Women, Modesty & Shamefacedness: 1 Timothy 2:9

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Women, Modesty & Shamefacedness: 1 Timothy 2:9

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In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
The verse above (1 Timothy 2:9) has caused a lot of arguments around the globe; but I ‘ve found that when we consider what is revealed to each and every one of us, we can begin to fit the puzzle and understand what the writer intended and as moved by the Spirit to write. Below are snippets of commentaries, as you read ask the Holy Spirit to give you the understanding that you need. Firstly, shamefaced by definition is defined as: modest or bashful, showing shame. This tells me that there are degrees to “shamefacedness”.

1 Timothy 2:9 Commentaries

Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers

With shamefacedness and sobriety.—These expressions denote the inward feelings with which the Apostle desires the devout Christian women to come to divine service; the first signifies “the innate shrinking from anything unbecoming.” The second, sobriety, includes the idea of self-restraint—the conquest over all wanton thought and desire.

Benson Commentary

Particularly when they are about to appear in public assemblies for divine worship; adorn themselves in modest Κοσμιω, decent, or becoming, apparel — Neither too costly nor sordid, but what is neat and clean, as the word signifies, and suitable to their place and calling.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

Women who profess the Christian religion, must be modest in apparel, not affecting gaudiness, gaiety, or costliness. Good works are the best ornament; these are, in the sight of God, of great price. Modesty and neatness are more to be consulted in garments than elegance and fashion. And it would be well if the professors of serious godliness were wholly free from vanity in dress. They should spend more time and money in relieving the sick and distressed, than in decorating themselves and their children.

Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

In reference to the duty of females in attendance on public worship, he says that he would have them appear in apparel suitable to the place and the occasion – adorned not after the manner of the world, but with the zeal and love in the cause of the Redeemer which became Christians. The apostle by the use of the word “adorn” (κοσμεῖν kosmein), shows that he is not opposed to ornament or adorning, provided it be of the right kind. The world, as God has made it, is full of beauty, and he has shown in each flower that he is not opposed to true ornament. There are multitudes of things which, so far as we can see, appear to be designed for mere ornament, or are made merely because they are beautiful. Religion does not forbid true adorning. It differs from the world only on the question what “is” true ornament, or what it becomes us, all things considered, to do in the situation in which we are placed, the character which we sustain, the duties which we have to perform, and the profession which we make. With shamefacedness – With modesty of appearance and manner – an eminent female virtue, whether in the sanctuary or at home. And sobriety – The word here used means, properly, “sanity;” then sober-mindedness, moderation of the desires and passions. It is opposed to all that is frivolous, and to all undue excitement of the passions. The idea is, that in their apparel and deportment they should not entrench on the strictest decorum. Doddridge.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

9, 10. The context requires that we understand these directions as to women, in relation to their deportment in public worship, though the rules will hold good on other occasions also. in modest apparel—”in seemly guise” [Ellicott]. The adjective means properly. orderly, decorous, becoming; the noun in secular writings means conduct, bearing. But here “apparel.” Women are apt to love fine dress; and at Ephesus the riches of some (1Ti 6:17) would lead them to dress luxuriously. The Greek in Tit 2:3 is a more general term meaning “deportment.” shamefacedness—Trench spells this word according to its true derivation, “shamefastness” (that which is made fast by an honorable shame); as “steadfastness” (compare 1Ti 2:11, 12). sobriety—”self-restraint” [Alford]. Habitual inner self-government [Trench]. I prefer Ellicott’s translation, “sober-mindedness”: the well-balanced state of mind arising from habitual self-restraint.

Matthew Poole’s Commentary

Shamefacedness and sobriety, or modesty; a moderation of mind showed both in the habit of the body, and the manners and behaviour, both with these inward habits, and in an outward habit that may speak souls possessed of these inward habits.

Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

with shamefacedness and sobriety: these are the two general rules by which dress is to be regulated; it is right and proper, when it is consistent with chastity, when it is not immodest and impudent, and more like the attire of an harlot than of a woman professing godliness; and when it is moderate as well as modest, and suitable to a person’s age and station, and is not beyond the circumstances of life in which they are. There is no religion or irreligion in dress, provided pride and luxury are guarded against, and modesty and moderation preserved. Click here to learn more from Bible Hub

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