurate.

The word "saved" is one of these, and, as is, this word likely sets up the reader for a misconception of the following term "childbearing." The Greek meaning for this σωθήσεται/sōthēsetai can also be "to be preserved", "to be rescued", "to be healed", or "to be protected". This verb is in future passive voice, third-person singular, with no gender-specific pronominal indicator.

Who Is Addressed?

Only the context tells us it should be "she", and a careful look at the passage helps us understand its antecedent (the subject) goes back to verses 11 and 12 where it is clearly "the woman" being addressed. (Verses 13 and 14 are parenthetical, giving support for what Paul is saying about women in general. That verse 15 is not still singling out Eve is evident in the fact that the verb is in future tense, unlike the verbs of verse 14.)

Alternate Translation

So another possible translation might be something like this:

"However, she will be preserved through motherhood . . . ."

In the subsequent phrase, the third-person plural reference (they) is of unclear antecedent/referent, and might well apply to her children.

Summary

The expression "τῆς τεκνογονίας" might better be translated as "motherhood."

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ארקדיוס's answer has an excellent point :) Let's see the context, 1 Timothy 2:

13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

The "she" refers to Eve and "they" refers to Adam, Eve, and everyone else. Eve was deceived first but she (along with everyone else) will be saved through childbearing because eventually Christ was born of a woman named Mary. In this context, translating τεκνογονίας as "childbearing" is appropriate.

Should the definite article be translated?

The Greek article does not need to be translated into English because it refers to the generic process of childbearing.

Should we be thinking about childbearing in general or a particular childbearing event or childbirth?

The context suggests childbearing in general. Even Eve had multiple instances of childbearing.

Which is a superior translation "childbearing" or "childbirth?"

Thayer's Greek Lexicon

τεκνογονία, τεκνογονίας, ἡ, child-bearing: 1 Timothy 2:15. (Aristotle, h. a. 7, 1, 8 (p. 582{a}, 28).)

The Greek word does not mean "childbirth".

If you think it should be translated differently why did most translations get it wrong?

Many translations got it right. https://biblehub.com/1_timothy/2-15.htm

How does the definite article and noun in question being in the genitive versus the accusative case impact meaning? Is there a practical difference in this context?

There is no simple rule for whether to translate the Greek definite article to the English one, partly because there is no Greek equivalence of an English indefinite article.

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