Context is Key

Context is Key

Context is Key on WIM by Cheryl Schatz

CONTEXT is Key

Recently, I listened to a pastor describe the context of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. I was very interested to hear what he had to say since I had never heard anyone explain the context of 1 Corinthians to show how there is support for the silencing of women. I was quite surprised when he claimed the context of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 was 1 Timothy 2.  I had heard him emphasize the importance of context, context, context many times. However, his explanation of what qualifies as context was always the same as mine. The context of a disputed verse are the verses and chapters that surround it. It is never a passage in another book. While another passage in another book can be related, it isn’t the context. So I asked him again. Could he please give the direct context from the book of 1 Corinthians that supports the silencing of women. I have not yet heard back from him, but I thought it would be a good idea to go back through the entire book of 1 Corinthians to gather all of the evidence that Paul documents for why the two verses of 1 Cor. 14:34-35 were added to his letter. I found so much more than I expected from looking at a wider context! There is way more material than I could put into one article, so I am going to try to distil the evidence into categories and then I will give a conclusion of Paul’s reasoning. I will challenge anyone who thinks I have not considered the entire context. I welcome you to bring me correction and show me the supporting context from the book of First Corinthians that defines and upholds the silencing of women in the church.

CONTEXT: The Corinthian’s Letter to Paul – Questions and Claims

  • 1 Cor. 1:11 Paul reveals there are quarrels among the Corinthians – information passed on to him from Cloe’s people. The key purpose of the book is to deal with these conflicts and quarrels. Watch carefully throughout the book of 1 Corinthians how Paul ties in his correction with the source of the conflicts.
  • 1 Cor. 7:1 Paul mentions a letter that the Corinthians had written to Paul. The letter from the Corinthians to Paul plus the report from Cloe’s people bring to Paul information about the quarrels.
  • 1 Cor. 7:25 Paul moves on to another area of concern; “Now concerning” virgins.
  • 1 Cor. 8:1 “Now concerning” things sacrificed to idols.
  • 1 Cor 16:1 “Now concerning” the collection for the saints. All of the “now concerning” references are Paul answering what had been sent to him in writing.

Other comments that Paul makes do not directly reference the letter from the Corinthians, but they appear to answer challenges, claims or arguments. For example, 1 Cor. 6:12 says:

1 Corinthians 6:12 (NASB) All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.

Are “all things” lawful for Paul? The negation that follows appears to be Paul’s answer to the writer of the letter who claims not to be under any law. “All things are lawful for me,” the letter says, but Paul answers “BUT NOT all things are profitable.” Again, “All things are lawful for me,” the writer concludes, but Paul answers, “BUT I will NOT be mastered by anything.” Paul’s testimony in all the churches is that we are under the “law of Christ.” We can fulfill the duty to Christ through love and service to our brother (Gal. 6:2.) Anytime a statement is made in 1 Corinthians that appears contradictory to Paul’s known position we can suspect that Paul is dealing with issues that were presented to him, for Paul does not contradict himself. The fact that Paul consistently speaks about setting aside what is good for oneself and aiming for what is helpful for others as the “common good” should tip us off that the arrogant claim that “all things are lawful” is part of the quarrel among the Corinthians.

CONTEXT: The Same God Indwells All and Works in All

  • 1 Cor. 2:12 We have all received the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God. The Spirit wants us to know the things that are given to all of us freely by God.
  • 1 Cor. 3:16 Each member of the body of Christ is a temple of God and the Holy Spirit dwells in each believer. The Holy Spirit dwells in each one, men and women alike.
  • 1 Cor. 3:17 The Temple of God is holy. This is about ALL believers.
  • 1 Cor. 12:4 While there are varieties of spiritual gifts, it is the SAME Holy Spirit that operates the gifts in both men and women.
  • 1 Cor. 12:5 While there are varieties of ministries, the SAME Lord is over all. All have the same Lord.
  • 1 Cor. 12:6 While there are varieties of activities, it is the SAME God who works all things in ALL persons. God is working in all believers – both men and women.
  • 1 Cor. 12:7 The manifestation of the Holy Spirit is given for each person for the COMMON good. All gifts are for the COMMON good that are in men and women.
  • 1 Cor. 12:8-11 Each of the spiritual gifts are given individually as God WILLS – it is His decision.

CONTEXT: One Body of Christ – No Division, All are Needed

  • 1 Cor. 1:12-13 The Corinthians are claiming to be “of” a leader such as Paul, Apollos, Peter or Christ. But Christ cannot be divided. There is only one who died for us. We as a body are not to be divided.
  • 1 Cor. 12:12 While the body of Christ is only one body, the individual members are many. All Christians are members of the body.
  • 1 Cor. 12:14-17 A member of the body cannot be useless just because he or she does not appear to be an important member. Every member is needed.
  • 1 Cor. 12:18 It is God Himself who has chosen where each member will be placed in the body.
  • 1 Cor. 12:19 The body could not operate if all are placed as the same member.
  • 1 Cor. 12:20-21 One member of the body CANNOT SAY they have NO NEED for one particular member of the body. The body is a unity, and a member cannot be excluded.
  • 1 Cor. 12:22 The members of the body that SEEM to be WEAKER are NECESSARY.
  • 1 Cor. 12:23 The members of the body that SEEM to be LESS HONORABLE receive more honor.
  • 1 Cor. 12:24-25 The members of the body that are more presentable do not need more honor. God Himself has chosen to give MORE ABUNDANT HONOR to the member of the body that lacked that honor and all of this is done SO THAT there would be NO DIVISION in the body; so that all members would be cared for equally in the body.
  • 1 Cor. 12:26 Honor given to one member brings joy and honor to the entire body. Suffering by one member causes the whole body to suffer. The body is unified in love.

CONTEXT: Paul’s Use of Logical Disjunctives to Rebut Bad Claims

Paul uses logical disjunctives throughout 1 Corinthians. A logical disjunctive is a conjunctive that gives an alternative possibility to the idea to which it is associated or that REBUTS the idea to which it is associated. Paul uses the logical disjunctive in the following instances:

  • 1 Cor. 1:12-13 Paul uses the disjunctive to rebut the Corinthians claim to be divided by each belonging to a different apostle.
  • 1 Cor. 6:1-3 Paul uses the disjunctive to rebut the evil of the Corinthians who were dragging other Christians into a pagan court. Paul rebuts this act by stating that in the future Christians (men and women) will JUDGE THE WORLD and will JUDGE ANGELS, so Christians need to take responsibility for judging what is right and what is wrong in this life too.
  • 1 Cor. 6:7-9 Paul states that it is the Corinthians themselves who are DEFRAUDING and WRONGING their Christian brethren. Paul uses the disjunctive to rebut their ungodly actions by exclaiming “(logical disjunctive) Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?”
  • 1 Cor. 6:12-20 The Corinthians claim that all things are lawful for them, and Paul uses the disjunctive to rebut them by saying that their bodies are members of Christ, and these members CANNOT be joined to a prostitute; it is not lawful. Not everything is lawful for them. They must flee immorality because their bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit.
  • 1 Cor. 9:1-9 Paul uses the disjunctive to rebut those who are examing him and his claim to be an apostle of the Lord Jesus.
  • 1 Cor. 10:14-25 Paul continues to rebut the Corinthian who are saying that all things are lawful for them. Paul uses the logical disjunctive to tell them that they CANNOT drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons.
  • 1 Cor. 14:34-38 Paul uses the disjunctive to rebut the restriction against women’s learning in the assembly and the restriction against their voices being heard by the church. Paul uses the logical disjunctive in verse 36 against the ones who claim these restrictions challenging them with rhetorical questions. Were these men the ones who first brought (first originated) the Word of God? No, it was Paul as an apostle of Christ who was entrusted with the gospel and first brought it to them. Was the gospel brought ONLY to these men for their benefit ALONE? No! Paul brought the gospel TO men and women alike. If anyone does not recognize Paul’s authority to speak as an AUTHORITY speaking the commands of Jesus (as Paul has given the commands of Jesus throughout 1 Corinthians and especially from the beginning of chapter 14) that one is not approved by God. Those who claim that the gospel is restricted to only some Christians to receive it and to learn from the Word and only some are allowed to preach the gospel for the common good is not the message that Paul has commanded throughout 1 Corinthians.

CONTEXT: God’s Choice

  • 1 Cor. 1:27-29 God has chosen those things that many identify as “foolish” in order that God may shame the “wise.” God has also chosen the things that the world sees as “weak” in order to shame the strong. God has also chosen the things that are despised by the world so that the things that are seen as important are nullified in His kingdom. The term despised means to be treated contemptuously as if it is completely worthless or despicable. The Jews regularly thanked God that they were not born a Gentile, a slave, or a woman. All of these were looked down upon and despised by the religious Jews. A woman’s voice was seen as shameful to the ultra-religious Jews.
  • 1 Cor. 12:18 God has chosen where the members go in the body. It is His desire and His choice.

CONTEXT: God’s Gifts

  • 1 Cor. 2:12 We have all received God’s Spirit in order that we may know the things that are freely given to us.
  • 1 Cor. 2:13 Those who have received God’s Spirit are taught by the Spirit.
  • 1 Cor. 12:31 Paul commands ALL to earnestly desire the greater spiritual gifts.
  • 1 Cor. 14:12 Paul tells the Christians also to seek to abound in the spiritual gifts for the purpose of EDIFICATION of the CHURCH. Abound means to be abundant or plentiful.
  • 1 Cor. 14:19 Paul says that speaking words in the church that are understood is instructing others.

CONTEXT: Servants of God work together

  • 1 Cor. 3:5 Those who teach are servants who are given the opportunity to serve.
  • 1 Cor. 3:6-9 Some servants plant, and some water, but God causes the growth. Servants are fellow workers.
  • 1 Cor. 14:24 If all prophesy, their prophesying will convict an unbeliever and call him to account. They work together.
  • 1 Cor. 14:26 In the assembly ALL work together with their gifts to edify the church.
  • 1 Cor. 14:28 If there is no interpreter of tongues, the tongues speaker is to be silent so that only acts of EDIFICATION will be done that will profit ALL.
  • 1 Cor. 14:30 If God gives a revelation to someone who is seated, the one who is standing (and who has the floor) needs to be silent to allow someone else to edify the church. The purpose is not to silence a person, but to be silent to allow someone else to give God’s Word.

CONTEXT: Spiritually Minded vs Natural Wisdom

  • 1 Cor. 2:14-16 A natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God. The natural man sees them as foolish. The one who is a spiritual man appraises all things. Appraises means to form a critical opinion of something (either positive or negative) by examination or scrutiny. We have the mind of Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 3:1-3 Paul said that the Corinthians were FLESHLY not spiritual men.
  • 1 Cor. 10:24 No one is to seek their own good, but the good of his neighbor.
  • 1 Cor. 10:31-32 All things are to be done to the glory of God. No OFFENSE is to be given to Jews or to Greeks or to the church. That would include all members of the church including the women.
  • 1 Cor. 14:19 In the church a few words of instruction are more profitable than many words in an unknown tongue.
  • 1 Cor 14:20 Be mature in your thinking.

CONTEXT: Strengthening the Church

  • 1 Cor. 14:3 The one who prophesies speaks for edification, exhortation, and consolation.
  • 1 Cor. 14:4 The one who prophesies EDIFIES the CHURCH.
  • 1 Cor. 14:5 Paul wishes that all of them would prophesy so that the church would be edified.
  • 1 Cor. 14:6 Edification of the church comes through 1. revelation 2. knowledge 3. prophecy 4. teaching.

CONTEXT: No Boasting

  • 1 Cor. 1:28-29 God has chosen the DESPISED things so that no man may boast before God.
  • 1 Cor. 4:6 Paul writes that through Paul’s example, the Corinthians are to LEARN not to go BEYOND what is WRITTEN so that none of them will become ARROGANT AGAINST ONE ANOTHER.
  • 1 Cor. 4:7 There is no one superior. All have received from God and therefore none can boast as if their gifts belonged to them.
  • 1 Cor. 4:18-19 Some have become arrogant, and Paul intended to come soon to examine the ARROGANT.
  • 1 Cor. 8:1 Paul writes that knowledge makes one arrogant, but LOVE edifies the church.

CONTEXT: The Wisdom of the World

  • 1 Cor. 3:18 If one is “wise in this age” he must become “foolish” in order to be spiritually wise.
  • 1 Cor. 3:19-20 The wisdom of the world is foolishness before God. The reasonings of the wise are useless.

CONTEXT: Paul’s Teachings and Correction

  • 1 Cor. 4:17 Timothy was sent to Corinth to remind the Corinthians of PAUL’S WAYS which are in Christ. Paul teaches these ways EVERYWHERE in EVERY church.
  • 1 Cor. 4:21 Paul needs to correct the Corinthians. It is their choice whether he comes to them with gentleness or with the rod.
  • 1 Cor. 7:4 Neither husband nor wife has authority over their own body. The authority belongs to the wife or the husband. Women have authority from God that was not allowed in the Jewish Pharisaical system or the worldly system.
  • 1 Cor. 7:6 Paul gives some things as a CONCESSION, as they are not commands of God.
  • 1 Cor. 7:16-17 Each individual Christian is to walk in the manner in which he/she has been called. Paul gives this direction in ALL the churches.
  • 1 Cor. 7:34-35 Paul promotes undistracted devotion to the Lord for the woman who is unmarried.
  • 1 Cor. 7:39-40 Paul encourages widows to remain single.
  • 1 Cor. 11:2 Hold firmly to the traditions that Paul delivered to the Corinthians.
  • 1 Cor. 11:3 Paul wants the Corinthians to understand that Christ is the head of every man.
  • 1 Cor. 11:5 A woman is shown as praying and prophesying in public.
  • 1 Cor. 11:7 The woman is the GLORY of man.
  • 1 Cor. 11:10 The woman ought to have AUTHORITY to make decisions regarding her own hair and head covering.
  • 1 Cor. 11:14 Does nature teach you that men and women are born with a difference of the hair on their heads?
  • 1 Cor. 11:16 Literal wording says “no such practice.” Paul and the apostles have “no such” practice, nor do the churches of God have such a practice. (head covering)
  • 1 Cor. 11:17 Paul does not praise the church for their gatherings are used to promote divisions and factions rather than the church coming together for edification.
  • 1 Cor. 11:22 The Corinthians were despising the church of God by HUMILIATING some of the members of the body.

CONTEXT: Love is the More Excellent Way

  • 1 Cor. 13:1 Without LOVE one’s words are like a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
  • 1 Cor. 12:31 EARNESTLY DESIRE the greater gifts, and there is a still more excellent way.
  • 1 Cor. 13:4 God’s LOVE is kind and not jealous and is not arrogant. We must also be kind, not jealous, and not arrogant.
  • 1 Cor. 13:5 God’s LOVE does not act in an unbecoming way; God’s love does not seek to have His own way, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered.
  • 1 Cor. 14:1 PURSUE LOVE, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts ESPECIALLY that you may prophesy. (The spiritual gifts MUST FLOW from the pursuit of love.)
  • 1 Cor. 14:36 Are you arrogantly claiming that you ORIGINATED the teachings of God’s Word? Are you arrogantly claiming that the Word COMES ONLY to YOU?
  • 1 Cor. 16:14 Let all that you do be done in love.
  • 1 Cor. 16:22 If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus, that person is to be accursed.

CONTEXT: God is Not a God of Confusion – There is No Indistinct Sound in God’s Commands

  • 1 Cor. 14:7-9 If lifeless things like the bugle have an indistinct sound, how will anyone know to prepare himself for battle? If you utter words that are not CLEAR, how will anyone know what you have spoken? Any indistinct sound is useless.
  • 1 Cor. 14:11 If I do not know the meaning of the language, the one to whom I am speaking will have no edification.
  • 1 Cor. 14:33 God is not a God of CONFUSION. God is the God of peace. This is what Paul taught in all of the churches.
  • 1 Cor. 14:37 If anyone thinks he is a spiritual person then he must RECOGNIZE that ALL the things Paul wrote are for the members of the body of Christ ministering to each other with their spiritual gifts for the COMMON GOOD. This is the COMMAND of the Lord Jesus.
  • 1 Cor. 14:38 If anyone does not recognize that all the commands throughout 1 Corinthians 14, calling for full body ministry, are actually the commands of the Lord, then that person who thought they were a spiritual person, is not recognized by God as a spiritual person. That person is to be ignored.
  • 1 Cor. 14:40 All the things that Paul commanded for the common good, for the edification of the church, are to be done properly and in an orderly manner. One by one each member can share.

CONCLUSION

Paul has emphasized body ministry. All are to share in the ministering of their gifts for the common good. The purpose of the spiritual gifts is to build up the body of Christ in love. Every member is needed in building up the body, and no one is to be disregarded and shamed as if the person and their gifts are not needed.

God has taken women who were considered as the weak and despised of the world, in a shame-based worldly system, and He has placed them into the body of Christ by His will. Even though some men were prejudiced against women because they followed the proud worldly system, God placed His Spirit within women just as He placed His Spirit within men in order to shame those who arrogantly claimed superiority. Women’s voices are not filthy and indecent as the “saying” of the Corinthians was quoted by Paul in 1 Cor. 14:34-35. Paul immediately rebutted the oral law that was created by mere men. Paul refuted the “saying” by his use of the logical disjunctive. Paul refutes the claim that these men are superior and that they alone can preach the gospel and that they alone can learn from the Word. They are fleshly men following a faulty system that shames women and refuses to allow women’s spiritual gifts to be heard in the assembly. However, Paul’s argument from the beginning of 1 Corinthians is that it is the SAME God, the SAME Lord, and the SAME Spirit who distributes all the spiritual gifts. It is God who places men and women in the body of Christ, and it is not man’s prerogative to stifle and silence the Holy Spirit’s voice just because He speaks through a female temple of God.

Paul lays out the “more excellent way”. That way is love, care, not seeking one’s own way, and honoring those who seem to have little honor. The quote that Paul gives from the Corinthians DIVIDES the body of Christ between those who are allowed to LEARN in the church and those who are NOT WORTHY TO PUBLICLY LEARN. The quote further divides the body of Christ by claiming superiority for some of the fleshly temples of God, allowing them full access to learn and to teach, while claiming that the voices of the other fleshly temples of God are disgraceful. The sound of arrogance, pride, disrespect and a failure to LOVE are clearly opposite of what Paul declared are the commands of God. Those who will not love God by refusing to love the members of the body of Christ are not speaking for God. Their voices are to be disregarded. The clear voice of Scripture is that all are commanded to pray that they can edify the church. All are given authority to pray that they may edify the church and all are given permission to learn in church. Paul tells widows that they should serve the Lord as they are. If they needed a man to go home to in order to learn the Word, Paul would have told them they must marry to fulfill the law to learn at home. The divisions that pride caused in the Corinthian church that was forcing women to submit to a man-made law and this brought shame to the Corinthians and no praise from Paul. A spirit of arrogance puffed up through “worldly knowledge” separates and divides. But true godly love edifies. All things are freely given to men and women alike from the Spirit of God. (1 Cor 2:12.) We are all the temple of God and all are to be vessels of honor.Today, as in Paul’s day, some men claim that they have no need for women teachers. They already have the BEST in men teachers, and women are not needed. But the eye cannot say to the hand “I have no need of you.” (1 Cor. 12:21) When the church allows both men and women to boldly and freely serve the body of Christ in love, this will be the day that we are one step closer to true unity in the Spirit.

A natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God. A natural man does not accept that God’s Holy Spirit can work through a woman for the common good of the body. A spiritual man appraises all things and accepts the instruction of the Lord.

THE CHALLENGE

If you believe that I have missed the clear Word of God in 1 Corinthians that silences and stifles women’s ministry in the church, please show it to me from the context of 1 Corinthians. If I am wrong about the context, show me where I am wrong. If I am not wrong, are you willing to help to stop the division in the church and accept women as fleshly temples of God who are worthy of the Holy Spirit speaking through them to edify the church?

14 thoughts on “Context is Key

  1. I love this thorough tour through 1 Cor to establish the overall context for the book and to further support the more detailed analysis of, in particular, 1 Cor 11 and 14 that you have offered in the past. Indeed, Paul is consistent. His specific rebukes and arguments do not stray from his overall theme in the letter.

    But….I find it even more intriguing that the pastor would appeal to 1 Tim 2 for context as if that speaks of silencing women in the assembly, which it most certainly does not. On a simple linguistic level, Paul does not instruct that women learn in “silence”, implying a lack of speech, he instructs that they learn in “peace”. The Greek word has nothing to do with sound, it has to do with demeanor. Of course, there is much more to be said about 1 Tim 2 beyond that, but for this purpose, it suffices to say that the pastor has missed the mark at the basest level by making a false equivalency.

  2. Thanks Garth! There is, of course, so much more to be said that I have already written, but the full context was needed. I just could not get past an apologist and pastor say that 1 Timothy 2 was the context for 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. I am saddened that women have been held back from using their gifts for so long because pastors and other teachers prefer to hold to the silencing of women taken from two verses ripped from their context. If one was not already prejudiced, how could one not see that Paul refutes the Corinthians throughout 1 Corinthians. The two verses in chapter 14 really do stand out like a sore thumb. That has to be answered. I will continue to press him for the context within Corinthians, although i don’t really expect an answer.

  3. you can’t just ignore a comment because it doesn’t fit with what you understand

    this comment is clear as day and the other verses in the context are not on exactly the same subject

    it is very clear that man is the head of the woman in 1 Cor 11 so it is logical following that

    also elders must be the husband of one wife as said in Titus

    and 1 Tim 2 is very clear the reason for women not being able to preach is because of Eve sinning before Adam

    expand on the context as much as you want and yes context is important but you cannot ignore such blantantly clear passages which leave little to the imagination because you think it does not fit with the overall theme. That is equivalent to ripping parts out of the Bible.

    be honest and admit you don’t know why it’s there don’t try and act smart and effectively remove it

    all are members yes but not all are pastors not all are prophets not all have gift of discernment you can’t just say everyone has the same role because we are all one

    the husband is the head of the wife yet both are human

    the Father is the head of the son but both are God

    a woman may not preach but is still as Christian as a male preacher

  4. Dear “ilivewith”

    Welcome to my blog!

    As you can see I do not ignore a comment because it doesn’t fit with what I understand.

    You wrote:

    it is very clear that man is the head of the woman in 1 Cor 11 so it is logical following that…

    The verse you are referring to does not restrict women from speaking in the assembly so how is it relevant context?

    The other verses that you explained are not from the context of 1 Corinthians. If you could show how there is support for the silencing of a woman’s voice in the context of 1 Corinthians, that would be great. If you cannot support the silencing of women from 1 Corinthians, then perhaps you could just explain why there are so many verses that release women to speak forth with their God-given gifts for the common good?

    You wrote:

    expand on the context as much as you want and yes context is important but you cannot ignore such blantantly clear passages which leave little to the imagination because you think it does not fit with the overall theme. That is equivalent to ripping parts out of the Bible.

    I have dealt with the other passages elsewhere on this blog. Perhaps you could like to search through this blog on what I have written on the context of other passages. This post is only about 1 Corinthians. Do you have context here that supports the silencing of a woman’s voice or support for why her voice is called filthy?

    You wrote:

    be honest and admit you don’t know why it’s there don’t try and act smart and effectively remove it

    I think that anyone who has an open mind will say that I did a lot of work to pull out all of the relevant context from 1 Corinthians. I can clearly see that you don’t know how to answer what I have written.

    So, I would commend you to a study of 1 Corinthians to support your claim that Paul is teaching throughout the book that women are not allowed to preach the gospel, and that their voices are filthy and must not be heard in the assembly.

    Go ahead. I will be waiting for your honest and very smart answer.

    Respectfully, Cheryl

  5. “ilivewithuncertainty” makes that old fundamental mistake in claiming that Eve sinned before Adam. Read the scriptures properly and it will be clear that Eve was deceived, but Adam sinned knowingly. There is a difference between transgressions and sins and here we see the first instance of that

  6. Hi Cheryl,

    Thanks for your reply.

    1 Cor 11 is relevant context because it shows that man is the head of the woman. Can I ask if you agree with this and if you think the husband is the head of the wife? I am in no way endorsing oppressive behaviour by the way.

    It logically follows from that that men should be in authority in the church with logical fits in with the idea that women should not teach men.

    There is nothing else in the context of 1 Corinthians you are referring to that is strictly on the topic whether women should preach or not, consequently, this verse should be given the most weight on this topic out of everything in 1 Corinthians because it is the only verse that is strictly on that topic.

    “As in all the churches of the saints” consistent with command in Timothy. This is consistent with church history. Canonical history seems to indicate that vv 34-35 was understood primarily as an admonition to silence.

    “As the law also says” the OT clearly teaches man is head of the woman. This is a fact.

    Show me in the Greek what evidence there is that it is a quote. There is no marker in the Greek to show that it is. This chapter is about commands for orderliness so talking up people’s right to speak has no place in this chapter. Do you honestly think at this stage in the early church given what we know about Paul’s teaching and the early church he is rebutting a quote consistent with the Old Testament and wider church practice about women preaching?

    The context on 1 Corinthians 14 is about order in the church and women preaching to men is disorderly. We are all in one body but not everyone is a pastor.

    I will look at your discussion of Titus and Timothy soon.

  7. ilivewithuncertainty,

    You wrote:

    1 Cor 11 is relevant context…

    1 Corinthians 11 is definitely relevant and you should be able to see in my article above that I quoted quite a bit from 1 Corinthians 11.

    You wrote:

    …because it shows that man is the head of the woman. Can I ask if you agree with this and if you think the husband is the head of the wife?

    I have dealt with 1 Corinthians 11 in other articles on my blog. So, for the context of silencing a woman, please tell me what has the man as head of the woman have to do with silencing a woman? Is there any place in 1 Corinthians 11 where a woman is silenced? If not, why do you believe this to be relevant regarding silence and a woman not learning in the assembly?

    You wrote:

    It logically follows from that that men should be in authority in the church with logical fits in with the idea that women should not teach men.

    The issue in this blog post is not what men logically or illogically place into the context, but what does the context actually say? If you can show me from the context of 1 Corinthians 11 or any other part of 1 Corinthians the direct context that silences women and explains the numerous contradictions where Paul allows women to use their gifts for the common good, I would be very happy to have a look at what you found.

    You wrote:

    There is nothing else in the context of 1 Corinthians you are referring to that is strictly on the topic whether women should preach or not, consequently, this verse should be given the most weight on this topic out of everything in 1 Corinthians because it is the only verse that is strictly on that topic.

    The subject of this post is the context surrounding the silencing of women’s voices and the command that women must learn at home rather than in the assembly. I have looked at the words of Paul. Paul specifically commanded all to pray that they may prophesy for the common good. Are you denying that Paul commanded women to pray that they may prohesy for the common good? If so you have a serious contradiction in the writing of Paul. And all of Paul’s writings are to be held up as the word of God. We cannot dismiss some of Paul’s writings just because we don’t like his words. Chapter 11 does not have any more weight than the 1 Corinthians chapter 14. It is all God’s word and we must work hard to understand what Paul meant without causing Paul to contradict himself.

    You wrote:

    Canonical history seems to indicate that vv 34-35 was understood primarily as an admonition to silence.

    Canonical history? Or do you mean church history? The fact is that the church has struggled with verses 34 and 35 because they could clearly see that these verses contradicted the clear teaching of Paul from the beginining of chapter 14. What I have done with this post is to show how many other verses outside chapter 14 also contradict 1 Cor. 14:34-35.

    You wrote:

    “As the law also says” the OT clearly teaches man is head of the woman. This is a fact.

    My friend, you are not reading “as the law also says” from the direct context. The law is clearly referencing the silencing of women (because their voices are filthy) and the command that women learn at home through their husbands. Can you point to such a law in the OT?

    I will continue answering in the next comment.

  8. ilivewithuncertainty,

    You wrote:

    Show me in the Greek what evidence there is that it is a quote. There is no marker in the Greek to show that it is.

    From Adam Clarke’s commentary:

    Let your women keep silence in the churches – This was a Jewish ordinance; women were not permitted to teach in the assemblies, or even to ask questions. The rabbins taught that “a woman should know nothing but the use of her distaff.” And the sayings of Rabbi Eliezer, as delivered, Bammidbar Rabba, sec. 9, fol. 204, are both worthy of remark and of execration; they are these: לנשים ימסרו ואל תורה דברי ישרפו yisrephu dibrey torah veal yimsaru lenashim, “Let the words of the law be burned, rather than that they should be delivered to women.” This was their condition till the time of the Gospel, when, according to the prediction of Joel, the Spirit of God was to be poured out on the women as well as the men, that they might prophesy, i.e. teach. And that they did prophesy or teach is evident from what the apostle says, 1 Corinthians 11:5, where he lays down rules to regulate this part of their conduct while ministering in the church.

    The fact that there is no OT or NT ordinance that demands that a woman’s voice be silenced in the assembly, but that the ordinance does exist in the Jewish oral law, points to a “law” that does not come from God, but is a Jewish tradition.

    You wrote:

    This chapter is about commands for orderliness so talking up people’s right to speak has no place in this chapter.

    The chapter is about permission for all to speak, and how they are to speak in an orderly way. If women are allowed to speak, and then are forbidden to speak and forbidden to learn in the assembly, how do you deal with that contradiction?

    You wrote:

    Do you honestly think at this stage in the early church given what we know about Paul’s teaching and the early church he is rebutting a quote consistent with the Old Testament and wider church practice about women preaching?

    There is not a single Old Testament command that silences women. There is also no NT practice that shows women were silenced in the assembly. Without a “law” to base the silencing of women, do you really think that Paul would so easily contradict HIMSELF? And do you think that Paul would forbid a woman from speaking in the assembly and then a couple of verses later commnd once again that all are to prophesy? That is an unclear sound and causes great confusion.

    You wrote:

    The context on 1 Corinthians 14 is about order in the church and women preaching to men is disorderly.

    Show where Paul says that women prophesying in the church is disorderly! You make statements, but you don’t quote the context to back up your statements.

    I challenge you to go through the entire book of 1 Corinthians as I have done and show me the context that DEMANDS the silencing of a woman’s voice. I have put in a great effort to pull out the context. You have given no verse from 1 Corinthians that silences women. Why is that? I do not think that we should ever be afraid of the context. The context will always show our view to be substantiated if we are correct. A view that is out of context will have nothing to support it in the context of the book.

    I would love for you to show me what I missed from the CONTEXT of 1 Corinthians.

  9. Heather, you make a good point about Eve’s deception and Adam’s sin that occurred with his eyes wide open and having experience no deception. The one who was not deceived should have protected the one who was being deceived. Adam was a watchman on the wall who let in the enemy and then stood by and listened while his wife was thoroughly and completely deceived. But back to 1 Corinthians.

  10. I don’t want to gang up on ilive and Cheryl is making the argument very clearly. I will just add to the recommendation that ilive read some of the other entries in this blog related to 1 Cor 11 and 1 Tim 2 to understand that KEPHALE does not mean “boss of” and HESYCHIA does not refer to oral silence.

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