1 Corinthians 14:33b-37 (a discussion of Junia(s) in Rom 16:7 from the comments)

roleofwomenThe subseries on 1 Cor 14:33b-37 hasn’t produced the most comments of any series, but I think it’s produced the most interesting discussion. Rather than rehashing well-worn debating points from 100 years ago, the readers have delved deeply into the text and some of the latest scholarship — and it’s been a profitable experience. At least, I know has been for me.

Junia(s) in Rom 16:7: Female and an “apostle”?

The NET Bible translator notes

Reader John F pushed me to dig more deeply into the scholarship behind the gender and place of Junia in church history. He cited the usually excellent NET Bible translator notes, which tend to support a male interpretation and a translation that makes Junia(s) considered outstanding by the apostles, rather than among the apostles. Continue reading

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2015 Pepperdine Bible Lectureship iTunes Downloads

Pepperdine2015I know many readers are interested in listening to the presentations made at the Pepperdine Bible Lectureship just completed. Even if you were fortunate enough to attend, there were so many excellent presentations going on simultaneously, you may want to check out the podcasts.

There was a time that to get the presentations you had to buy a collection of CDs. Now it’s all online –and free! But it does require some prior knowledge of the iTunes world.

Listening and downloading

The easiest path in I’ve found works like this: Continue reading

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1 Corinthians 15:1-11 (the gospel I preached to you)

deathThis is a chapter I’ve been wanting to exegete for a long time. I’ve covered much of 1 Corinthians in previous posts over the years, but only bits and pieces of 1 Cor 15 — and it’s a chapter I find myself turning to more and more often. I’m thrilled to finally get started (and I’m sure you’re glad we’re getting near the end of the book).

(1Co 15:1-2 ESV)  Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand,  2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you– unless you believed in vain. 

It’s a dramatic change in subject. For some reason, near the end of the book, Paul wants to return to the subject of chapters 1 — the gospel. He also calls it “the word.”

Interestingly, most translations translate euaggelizo “preached” in v. 2 although the Greek is clearly “gospeled” or “good news-ed” or “preached good news” (just to confuse us barbarians, a double-g in Greek is pronounced “ng” — hence euangelizo). Continue reading

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BibleWorks 10 released

bibleworks10Longtime readers know that I’m a fan of the Bible research software BibleWorks. They just came out with a major upgrade, BibleWorks 10. And I was so excited about it, I bought the upgrade myself — rather than begging for a free copy in exchange for a review.

(I got BW 8 for free. I paid for the upgrades to 9 and 10.)

I’m still learning the ropes of BW 10, but already it’s clearly a major upgrade. For those buying new, BW 10 includes important new material not included in BW 9 but at the same price. In other words, BW 10 clearly provides more value for the investment dollar than BW 9. Less certain is whether the upgrade from version 9 to 10 is worth the cost (about half the cost of new). The goal of this review is to help you decide exactly that. Continue reading

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1 Corinthians 14:33b-37 (thoughts from the comments)

roleofwomenBefore moving to chapter 15, which is a dramatic change in subject, I thought I’d post some thoughts I wrote in the comments for the benefit of those who don’t read the comments (although everyone really should, as the readers often post remarkably excellent material).

This is really way too long for a single post, but I just can’t bring myself to extend this PepperdineStairsdiscussion for another week — especially since so many participants are at the Pepperdine Bible Lectures (and I’m insanely jealous but my L4/L5 vertebral joint needs fusing, and those of us with really bad backs do not do well at the Stairmaster Lectures (surgery set for May 27)).

So here are thoughts (edited and corrected) in addition to those in the main posts, prompted by some great questions from the readers.

Cultural or counter-cultural?

I was asked in a Facebook comment how Paul decided when to follow culture and when to be counter-cultural — an excellent question. Here’s how I understand Paul’s thinking: Continue reading

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1 Corinthians 14:33b-37 (Wrapping Up Some More)

roleofwomenSo how do we decide? There are all these theories, and even conservative commentators disagree with each other. How do we test right from wrong?

Some would argue from the “clear” language of the passage that we must submit to the clearly stated commands of God. Of course, these same people don’t honor the even clearer commands for women to wear veils, for men to lift holy hands in prayer, or for women to wear no jewelry. And they certainly don’t greet one another with a Holy Kiss — even though these passages are stated in clear, unambiguous language. Continue reading

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1 Corinthians 14:33b-37 (Wrapping Up)


The word used for silence in 1 Tim 2:11-15 is hesuchios, meaning “in quietness” and is much more about demeanor than the actual absence of speech. But in 1 Cor 14:33b-37, Paul uses sigao — a very different word, but a word he used previously regarding prophets and tongue-speakers. And most English translations conceal this (although the ESV does not).

(1Co 14:27-35 ESV) 27 If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret.  28 But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent [sigao] in church and speak to himself and to God.  

29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said.  30 If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent [sigao].  31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged,  32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets.  33 For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.

As in all the churches of the saints,  34 the women should keep silent [sigaoin 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.

Notice the parallelism. Surely Paul means sigao regarding women in much the same sense as he uses sigao with regard to tongue speakers and prophecies. And in those passages, sigao doesn’t mean “don’t speak in church at all” but “stop speaking, to let someone else have a turn.” I have elsewhere gone through every occurrence of sigao in the NT, and it’s typically used in just this sense. And so when women are to stop speaking is when they feel the urge to ask questions of a man — someone else’s husband — who is speaking. Continue reading

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New Post Up at Wineskins: N. T. Wright’s The Meal Jesus Gave Us

imagesReflections on N. T. Wright’s 1999 book The Meal Jesus Gave Us: Understanding Holy Communion. 

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Part 9 of Resurrection Series Up at Wineskins:

emptytombPart 9 of the series on resurrection is up:

Part 9: Conclusions

For those just now catching up, the earlier posts are —

Part 1: A Definition.

Part 2: The early church fathers; Asking better questions.

Part 3: Bodies in the afterlife?

Part 4: 2 Peter 3:10-13: The heavens will pass away

Part 5: The Rapture

Part 6: A New Hope

Part 7: Why song leaders lead bad songs

Part 7: Why song leaders lead bad songs

Part 8: The Thief on the Cross and Lazarus

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1 Corinthians 14:33b-37 (Sorting through the Greek)

roleofwomenBelieve it or not, we’re not done yet sorting through the true meaning of the text.

(1Co 14:33b-37 ESV) As in all the churches of the saints,  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.  36 Or was it from you that the word of God came? Or are you the only ones it has reached?  37 If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord.


Let’s start with v. 35: “If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home.” Oddly, the ESV translators failed to translate a word in the original Greek: idios, meaning “own.” Hence, the NIV more precisely translates, Continue reading

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