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Bits and pieces

Women should be silent in church?



I’m going to consider many views in this article. The conclusion is yours. But right now I can say it’s not so straight forward as it looks at first sight.



1 Cor 14:34 Let the women keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but let them subject themselves, just as the Law also says.

1 Cor 14:35 And if they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church.




Scribal error or even opinion

There is some evidence that those two verses were not written by Paul. The insertion took place very early as the verses are in most manuscripts. Or of course they were always there…


Copying Scripture was generally done in a scriptorium with many scribes and a person that dictated the text from the the manuscript he had. That way many copies could be made at the same time. But the danger of this method was that scribes made spelling errors, which usually can be corrected easily. Sometimes they misheard a word. Usually not a big problem either.

Sometimes they omitted a whole line or verse. That’s potentially a problem because they had no way to insert the text. Their solution was writing it in the margin. When a later scribe copied the text he inserted the text from the margin into the main text. Problem solved.


Many people make notes in the margin of their Bible. They have absolutely no intention to add to Scripture that way. Likewise Scribes sometimes made notes. Those note were made in the very same margin than where they wrote down omitted verses.


So it’s possibly that v34-35 originally were scribal notes that the next scribe misunderstood as omitted verses, and inserted them into the main text.


Women were often second rate citizens, so the first scribe may have aired his strong opinion in the margin as a note. The next scribe held the same opinion and therefore concluded wrongly that the note was omitted Scripture.


On top of that v35-36 sometimes are after what’s now v40. So the next scribe wasn’t sure where exactly the verses in the margin should go. That’s another bit of proof the verses possibly weren’t written by Paul.




1Cor 14:29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.

1Cor 14:30 If any thing be revealed to another that sits by, let the first hold his peace.

1Cor 14:31 For you may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.

1Cor 14:32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.

1Cor 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

1Cor 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted to them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also said the law.

1Cor 14:35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

1Cor 14:36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it to you only?

1Cor 14:37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.



Please read all verses and then reread without v34-35. Which has the best flow? I think without v34-35. All verse are about prophets, except v33-35.

Is the ‘you’ in v37 about women only? If so the women were the only prophets, or claimed to be. We know for sure that’s not true. Plus why should female prophets be silent? Why should female prophets ask their husband who likely wasn’t a prophet?

No the whole text is about a prophesy needs to be confirmed by others. The two or three witnesses rule. And that rule goes for both male and female.

It was/is are warning/biting remark to prophets who think the know it all, who think they they are without flaw and want to ram their view trough the churches throat regardless what other prophets say on the topic. The ‘you only?’ From v 36 is addressing prophets, male and female.



Another strange thing is that in 1Cor 7:8 it’s written that it’s a good thing that widows and unmarried women stay unmarried. Those women can never ask what a certain teaching means because they have no husband? Is the Bible really banning some women from understanding it? And what if the husband is clueless? Or the woman is the smarter on of the couple?

Some argue that the Greek word translated as husband has a wider meaning in Greek. That’s totally true (male, husband, betrothed). But that doesn’t solve much. Not every male is hers, so that group is excluded and with in most cases the ones who know best, prophets, teachers and elders. The unmarried have no husbands and betrothed.



Exod 15:20 And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.


2Chr 34:22 And Hilkiah, and they that the king had appointed , went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college:) and they spake to her to that effect .


Luke 1:41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

Luke 1:42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.


Luke 2:36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;

Luke 2:37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.


Acts 21:9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.



Phil 4:3 Yes, I ask thee also, genuine yokefellow, help them-the women who labored with me in the good news-with Clement also, and the rest of my co-workmen whose names are in the book of life.


Acts 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:






If they have to shut up, then why does God bother to bless them with  the gift of prophesy? Why did God inspired the next two verses?


Acts 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, said God, I will pour out of my Spirit on all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: Acts 2:18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:



I think it’s fair to say women can and do prophesy. Is the meaning of all this they allowed to so everywhere except in church where the best audience is found?


Yeah, Paul even said to the Chorintians to who he supposingly said woman aren’t alled to speak in church:

1Cor 11:5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.



If you read 1Cor 11, you see women fully participated in about everything. But… teaching isn’t mentioned. An argument from silence?




Women don’t teach


1Tim 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

1Tim 2:10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

1Tim 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

1Tim 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

1Tim 2:13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

1Tim 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

1Tim 2:15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.


This does not say women aren’t allowed to speak at all. It’s about teaching. But isn’t that weird, they participate in about everything and even prophesy. Isn’t prophesy some sort of teaching. I mean the whole purpose of a prophesy is that people act according to it or otherwise learn something from it.

Why all that talk about teaching when they aren’t allowed to speak at all. Not speaking covers teaching too.




The weight of evidence leads to the conclusion that 1 Corinthians 14:34 and 35, … was not part of the original God-breathed Word, …

However, if the verses are original, then as we have seen above, it seems very clear that they were written to deal with the specific constraints of the first-century culture, and were not God’s intention for women for all time. The Bible makes it clear that every Christian, every man and woman in the Church, has an important place in the Body of Christ and a calling of God to do something for Him.

https://www.truthortradition.com/articles/should-women-be-silent-in-the-church-a-biblical-study-of-1-corinthians-1434-and-35



Summary so far

There is a good chance v34-35 were inserted by a scribe and not from Paul. But even if those verses are there from the the very beginning they contradict logic and other Scripture as we see woman speaking in church in those verses. So, basically there are two choices, the two verses are a scribal error, there is something wrong with the translation, or something else.




Venus, the goddess of Corinth


Context, context and context. Many ignore or forget an important part of the context. In this case the culture of where Paul was teaching. Lot’s of area’s were pagan to the core. And so were the people who lived there. That includes most people in Paul’s audience. They tried to be, or even were good Christians. But Paul sometimes used things from their pagan culture to make his point. Not in a way he approved it, far from. No, it saved him a lot of time and trouble to once in a while reference to what those people knew extremely well.



KJV

The KJV is one of the most well known Bible versions. It’s language has been modernized a few times. But the doctrine in it stayed the same. ESV, ASV, RSV and NAS are all KJV revisions with the same doctrine which is based on culture.

When KJV was written, church and king were losing their grip on the male dominated society, because earlier translations. So the KJV had to be translated with a bias that suited both church and establishment.




Male chauvinism vs feminism in first century AD

When society shifted from agrarian rural, towards trading metropolitan style.

In the rural environment women greatly depended on the strength of her male family to protect her and do the heavy grunt work in the fields.

But in a city those things were different. Women became more independent.

Homosexuallity was also greatly on the rise. All that weakened the bond or marriage. It gave rise to feminism. And that gave rise to worshipping female gods.


So women did not only became more vocal and independent, they tried to take control.



1Tim 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

1Tim 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

1Tim 2:13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

1Tim 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.



Many read v13 as confirmation, that women should shut up. But that’s a perfect example of missing cultural context. Paul wrote to Timothy, who was in Ephesus, the center of Dianna worship. Where it was taught Eve was created first and later Adam from Eve’s rib. In verse 13 Paul simply points out that’s false teaching because Adam was first. This verse is about the order of creation. Not about authority. Paul was saying the women should stop parroting the pagan belief Eve was first. Women should shutup with their pagan feminist teachings.



Back to Corinth

1Cor 11:5 But every woman that prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.


Prophesies, comes from the Greek profeteuo, which means speak or affirm while standing before someone. So the women weren’t silently sitting at home. The prayed and prophesied in front of others.


Masculine nouns

Masculine (male) nouns can point to both male and female.



Diakonos

Matt 20:26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

Matt 22:13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matt 23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

Mark 9:35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.

Mark 10:43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:

John 2:5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

John 2:9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,

John 12:26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

Rom 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

Rom 15:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:

Rom 16:1 I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:

1Cor 3:5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

2Cor 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

2Cor 6:4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,

2Cor 11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Gal 2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

Eph 3:7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

Eph 6:21 But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:

Col 1:7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;

Col 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

Col 1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;

Col 4:7 All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord:

1Thess 3:2 And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith:

1Tim 3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

1Tim 3:12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

1Tim 4:6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.



All red words were translated from the same Greek word ‘diakonos’, which means servant or dispenser. Knowing that read the above verses and ask yourself on basis of what they picked servant, minister or deacon?


Mat 23:11 - Why not minister (as many translations have)?

Rom 13:4 - Why not servant?

Rom 16:1 - Why must a woman be a servant instead of a minister or deacon?

2 Cor 11:23 - Why not servants?

Phil 1:1 - Why not ministers and deacons?


Diakonos means dispenser. A slave/servant for example dispenses wine nad food to the master. But most of the verses are not about dispenser who bring Christ wine or something like that. Not they dispense the Word of God, tell about Christ. So let them call dispensers-of-truth.


Matt 23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your dispensers-of-truth.


Rom 13:4 For he is the dispensers-of-truth of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.


Rom 16:1 I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a dispensers-of-truth of the church which is at Cenchrea:



The problem with the above for many is that the woman Phebe suddenly is a person with standing.





Please read Romans 16. Paul lists 29 co-workers. Ten of them are women. Surely they had authority.


Rom 16:1 I commend unto you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church that is at Cenchreae:

Rom 16:2 that ye receive her in the Lord, worthily of the saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever matter she may have need of you: for she herself also hath been a helper of many, and of mine own self.




Does Phebe sound as woman who shuts up in church, and asks her husband for explanations? She sounds like a woman with standing. She’s even mentioned first.



1Cor 11:8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man:

1Cor 11:9 for neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man:

1Cor 11:10 for this cause ought the woman to have a sign of authority on her head, because of the angels.

1Cor 11:11 Nevertheless, neither is the woman without the man, nor the man without the woman, in the Lord.

1Cor 11:12 For as the woman is of the man, so is the man also by the woman; but all things are of God.

Equality…



Gal 3:26 For ye are all sons of God, through faith, in Christ Jesus.

Gal 3:27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ.

Gal 3:28 There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there can be no male and female; for ye all are one man in Christ Jesus.

Equality…


In v26 we again see downgrading of women. Many translations are rightly translating children, instead of son.



Order of creation

Another view is that Adam was created before Eve, and for that reason a man is superior to a woman. That’s why women must be silent because they have nothing worthwhile to say anyway.



Quiet or peaceful

1Cor 14:34 let the women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but let them be in subjection, as also saith the law.


1  Tim 2:2 or kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way

This verse doesn’t mean Christians aren’t allowed to talk.


1 Tim 2:11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness.

This has to be understand as not causing strife, turmoil or negativity.

The submission is to the church’s teachings/elders.




The three red words are from three different Greek words, but they are all about the same thing. Don’t cause turmoil, strife or negativity. For example 1 Tim 2:2 doesn’t mean Christians can never speak.





Luke 2:36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;




Christ’s work on the cross

It’s a fact women were second rate citizens in the past. But does God want it to be that way (today)?


The Temple was divided into three sections: The Holy of Holies where the High priest entered once a year.  The Holy Place – reserved for Jewish men only, and the outer court – for Jewish women and gentiles.


When Christ died the curtain separating those sections was torn. And with that women and men were no longer separated.


Galatians 3:26-28 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus




Law and Grace NOT Law vs Grace


Rom 2:13 For not the hearers of the law are just before YHWH, but the shall be justified.

Rom 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yes, we establish the law.

Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace.


Romans 6:14 is often used as proof that the Law was replaced by grace.
If so, what about Rom 2:13, which says the keepers of the Law shall be justified.


The solution to this ‘contradiction’ is simple. We should keep the Law, and if we stumble our belief in Jesus shields us from condemnation.