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Switch to Forum Live View Problems with 1 Corinthians: Male Chauvinism
3 years ago  ::  Nov 16, 2010 - 4:57PM #1
Thunderson82
Posts: 137

"As in all the congregations of the holy ones, let the women keep silent in the congregations, for it is not permitted for them to speak, but let them be in subjection, even as the Law says. If, then, they want to learn something, let them question their own husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in a congregation."-1 Corinthians 14:33b-35 NWT


Strong words from the writer of this text. He is trying to be as clear as possible, "women should be seen, not heard". Hearing a voice of a woman offering praise or prayer or prophesy would be disgraceful in his eyes.


Now let me be clear, I believe that an apostle Paul existed in antiquity. I believe that same man wrote many of the letters attributed to him in the christians greek canon like 1 Corinthians. Chapter 14 he wrote himself. The problem comes when we examine the text in question.


There is good reasons for a careful bible student's ear to tingle when hearing the words of 33b-35. A student of textual criticism would of found a few things odd.


1. Our oldest and best witnesses(i.e. manuscripts) don't agree with the placement of this text. Some copies has the text added at the end of chapter 14. Some has the verse preserved where we see it in the NWT. And still some of our witnesses don't have the text at all. This should give a student pause.


2. The text's ideology differs from what we know of the apostle and the congregations he governed.


I. Women held the position of deacons/ministerial servants-(Romans 16:1)


II. A woman was charged with delivering Paul's letters to the circuit of congregations. NO SMALL CHARGE. With Phoebe carried the weight of Paul's apostolic authority. She acted as his representative.(Romans 16:2)


III. Paul named the wife before her husband in giving a shout out to the pair. Would of been a big "no no" in the ancient world. But Paul did it any way.(Romans 16:3,4)


IV: Paul calls Junia, a woman, "[an] apostle". (Romans 16:7(NWTTC fails to stay true to the text))


V: In the congregation, there is neither "male or female". They are all "one".-(Galatians 3:27,28)


3. The text appears to be foreign to the immediate context. In the verses prior to vs33b-35, the apostle is discusses the role prophets have in congregation meetings. If we look to the verses after vs33b-35, again we find Paul discussing that role prophecy has in christian faith.


If one removes vs33b-35, we see that Paul's original words are healed. Go ahead and read the chapter without the text in question. You would find more continuity of thought in the apostles words. Yes friends, vs33b-35 is foreign to the context of chapter 14.


-TS

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3 years ago  ::  Nov 16, 2010 - 5:16PM #2
Thunderson82
Posts: 137

4. Just 3 chapters earlier Paul reveals how he really feels about women speaking to in congregation meetings.


"but every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered shames her head, for it is one and the same as if she was a woman with a shaved head."- 1 Corinthians 11:5-NWT


I encourage you to read the whole chapter. Paul here is talking about the need for women who offer congregational prayers and prophecies to wear a headcovering when doing so. As a "sign of authority" on their heads(vs10!). This is significant.


Both prayers & prophecy are gifts of the tongue. They require audible words. This is damaging to those that think that Paul wrote both 11:5 and 14:33b-35. The literary evidence doesn't say so!


-TS 

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3 years ago  ::  Nov 16, 2010 - 7:08PM #3
1TruthSeeker1
Posts: 60

Very interesting and informative post. Can you cite the manuscripts that support the reading and the ones that don't have it?

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3 years ago  ::  Nov 16, 2010 - 8:18PM #4
rangerken
Posts: 15,789

This could be a very interesting thread. I see it as opening up the issue of the status of women in biblical times, and an obvious segue into the status of women oday, particularly as viewed by Jehovah's Witnesses. In my role as a board moderator I look for new threads that I believe will offer good opportunities for intelligent discussion and debate. And this thread is, I think, one of these.


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3 years ago  ::  Nov 18, 2010 - 4:28PM #5
Thunderson82
Posts: 137

Nov 16, 2010 -- 7:08PM, 1TruthSeeker1 wrote:


Very interesting and informative post. Can you cite the manuscripts that support the reading and the ones that don't have it?





I don't have the specific reference numbers. But I do have a source for you to consider. The First Epistle of the Corinthians-commentary by Gordon Fee. He goes into dept on why the text in question isn't the original words of the apostle Paul.


-TS

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3 years ago  ::  Nov 18, 2010 - 4:35PM #6
Thunderson82
Posts: 137

Nov 16, 2010 -- 8:18PM, rangerken wrote:


This could be a very interesting thread. I see it as opening up the issue of the status of women in biblical times, and an obvious segue into the status of women oday, particularly as viewed by Jehovah's Witnesses. In my role as a board moderator I look for new threads that I believe will offer good opportunities for intelligent discussion and debate. And this thread is, I think, one of these.


Rangerken, co-host in full thread flack mode




I appreciate the endorsement RK. Too bad it's not finding much traction though.

-TS

Moderated by Beliefnet_community on Nov 18, 2010 - 05:58PM
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3 years ago  ::  Nov 18, 2010 - 8:00PM #7
Knowsnothing
Posts: 1,150

Nov 16, 2010 -- 4:57PM, Thunderson82 wrote:


"As in all the congregations of the holy ones, let the women keep silent in the congregations, for it is not permitted for them to speak, but let them be in subjection, even as the Law says. If, then, they want to learn something, let them question their own husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in a congregation."-1 Corinthians 14:33b-35 NWT


Strong words from the writer of this text. He is trying to be as clear as possible, "women should be seen, not heard". Hearing a voice of a woman offering praise or prayer or prophesy would be disgraceful in his eyes.


Now let me be clear, I believe that an apostle Paul existed in antiquity. I believe that same man wrote many of the letters attributed to him in the christians greek canon like 1 Corinthians. Chapter 14 he wrote himself. The problem comes when we examine the text in question.


There is good reasons for a careful bible student's ear to tingle when hearing the words of 33b-35. A student of textual criticism would of found a few things odd.


1. Our oldest and best witnesses(i.e. manuscripts) don't agree with the placement of this text. Some copies has the text added at the end of chapter 14. Some has the verse preserved where we see it in the NWT. And still some of our witnesses don't have the text at all. This should give a student pause.


2. The text's ideology differs from what we know of the apostle and the congregations he governed.


I. Women held the position of deacons/ministerial servants-(Romans 16:1)


II. A woman was charged with delivering Paul's letters to the circuit of congregations. NO SMALL CHARGE. With Phoebe carried the weight of Paul's apostolic authority. She acted as his representative.(Romans 16:2)


III. Paul named the wife before her husband in giving a shout out to the pair. Would of been a big "no no" in the ancient world. But Paul did it any way.(Romans 16:3,4)


IV: Paul calls Junia, a woman, "[an] apostle". (Romans 16:7(NWTTC fails to stay true to the text))


V: In the congregation, there is neither "male or female". They are all "one".-(Galatians 3:27,28)


3. The text appears to be foreign to the immediate context. In the verses prior to vs33b-35, the apostle is discusses the role prophets have in congregation meetings. If we look to the verses after vs33b-35, again we find Paul discussing that role prophecy has in christian faith.


If one removes vs33b-35, we see that Paul's original words are healed. Go ahead and read the chapter without the text in question. You would find more continuity of thought in the apostles words. Yes friends, vs33b-35 is foreign to the context of chapter 14.


-TS





Interesting topic.


Why does this text corroborate though? 1 Timothy 2:11-15


 11 A womana]" class="footnote">[a] should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man;b]" class="footnote">[b] she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But womenc]" class="footnote">[c] will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.


Paul wrote this as well. Ephesians 5:28


In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.


Authority, or headship, is in no way demeaning to a woman.  Everyone, including man, is ultimately subject to somebody.


----I do have to comment about point IV.  I looked up the text, and she is not called an apostle.


 7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding amongd]" class="footnote">[d] the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.-NIV


7Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.-KJV


She is mentioned among the Apostles(y'know as good christians).  Neither she nor Andronicus were Apostles.

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3 years ago  ::  Nov 18, 2010 - 8:22PM #8
rangerken
Posts: 15,789

I'm going to push this thread a bit. I'm NOT going to offer my own opinions. As all who are regulars here know I do not do that on this board.


BUT, encouraging paticipation is one of my responsibilities not only on this board, but on all boards as a senior moderator. So, how about it folks. What do Jehovah's witnesses have to say about gender equality or inequality? And what do non-JWs think about what JWs think?


Rangerken, co-host

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3 years ago  ::  Nov 18, 2010 - 8:29PM #9
nanalulu222
Posts: 9,020

I found this interesting:


1 Corinthians 14:33-35 states, "...As in all the congregations of the saints, women should  remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must  be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about  something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is  disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church." At first glance, this  seems to be a blanket command that women are not allowed to speak at all  in the church. However, 1 Corinthians 11:5 mentions women praying and prophesying in the church and does not condemn it. Therefore, 1 Corinthians 14:33-35 must not be an absolute command for women to always be silent in church.

The context of this passage, and much of 1 Corinthians, is the order and  structure of the church. The Corinthian church was noted for the chaos  and lack of order that was rampant in that assembly (v. 33). It is  interesting that no elders or pastors are mentioned, and the prophets  were not even exercising control (see vv. 29, 32, 37). Everyone was  participating with whatever expression they desired “whenever” they  desired. This included tongues and prophesying by women who were taking  the lead in the services instead of being submissive, as God’s Word  makes clear (1 Timothy 2:11-15).  Apparently, certain women in the Corinthian church were out of order in  disruptively asking questions publicly in the chaotic services. It is  not coincidental that many modern churches that have tongues-speaking  and claim gifts of healings and miracles also permit women to lead  worship, preach, and teach. Women may be gifted teachers, but they are  not permitted by God “to speak” in such a manner in His churches. In  fact, for them to do so is “shameful,” meaning “disgraceful” (v. 35).

The context of 1 Corinthians 14:33-35 is talking about interpreting and understanding the gifts of tongues and prophecy (1 Corinthians 14:26-32). Therefore, 1 Corinthians 14:34 is not commanding women to be absolutely silent in the church all the  time. It is only saying that women should not participate when tongues  and/or prophecy is being interpreted and tested (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22; 1 John 4:1). This is in agreement with 1 Timothy 2:11-12 which says that women should not teach or have authority over men. If  women were involved in deciding whether a prophecy was truly from God,  they would be disobeying what the Bible says in 1 Timothy 2:11-12.  Therefore, Paul tells women to be silent when tongues and prophecy are  being interpreted so that they will not be disobeying God’s Word.


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3 years ago  ::  Nov 18, 2010 - 9:03PM #10
Oeste
Posts: 3,254

Thanks Nana!


I've found it can be sometimes wiser to let the women speak and the men fall silent when it comes to this area! Wink


 

Never argue with stupid people. They will drag
you down to their level and then beat you with
experience ~ Mark Twain

If you are neutral on situations of injustice
you have chosen the side of the oppressor ~
Desmond Tutu
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