In the last post we talked about how there is no “law” in the Old Testament scriptures that forced women to be silent in the assembly so the reference in 1 Corinthians 14:34, 35 had to be some other “law” that forced silence on women. The “law” that silences women is found not in God’s law, but in the oral tradition of the Jews, now written down in the Talmud.
The next red flag that points to another source other than God’s law, for the saying in verses 34 & 35 is the charge that a woman’s voice is filthy. Verse 35 says:
1 Corinthians 14:35 If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home;for it is improper for a woman to speak in church.
The word translated as “improper” is shameful or filthy. Is a woman’s voice shameful? Is a woman’s voice filthy? The oral law of the Jews said her voice was indecent, filthy and shameful. A woman was not allowed to speak in their congregations for the sake of the men. Her voice was considered a sexual enticement thus a woman was not to speak publicly.
Did God’s word also say anywhere that a woman’s voice is filthy, shameful or indecent as the Jewish oral tradition taught? No, it doesn’t. In fact Paul earlier on in chapter 14 said that everyone was allowed to prophesy in the assembly. If everyone could prophesy, then certainly Paul would not turn around in just a few verses and say that women’s voices were to be silenced because they were filthy.
Tradition is a very strong force in people’s lives. Prejudice follows such tradition and causes many of us not to want to hear a woman’s voice speaking the truth of God’s word. Instead of following tradition, we should see what God’s word says about women publishing the truth.
Psalms 68:11 The Lord gives the command; The women who proclaim the good tidings are a great host.
The word “proclaim” means to publish or make public. God says that there is a great host of women who will take the gospel to the public.
How about you? Have you had any prejudice against women’s speaking forth the Bible? Have you considered their words to be inferior in some way or their preaching to be invalid merely because they are women?