1 Tim. 2.8-15
"I wish then men to pray in all places, lifting up holy hands without anger and argument, and likewise women in tasteful dress with modesty and sobriety adorning themselves not with plaited hair with gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but what is fitting for women professing to worship God with good works. A woman should learn in quietness in all submission, but to teach I am not permitting women nor to domineer over men, but rather to be in quietness. For Adam was formed first, only then Eve, and Adam was not deceived, but the woman being truly deceived fell into transgression. But she may be saved through (the) Childbearing, if they remain in faith and love and holiness with sobriety/modesty."
Few texts have been more bitterly debated in the recent Christian culture wars over the roles of women in the church than 1 Tim. 2.8-15. This being the case I think all would agree that a less interpretitive and more literal rendering might help settle some questions at least. Of course in the translation of any much debated text very careful attention must be paid to the immediate literary context. Nowhere is that more obviously the case with these verses, which some have even called a text of terror.
What I would stress at the outset is that Paul is correcting problems in worship--- correcting both men and women as is perfectly clear from vs. 8 where he tells the men to not dispute or get angry but rather to start praying. He then corrects women in several particulars. I would stress then that the correction of an abuse of a privilege is not the same as the ruling out of a proper use of a privilege, in this case the privilege of speaking in worship or even teaching. Paul is not laying down first principles here, he is correcting an existing problem, and presumably wherever and whenever he found a similar problem he would do so again, whoever it might involve.
Three things are key here: 1) the verb 'authentein' in vs. 12 occurs only once in the NT-- just here. The verb is a strong one, and in my commentary which comes out in the fall I give instances of where it can be used to mean 'to domineer' 'to usurp authority over', but it also has the sense of 'to exercise authority over' as well. What determines the translation is of course the context--- is the context one where a problematic use of power or authority is at issue? If the answer is yes, then the translation is normally 'to usurp authority over' or 'to domineer'. It refers to an illegitimate use of power or authority. The importance of this fact is clear. Paul is not talking about occasions or instances where it is perfectly proper for women to teach or exercise authority over men, something he will mention elsewhere, for example in Rom. 16. The issue here in Ephesus is that there are some women who are seeking to teach or take authority over men, without first being quiet and learning about their faith. This is inappropriate of course. 2) nothing is said here about women being subordinate to men. What vs. 11 speaks about is learning quietly and so being in submission to the teaching and what is being required of the listener. One can say much the same about 1 Cor. 14.33b-36. Nothing is said there about women submitting to men. Scholars have often pondered what in the world Paul is referring to in 1 Cor. 14.34 when he says women are to be silent as even the Law says'. Where exactly does the OT law say that? The answer is nowhere. But what is said in various places is that everyone in worship should be silent in the presence of those who are speaking the Word of God, which is clearly the context in this Corinthians passage--- "let all mortal flesh keep silence. The Lord is in his holy temple and will speak". This is actually a sort of exhortation that was common in all kinds of ancient worship, including the pagan worship many Corinthians had been previously part of. For example, the priest would cry out 'silence' (tacit) as the sacrifice was about to be offered and the blood would be poured out and prayers would go up. In short, 1 Tim. 2 is talking about silence and submission in the presence of authoritative teaching and teachers. One can understand why high status Gentile women in Ephesus might think they could immediately teach in their new chosen religion: 1) women were frequently priestesses and prophetesses in the religion they had come from; 2) if one already had an education, including some education in public speaking (rhetoric) one assumed that one was equipped to go ahead and speak or even teach, especially teach those less literate and of lesser social status. Notice that Paul has restricted what these women are to wear in worship. Clearly enough, he is correcting high status women who actually had fine clothes and jewels to wear, and could come to worship with high coiffed hair. It is these sorts of women he has in mind in 1 Tim. 2; 3) the verb here is 'I am not (now) permitting'. As Philip Payne has shown, there is not a single instance of the use of this verb in Greek literature where this form means " I am permanently banning women from teaching etc.' This is a verb which implies a ban for a specific period of time until the problem is remedied or the proper conditions are met for women having learned enough to be able to teach. Paul could have said "I will never permit women to teach..." but he did not, and for a good reason. He is correcting a problem; 4) the use of the example from Genesis presupposes that Timothy knows his Bible. In particular he knows the following--- that in the original creation story, only Adam is alive when the instruction is given not to eat of the tree. Early Jewish teachers then assumed that this meant Adam had taught Eve about the ban, but clearly enough he had not instructed her well enough, since she goes on to say to the snake that they were not even to touch the fruit. It is interesting that the verb deceived here is used elsewhere in Paul to once again refer to this story (see 2 Cor. 11.3). What does 'deceived' mean here? It is not a comment about the woman's nature or naivete, but rather about her lack of adequate teaching. A person not properly instructed is much more easily deceived. Such was the case with Eve, and so, Paul implies in 1 Tim. 2 such is the case with these high status women who are new converts, but who think they can immediately instruct others including men; 5) the verb 'saved' in vs. 15 probably should not be rendered 'kept safe' as Paul uses another Greek term for that elsewhere. 'Sodso' is the normal term for 'saved' in a spiritual sense So then is Paul now an advocate of 'justification by grace through baby making' for women? Certainly not. One has to pay careful attention to my next point. 6) The phrase in question says 'the childbearing' referring to a particular one, and there is the odd toggling in the Greek between the singular childbearing and the 'they' who are saved through this. Last I checked multiple women cannot give birth to a single child. This means Paul is referring to a particular childbearing-- namely the birth of Jesus through Mary. Mary is seen as Eve in reverse. Just as Eve disobeyed and the fall ensued, Mary consented to God's plan and salvation came through her into our world. The curse on us all, including the curse on women was reversed in Mary. I would add that we must remember that the original curse involved these words--- 'your desire will be for your husband and he will Lord it over you'. To love and to cherish has been twisted into to desire and to dominate. In other words, both lust and the domineering of men over women are a result of the fall, which Jesus, coming through Mary came to reverse!
You will notice that all of this interpretation comes after the fact. You might never deduce some of this simply from reading the mere words in the passage above. Unless the text is studied in its historical literary, rhetorical, religious etc. contexts we are bound to distort its meaning and misuse it. A text without a context is just a pretext for whatever you want it to mean.
The only proper hedge against misuse of such controversial texts like this is careful detailed study of the text in its immediate context, in the context of the Pastorals (noting for example how elsewhere in these documents Paul talks about older women who are mature Christians doing some teaching), in the context of Paul's letters in general, and in the context of Ephesus and the social world to which these words were written.