1 Timothy 2:11-15 and 1 Corinthians 14:33-40 revisited

3Resurrections
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Re: 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and 1 Corinthians 14:33-40 revisited

Post by 3Resurrections » Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:13 pm

Hi Paidion,

No argument whatsoever with the scriptural requirement for an elder ("presbuterO" individual who was a male-gendered overseer or deacon) being the husband of one wife. Polygamy for male elders was strictly forbidden in the ministry of the early church. But apparently this was not even a necessary point to bring up for any women in the ministry ("presbuterAS" individuals who were female-gendered overseers in II Timothy 5:2). Women are never presented in scripture as having several husbands at one time, although it was frequently the case with men having multiple wives. This was a male-only issue that Paul needed to make a restriction about, because the problem might well have arisen among male candidates for the ministry in those days.

Paidion, what you are doing (as well as others) is making a presumption that, since it is only men that are cautioned to be the husband of one wife, that this automatically means that there were never any women serving as overseers in a congregation. Sorry, that's going beyond the parameters of the context to invent a doctrine. It is making an assumption based on the negative of something not stated in scripture, which is not a sound interpretive method.

Do you remember the group of 70 elders who were prophesying under Moses in the OT in Numbers 11:16? At that time, they were all males. But Moses expressed a fervent wish back then in Numbers 11:29 that ALL THE PEOPLE had become prophets, which would have included both men and women. If Moses had no problem with wishing for women to be prophesying along with men in OT days, who are we to bar womenkind under the "law of liberty" in the New Covenant from exercising freely the same roles? Especially since we have actual examples of this such as the women on Pentecost and afterward speaking in tongues, Philip's daughters prophesying in Acts, the elect lady and her sister church leading the "children" of their assemblies, etc., etc.

It is not good enough to say, "Well, since Jesus and the OT prophets acted a certain way at a certain time (like picking only men for the position of the 12 disciples, and having only men act as priests), then things should always be the same way as they were back then." That mindset sweeps aside the incremental progress that God intended His kingdom to be working towards. ALL of God's children now, both men and women, exercise the role of priests under our single high priest head, which is Christ. And the twelve disciples were only sitting on those twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel in the last 3-1/2 years of Daniel's 70th week, which ended in AD 37. (Hint: we don't have the 12 tribes around anymore.)

Christ "confirmed the covenant with many (of Daniel's people) for one week", from the start of His miraculous ministry in AD 30 until AD 37. After that, the apostle Paul was commissioned by God in the Jerusalem temple vision of Acts 22:17-21 to switch the evangelistic emphasis over to the Gentiles instead of the Jews. The enthroned power of the 12 disciples judging the 12 tribes of Israel was phased out, once the New Covenant church had been firmly established by the 12 apostles of Christ, and the gospel began to spread to the Gentile nations. They committed the oracles of Christ unto other men to keep, and committed their charge to others, who were able to teach others also. They laid the foundation, and others built on their foundation afterwards.

We also can't disregard the fact that conditions under the Old Covenant were not as advanced as conditions under the changed laws of the New Covenant. God has been incrementally restoring the mutual dominion over the planet that Adam and Eve originally BOTH had in Genesis 1:28 before the Fall. Gentlemen in the ministry of this NC age need to graciously lead the way by pulling out a chair for God-qualified women to be seated by their side at the table. It's a pity that women have had to struggle against the flow to fill a place that God has already allowed them to have long ago. God has made His table big enough to accommodate both genders in the ministry - including that of being overseers and deacons as "examples to the flock". No reasonable man should ever feel threatened by a woman acting as an example for him. The ministry of being an overseer is NOT an "office" of authority - an invented word and concept for the ministry that God never intended for either a man or a woman to become. God's Word is the Authority we need.

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Re: 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and 1 Corinthians 14:33-40 revisited

Post by Paidion » Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:36 pm

So do you simply ignore Paul's injunction entirely?

...As in all the churches of the saints, 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. 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. (1 Cor 15: 33-35 ESV)
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Re: 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and 1 Corinthians 14:33-40 revisited

Post by 3Resurrections » Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:08 pm

Hi Paidion,

That's NOT Paul's injunction in I Cor. 14:34-35. Paul is QUOTING from the Corinthian church's earlier letter to him. He responds to that I Cor. 14: 34-35 quote by scolding the Corinthian believers in verse 36-39 for their mistaken ideas on this matter. Paul finishes his correction of their mistaken statement by firmly commanding them to "FORBID NOT TO SPEAK WITH TONGUES." The only possible reference in this context that could be related to "forbidding to speak" would be in those few earlier verses 34-35, where a statement was made forbidding women to speak in the assembly. There is no way possible that Paul would be the one forbidding women to speak in the assembly in verse 34-35, who would then turn around 180 degrees in verse 39 and tell the Corinthians the exact opposite thing to "forbid NOT to speak with tongues". That would be totally contradictory, and make no sense whatever.

We don't have the quote marks in our translations, but I am told that in the original language copies, that there are markings indicating that these two verses 34-35 are indeed quoted material from an outside source. All through this book of Corinthians, Paul was responding to questions that had been directed to him concerning what practices the Corinthian church should be adopting. As indicated in I Cor. 7:1, "Now concerning the things (things plural) whereof ye wrote unto me,..." This question about women speaking in the assemblies was one of those "things" that Paul was addressing in his letter written in response to the Corinthian church's questions. Steve indicated in one of his earlier replies to Danny above that he did NOT believe these two verses 34-35 were a Corinthian church letter quote, simply because it was too long. I'm sorry, but that was a weak rebuttal at best.

We know that Paul had absolutely no problem with women praying or prophesying in the church assembly for the edification of everyone else, because he gave directions on just how and what manner it was to be done in I Cor. 11:5-6 and I Timothy 2:9. Like the men who everywhere were to pray by lifting up holy hands without anger or dissension, Paul desired women also to pray everywhere in the same manner, while being garbed in modest apparel. Women were recommended to do their public praying and prophesying with long hair for their covering, whereas Paul recommended that the men in public church assemblies were to pray and prophesy with their heads uncovered by long hair. Paul writes these things in a manner that presumes women were not voiceless observers only while in the assembly. They were being active, audible participants, along with their brothers in Christ.

Why would God say in Micah 6:4 that "...I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, AND MIRIAM", the prophetess, as if they were all used in guiding the children of Israel during the Exodus, if He later intended for women to be utterly silent in the assembly? It would be contradictory, especially since we have Joel's prophecy predicting (and authorizing) women to prophesy in the NT at Pentecost.

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Re: 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and 1 Corinthians 14:33-40 revisited

Post by Homer » Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:56 pm

3Resurrections:

You wrote:
No argument whatsoever with the scriptural requirement for an elder ("presbuterO" individual who was a male-gendered overseer or deacon) being the husband of one wife. Polygamy for male elders was strictly forbidden in the ministry of the early church. But apparently this was not even a necessary point to bring up for any women in the ministry ("presbuterAS" individuals who were female-gendered overseers in II Timothy 5:2). Women are never presented in scripture as having several husbands at one time, although it was frequently the case with men having multiple wives. This was a male-only issue that Paul needed to make a restriction about, because the problem might well have arisen among male candidates for the ministry in those days.
I hope to make some time to respond to your posts. For the moment I will only comment on the above quote. I'm sure you meant 1 Timothy 5:2. 1 timothy 5:1-2 reads as follows:

5:1. Do not sharply rebuke an older man (presbutero), but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers, 2. the older women (presbuteras) as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity.

As you should know, the primary meaning of presbutero and presbuteras is "old man" and "old woman". The context in the verses above make this plain. Presbutero is used, in a secondary meaning, of an ordained elder. The above verses have nothing to do with the office of elder.

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Re: 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and 1 Corinthians 14:33-40 revisited

Post by steve » Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:11 pm

3Resurrections,

You wrote:
That's NOT Paul's injunction in I Cor. 14:34-35. Paul is QUOTING from the Corinthian church's earlier letter to him. He responds to that I Cor. 14: 34-35 quote by scolding the Corinthian believers in verse 36-39 for their mistaken ideas on this matter.
This is feminist boilerplate. There is not the slightest textual or exegetical support for this agenda-driven argument. There is no example of Paul's ever quoting a critic in more than a single, short statement. A whole paragraph that is not introduced by anything like "Someone will say," is never found in Paul unless it is his own assertion. To avoid looking like a dishonest partisan, please give one shred of evidence for your assertion.

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Re: 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and 1 Corinthians 14:33-40 revisited

Post by 3Resurrections » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:00 pm

Hi Homer,

Oddly enough, I can agree with the way you worded your last statement. It's very true. Referring to I Timothy 5:1-2, as you say, "The above verses have nothing to do with the OFFICE of elder." I'm putting emphasis on the word "office", since these verses actually are about eldership. That's because there is no such thing as an OFFICE of someone being an elder - whether man or woman. It's a SERVANTHOOD. A MINISTRY. An OVERSEERSHIP. Never an "office", which I suspect the KJV translators put artificial emphasis on, in order to make King James happy.

The very word "office" carries too much baggage of assumed authoritarian rule over the Lord's heritage, which the Savior earnestly exhorted the disciples to avoid in Matthew 20:25-27. "...Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. BUT IT SHALL NOT BE SO AMONG YOU: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant."

The place an elder occupies in a church assembly has often been misused by the power-hungry instincts of ambitious men throughout church history. This has led to the role of elders and deacons morphing into something unrecognizable compared to God's original pattern. They have become extremely institutionalized positions; more like an imitation of an organized business corporation, with only a pale reflection of how Christ intended these roles to function in the assembly of early-church believers.

I don't fault men at all for recoiling with horror at the idea of a woman assuming this type of exaggerated authoritarian position. Men would not be normal if they didn't react negatively to the prospect of a woman dictating their lives from a pulpit. The only problem is, we forget that Christ is equally disgusted as well with men assuming this position of exaggerated authoritarian power over their fellow-believers. In other words, the church has gotten too big for its britches, as they say. III John described this same "lordship" mentality with the case of Diotrephes, "who loveth to have the preeminence among them". An old problem, unfortunately carried forward into the New Covenant Age.

With the church being called "the family of God", the pattern I detect for church leadership in the NT, (just like a family), would ideally include both a man and a woman as a team overseeing an assembly together. "Single parent" families are always at a disadvantage. In the same manner, a single preacher leading a congregation is also at a serious disadvantage. Two men leading a congregation could be compared to a same-sex marriage - a true abomination of God's balanced design of one-man-one-woman for the family.

Even Paul in I Cor. 9:5 claimed that he had the right, if he chose to do so, to have a wife or a believing sister accompany him in the ministry as he traveled from city to city, with support for both of them coming from the church. Paul pointed out that the majority of the apostles had wives accompanying them wherever they ministered, as well as the Lord's brothers, and also Peter. Paired man and woman ministry was the original ideal, of which Priscilla and Aquila were but one example.

In Luke 10:1, Christ also sent out 70 disciples in pairs, two by two, into every city where He was going to visit. It's very unlikely that these were all pairs of males being sent out to perform miracles, because there was also a great company of women who traveled with Christ from Galilee (Luke 8:3 and Mark 15:41).

As for the text of I Timothy 5:1-2, yes, I'm aware there is both a primary and a secondary meaning for the words "presbutero" and "presbuteras"; one referring to the senior status of the person's age, and the other to the ordained eldership aspect. However, I believe Paul intended to include BOTH SENSES in this context. Paul was taking the four categories of different-aged overseers/elders in the church, and telling Timothy how he was to relate to each of them.

#1) Older-in-years men who were overseers (presbutero)
#2) Younger-in-years men who were overseers (neoterous)
#3) Older-in-years women who were overseers (presbuteras)
#4) Younger-in-years women who were overseers (neoteras)

The reason I believe the context is referring to all of these four categories above as being overseers, and not just senior citizens and young adults, is that Paul continues in this chapter 5 context to teach Timothy how he was to relate to the overseers / elders.

In the case of the godly, diligent overseers in the church in verse 17, Paul said, "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour..."
In the case of overseers / elders who were accused of wrong-doing in verse 19, Paul said "Against an elder (presbuterou) receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses."
Furthermore, in the case of any elder who was actually found guilty of sinful actions in verse 20, Timothy was to "...rebuke before all, that others also may fear." He was not to rebuke any elders of whatever age or gender (as I Tim. 5:1-2 brought up earlier) unless they were actually found guilty of sin by the witness of two or three persons.

All this counsel to Timothy regarding his relations with the overseers in the congregation had begun all the way back in I Timothy chapter 3. Back then, Paul had given him guidelines for recognizing and selecting men - and women (I Tim. 3:11) - for the work of the ministry. As a final instruction on Timothy's interpersonal dealings with elders of all ages and both genders, Paul told Timothy to "observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality." Timothy was not to be prejudiced against, or to show favoritism for an overseer of any age or either gender.

If Paul had ONLY wanted to refer to the AGE FACTOR of believing men and women in the church in I Timothy 5:1-2, there are other Greek words more specific that he would have used, correct? He could have used the same word for an "older man" - a "presbutes" - that Zechariah, John's father called himself in Luke 1:18. "...I am an old man (presbutes), and my wife is well stricken in years." Or Paul could have used "presbytas", which refers to an aged-in-years man in Titus 2:2. "That the aged men (presbytas) be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience." Or he could have used "presbytidas", meaning an aged-in-years woman in Titus 2:3. "The aged women (presbytidas) likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers..." But he didn't use these terms in I Timothy 5:1-2. He used "presbutero" and "presbuteras" instead, which carries the additional meaning of these being overseers in the assembly - not just ordinary senior citizens in the church.

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Re: 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and 1 Corinthians 14:33-40 revisited

Post by 3Resurrections » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:38 pm

Hi Steve,

Appreciate your taking the time to respond. Please refer to the very last part of my first paragraph which you quoted. The proof that this is a quote from the Corinthians' letter to Paul in verse 34-35 is that Paul refers back to these two verses in verse 39, telling the Corinthians to "FORBID NOT TO SPEAK WITH TONGUES" - a clear reproof of the earlier opinion expressing that women WERE to be forbidden to speak in tongues in the assembly. It's the only possible set of verses in the immediate context that verse 39 could be referring back to. Paul would not voice two conflicting opinions about the same thing in the very same context. Not possible. It HAS to be the Corinthians' letter that he is quoting - and opposing. What does it matter how long the quote is? Must there be a precedent of another long quote in the epistles elsewhere, before we can acknowledge that this one is quoted material as well? If it's true that this is the only occasion in scripture where a portion of a letter was quoted, why would that be a problem? It's very obvious that Paul is going down a sort of checklist of topics that he is covering in I Corinthians, in answer to issues that the Corinthians had brought up to him in a letter. This is only one of those "things" that they had written to him about, as I Cor. 7:1 stated. "Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me..."

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Re: 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and 1 Corinthians 14:33-40 revisited

Post by Paidion » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:13 pm

We don't have the quote marks in our translations, but I am told that in the original language copies, that there are markings indicating that these two verses 34-35 are indeed quoted material from an outside source.


You were told incorrectly. First of all, what is meant by "original language copies"? No original manuscripts of the New Testament any longer exist.
The earliest copies of the passage are found in Papyrus 46 which was copied in the 2nd century. I have a copy of that in modern Greek. I searched the internet for a photo of the manuscript of the passage and couldn't find it. However, here is a photo of a different passage from Papyrus 46. Notice that all Greek letters are in upper case, and that there are no spaces between words. Also there is NO PUNCTUATION of any kind except the use of a stroke over the first and last letters of a word in order to abbreviate it. Thus there is no textual evidence that verses 34-35 of 1 Corinthians 14 is a quote.

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Re: 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and 1 Corinthians 14:33-40 revisited

Post by steve » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:16 pm

The proof that this is a quote from the Corinthians' letter to Paul in verse 34-35 is that Paul refers back to these two verses in verse 39, telling the Corinthians to "FORBID NOT TO SPEAK WITH TONGUES" - a clear reproof of the earlier opinion expressing that women WERE to be forbidden to speak in tongues in the assembly. It's the only possible set of verses in the immediate context that verse 39 could be referring back to. Paul would not voice two conflicting opinions about the same thing in the very same context. Not possible. It HAS to be the Corinthians' letter that he is quoting - and opposing.
This argument does not have the respectability required to warrant to assurance with which you declare it. Paul refers to the "things of which you wrote..." way back in 7:1. Probably everything in chapters 7 through 15 address things of which they wrote in their letter (though this is not necessary to assume). In any case, is it not strange (from the standpoint of your view of 14:34-35) that, in addressing issues raised in their letter, he covers five of their inquiries (in chs.7 through 11) without once quoting their letter—and then he uniquely does so, in chapter 14, without the slightest notice that he is quoting them?

The reference to speaking in tongues, in verse 39, does not refer in any obvious way, to the comments about women in vv.34-35. To say that this is so is sheer imagination. A major purpose of chapter 14. is to rein-in the disorderly practice of tongues in the congregation. At the end of the discussion, he makes it clear that he is not advocating the complete abolition of the gift's use, but is only appealing to the need for order and the priority of edifying the church.

His comment about tongues, in v.39, is so disconnected from his discussion of women (where there is no mention of women speaking in tongues and only reference to women's asking questions in the church) and is so totally harmonious with the rest of the chapter, that the pericope about women is viewed by many scholars as an unnatural transposition from a different part of the letter. I personally see no need for this thesis, and think that Paul's general concern for orderliness explains well enough the inclusion of both the discussion of tongues and of women's disruptive behavior.

Whatever any of Paul's instructions restricting female activities may actually mean (which is a question of exegesis), there is no disjunction in the thought expressed in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 from any of his comments on similar subjects elsewhere (e.g., 1 Cor.11:4-16; 1 Tim.2:9-15; 4:9-14; Titus 2:3-5; Eph.5:22-24; Col.3:18). People may attack, reject, or reinterpret Paul's attitudes in this domain, but no one can reasonably claim that the words of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 are somehow at odds with Paul's attitudes, expressed consistently elsewhere, or that he simply quoted them here from a disagreeable document in order to refute them.

In all pop my exposure to "evangelical feminist" authors and advocates (and there have been many), I have yet to encounter one who came off sounding as if a disinterested love of truth was playing any role in guiding his/her exegesis. The desired conclusion is always in place, prior to inquiry, and the most bizarre and tortured exegesis invariably follows—asserted with such embarrassing confidence.

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Re: 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and 1 Corinthians 14:33-40 revisited

Post by 3Resurrections » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:32 pm

Hi Steve,

Just want you to know that at the beginning of this year I did go through your lecture series that covered the I Cor. 14:34-35 passage in question. For a review, I pulled it up again and listened to your interpretation of it once more. Unfortunately, it looks as if you didn't have time enough in the lecture to completely cover the end of this chapter up to verse 40. I couldn't tell from the way you expressed yourself, but did you or did you not state that I Cor. 14:36-39 was directed to the men of the Corinthian church? Aren't the pronouns used in these verses masculine ones, or are they generically applied to both men and women inclusively in the Corinthian church? If these verses of I Cor. 14:36-39 ARE spoken as directives to the men only of the Corinthian church, then it was the men in particular who received the specific command NOT to forbid speaking in tongues.

Paul gives clear directions in I Cor. 14:31 that ALL in the church were permitted to prophesy eventually, one by one, so that ALL could learn and be comforted. Women were also permitted to prophesy, included in that term "ALL". Once again - why would Paul approve of ALL in the church, without gender exception, having a turn to prophesy in verse 31, and then flip upside-down and forbid women to ever speak in the assembly in verses 34-35? Paul had already spoken of women praying and prophesying in the assembly back in chapter 11, along with men doing the same, which I notice you freely admitted in your lecture. A woman couldn't prophecy without speaking in the assembly, as we know Philip's 4 daughters did. The very purpose of the gift of prophesying was for the mutual benefit of all in the assembly to hear it and benefit from it.

Just as Moses once wished that ALL the Lord's people would be prophesying in Numbers 11:29, Paul also expressed the very same wish - regardless of gender - in I Cor. 14:15. "I would that ye ALL spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied". This included women's participation, and it was to be done - not privately - but "he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification and exhortation and comfort", when they were all come together in the public assembly (I Cor. 14:3).

I agree that none of the words spoken by Paul in I Corinthians 14 are a discordant note compared with his other comments on the activity of women and wives within the body of Christ. But there is nothing in any of the references you cited that denied women the opportunity to speak in the assembly. Not even in I Timothy 2:11-12. In that text, Paul does not use the word for utter silence without speech, (which would be based on the Greek term "sige"). As you are undoubtedly aware, in I Tim. 2:11 he uses the word for "quiet" (hesychia), which is indicative of a calm spirit or state of mind. For that matter, ALL the saints were commanded in I Thess. 4:11 to "study to be quiet (hesychazein) and to do your own business..." Women who were interacting disruptively in the Ephesian church in I Timothy 2:11-12 were to "calm down" in their presentation - not to become absolutely voiceless.

Even back in the OT, women were commanded to join in the congregational responses when the law was read in the public assembly in Deut. 27:11-26. On Mount Gerizzim and Mount Ebal, God desired ALL the people to respond to each curse with an "Amen" loud enough to be heard half a mile away on the opposite mountain. We know women and their little ones were present on that occasion, according to Joshua 8:35.

When I Cor. 14:34-35 says that the "law" commanded silence for women in the assembly, this is the ORAL TRADITION of the law that had been added to Moses' law - which traditions of the law of men Christ was often confronting and correcting during His ministry. You don't have to look very far in Jewish rabbinical writings of the first-century to find made-up rules forbidding a father from teaching his daughter from the Torah in the same way he would instruct his son. "Let the Torah be burned rather than entrusted to a woman" was one famous quote, which probably expressed the general sentiments of first-century Jews with regard to women having any meaningful participation in religious instruction. I believe that it is this attitude which leaked into the Corinthian church, which was endeavoring to silence women from prophesying at all in the assembly in I Cor. 14:34-35.

Steve, you have said above that "no one can reasonably claim that the words of I Corinthians 14:34-35 are somehow at odds with Paul's attitudes, expressed consistently elsewhere, or that he simply quoted them here from a disagreeable document in order to refute them." The one word which shows an abrupt transition from the quoted material of the Corinthians' letter in verses 34-35 over to Paul's response in verse 36 is his sudden exclamation of "WHAT?", followed by his rebuke of their mistaken beliefs. We find this same exclamation scattered throughout his I Corinthians epistle prior to this verse in chapter 14. That one repeated exclamation "WHAT?" precedes all of Paul's other reactions of shocked outrage and offense concerning the misbehaviors in the Corinthian church.

Examples:
#1) I Cor. 6:16 - After asking the ridiculously rhetorical question if Paul should take his body, as the members of Christ, and make them the members of a harlot - God forbid! - Paul asks, "WHAT? Know ye not that he which is joined to a harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh."

#2) I Cor. 6:19 - Continuing the argument against fornication, Paul again asks "WHAT? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?"

#3) I Cor. 11:22 - Here Paul is expressing his displeasure at the Corinthian church's abuse of the Lord's supper remembrance. "For in eating everyone taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another drunken. WHAT? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not."

(This same exclamation of shocked protest is also found elsewhere in scripture - the book of Job has several examples that I can think of off-hand, as found in the LXX in Job 15:7, 16:3, and 21:4.)

If the continuing pattern of Paul's outraged exclamation "WHAT?" is found again in I Cor. 14:36 also, then what is it exactly that is being protested against there? It would have to be the two verses just preceding verse 36. In other words, Paul was expressing outrage at the Corinthian letter's position against women speaking in the assembly in verse 34-35.

Several times already in I Cor. 14, Paul had mentioned ALL being eventually allowed a turn to prophesy in the church gathering (v. 31); also how "EVERY ONE" of the church (both men and women) had a spiritual gift to exercise of presenting a psalm, a doctrine, a tongue, a revelation, or an interpretation (v. 26). All of these are public VERBAL expressions while in the assembly. Moreover, in verses 24-25, Paul says that the blessed result of ALL prophesying in the assembly (both men and women) would lead to having any visiting unbeliever or unlearned person fall on his face in worship to God, confessing that God was in the congregation of a truth. This does not sound as if Paul disapproves AT ALL of both men and women publicly prophesying in the assembly. Paul just wanted to ensure that the men and women of the church would do this in an orderly manner - not a chaotic, confused process that would dishonor God.

Both men and women could verbally prophesy and speak in tongues, as long as they proceeded one at a time, with a maximum of three on each occasion for time limitations, and with an interpreter giving the sense of whatever language was used if tongues-speaking occurred. Interrupting a speaker was allowed by revelation, to either confirm or correct any prophesy being given.

Steve, I'm sorry you have gotten the impression that this is deceptively handling the word of God to claim that I Cor. 14:34-35 is a quote. I believe you wrote that it was "feminist chicanery" to state that verses 34-35 were a quote from the Corinthian church's letter to Paul. I have also been accused before of having a supposed "agenda", when I have discussed Preterist issues with fellow Christians who are pre-mil disp. in their doctrine. This is actually a nearly-impossible charge to prove against someone. How can anyone know the motives of the heart, with no familiar knowledge of the person's history or spiritual background and experience? As I have told others before, the only agenda that I have now is to follow so closely behind my Savior that it would be difficult to distinguish my shadow from His.

Because of the lengthy spiritual abuse from church leaders and my immediate family, I've been forever inoculated against being fearful of anyone's disapproval when I disagree with traditional "doctrines of men", when they are held mainly for tradition's sake. As Paul once explained it, "To my own Master I stand or fall", and finally at this late stage in my life, the ground at the foot of the cross feels level for both men and women. It took a while, but the bitterness and hatred for men has been gently washed from my heart, and I can finally and truly love my brethren in Christ. I actually yearn to commune and fellowship with guys like you, when I once would have feared and avoided you all like the plague, simply for being male.

Through half of our 41-year married life to date, my husband was a long-term abuser as an immature Christian, but changed with counseling by a pastor who eventually ordained him when he finished seminary. I have seen God humble this man by squashing his much-boasted physical strength with various debilitating health conditions, but in exchange, He has put him to good and faithful use for Him, in spite of our past, ugly marital history. God is good. All the time.

You didn't go into particulars in your online testimony, Steve, but from your biography and the unusually sharp tenor of your comments on this subject, it seems to reflect that you have undergone a similar kind of oppression by womenkind during your life. I may be misunderstanding your history, but if not, you have my heartfelt empathy. Our experiences do tend to color how we interpret the Word of God. During my most desperate years of family abuse combined with spiritual abuse at church, I was taught and consequently interpreted Paul's words in I Cor 14:34-35 and elsewhere exactly as you are doing. The result was that I utterly despaired from what I mistakenly thought Paul and the scripture was saying. Parental teaching from my youth was equally toxic, since I was taught that I must obey a husband even should he command me to sin; that once I married, I could never leave and return home for any reason whatever. In compliance, I never left, and I never returned. I prayed for one of three things to end the misery: for me to die, for my husband to die, or for him to cheat on me, granting me release - none of which happened.

From the perspective of hindsight, I can see how God was working behind the scenes during those "Job" years, with an ultimate plan for good. During the last seven intense years of fervent Bible study while referring to scripture in the original languages as best I am able, God has led me to a profound sense of peace in the "law of liberty" - Christ's heart as expressed under the New Covenant, especially with regard to women in the faith. You couldn't pay me enough to abandon my position at Christ's feet now. HIS yoke is truly an easy one, and HIS burden is light.

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