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Good and Proper: Paul’s use of Nature, Custom, and Decorum in Pastoral Theology

November 20, 2020
By Steven Wedgeworth

Editor’s note: The following essay appears in the Fall 2020 issue of Eikon.


For much of the twentieth century, Protestants, especially Reformed Evangelical ones, viewed natural law with suspicion at best. It was frequently alleged to be the product of Roman Catholic theology, Enlightenment philosophy, or some combination of both.[1] But recent scholarly attitudes, driven in part by a desire to recover elements of the larger Reformed tradition, are beginning to change.[2] Natural law is even beginning to appear in more popular and pastoral writings.[3] It makes good sense, then, for complementarian Christians to consider how this natural law resourcement might fit in with their own recovery project.

This essay will investigate to what extent the Apostle Paul uses a sort of natural-law reasoning in his argument against women teaching or holding an office of authority in the church. The primary textual subject will be 1 Timothy 2:8–15, but parallel New Testament passages will be considered insofar as they provide additional support for understanding the logic of Paul’s argument. I will argue that Paul is making a kind of natural law argument, by way of custom and decorum. This is not a simple appeal to human intuition, neither is it a generalized observation of empirical data taken from nature. It is, however, an argument based on the concepts of basic honor to authority figures, an element of the natural law, and the social power of decorum, of what is proper or fitting for social relationships between men and women. These are concepts grounded in a particular philosophy of nature and the morally formative role of custom. While appropriately using language and categories from the creation order, Paul is indeed employing a particular kind of natural-law application of this biblical account in order to prescribe customary social relations between men and women in the church.

Interpreting 1 Timothy 2:8–15

First Timothy 2 is well-worn ground, as it is rightly seen to be a definitive text for the debate over women in leadership in the church. In verse 12, Paul states, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man,” and he goes on to ground this in the way God created humanity. The most thorough survey of the various positions and leading academic literature can likely still be found in William Mounce’s commentary on 1 Timothy.[4] While many more works have been written in the intervening twenty years, the basic hermeneutical and exegetical principles are all represented in Mounce’s study. The basic division still lies between the egalitarian reading, represented in its evangelical form by a respected commentator like Gordon Fee,[5] and the complementarian reading, which is affirmed by Mounce, as well as the majority of conservative or traditional commentators.[6]

The egalitarian interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:8–15 largely argues that the passage is of an occasional or ad hoc nature, meant only to correct a local error. Paul’s words there should not, they argue, be taken to imply a general truth about church leadership in all churches, and thus it cannot be used to prohibit women from the ministerial office or other leadership positions in the church.[7] For the positive case for women teaching and leading in the church, they point to passages of Scripture other than 1 Timothy 2, namely Jesus’ acceptance of women learning from him, the role of women in testifying to the resurrection and assisting in the transmission of authoritative documents, Priscilla’s role in Acts 18, the presence of women prophesying in 1 Corinthians 11:5, and the supposedly egalitarian nature of Christ’s redemptive ministry. To this last point, Gordon Fee explains it as something of a core commitment, “It is hard to imagine under any circumstances how the denial of one half the human race to minister to the other half brings glory to the gospel, which intends to break down such barriers and bring redemption to the whole body.[8]” The overarching theological message of the New Testament is perceived to be egalitarian, and that is thought to provide a sufficient affirmative argument.

Complementarians, on the other hand, affirm that Paul’s words in 1 Timothy 2 are indeed meant to be understood in a general or universal sense, applying to all Christian communities throughout history. They maintain that Paul’s argument can be shown to be universal in character by its basic moral recommendations, the generality of its statements about women’s relationship to men, and its appeal to creation.[9] While the occasion of 1 Timothy certainly involved unique historical and pastoral circumstances, this is not in itself an argument in favor of one conclusion or another. Mounce explains this simply, “the specificity of the application does not relegate the principle to the halls of cultural relativity.”[10] Complementarians respond to the argument for equality by distinguishing between spiritual and temporal equality, as well as equality of worth or value and equality of role or function.

The strongest argument for understanding 1 Timothy 2:8–15 in a universal way is the fact that Paul provides us with his rationale. In 1 Timothy 2:13–14, Paul says, “For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.” This is an appeal to the creation account as found in Genesis 2 and 3, and it can only be useful for Paul’s argument if he believes that the creation of Adam and Eve, and certain aspects of their fall into sin, have an abiding relevance to men and women. This point becomes even more compelling when we note that Paul makes roughly the same kind of argument in 1 Corinthians 11:3, 8–12. These parallels include both the order of creation as well as the role of child-bearing (1 Tim. 2:15; 1 Cor. 11:12). If we consider 1 Corinthians 14:34–35 in this same context, we can also understand Paul’s reference in 1 Timothy 2:14 to the deception of Eve as a reference to the subordination described in Genesis 3:16. “The law” mentioned in 1 Corinthians 14:34 would likewise then be the judgment on Eve.[11] Taken together, this means that when Paul encounters questions of social authority between men and women in various church settings, he appeals to the particulars of the creation account and applies them to men and women in a consistent way. Thus, the complementarian reading of 1 Timothy 2:8–15 accounts for the fundamental logic of Paul’s argument, whereas the egalitarian reading does not.

A final point of interpretation, one frequently made in defense of the particularist or egalitarian reading, should be discussed. It has to do with the literary unity of 1 Timothy 2. Philip Towner argues that verses 8–15 hold together as a single unit, with the conceptual link being found in the notion of proper public behavior. Towner writes “this span of text is not an addendum treating a separate topic; it occurs within the textual frame indicated by repetition of the key ethical term ‘propriety’ in vv. 9 and 15 (sōphrosynē) and within the cultural frame of the expectations governing the behavior of women in public.”[12] He also adds that this section is presented in the “traditional shape” of “the household code.”[13] Gordon Fee makes the similar point, different in focus but complementary in logic, that all of the instructions to women 1 Timothy 2:9–15 are a contrast to the impious behavior of “false” widows in 1 Timothy 5:11–15.[14] Thus the quiet learning and submission of women is an expression of how they are to be “adorned” with godliness and good works (1 Tim. 2:9–11). This interpretation is further strengthened when we note how closely this text parallels 1 Peter 3:1–7.

For Towner, the appearance of the household code is an indication that Paul is making a strategic pastoral accommodation to his culture. Fee, too, uses these observations to restrict Paul’s statement to a local context. The literary form and structure is claimed to be an argument against applying 1 Tim. 2:11-12 to modern churches. But one could just as easily argue that Paul assumed and accepted the basic structure of ancient household codes. Indeed, the same household code appears in Ephesians 5–6, and as C. R. Wiley argues, this is central to the overall theme of Ephesians. Wiley notes the occurrence of οἰκονομία in both Ephesians 1:10 and 3:2 and then connects this to the conceptual framing of the “house of God.” Wiley writes, “Christians have always said that the Church is a house. That’s what a temple is. . . . Paul tells us that . . . the Lord’s temple is actually God’s people working together, like in any economy.”[15] And, “a household ordered by the household code in Ephesians reflects the rule of Christ.”[16] The same emphasis on the church as “house” appears in both Ephesians and 1 Timothy, so it makes good sense for household codes to appear. The codes are not a mere construct for contemporary concerns but are indeed connected to a central theological and ecclesiological argument.

Noticing that Paul’s instructions to women in 1 Timothy 2:12–15 are a continuation of his larger instruction in verses 9–11, as well as the larger household code of the entire chapter, illustrates that submissiveness according to one’s relation and social station is a practical way of maintaining “propriety,” a concept Towner is right to emphasize,[17] and godliness (1 Tim. 2:9-10). Ephesians also exhibits this kind of unified literary structure and moral-theological paradigm, as the various orders of submission in Ephesians 5:22–6:9 follow from Paul’s teaching on the proper Christian walk (Eph. 5:1–3ff) and Spirit-filled life (Eph. 5:18–21).[18] And so, while occasional because they are pastoral, the particular instructions to men and women are not accidental to the Pauline theology but rather applications of it.

Understanding Natural Law

As mentioned in the introduction, natural law is not yet familiar ground for evangelical Protestants. It is still often thought of and rejected as either a variation of Hume’s is-ought problem[19] or a religiously “neutral” self-evident moral observation. These are both misconceptions, though they do approximate certain important features of natural law theory, and so we need to clarify our meaning.

Thomas Aquinas provides the classic definition of natural law. It is the “participation of the eternal law in the rational creature.”[20] This then presumes the prior existence of the eternal law, which Thomas explains as simply God’s own rational nature, or “the Divine Reason’s conception of things.”[21] We can immediately see that this is not a religiously-neutral line of reasoning. Thomas’s natural law theory depends upon a theology. God exists as the ultimate foundation for rationality and morality, and “natural law” is the way in which He has imprinted that rationality and morality in humans. It is, in Thomas’s words, “an imprint on us of the Divine light.”[22] Contemporary readers would simply call this the image of God in man, and indeed we see some of the sixteenth-century Reformers doing precisely this. Girolamo Zanchi writes, “the law is nothing else but a true and lively picture of the image of God, to which man was created. . .”[23]

This natural-law constitution also has a causal character, as humans were created with a purpose. Thomas states, “from its being imprinted on them, [humans] derive their respective inclinations to their proper acts and ends.”[24] This is how the natural law accounts for the common inclinations in human nature, why people generally value certain basic goods and behave in fundamental ways, and it is why the natural law can be seen in the universal testimony of mankind. Thus, consensus across time and history is evidence of the natural law’s existence.

It is important to note that these sorts of common inclinations are of a very rudimentary order, reducible to “seek the good and avoid the evil.”[25] They can allow for diverse applications. Any further application of natural law necessarily moves one from the “speculative reason” to the “practical reason,”[26] and whenever elements of the law are codified in a social or political setting, they become “human law.”[27] Errors can be made in the realm of human law, and indeed the more one begins to “descend further into detail,”[28] the greater the possibility for error. But the possibility of error in human law does not mean that natural law is useless, that is it is only “speculative” and never “practical.” Rather, the fallibility of human law highlights the need to have an intelligible standard by which it can be judged. “If in any point [a human law] deflects from the law of nature, it is no longer law but a perversion of law,”[29] a point powerfully made anew in the twentieth century by Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”[30]

While the first principles of the natural law are extremely basic, Thomas asserts that they address matters like “sexual intercourse” and the “education of offspring.”[31] The Protestant Reformers, who did indeed retain this concept of the natural law, identified it with the moral law found in the Ten Commandments.[32] The relevance of this point for our discussion of 1 Timothy is that natural-law reasoning would also explain directions about headship and submission. It would do so not by simply asserting a positive law, but by appealing to the Fifth Commandment and its rational grounding in honoring and obeying authority. We see exactly this in Archbishop Ussher’s exposition of the law in A Body of Divinity, as he applies the Fifth Commandment to all relationships of superiority, inferiority, and inequality. This includes parents and children, citizens and magistrates, and husbands and wives, among other offices and relations.[33] A simplified form of the same logic is present in the Westminster Larger Catechism, questions 123–133.[34] The specific duties prescribed to superiors and inferiors are practical applications of the natural law, and so are of the nature of human law, but the foundation for each application is the Fifth Commandment itself, which is an inflection of the natural law. Should superiors fail in their duty or obligation towards their inferiors (or vice versa), then they would be guilty of violating the natural law. Any particular case would be judged according to the relevant human law in question, but that human law could itself be verified or overturned according to the natural law, as discussed earlier. Thus we see how a basic natural-law principle like “obey authority” can be applied to particular cases of people in familial and other social relationships.

Custom and Decorum

So far, this discussion of natural law has addressed philosophy and moral reasoning. But any application of morals in a historically contingent human community (the actual business of human law) will require more than simply a recognition of nature. It will require deliberation, prudence, and political rule. For Thomas this means that human law projects always involve a “science” and an “art.”[35] The scientific element of human law is when specific conclusions are logically derived from first principles. An example would be when the premise “do harm to no man” leads to the conclusion “one must not kill.” One could derive similar conclusions, such as the prohibition against assault, from the same principle. The artistic element of human law, however, is when the “general forms are particularized into details.”[36] To explain this, Thomas gives the example of deciding on a particular sort of punishment. “That the evil-doer should be punished” is a strict conclusion from the law of nature, but “that he be punished this or that way” is what Thomas calls “a determination of the law of nature.” The determination involves human art and is necessarily more subjective.

This artistic realm of human law involves strict positive laws, as in the above case of specific penalties, but it also involves custom. Customs are “repeated external actions” which “effectually declar[e]” the “concepts of reason.”[37] Examples of customs would be the practice of standing when an honored person enters a room or a ceremony like a marriage service (and its particular elements). While more subjective than positive law and involving less immediately coercive force, customs are nevertheless extremely powerful elements of human law and social life. They are a practical way to “incline [people] to acts of virtue.”[38] This is also why customs must be rightly ordered and grounded in nature. If they are disordered, then customs can actually promote evil and have a seriously harmful effect upon society. Writing several centuries after Thomas, Richard Hooker stated that “lewd and wicked custom, beginning perhaps at the first among few, afterwards spreading into greater multitudes, and so continuing from time to time, may be of force even in plain things to smother the light of natural understanding.”[39] Customs, then, are powerful social practices which can shape the human community towards virtue or vice, leading either to a reasonable conformity to the natural law or the collective loss of it. Indeed, as Thomas concludes, “custom has the force of a law, abolishes law, and is the interpreter of law.”[40]

John Calvin made the same kind of argument. In a sermon on 1 Corinthians 11:11–16, he stated, “when there is an accepted custom, and it is a good and decent one, we must accept it. And whoever tries to change it is surely the enemy of the common good. . .”[41] He qualifies that these customs must be “good and decent,” “according to nature,” and “edifying.”[42] For Calvin, this is judged by “the word of God, the law of nature, and human decency.”[43] Once good customs are identified, however, we should “agree that whatever is good for the well-being of the whole Church will be practiced, and let everyone keep to it.”[44] Doing so will promote “meekness and humility” which in turn produces the “excellent virtue” of peace.[45]

In his Commentary on 1 Corinthians, treating the same passage, Calvin states that when custom receives “universal consent,” it can even be called “nature.”[46] Thus, good customs are closely associated with the natural law. They promote the natural virtue on a social level by shaping habits and attitudes.

A final important concept for this discussion is “decorum.” Decorum indicates the proper use of customs for a virtuous purpose. Commenting on 1 Cor. 11:2, he says:

For as a man’s dress or gesture has in some cases the effect of disfiguring, and in others of adorning him, so all actions are set off to advantage by decorum, and are vitiated by the want of it. Much, therefore, depends upon decorum (τὸ πρεπον) and that not merely for securing for our actions gracefulness and beauty, but also to accustom our minds to propriety.[47]

This is an important passage because it shows how Calvin interprets a Biblical passage which prescribes a particular custom. He does not see the custom as itself a divine-law command, but neither does he see it as mere cultural accommodation with no further grounding. Rather, Calvin sees the social custom as a means of affirming and promoting a natural virtue. The customs in 1 Cor. 11, the head covering and long hair for women and short hair for men, are good and proper. Calvin fears that rashly setting aside such customs will lead to an overturning of the natural law. The term he uses to indicate the respect for and moderate use of customs is “decorum.”

The editor of Calvin’s commentaries gives an important note here on the term “decorum” or the Greek term Calvin points to, τὸ πρεπον. He points out that this was a fundamental concept in classical rhetoric and philosophy, most famously associated with Cicero. In his work On Moral Duties, Cicero discusses “decorum” or “becomingness” at some length. Cicero defines decorum as that “which is so in accordance with nature as to present the aspect of moderation or self-restraint.”[48] A little later he illustrates this point by saying that “it is the part of justice not to injure men; of courtesy, not to give them offense, and it is in this last that the influence of becomingness is most clearly seen.”[49] Thus “becomingness,” or decorum, is the wise application of justice to specific related actions and behaviors, in keeping with the nature of things. It describes what is “proper” of “fitting” for any given occasion. We might also say that decorum is a shorthand way to express that a custom is indeed in accordance with nature and is being applied in an appropriate way for the right objective.

Decorum in the Apostle Paul

We introduced the concept of decorum by way of Calvin’s discussion of 1 Corinthians 11:2, but Calvin is himself observing its presence in the Biblical text. The Apostle Paul uses the term πρεπον in verse 13, when he asks, “is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?” This is not simply a coincidental word choice. Paul is employing a term with a rich philosophical meaning in a polemical context that employs the same sorts of concepts. Paul was familiar with the Greek philosophical and rhetorical discourse, as evidenced by his citation of Aratus and Epimenides in Acts 17:28. Additionally, we should note that Paul’s hometown had a close connection with certain Greek philosophical traditions. Bruce Chilton notes that Tarsus was a “thoroughly Hellenistic city.”[50] Indeed, Tarsus was the hometown of several famous stoic philosophers, including Antipater, to whom Cicero himself makes reference in On Duties.[51] When we consider this classical context, Paul’s appeal to decorum can be seen as a theologically informed but otherwise typical piece of late-antique Greco-Roman moral philosophy.[52] It is what we should expect from someone writing within this cultural milieu. Viewed from the internal logic of 1 Cor. 11, it also makes good sense. Paul is discussing a matter of custom which he grounds in nature, in the creation of Adam and Eve. Paul wants women to dress and behave in a certain way in order to signify how God made them, and he believes that their doing so will be a way of exhibiting self-control on a social level. This is a classic case of decorum.

We can bring this discussion back to our original text, 1 Timothy 2:9–15, by pointing out that the same word, πρέπει, appears in 1 Tim. 2:10, as well. Paul says that it is “proper” or “fitting” for a woman to adorn herself with good deeds. Just as in 1 Corinthians 11, Paul is here promoting decorum. The chapter begins with a general call to honor authority by praying and then living in peace and quiet (1 Tim. 2:1–2). After an explanation about prayer and the mediatorial work of Christ (vss. 3–7), Paul then states that he wants the men to pray “without anger or quarreling” (vs. 8). When he moves to the women, Paul continues to emphasize peaceable virtues, but specifically “modesty and self-control” (vs. 9). These become their proper “adornment,” not physical things characteristic of luxury or haughtiness, but rather a quiet and submissive demeanor (vss. 9–11). This is then further exhibited in not teaching or exercising authority over a man (vs. 12). Finally, Paul reminds the people of their natural state, how God originally created mankind (vs. 13), and he points women towards childrearing, carried out in faith, love, and holiness with self-control (vs. 15). Taken collectively, this is the decorum for the people of God. Whereas Paul prescribes a literal outward adornment in 1 Corinthians 11:1–6, in 1 Timothy 2:8–15 he appeals to demeanor and practice. In both cases, though, he is calling the church to maintain a fitting order which testifies of God’s creation in a moderate way by respecting particular customs.

Thus, the particular historical or cultural elements of 1 Tim. 2:8-15, the kind of clothing and jewelry worn by women, or the silence of women, can be described as customs, but they are customs grounded in the natural law. The customs then are concrete ways to promote humility and submission to proper authority in a public gathering. Paul wants the customs to be preserved so that the natural-law principles can be maintained and applied on a social level. Paul is therefore also teaching that authority in church is established in a way that is consistent with this more fundamental rational order, in a way that preserves decorum. Only men hold offices of authority in the church because this is how God created the world.


There are many relevant questions which reasonably follow from interpreting Paul with these categories of natural law, custom, and decorum. To what extent did Paul believe any particular custom was changeable, and by whom? How should Christians respond to a culture which has lost many natural customs and adopted many disordered and even wicked ones? These cannot be pursued in this essay, though helpful direction can be found in the historical sources mentioned. For now, we only want to establish that Paul presents a case for a rational and intelligible divine order in creation, a basic natural law constitution, and that he believes customs and practices should be maintained in order to preserve this order and promote virtues consistent with it in the life of the church. Such virtues include modesty and temperance. One important practice that reinforces this order is male teaching and authority, a custom which Paul practically identifies with nature and to which he gives the force of law.

This reading of Paul takes advantage of some of the stronger observations of recent egalitarian commentators, namely their attention to particulars in the literary and historical material. But it incorporates these observations into the larger, and more coherent, complementarian reading of 1 Timothy 2:8–15. Further, it demonstrates how we can speak of a “natural law” argument in 1 Timothy 2, by seeing Paul’s argument as a pastoral use of custom to confirm the natural order and to promote peace through decorum.

Steven Wedgeworth is the Associate Pastor at Faith Reformed Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is the founder of and is a director for The Davenant Institute.

[1] On this history, see Louis C. Midgley, “Karl Barth and Natural Law: The Anatomy of Debate; Note.” Natural Law Forum 140 (Jan. 1968) 108–26; Arvin Vos, Aquinas, Calvin, & Contemporary Protestant Thought (Christian University Press, 1985) 121–60; Stephen J. Grabill, Rediscovering the Natural Law in Reformed Theological Ethics (Eerdmans, 2006) 21–53

[2] See Grabill, op. cit.; David VanDrunen, Natural Law and the Two Kingdoms (Eerdmans, 2010); David Haines & Andrew Fulford, Natural Law: A Brief Introduction and Biblical Defense (Davenant Institute, 2017).

[3] See Russell Kirk, “The Case for and Against Natural Law” Heritage Lecture No. 469, (The Heritage Foundation, 1993); Joe Rigney, “With One Voice: Scripture and Nature for Ethics and Discipleship.” Eikon: A Journal for Biblical Anthropology vol. 1, no. 1 (Spring 2019): 26–37; Michael R. Pompeo, “Unalienable Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy.” The Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2019,; David VanDrunen, “Should Protestants Reject Natural Law? Responding to Common Objections” Public Discourse: The Journal of the Witherspoon Institute, August 2, 2020,

[4] William D. Mounce, Pastoral Epistles in Word Biblical Commentary Vol. 46, ed. Metzger, Hubbard, Barker, etc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000) 103–49

[5] Gordon Fee, Gospel and Spirit: Issues in New Testament Hermeneutics (Baker Academic, 1991) 52–65, “Reflections on Church Order in the Pastoral Epistles, with Further Reflections on the Hermeneutics of Ad Hoc Documents.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, vol. 28, no. 2 (June 1985): 141–51

[6] For example, Mounce, 130; George W. Knight III, The Pastoral Epistles in The New International Greek Testament Commentary, ed. Marshall and Gasque.(Eerdmans, Paternoster, 1992) 138–44; Women in the Church: An Analysis and Application of 1 Timothy 2:9–15, ed. Köstenberger and Schreiner (Baker, 2005); Stephen B. Clark, Man and Woman in Christ: An Examination of the Roles of Men and Women in Light of Scripture and the Social Sciences (Servant Publications, 1980), 190–206.

[7] See Fee, “Reflections on Church Order,” 146, 150–51.

[8] Fee, Gospel and Spirit, 64.

[9] See Clark, 197-203; Knight, 139–55; Mounce, 130.

[10] Mounce, ibid.

[11] This is John Calvin’s understanding of 1 Tim. 2:14, though he does not make the same application to 1 Cor. 14:34, Calvin, Commentaries on the Epistles Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, trans. W. Pringle (Calvin Translation Society, 1856) 69. John Chrysostom does read 1 Cor. 14:34 along these lines; see Chrysostom Homily 37 on 1 Corinthians, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers 1/12, ed. Schaff (T&T Clark, Eerdmans, 1989) 222.

[12] Philip H. Towner, The Letters to Timothy and Titus in The New International Commentary on the New Testament, ed. Green (Eerdmans, 2006) 190.

[13] Ibid., 192.

[14] Fee, “Reflections on Church Order,” 146.

[15] C. R. Wiley, The Household and the War for the Cosmos (Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2019) 80.

[16] Ibid., 121.

[17] Towner, 190, 236.

[18] While I have based this argument on the hermeneutical observations of certain particularist and egalitarian writers, it should also be pointed out that many complementarians understand it as a rather straightforward reading of 1 Tim. 2; for instance Knight, 130–31, 148–49.

[19] Scottish philosopher David Hume argued in his 1739 A Treatise on Human Nature 3.1.1 that you cannot deduce a moral imperative from a mere fact of existence; you cannot prove an “ought” from an “is.”

[20] Aquinas, Summa Theologica I-II, 91, ii, co.

[21] ST I-II, 91, i, co.

[22] ST I-II, 91, ii, co.

[23] Zanchi, Confession of Christian Religion 10.3, vol. 1, ed. Baschera and Moser, (Brill, 2007) 191. Zanchi is here speaking of the law given at Mt. Sinai, but he is explaining how it is a reflection of the law of nature.

[24] ST I-II, 91. ii, co.

[25] ST I-II, 94. ii, co.

[26] ST I-II, 94. iv, co.

[27] ST I-II, 91. iii, co.

[28] ST I-II, 94. iv, co.

[29] ST I-II, 95. ii, co.

[30] King wrote, “To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law” (“Letter From Birmingham Jail” in Why We Can’t Wait ((Signet Classics, 2000)) 70).

[31] ST I-II, 94. ii, co.

[32] Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion II.8.1 ed. McNeill (Westminster John Knox Press, 1960) 367–68; Ursinus, Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism (P&R reprint, 1852) 491–92; Zanchi, Confession of Christian Religion, op. cit., 191; Junius, The Mosaic Polity (Acton, 2015) 44, 60–62; Witsius, Economy of the Covenant I.3.7 vol. 1. trans. Crookshank (T. Tegg & Son, 1837) 39. This is even true of Martin Luther; see the discussion in Johannes Heckel Lex Charitatis (Eerdmans, 2010) 54–61.

[33] Ussher, A Body of Divinity (Solid Ground Christian Books, 2007) 231–41.

[34] Westminster Confession of Faith (Free Presbyterian Publications, 2003) 209–17.

[35] ST I-II, 95. ii, co.

[36] Ibid.

[37] ST I-II, 97. iii, co.

[38] ST I-II, 95. i, co.

[39] Hooker, Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity vol. 1 (Everyman’s Library, 1969) 184.

[40] ST I-II, 97. iii, co.

[41] Calvin, Men Women and Order in the Church: Three Sermons trans. Skolnitsky (Presbyterian Heritage Publications, 1992), 57.

[42] Ibid., 54

[43] Ibid., 55

[44] Ibid., 60

[45] Ibid., 62

[46] Commentary on the Epistles of Paul the Apostles to the Corinthians vol. 1, trans. Pringle (Calvin Translation Society, 1848), 361–62.

[47] Ibid., 350.

[48] Marcus Tullius Cicero, De Officiis, I.27 trans. Peabody (Little, Brown, and Co., 1887), 61.

[49] Ibid., 62–63.

[50] Bruce Chilton, Rabbi Paul (Image Books Doubleday, 2004), 17.

[51] Cicero, op. cit., 198–202.

[52] Bruce Winter notes several parallels between 1 Timothy 2:9–15 and Greco-Roman moral philosophy; see Winter, Roman Wives, Roman Widows: The Appearance of New Women and Pauline Communities (Eerdmans, 2003), 97–122.

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