Should 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 Be Considered Part of Paul’s Letter? (Corrected)

(Edited thanks to a much-appreciated comment from Dennis Threadgill. Deleted text is shown by strikethrough. New text is shown by an underscore. The point of the post was not to disprove Patrick’s position but to demonstrate that there is no “liberalism” in those who, contrary to my own and Patrick’s views, reject 1 Cor 14:33-34 as part of Paul’s original text.)


Isn’t it obvious that churches grow largely because of the work of their female members?

I have no interest in re-arguing the role of women case from top to bottom. We did that here some time ago in the Buried Talents series. But I do think that it’s worthwhile to reflect a bit on Patrick Mead’s recent post regarding 1 Cor 14:34-35.

Here’s the text in question:

(1Co 14:34-35 ESV)  34 the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says.  35 If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.

Patrick explains, Continue reading

Buried Talents: 1 Timothy 2:12-13: A More Formal Argument

Youth prayingMy response to Alexander’s thoughtful comments regarding this passage is too long for the comments, and so I’m posting it here.


We are talking past each other — and making little progress. Several arguments have been stated, but the core argument I’m trying to make isn’t getting across. I’m going to state it more formally. I apologize to those readers who will find this hopelessly tedious. Continue reading

Buried Talents: Why Were the Apostles All Men?

Reader Kirsty recently asked why all the apostles are male?  I answered in the comments, but I think the topic merits a post.


Regarding why Jesus chose male apostles, I think you have to start with why Jesus chose 12: why 12 people?

The Jews were a people steeped in symbolism. Whereas we Westerners tend to prefer the literal and the syllogistic, the Jewish (and Eastern) mind is much more about story and symbol. So what would 12 men symbolize? What story does the appointment of 12 men tell?

Obviously, the 12 tribes of Israel. Hence, they symbolized the totality of all Israel. But the 12 tribes are the descendants of the 12 sons of Jacob — twelve men. Thus, they also symbolize the 12 men — who are (in the Eastern mind) the 12 tribes.

Now, if the 12 apostles are the 12 sons of Jacob, who would Jesus be? Who was the leader of the 12 sons of Jacob? Well, that makes him symbolic of Jacob, the father of the 12.

And Jacob’s other name is Israel. By selecting 12 male apostles, Jesus was (among many other things) symbolically staking a claim to being Israel — in symbol and also in prophetic fulfillment.

I have written a post, which won’t show up for a while, on the interpretation of Isaiah’s Servant’s Song, and when you read it, this will make better sense. The symbolism matters at several levels.

For example, we are baptized into Jesus, and so we become a part of the true Israel. Jesus is the true Israel and so those who are within him are a part of the true Israel.

This understanding gives us a different understanding of the prophesies and the crucifixion. But that’s all for a later post.

For now, the reason the apostles were all male is that the 12 sons of Jacob were male — and that Jesus had to become Israel, to pay the price for Israel’s sins, to demonstrate the life Israel was and is supposed to lead, and to bring the nations into Israel.

Buried Talents: An Email About Girls Who Pray in the Presence of Boys

Youth prayingI get emails –

Without going into long-winded details, is it appropriate for a teenaged, baptized girl to lead a prayer in the presence of a baptized teenaged male? (This seems even more ridiculous now that I have typed this.) The reality is it is causing sharp disagreement to the point where the girl’s family is considering leaving our congregation.

Our minister, and we do not have an eldership, has counseled that we must not allow a woman to lead over a man and that this includes prayer. We have no problem with women asking questions in a mixed Bible study. In fact, we even have women read scripture that we are studying.

Personally, I do not see leading prayer as having authority over another. It’s a shame that leading a talk with our Creator is causing a problem!

Your thoughts, please.

Here’s my answer. What do you think? Continue reading