A Great Debate

The interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:15 has been an item of great debate among commentators. The confusion over the meaning of this verse is reflected in different English translations. For example, the NASB says that “women will be preserved,” whereas the ESV says that “she will be saved.”

The NASB reflects the view that Paul is merely stating that faithful Christian women will be preserved physically when they give birth. But this is implausible, because we know that not all faithful Christian women survive childbirth. The ESV is nearer the mark. This particular Greek word always refers to spiritual salvation elsewhere in the Pastoral Epistles, and we have no reason to think the verb is being used differently here.