A Commentary by John Stott

1 Timothy 2:1-15. Concluding questions.

In developing the concept of cultural transposition, I am not claiming (as my readers might wish me to claim) that it provides a slick solution to all our questions about sexual roles, although I think it will save us from wrong solutions and will put us on the road towards right ones. But further theological reflection is needed, especially in relation to three questions.

The first is a question about complementarity. How should we define the created complementarity of the sexes (including the notions of ‘headship’ and ‘submission’), not just physically and physiologically, certainly not culturally (in terms of popular gender stereotypes), but psychologically, and in particular biblically? What does Scripture teach about the essence (permanent and universal) of our created maleness and femaleness? This question must be at the top of our agenda for debate, since whatever creation has established culture can express but not destroy.

The second is a question about ministry. Once the complementarity of the sexes has been biblically defined, what are the roles and responsibilities which belong properly to men and not women, and to women and not to men?

The third is a question about culture. What visible symbols in our particular culture would appropriately express the sexual complementarity which Scripture lays down as normative?
Tomorrow: 1 Timothy 3:1-16. 3). Pastoral over sight.

The John Stott Bible Study is taken from The Message of 1 Timothy. The Bible Speaks Today John Stott. Used by permission of Inter-Varsity Press UK, Nottingham. All rights reserved.