We noted last time that 1 Tim 2:12-14 is entirely singular. The first plural comes in 2:15. Explaining that change seems to be a pivot point in this problem, so we should analyze the transition sentences. When, where and why does Paul shift from singular back into plural?
Backing up one half verse, to 14b, Paul says: "The woman, having been deceived, in transgression became."
Thus, v.15a begins with a singular reference, "she will be saved", and lurches abruptly into a plural, "if they continue". Seriously, what is going on here? This abrupt shift also seems to confuse translators. One option, apparently, has been to take Paul's entire Genesis illustration as a metaphor. But here's what we know for sure.
Paul says "Eve" in v.13, "woman" in v.14 and finally "she" in v.15 [number and gender of the subject implied by the verb and its context]. But what "she" does Paul mean? Oddly, the NASB, NIV, TNIV (!) & NLT all render that singular as a plural: "women will be saved" (NASB says 'preserved'; TNIV & NLT footnotes, "Greek she".) As it turns out, the ESV (!) more accurately renders "she will be saved". Admirably, the ESV also leaves that "she" vague. (The conservative translators are the ones who resisted interpretation at this point. Isn't that fascinating?)
A lot could hang on this hinge. Is Paul's "she" meant as a generalization of all women, or was Paul suggesting that Eve herself would yet be redeemed, in some sense, by her children? It feels like a stretch, but we have to consider it.
If Paul meant that "Eve will be saved" then Eve's children should include all of humanity. That could very well take the responsibility of v.15b off the shoulders of each individual mother's nuclear family and transfer it onto the church. Consider that for a moment.
Furthermore, if this "if they" refers to all of Eve's descendants, then the grammar becomes perfectly clear. In this case, "she" is no metaphorical plural. In this case, the plural only comes in after 'childbirth'. That, itself, may be fitting.
Is Paul partly suggesting the tragedy of a one-on-one problem can find salvation through multiplication?
It's worth more consideration, at least...