April 30, 2013
I noticed something interesting in 2 Timothy 1 the other day. Paul writes to his disciple Timothy with instructions about how to carry on his work. He starts out by saying:
3 I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.
It’s important to Paul to say that his faith is inline with that of his Jewish ancestors because this very point is often in question among his countrymen. But a more literal rendering would be forefathers. In any case, notice how he refers to Timothy later on in the same paragraph:
5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.
So Paul serves according to his forefathers and Timothy according to his “foremothers”. I think this is cool affirmation of the place of women in the Christian faith. The parallel equates Paul’s heritage with Timothy’s and Timothy’s is no less valid for having come from the female side of the family.