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.

The manuscript evidence is interesting. The Western texts (D F G ar b vgms Ambst) place these verses after v. 40, that is, at the end of the chapter, whereas the oldest texts (א, A, B) place the verses here, where most English translations place them.

Gordon Fee, in his New International Commentary on 1 Corinthians, argues that the best explanation for the verses appearing in two different places is that the verses were not in the original manuscript. The NET Bible translators summarize his argument —

Fee points out that “Those who wish to maintain the authenticity of these verses must at least offer an adequate answer as to how this arrangement came into existence if Paul wrote them originally as our vv. 1Co 14:34-35”(First Corinthians [NICNT], 700). In a footnote he adds,“The point is that if it were already in the text after v. 1Co 14:33there is no reason for a copyist to make such a radical transposition.”

Many consider Fee’s commentary on 1 Cor the premier commentary on that epistle. Richard Hays, one of the world’s premier Paul scholars, agrees with this argument.

The NET Bible translators argue that the text is in fact a marginal insertion — explaining why the location in the text is unclear — but that the insertion was made by Paul himself — explaining why every single manuscript we have includes the text, although in differing locations.

N. T. Wright explains,

Verses 34 and 35—the command to women to ‘keep silence in the assemblies’—don’t occur here in some of the manuscripts. Instead, they are added on at the end of chapter 14, seemingly as a kind of appendix. Since the verses are in any case very odd—Paul clearly assumes in 11:2–16 that women are going to speak during worship—many serious scholars have concluded that the verses were not by Paul, and were added by a scribe who was anxious to keep public worship a matter of male leadership only.
This could be the case, although equally wise and learned people have concluded that Paul really did write the passage. 

Tom Wright, Paul for Everyone: 1 Corinthians, (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 2004), 198.

Wright ultimately says he is inclined to consider the verses authentic.

On the other hand, as noted in the Pillar commentary series —

With thirty-six words it would be an extraordinarily long “marginal note”! One wonders how it could fit in the margin of an epistolary papyrus.

Roy E. Ciampa and Brian S. Rosner, The First Letter to the Corinthians (Pillar NTC; Accordance electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010), 719.

It’s a good question! Ciampa and Rosner suggest that the Western texts relocated the verses to the end of the chapter because they appeared out of place following v. 33 — as is indeed true. That is, they say the verses are original and not even a marginal addition by Paul.

On the other hand, Sampley rejects the text —

This harsh passage, urging women’s silence in church and subordination to their husbands, with an unspecified reference to “the law” as support, is probably an insertion by an editor who subsequently took this Pauline letter and brought it into conformity with the practices regarding women in his own subsequent-to-Paul time. …

If Paul’s letters were collected around the turn of the first and second centuries, as is a reasonable assumption, a time sometimes also argued for the writing of the Pastoral Epistles, then the redactor could readily have inserted 1 Cor 14:34–36 to bring the picture of Corinth’s worship practices in line with what he thought appropriate in his own time. The result: Women should be silent in church and submissive to their husbands, despite the fact that neither of these positions is sustained by the rest of 1 Corinthians nor by the six other undisputed Pauline letters that we can be sure came from the hand of Paul.

J. Paul Sampley, “The First Letter to the Corinthians,” in The Acts of the Apostles-The First Letter to the Corinthians (vol. 10 of New Interpreters Bible, Accordance electronic ed. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2002), 968-970.

Fee and other commentators who reject the passage are not “liberals” who doubt the inspiration of scripture. Rather, they can’t see how to reconcile Paul’s instructions for the women to be silent in light of 1 Cor 11’s description of women praying and prophesying and the preceding portions of 1 Cor 14 that urge all members to participate in the worship by contributing a lesson, hymn, etc. In fact, there’s no hint of a rule limiting the role of women in earlier portions of 1 Cor 14.

Imagine you come from an egalitarian culture. You read 1 Cor 11, which speaks of women praying and prophesying in the presence of men and only requires that the women be veiled when so doing. You then read about the Lord’s Supper, gifts of the Spirit in the assembly, and chapter 13 on faith, hope, and love. You have therefore just read —

(1Co 12:7 NET)  7 To each person the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the benefit of all. 

(1Co 12:11 NET)  11 It is one and the same Spirit, distributing as he decides to each person, who produces all these things. 

(1Co 12:18 NET)  18 But as a matter of fact, God has placed each of the members in the body just as he decided. 

(1Co 12:21 NET)  21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I do not need you,” nor in turn can the head say to the foot, “I do not need you.” 

(1Co 12:22-25 NET)  22 On the contrary, those members that seem to be weaker are essential,  23 and those members we consider less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our unpresentable members are clothed with dignity,  24 but our presentable members do not need this. Instead, God has blended together the body, giving greater honor to the lesser member,  25 so that there may be no division in the body, but the members may have mutual concern for one another. 

And so far, you’ve not encountered the least hint that women must be silent in the assembly. In fact, your reading would be that women are and should be very actively engaged in the assembly. In particular, you’d conclude that women should exercise their spiritual gifts because they were given to them by the Spirit. In fact, the less dignity or importance a person has in a given society, the more likely it is that the Spirit would gift that person, with the expectation that the gift would demonstrate how essential that person is to the church.

Then you read chapter 14:1-33a, and again, there’s not a hint of gender restrictions. Paul repeatedly speaks of “all” or “everyone” exercising spiritual gifts in the assembly, including tongues and prophecy, which plainly involving speaking in the assembly. And he does not limit any of his arguments to men.

When you get to 14:34-35, you are surprised and confused. Not only has Paul changed the subject, he seems to have changed positions. You go back and re-read the earlier portion of chapter 14 to see if you missed something suggesting that only men may speak in the assembly, but the language is uniformly gender neutral.

The English translations often uses “himself” or “he” to refer to a hypothetical prophet or tongue speaker, but the Greek is gender neutral until we get to vv. 34-35. For example,

(1Co 14:23 ESV)  If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds?

The Greek for “all” (pantes)  and “you” is not limited to men.

Just so, in —

(1Co 14:24-25 ESV)  24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all,  25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.

— the several masculine pronouns are added by the translators. There are no gendered pronouns in the Greek in these verses. But if vv. 34-35 are from Paul, we have take “all” in v. 24 to mean “all men” — although no Greek reader would see the Greek there as referring only to men.

Hence, many recent translations use gender-neutral language to more accurately reflect the Greek. For example,

(1Co 14:24-25 NRSV) 24 But if all prophesy, an unbeliever or outsider who enters is reproved by all and called to account by all.  25 After the secrets of the unbeliever’s heart are disclosed, that person will bow down before God and worship him, declaring, “God is really among you.” 

As a result, our hypothetical reader from an egalitarian culture would be shocked when he gets to vv. 34-35, since up to that point Paul has been using gender-neutral language to refer only to men. Such an odd way to write! Why make it appear that Paul is addressing both men and women, only to impose this restriction at the end of all these chapters on the assembly and gifts?

Indeed, to be consistent with verses 34-35, you’d have to modify the text quite a lot, something like this —

(1Co 14:1-33a NET) Pursue love and be eager for the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy [if you are male].  2 For the one [who is a male] speaking in a tongue does not speak to people but to God, for no one understands; he is speaking mysteries by the Spirit.  3 But the one who [is a male and] prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouragement, and consolation.  4 The one [who is a male] who speaks in a tongue builds himself up, but the one [who is a male and] who prophesies builds up the church.  5 I wish you all [who are male] spoke in tongues, but even more that you [who are males] would prophesy. The one who [is male and] prophesies is greater than the one who [is male and] speaks in tongues, unless he interprets so that the church may be strengthened.  

… 12 It is the same with you. Since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, seek to abound in order to strengthen the church [but only men should seek gifts that require speaking in the assembly].  …

23 So if the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues [but just the men], and unbelievers or uninformed people enter, will they not say that you have lost your minds?  24 But if all prophesy [really, just the men], and an unbeliever or uninformed person enters, he will be convicted by all, he will be called to account by all.  25 The secrets of his heart are disclosed, and in this way he will fall down with his face to the ground and worship God, declaring [if he is a man], “God is really among you.”  

26 What should you do then, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each one [who is a man] has a song, has a lesson, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all these things be done for the strengthening of the church.  27 If someone [a man, that is] speaks in a tongue, it should be two, or at the most three, one after the other, and someone [also a man] must interpret.  28 But if there is no interpreter, he should be silent in the church. Let him speak to himself and to God.  29 Two or three prophets [but men only] should speak and the others [who must be men] should evaluate what is said.  30 And if someone sitting down receives a revelation [and that person is a man], the person who is speaking should conclude.  31 For you can all [if you are men] prophesy one after another, so all can learn and be encouraged.

It’s considerations such as these that cause many conservative scholars to question the authenticity of vv. 34-35. It’s just really hard to reconcile these verses with the first half of chapter 11 and the gender neutrality of all that’s in between (often concealed in the English).

My own position is, well, that the question ultimately doesn’t matter because you get to the same result either way — although it takes some serious study to see that. And so we’ll take up these verses in the next few posts assuming them to be authentic, to see where that assumption takes us.

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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93 Responses to 1 Corinthians 14:33b-36 (Are the verses from the hand of Paul?)

  1. Dwight says:

    Price, You say, “Now regarding the “men”… Joel’s prophesy says that God will empower women with spiritual gifts which must be spoken..”, which I don’t argue against. There are examples of women prophesying in the NT and I Cor.11:1-16 give credence to this, but I Cor.14 is addressing “if the whole church comes together…”, which is an assembly situation. This why even the men are told to keep silent if they cannot edify the assembly without an interpreter.
    Ch.7:1 is far off from Ch.11-14 and many changes of context happen. Paul is addressing problems, but different problems among the saints in general and then he gets specific to gifts in in general and then in the assembly in I Cor.12-14.
    And then there is I Timothy 2:11-12, which seems to echo the same sentiment.
    Mind you this is a women in submission or keeping silent and not made to be silent and this might only when men are in the role of teaching or speaking out over a man or taking the chair and doesn’t mean total complete silence. But it surely was meant to be applied.

  2. Alan says:

    I’m quite tired of hearing the argument about 1 Cor 11:1-16. That passage is definitively not talking about the assembly, as verse 17 (contrasted to verse 2) makes abundantly clear. I am and will remain completely unpersuaded that women were permitted to prophesy in the assembly on the basis of 1 Cor 11.

    God only has to say something once for it to be authoritative. But he’s also spoken on the subject in 1 Tim 2:12. And it’s clear that the post-apostolic writers (Tertulian, Cyprian, Constitutions of the Holy Apostles) understood him that way, in both passages. It takes a lot of hubris to say that we know more about the original manuscripts than those men did.

    These passages are quite inconvenient in modern western culture. But they are not the only ones. I don’t think that’s justification for removing them from the canon. That’s pretty risky business, and I’m not willing to go there.

    Sorry to be a little blunt here but I think someone needs to say these things, in language that can’t be misunderstood.

    Jas 3:1 Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

  3. Alabama John says:

    if what some think about women being silent is true, then its easy to understand Paul being single.

  4. John F says:

    “I’m quite tired of hearing the argument about 1 Cor 11:1-16. That passage is definitively not talking about the assembly, as verse 17 (contrasted to verse 2) makes abundantly clear. I am and will remain completely unpersuaded that women were permitted to prophesy in the assembly on the basis of 1 Cor 11.” Well said, Alan

    It is an assumption that women were prophesying in the assembly; the same is true of Phillip’s daughters. NOWHERE in the NT is there an unambiguous example of a woman speaking in the assembly. They MAY have been , but direct evidence is lacking.

    Alan is correct to point out the hubris of OUR becoming judges of the canon. This has nothing to do with justifiable efforts of textual criticism. Forever true is that 36 (or even 2) words of scripture outweigh 3600 pages of modern critique and remodeling of doctrine. What has made this possible to consider is considering “scripture as a narrative story”.

    1John speaks clearly of those who claim to have a higher knowledge, but do not know the truth.

    It could well be that Corinth was alone in having “problems” with the women, but I would not be dogmatic about that statement.

  5. Price says:

    Alabama John… LOL

    Dwight.. You said it “wasn’t total and complete silence..” Huh ? Either you argue for silence which seems easy to define, or you don’t.. Partial silence isn’t silence… and in I Cor 14 I don’t see any limitation to prophesying or using any of the empowering gifts to just men… That’s not in the text from what I can tell… Especially since we have examples of women and the prophesy of Joel.

    Alan.. so you believe that when men and women are present that a woman was instructed to cover her head if she prayed publicly in their presence.. but, this was restricted to outside of a building instead of inside one… That’s odd. And, if anything is “westernized” it is this concept of worship only happens inside a church building between 10-noon.. It seems more like Temple activities than the regular gatherings of people in their homes.. Not sure I agree with your I Tim assertion either.. singing is described by Paul as a form of teaching and admonishment.. How could a woman sing without therefore teaching ? Were women to not sing ? Silly. Most feel that this passage was a corrective measure as well… God used Deborah as a Judge, not her husband. God used Huldah as a prophetess, not her husband. Anna served in the Temple as a prophetess.. There were women in the NT who were prophetesses… OK to prophesy outside the building but not inside one ? What if it was raining ? Again, silly. God has ALWAYS used women.. Even Miriam was listed as one of the leaders along with Moses and Aaron by God.. You are right.. when God does something and gives us an example…we should pay attention.. It seems unlikely that He would give women spiritual gifts and then tell them not to use them.. in a building.

  6. Dwight’s last post reminds us of an interpretive problem that arises when we make the passage as traditionally read a “hill to die on”. The fact is that we do NOT, in any CoC congregation of which I am aware, bar women from asking questions of men other than their husbands, nor do we require them to limit their questions to marital conversation at home. If we must believe the entire passage as we read part of it, then we are universally in rebellion to this clear instruction, for reasons we are unwilling or unable to articulate. If, however, our own variant observance of this passage is viable, then the least measure of humility requires that we admit that others might also vary from the passage without incurring the displeasure of the Almighty.

  7. alan says:

    Charles, I like the sound of that. We are fallible and we might be wrong. That’s “we” on both sides of the issue. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to learn that both sides are wrong in some way. We certainly need grace, and we need to be generous in giving grace to others.

    OTOH, each of us must obey what we believe the scriptures say. We can’t willfully do otherwise, whether due to inconvenience or to keep the peace. There is really only one person’s displeasure that matters. We need to regard the differing convictions of others with respect. That’s hard to do… and I know I don’t always do that as well as I ought.

    I think 1 Cor 14:34 is in our Bibles for a reason. There is something in it for us to obey. It could hardly be expressed in clearer and more emphatic language. I can understand someone coming to a conviction about what it means and obeying that. I have a much harder time accepting someone’s decision to reject the authority of the passage. That’s not justified by the evidence.

  8. Dwight says:

    Allan, I see, but don’t agree that it is all about assembly. It starts where Paul says it does in ch.14.
    Price, They were talking over each other, but if you are told to not speak and to let the other speak you are placing the other in front of you, which to me is submitting yourself to another, but still they were told to supress thier gift of tongues in place of another who could express it who had an interpreter. Rom. 12 talks of gifts and humility, which was a problem in Corinth, I Cor.12.
    Charles, It is possible we might be wrong on the the intepretaion, but then again if that is possibly true then we might be wrong in the application as well. While I don’t see it done, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done. I would rather have a woman follow this passage even if it means being silent and asking her husband at home, then not, if that is her understanding.
    I believe 2 Tim.3:16. I would rather try to apply it and maybe do it wrong, then not apply it and shelf it as not applicable or doable. We do this with too many other scriptures that we think aren’t meant for us, but was meant for them, even when we are like them in the same exact way.

  9. Price says:

    Dwight, I’m confused about what correlation you wish to achieve relative to the restriction some place on women being engaged in the assembly by pointing out that each person is capable of being respectful toward others relative to the exercise of their gifts, doing so in an orderly fashion and following Paul’P is admonition to avoid speaking publicly in tongues without someone being present with the capability of interpretation… ?? It appears to me that they have absolutely nothing to do with one another.

  10. John F says:

    “I assume your position is that they can’t pass a communion tray standing up. We just disagree.”
    I do not deny the “prophetess” passages in any way. My point is about “when you come together”
    which clearly indicates the assembly of the believers. Where is the CLEAR example of female prophets speaking in the “when you come together time such as: 1 Cor 5:4 When you gather together in the name of our Lord Jesus, (NET) the congregation was to exercise church discipline. Do we have a comparable passage that “when you come together” that identifies the prophetess speaking to the congregation?

    Yes, indeed, we have too often limited our understanding of worship; but we ignore DIRECT statements of the word at great peril.

    In IM, many wish to say that silence of scripture gives consent; yet here, where scripture speaks — the scripture cannot be held to its’ clearest and most specific message. Look at my earlier post re: ambiguous application, but still the direct intent to honor the clear words of scripture.

    This discussion has just begun, I’m sure, as Jay points us to Buried Talents theology again.

    Jay: “My own position is, well, that the question [about authenticity of the passage] ultimately doesn’t matter because you get to the same result either way — although it takes some serious study to see that. And so we’ll take up these verses in the next few posts assuming them to be authentic, to see where that assumption takes us.”

    We know where Jay seeks to “take us” in Buried Talents

  11. John F says:

    Price, Women already pass communion trays up and down the aisles; sometimes they even stand to reach the adjacent aisle. I really have no negative to say regarding such. The passing of communion is a historically recent happening.

    I think it was James Harding some 100 years ago who said, “It is about purpose, not place.” Certain things are appropriate in certain places and other things are not. Can this become confusing in application? Of course. But the intent to honor the distinction need not be.

    I am sure there is more to come . . . . .

  12. Price says:

    John F.. In order to agree with you I would have to accept the premise that a woman can provide exhortation, edification and admonition to the local assembly with words given to her by God Himself only if it is not in a group assembled for the sole purpose of praising God and being encouraged by the Holy Spirit with the very words you apparently believe are now prohibited. Brother, I am beyond able to accept that as a correct understanding. How many must be in an “assembly” for women to be restricted : Two ? Was a woman restricted to communicate information given to her by God with other women only ? I honestly don’t see that picture being painted by Paul or any other writer in the NT…

  13. Johnny says:

    Can someone explain why you think this scripture is binding on all Christians of all times and John 13:14-17 is not? Explain your method of scriptural interpretation and how it views one as binding and the other as not. Also could you greet each other with the Holy Kiss each week, on the cheek or lips? Or if you do not please explain how you determine that Paul’s instruction in that matter is not binding on us and these verses in I Corintians are. You see I don’t understand when and how you discard some verses as cultural and timely and others as all encompassing and timeless. Is there a formula I should use? I may disagree with you and that’s ok, but I seek to understand your method of determining this. There has to be a consistent way of dealing with scripture otherwise we are left with inconsistencies that the world picks to pieces.

  14. John F says:

    Johnny, there may well be things we have wrongly applied to “cultural understanding” that we should not have. I have been “guilty” of a “holy kiss” (on the cheek) from time to time (always in a public setting where there is no room for misinterpretation). The practice is still fairly common in the mid east. We in the west have fallen prey to English Victorianism. We have an often confusing and in recent decades a changing and confusing means of interpreting scripture. An excellent on views toward scripture in the Restoration Movement is “Attitudes and Consequences” by Home Hailey. It should be required reading for all who wish to understand Biblical interpretation among Restoration Movement churches.

    Price, I do not care about agreeing with James Harding; my only point is that there is something special about coming together “as a church (body of believers). The pragmatic approach that says, as Jay had implied if not stated, “Anything that edifies is okay” fails to properly give honor – consideration – respect to apostolic authority as expressed in the worship of the early church.

  15. Johnny says:

    John but what of the verses in John I referenced? I know of no CoC that practices foot washing, but Jesus seems to clearly say this is something that should be done. We ignore it, possibly correctly saying it was not meant for us, but how do we define which things are binding on all Christians for all times and which are not. Unless we have a consistent rational well thought out method we end up with constituent fights over these issues, and our proofs for what we believe are built on a foundation of shifting sand

  16. John F says:

    Price, look at the earlier post. Inconsistencies in application do not negate the principle involved. Use your best judgment, which may be expressed differently in different areas.

  17. Price says:

    John F.. I have no doubt that you love the Lord will all your heart soul and mind. Just because we disagree makes neither one of an abomination to the Lord.. we are doing our best to do what He wants.. Agreed ? That being said.. Inconsistencies in application ?? Really ?? The only two lessons EVER preached or taught in a CoC gathering from I Cor 12-14 is women should remain silent and that gifts have passed away.. Neither is accurate but Lord knows you won’t hear about desiring earnestly to prophesy.. It’s like the long ending of Mark 16… everybody that is a water sacrament person uses verse 16 but refuses to acknowledge the verses about drinking poison or handling snakes as a sign of a true believer.. LOL.. It’s definitely an inconsistency of application alright.. Pick and choose theology.

  18. Pingback: 1 Corinthians 14:33b-37 (the rhetorical η (ēta)) | One In Jesus

  19. Alabama John says:


    Its all about obeying what you believe is right. How the Bible is torn apart by all the denominations cannot ever be understood perfectly by any of us.

    Understanding we too may be doing something wrong and chances are great we are wrong on many things as well as others leaves all of us humans subject equally to the grace and mercy of God.

    Thank God He will be doing the judging of our hearts instead of we humans judging how we think you did what the human judges thought was right.

    With human judges, it would be a roll of the dice to get a judge that interpreted what was right in or out of your favor even among those of us in the church of Christ.

  20. Dwight says:

    Price, your run on sentence confounded me as I am not sure the point you were making to my point. So I am going to leave it alone. Actually, I have heard countless lessons on love from I Cor.12-14. “Handling snakes and drinking poison is a sign of a true believer”? Scripture please. I wasn’t aware of a direct statement where this is argued for. This means that everyone in Acts 2, 3000 people, had to drink poison or handle a snake. I don’t recall Peter saying, “Repent and be baptized and oh yes, drink this poison, if you survive, then you truly believe.”
    Mark 16:18 is a sign that would follow the saved, but wasn’t a sign they were saved. Not all of the saints had the same gifts. It was a general statement about the whole of the saved or those who believed. But Mark 16:16 is directed to “he who believes and is baptized”.
    Everyone, we make decisions based on our observations, not on application, although there should be some level of application if the argument is direct and strong enough.

  21. Dwight says:

    The “holy kiss” has yet to be defined by a hard type just as the ground that Moses stood on is hard to define by a hard type, so it must be defined by approach. The kiss (or even handshake) is holy because of our approach to the other person. Holy doesn’t change what it looks like, but what it is as seen by us. When we become a saint, we become holy, set apart, not because we look different, but because of how we are to see ourselves in relation to the world, which is unholy.
    We should probably try washing one another’s feet from time to time. It couldn’t hurt, but I am not sure it is a command of action, but rather a command of submission and service.
    I Cor.11:1-16 gets passed over all of the time, despite the fact it is clear and direct.

  22. John F says:

    BTW, I washed an elder’s feet just a few months ago. When I had a screen print business, I annually would print large towels for a congregation that went to another congregation to wash their feet — a sign of service

    Price “The only two lessons EVER preached or taught in a CoC gathering from I Cor 12-14 is women should remain silent and that gifts have passed away.” Really? Certainly here is a statement without substantiation. I know we may not agree; knowledge should lead to humility ( Rom 1:22-23 . . Professing to be wise, they became fools,. . ) neither hubris nor pride.

  23. Randy Elliott says:

    (The 1″b” part is a type-o) Blogs are not as forgiving as Facebook. 🙂

  24. alan says:

    Randy wrote:
    >> Also, my perspective is not based upon Greek nuances.
    >> It is based upon the logical flow of the arguments made
    >> in the text and the obvious contradictions that set apart
    >> what Paul is quoting from what Paul is teaching.

    Ok that is helpful. So your new perspective on 1 Cor 14:34 isn’t based on better evidence but on your own different interpretation of the same evidence that everyone has seen for almost 2000 years. Someone else might have a different interpretation about what is an “obvious contradiction” in that passage.

  25. Randy Elliott says:

    Other examples:

    1 Corinthians 6:12-13 KJV 2000

    12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient:
    all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

    13 Foods for the belly, and the belly for foods: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.

    NOTICE the difference in the most recent NIV

    12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—
    but not everything is beneficial.

    “I have the right to do anything”—
    but I will not be mastered by anything.

    13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

    There is significant change in the message of 6:13 when read with the quotes. In the KJV the colon sets off “but God shall destroy them both” as responsive to the “food for the stomach…” statement. But translators have noticed that the statement should be extended to include the “God will destroy” comment as well BECAUSE the passage argues for God’s PURPOSE for our bodies and NOT that he will destroy them.

    The entire letter needs to be read with this dynamic in mind to sort out what are the ISSUES Paul is dealing with FROM the CORRECTIVES he is offering. Everything that I am trying to present on this letter looks at the text in this same way. My only goal is to find the most accurate way to follow the argument of the text. I make no applications to what people are doing in their church gatherings. Exposition. That’s all.

    Unfortunately, it is my experience that so many of us are so caught up in the defense of what we have been taught that we have difficulty with objective evaluation of the material.

  26. Randy Elliott says:

    Alan, my READING of the passage in 1 Cor. 14:34-35 is COLORED by my understanding of the entire letter and a dynamic that is only recently being recognized. The evidence for the dynamic itself is the letter itself. Either there is contradictory argumentation occurring, which we Bible believers don’t believe can be true, or there is a point counterpoint style (Socratic, I believe) that Paul employs.

  27. Randy Elliott says:

    Alan wrote “So your new perspective on 1 Cor 14:34 isn’t based on better evidence but on your own different interpretation of the same evidence that everyone has seen for almost 2000 years.”

    Alan, These verses have been the subject of controversy since the early church fathers. The placement of them in the chapter after v.33 or after v.40, whether they are an interpolation from a marginal note, and more. I am not sure what you think “everyone has seen for 2000 years.”

    Gordon Fee admits that there exists considerable doubt about the authenticity of these verses. Is that what YOU have seen?

    Fee also says “very little of the two verses fits into the present argument.” (p.701)

    Is this what YOU have seen?

    Perhaps I misunderstood your meaning? But it sounded to me like you were suggesting that there is some WAY EVERYONE has viewed this material for 2000 years. This text is FRAUGHT with difficulty. I believe that I can help unravel some of its mystery (at least the mystery acknowledged by the best scholarship of our day on the matter, if by no one else

  28. Alabama John says:

    Hundreds or even thousands of years from now, those writing on here may be viewed as scholars and quoted.

    Before we get to deep in Greek interpretation, think how many of those quoted Greeks or those existing today agree with us and have become members of the church of Christ.

    If we believe that Greeks understand scripture better than we do, we should all become Greek Orthodox or Catholic.

    Don’t just pick out a word, thought, or phrase or two, go all the way, whole hog!

  29. Randy Elliott says:

    And Dwight, each passage of scripture must be understood for what it teaches first. It would be fruitless to start an examination of another passage when we cannot even discuss this one. If we had been discussing Timothy and I corrected some common misunderstandings, you might be inclined to cite 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 in support of your position. Can you see how much would be involved in my going over to 1 Cor. 14:34-35 to address what it says there and how reluctant you would be to hear any challenge to a traditional understanding of it? We might as well just stay here and try to sort this one out, if we can, or just leave it be in regard to one another. It seems to me.

  30. Alabama John says:

    Alan, Proverbs 31, the virtuous woman did many what we perceive as manly things back then.
    I bet she spoke in church.

    Interesting that the only colors I remember being mentioned women wearing while worshiping and praying that must of been approved by the apostles was purple, like Lydia.. Can we make a case out of that for our women to be required to wear today.

  31. Dwight says:

    Price, I am a champion for thinking that doesn’t follow the establishment as long as the thinking follows scripture. It is obvious that Paul is addressing issues in 1 Cor. and even 2 Cor., but what is not so obvious is where Paul says one thing that is not his to say. Or maybe there is. When Paul argued for his judgment he made it clear it was his judgment. Now in I Cor.14: 36-38 “Or did the word of God come originally from you? Or was it you only that it reached? If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord. But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant.”
    Paul makes it clear that what he wrote wasn’t his to write, but the Lord’s, even in light of their prophesies and spiritual gifts. Since Paul tells those speaking tongues to keep silent without an interpreter it is not out of the question that he would address others that he would also have be silent during the assembly….women. Paul doesn’t argue for silence of either groups when not in assembly so there is continuity of thought. And we can see where women spoke prophesies in the streets and at home, so this also is not a contradiction as it is not the assembly.
    But if vs.34-35 is a footnote, then why not vs.26-33, which also argues for silence and then why not vs.3-17 which argues for an interpreter. IT is clear that Paul is following a progression of thought with related thoughts. And it is clear that these questioned thoughts aren’t put forward in the form of a question as you might expect a footnote to be, but of a statement.
    And again we are faced with a similar statement in I Tim.2:11-12 by the same writer who is telling Timothy a similar thing while addressing other similar issues.

  32. Dwight says:

    Price, put it this way. I am pro-application, but not pro-condemnation, meaning that I will push for application where it argues for it, even when there might be a question of how it got there, because it is there. I would rather us, us personally try to approach from the side of application of that which we read, instead of trying out hardest to get around it. But having said that I also will not try to force this on anyone as it is “as I Cor.14 says a matter of being “submissive”. We should all be submissive to one another and we don’t do this very well.
    If as you say Paul did place v.34 as a footnote, then how can we be sure that most if not all of I Cor.14 is not a footnote as well, or basically everything after the point of the “eta” as vs.36-38 is arguing for everything before it as coming from Him?
    How do you know what is a footnote and what isn’t?
    From what I can see it becomes a matter of what we think and not a surety. It becomes a guessing game. Now I am a great supporter of using word meanings instead of transliterations, as I think it would be much better to use immersion instead of baptism and congregation instead of church, but those words are there and are not a matter of guesswork or grammar or structure. It is strange that even the most literal of translations don’t see what you are seeing grammatically.
    Even NT Wright who makes the suggestion says, “With thirty-six words it would be an extraordinarily long “marginal note”! One wonders how it could fit in the margin of an epistolary papyrus.” and ultimately as authentic. And when Sampley questions it he uses the word “probably an insertion” and yet doesn’t have proof one way or the other.
    And it is strange that if this is a footnote, then Paul doesn’t answer the proposition in the negative, but allows it to stand or not be answered at all.
    God Bless, Dwight

  33. Ray Downen says:

    I hope that Randy’s presentation at Malibu will be made available at an affordable price for all to read and ponder. I agree with those who put the “As in all the churches” with the verse preceding it rather than with the statement following. I early learned that women needed to respect men, especially the one they married, but all men.

    In the church where I was a teenager there was a woman who taught with skill and was forbidden by our elders to teach any Sunday School class except the ancient ladies. She graciously started a “class” in her home (hers and her husband who was in Europe fighting a war) for teens which attracted all the church youth and many others of a similar age.

    She taught by coaching one of the young men of the church who did the actual teaching of the group, and by private conversation with any who had a question or comment. Until she began this group, the church young people had little obvious interest in church matters. Following her encouraging, four young men went to Bible College and have served the church well in following years. She blessed us all.

    I don’t want to brag about being one who was taught by a woman. She taught almost everything that I later was taught again as a Freshman in Bible College.

  34. John F says:

    Randy: “If we had been discussing Timothy and I corrected some common misunderstandings, you might be inclined to cite 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 in support of your position. Can you see how much would be involved in my going over to 1 Cor. 14:34-35 to address what it says there and how reluctant you would be to hear any challenge to a traditional understanding of it?”

    Since Paul introduces these comments with “As in all the churches”, why is it not proper to see how he had instructed other churches, i.e Ephesus /Timothy?

    You have gone to some length to establish eta as a Pauline rhetoric. Do you see another passage of similar length and construction?

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