By John David Pitcher, Jr., MD
If you’ve never seen the story of Christmas in Paul’s letter, 1 Timothy, I’d like to show it to you in a very controversial section of Scripture:
“For Adam was formed first, then Havah. Adam wasn’t deceived, but the woman, being deceived, has fallen into disobedience; but she will be saved through her childbearing, if they continue in faith, love, and sanctification with sobriety.” (1 Timothy 2:13-15, World Messianic Bible)
The phrase “through her childbearing” (dia tas teknogonias) includes a preposition (dia), definitive article (tas) and noun in the genitive singular feminine case (teknogonias). That word is not used anywhere else in the translation of the Old Testament Hebrew by the 70 Rabbis, known as the Septuagint, or elsewhere in the New Testament.
It is unique.
Most translations render the phrase “in childbearing,” and that translation would include a participle, a type of verb. But in the Greek in 1 Timothy 2:15, it is clearly a noun and the phrase is better translated “through The Childbirth.”
“What Childbirth?” you may ask.
Note that Paul places the reader of the letter in the Garden of Eden with the very context of the sentence. That first fall into disobedience is followed by the prophecy given by God that “her seed (not the man’s) should bruise the serpent’s head” (Genesis 3:15).
So in 1 Timothy 2:15, “The Childbirth” possesses the means of salvation (she will be saved “through The Childbirth”) just like how anyone gains salvation.
Here, Paul identifies the Messiah as the unique Seed of woman, the promise of Genesis 3:15, the protoevangelium, the first messianic prophecy of the Torah.
When those children in Bethlehem were murdered by Herod (Matthew 2:16), those boys’ mothers were wailing (Jeremiah 31:15) because their son would not be the “Seed” that would crush Satan’s head, and perhaps if he was supposed to be the “Seed,” all Israel was now lost, even all mankind (cf. Genesis 4:25).
Though it is generally considered that the early Church fathers were the first to recognize Jesus as fulfilling Genesis 3:15, it is clear from the progression of thought in 1 Timothy 2:9-15 that Paul recognized it before his execution in 67 AD.
Today, you have the opportunity to be saved through “The Childbirth.” That is, by believing in the Messiah who was born of the betrothed virgin foretold by Isaiah to the wicked king Ahaz (Isaiah 7:14).
Messiah lived an unblemished life and sacrificially took the punishment of sin for you–you will be saved like anyone else is saved and stand righteous before God, through “The Childbirth.”
This reminds me of the statue at the Church of the Primacy of Saint Peter (photo below) on the Sea of Galilee in Tabgha, Israel, where tradition has it Jesus (Yeshua is his Hebrew name) appeared again to his disciples after his Resurrection and where it really sunk in that he is Messiah and that it also can ‘sink in’ for you!