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Aida Spencer: 1 Timothy, NCCS

Fourth, with over 40 years of practical ministry experience as a clergywoman and scholar, Spencer’s sheds light on the most controversial passage concerning women. 1 Timothy 2:12, “I do not permit a woman to teach or assume authority over a man, she must be quiet.” Her word studies on the obscure Greek word, authentein and usages of “authority” in Paul’s epistles, and throughout the New Testament, illuminate the need for utilizing context and background in deciphering problematic texts. Unabashedly she also admits to the difficulties in interpreting this passage between both egalitarians and “hierarchicalists.” She concludes, “1 Timothy is primarily about Paul’s great themes: right knowledge, salvation, and submission to truth” (67). Though she brings this perspective, she remains unfettered by her experiences as a woman in ministry and is extremely thorough.

Fifth, she defines the core issues surrounding the heterodox teaching and points back to Paul’s rich use of rhetoric, such as military language, extended images, and wordplay to appeal to Timothy and the church (154). Constantly returning to Paul’s word choices, she notes the nuances in Greek and English as well. This enhances and broadens readers’ knowledge on Paul’s significant writing with significant depth of insight.

Throughout her commentary, Spencer exhibits the same gracious presence from the Lord Paul prays for Timothy to experience at the conclusion of 1 Timothy. In her writing, first hand research, careful examination, biblical exegesis, word studies and summaries, God’s grace and an eloquence of thought shines through. A scholar par excellence, her commentary combines both ministry heart and scholarly work for both the academy and minister-in-training.  This work is a great resource or anyone, scholar and preacher alike, who is looking to do work in 1 Timothy.

Reviewed by Debbie Fulthorp


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Category: Biblical Studies, Spring 2016

About the Author: Debbie Fulthorp has been an ordained minister of the Assemblies of God for over 13 years. She has traveled to over 27 countries sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. She has also pastored in various contexts both as a lead and an associate. She has a heart to pastor and reach the nations and by training others for ministry. She is currently a Doctoral Candidate in the DMin program at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, Missouri. She and her husband, Brian, have three children. Facebook

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