Galatians 3:28 is it only about salvation?

Galatians 3:28 is it only about salvation?

noah's ark-Women-In-Ministry-blog-Cheryl Schatz

According to complementarians, Galatians 3:28 is not about equality in Christ, but about all of us being in the same “boat” of salvation.   The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) has made quite an effort to try to demolish Galatians 3:28 as a basis of spiritual equality outside of salvation.  Instead, they say that this verse is only about the equality we have in Christ in regards to salvation.  In Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood pages 71-72, John Piper and Wayne Grudem comment:

The context of Galatians 3:28 makes abundantly clear the sense in which men and women are equal in Christ: they are equally justified by faith (v. 24), equally free from the bondage of legalism (v. 25), equally children of God (v. 26), equally clothed with Christ (v. 27), equally possessed by Christ (v. 29), and equally heirs of the promises to Abraham (v. 29)…Galatians 3:28 does not abolish gender-based roles established by God and redeemed by Christ.

But is Galatians 3:28 only about equality in salvation?  Let’s have a close look at the book of Galatians to find out if this is true.

Paul speaks about agitators who had come into the community and had thrown the Galatians into confusion (Galatians 5:12).  These agitators were false brothers, Judaizers and the “party of the circumcision” and they had come into the congregation to spy on the liberty that the Christians had in order to persuade them to come back into bondage.

Galatians 2:4  But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage.

Paul describes in his letters some of the areas that the Judaizers were working to bring Christians into bondage and causing the Jews to treat some with prejudice.  In Galatians 5:2, these men were trying to bring circumcision into the congregation of Gentiles.  Also in 1 Corinthians 14:34, 35 these followers of the Jewish oral law were trying to silence women in the congregation and they wanted to stop women from public learning.

In Galatians 2:11-14 Paul says that the “party of the circumcision” had even influenced Peter so that he withdrew himself and wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles.  When the Judaizers came along, (Paul calls them false brethren in Galatians 2:4), Peter was influenced to turn away from the Gentiles treating them as second class citizens unworthy of fellowship.  Paul soundly rebuked Peter for his hypocrisy.

The issue was not about salvation but about sanctification – the outworking of our faith.  Were the new Gentile converts required to follow the Jewish laws to progress in their faith?  Paul writes in chapter two that there is an acknowledgment that salvation comes through faith:

Galatians 2:16 nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus…

Yet even with receiving salvation through faith in Christ Jesus, the Galatians were being influenced to “work out their salvation” by buying into the bondage of the false brethren that sanctification now comes through the works of the Law.  Paul rebukes them in chapter three:

Galatians 3:1  You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?

Galatians 3:2  This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?

Galatians 3:3  Are you so foolish:?  Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

In verse five Paul continues to deal with the outworking of the faith by giving the example of Abraham:

Galatians 3:5  So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?

The Holy Spirit working miracles among them was not given to them because of the works of the law.  The evidence of their sonship and the blessings they received after salvation was the very thing that the Old Testament predicted.  Paul writes:

Galatians 3:8  The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.”

It isn’t just salvation that comes by faith but sanctification allowing one to abide in Christ by faith.  Paul emphasizes that the living-out part of our sanctification must come by faith.

Galatians 3:11 Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”

Paul is not saying here that one comes into righteousness by faith, although this is certainly true.  Paul is saying that one must LIVE by faith.  This is the outworking of their faith and the very reason that Paul was chastising the Galatians who wanted to live out their faith by adding works.

Paul then instructs the Galatians that the way you live out your Christianity will either make you justified or condemned.  Those who are righteous will live by faith (verse 11).  Those who live out the law after being justified by faith will revisit the curse.

Galatians 3:12  However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, “HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM.”

Galatians 3:13  Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us–for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”–

Notice that Paul is talking about the outworking of Christianity.  He is talking about the practices that follow salvation.  The salvation issue had already been dealt with since the Galatians had received forgiveness of sins through Christ.  The issue was now how do they live?  Paul says that if they go back to the law, and practice living out the law, they will receive a curse.  Since they were redeemed from the curse of the law, they were not to go back to the law, but work out their sanctification through faith.

Paul then equates the outworking of our Christianity with our inheritance.

Galatians 3:18  For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise.

In Galatians 3:21 Paul speaks about the promises (plural) of God.  Then in verse 25 Paul clearly continues to speak about sanctification – living the life of faith after salvation.

Galatians 3:25  But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

Notice here that Paul is speaking about what comes after salvation.  Now that faith has come what happens next?  Now that they have salvation do they go back to the rules and regulations that kept them in bondage before coming to Christ?  Paul says no.  After salvation comes a life of faith that gives them their inheritance in Christ.  Paul then instructs them on what they are:

Galatians 3:26  For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

This is an amazing verse.  The inheritance is sonship.  There are not sons of God and daughters of God.  There are only sons.  Each one inherits the kingdom in the same way – all as sons of God.  The living out of the faith is clothing themselves with Christ.

Galatians 3:27  For all of you who are baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

Baptized into Christ is salvation.  Clothing ourselves with Christ is our living out our faith as sons of God.

Now comes the verse that some want to make only about salvation:

Galatians 3:28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus

Galatians 3:29  And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise.

Galatians 3:28 is not about salvation, it is about the inheritance that follows salvation.  The clear difference between each group in Galatians 3:28 is not salvation but inheritance.  The Old Testament provided for salvation for those of the nations who would join themselves with Israel in serving the one true God.  The Old Testament also never taught a prejudice against women in regards to their salvation either.  Lastly slaves were given the right to participate in the passover sacrifice along with the household.  They too could be saved along with the family of Israel.  Salvation was not an issue.  Inheritance was the issue.

Galatians 3:28 contains a negation of three categories that reflected common ways of distinguishing humanity among the Jews. The Jewish cycle of morning prayers for the men began this way: “Blessed be He that He did not make me a Gentile; blessed be He that He did not make me a boor [i.e., an ignorant peasant or a slave]; blessed be He that He did not make me a woman.”

What was the problem with each one of these categories that caused the men to rejoice that they were not a Gentile, a slave or a woman?  In each one of the groups, the inheritance had been held back.  Gentiles did not inherit land in the nation of Israel.  Slaves were not part of the inheritance and neither were women.  But Paul is saying that we must recognize that just as each has received salvation in the body of Christ as all are already acknowledged as saved, so too must each of the underprivileged groups together with the free Jewish men receive by faith the inheritance as sons.

Gentiles inherit all of the promises of Abraham right alongside the Jews.  Women inherit all of the promises and rights of sons alongside the men.  Slaves inherit the kingdom promises of Abraham right alongside the free born.  Just as all have been brought into salvation, so the outworking of salvation, the sanctification and privileges of sonship belong to all.

Paul carries on this important topic into chapter four.  Paul writes:

Galatians 4:4  But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,

Galatians 4:5  so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

Galatians 4:6  Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

Galatians 4:7  Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.

Paul’s words in Galatians 3:28 should be clear.  The outworking of our faith needs to be by faith and not by bondage to man’s laws.  We are each the inheritors of all of the promises of God because in Christ all of us are sons!  It is the issue of inheritance that made sons the ones to be desired.  It was never an issue of women not having salvation but not having inheritance rights.

How should this look regarding an outworking of faith?  The privileges of having spiritual gifts through the distribution from the Holy Spirit belongs to all of us.  The privileges of ruling the world to come and judging the angels belongs to all of us, not just the men (1 Cor. 6:2, 3)  The privileges of servanthood and giving of ourselves for the benefit of the body of Christ belongs to all of us.  We are all sons, all heirs, all equal.

King praying on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

When we all come into unity of the knowledge of our equality of inheritance, we will not hold some back because they do not have the same equality in the body of Christ.  All sons may teach, all sons may serve, all sons may inherit every part of the kingdom together.  And women too are those sons!

114 thoughts on “Galatians 3:28 is it only about salvation?

  1. ‘The context of Galatians 3:28 makes abundantly clear the sense in which men and women are equal in Christ: ‘

    Hi,

    I’ve only read up to there. But already I’m thinking there’s that escape word again, ‘sense’. terrible. How vague, and unsupportable.

  2. I see ‘sense’, ‘notion’, ‘indication’, etc, alot. I think maybe I am notcing more often these words being used when the comp view is being defend.

  3. ‘Gentiles inherit all of the promises of Abraham right alongside the Jews.  Women inherit all of the promises and rights of sons alongside the men. ‘

    ‘All sons may teach, all sons may serve, all sons may inherit every part of the kingdom together.  And women too are those sons!’

    This is great!
     

  4. Thanks for visiting my blog Cheryl. I am always amazed at the vehemence with with complementarian doctrine is defended. Thanks for sharing your point of view and speaking up! I appreciate it.

  5. It was just a few years back that a CBMW alumni insisted to me that Galatians 3:28 was only referring to equality in salvation. I was blown away by this view. Now, I am seeing this taught all over the place by comps. Could it be because so many have brought up this verse when hearing all the narrow ‘role’ teaching from comps and they needed an interpretation to fit their teaching?
    You have done a great job outlining why their view cannot be correct. One reason is because so much comp teaching is that being in your correct ‘role’ is part of the sanctification process. (If you are a woman you submit and if a man you ‘lead’). They also use the childbearing verse in 1 Tim 2 for being in your role for sanctification.
    It is a sad thing when works become a part of salvation and sanctification

  6. Thanks pinklight & Rachel!

    Lin,

    I remember the first few times I heard complementarians insist that Galatians 3:28 is only about salvation and I wondered how they could justify women being a part of the list.  If we ignored the context the verse is found within, we certainly could understand if Paul said there is no Jew or Greek in Christ, that people would think it was about salvation because of the mindset of the early Jewish Christians.  But where in the scriptures is the salvation of women ever questioned?  It would be out of place to say that women are equally saved if there is never any question about their salvation.  But it certainly would not be out of place to stress the equality when the subject is on full sonship.  Women then inherit as equal heirs and share equal privileges and equal responsibilities.

    Galatians 3:28 had to be forced into a salvation “boat” or the complementarian argument that the kingdom is made up of male and female “roles” would be demolished by our equality in the full inheritance of God.  What a shame that so many have swallowed CBMW’s interpretation without a careful study of the scriptures.  Galatians is written to Christians whose problem is not in regards to their salvation but in regards to their sanctification.  Paul makes this abundantly clear throughout the book of Galatians.  How we serve God and the growth and maturity that comes through that service is part of our sanctification process.  When we limit a person’s sanctification by refusing to allow them to grow in maturity in all the gifts that God has given them, we do the body of Christ a very great disservice.

  7. Also for CBMW to say that Christ “redeemed” gender-based roles, puts a spin on Christ’s redemptive work that is not biblical.  When we can see that Old Testament women had more freedom to serve than New Testament women in some complementarian churches, something is drastically wrong.  Most comp churches will not allow women to teach men but OT women were not restricted in this way.  It is a sad day when we can see these restrictions on women after Christ that were not there before Christ and then hear complementarians say that these gender-based roles are “redeemed” by Christ.  If the restrictions are a “redemption” then what were the freedoms that godly women of old experienced?  Was their freedom a sign of sin?

  8. I end up where Cheryl did, but I get there differently.

    Gal 3:28

     

    There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

    is a better translation.  The diff. is the “no male AND female” not “no male NOR female”.  The Greek is kai, usually “and”.  I see this as a remez/hint back to the garden.  Paul in another verse talks about Christ being the 2nd Adam.

    “works of the law” I see as a Greek form of the Hebrew “Ma’aseh ha Torah” which was used in the Dead Sea Scrolls to identify the markers of Judaism.

    “curse of the law” I see as not saying the law is a curse, but is referring to the curses in the law for not obeying it; these are given in Deu as blessings and curses or in covenant/contract language benefits for compliance and penalties for non-compliance.

    The Jews thought that they were “in” simply because they were Jews.  Jesus speaks against this to Nicodemus, saying it must be by faith, as does Paul here and elsewhere.  The Jews have a huge advantage, as Paul points out, in getting “in” as they were given the word of God, but no one is auto-in.  So there is a physical Israel and a spiritual Israel.  Being in physical Israel does not guarantee being in spiritual Israel.

    So Paul is NOT mainly discussing individual salvation, altho that is included, as Fee points out, he is discussing (spiritual) Israel’s salvation.

    The key thing to see is that everything about being a believer AND a congregation is wrapped up in Israel’s salvation; if someone were to claim there is something spiritual outside of that, I do not want it as it would be false, as something false is all that is left outside of spiritual Israel.  This is the fundamental mistake of the non-egal understanding when they try to limit the meaning of these verses.

  9. Don,

    Yes, the literal Greek is male and female in Galatians 3:28.  It is very good to pay attention to the words the way that God breathed them.

    You said:

    “curse of the law” I see as not saying the law is a curse, but is referring to the curses in the law for not obeying it; these are given in Deu as blessings and curses or in covenant/contract language benefits for compliance and penalties for non-compliance.

    Yes indeed the law isn’t cursed at all.  It is those trying to live by getting righteous through the law because it is an “all or nothing” law.  James said:

    James 2:10  For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.

    None of us are capable of keeping the entire law.  Only Jesus ever kept the entire law perfectly.

    Good thoughts, Don!  Of course the bottom line is that the complementarian view that limits these verses to salvation alone, leaving no real equality in the outworking of our Christian faith is refuted by the context from the entire book of Galatians.

  10. Here is the way I would word it, gentiles are not capable of keeping the Noah covenant Torah and Israel is not capable of keeping the Mosaic covenant Torah by themselves.  ALL have sinned, ALL need Jesus. 

    Jesus perfectly kept the Mosaic covenant Torah, which is a superset of the Noah covenant Torah.  So both those not in the Mosaic covenant and those in it can be declared righteous in faith, not for following the rules of their covenants.  The REASON to follow the rules in any covenant is for the blessings of that covenant, but not to be saved by that covenant, as it is not the way to be saved, only faith in Messiah is the way to be saved.

  11. The REASON to follow the rules in any covenant is for the blessings of that covenant, but not to be saved by that covenant, as it is not the way to be saved, only faith in Messiah is the way to be saved.

    Amen!

  12. Uh oh, for Paul to say that we are all sons, blurs the gender distinctions doesn’t it? I bet CBMW type comps couldn’t have none of it! Hum…
    I wonder what the comps in general have written on the subject of our inheritance as, sons.

  13. The masculine plural is used in Hebrew and Greek when a group is composed of at least 1 male, all the way up to all males.  So the context is important to see whether a term is best translated as sons or children.

    IF the culture was such that only males inherited, then it might be important to translate as sons.  We see with the daughters of Zelophehad in Numbers 36 in a very patriarchical culture.  But the culture shifts, it did not stay that way in Roman areas, for example.

  14. Don,

    I think Galatians 4:7 answers your question because it is singular male.

    Gal 4:7  Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.

    In this verse it isn’t just child, but son.  It says “If a son…then an heir”.  This is vitally important because only sons were legal heirs.  In the OT one who is an heir is always male.  The wording specifically shows that all of the rights, privileges and honor also belong to women.  When Paul says there is no Jew or Greek, male and female, slave or free, he is referencing the full and complete rights of inheritance.  We, then, have no right to limit someone’s privileges of being used by God or being a mouthpiece of God because all are equally heirs.

  15. #5 Jan,

    I think I forgot to formally welcome you here to my blog.  Welcome!

    pinklight,

    I have heard CBMW speakers says that we are sons and daughters of God.  Apparently they have missed the bible’s point that there are no daughters of God – only sons.  If all are legal heirs, then we should not be differentiating between the haves and have-nots regarding privileges of representing God in the church.

  16. Nyland translates Gal 4:7 as “Consequently, you are no longer a slave but legally adopted, and since you are legally adopted, then by God’s act you are an heir.”

    She seems to be saying the point of the verse is adoption and being an heir and not being a son, that is incidental words to express the big idea.  Or another way of looking at it is similar to 1950’s English, sometimes in Greek (and 1950s English) a singular man can be a woman, it depends on whether it is a man inclusive or a man exclusive.

  17. Cheryl,

    You have done an absolutely superb exegesis of the entire passage. What a defense of a view with the text of scripture as a basis. This is the REASON every time I’m with a pastor in a meeting now, as I was this past week in Lake Jackson Texas, I tell the pastor about you and your blog. In fact, he asked and I consented to bringing it up on his PC for him and putting it on his favorites. He thanked me but he’ll thank me even more later as he reads the archives which I suggested he do.

    Keep up using your gifts to the Body. This Body member is blessed by it. 

  18. Thanks Pastor Paul!  It is comments like yours that make me want to continue to work hard and give out my very best.  For the body of Christ and for the Lord Jesus!

  19. Pastor Burleson,
    I fixed the spelling of your name.  I also fixed the typos on my own post.  Boy, we are all getting old, eh?

    Don,
    The problem with Nyland’s translation is that she misses an extremely necessary piece of Greek and she focuses on something that by itself has no guarantee of the inheritance.

    Galatians 4:7 says “IF” and “then”.  The word “if” is the Greek word “ei”  It is a primary particle of conditionality.

    What is “if” connected to?  Paul writes “if” a son “then” an heir.  The ending result is being an heir.   One cannot get to the point of being an heir without being a son.  This was their system.  Only sons were heirs.  So Paul’s point is that they were slaves but they are no longer slaves.  They have gone from the position of having no privileges, no rights and no importance, to the place of adoption as a son.  The sonship (which is the “if”) must lead to the inheritance (which is the “then”).  “IF” sons “THEN” heirs.  If we remove the male part of being a son, the part of inheritance is not a natural flow nor is there a guarantee.  The reason is because if one is a daughter there is no if/then relationship with the inheritance.  Full sonship for all, both men/women, Jews/Gentiles, slaves/freeborn is in view and ALL without exception receive adoption as sons.

    If we remove the conditional part of the Greek, then we also have no place to focus the guaranteed rights of sonship.  Paul is focusing on our position right now.  IF we are sons, THEN there is a guarantee of inheritance.  IF we are sons and daughters, then there is not a full guarantee of inheritance.  Legal adoption does not guarantee the inheritance.  Only sonship does.

    Does this make sense?

  20. http://www.answers.com/topic/inheritance has an entry on Jewish inheritance.  It is simplistic to say only sons as males inherited.  In Galatia there would also be Roman and Greek law and Roman law was more favorable to women in general.

    http://bible.crosswalk.com/Dictionaries/BakersEvangelicalDictionary/bed.cgi?number=T371 mentions the 3 possibilities which were different.

    This is not an area I have studied, but to assert what you have claimed you would need to have statements about how it worked for all 3 types.

  21. Don,

    I think we can safely assume that Paul is talking about the Jewish inheritance rights for several reasons:

    1.  The “law” that is referenced is the entire code of law given to the Jews not the Gentiles (no Roman or Greek law even hinted at here).

    2.  The Judaizers that were instigating this return to the law were Jews that came from James and so it was the Jewish mindset that is at work in this passage.

    3.  The “different gospel” that threatened the Gentile Christians was circumcision and rules brought in by the Jewish oral law.  Circumcision laws would have nothing to do with any Greek or Roman set of laws.

    4.  Since we know that Galatians 3:28 cannot be about salvation since the salvation of the Galatians is not what is in question here but rather the outworking of their salvation, the addition of “female” is Galatians must be linked to inheritance issues which is a problem for women amongst the Jews.  There is no other reason to bring in females being equal in Christ with the males.   Galatians chapter 4 is about inheritance and so is Galatians 3:29 the verse directly after verse 28.  Verses 28 & 29 are attached by another “IF” “THEN” conditional connection.

    Gal 3:29  And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.

    The entire passage has the Jewish “flavor” of a hindrance caused by those intent on bringing the Gentile believers under bondage.  1 Corinthians 14:34, 35 also has that Jewish “flavor” by its reference to the Jewish oral law insisted on by the Judaizers.  There is of course no God-given OT law that restricted the ability for a woman to learn in public or speak in public.

    From what I can see from the passage there is no issue of Roman or Greek influence in the bondage that is being brought onto the Galatians.  It is pure and simple a Jewish influence designed to force the Gentile Christians to conform to both the old covenant laws and to the Jewish oral laws that hindered women from using their gifts in public and restricted men to circumcision.  Paul refutes all of this by using the Jewish inheritance law to his benefit.  He brilliantly argues for women’s privileges and benefits by designating them “in Christ” as part of Christ’s body (THE male heir) therefore all would rightly be receiving sonship and therefore equal heirs (or elsewhere called “joint heirs”).  Inheritance then for all is key to us being IN CHRIST for only through him are we heirs at all.

    Don, thanks for your thoughts!  It is always good to test the exegesis.  If there was a Roman or Greek law that was threatening the Christian community by taking away equal inheritance rights or equal anything, I would be willing to see the biblical evidence from the book of Galatians.  This is where the primary evidence is located and from everything I can see in Galatians, the threat is from the Jewish agitators alone and the evidence used throughout is Jewish-based law.

  22. I should add one thing, the issue of women inheriting is only ever in favor of women if there is no male heir.  In the case of Christ’s followers, there is no such thing as no male heir, so the women would certainly lose out if they were designated as daughters.  Because there are males AND females, there must be only sons that would inherit. Thus Paul designates the women “IN Christ” as sons.

    Make sense?

    Upside down girl

  23. I received an email from an interim woman pastor who reads my blog.

    Her church is looking for a permanent pastor and they will consider a
    female candidate. If you know of anyone in the Minnesota area that would be interested, let me know and I will get you in contact with the pastor.

    See email below:

    Hi Cheryl, I have been reading your site and am grateful for your
    ministry. I am currently serving as an interim pastor in MN. Our
    church is in a pastoral search process. I don’t know if you do this
    but our church is welcoming toward women candidates in the senior
    pastor role. If you know of anyone in the MN area seeking a
    pastorate, I would be willing to send the job description and a bit
    about our church. The church does not pay alot at this time but is
    growing so the candidate will need to be a tent-maker.

  24. The different but equal mantra doesn’t work then if all are a son. There is no male and female. 🙂 Physical differences are out when it comes to those IN Christ.

  25. I agree that all humans can inherit by faith. 

    I just do not think a woman becomes a man in any sense to achieve that.  Rather, the distinctions do not exist in a spiritual sense, not the ethnic, not economic, not gender, etc.  However, they still exist in a physical sense, a Jew does not become a gentile when she becomes a believer, she is still a jew, it is just that it does not matter in Christ.

  26. Don,

    I am not saying that a woman becomes a man.  I think you misunderstand me.  What I am saying is that a woman becomes a legal “son”.  This means that legally she inherits all the privileges of “sonship”.  It does not mean in any sense of the word that she becomes male.  It is only that she is treated as a legal heir which is legal sonship.  She remains a woman physically.  In the spirit there is no sense that we are male or female since there are no spiritual sexual parts.

    I really appreciate when you question these things in order to understand what I am saying.  I helps me to see where I might be talking around people.  If anyone thinks that I am saying a female becomes a male, then I certainly need to clarify that.  It is only about legal privileges which belong to sons and “in Christ” we have all legal privileges without restriction as he are considered “in Christ” as having sonship for the purpose of inheritance.

  27. I agree we are all legal hiers thru adoption, just that there does not need to be any mapping of a woman to a legal son, what counts is being a legal heir. 

    The fact that sons inherited when their dads died in ancient Judaism I see as God working in that time and culture, which was very patriarchical.  The daughters got their inheritance when they married in that culture, as the ketubah or dowry, it is not the case that they received no inheritance.  The first son got a double portion, as he represented the family in that culture. 

    In different cultures different inheritance rules apply.

  28. Don,

    You said: 

    I agree we are all legal hiers thru adoption, just that there does not need to be any mapping of a woman to a legal son, what counts is being a legal heir.

    The fact is that a woman was not a legal heir.  Her dowry was not in her hands and in that patriarchal setting, her dowry could be removed so that she would never benefit from it in any way.  A daughter’s rights in no way were equal to a son’s privileges.  This left women subject to mistreatment.  However “in Christ” we are all full legal heirs.  No one can take away our inheritance like a husband could take away his wife’s dowry.  Do you see the difference?

    By making us all legal sons, we are in a position of power.  We are not subject to having our gifts taken away from us as if our gift is under someone else’s control.  What Paul has done is provided the strongest legal wording of that day and applied it to women.  Women now are legal “sons” and as “sons” they are given the privilege and responsibility in such a way that their privilege is not subject to the control of someone with more responsibility and privilege than they have.  When someone is under the ultimate control of another, there is no equality in privilege.  Daughters did not ultimately have control of their own privileges.  This would have been the problem if Paul had made us “sons and daughters” in Christ.  We would have been seen as under the men since no woman had ulitmate control of her dowry.  But as “sons” we do not have a dowry.  We have a full inheritance with full privileges and we are not under a tutor or a controller.

    To me this is the full essence of equalty in Christ.  We are all “sons” IN Christ and in Christ there is no sense that I have to have a human male meditator between God and my inheritance.  Men should now be able to see us as full “joint” heirs.  Women never were “joint” heirs in the natural sense with the men.  They always came up on the short end.  The men controlled their dowry and could take it away.  If a woman went in public without her head covering, he can divorce her without giving her a cent of her dowry.  This is not equality in any sense of the word.

    But if she was a in the legal sense a joint heir, a legal “son”, then he could not touch her inheritance.  This is what God has given to women.

    Is this okay with you?

  29. The only way a wife might lose her dowry was thru evidence proving adultery as decided by 3 judges or over time repeatedly not preparing food and clothes or marital rights as decided again by 3 judges.  The husband could also lose his money this latter way if he neglected his responsibilities.

    Almost all the divorces in the time of Jesus were Hillel “Any Matter” divorces as these did not need any proof of anything, but the wife kept her dowry in this case.  Only a man could divorce this way.

    I agree there was an asymmetry in favor of the husband and Jesus corrected that.

  30. For a woman to go into public without her veil, would be considered a shameful act, and it was treated as if one was guilty of adultery whether it was true or not. 

    While I am not saying that God is guilty of treating women in a bad way, I am saying that women’s legal status was not equal to the men’s status because the men had control and they used this control in a very biased fashion.  What God has done is given us equality in Christ in such a way that women cannot have their inheritance taken away from them or controlled by a man.  This is true equality in a way that should be universally recognized without bias.  I believe that some day it will be recognized. 

    I just pray that God will grant us patience and enough love to bare with our brothers in Christ until they recognize us as full heirs with them in word and deed (privilege).  I think that it is tempting to be impatient and with that can come unloving actions and words.  I sincerely do not want to be guilty of that.  Whether I am accepted or not as a teacher, as a sister in Christ, as one whom God has gifted for a particular purpose, should not stop me from accepting others who do not agree with me if I am walking in the Spirit.  If I keep my eyes on Jesus, I will walk in the Spirit and not give a foothold to a any kind of bad attitude or resentment of my dear brothers in Christ.  I pray that God will continue to grow love in my heart and a great deal of patience as I strive to make a difference for those female “sons” who have been set aside because of their gender.

  31. “I agree we are all legal hiers thru adoption, just that there does not need to be any mapping of a woman to a legal son, what counts is being a legal heir. ”

    Don, I am a bit confused as to what you are trying to explain in your comments. I take it you do agree that women are full heirs but I do not understand the above comment when scripture says ‘sons’ and Paul went to the trouble to write there is no Greek, Jew, etc., in Christ. The point of this post was to show that Galatians 3:28 is about more than salvation.

    I am not sure what all the different cultural inheritance laws at the time have to do with this outside of what the Judizers may have thought  and were teaching. Just color me confused!

  32. Cheryl,

    Yes in 1st century culture a wife needed to cover her head when out in public (like a required wedding ring) and could not bare her arms or let down her hair.  If she did any of those things it could be considered adultery and I agree this was not right.

    Jesus and Paul corrected all these asymmetries that were unfair to a wife, assuming she was married to a believer.  In every culture there are some things that are considered very risque’ for a woman to do, it is just that in 1st century culture what was considered risque’ is very tame for today.  We think nothing of a woman walking outside without a hat or with bare arms or talking to a male that is not a relative.

    Lin,

    My point is that the Hebrew and Greek for what is usually translated as sons can include females and also in some cases the singular form can be a female.  It is like 1950s English, where a woman might be called a man (inclusive, but understood and not specified).

    So my understanding ends up in the same place as Cheryl, but gets there slightly differently.  For me, Christ is THE seed of the woman, Abraham, etc. and all IN Christ inherit, gender does not matter, neither does ethnicity, nor economics, etc.

  33. Great Work, Cheryl.  This blog is in my favourites, and I really value your hard work for the benefit of the whole body of Christ.  God bless you and God be with you in all that you do. 

  34. Cheryl or Anyone else,
    This is not specifically related to this topic but…
    I posted about the dust up at CARM over a year ago and today somebody (maybe from CARM) challenged me to a debate over the topic of women in ministry. That’s not my thing but if someone is interested, their contact info is toward the bottom of the comments of the following post:
    https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=19951398&postID=596460197829288880&page=1

    Thanks!
    David

  35. Here is the debate challenge that David has referred to me:

    Hello David,

    I will offer to discuss/debate you on the topic of the heresy of permitting women to be pastors and elders.

    Please send your suggested details on our debate format (I am flexible) to carmstuff@yahoo.com, and mention my name JBaker45 (John Baker).

    I look forward to having a civil and educational discussion with you 🙂

  36. Here is my reply:

    Thanks David for suggesting me! I am always willing to have a written debate on women in ministry especially one based on 1 Timothy 2:11-15.

    The problem of a written debate is that the email address given to you is one that has already refused a written debate with me.

    If I am to do a debate, I ask those who will debate me to view my material so they know what they are to refute. Once the material has been viewed, I haven’t had a single person willing to debate me in writing.

    If Mr. John Baker is willing to view my exegesis and my position on women in ministry from my DVD set and he would still like to debate me in writing, I would be very happy to do so. I am sure that we could pick a neutral place to have a very cordial and interesting debate.

    I will leave this up to Mr. Baker. He can either communicate with you or with me at my blog http://www.strivetoenter.com/wim

    I suspect you won’t hear from him again, but I am very happy to be proved wrong.

    Blessings,
    Cheryl Schatz

  37. Cheryl, I went over there and looked around, and I saw that people like me who believe in dispensationalism and the pre-trib rapture are considered “nut jobs”. I also saw that if anyone says there’s New Age in The Shack (article on that Here), they need to “get a grip”. So I won’t be venturing over there to help in the debate, sorry.

  38. Paula,
    Thanks for visiting my site.

    I think you misunderstood at least one thing. Although I do not agree with pre-trib dispensationalism, I do not think they are “nut-jobs.”

    However, I did say-and do believe-that there are plenty of nut-jobs within that movement. When people within that group have named every president and pope as the Antichrist I think my point has been made.

    As far as The Shack goes, I read it thoroughly with a critical eye and do not see the new ageism the critics are claiming. (And I am a Hank Hanegraaff junkie!) My comment to “get a grip” was for those who have gone crazy critizing the book. If you disagree, God bless ya.

    Hoping not to derail this post…

    Love & Mercy,
    David McLaughlin

  39. David,

    I’m a firm believer in respecting a person’s right to say whatever they want in their own “home”, so I hope I didn’t come across as trying to tell you what words you can use to describe people.

    But personally, I try to avoid questioning the intelligence or mental health of people whose views I disagree with. I’ll freely blast the views and name names of those who hold them, but I do try to avoid dissing the people themselves unless they are false teachers doing great damage to the Body.

    Specific to what you posted here, I still think it’s inaccurate to presume that people who say those things are crazy. Misguided perhaps, maybe even poor exegetes or lacking in discernment, but of sound mind nonetheless.

    For The Shack, the link I provided is to comments by a former New Ager whose insight and experience should be taken seriously. People typically go there and just brush it off as “hate” or bashing for no reason, but the people there do their homework. It would be well worth your time.

    At any rate, I won’t invade your “home” and cause undue tension.

    Paula

  40. Thanks Paula,
    I understand what you are saying about my term “nut-job.” And duly noted.

    My style of humor us not always wise. (My wife tells me this alot.)

    As far as invading my “home,” no need-you are always invited and welcome.

    L&M,
    dm

  41. Wow! Talk about some bad exegesis of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35.

    I am just absolutely stunned! I dont know how you can attribute that passage to “Judaizers”!

    That passage was the words of the Apostle Paul instructing the Corinthians in what their conduct should be while they were gathered as a Church body!

    No where in God’s word does it say that man and women are to be considered as equal in earthly roles!

    Yes men and women are equal in salvation, and as Children of God.

    However I would seriously check yourself and your motivations in trying to read too much earthly equality into God’s Word!

    Otherwise you make the same error that homosexuals make in trying to extend passages far beyond their plain readings to try and say that homosexuality is not a sin.

    If you truly think that God’s Word infers earthly role equality for men and women then tell me why Paul did not demand that Philemon free the slave Onesimus to be earthly equal men?

    There are some deep insights into why The Apostle Paul did not delve into Social and Political issues, and because of that he did believe that there should be a spiritual reordering of the relationship between Philemon and Onesimus bur He did not reorder their earthly relationship.
    It is one thing for God to confer on an individual: man or woman a place of leadership, and that conferring would come through the Holy Spirit speaking to multiple individuals to confirm it, men if needed to allow that leadership role to happen.
    However it is not of God for individuals to demand leadership roles because they believe they have a right to equality.

  42. John,

    Welcome!  Thanks for your comments.

    You asked:

    I am just absolutely stunned! I dont know how you can attribute that passage to “Judaizers”!

    The Judaizers were a problem in many of the Gentile churches and Paul said in Galatians 2:4 that it was these “false brethren” who had sneaked into the congregation in order to spy out their liberty in Christ in order to bring them into bondage.

    When we look at 1 Cor. 14:34, 35 we should be able to clearly see these false brethren because of the “law” that is quoted.  There is no such “law” in the scriptures that silences women in the congregation but there is a law in the oral law of the Pharisees.  This oral law, now written in the Talmud, silenced women in the assemblies and stopped them from learning in the assemblies.  If you do not see this manmade “law” quoted by Paul (Paul quotes from the letter written to him by the Corinthians – see 1 Cor. 7:1), please do show me where this “law” is in the bible?  Those who are in the Christian church such as CBMW who want to have role distinctions between Christians admit that there is no such law and can only guess at what “law” Paul is referring to.

    You said:

    “No where in God’s word does it say that man and women are to be considered as equal in earthly roles!”

    We are not talking about earthly roles.  We are talking about spiritual equality.  It is all about our relationship with God and his working through us for the benefit of the body of Christ.

    You said: 

    Yes men and women are equal in salvation, and as Children of God.

    However I would seriously check yourself and your motivations in trying to read too much earthly equality into God’s Word!

    I would recommend that you reread my article again.  The equality I have been talking about is our inheritance in Christ and thus our spiritual equality.

    You said:

    Otherwise you make the same error that homosexuals make in trying to extend passages far beyond their plain readings to try and say that homosexuality is not a sin.

    Thanks for the concern.  This isn’t something that we are doing at all.  We must read the passages in their context, which is something that I had done in my article.  I have taken Gal. 3:28 in its complete context which includes our inheritance as “sons” of God.  Galatians 3 read in context will include Galatians 4.

    As far as homosexuality, the scriptures are clear in context, that homosexuality is a sin and that no one who practices this sin will inherit the kingdom of God.  Can you show me one scripture that states that women who teach the bible to men are sinning against God and will not inherit the kingdom of God?

    If you truly think that God’s Word infers earthly role equality for men and women then tell me why Paul did not demand that Philemon free the slave Onesimus to be earthly equal men?

    Again, we are talking about spiritual equality.  The Christian influence did eventually bring about the freedom of the slaves, but the importance that Paul was bringing about was not the physical removal of slavery, but the spiritual removal of slavery.  Slaves were to inherit with the free men.  Slaves were spiritually equal as “sons” of God just as the free born were.  Slaves then would be free in their spiritual inheritance to use their God-given gifts for the benefit of the body of Christ.  No one should discriminate against a slave because of his earthly situation.  He was as equal to serve as any other free born “son” of God.

    However it is not of God for individuals to demand leadership roles because they believe they have a right to equality.

    I do not believe that any Christian can demand any “rights”.  In fact our inheritance is the ability to serve.  We are to follow our Lord Jesus into service as slaves.  We are not our own.  We are bought with a price.  And when we serve each other in submission and love, we serve the Lord Jesus who bought us.

    I greatly appreciate your comments here and I hope you feel welcome and valued.  We should never fear being challenged on our exegesis or our service for Christ.  Truth is provable and can stand the test.  Thank you for your thoughtful questions.  If I can help you further to understand a side that you do not embrace, I am at your service.

  43. John,

    I would encourage you to have a look at the articles on 1 Cor. 14. that I have written especially:
    http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2008/09/16/the-elusive-law/
    http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2008/09/19/is-a-womans-voice-filthy/
    http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2008/09/21/who-dared-to-contradict-paul/

    These should help you to understand why we must see the prohibition demanding complete silence of women in the assembly as a demand from the letter written to Paul.  If not we have a serious problem with verse 36 because the inspired Greek contradicts the verses that are just preceding.

    Again, thanks for joining the conversation!

  44. Once again, I must ask why any believer would demand to keep a place of superiority over other believers, a place granted not by scripture but by society. Jesus had all authority as God but laid it aside to serve and save the world. He humbled Himself– a lesson yet unlearned by many professing the name of Christ, on many issues. This same Jesus said “not so among you” to all His followers, yet today many still clamor to see “who is the greatest”.

    Egalitarianism is about equality, not superiority or rights or chains of command. Equality is the ideal Christian relationship, not a sin or a vice. Those who seem to loathe equality need to ask themselves why. Why does any mere human try to play God to another? Why would any believer even desire such a thing? Why do male supremacists cling so jealously to position and express so much fear of losing it– yet, ironically, try to accuse those who object to it as being the ones seeking position?

    Hierarchy is the way of the world, the way of other religions. But “love does not demand its own way”, and “without love, I am nothing”. We are all spiritual siblings, with only Jesus as the “firstborn”. The rest of us are all on the same level. So for any to claim otherwise, to seek preeminence, to view social standing as “something to be grasped”, shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what Christianity is all about.

    It is time for Christians to “remember the height from which you have fallen”, to “return to your first love”. The one who loves is finished with pride and prejudice, and filled instead with service and sacrifice. We must follow the example of Jesus in this.

  45. I believe that believers have rights, but they can also choose to decline to use them for a greater good.  But this does not say that they do not have them in the first place.
    Understanding that 1 Cor 14:34-35 are from Judaizers is partly based on the term the “law says”.  This term is what is used to refer to the so-called Oral Law of the Pharisees, as it was said, being oral.  The Written Law, what we call the OT, is what was written or read, it never “says” anything.  One needs to read the NT in 1st century cultural context.

  46. Cheryl Said:
    “When we look at 1 Cor. 14:34, 35 we should be able to clearly see these false brethren because of the “law” that is quoted.  There is no such “law” in the scriptures that silences women in the congregation but there is a law in the oral law of the Pharisees. ”

    I say:

    Again I am Stunned! You have NO Biblical support for what you are saying in regards to this passage!

    Paul was not qouting the Jewish Oral “Law” of the Pharisee’s in this passage! These were Paul’s words! Paul’s instructions on how women should conduct themselves in a gathering of the Corinthian Church Body! And if there was ANY Apostle who clearly showed that Gentile Christians were not under any Jewish  Oral “Law” it was the Apostle Paul!

    So again this makes your statements in regards to 1 Corinthians 14:34,35 absilutely FALSE! And I am sorry but your twisting of this scripture comes from someone demanding earthly equality! Something as Christians we are not to do!

    You ARE extending the meaning of that passage far beyond its plain reading!

    If by the grace of God, God chooses to confer a leadership role on anyone, again God will make that known to multiple people within a church body and then it will be offered to an individual, regardless of gender, but on a case by case basis and not as a general rule!

    However WE ARE NOT TO DEMAND IT.

    No where in Scripture is there support for saying that people who demand equality should have it! On the contrary the prevailing theme in God’s word is to be content with what you have and the position you are placed in by God who is sovereign!

    And further the people who are content in what they have and in the position they are in, THESE are the people God find’s worthy, at his will and timing for his plans to raise up in a leadership role to be used by him. Because these people have the humitlity to be used.

    There are also some false straw man arguments being used in the comments on this article.

    Namely that No Christian should want to keep a position of superiority over another Christian, to infer that individuals of the make persuassion who rightly divide the word in this regard are somehow wanting to maintain a position of superiority over women!

    When this is a false argument! In Spiritual terms it has nothing to do with Superiority! It has to do with God ordained roles!

    Roles are not the same as superiority!

    The mingling and confusing of superiority with roles is a secular aheistic and modern humanist ideology that has been injected into Christian teaching! But one which has no Biblical Basis!

    By women coveting roles of leadership within a Church body they are inserting the fallen belief of there being a superiority of roles and ignoring the Spiritual God given instruction of a difference in roles but NOT a difference in superiority of roles!

    Superiority is a fallen sinful concept!

    Again I will close with this, show me a single Bible passage where God’s choice of a person for leadership was one who demanded it!

  47. John,

    My suggestion is you need to learn how to understand these verses are they would have been understood by the original readers, else you end up siding with Judaizers.

  48. Egals demand nothing but faithfulness to the scriptures in context. They do not aspire to contrived “offices” but instead for equality. What part of “equality” is supposed to mean “superiority”? And what part of desiring superiority is supposed to be a Christian quality?

    Male supremacists, on the other hand, DEMAND preeminence over half the Body. The fact that they scream so loudly when their culture-granted supremacy is challenged indicates lack of humility and desiring to “lord over”. They refuse to humble themselves as Jesus did; they refuse to give up privileges gained through a long history of bowing to patriarchal culture.

    The fact that Paul was so clearly against putting Christians under Jewish law should make it abundantly clear that he would never appeal to it in the same breath. Therefore, Paul is not appealing to any such law but strongly refuting it.

    Anyway, people who use excessive numbers of exclamation points are clearly just shouting and not listening at all.

  49. “Paul was not qouting the Jewish Oral “Law” of the Pharisee’s in this passage! These were Paul’s words! Paul’s instructions on how women should conduct themselves in a gathering of the Corinthian Church Body! And if there was ANY Apostle who clearly showed that Gentile Christians were not under any Jewish  Oral “Law” it was the Apostle Paul!”

    Hi John,

     As we can see by the verse, a ‘law’ is being referred to here. It says specifically, “…as the law also says”. 

    Can you reference this law? It does exist but not in scripture.

    If I understand you correctly, you believe that Paul is ‘making a new law’?

    Verse 36 really clears up the misunderstandings for us as it negates verses 34 and 35. And this is even more clear as we see Paul refering to women praying and prophesying in the Body in other parts of Corinthians.

  50. John, Also, if I may, I am a bit perplexed that I feel the need to defend the wrong notion that I want ‘superiority’ over another. That whole concept is not Christian at all. Eph 5:21 should be our touchstone here no matter if we are elders, pastors or the church janitor. WE are to mutually submit to one another as believers.

    What we are discussing here is more about the freedom to exercise our spiritual gifts which are given by the Holy Spirit to edify the Body.

    I am at a loss when someone mentions ‘roles’. I do not see that concept in scripture anywhere. That is a Frenchword denoting a ‘scroll’ which was used to learn lines to play a pretend character. A role is something we ‘pretend’ or do. As Christians we are to ‘be’ in Christ.

  51. Don said:

    “My suggestion is you need to learn how to understand these verses are they would have been understood by the original readers, else you end up siding with Judaizers.”

    I say:

    This comment thread is just unbelievable! 1 Corinthians was a letter from the Apostle Paul to the Corinthian Church!

    To actually suggest that the Apostle Paul was telling the Corinthian Church, a Gentile Church to follow the Pharisee’s Oral Law is ludicrous! It is an insult to the Apostle Paul who stood against the Pharisee’s oral law!

    Again all of you are reading far too much into that verse due to a desire to impose a fallen earthly equality where it has no place!

    This is what the Apostle Paul says in verses 37 and 38:

    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.

    The things he WRITES TO THEM ARE FROM THE LORD! Not from the Pharisee’s fallen and false Oral Law!

    You are guilty of mishandling the Word of God!

  52. John,

    I am in and out of the office today so it will take me some time to get through all the comments.  I just read your last comment and I would like to correct your misunderstanding.  You said:

    To actually suggest that the Apostle Paul was telling the Corinthian Church, a Gentile Church to follow the Pharisee’s Oral Law is ludicrous! It is an insult to the Apostle Paul who stood against the Pharisee’s oral law!

    This is not correct.  No one here is saying that the Apostle Paul was telling the Corinthian Church to follow the Pharisee’s oral law.  What is being said is that Paul quotes from the letter sent to him from the Corinthians (see 1 Cor. 7:1) and then refutes the quote in 1 Cor. 14:36.  Therefore the injunction for women to be silent that appears in the oral law is not held by Paul but rejected by Paul.

    Those who hold to verses 34 & 35 as coming from Paul himself are stumped at trying to locate such a law.  The fact is that the law does exist.  It just isn’t God’s law and Paul never appeals to man’s laws as applicable for Christian living.

    It is a godly thing to refute false doctrine.  Paul does this quite well.  I also do not mind having my own doctrine being challenged, but it is important to properly identify my view before it is refuted.  No one here on this blog has ever contended that we need to obey man’s laws that silence women.  And no one is claiming that this is what Paul is doing.

    I hope this makes it clearer and I will be back to look at the other comments later on in the day.

    Cheers 🙂

  53. Oh, and one other thing, John, you said:

    The things he WRITES TO THEM ARE FROM THE LORD! Not from the Pharisee’s fallen and false Oral Law!

    This is correct.  The things Paul writes in chapter 14 ARE from the Lord!  When Paul says that all may prophesy one by one, this is from the Lord.  The silencing of women and refusing to allow them to prophesy in the church is not from the Lord and Paul promptly refutes this man-made law that brings a contradiction to what he has already command in the beginning of chapter 14.  The oral law that disallows the commands from the Lord Jesus to be followed in the congregation is to be strongly refuted and this is exactly what Paul does in verse 36.

  54. John,

    You completely misunderstand what we’re saying. Paul did quote the Corinthians at times (1 Cor. 1:11 for example… he got the information from others: “some from Chloe’s household have informed me“, it did not come from the Lord). Paul’s inspiration is NOT in question here, but you have to admit that he did quote people in order to answer their questions. And what do you do when Paul writes, “I, not the Lord”?

    Paul did not write letters in a vacuum. He was given questions by the people and he wrote back to answer them. Or do you actually think Paul knew only by direct revelation from God that the Corinthians were condoning the man who had his step-mother?? No, he was informed of that by people.

    The so-called “plain reading” method is nothing less than lazy and naive. The Bible commands us to STUDY, which is not needed if we can just lift words off the page and think we grasp the intent of the writings. That kind of foolhardy approach has been the seed of many cults and heresies.

    It is you, John, who are guilty of mishandling the Word. And you are also guilty of improper judging. Does love do this? Does love seek to destroy, slander, or boss? No, it does not.

  55. just some further clarifications

    In regards to the statement in verse 35: “As also saith the Law”

    Does not find its root in the oral law. Its inception comes from Genesis 3:16:

    To the woman He said:
          “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;
          In pain you shall bring forth children;
          Your desire shall be for your husband,
          And he shall rule over you.”

    This does not mean that a man should be a tyrant over his wife. What it means is that the Man in God’s plan, after the fall, was to be the Spiritual Head!

    As Paul said in Ephesians 5:23:

    “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.”

    Now does 1 Corinthians 34,35 mean that women are to remain silent at all times in a gathering of the Church body? No! But it also does not imply an equality in the roles of Men and Women in a Church Body, beccause the Man is the Spiritual head of his wife.

    The passage simply means that women are not to be unruly in a Church body and shame their husbands by not showing submission to them in front of a gathering of the Church body! If they have questions in regards to something they are to hold their question, remain silent and ask their husband in their home!

    It does not imply silence at all times by women in a gathering of a Church Body but what it does mean is that women are to not shame their husbands by acting against God’s Written Law, which says that the Man is the Spiritual head and leader of the family!

    Women are not to try and upset God’s intended order and roles against their husband thereby shaming him in public!

  56. John,

    Please show me where the “law” exists in Genesis 3:16 that commands a woman to be silent in the assembly?  The Counsel on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood has admitted that there is no such law that could be pointed to in Genesis 3:16.  They are the ones doing the most writing defining what is the complementarian view, so If you insist the “law” from 1 Cor. 14:34, 35 is in Genesis:16,  please show the command for silence there.

  57. John,

    Now does 1 Corinthians 34,35 mean that women are to remain silent at all times in a gathering of the Church body? No!

    The word used in the Corinthian 14 passage is about complete silence.  It is not the Greek word used for not talking so loud but keeping completely silent. Also remember that a “law” is appealed to.  One cannot understand the passage without finding the “law” that is appealed to.  This is an elusive law, because it cannot be found in the OT.

  58. One last comment and I do need to run.  No where does scripture call the man the “spiritual head” of a woman.  The only spiritual head that a woman has is Jesus Christ.  The husband is the head in a one-flesh union with her.

    Neither men nor women are to shame anyone in public.  We are also not to shame Christ.  But we are all allowed to speak forth in the assembly and we are allowed to test all things and hold fast to what is good. 

    Since it is clear that there is no OT law that silences women in the assembly, perhaps you can explain why Paul comes out so strong in refutation in verse 36?  What is Paul refuting?

  59. Cheryl said:

    “What is being said is that Paul quotes from the letter sent to him from the Corinthians (see 1 Cor. 7:1) and then refutes the quote in 1 Cor. 14:36.  Therefore the injunction for women to be silent that appears in the oral law is not held by Paul but rejected by Paul”

    I say:

    This is a personal interpretation of your own, which does not hold to the context of the chapter nor the wider 1 Corinthians letter! Paul is not quoting froma letter sent to him in reply to the Corinthians!

    Paul is speaking his words to the Corinthians!

    Again you are mishandling this passage out of personal desire to see earthly equality in roles for men and women!

    While true Paul was not forbiddding women from ever speaking or asking questions in a gathering of a Church body. What he was saying was that Wives in public should give deference to their husbands and not shame them by being unruly!

    Yes they may ask questions, yes they may speak, and yes they may prophecy or speak in tongues, but it was all to be done in good order and in respect of the roles for husband and wife.

    And for women to be in good order in a gathering of the Church Body was to not be unruly and therefore shame their husbands!

    I have never said that women should not preach, teach or speak in Church! What I am saying though as The Apostle Paul says in this passage which is from God’s Written law is that women are not to appear as unruly in public thereby shaming their husband.

    If a husband agree’s that his wife should preach, so be it, but she still must be under the spiritual leadership of her husband and honor her husband in that role! And then God will honor her in her preaching!

  60. John,

    Just in case I wasn’t clear enough.  Show me the law that is quoted in 1 Cor. 14:34, 35.  Where is this law of silencing women in the assembly given, where is its origin, where is the LAW?

    Thanks!

    Out the door.  😉

  61. Cheryl said

    No where does scripture call the man the “spiritual head” of a woman.  The only spiritual head that a woman has is Jesus Christ.  The husband is the head in a one-flesh union with her.

    “God’s Word says: Ephesians 5:22-24:

    Marriage—Christ and the Church
    Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.  Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

    Cheryl said:

    Show me the law that is quoted in 1 Cor. 14:34, 35.  Where is this law of silencing women in the assembly given, where is its origin, where is the LAW?

    I say:

    Read my comment just above yours.

  62. And I say, he’s not here to listen or learn but only to lecture and judge. Good luck, Cheryl. I’ve got better things to do too. 😉

  63. John,

    You are using a translation that inserts some words into the verse, specifically the “submit to” in verse 22 is from verse 21, where believers are to submit to one another.  Yes, it is valid to say that the verb in verse 22 is implied, but it is not valid to decouple this verse from v. 21, as then it has no verb.

  64. Paula Said:

    “And I say, he’s not here to listen or learn but only to lecture and judge. Good luck, Cheryl. I’ve got better things to do too. ”

    I say:

    Why is it when someone applies the correct exegesis to a Bible passage they are suddenly accused of “Judging”

    I am always open to learning, but what I am not open to is someone misusing a Bible passage for their own personal non-Biblical agenda!

    What you and others are trying to apply to this passage is in no way inferred by the passage! The context of the passage does not even address issues of equality! It addresses issues of unruliness at gatherings of the Corinthian Church Body!

    And further to actually say that Paul is quoting from a letter sent to him is not supported even by the basic grammatical composition of the letter in English or in the original Greek!

    You are reading into the passage your own agenda!

  65. Don said:
    You are using a translation that inserts some words into the verse,
    I say:
    Actually no I am not. I have read this in English and in the original Greek.  the basic premise you and others are putting forward is a false one! And that is the Apostle Paul is quoting from a letter sent to him by the Corinthians and using it as an example to stress the ewquality of men and women, And this is very bad exegesis!
    Never in Theological History has any Biblical Scholar made such a false assumption! The grammatical content of the letter in no way suggests Paul is quoting from a letter sent to him.
    The Grammatical composition of the letter in English and in the original Greek clearly show that The Apostle Paul is giving his own instructions!
    The context of the chapter is about there being unruliness and disorder in the gathering of the Corinthian Church body and in that gathering Men as well as Women were being unruly an disorderly! The Apostle was reminding Women of their roles in regards to their husbands and that they should not shame their husbands publically by being unruly and out of order. And he uses the written law to show that wives were to be subject to their husbands and this is consistent with the rest of the Apostle’s writings in regards to marriage!

  66. First of all, I ask these questions not out of the desire to trap anyone, but because at 17 there is a lot I genuinely don’t know/understand about the Bible. After reading the post and this board I have the following questions. So, at the risk of sounding completely ignorant:
    What is your (being the general your) definition of spiritual head?
    What is the purpose of this spiritual head?
    As a single woman am I without a spiritual head?
    Would having a husband less spiritual than me block my spiritual growth and/or salvation?
    Is equality on earth a bad thing?
    If men and women are spiritually equal, why must women have a spiritual head?

  67. John,

    The “correct exegesis” is a matter of opinion. So you have judged Cheryl as having faulty exegesis when you have not proven it to be faulty, but merely made the accusation– hence judgment. We can as easily accuse you of “misusing a Bible passage for their own personal non-Biblical agenda!” I personally believe that you are “You are reading into the passage your own agenda!”

    All you do is make baseless assertions and throw your opinion around. When will you answer the questions put to you? You are in Cheryl’s “house”, so you should be polite and answer her.

    And PLEASE, lay off all the exclamation points. It comes across as shouting.

  68. Paula said:

    The “correct exegesis” is a matter of opinion. So you have judged Cheryl as having faulty exegesis when you have not proven it to be faulty, but merely made the accusation– hence judgment.

    I say:
    And now the other shoe falls. We now see how you view Scripture! Just a book open to various widely divergent interpretations.
    What is so ludicrous about this proposition is that it even puts into question those passages that have good perpescuity (clarity) by even basic third grade grammatical standards in the English and in the original Greek!
    There are areas of the Bible such as Eschatology that are open to different interpretations. But the passage in question is not one of those!
    It goes against basic grammatical composition and good common sense to even imply that Paul is not giving direct instructions in this passage. And hence it is indeed bad exegesis to imply that Paul is quoting a letter to him and then refuting it!

    And I have answered all of Cheryl’s questions.

  69. John, I guess you’re going to use the exclamation points regardless. Whatever.

    What shoe, John? The one you’ve been wearing? The one where only YOUR interpretation is right? The one where only YOU can decide which passages are open to interpretation and which are not?

    You have answered nothing, John. Simply declaring someone wrong is not an answer, much less a logical argument or analysis. You should stop and read for a very long time before posting again, because you are unfamiliar with all the research and proper exegesis that’s gone into the views here.

  70. What Greek text are you using? I use UBS 4.

    Are you aware that the term “the law says” refers to the oral law of the Pharisees?

  71. Paula said,

    “What shoe, John? The one you’ve been wearing? The one where only YOUR interpretation is right? The one where only YOU can decide which passages are open to interpretation and which are not?”

    I say:

    Apologies but you are making some very elementary ridiculous claims here. You are making a claim that a passage that IS very clear and needs no interpretation skills, says something that even a third grade elementary student could read and understand that Paul is giving an instruction in this passage. and I am not basing that on my personal opinion but on what is considered very basic and general grammatical composition.

    It requires no linguistic skills or Biblical interpetation skills in this passage to understand who is saying what and who they are directing it to.

    Only people who have an agenda wish to make the passage appear as if it requires some deep insight to reveal its meaning. And conveniently their deep interpretation fits with their agenda. 

    No where can you provide any support to infer that he is reading from a letter to him and then refuting it. Other than in your own personal opinion, which under any case, again violates the very clear grammatical composition of the letter. 

    you refuse to accept that the passage along with its surrounding context clearly shows under BASIC grammatical standards a person giving an instruction.

    Now it is very obvious as I said before that you have a belief that ALL of scripture is open to personal subjecitve interpretation, even when that interpretation goes against explicit third grade logical grammatical sense within the passage and its context.

    You make the same serious errors that Homosexuals make in attempting to extend passages beyond ANY logical sense to justify their agenda.

    And since you cannot show using even basic grammatical standards proof for your personal view on this passage you resort to anger and personal attacks.

    Hence any benefit of continuing a discussion with you is fruitless.

  72. “In regards to the statement in verse 35: “As also saith the Law”
    Does not find its root in the oral law. Its inception comes from Genesis 3:16:
    To the woman He said:
          “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;
          In pain you shall bring forth children;
          Your desire shall be for your husband,
          And he shall rule over you.”

    Hi John,

    Saying that this is the inception of this ‘law’ in the NT does not make sense from many angles. First of all, Jesus came to redeem us from the law and secondly, the above is NOT a law. It is a consequence of sin. Just like you are not in sin if you work in an airconditioned office and are not a farmer toiling on the land. Even farmers are not in sin for using fertilizer and such. And, if we follow your interpretation that Gen 3 is a law and even proceeds to the NC, then any woman using pain relief in childbearing would be in sin. So, you really get into some serious legalism if we follow your interpretation using Gen 3 as a law instead of the consequence of sin.

    Many hard comp scholars even admit that the reference to the ‘law’ in 1 Corinthians 14 cannot be Gen 3.

    Is there another place in scripture where this ‘law’ in 1 Corn 14 is referenced? We cannot find it. But we know that God made The ‘law’ clear. God is never confusing about His law.

    But we DO KNOW for a FACT what Paul is referencing: The Oral law because the Oral law says exactly that! A woman is to be SILENT and the Greek means SILENT not just quiet. Check that out and see. BUT, we know that Paul goes on to REFUTE that in verse 36. YOu may want to check the Greek on verse 36 very closely. You will see that it clearly negates verses 34 and 35.

    “This does not mean that a man should be a tyrant over his wife. What it means is that the Man in God’s plan, after the fall, was to be the Spiritual Head!”

    John, Kephale does not mean authority in this verse. It means unity and the whole passage is about unity and mutual submission. Had the Holy Spirit wanted to communicate ‘authority’ in these passages He would have inspired a very clear Greek word for authority. There are several of them already used quite clearly in the NT. 

    If we go with your interpretation then women have 2 “authorities” as believers. They have Jesus Christ, their High Priest and a husband. Are you suggesting with ‘spiritual head’ that your wife must go through you like an OT priest? Is there a human layer between her and her Savior? If not, then what does ‘spiritual head’ mean?
    John, I am very sad to see your view of over half of all believers. Many of these are single women, widowed and divorced. Many of these need love and support of their fellow brothers in Christ. Not more rules and roles that are not of Christ. “Roles” is an invention of man. We are to BE in Christ. Not play a part that entails works.

  73. John,

    You bring yet more accusations, assertions, personal insults… one thing we can finally agree on is that this is pointless. You didn’t come here to learn or even argue, but only to bash and deny.

    In spite of the efforts of male supremacists the world over, rest assured that we do indeed value the scriptures over the personal rage of those who cling jealously to society’s privileges. We have been made free by Jesus Himself, and gifted by His Spirit, never again to be enslaved or restricted by the power-hungry. We know the Truth and it has indeed set us free. We have only one Master and Judge to whom we will give an account.

    Those who believe we are so wrong never show any compassion or concern for us. They shoot those they perceive to be wounded, and trample those they fear. When they see our boldness and strength, they sometimes border on the hysterical in their obsession with stamping us out. I will never fathom how anyone who comprehends the love of Christ for all of us could harbor such disdain for fellow believers.

  74. John,

    I think you are pushing some buttons here that are not helpful.  You said:

    Only people who have an agenda wish to make the passage appear as if it requires some deep insight to reveal its meaning.

    When you say things like this, it comes across as if you are judging people’s motives. Are you willing to even consider that someone might see something in the scripture that you don’t see unless they are mistreating the scriptures?  If so, then there can be no dialog because who could convince you if you have your mind already made up that some one has an ulterior motive?

    I think it is much more helpful to discuss the issues rather than speculate about a person’s motive or agenda.  When Jesus said not to judge lest you be judged, he is speaking about things that we are not allowed to judge.  We can work through doctrine to clearly understand our opponent’s view and then lovingly dismantle the view in order to respectfully show a person where they are wrong.  If we judge their heart attitude instead of working through any errors in their understanding of the scripture, we in essence will find ourselves with a wall built between ourselves and the opposition.  Walls divide Christians, while gentleness and respect dismantles the stumbling blocks.  While we work to correct wrong doctrine with a spirit of true love for fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, the Holy Spirit will do his work to open blind eyes to the truth of God’s word.  For those who want to be true bond servants of Jesus Christ we have a mandate for us to correct with an attitude of gentleness and reverent respect (1 Peter 3:15).  If we judge motives, we shouldn’t be surprised when people get upset and judge our motives.  It is a vicious circle.

  75. Don said:
    Are you aware that the term “the law says” refers to the oral law of the Pharisees?

    I say:

    You are making a declarative statement as if it is a matter of fact. and you are incorrect. The meaning of “the law” does not always refer to the oral law of the Pharisee’s.  It depends upon the context with which it is used in and the person using those words.

    Only in classical Rabbinical literature does the statment “The Law” refer to the Pharisee’s Oral Law since Classical Talmudic law is based upon the Pharisee’s oral law.

    And in regards to this passage it does not refer to the Oral law of the Pharisee’s. And regardless of which law it in fact did refer to matters not.

    As the main point of error here is to say that Paul is quoting from a letter that he has received and then proceeding to refute it.

    No where in the context of the letter or this passage can that  premise be supported, either in basic english grammar or in  the Greek grammar.

    So since it cannot be supported by the basic grammatical context that Paul is reading from a letter he received and since we know that Paul was vehemently against the Pharisee’s oral law. Then we know that he could in no way be referring to an Oral Law.

    And speaking hypothetically, lets say the passage did support that Paul was reading from a letter he had received, where is the letter?

    You are making assumptions that go beyond even faith.

    First you deny the basic grammatical construction of the passage, which then leads you into deeper error of assuming that “The Law” refers to the Pharisee’s oral law and then you extend it even further to try and say that Paul is making a case for equality!

    When that is not even in the context of the passage. Paul is talking in the passage of not being unruly and out of order in a gathering of the Corinth Church Body when the spiritual gifts are functioning.

    Have you ever been in a Charismatic or Pentecostal service? Then you would know what Paul is speaking of. Many charismatics and Pentecostals get lost in the “gifts of the spirit” and let the whole order of the service collapse into confusion and disorder.

  76. #73 Nicole,

    What wonderful questions you have!  For a 17 year old you show a great deal of maturity.  I would like to touch on some of your questions, but since they are mainly geared to complementarians, I will first see if anyone is willing to engage your questions.  Very good questions!

  77. John,

    I have to run out the door again for another appointment so I can’t go through all of your posts to answer them.  I would like you to take the time to show how Genesis 3:16 is a law.  What is a law?  How is a law given that makes it a law?  Who is Genesis 3:16 spoken to and what are they commanded to do in this verse?  Is submission commanded or even mentioned in this verse?  What is commanded? 

    Can you also explain why other strong complementarians have rejected that Genesis 3:16 is the “law” that is referred to in 1 Cor. 14:34, 35?  Do they also have an “agenda”?  Or is finding the truth of scripture a cause to reevaluate some of our misconceptions about a “law” that is never listed in scripture as demanding women to be silent in the assembly.

    I look forward to your response.  I think that if we keep this to the argument and not color our response with a questioning of someone’s motive, being that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, we should be able to have a great and lively discussion.

    Thanks!

    My Dentist awaits me.

  78. I agree that “the law” can refer to many things.  My point was that “the law says” refers to the oral torah of the Pharisees.  This was the standard convention of the 1st century to refer to it.  One needs to read Paul with 1st century context.

  79. Cheryl,

    Your questions are immaterial as you cannot defend the position that the basic grammatical structure of the passage or even any of 1 Corinthians supports the very phantom hypothesis that the Apostle Paul in this passage is referring to a letter that he has received from Corinth that attributes verses 34 & 35 to Judaizers and the Oral Law. And then later in the Chapter Paul refuting this premise.

    You and others on this thread refuse to accept what is clear. And instead you chose to turn simple grammatical clarity on its head to try and force what is not there simly because you believe that “as also saith the Law” refers to the Pharisee’s Oral Law.

    And hypothetically speaking even if it did refer to the oral law it would render the passage as complete nonsense.

    It is sad that people refuse to accept clear grammatical structure and instead fall into a ditch while trying to construct a whole phantom context.

    And in regards to whether a person is a complementarian or an Egalitarian. You can come at Scripture with with preconcieved notions that obscure the clear text. And people do not always have to have overt agenda’s. They can be blinded by their own fallen flesh (pride) and not allow themselves to accept what is being said in God’s Word because it cuts their pride.

    God’s word stands apart from complementarianism or Egalitarianism. Both concepts in and of themselves are lacking in understanding and Spiritual Wisdom.

  80. Don said:

    I agree that “the law” can refer to many things.  My point was that “the law says” refers to the oral torah of the Pharisees.  This was the standard convention of the 1st century to refer to it.  One needs to read Paul with 1st century context.

    I say:

    Again you are making a declarative statement that is false.

    Again “The Law” only refers to the Oral Law when that statement is used in Classical Rabbinical literature and Rabbinical Talmudic law which is based on the Mishna. And the Mishna is based on the Oral Law of the Pharisee’s

    So when you say the “standard convention of the 1st Century” you are saying the Standard 1st century Pharisaical Oral Law standard and context.

    And hence you wrongly assume that all 1st century standard and context was via the Pharisaical Oral Law, which it was not!

    Today It is only a specific group of people who have chosen to recast and reinterpret the New Testament via 1st century Pharisaical Oral Law and Traditions, and further they are teaching people this as well.

    And it is a false assumption. both Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul clearly rejected the Pharisee’s oral law! to them, in the 1st century,  “The Law” was the written old Testament.

    And when the Apostle Paul is directly addressing someone with instructions as he is clearly doing in the passage in question he is referring to the Written law not the Pharisee’s Oral Law which he rejected.

  81. John, All we are asking is for you to show us where this ‘law’ is in scripture. We know it is not Gen 3 because that is NOT a law. God is always very clear about His laws. They are not vague and we don’t have to read into them.

    So, where is the law that says woman must be silent (Greek meaning must not speak) in the Body of Christ? And why would Paul contradict himself by assuming woman are prophesying and praying in the church in other passages in Corinthians? Why would he say ALL may prophesy in verse 31? Or why in 11:5 is Paul assuming women are already prophesying in the Corinthian church when he addresses headcoverings? This makes no sense. Paul is not contradicting himself.

    Paul is also saying in verse 35 that it is ‘shameful’ (some translations say improper) for a woman to speak. That word  “shameful” in Greek means vile and filthy. Would Paul be saying that a woman speaking in the Body of Christ as vile and filthy?

    No, he would not. But we KNOW for a FACT the Oral law teaches exactly that…a woman’s voice is vile and filthy.

  82. Jesus and Paul did not necessarily reject all of the oral law, they rejected that part which negated Scripture.  Paul was a Pharisee so he certainly knew how to refer to the oral law in the way it was done at that time, namely as “the law says” that is because it was oral during the 1st century.  The Tanakh was referred to as “It is written…” or similar.

  83. To Lin and Don,

    you both still hold to a false premise and that is:

    verses 34 & 35 are the words of “Judaizers” in the Corinth Church who wanted Women to remain silent in church in accordance with The Oral Law.

    Yet the basic grammatical composition of the passage clearly shows that this is not true!

    Paul is giving instructions and later in the chapter he clearly says:

    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.

    And in regards to an Old Testament Written Law stating that women should remain silent at all times in Church, I did not say that there was.

    If you will review my comments you will see what I said Paul is referring to when he instructs the women to remain silent in verse 34.

    It is not a blanket proscription against women speaking or teaching in Church ever!

    The context of chapter 14 is in regards to the Corinthian church body being unruly and disordered with the “gifts of the spirit” when they got together.

    The Corinthian Church had a lot of issues going on that Paul was attempting to address and correct. The Corinthian Church was in many ways similiar to today’s Charismatic and Pentecostal Churches where the people speak in “tongues”, “Prophecy” etc and are very unruly and disordered about it. And many Pentecostal Church goers can be very carnal in their personal lives.

    Paul in verses 34 & 35 is reminding women of their God ordered role and place in regards to their husband. And that God ordered role and place is established in Genesis 3:16. And in Paul’s other writings in regards to marriage he speaks of this order.

    So again, verses 34 & 35 are not blanket proscriptions against women speaking in Church. Paul is addressing a specific situation in the Corinthian Church and he is giving instructions of how women are to conduct themselves in that situation so as to not shame their husbands who they are to submit to.

    And I will also say this for the final time.

    A person who pushes for equality in the Church to their own benefit is doing it from their own flesh and not from a pure heart.

    God does not choose those to lead who demand equality. God chooses those for leadership who are content with what they have and the position they are in.

    The mistake the visible chuch makes today is to assume that since a person is in leadership then they have been chosen by God to be there.

    Leadership in churches today owes more to a “corporate” type system than it does to God’s intended system for picking people for leadership.

    Paul is instructing them to

  84. John,

    I am afraid that you are protesting too much without a shred of evidence offered.  You said:

    Again you are making a declarative statement that is false.

    Again “The Law” only refers to the Oral Law when that statement is used in Classical Rabbinical literature and Rabbinical Talmudic law which is based on the Mishna. And the Mishna is based on the Oral Law of the Pharisee’s

    You say that Don’s statement is false and yet you ignore the context that proves Don right.  The fact is that the “law” in 1 Cor. 14:34, 35 IS classic Rabbinical literature and Talmudic law.  The key points that line up with the Talmudic law are 1) women were forbidden to speak in public  2) women were forbidden to publicly learn Torah and 3) a woman’s voice in public was called filthy.

    Now let’s examine these points from scripture.  Were women anywhere in scripture forbidden to speak in public?  Did the scriptures forbid women from learning in public?  Were women’s voices ever called “filthy” in the scriptures?  The answer to all is “no!”  This creates quite a problem.  How do we handle these contradictions?

    You said that these were unruly women that were speaking.  Where does it say this?  First of all there is nothing at all in the passage talking about unruly women.  Secondly there is nothing in the passage that speaks about a loud boisterous voice.  The inspired word is plain talk, speech.  No woman’s speech is to be heard in the assembly.  So for one to get an “unruly” woman in these verse, one must add this concept into the passage.  We choose to not add in what is not there.

    When I was in Israel in 1986, the instructor told us that women were calling over to their husbands across the room to ask them questions about what the speaker said.  I did accept this for a lot of years until I did research on my own and there were discrepancies that I could not get rid of with this view.

    The first discrepancy is that most churches met in homes not in synagogues.  Secondly Paul had already made it clear in verse 31 that “all may learn”.  There is nothing that said that one may not ask questions in order to learn.  Thirdly, how could Paul tell women to ask questions of their own husbands at home when this wouldn’t work for many of the women?  Many of them had unbelieving husbands a fact that is addressed in scripture regarding how to deal with an unbelieving mate.  Would Paul suggest that unbelieving husbands will answer their wives questions?  And what about those who are not married?  They have no husband to ask.  How would this command work for them?  Then there is the word “filthy” which would never be used of spiritual questions.  How would a question asked about the faith by a woman said to be filfthy?  Scripture never once speaks about questions this way but it is consistent with the Rabbinic laws found in the Talmudic law.

    Lastly, and the question that I have repeatedly asked you, is where is this “law” found in scripture?  There is no such “law” that silences a woman in Genesis 3:16.

    There are many more inconsistencies too.  Is a man allowed to ask questions, but a woman is not?  Why is only a woman’s voice considered “filthy”?  It makes complete sense if Paul is quoting a “law” that is being forced onto the Christian congregation.  But it makes no sense at all if this is Paul’s command.

    Then there is verse 36 which has a disjunctive conjunction which in the Greek grammar means “it is used frequently to introduce rehetorical questions to which a negative answer is expected”  per the Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament Vol. 2 pg 111 by Horst Balz and Gerhard Schneider.  1 Cor. 14:36 is given as such an example and of a double question that we are to understand a negative answer to.  This clearly lists verse 36 as standing in opposition to the verses just preceding.  If Paul is contradicting the previous statements which 36 stands in opposition to, then how can verses 34 & 35 be God’s word?  Would Paul contradict God’s word?

    There are so many contradictions in the passage if we take these are God’s “law” quoted by Paul.  But the contradictions are removed if we consider that Paul is quoting from a demand made by some of the Corinthians concerning what they wanted Paul to do with the women.

    Now, you will notice that by presenting the argument using the inspired words and the inspired grammar, I did not use prejorative terms like “fall into the ditch” nor did I accuse you of having pride or lacking in wisdom.  These things are unnecessary when one argues from the text itself instead of making the issue about a person’s motives or their soundness of mind.

    So, I am still waiting to find out where God’s law is in scripture that silences women in the assembly.  Genesis 3:16 just will not do.  It is not a command, but rather a statement of what will follow from sin.  God doesn’t tell Adam to silence Eve and there is no mention of the assembly in the verse.  God doesn’t say that Eve’s voice is filthy or that she cannot learn in the assembly but must learn from Adam in the home.

    This kind of interaction, I think is very good for all of us to see.  This is where the lurkers can see that the argument that we have is based on what the text says and the argument refuses to add in what the text doesn’t say.  There is nothing about “unruly” women nor about yelling and no “law” that the Corinthians or the Bereans could check out in the Old Testament to see what was required of women in the assembly.  God is not the one who silences women in the assembly.

  85. Another aspect is that sigao/be silent is repeated 3 times in this pericope and it means the same thing each time, namely shut up.  Some translations do not show this.  The 3rd time is a quote from Corinth, but the first 2 are Paul.  My take is Paul is showing that anyone might need to shut up, but to tell women they cannot speak simply becasue they are women is wrong, so he repudiates it.

  86. John,

    You said:

    Paul is giving instructions and later in the chapter he clearly says:

    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.

    This is correct.  What are the “things” (plural) that Paul said ARE commandments from the Lord?

    We should have no problem agreeing that the commands from Paul in most of chapter 14 are from the Lord.  What are some of these commands?  The commands are in the imperative and they are “pursue love” “desire earnestly spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy” again “desire earnestly to prophesy” and “do not forbid to speak in tongues”.  These “commands” contradict the command that silences women.  All may speak out, Paul says, and then a few verse later it is written that women are to be silent, and then a few verses later Paul says do not forbid to speak.  What is going on?  Paul has alluded to the letter written by the Corinthians to him and he quotes from the letter in several places.  Look at 1 Cor. 7:1 in the ESV and you will see that they have put in quotation marks showing that they believe this is one of the passages quoted from the letter written by the Corinthians.  The NET bible also has quotations in this verse.  The Montgomery bible has quotation marks in 1 Cor. 14:34 & 35 showing that it is a quotation from the Corinthians.  If different bibles put in quotation marks around what they believe to be the words of the Corinthians including 1 Cor. 14:34 & 35, then it is not a phantom idea to have the reference to women’s filthy speech as coming from the Jews who wanted to follow the Rabbinic laws.

    Note also that every place that Paul quotes from the OT, he says “it is written” or “In the Law it is written”.  In each case we can identify the OT scripture that is quoted.  However the “law” from verses 34 & 35 cannot be identified in scripture.  Why is this?  Why is this “law” written as “for the law SAYS” when in every other place where Paul quotes scripture it is always “it is written”?  These are very important questions and they deserve to be asked and thoughtfully answered.

  87. “A person who pushes for equality in the Church to their own benefit is doing it from their own flesh and not from a pure heart.”

    But John, your interpretation gives you MORE than equality. It gives you superiority over a whole group of believers: Women.

    You have misunderstood about equality. Paul makes that clear in Gal 3:28. I don’t have to ‘push’ for it. The Holy Spirit gifts me…not a human. Jesus Christ became our High Priest. A slave is just as important as a noble in the Body of Christ.

    “The mistake the visible chuch makes today is to assume that since a person is in leadership then they have been chosen by God to be there.”

    I completely agree with this. A title conferred by men means very little.
    “eadership in churches today owes more to a “corporate” type system than it does to God’s intended system for picking people for leadership.”

    I also completely agree with this. But, I would say that leadership is a tricky word to use for the Body of Christ. There are differnt functions and all believers are gifted to edify the Body. We are all SERVANTS…even elders, pastors, etc.

    There are no pink and blue spiritual gifts.

  88. I would also like to comment on John’s quote:

    “A person who pushes for equality in the Church to their own benefit is doing it from their own flesh and not from a pure heart.”

    I agree with what Lin has said.  Not only is spiritual equality given through Christ by the Holy Spirit, but in the church it is primarily for the benefit of the body of Christ, not our own benefit.

    We we serve the body of Christ, we are benefiting all.  Paul said in 1 Cor. 14 that all may prophesy so that all may learn.  When I give of myself, I am a servant to all.  We are to meet the needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ and serve them with our gifts. 

    Can you imagine a pastor saying that he needs volunteers to serve the body.  The volunteers need to serve the body by meeting the needs of the body.  They must give and give and give of themselves for the benefit of the body.  When a few hands go up, will the pastor say to them, “Your hand went up to benefit your own flesh and you do not have a pure heart”?  No, a servant who serves all is not lifting himself/herself up.  They are serving the body with love of their brothers and sisters in Christ and love for the Lord who died and bought them.

    What I don’t understand is what manner of logic that consistently questions our motives?  If we would question motives, would it not rather be a question of the motive of the one who stands at the door of the church and will not allow in people who are not of the “right” nationality or the ones who have a certain standard of education or money?  Those who hold people back are not to be questioned but the one who wants to give of themselves as a sacrifice for the body of Christ should be questioned regarding their heart attitude?

    Something is not right here.  It makes me think that there MUST be an attack on the person when there is a weak or nonexistent argument. 

    Those who pull at the apron strings will find an angry response because people do not like to have to rethink their theology when their theology is comfortable.  Five years ago I had to rethink my theology when I was confronted with someone who told me that God didn’t allow women to teach the bible to men.  Is this true?  I needed to find out for myself.  What I found in the scriptures was a whole bunch of contradictions that had to be examined.  Why so many contradictions internally within the passage and with other passages?  Those complementarian scholars who have dealt with me with charity have told me that my exegesis is thought-provoking and my questions deserve to be asked and answered.

  89. Let me state very clearly here, I never said that Women speaking in pubic were being unrully in the context of verse 34 & 35.
    What I did say which is correct is that the context of Pauls letter and instructions to the Corinthians was because the church body as a whole were being unruly and disordered in their gatherings as a body.
    Eveyone wanted to Prophecy, Everyone wanted to speak in Tongues, everyone wanted to interpret and it was causing their gatherings to be chaotic, unruly and with out order! He then addresses how they should conduct themselves in their gatherings and part of his instructions included those to the women of that body, and that is the context that the verses 34 & 35 are included in. He was not giving a blanket proscription of women speaking in their gatherings. He was addressing an out of control situation by the entire body including women!
    He was reminding wives of their God ordained role to submit to their husbands and not be part of unruliness or disorder thereby shaming their husbands in public!
    It is utterly ludicrous to say that verses 34 & 35 are attributed to “Judaizers” when there is no context within the passage to even vaguely suggest that!
    Just because you have found an oral tradition that discriminates against women under all circumstances does not mean you can shoe horn the interpetation of verses 34 & 35 into being that oral law!
    It is a stretch of that passage that goes far beyond logical reason for a specific agenda. A demanding agenda!
    And again in regards to someone demanding equality within a Body, No it is not of God to demand equality, man or woman. Because what they are demanding is fallen fleshly equality. God does not honor a request like that.
    Yes there is Spiritual Equality in the Church in Christ, but that is not the same as fallen fleshly equality that is being demanded here. And in regards to the statement that I benefit from the as is, again betrays a heart that feels slighted, wronged and wants justice for that perceived wrong!
    But it is misplaced and when you rely on wronged feelings to drive your theology this is where it leads!
    I have no issue with women in leadership, i have no fear of women in leadership, or women as preachers, I know many! But what I do not like is people mishandling Gods word to try and manipulate it to fit their skewed ideology. And thats what is being done with this passage.
    Rabbinical tradition is the avenue today that all kinds of groups have latched onto in order to manufacture their very own interpretation of God’s word to fit their own fallen agenda! It is a false avenue and one that destroys the very clear context of passages such as this.
    God’s Word is antithetical to Rabinnical Tradition! for anyone to attempt to use it to interpret the New Testament is Spiritually blind!
    I reject your position not because I fear an different “viewpoint” I reject it because it is clearly false,  and it mishandles a passage for a personal fallen agenda.
    In God’s economy you do not demand! And it matters not the gender of the messenger  in regards to that truth!

  90. An excellent exposition on 1 Corinthians 14:34,35:

    Relative to every truth, there are extremes. Extremes are not seen on God’s part, but they enter in as a result of man. Man’s failures to correctly understand and teach God’s word are the product of many things. Some having a preconceived idea only use the Bible in an effort to support their belief, some approach the scriptures with attendant bad study practices, and some set out to deliberately distort the word of God (Matt. 13: 15; 2 Tim. 2: 15; 2 Pet. 2: 1). In addition to these cases, some verses are admittedly difficult and require extra care in effecting a correct exegesis (cp. 2 Pet. 3: 16). One passage that has certainly had its share of abuse is I Corinthians 14: 34, 35. The passage reads as follows:
    “34: Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. 35: And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church” (I Cor. 14).
    On one end of the spectrum, we have the teaching today that women may serve as preachers and elders in the Lord’s church (cp. I Tim. 2: 12; I Tim. 3: 1ff.).
    The antithetical position is women are not even allowed to speak in the assembly. We are told that I Corinthians 14 verses 34, 35 preclude even speech on the part of godly women in the assembly. Some present I Corinthians 14: 34, 35 in a way that manifestly contradicts what Paul taught in I Corinthians 11: 4-16 regarding the prophetesses and how they were to “pray or prophesy.” One view is that after telling the prophetesses how to do what they were doing in public places in chapter eleven, Paul now decides to change his teaching and tell the prophetesses to be silent in the assembly. Some have introduced these two texts as an example of ambivalence and indecision.

    Others, based on I Corinthians 14: 34, 35 have concluded that public places such as the assembly were not included in the text of I Corinthians 11: 3-16. If this be the case, how could there have been the doing of the same thing and in the same circumstance that occasioned the need for the head covering enjoined by Paul in the case of the prophetesses (I Cor. 11: 4-16)? Could it be that I Corinthians 11: 4-16 and I Corinthians 14: 34, 35 are addressing entirely different people and circumstances? We shall attempt by careful exegesis to ascertain exactly what Paul is and is not teaching when he penned I Corinthians 14: 34, 35.
    Let your women keep silence in the churches….”  The original is, “Let the women in the churches be silent” (sigatosan ai gunaikes en tais ekklesiais). The King James translators infer “your” from the idea of the Corinthian women being addressed. However, it is evident that the women being addressed are not limited to Corinth. I say this based on the plural “churches” (ekklesiais, see also vs. 36). By “churches,” the local church is meant. More precisely, “in a church” (en ekklesia, vs. 35) refers to the assembly as opposed to “at home” (en oiko).
    Chapter fourteen of I Corinthians is a chapter in which we find regulation that especially pertained to the assembly. The use of spiritual gifts, especially tongues and prophesy, had a special utility and function, therefore, Paul is stressing how these miraculous gifts were to be exercised. As a consequence, we read such language as, “in church” (en ekklesia, vs. 19; 28). Paul speaks of “the whole church be come together in one place” (he hole ekklesia sunelthe epi to, vs. 23).
    Such spiritual gifts as prophesy were designed for the edification of the church and were used in the assembly to edify the saints (vs. 3, 5, 22). Hence, we read of, “But if all prophesy, and there come in…” (vs. 24). To “come in” (eiselthe) means to enter the assembly where prophesy was being done. Paul delineates the protocol and order for the exercise of spiritual gifts in the assembly (vs. 26-32). It, therefore, was in the assembly that these women were told to “be silent.” “Silent” is from the Greek sigao and means, “To be silent” and “to keep silence, hold one’s peace” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words and Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, respectively).

    Sigao is used nine times in the Greek New Testament and always with the idea of silence as opposed to sound (see Lk. 9: 36, “kept it close,” KJV, is from sigao). In fact, sigao is used twice in the context of I Corinthians 14: 34, 35. Paul wrote, “But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church…” and, “If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace” (vs. 28, 30). “Keep silence” (vs. 28) and “hold his peace” (vs. 30) is translated from sigao.
    …for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.” Paul with this explanatory injection states the reason why these women were to keep silent in the church. The applicable teaching to which Paul alludes probably looks to Genesis 3: 16 as its inception. There was something that these women were doing that was in violation of this general law of submission.
    And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home….” All were to learn and be edified, but there was a circumstance in which Paul tells these particular women that they should ask their husbands at home. The original is literally, “…let them question at home their own husbands” (eperotatosan en oiko tous idious andras). Hence, these were women at Corinth who had “their own men” and they had, therefore, the opportunity to question their own men at home (they lived together as husband and wife).
    “…for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” Paul ends this with another statement of explanation as suggested by the introductory word, “for” (Greek, gar). The question remains, who were these women and what were they doing that constituted a violation of submission and resulted in shame?  The answer, “…they were speaking” is simplistic.
    It is obvious that I Corinthians 14: 34, 35 demands qualification and stipulation. In the first place, to take this passage and simply say women are not allowed to speak in the assembly negates the general command to, “speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs…” (Eph. 5: 19). Hence, qualification is necessarily inferred. As mentioned, to insist that women, all women and in all circumstances, be without sound in the assembly is to make Paul contradict himself (his teaching relative to the prophetess, I Corinthians 11: 4-16).    
    We have engaged in an exegesis of the passage and now let us look to the context for additional meaning.
     I Corinthians chapter 14 is replete with instructions as to how to conduct themselves to avoid and obviate confusion (vs. 5, 6, 9, 16, 19, 23, 26-31). Paul plainly and cogently informed them that they were to be in control of themselves, even those who possessed spiritual gifts (vs. 32). I Corinthians 14: 34, 35 is sandwiched between verses that forbid confusion and disorder (vs. 33, 40). I, therefore, submit that what these women were doing was asking questions (the specific speaking) in the assembly of their husbands in such a way that both precipitated confusion and also resulted in lack of subjection to their husbands.

    These “women” were not all the women at Corinth, but they were married women. It is also implied that their husbands of whom they were to inquire at home and not in the assembly were in a position to provide the answers to their questions. Moreover, it is highly likely that their husbands were the prophets concerning whom the immediately preceding verses pertain. Hence, these women were to remain silent or without sound (as opposed to speech) IN THE MATTER contextually being discussed, confusion and lack of submission to their husbands. As to other regulating teaching that is broader in its scope, we must look to such texts as I Timothy 2: 12-15.
    While I Corinthians 14: 34, 35 is characterized by specificity, women today can also create confusion in the assembly and be guilty of not being in subjection to their husbands by speaking out in such a way to similarly cause confusion. This is the paramount lesson found in I Corinthians 14: 34, 35. However, to simplistically, arbitrarily left verses 34, 35 out of their context and contend that there is contained in these verses a blanket requirement of the silence of women in the assembly is to defeat and ignore Paul’s original application of I Corinthians 14: 34, 35 and make the passage collide with a number of other matters.
     good night!

  91. This says it all: “someone demanding equality”. The problem, truth to tell, is when someone demands superiority. The “fallen fleshly superiority that you are demanding here” is prideful and domineering.

    Tell us, John, what “not so among you” means, or “the greatest must be the least”.

    And I could throw all your accusations back at you:

    when you rely on feelings to drive your theology…
    Just because you have benefited from centuries of male supremacist tradition that discriminates against women under all circumstances does not mean you can shoe horn your interpretation into every spot you can
    It is a stretch of that passage that goes far beyond logical reason for a specific agenda. A demanding agenda! (yes, demanding of male preeminence)
    But what I do not like is people mishandling Gods word to try and manipulate it to fit their skewed ideology– like asserting male supremacy, even though God does not look on the flesh but on the spirit.
    All kinds of groups (such as male supremacists) have latched onto twisted theology in order to manufacture their very own interpretation of God’s word to fit their own fallen agenda!
    In God’s economy you do not demand!

    Those are all issues you must deal with in your own life.

    And no one here is trying to “attempt to use rabbinical tradition to interpret the New Testament”! You have no clue what we’re saying, that much is obvious. You wish to ignore the context is all we’re saying, a context that includes the traditions Paul fought against. We’re saying that he strongly objected to the rabbinical traditions as were being forced on the believers in Corinth. That is the exact opposite of what you accuse us of.

    When you use terms like “If anyone believes that, they are spiritually blind”, and when you claim that only YOUR interpretation is right and clear, and you presume to know our motives and judge our hearts, and when you ignore your OWN agenda of male privilege over your brothers and sisters in Christ, you display a pathetic ignorance of what Christian relationships are supposed to be like.

    “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few”, yet many try to hobble half the Body when the need is greatest. We don’t need fewer people spreading the gospel, and we don’t need taskmasters trying to enslave us to man’s rules. Instead of continuing this war against your spiritual equals and co-heirs, why don’t you turn your attention to the lost? Why not focus your energy on contending for the faith instead of beating your fellow servants?

  92. john,

    Do you see women as your spiritual equals?

    I don’t understand really why you are so up in the air over Paul having stopped Judaizers from silencing women, who thought there voices were filthy while not able to prove otherwise.

  93. John,

    I am thankful that you are still here.  It must mean that you are willing to try to hear us out.  Coming into a blog atmosphere where the majority believe in women’s freedom to serve without restrictions and serve without having to be prejudiced against their brothers must feel a wee bit intimidating.  I can understand that.  But if we are all brothers and sisters “in” Jesus – the one who paid the price for all of us with his own blood, then we have this opportunity to show some compassion and love even if we do not agree.

    You made some corrections here:

    What I did say which is correct is that the context of Pauls letter and instructions to the Corinthians was because the church body as a whole were being unruly and disordered in their gatherings as a body.
    Eveyone wanted to Prophecy,

    What I am hearing you say is that Paul was giving instructions because the entire body were being unruly and the entire worship service was being disordered.  Is this correct?

    In looking back through the entire chapter 14, I see Paul encouraging the Corinthians to earnestly desire spiritual gifts.  He then instructs them on the importance of the gifts that are for the common good.  He does this by saying a common phrase “edify the church”.  In verse 5 Paul emphasizes the importance of body ministry so that all are edified.  Up to this point he is not speaking about anything unruly, but only about the importance of all being edified.

    In verses 6 to 11 Paul is reinforcing the message that the church is edified by the gifts that are for their benefit – by words that they can understand.  He has not mentioned anything unruly to this point and his message is still about edification of the entire church, not about anything unruly.

    In verse 12, Paul again encourages the Corinthians to be very zealous for spiritual gifts.  He isn’t putting them down for desiring the gifts but instead he is encouraging them and it is a command.  But again he notes that the purpose is for the “edification of the church”.  This is a common edification so that all may be edified not just the person speaking.  Paul is not stopping the speaking of tongues in the church, but by verse 13 he is encouraging those who do speak publicly to ask God that their gift may be accompanied by interpretation so that everyone – the whole body can be edified by the message.

    In verses 14 to 18 Paul highlights the importance of body ministry so that the worship time is not about only one person being edified by their speaking in a tongue that no one understands.  Again, the common words here are “edified” and the common theme is whole church edification.

    In verse 18 Paul shows that his motive is not a personal dislike for tongues, because he admits that speaking in tongues is something that he does all the time, but he moves from personal edification to body ministry by saying that the common language that everyone understands is beneficial for body edification.

    In verse 20 Paul tells the Corinthians not to be children in their thinking, but to be mature.  Children are known for their selfish attitude where everything is about them.  Paul is teaching the Corinthians that the gifts are not about our “rights” but about our ability to serve the needs of others.

    In verse 22 Paul states the difference between tongues used as a sign at Pentecost (and for the salvation of unbelievers) and its use in the congregation.

    It isn’t until verse 23 that we see anything that would be considered unruly.  But notice that Paul says “if” all speak in tongues and unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are all mad?  Paul states a hypotetical situation.  He isn’t saying they are doing this unruly thing, he is saying “if” they did it.  So we can see that Paul is not saying the Corinthians are unruly, but he is commenting on an “if” situation.

    Now in verse 24 Paul reveals that if all are allowed to prophesy that this would be a good thing and would convict an unbeliever who came into their midst.

    Now we come to verse 26.  Here Paul talks about the entire assembly using their spiritual gifts to teach, give a message in tongues, interpretation, etc.  Paul does not say they are unruly doing this.  He only says that all things are to be done so that the entire congregation will be edified.

    In verse 27 Paul does indeed put a limit on the tongues speaking.  The reason is that while someone is going on and on in tongues, people are not edified.  It isn’t until the interpretation is given that they will be edified.  If there is no interpreter, then Paul commands the tongue speaker to be silent since the goal is the same as it has been in the entire chapter – one of full body edification.

    In verses 29 to 32 Paul again gives the goal of body edification.  There is a limit on the number of prophets so that there will be opportunity to judge the message.  All may prophesy one by one, Paul says, so that all can hear the individual messages so that all are edified.

    The reason, Paul gives is in verse 33 for one by one edification, he says that God is not a God of confusion but of peace.  This is the first and only time that Paul mentions anything that could be taken as a concern about something being unruly because too much going on at once without it being one at a time is confusing and will not edify the entire congregation.

    That’s it.  Where are you getting all of this “unruly” stuff going on in Corinth?  Paul’s entire instruction to this point is all about earnestly desiring the spiritual gifts and then how to use the gifts when they are given for the edification of the church.  Everything has been pretty much positive until now with the emphasis on edification.

    Now we have an entire change of tone as an entire group (all women) are commanded to be silent in the assembly.  The reason is given “for” or “because” they are not permitted to speak.  The Greek word for permit means to be allowed or entrusted to have the commission to or privilege of speaking.  So women are not allowed to speak not because they are unruly, but because they have not been entrusted with the commission or permission to speak.  Why?  Because the “law” says they are not allowed to speak but are commanded to be put under subjection. 

    Verse 34 shows that the subjection is in regard to speaking.  They are to be under subjection to the leaders and to the law.  Verse 35 says that if these women are willing to learn, they must ask permission from their own husbands to learn at home because it is a vile and shameful thing for a woman to speak in the assembly.

    You said:

    He was not giving a blanket proscription of women speaking in their gatherings. He was addressing an out of control situation by the entire body including women!

    Where does it say that they were “out of control”?  Are you not reading into the passage something that is not there?  There is nothing about being out of control or unruly.  There is an “if” statement and a caution that speaking one at a time in order to allow people to learn without confusion.  It is all about edification, not all about unrulyness.

    You said:

    He was reminding wives of their God ordained role to submit to their husbands and not be part of unruliness or disorder thereby shaming their husbands in public!

    I want you to take a good look at what you said.  The verse says “submission” but it doesn’t say they are to submit to their hsubands in the assembly. There is nothing at all about “shaming their husbands” here either.  The verses also say not one word about unruliness.  All of these things have to be read into the passage because they are not there.  Why are you adding in shaming of husbands, and unruly women, and submitting to husbands instead of to the leadership and the law?  These things that you have added are not in the passage.

    The focus is on a non-permission to speak according to some “law” that they must submit to.  It is the “law” that requires submission in the assembly.  The only submission to the husband that is implied is in getting permission from him to learn at home.  This is pure Talmudic law.  The man of the house – either the husband or the father – held a woman’s future in his hand.  He was told that if he taught his daughter the Torah, it was like teaching her something shameful for her.  But he did have the power to teach his daughter and/or his wife it he chose to because he was the boss.  It was not allowed in public, but he had control in his own home.

    You said:

    It is utterly ludicrous to say that verses 34 & 35 are attributed to “Judaizers” when there is no context within the passage to even vaguely suggest that!

    Here is the deal – I think that we can agree that Paul would never teach the Rabbinic law as a tradition that is binding on Christians.  So if the “law” is indeed the Talmudic law that was demanded by the Rabbinic tradition, then we should be able to agree that these words weren’t part of Paul’s demand on the Christians, but the demands of those who held to the Rabbinic law.

    So here is where the rubber meets the road.  Where is this “law” found?  It is easily found in the Talmudic traditions of the Jews.  Is it also found in the scriptures?  There is no way this “law” that forces women to submit to silence in the assembly is found in the OT.  If so, please show me where it is.  It certainly is not found in Genesis 3:16 and this is now being admitted by serious complementarian scholars.

    So unless you can find such a “law” that forces submission on women to silence in the assembly, then we must accept that this is not God’s command but man’s command being forced on the Christians.  If it is man’s command, then without a doubt it is the Talmudic law that was being demanded by false brethren that had infiltrated all the other churches too.  Are there any other options?  I don’t think so.

    You said:

    Just because you have found an oral tradition that discriminates against women under all circumstances does not mean you can shoe horn the interpetation of verses 34 & 35 into being that oral law!

    You are right.  Just because this Talmudic tradition discriminates against women does not have to mean that the scriptures could not also have the same type of law.  If this “law” is also found in the scriptures, then we can attribute it to Paul even though it appears to contradict everything that Paul has said up to this point about women speaking in the assembly and all women learning in the assembly (not just at home!)  So where is this law?  Where is the scriptural location of the law that commands women to submit to silence in the assembly? 

    Where is this law that says that women’s voices are filthy and they are not allowed to speak in the assembly?  I can find this in the Talmud, but can you find it in the scriptures?  If you cannot, then your exegesis has a serious problem.  Now you have a “law” appealed to that doesn’t exist in God’s word.  You also have a “law” appealed to that is exactly the same as the immoral man-made laws of the Jews.  You also have a “law” that is appealed to that contradicts Paul’s injunction for women to learn in the assembly and for them to speak in the assembly.  This is major bad news for you because it is an unsolvable contradiction.

    But we have Paul to the rescue.  In verse 36 he uses the Greek construction that would come close to us saying “What!?!  No way!  Who told you that only men can speak (the word of God coming only from men) and only men can learn the word of God (only men can have the word of God come to them)?  Nonsense!  If anyone is spiritual and mature, Paul says, let them acknowledge that everything I have been telling you is the commands of the Lord.  It is the command of the Lord that women are to earnestly desire to have the spiritual gifts.  It is the command of the Lord that women are allowed to prophesy and to speak in tongues and to interpret and to teach.  It is the command of the Lord that women are to learn.  The man-made command of the Rabbinic law are to be rejected as ignorant and not from God.

    You also said:

    And again in regards to someone demanding equality within a Body, No it is not of God to demand equality, man or woman. Because what they are demanding is fallen fleshly equality. God does not honor a request like that.

    Let’s go back through 1 Corinthians 14.  Does Paul say that the body is to demand the spiritual gifts?  No.  But he does say that all are allowed, in fact all are commanded to earnestly desire spiritual gifts.  Men and women are also given the freedom to use those gifts for the edification of the church.  This is not a fleshy thing but a God-commanded revelation from Paul.  God does honor our request as we earnestly desire spiritual gifts for the edification of the church.

    You said:

    But it is misplaced and when you rely on wronged feelings to drive your theology this is where it leads!

    My friend, I think you have been reading the wrong blog.  I have said not one word about interpreting scripture by “feelings” or by a sense of being “wronged”.  What drives the theology here is a whole hearted desire for the truth of God’s word in context and to let go of man-made traditions that are faulty.  When we go through the scriptures verse by verse, the false doctrine falls away as the truth of God has our attention.

    You said:

    I have no issue with women in leadership, i have no fear of women in leadership, or women as preachers, I know many! But what I do not like is people mishandling Gods word to try and manipulate it to fit their skewed ideology.

    That is good that you say you are not prejudiced.  I too do not like people mishandling God’s word.  I have given a very careful verse by verse explanation of the passage in context, so if I am guilty of manipulation, then surely you should easily be able to show me my “manipulation” of the text.

    You said:

    God’s Word is antithetical to Rabinnical Tradition! for anyone to attempt to use it to interpret the New Testament is Spiritually blind!
    I reject your position not because I fear an different “viewpoint” I reject it because it is clearly false,  and it mishandles a passage for a personal fallen agenda.

    I have not tried to interpret the New Testament by Rabbinical tradition at all.  All I have done is show the context of the passage and shown the link to the Rabbinical prohibition and then I have challenged you to show me a “law” from God’s word that could fit the prohibition.  So far you have failed to do this.  If you have something where you can correct me and how me my errors, I am willing to listen.  Correct me if I am wrong.

    I would also ask you to stop using personal attacks.  You have not shown in any way that I have a “personal fallen agenda” and you and I both know that you cannot read my heart neither do you even know me as a person.  I love complementarians to stop by here to give their input and their thoughts on the text, but personal attacks are unwarranted.  Do I have your agreement to stop with the personal attacks and just stick to the issue at hand?  I have a great deal of patience but I do not want to see others who read this blog hurt and ripped apart by attacks from someone who should love and care for them as a dear brother in Christ.  Deal?

    Okay, I will go through your last post as I can.  It looks like a cut and paste.  It is far better to have you say it in your own words, but I will allow it this time.  When one paraphrases using their own words, one shows their own understanding.

  94. Boy, how did I miss this discussion until now?

    John,

    Paula mentioned a blog further up the thread where pre-mil dispensationalists were called “nut-jobs.”  Reading this thread after it has been ongoing for awhile is pretty interesting, because I don’t have to get too engaged in it.  And it’s interesting to see the dynamics, reminding me a little of Irish Set Dancing/folk dancing that I used to do before I got asthma and my thyroid went on vacation…  But back to Paula’s comment.

    Round about 2001 or 2002, Gary DeMar debated Tommy Ice regarding the pre-mil/post-mil eschatology debate.  What I found to be the most interesting about their discussion was not so much the subject matter.  (In many ways, I’m still just taking it all in.  I think I’m amillienial now, and just waiting to see how it all works out, as I don’t like the Dominionist tendencies of the post-mils and I don’t like the selling of hell insurance that the pre-mils fall into…)  What I did find most notable about the discussion was how cool and easy Gary Demar behaved and how worked up Tommy Ice became about nearly everything.  I listened to it, and it seemed that if I’d known nothing about the topic, I’d have been persuaded by Gary DeMar, just because he didn’t rattle.  I spoke to Gary DeMar about it, and he cracked the biggest smile and chuckled.  Out of all the many things he’s written on many topics, he says that he hears the same feedback about that debate.  I can never get past the human factor in it to really listen to the content.

    I don’t mean to be abrasive or to be too critical, but some of what I heard in Tommy Ice some years ago comes back to my mind when I read some of your comments.  You seem, well, rattled.  For some crazy reason, I have the term ex cathedra on the brain, so it pops out here as I consider the approach with which you write here.  Everyone here has chimed in on most of the doctrine (I’m pretty stuck on the comment that the proto evangelian supports the idea of man as woman’s spiritual head myself!).  But I think that if you approached the discussion with more of an attitude of common respect, considering that you’re addressing fellow believers who hold to a very different perspective from your own that you would get much further.  You have an authoritative approach, and it just seems to me that you’re putting people on the defensive before you even make the first point.

    It is one thing to say “On this blog, most of those who post here hold to position A, and we invite discussion on B and C, but we do not share those views.  So feel free to discuss them.” It’s an entirely different thing to say “On this blog, most of us hold to position A, but we thing anyone who is Non-A is a nut job.” And there are equivalents of the “nut job” comment, such as the approach that others are abhorrently wrong and that you have a corner on the truth.  And who knows?  Maybe you do!  But many will not bother to consider your arguments because of your approach.  And more obvious are the accusations that are also authoritative stating that those participating here are offering aberrant views for power motives.  How is it that you know the hearts of those here?  (Now that might be something to discuss!  I’d kinda like to know how to develop that ability to see motive, see trouble coming and avoid it.  But I don’t believe that you really can know motives like this, certainly not from only a limited discussion on a blog.)

    Cheryl said above, earlier in the thread, that you are pressing buttons that you didn’t necessarily need to press.  The accusations about motives demonstrate an excellent example of what I believe she’s talking about.  A soft answer turns away wrath.

    There are several ideas here that I do not hold in common with many who post here, mostly because I am not all that egalitarian.  But I feel very welcome here (and am listed with another (pretty soft) complementarian here as a blog in the sidebar.  Why?  Because I think that like me, the people who participate here and the blog host all are more interested in truth than they are in pushing an agenda.  Our differences are just perspectives — my view of the landscape from where I stand and what I’ve been taught.  But I believe that we are all looking and walking in the same direction — toward that of a deeper understanding of the truth of the Word of God.

    I just wanted you to know that I’ve had a very hard time cutting through your attitude and what seems like offense to me to get at the meat of what you’re arguing.  And I think it would have far more of an impact and leave a far better impression on me if you refrained from the accusations as well as the approach that sounds so authoritative (as if no one else here could talk their way out of a paper bag).  It doesn’t help your argument at all.  And let me state that I know about this well because I’ve learned by doing the very same thing.  It’s almost like I had to get out of my own way.  You seem to me like you are very much in your own way, and you don’t seem to be resting in the truth (whatever we end up discerning that truth to be — good, perfect or acceptable).

    I don’t want to be rude or anything, and you might not even realize any of this, but I can tell you with much confidence that, regardless of whether we agree on these doctrines, these are not any kind of people (Paula, Lin, Cheryl, Don, and anyone I missed like Charis or Arlene, etc.) who have ill motives or who have “personal fallen agendas” as you state with such full assurance.  The people here are not your enemies — we are brethren that disagree.

  95. John,

    In your comment #97, you copy and paste from a scholar that you say gives an excellent exposition.  This scholar says:

    Paul with this explanatory injection states the reason why these women were to keep silent in the church. The applicable teaching to which Paul alludes probably looks to Genesis 3: 16 as its inception. There was something that these women were doing that was in violation of this general law of submission.

    Notice the author says “applicable teaching” “Paul alludes” and “probably”.  This is the the problem I see everywhere for those who claim there is a scriptural “law”.  They just cannot find the “law” in the Old Testament.  Without admitting that the only “law”exists in the Rabbinic tradition of the oral law, they must say “probably” because there is no such “law” in the Old Testament.  This author does not state that Genesis 3:16 is the “law”.  He also says this is a “general law of submission”.  Really?  There is no such “general law” of submission in Genesis 3:16.  The word submission or submit doesn’t even appear there.  There is no command by God for Eve to submit and most genuine scholars now admit that the “rule” that God predicts will happen after sin is not a good thing but a harsh and severe domination of the man over the woman, hardly a command by God.

    The author says:

    The original is literally, “…let them question at home their own husbands”

    This is not quite right.  The literal wording is for the woman to ask, to seek to demand to beg of.  This is a demand or a seeking to learn.  It follows then that the seeking to learn is commanded to be done at home, not in the congregation.

    The author says:

    These “women” were not all the women at Corinth, but they were married women. It is also implied that their husbands of whom they were to inquire at home and not in the assembly were in a position to provide the answers to their questions. Moreover, it is highly likely that their husbands were the prophets concerning whom the immediately preceding verses pertain. Hence, these women were to remain silent or without sound (as opposed to speech) IN THE MATTER contextually being discussed, confusion and lack of submission to their husbands.

    This explanation has a lot of problems.  Is he saying that there is a “law” that silences only married women in the church?  That single women can prophesy and learn and ask questions but married women had to learn at home and keep their mouths shut in the congregation?  Where is such a law that restricts married women from speaking in the assembly?  He hasn’t provided such a law.  He also gives the context of “confusion” for chapter 14, when it is edification of the church that is the subject.  Paul was concerned that all would be able to learn, so that all would be edified, not just the speaker.  The context throughout the chapter is not confusion but edification.  Avoiding confusion is listed in verse 33 as the reason that the spirits of the prophets are to be subject to prophets.  The fruit of the Spirit of self-control goes right along with the gifts of the Spirit.

    There is nothing in the context that says women were not submitting to their husbands in the assembly.  This is a tradition that is not found in the text.

    Lastly the author said:

    While I Corinthians 14: 34, 35 is characterized by specificity, women today can also create confusion in the assembly and be guilty of not being in subjection to their husbands by speaking out in such a way to similarly cause confusion. This is the paramount lesson found in I Corinthians 14: 34, 35. However, to simplistically, arbitrarily left verses 34, 35 out of their context and contend that there is contained in these verses a blanket requirement of the silence of women in the assembly is to defeat and ignore Paul’s original application of I Corinthians 14: 34, 35 and make the passage collide with a number of other matters.

    This is the problem.  1 Cor. 14:34, 35 as it is without some kind of explanation causes it to conflict with what Paul had already said about women.  So the author adds in a “law” that only forbids married women from speaking in the assembly, assuming that if they speak out they will be creating confusion and they will not be in submission to their husbands.

    How does this fit?  For one thing there is no such “law” that one can find in the OT.  Secondly, it seems out of line for Paul to be forbidding married women from speaking while allowing unmarried women to freely prophesy and speak out as their gifts give them the freedom.  Are married women suddenly all disrespectful?  And single women are just fine?

    It also doesn’t fit because many married women like myself have husbands who insist that I speak out and who encourages me to do so for the common good.  How would that fit within a blanket “law” that forbids married women from speaking in the assembly?  No matter which way you slice it, there is still the issue of the missing “law”.  Where is such a law that either outlaws all women or all married women from speaking in the assembly?  Folks, it just isn’t in the bible.  But it is in the Rabbinical oral law of the Jews. 

    The other thing that I notice is that the author says nothing about verse 36.  Why is that?  Verse 36 is clearly worded to contradict what was just preceding it.  What is Paul contradicting and why? If verses 34 & 35 are Paul’s own commands given to him from the Lord, then why would he contradict this command in verse 36?  Here we have the contradictions again that have not been addressed by complementarians.

    There is a way to tie together all the commands of Paul’s in the preceding verses that command women to seek for spiritual gifts, and the command for them to use these gifts for the edification of the church.  When we understand the extreme misogynist culture of that day and the strong Jewish roots that some had that demanded women to be silent, we can understand why Paul highlighted the quote from the Corinthian letter and then promptly refuted the demands to silence women.  Paul would not stand for even one minute to allow anyone to silence the gifts of God.  Paul commanded that the gifts be earnestly desired and then used for the benefit of all.  For anyone to silence half the gifts of the congregation because they belonged to women would cause Paul to hit the roof.  The commands of the Lord listed throughout 1 Cor 14 override and refute the demand of men in verses 34 & 35.  Verse 36 proves this case and Paul allows women to also have the word of God “come to them” (allowing them to learn) and “go out through them” as they too minister for the benefit of all.

  96. Cindy comment #101,

    Amen!  This is the whole thought of this blog, is that we can discuss these issues with love and with grace.  These are fruits of the Spirit that we need to allow to flow through us because we are required, yes we are commanded, to love one another.

    How do we show love?  We show it through patience.  We show it through gentleness and understanding.  We show love through acceptance as a dear brother or sister in Christ.

    I am very patient, but boy oh boy, I am still waiting to read that “law” that commands women (or all married women) to be silent in the assembly.  We will sure know more about 1 Cor. 14:34, 35 when we find the “elusive law”.  😉

  97. Cheryl wrote in the original post:  Galatians 3:28 contains a negation of three categories that reflected common ways of distinguishing humanity among the Jews. The Jewish cycle of morning prayers for the men began this way: “Blessed be He that He did not make me a Gentile; blessed be He that He did not make me a boor [i.e., an ignorant peasant or a slave]; blessed be He that He did not make me a woman.”

    Referring back to the initial post,  I was wondering whether CBMW and their devotees ever reference the morning prayer of the Jews, thanking God for their exclusion from these lower-level groups.  It just amazes me how very little knowledge these teachers demonstrate concerning the many allusions (here and elsewhere) that Paul makes to the Jewish traditions.  Part of sound grammatical-historical hermeneutics involves understanding as much about what the audience would have understood these things to mean.  Paul was a Jew, talking about the Jewish traditions to Jews who professed faith in Christ, using the Greek language to do so.  His comment is a direct reference to what the audience would have prayed or overheard being prayed on a daily basis.

    So it just boggles my mind that so many of these types of references are just steamrolled over and these novel interpretations are just put up in their place.  This passage was Paul’s repudiation of the morning prayer, directly countering it.

    Now, are those of us who are aware of this said to be unbiblical in our approach because we do consider what the text means in context of the whole epistle, in context of the intended audience, and what they would have understood it to mean? Yet few people make reference to this.

  98. Yes, good stuff Cindy!

    — general comments —

    I will say, though, that while we can rightly be concerned when a believer shows, um, “negative emotional expression”, we still have to try to look past that when in debate. We are only human, and we are not told to discard our emotions but only to try our best to control them.

    I’ve heard of other big names in eschatology who reportedly are less than civil to those who oppose them, but I think we have to be careful about connecting their theology to their spiritual health. I’ve done that too, but I need to practice separating the two. It isn’t easy. We should note the spiritual condition but not let it sway us in dealing with issues. Unless God appointed me to correct the person over their behavior, I should learn to ignore it. I’m as guilty as anyone about getting animated, but I do try to control it. Sometimes people presume I haven’t tried at all, compared to them, but God knows my heart.

    So it could be, regardless of appearances, that our present antagonist is actually trying to be civil; I don’t know. At any rate, I was wrong to complain about the style, especially since I just ranted in my blog about how others have judged me on that basis. (But I do believe it’s the blog owner’s right to set the tone; it’s their “home” and they “have the final say” 😉 about the atmosphere.)

    So “exclaim” away, John. But do listen to Cheryl, and please try to focus on theology and not the people.

  99. Paula wrote: I’ve heard of other big names in eschatology who reportedly are less than civil to those who oppose them, but I think we have to be careful about connecting their theology to their spiritual health.

    Paula,

    I was not trying to point out anything about anyone’s eschatology and how that would reflect on them personally, particularly when I did not have a vested interest in either side of the argument (which I never did really process anyway because the “window dressing” was so distracting.  If anything, I meant it to reflect the opposite of this — that how we argue might not actually reflect the merit of what we argue.  That applies to the person and their Christian witness as well.  My only point concerned the nature of how we argue, and how things that we don’t intend (and may not actually ever leak out) tend to betray us.  Pascal said that “The heart has its reasons that reason knows not.”  And our emotions along with the intent of our hearts speak, even when we do not want them to do so.  All that may not even have any bearing on the topic or anything else that makes any sense.

    I’m sorry if I didn’t make that perfectly clear in my comment, as that was certainly in my thoughts.  Tommy Ice did not strike me as one who I would anticipate would respond in such a way.   I thought the example and the people I named and thought would be recognized by others posting in this thread, adding weight to my germane point regarding arguing a premise, as that one specific example of DeMar’s is certainly not central to his mission but is the one more frequently remembered.  It might also be of interest to some to note I’ve dis-associated myself from in recent years because I do not agree with the “patriarchal”  twist and increase in associations with other intolerant ministries that his own ministry started to follow (atypical for DeMar in the past).

  100. Hi Cindy,

    I think we’re probably saying the same thing in different ways. I labeled it “general comments” to try and communicate that what I was writing wasn’t necessarily specific to the example you gave, but it just brought out a point I wanted to elaborate on. Sometimes I’m a little too concise.

    We all know here how the debate went between Cheryl and an infamous person 😉 , and that many people were rightly impressed with Cheryl’s calmness. But we also know that his supporters saw things completely the opposite that everyone else did, not only the arguments but the attitudes. But attitudes are much easier to hear than they are to see in writing, which is why I was trying to say here that we have to cut people a little more slack when it comes to tone and style.

    At any rate, we can only begin a debate on any given topic when we boil the words down to actual arguments and clear away the chaff of perceived emotions. I will try in the future to first of all analyze an opponent’s post and identify only the actual points, then respond with my analysis to make sure it’s what the other person meant. Then I can respond to the arguments. It slows things down, but it also would prevent a lot of misunderstandings and ignored points, I think.

  101. Hi Cheryl,

    Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.   And I thank God for you and your wonderfully logical mind.

  102. Paula,

    I think you made some good points in that we need to give other people and their communication a little more slack.  It is also a very good idea, as you suggested, that we seek first to understand.  If we are misunderstanding a person’s communication, there is no point in switching into an apologetic mode or attacking a perceived “enemy”.  If we would all work hard on trying to understand the argument that is given by a person who doesn’t share our view, then we can either embrace their argument or argue against it in an understanding way.  Often people just end up talking past each other and getting no where.  Why does this happen?  Likely it is because people come to the communication “table” with an opinion that they have already decided is set in stone.  This doesn’t make them willing or able to listen to what someone else has to say.

    It is not wrong to have a strong stand on one’s view.  However the more confident one is on their own view should allow them to actually hear what others say because other viewpoints should not be a threat.  And if perchance someone has a point that one had not thought of before and it lines up with the scriptures and it is logical and reasonable, we would do well to humble ourselves to be proven wrong.  Truth should be more valuable than one’s own ego.

  103. Hi Paula and Cheryl,

    I think we are all talking about the same thing.  I just wanted to make sure that I’d not said anything that would take away from what I really meant to convey.

    The other day, someone tried to pull some damage control online that was pretty insulting, and I fired back some reasonable rhetorical questions in response.  But why is it that my strong comments like this don’t seem as potentially offensive until after I’ve hit the “submit comment” button????  So I offered an apology in a second comment and stated what I probably should have just simply stated from the beginning.  It seemed to me that the person was belittling in their comment so they could look good at everyone else’s expense.

    It is a dying to self, and this old flesh does not like to die, even though I desire to morify it.  It’s often a learning process.

  104. Hi Cindy,

    It is tough, and we are only responsible for ourselves. I think sometimes we accept too much guilt from others and wear ourselves out trying to please them. Many believers today take any disagreement as offense and it’s just impossible to avoid offending them. But we can only do our best and examine ourselves in the light of scripture.

    I’m slowly learning to make myself blind to how others offend me and leave the judgment to God, while focusing on scripture as the standard to measure myself by. It’s a tightrope but God will bless those who at least try. 🙂

  105. Paula,

    You said:

    I’m slowly learning to make myself blind to how others offend me and leave the judgment to God, while focusing on scripture as the standard to measure myself by.

    This is very scriptural.  Love is not easily offended.  You are walking on the road that is taking you towards more and more love shown in a tangible way by not noticing the offenses of others.  I believe that God will reward you for recognizing that this is the way he would have you walk.  Bravo!

  106. Cindy,

    You too are learning how that dying to oneself is the road that the Lord Jesus takes us on.  I am so encouraged to see people write these things because it means that Jesus lives in them and he is growing you to be more Christlike all the time.  Thank you so much for sharing!

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