Week 12:I Timothy

Day 1: I Timothy 1
Day 2: I Timothy 2
Day 3: I Timothy 3:1-13
Day 4: I Timothy 3:14-4:5
Day 5: I Timothy 4:6-16
Day 6: I Timothy 5:6-2a
Day 7: I Timothy 6:2b-21

Blessed Lord God, you have caused the holy scriptures to be written for the nourishment of your people. Grant that we may hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that, comforted by your promises, we may embrace and forever hold fast to the hope of eternal life, which you have given us in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

Elw PAGE 72

Where to begin with this book? The author of 1 Timothy would argue that as a woman I shouldn’t be instructing you. For this week we are going to reflect on how we view the Bible, how we balance tradition with scripture, and how we use our ideas about scripture and tradition to shape the choices we make daily.

As much of a shock as this will sound, the Bible wasn’t written by Lutherans for Lutherans. Also shocking, Lutherans don’t all agree on how to interpret scripture and how to balance scripture with tradition. I bet if we polled 30 people in our congregation we would have 30 different ideas on how to interpret scripture and use it in our daily lives.
The Bible as a whole isn’t clear on many things, the text constantly contradicts itself. This is where tradition comes into play. The Bible is not clear on the role of women. Women were leaders in the community in Acts, women were the first to encounter Jesus after the resurrection, Revelation certainly isn’t kind to women, and I Timothy seems to have serious issues with women in positions of leadership. Enter tradition…in the ELCA we ordain women. Which, for some is still a controversy. As a denomination we stand against Human Trafficking (modern day slavery), we aren’t telling victims of trafficking to obey their kidnappers. But I Timothy would argue that slaves should obey their masters and Luke’s gospel would argue against slavery.
I think we can safely assume that the author of I Timothy would not be happy with the ELCA–

we are far too progressive (even if we are one of the most conservative mainline denominations). God has given us scripture and tradition– we make the choice on how we hold those two together and how they impact the choices that we make.


1. Take some time this week to find something in the Bible that you disagree with. How do you balance what you disagree with with your faith?

2. I Timothy is a critique of certain communities and practices in the church. If you were writing a critique of the church what would you write about? What practices would you praise and which would you bemoan?

3. How do you describe the Bible?

4. How do you balance scripture and tradition? How does is impact your daily choices?

 O Word of God incarnate,

O Wisdom from on high,

O Truth unchanged, unchanging,

O Light of our dark sky,

we praise thee for the radiance

that from the hallowed page,

a lantern to our footsteps,

shines on from age to age.