As long as we are in 1 Timothy, let's look at one of Paul's more controversial instructions: "A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent" (1 Timothy 2:11-12).
In Paul's day and in the Jewish faith women were not allowed to study at all. Only men studied (and argued over) the Torah. So for Paul to say that women should learn was extraordinary. The women, naturally, would have been learning from men because no women at that time would have been qualified to teach. And, after all, a good portion of this letter is concerned with false teachers who were men.
Would Paul have allowed women to teach had he lived longer? I don't know, but I think it is a possibility. Paul goes to some lengths in his letters to send greetings to women, to mention churches that meet in women's houses, and so forth. In his second letter to Timothy, Paul praises Timothy's grandmother and mother, who were believers. So it has never seemed to me that Paul hated women or disrespected them. For a man of his day, he seems to hold women in high regard.
For reflection: Is there anyone whom I consider less than me? beneath me? Have I relegated anyone to a second class status? How do I treat people with learning disabilities?
Let us pray. Father, you created all people in your image and likeness. In you we have our inherent dignity. As your children, we are worthy of respect. Thank you for your gift of life.
I started this website and blog on May 1, 2012. I am a Catholic who has been in ministry for many years. I first developed what I would call a close relationship with Jesus in the early 1970s. Ever since then I have been praying with people for healing and other needs. It is because I have seen so many of these prayers answered that I am so bold as to offer to pray for you individually through this website and phone line.