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

roleofwomen“Silent”

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.

Idios

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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1 Corinthians 14:33b-37 (Genesis 2 and the Law)

roleofwomenWe need to read Genesis 2 as Paul would have read the text.

(Gen 2:18 ESV)  18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

This verse begin the narrative of the creation of Eve. Notice that man without woman is the only thing called “not good” in the creation. And so God decides to make a fit helper for Adam.

Now, in English “helper” connotes inferiority. If I’m the cook and you’re my “helper,” you’re subordinate to me. But the Hebrew word carries no such connotation. In fact, it’s almost always used of God as Israel’s helper! A better translation would be “complement.” Continue reading

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1 Corinthians 14:33b-37 (Introduction)

roleofwomen(Seems rather late in the discussion for an introduction, but we really need to gather some context here.)

(1Co 14:33-36 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?

This is a familiar text to those who’ve grown up in a Church of Christ — too familiar most likely, in the sense that we may have read it so many times that we no longer can see it for what it actually says. Continue reading

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1 Corinthians 14:33b-37 (the rhetorical η (ēta))

roleofwomenIn a recent comment, Price pointed out,

Randy Elliott, a CoC preacher out in California will be presenting a teaching class at the Pepperdine Lectures upcoming. It is his contention, which he demonstrates, that the use of “eta” in the sentence structure indicates a quote from another source. He actually demonstrates this in several areas of I Corinthians.

Regarding the passage under discussion, it is his contention that verses 34 and 35 are part of the questions or statements that the leadership in Corinth had written to Paul about to see what his instructions would be or to clarify their understand.. See 7:1a:

“Now concerning the matters about which you wrote …”

Paul responds to their question with two questions of his own in verse 36… 1) Was God revealed only BY men … (NO) … 2) was God revealed only FOR men … (NO) …

(punctuation edited). Interesting … Continue reading

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1 Corinthians 14:33b-36 (Are the verses from the hand of Paul?)

spiritual gifts

At last, we can turn our attention to —

(1Co 14:33-36 ESV)  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 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? 

Now, having carefully worked our way through the earlier portions of 1 Cor 14, it’s obvious that Paul changes the subject here. The topic has been the use of tongues and prophecy in the assembly, and now he starts talking about whether women should be silent in the assembly, only to return to the topic of tongues and prophecy in v. 37. Therefore, the NRSV translators place this portion of the chapter in parentheses. It’s plainly an interruption in the flow of Paul’s thought. Continue reading

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1 Corinthians 14: Summary (except for the role-of-women passage)

spiritual gifts

We’re about to hit Paul’s instructions on the role of women, and so, before we get entirely away from spiritual gifts, we need to reflect just a bit on Paul’s teaching on that topic.

First, to me, of critical importance is Paul’s teaching that the assembly is about edifying the members — helping them become more like Jesus — rather than seeking to convert the lost.

The Restoration Movement was born in the Second Great Awakening, a time of great revival meetings when thousands were converted at “camp” meetings, that is, meetings held out in the woods because the church buildings in town were too small to hold the crowds.

But as important as evangelistic preaching is, it’s not the central purpose of the Christian assembly. The assembly is for the members. It’s perfectly permissible to conduct “meetings” for the sake of the lost, but many churches have forgotten that the point of the assembly is to edify the members, not the visitors.

Continue reading

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Part 8 of Resurrection Series Up at Wineskins: The Thief on the Cross and Lazarus

emptytombPart 8 of the series on resurrection is up:

Part 8: The Thief on the Cross and Lazarus

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

 

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