What the hell? I assumed that a book titled “1 Timothy” would be written by Timothy. That seems logical, doesn’t it? Timothy ranked high in the leadership of the new church, and traveled extensively with Paul. Timothy should have been trusted to write letters to churches throughout the area. Those letters could be added to the New Testament as part of the canon, to go along with Paul’s letters. Makes sense, no?
So why the hell am I seeing that 1 Timothy is actually a letter written from Paul to Timothy?
I am *NOT* amused.
First Epistle to Timothy
Do you know someone who seems like the absolute nicest person in the world while in public, but are actually rude and mean and abusive in private? Apparently, that is Paul. It seems that he feels free to let his inner prick come out while writing to Timothy, and it does with flair. First Paul states that he left Timothy behind in Ephesus so Timothy could stop people from teaching false doctrines, making up myths (about who?) and working on genealogies. Which seems like a really weird thing for Paul to have an issue with. Why get upset that people are making their own family trees? Why is there a problem if some say “see, I can trace my ancestors back through Moses!”
Paul also picks the bones of those who would dare learn and speak of the law. Wait, what now? “…the law is not intended for righteous people but for lawbreakers…” Hmmm… I am probably reading this out of context, or the translation I am using was unclear at this point, or there is some type of historical nuance I am missing, but isn’t this Paul saying that the laws of the Old Testament are only there to tell sinners what not to do? It sounds like he is saying that scripture does not apply to members of the new church at all.
oh, DRINK! Because Paul says those sinners who need the law include homosexuals and those involved in sexual immorality. Paul’s gonna make sure that my drinking game is a success, I think. One note: other sins which Paul groups together include murderers, kidnappers and liars.
Paul hasn’t talked about himself in this chapter so far, but that comes to an end quickly. Paul states that he was once a blasphemer, but Jesus forgave him because Paul did not know the truth. Jesus wanted to raise Paul up as an example, so everyone would know it is possible to become a follower.
Paul then really brings on the dick: he states that he turned Hymenaeus and Alexandar over to Satan, so that they would learn a lesson about blasphemy. And I thought that Peter’s punishments were extreme?
This chapter should be titled “The Most Sexist Book In The Whole Damned Bible.” Sure, there are a lot of passages in the bible that are sexist, sometimes subtly, sometimes overtly. But there have not been any passages that I can remember which are as flat out racist as 1 Tim 2:11-14. Paul states that a woman must learn quietly, will never be allowed to teach in the church, nor will a woman have authority over a man. Women must be quiet. After all, it was the woman who was deceived and broke the law. Fortunately, women can be saved by having children.
I kid you not!
This is Paul’s management handbook for Timothy. Elders (bishops) and deacons must be men who are married to only one woman (damn!), has children who are submissive in every way, have been in the church for a long time, are gentle and don’t drink a lot. Unfortunately for most televangelists, they should not be argumentative, nor should they love money. Of course, the wives have to be quiet and subjugate themselves and… oh, wait, I’m still having flashbacks to Chapter Two. Wives must not gossip, but must be trustworthy in everything.
??Up next: Paul’s one fucked up dude
New installments of The New Testament In Review will be posted each Tuesday and Thursday. The new posts will always be on my blog, http://biffster.org. The entire series is accessible via http://biffster.org/ntir. If you are one of my Facebook friends, you can get an advance preview on my Facebook page. You can also follow me (@biffster) on Twitter to be alerted to new posts.