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Holy Scripture from 'Women Priests in the Catholic Church?' by Haye van der Meer

Holy Scripture

Women Priests in the Catholic Church?
by Haye van der Meer, Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 1973, pp. 10-45.
Republished on our website with the necessary permissions

Because a really adequate biblical theology of woman and office would extend far beyond the limits of this work, this book makes no attempt to investigate all the pertinent texts. This chapter will present merely a critical investigation of the relatively few texts which the dogmatic theologians offer as proof for their own thesis; it is not itself a demonstration proper.

1. Jesus and the Apostles Chose Only Men

Several Fathers as well as later dogmatic theologians point to the fact that Jesus and Peter selected only men for the apostolic office. Thus, for example, the Didascalia states:

It is therefore neither fitting nor necessary that women teach, especially concerning the name of Christ and the redemption of his passion. For you are not established for this, to teach, women and especially widows, but to pray and implore the Lord God, for the Lord God Jesus Christ our teacher sent us twelve to teach the people and the tribes; although there were with us the disciples Mary Magdalen and Mary the daughter of James and the other Mary, he did not send them out to teach the people with us. For if it had been necessary that women teach, our Master would have ordered these to teach with us.(1)

In Epiphanius of Salamis we find the same idea:

If women were authorized by God to be priests or to administer an office in the Church then actually Mary herself would have had to hold a priestly office in the Church. . . . But he did not so will. Not even baptism is entrusted to her, for in that case Christ could better have been baptized by her than by John.(2)

Ambrosiaster writes:

The Montanists firmly hold with baseless arrogance that deaconesses should also be ordained, although they know that the apostles chose seven males as deacons. Was it that there were no suitable women to be found, when we read that holy women accompanied the twelve apostles? (3)

From among dogmatic theologians, we quote from Diekamp-Hoffmann;

Christ handed on to no woman ... the power of conferring sacraments.(4)

We can only ask how the Church knows that a woman can baptize validly, to say nothing of conferring the sacrament of matrimony on her spouse. Reasoning similar to the above is found in such writers as Pohle-Gummersbach.(5) Even Karl Rahner refers to the "will of Christ" and "apostolic practice." (6) Edith Stein says, "Christ transmitted the priesthood to his apostles but not to the women who ministered to him. For this reason I believe the exclusion of women from the priesthood is not something conditioned by the times." (7)

Jesus wished to have witnesses to himself (Acts 1, 8), and Peter also wished to choose a witness to the resurrection to replace Judas (Acts 1, 24), and both, it is true, chose only males. Both passages are concerned with the special office of the twelve; "witness" and "apostle" are here synonymous in Luke's usage.(8) The proof thus might seem complete.

But in fact it is not. First it must be demonstrated that Jesus and Peter and the primitive Palestinian church in general chose only males as witnesses precisely because divine law decreed only males could be apostles, and not simply because it was more appropriate to the concrete situation of time and place. Such a proof would not be simple. On the other hand, to prove that the choice was made only because it suited the concrete situation is also difficult. We know little of the times in which Jesus lived. The later rabbinic precepts do permit certain deductions about earlier times, but their coercive power was not always the same in Jesus' day as in later rabbinic orthodoxy. Nevertheless in what follows we will have to draw on many passages of the rabbinic Halaka [religious law], for these passages in general do certainly prove that in the Jewish world of Jesus' day it was simply impossible for a woman to play a leading role in the area of religious office.

According to rabbinic opinion a woman could "neither read aloud nor even speak, neither expound nor teach," in the Jewish worship service.(9) In the synagogues women sat behind gratings in special places. "The woman should bear no witness, teach no children, say no table prayer."(10) Indeed, she was not even permitted to learn the Torah! "He who teaches his daughter the Torah teaches her licentiousness." (11) Because this last passage is disputed, we would like to clarify this point with a longer quotation from Kosmala.

The Mishna establishes that the lustral water which a woman suspected of adultery should drink according to Numbers 5 takes effect not immediately but only after one, two, or even three years, if the woman has any merit at all. From this Ben Azzai concludes that one must teach his daughter the Torah so that, in case she must drink the lustral water, she will know that merit postpones the effect of the water. For a more precise understanding of this opinion it must be noted that Ben Azzai, as we know from his other utterances, judged more broad-mindedly than did his contemporaries. He often advocated a view completely contrary to traditional interpretation and attitudes. Moreover, he was not an ordained rabbi, but merely a wisdom scholar. Although held in high regard, personally, he nevertheless had no independent teaching office. Although he probably took part in halachic discussions, he nevertheless did not speak with the same authority as, for example, Rabbi Eliezer. The latter responded, "Whoever teaches his daughter Torah teaches her wantonness." For if she were instructed in the Torah she would also know the means to use to delay the effect of the lustral water and thus postpone her conviction. Her transgression would then remain concealed for a longer time. In this way the knowledge of the Torah could seduce her into taking sin lightly. To utilize knowledge of the Torah for one's own purpose was insolent; to make use of it for sinful conduct would be much more insolent. From this debate we gather that Ben Azzai's pronouncement was an attack on an old custom become law. This attack was repulsed. The dictum of Rabbi Eliezer, who could say of himself that he never taught anything that he had not heard from his teachers, persisted in the time which followed. Later rabbis only added on a little word so that the dictum could not be misunderstood to say that teaching the Torah is of itself an introduction to a wanton life:

"To teach a daughter Torah is as if one taught her wantonness." The Gemara [later rabbinical commentaries on the earlier rabbinical writings of the Mishna] does not take up Ben Azzai's proposition at all.

Despite the direction in Deut. 31, 12, and despite the pattern set by Ezra (Neh. 8, 2 f.), there was, according to ancient rabbinical tradition, no obligation at all for fathers to instruct their daughters, or have them instructed, in the Torah, nor for women and daughters to take instruction in the Torah. The regulation was based on Deut. 11, 19, which says: "And teach them [the words of the Torah] to your sons"; the rabbinical explanation adds: "but not your daughters." That the Jewish religion is a "man's religion" there is not the slightest doubt.(12)

This detailed citation —more could be added, such as "The words of the Torah may be burned, but they should not be handed over to women" (13)—may serve to prove that Billerbeck is probably not correct in saying that there is no unanimity on the question of whether women are to be instructed in the Torah.(14) With Kosmala one must respond:

With his citation of the Talmud [these words are intended for another author, but are just as valid for Billerbeck] he makes us believe that opinions have been actually and in principle divided. But in reality only once on a special occasion and in a special context was a contrary voice heard, and this was swamped on the same day in the broad stream of legalistic tradition! The Torah remained a masculine affair.(15)

One must thus simply respond to Ambrosiaster: of course "there were no suitable women to be found"; no woman knew the law. How would she be able to interpret it? How could the daughters of Philip, although themselves prophetesses (Acts 21, 9), interpret the passages from Isaiah like their father (Acts 8,32ff.)?

And apart from this (for the women supposedly did ultimately take part in the worship services in order to listen and to learn the commandments from the Targum [vernacular translation] reading16) how could the women be apostles, that is, witnesses, when the witness of a woman, as we saw above, was not valid? "And Sara [falsely] denied it: I did not laugh (Gen. 18, 15). From this passage it was taught that women are unfit to bear witness."(17) One of the nine punishments for woman as a result of the sin in paradise is that she is not a valid witness.(18) In this respect she is likened to the slave.(19) There were but few exceptions to this.(20) On the whole, words of a woman were not counted as reliable:

Manoah spoke to the angel: Until now I have heard it from the woman (that a son should be born to me) and women are not daughters of instruction (instruction does not come from them), and one cannot rely on their word; but now let your word come out of your mouth.(21)

Note the universal meaning of "women"; it is not a question of just one unreliable woman.

If this was the case in Judaism, it follows that Jesus and the apostles could not add women to the apostolic college as witnesses of the resurrection: their witness would never be taken seriously at that time. The oldest tradition, as seen in Pauline thought in 1 Cor. 15, 3 ff., failed to mention women among the witnesses to the resurrection, perhaps for this very reason.

The position of woman in the social and religious life of Jesus' day will be investigated later. For the moment it is enough to confirm that this very simple explanation for not proposing women as witness-apostles is an obvious one. New and very serious reasons must be presented before we can say that women were excluded because Jesus and the primitive church made such a decision and that they intended it as a permanent principle. On the contrary, it is much more likely that Jesus and the apostles never concerned themselves with the idea that the social-religious position of woman might one day be different. For it is clear that our problem is not one of the religious status of woman, but of her official status in the religious community. Office is a social function (see chapter 5).

Joseph A. Wahl adds to this that Jesus was speaking only to males when he said, "Do this in commemoration of me." With these words Jesus constituted the twelve apostles priests, and he ordained them and the other priests to offer his body and his blood, as the second canon of the twenty-second session of the Council of Trent says.(22) And only men were present at the Last Supper.(23)

But, it may be asked, do the words "do this" signify only the consecration explicitly and exclusively? Or do they also mean the celebration of his death, the anamnesis, the entire Last Supper, including the eating and drinking of his body and blood?

If the latter is the case, how do we know, if it is stressed so strongly that only men were present, that women too may receive communion?

According to Matt. 28, 16-18, Jesus said only to the eleven (and thus only to males): Baptize. If that is so strongly stressed, as in Wahl's work,(24) how do we know that women can baptize validly?

2. The Texts from 1 Cor. 11

The first Pauline text which is brought up again and again in this connection is 1 Cor. 11, 3-16. In itself this passage offers more difficulty than aid to the dogmatic theologians who attempt to offer scriptural arguments that women are incapable of being priests. For Paul appears to presume that it is perfectly normal for a woman to prophesy. He adds of course that she puts her head to shame if she prophesies with her head uncovered, and he therefore says "let her be covered"; but in this passage he does not forbid her to speak. On the contrary! Saying how a woman ought to do something seems to place value on the fact that she does it.

Immediately of course the contradiction of 1 Cor. 14, 34 comes to mind: "Let women be silent," and in the same passage, v. 35: "For it is a shame for women to speak in assembly."

There have been many attempts to solve this problem. The contradiction has misled many into explaining this second passage away as unauthentic; especially because the position of verses 34 and 35 in the fourteenth chapter is not always the same in the manuscripts. These verses, according to some, were a gloss, taken from 1 Tim. 2.(25) But the text is now considered authentic by the great majority of exegetes.

Commentators like Allo seem to be entirely off the track when they claim that in 14, 34, Paul forbids the prophesying which in 11, 5, he mentioned only as hitherto exercised improperly. According to their view, he reserved his decision on this point for later, and then, in chapter 14, came to a negative judgment.(26) Lietzmann held this view; but Kümmel rejects such an interpretation in the new edition.(27) Ambrosiaster also expounds in this direction. He simply skips over the word "prophesying" in chapter 11 and says of 14, 34:

Now he states what he had avoided above, for earlier he commanded (only) that women be veiled in the church; now he indicates that they should be silent and reticent.(28)

In 11, 5, Paul does not call the prophesying of women an actual erroneous development; he merely commands women to pray and prophesy in an appropriate manner, not like the men but according to feminine decorum: πρέπον ̀εστίυ( p.16), "Is it fitting?" (v. 13). He wishes her to cover her head.

Likewise very improbable is Cornely's interpretation that "prophesying" is here identical with reciting "Amen" to the prayers and prophecies of the men, and it is this that the women should do with heads covered.(29)

Many commentators, Church Fathers as well as later exegetes, both Catholic and Protestant, have been of the opinion that the words "in assembly" in chapter 14 can resolve the contradiction. Prophesying by women could be permitted in home worship or in group gatherings, but not in the public gatherings of the congregation. Women could thus prophesy "privately" at home, but not "publicly" in the church. So, for example, thought Origen,(30) Jerome,(31) Theodore of Mopsuestia,(32) Primasius Afer,(33) Ambrose,(34) Peter Lombard(35) and many others, as well as Thomas Aquinas 936) and almost everyone after him.(37) From among the Protestants we can mention Bachmann as an example.(38)

There are, however, many objections to this interpretation. First of all 1 Cor. 11 is not concerned with assemblies of small groups but with the entire congregation. This is clear from the context. Verse 2 begins with "I praise," which is repeated in the passage on the eucharist in verses 17 and 22. The repetition makes clear that in the passage on women Paul is already speaking of the congregational assembly; although he cannot approve their eucharistic customs, he does praise the Corinthians for observing his "traditions" (v. 2); what these are, however, remains obscure.(39) He adds to this only that women should be veiled when they prophesy. Even verse 16 suggests our interpretation; in conclusion and as a sort of argumentum ad hominem Paul says, "Neither we nor the other assemblies of God have such usage." This wording obviously admits of only one interpretation: it treats a matter which has something to do with congregational worship.(40) It would also be difficult to understand why Paul would wish to command a woman to put on a veil in her own home and in the exercise of household prayer.(41) Several commentators succeed in contradicting themselves when they apply the expression "on account of the angels" in verse 10 to the bishop or priest present, as, for example, do Peter Lombard(42) and Thomas Aquinas.(43)

The presence of the bishop or priest does indeed at least indicate a public quality even if one does not go so far as to say that such a presence itself makes the gathering public. Strange to say, even Irenaeus (unlike Origen) states that in his letter to the Corinthians Paul acknowledges there are men and women who prophesy in the church:

It is truly unfortunate, for those who make themselves into pseudoprophets rob the church of the prophetic charism. . . . It is to be understood that such people did not accept the Apostle Paul. For in his letter to the Corinthians he spoke carefully of prophetic gifts and mentioned men and women prophesying in the church.(44)

And finally the word "prophesy" itself has the meaning "to speak in the congregation and for the congregation." "Prophecy is always in public and in the congregation," says H. Greeven.(45) Even in chapter 14 of 1 Cor. that is clear enough. "He that speaks in tongues builds himself up, but he that prophesies builds up the assembly" (v. 4); cf. verses 5, 24, 29-32. According to Paul, too, prophecy is a charism which ought to build up the congregation: (46) 1 Cor. 12, 28 (cf. Eph. 2, 20). How could he say that if prophecy were not open to the congregation?

We must conclude that 1 Cor. 11, 5 is concerned with congregational discipline, not with household life nor with private prayer gatherings in the home. Allo,(47) Lietzmann,(48) and Tischleder,(49) to mention only a few authors, agree in this. It is a question of the manner and way in which men and women should pray and prophesy in public congregational assembly.

This conclusion is important because it follows that women were permitted to prophesy publicly in the Corinthian church with Paul's approbation. A distinction between "public" and "private" is untenable. The contradiction between this passage and 1 Cor. 14 thus remains.

A further attempt at glossing is the distinction between "to testify" and "to instruct." Women, according to this approach, would be permitted to testify but not to teach. This idea has recently been proposed by J. Daniélou, among others.(50)

Many attempts at explaining that contradiction [that is, the contradiction between 1 Cor. 11, 5 and 14, 24] have been made. For my part, it seems to me that the matter concerns two different activities. . . . The woman is not known to have the role of instructor. . . . But the role of the prophet in the assembly is not primarily to teach but to give testimony. It is essentially one of praying. ... If teaching is thus forbidden to women, it does not appear that they should be forbidden to pray in a loud voice in the assembly.

This distinction, in any case, does no violence to the text of 1 Cor. 11; thus for these present paragraphs we will let it stand; later we will investigate whether it really fits the text of 1 Cor. 14 or not.

The text of 1 Cor. 11 therefore is really a source of difficulties for dogmatic theologians, not an aid. Only the assertions on the primacy of man over woman could be of any use to them. Now a contemporary theologian, Dr. Else Kahler, in her book Die Frau in den paulinischen Briefen, unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Begriffes der Unterordnung ("Woman in the Pauline epistles, with special consideration of the concept of subordination"), has demonstrated in detail that Paul is not trying to teach a simple subjection of woman but rather a reciprocal orientation of man and woman.(51) But for the purpose of the present book it does not seem useful either to accept her demonstration uncritically (several points in fact are questioned by other exegetes) or to discuss it in greater detail (that would overstep the framework of my book). Nevertheless, E. Kahler cannot avoid recognizing, in the last analysis, a certain subordination as inherent in Paul's thought, not of course in 1 Cor. 11, but in Eph. 5 and 1 Tim. 2 (although she denies that the last passage is Pauline). She does not find a subordination in the sense of sheer obedience —a purely passive "orders are orders" mentality —but as an active personal decision in favor of obedience to the order willed by God.(52) Charlotte von Kirschbaum also formulated this in the same way: "To subordinate oneself means to occupy a place within a determined order as the partner over whom another is foreordered; it means to acknowledge the other in his position and with him become a part in this order and thus preserve the order."(53) So too Karl Barth says that Charlotte von Kirschbaum is following the same line he himself took.(54) Even E. Kahler must admit frankly that in 1 Tim. 2 teaching is in any case forbidden to woman: the duty of silence and subjection there are not valid merely (as in 1 Cor. 14, which we shall discuss later) for a special occasion, but in principle.(55) However, where she apparently deplores the slant of the pastoral letter ("the primitive Christian proclamation is overlaid by a new layer of thoughts and formulations, so that it is in danger of losing part of its power") (56) we cannot approve uncritically. It seems better to us that we concern ourselves with the question of what Paul's ideas of woman mean for us. E. Kahler observes that "the voices of serious scholars who, on the bases of history and textual criticism, banish certain assertions of the pastoral letters 'to the periphery of the canon' are multiplying. It does not occur to anyone to reject all the pastoral letters as a result or to deny them a hearing for their other witness. . . . But where their assertions are not Christocentric but indicative of a bourgeois morality, strongly stamped by a given situation, we must reserve for ourselves an independent attitude."(57) Obviously I do not agree if she means by that an independent attitude opposed to the Scripture. But I can certainly agree if she means a differentiation between those things which are strongly stamped by a given situation and those which refer to the real, deeper intentions of Scripture which are of more basic significance than a few directions for the concrete order of the community.

Let us, therefore, let the discussions on the subordination of woman in 1 Cor. 11 rest, for the moment, and even the analyses of the question whether and to what extent woman is an image and glory of God and whether she can represent God, which according to Allo(58) is the kernel of Pauline thought. That will be discussed in the fifth chapter. It occurs to me that the argumentations which serve to show that Paul grants woman everything that we grant her will always be artificial. But anyone who has taken note of how much the views of the exegetes on Paul's position on woman diverge(59) comes to the conviction that, from this quarter at least, no definitive answer is now to be expected. It is also not the task of this book to seek a final solution for the question of what exactly Paul asserted and thought about woman —held without reflection and unconsciously handed down as the authentic material of faith —but rather whether the texts which the theologians cite without analyses are themselves conclusive. Later we shall see that supertemporal decrees should not too quickly be read into what appear to be statements of principles. My only task here is to eliminate such things which in my opinion are incorrectly read into Paul. Something does then remain before the theologians, but it is the question of whether there is sufficient reason here to exclude woman from office for all time. I shall do away only with the misunderstanding that Paul has settled that. For he does not say this in 1 Cor. 11, nor in 1 Cor. 14, and in 1 Tim. 2 the author says it in a very fixed context. Whether it is nevertheless contained implicitly in the Pauline theology of woman, insofar as his theology states a jus divinum, does not belong to the theme of this work.

3. The Texts from 1 Cor. 14

Theologians have felt absolutely no need to analyze the text of 1 Cor. 14, 34-35; indeed it says only too clearly, "As in all the churches of the saints, women are to remain quiet at meetings since they have no permission to speak; they must keep in the background as the Law itself lays it down." Without further ado some cite this passage as the ultimate and decisive word on the problem. F. Solá for example says:

If a woman is never permitted by virtue of divine law (for St. Paul is acting as an apostle in Christ's name) even to ask a question in the congregational assembly for her own instruction . . . , then it can even less be permitted that she offer the sacrifice, which presupposes leadership, teaching, and so on.(60)

The Fathers of the Church and the ancient ecclesiastical writers like Origen, Ambrosiaster, Epiphanius, Tertullian, the Didascalia, Chrysostom, Jerome, and Peter Lombard cite this passage as the final word; (61) even at the present time J. A. Wahl and many others do the same.(62) The argument runs, "We no longer have the task of investigating whether a woman may speak or not; Paul in 1 Cor. 14 already forbade it for all times. We can at most still investigate why he did that" (this is the general line the arguments often take).

Unfortunately in this interpretation it seems too easy to be led astray by the wording of the individual passage without looking at the context of the entire chapter. And the conviction that 1 Tim. was likewise written by Paul himself is apt to lead to the explaining of the passage from 1 Cor. 14 in the light of 1 Tim. 2, 12. Actually, however, it would be better (if only because the authorship of the letter to Timothy is doubtful in Catholic circles) (63) to interpret 1 Cor. 14, 34 by itself and to see 1 Tim. 2, 12 as a later application —whether by Paul's secretary or by someone else does not matter —of the text of Corinthians. Of course there is the inclination to believe that Paul, treating the same material later on, has expressed more clearly in 1 Tim. what he really wished to say in 1 Cor. 14. But it is always better to look first at what he has actually said in 1 Cor. 14. Then later one can still turn to 1 Tim. to see whether it says the same thing, though more clearly, or something different.

The main concern of chapter 14 is that everything should happen in such a way as to build up the congregation πάντα πρός οίχοδομήν γιυέσθω (v. 26; cf. 3, 4, 5, 12, 17); and for this it is necessary that "everything be done with propriety and order" (v. 40), "since God is not a God of disorder but of peace" (v. 33); that is, God is not to be found where irregularity and disorder are present.

When it is said in this context that the women should be silent (taceant in ecclesia) —just as it is said that those speaking in tongues should be silent in the assembly (taceat in ecclesia) if there is no interpreter present (v. 28), and that one person should be silent (taceat) if another is given a sudden revelation (v. 30) —then this commandment is certainly meant for other times and circumstances only if in these other circumstances it is also true that the speaking of women works against the "edification of the congregation"; it can be said with certitude to be Paul's wish that women of all times and places should be silent in the congregation only if it is established that the speaking of women at all times and places occurs in an improper manner. If the text of 1 Cor. 14 is to prove this thesis of the theologians, it must first be demonstrated that the speaking of women of itself deters the "edification of the congregation," that of itself it cannot take place "in order," and with "propriety."

The dominant concern in 1 Cor. 14 is not that of charisms in worship, but rather that of order in the service.(64) The commandment of silence for women stands in the same context as verses 26-33: one person may have a song of praise, another a piece of teaching, another a revelation. Not more than two, or at most three, should speak in tongues, and of course one at a time. The rule of silence for women thus should not be given any further, broader meaning either. Indeed both passages (the one cited above and the one on women) conclude with the same thoughts: God is not a God of disorder," (v. 33), and "everything should be done with . . , order" (v. 40). And the same "subjection" is

recommended for the prophets (ύποτάσσεσθαι) v. 32) as for women (ύποτάσσεσθαι) , V. 34 ).

It must of course be admitted that vv. 34 f. seem to extend further than merely the protection of "edification" and "order." For Paul does argue in a rather general and abstract way. Women should subject themselves —not merely because they talk in a disorderly manner, but because the law speaks of it generally (Gen. 3, 16) and because it is in general indecorous for a woman to speak in a congregational assembly. However, as I shall later set forth, it is dangerous to depend on the Pauline arguments when trying to interpret his statements correctly.

Woman is not prevented from participating in the utterance of prophetic inspiration (what else could be possible in the light of Acts 2, 17?); she is commanded to submit herself to the order in the congregation. The meaning of verse 34 is that she must subject herself to an order, namely, the order of worship. What is not meant (at least not in this passage) is that she must subject herself to her husband, and still less that the female sex as such must subordinate itself to the male, "If the rules for propriety in 1 Cor. 11 were given for the woman active in worship, then the directives in 1 Cor. 14 are concerned with the woman who participates in worship in a passive manner, passive in the sense of nonprophesying." (65)

This explanation depends, apart from the context, also in part on the meaning of the word λαλείν in verse 34. If it means "to speak prophetically," then there would be another contradiction to chapter 11, and women would be completely prohibited from speaking. But that is not so certain. Investigation into the precise meanings of the words λαλείν and λέγειν and their relation to προφητεύειν has not yet been made, according to Else Kähler.(66) The pertinent articles in Kittel's Theologisches Wörterbuch also offer nothing decisive. Only one thing is certain: according to 1 Cor. 13, 11, and 1 Tim. 5, 13, λαλείν can in any case also mean speaking which is not Spirit-filled. If it is thus confirmed that Paul in 1 Cor. 11 does not forbid Spirit-filled speech to woman, indeed even supposes it is normal, assuming that she does it with feminine decorum, then a healthy exegesis commands us to understandλαλείν in our passage of 1 Cor. 14 as "the word used without the impulse of the Spirit." (67)

This interpretation in corroborated by verse 35: Paul forbids women to interrupt in order to ask about the meaning of a prophecy they did not understand. As no speaking in tongues is permitted without a translator (v. 28), as even a prophet must be silent if a revelation is imparted to another present (v. 30), so the woman must be silent if she wishes to speak in order to ask for her own instruction. For that does not contribute to the edification of the congregation. She may not take part in the subsequent detailed discussion of the prophetic declarations. Why? Here one can only say: because de facto it did not happen in a decorous manner, or because the women were too ignorant.

This same interpretation —that Paul does not intend to forbid all speech in the assembly to women —is also followed by Delling,(68) Kümmel,(69) Hick,(70) Tischleder,(71) H. Greeven,(72) Leenhardt,(73) each in his own manner and with his own reasons.

A few, such as Karl Barth,(74) Rondet,(75) and Refoulé,(76) have been of the opinion that the words "That which I write to you is a commandment of the Lord" (1 Cor. 14, 37) refer especially to the precepts relative to women. But this is very improbable; they refer to the entire pericope of verses 26-40, whose theme is order in the community. The section on woman is indeed somewhat of a parenthesis (this comes through much more clearly in the manuscripts which place it only after verse 40), or only one link in the entire chain of precepts.(77)

We may thus now say in summary that even this passage in the fourteenth chapter of the first letter to the Corinthians is not at all clear in forbidding women to speak in the congregation completely for all time. And the passage says nothing on instruction by women.

4. The Texts from 1 Tim. 2

The text which is clearest and also most useful for dogmatic theologians is undoubtedly 1 Tim. 2, 12. For this passage really says, "I permit no woman to teach." The syllogism then proceeds: but teaching is of the essence of the priesthood, therefore . . . ! It is also true that the authors who make a thorough study of this matter ultimately build their proof only on 1 Tim. 2. Hick, for example, concedes fully that no proof is to be found in 1 Cor. 14, but only in 1 Tim. 2.(78) And Daniélou, if one looks carefully, appeals only to 1 Tim. 2.(79)

I have already conjectured that 1 Tim. 2 does not express the same ideas as 1 Cor. 14, but rather presents a heightened further development.(80) In any case, teaching is here forbidden to women. In 1 Cor. the woman is seen as an independent person who may correctly take part in worship even in an active way, but who must also be able to be silent: most important, she should ask her husband at home about anything she has not understood. In 1 Tim. 2, on the other hand, the woman is seen solely as a learner; she is the object of instruction, which comes through the man. Keeping silence is not, as in 1 Cor. 14, only for special occasions, but a principle.(81)

Thus, although the other texts, as we have seen, are of no great significance for the thesis of the dogmatic theologians, this one does remain relevant. Are the theologians then correct in considering the problem settled once for all?

The immediate context suggests another idea. The verses immediately preceding, from which the thought proceeds to verse 12 without any break, says: "Similarly, I direct that women are to wear suitable clothes and to be dressed quietly and modestly, without braided hair or gold or jewelry or expensive clothes; their adornment is to do the sort of good works that are proper for women who profess to be religious. During instruction, a woman should be quiet and respectful" (vv. 9-11). Women thus should not pray adorned with gold and jewels or in expensive clothes! And the question then arises why this issue ought not be considered settled once for all. But where is a canon in the Code of Canon Law which enjoins that for our times? Of course popes and bishops urge simplicity and humility, but according to the text of the first letter to Timothy they ought to demand something more than this, perhaps in the spirit of Tertullian,(82) It would be most interesting to discover why later times have quietly let verse 9 gradually fall out of use and have held verse 12 in high honor. Does Paul not speak just as categorically in verse 9 as in verse 12?

If the dogmatic theologian now answers that the interpretation obviously proceeds from the very nature of the matter, then he is more than ever caught in a theological cul-de-sac. For in saying this, he implicitly admits that the real proof for his thesis is not the biblical text but proper knowledge of the nature of the matter. And his opponent can justifiably ask whence the theologian has obtained this knowledge, why he does not present the necessary new analysis, and also how he still dares to assert so loudly that the problem has been dispatched by Paul once for all.

For in this case he has himself dispatched it, and indeed —this much one must grant him —he can even produce a nice Pauline text to illustrate and supplement his explanation.

Several authors also concede this more or less, for example, Yves Congar, who says: "Be silent! One cannot say everything with these words of the Apostle." (83) This view is also found among Anglicans; M. E. Thrall, for example, alleges; "In the debate on the ministry of laywomen, the convocation of Canterbury was told, and, for the most part, apparently agreed, that the evidence of the Pauline passages in the New Testament was in itself inconclusive." (84)

Obviously the issue of the Church's right to ascribe various qualifications to the scriptural texts in reference to their binding character falls outside this discussion. Nor will this work raise the question of whether or not the Church can say that (a) a woman can never become a priest and (b) such an understanding should be deduced from 1 Tim. 2, 12. But the theologians have made the matter too easy for themselves when they hold that the question can be settled with the mere citation of this passage.

The pastoral epistles give very detailed directions, which flow from certain events that have actually occurred. The author was not thinking of us in writing the lines. And —it must be soberly acknowledged —the thinking of today's Church in many areas mentioned in the pastoral letters is very nuanced indeed. A few examples (besides verse 9) may suffice.

On the statement on what we today call an impediment to ordination —having married twice (3, 2) —the Church says that a consecration that has been imparted anyway would be valid. But the consecration of a woman would be invalid (and this because of 2, 12)! How do we conduct ourselves toward widows? Where are priests today still publicly reprimanded (5, 20)? Of course, the answer comes, that made sense at the time. But here we are once again in a blind alley. And what bishop would still write, "All slaves 'under the yoke' must have unqualified respect for their masters" (6, 1)? Nor do we keep in mind his other words: "Tell the slaves that they are to be obedient to their masters and always do what they want without any argument" (Tit. 2,9).

No exegesis of the pastoral letters should lose sight of this conditioned, time-limited situation of the pertinent texts.

5. Divine Law or Church Law in Scripture?

To put it more precisely, dogmatic theologians have not yet got around to working out exhaustively the principles by which they qualify a few texts as "indispensable divine law" and others as mutable "church law." If that is true for many other scriptural proofs presented by theologians, it is especially true of the problem of the priesthood for women. Of course, even here it must be said that ultimately the Church decides upon these through the mouth of the magisterium. But the question is how the Church came to this perception. It must of course have had its reasons, more or less conscious and reflective. And it is precisely the task of theology to discover and to explain those reasons.

It might be asked, for example, on what basis F. Solá is really convinced that 1 Cor. 14 is concerned with a "divine law." Perhaps it is, but how and by what reasoning does he know? Why, for instance, docs he not say that a woman should wear a veil at worship "by divine law"? Why does he not say on the basis of Romans 12, 4-8, and 1 Cor. 12, 4-30, that the gifts of the Spirit are distributed "by divine law" among various persons? He may of course maintain all that; but it is more than mere curiosity that makes me hope and expect that he as a theologian will make his reasons evident.

It appears, as will be shown in chapter 4, that on this matter there is no statement of the magisterium which is actually binding for our time. But whether or not this is true, there certainly does not now exist any adequate theological reflection pertinent to our problem. That, in any case, is what the present book is attempting to show,

Protestants too have been perplexed by the problem of whether a given text from Scripture asserts an "ecclasiastical law" or a "divine law." It would take us too far afield to go into that in detail. In Sweden, where the problem of female office bearers has called forth such great discussion, it has of course been treated specifically. Because these discussions are very instructive, I shall take a closer look at the detailed and important article by F. R. Refoulé, O.P.(85)

The Lutheran bishop J. Cullberg expressed it this way: Scripture gives witness to what God has wrought with man in and through Christ. These works of God are valid for all times, but they are accomplished in a certain moment of history, in a social, political, and religious situation which then existed but no longer does. It is not the mission of the Church to lead Christians back to the time of the Bible. But there follows the difficulty of stripping off these time-bound forms and at the same time taking care not thereby to adopt new time-bound interpretations as criteria.(86)

B. Gärtner points out that Paul himself joins to his precepts a substructure of principle: from the argumentation of the apostle, which is universally valid and thus not time-bound, it follows that he by no means considers the matter a concrete principle of order. There would thus already be a principle for the distinction of whether a certain text should be viewed as "ecclesiastical law" or "divine law," namely, the kind of reasoning used.(87) Such Swedish protagonists for the female priesthood as E. Sjoberg and K. Stendahl (88) also concede this. But they add that the question is still whether Paul was right. That seems to me, however, to be a questionable way to put the issue. It would be better to ask whether we are right in understanding Paul as saying that these regulations arc just as valid for all time as for then. Stendahl himself makes another distinction between what is done out of principle and what is valid for all time. Thus, although Jesus deliberately preached only for the Jews and not for the Gentiles, that was not intended for all time. But this, in my opinion, gets us no further. Much, however, can be said about Paul's argumentation. In the following section we have used especially H. von Campenhausen's Die Begründung kirchlicher Entschei-dungen beim Apostel Paulus ("The basis of ecclesiastical decisions for the apostle Paul"),(89) although we do not follow the author on all points.

First of all, Paul's argumentation is noteworthy. It breathes a rabbinic spirit, a rabbinic use of Scripture; it is, in my opinion, often inadequate and here and there not even feasible.

To stay with the passage under discussion: in 1 Cor. 11, 7-10, Paul's attempted basis for the custom suddenly takes no more notice of verse 3. Why does he suddenly abandon the idea? Merely in order to advance additional reasons? Why does he not complete the idea of verse 3? Verse 7 is quite remarkable in other respects. Paul appeals to Gen. 1, 27 (LXX): "God created man (του ̀αυθρωπου) in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him," and to Gen. 5, 1 (LXX): "On the day God created Adam he made him in the likeness of God." But in doing this he makes the ̀ανθρωπος simply equivalent to the male, and he takes "Adam" as the individual, as the man with the name Adam —although both times this ̀ανθρωπος is more precisely characterized as "man and woman." Such an argument is not very feasible. And who among us would still say that a woman is not "the image of God"? There are passages in the writings of Pius XII in which he calls woman the image of God. Nor does the reasoning in verses 13 and 14 — the appeal to custom and nature — provide any illumination. Who today can build his ideas on this? In many places it has been a long time since women have had to cover their heads in church. And how many Negro women simply cannot wear their hair long! The "teaching of nature" operating in those regions where women cannot wear their hair long really teaches us that Paul was limited by time and place. Von Campenhausen says;

The rationale for this demand [of the veil] did not particularly please him. . . , The argumentative force of this combination [verses 3-10] probably did not satisfy him. So he appealed in a new attack to the natural feeling of decorum in his congregation [v. 13]. Here as so often the customary is declared the natural by Paul. . . . But when Paul heard the objections which were also raised against this argument, he broke the discussion off: It is not the custom with us. Driven into a tight spot, he then reveals the real motive, which was certainly the most strongly determining factor for him: The veiling of women at the liturgy is now the prevailing Christian custom, and it would result in a bad image if his Corinthians would be the single congregation to disregard it.(90)

The reasoning in 1 Cor. 14, 34f. is also noteworthy: (a) "as in all the churches of the saints," (b) it is indecorous for a woman to speak in the assembly, (c) the appeal to the law. The first we have just seen in the quotation from von Campenhausen; the second is decidedly rabbinic and, moreover, known to the Greeks and Romans; (9l) for the third, usually Gen. 3, 16 or Gen. 18, 12 is quoted. But in those texts speaking is not forbidden to women. Nor is Gen. 3, 16, a law (in the sense of "precept"), but an existing fact; the man lords it over his wife, and that is experienced by her as a punishment. If Gen. 3, 16, presented a basis on which to forbid women's (public) speaking, then the extremely conservative Dutch Calvinists would also have been correct in declaring on the basis of Gen. 3, 16, that the modern methods of painless childbirth are not permitted and in forbidding on the basis of Gen. 3, 17-19, any injection against disease (even among cattle)! It is better to see this as part of the rabbinic custom which designated even traditional customs as "Torah"—as Billerbeck has shown.(92) In this case Paul is appealing to something equally unenlightening: namely, the rabbinic mode of thought.

The same thing is true of the reasoning for 1 Tim. 2, 12-14. There the author of the letter to Timothy suddenly cites, one-sidedly, the second report of creation. The contemporary exegete would say: Be careful, Holy Scripture in the text of Gen. 1, 27, and Gen. 5, 1, gives a theological correction to the one-sidedness of the Jahwist in the second chapter. In Gen. 1, 27, the man is no longer represented as the firstborn, from whom woman originates, being nothing but his bones; there man and woman stand on the same level, there both are also immediately the image of God.

Even stranger is the question of guilt in reference to original sin. The biblical report states quite clearly the shared guilt of Adam and Eve, while 1 Tim. 2, 14, has apparently attributed the sole guilt to the woman. Here the author of Timothy thinks in a totally rabbinic manner,(93) and in fact in a manner which we cannot accept, which Paul himself abandoned in Romans 5, and which —this is important —was also intentionally omitted by the Council of Trent.(94) If the reasoning of 1 Tim. 2, 14, were sound, one would have to deny the priesthood to males on the basis of Romans 5 and Trent. For Adam was also seduced. Sin came into the world through him! Paul's own assertion in Romans 5, which says that death came into the world through the sin of one person (Adam) is so much the more striking because there is not only in rabbinic literature but even in the Old Testament itself a tendency to ascribe the blame to the woman: Sirach 25, 24 (Vulgate 25, 33): "Sin began with a woman, and thanks to her we all must die." Paul is thus, in Romans 5, led in the other direction, and the Church has followed him. It seems therefore quite justifiable not to lay too much importance on the passage from Timothy. The author is attempting to prove something, and seizes, so to speak, on second-class material for his argumentation.

Secondly, Paul argues just as much on principle in those prescripts which we designate ius ecclesiasticum. This is seen, for example, in his reasoning on the prohibition against two brothers’ going before a non-Christian judge when they have a legal battle (1 Cor. 6) or in the prohibition of social contact with fallen brethren (1 Cor. 5). Both examples will be discussed in detail below.

We must conclude that we shall not get much further by reference to Paul’s argumentation. Practical decisions and transactions, which in concrete situations are necessary for the sake of good order or brotherly love, or for pastoral reasons, but which in other situations may very well be decided in another way, even for the sake of good order, are supported by Paul with apparently quite basic arguments as if he were deciding something connected with the inalterable essence of Christianity.

Von Campenhausen expresses it this way:

The argumentation of almost every one of our examples rests on an emphatic and appealing salient, key idea which immediately accounts for and supports the demand arising from it. ... Everything that Paul desires, requires, and recommends by way of definite order and lawful regulation in the congregation is to be understood as a necessary expression, as a development and protection, of that which is directly connected with the essentially new state of being, with the reality of the Church and the Christian situation of each individual Christian.(95)

This would mean that the style of argumentation can scarcely be a decisive principle in determining whether a certain scriptural passage contains “divine law” or “ecclesiastical law.”

A further criterion was raised on the Swedish side: divine law refers to that which is bound together inseparably with the basic message of Christianity: i.e., justification through faith. Scripture, if it is taken formally, is no life norm. The teaching of sola scriptura (the formal principle of the Reformed faith) does not stand merely alongside the teaching of sola fide (the material principle of the Reformed faith). The message of Scripture and its binding precepts are not to be sought in the individual verses, but only in the basic message. The Bible is not a collection of individual precepts.(96)

As this view is not novel, one further quotation is sufficient to elucidate the idea. K. H. Steck said in his inaugural lecture (University of Frankfurt on the Main, 1954):

One should also apply the critical method to the Bible for the sake of the fundamental revelation that was delivered. Applying the critical method to the Bible therefore means dealing with the letter which ultimately is shaped by the expectation and promise of the spirit, not in a mechanical obedience to the letter, which of course leads to death, i.e., to a non-understanding, but rather in an obedience which permits the Spirit of God to be and to become the master of the letter.(97)

Except for the incompleteness in the presentation of the actual fundamental message of Christianity, this view is not as liberal as it appears to be. To try to read many precepts, rules, and such into the Scriptures actually makes the gospel into a law again. In the light of the letters to the Romans and Galatians, that could not possibly have been Paul’s intention. Then the mentality of “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch” (Col. 2, 21) would return, as if that could save us; whereas all is decreed only by love (cf. Rom. 14; 1 Cor. 8; 1 Cor. 10).(98)

Barth, too, once spoke along these lines, although he is otherwise against the admission of women to office; in a discussion in Amsterdam (1948) he declared: “Without doubt, service in the church is also imposed on women. That can be denied in principle only with the aid of a legalist interpretation of Paul.” (99)

If this is correct, it is also the task of dogmatic theologians to demonstrate how the prohibition of a female priesthood fits with the fundamental message of Christianity, or — let us avoid any echo of the “teaching of salvation by faith alone” — with the essence of the Church. Single texts cannot decide such a thing. To do otherwise would be to act like a person saying: Paul thinks that it is better “to eat no meat, to drink no wine” (Rom. 14, 21a). In this case it is obvious that the text is wrenched out of context, for the verse continues, “if your brother is offended at it” (Rom. 14,21b).

Swedish theologians suggest still another possible criterion. Only those instructions to which a promise is linked are binding for all times.(100) It is not, however, completely clear how one should operate with this principle, which is also rejected by Lutherans with good arguments.(101)

Refoulé himself says to all this that one must not seek one universal principle to determine whether precepts of the New Testament are valid for all time or not. Rather, the burden of proof lies upon the other side: in each case the individual text should be investigated, and only when it is perfectly clear that something was intended only for certain circumstances may it now be set aside; otherwise it should be obeyed. And the fact that a precept may not be linked essentially with salvation does not alter its validity. Obedience to God should be unconditional.(102) This last statement is certainly true; the question is only whether God does command something, and especially how we can know that he has commanded it!

6. Quaedam capitula

There is another important consideration concerning the conclusiveness of the Pauline text. With the same force of argumentation as is used in discussing the theses on women priests, texts from Paul (as well as from old synods and also from the Fathers — this last is important because writers consider the correctness of their own interpretation of Pauline texts confirmed by these later sources) can be used to furnish proof that:

— (a) One should have no contact with brethren who have fallen from the faith. The text (1 Cor. 5, 9-13) offers no special difficulties, although one might ask himself whether the word συνεσθίειν (to associate with) in 5, 11 is to be understood eucharistically. In that case the prohibition would still be valid. The only other occurrences of the word in the New Testament are in Luke 15, 2; Acts 11, 3; Acts 10, 41, and Gal. 2, 12. Of these passages only in Acts 10, 41, and even here in a manner to some extent forced, does it refer to a Eucharistic meal: in all other texts it means simply “to eat together” in the usual sense. H. von Campenhausen believes that in forbidding this Paul was not thinking of occasional contacts in worldly business, but of the life of the congregation.(103) That may well be. But Paul forbids not only the Eucharistic rite, which according to 1 Cor. 11, 23 ff., took place after the congregational meal, but even this meal itself. And later tradition interpreted the text even more strictly.

Ambrosiaster, for example, says: “He teaches not only the illicitness of the Eucharistic meal, but of the common meal altogether.” (104) Cyprian says, “One should not speak with heretics.”(105) The Statutes of the Ancient Church say: “Let him who will have communicated or prayed with one who is excommunicated be excommunicated, whether he be cleric or lay.”(106) Leclercq notes on this: “It is clear that the two terms communicare and orare are not synonyms. The first concerns ordinary life.”(107) The same prohibition is found in Toledo I (400) (108) and in Tours (461).(109) And the severe medieval practice of “shunning the excommunicated” is well-known.

It is interesting that Ambrosiaster and the Statutes of the Ancient Church are among the chief witnesses customarily summoned by dogmatic theologians to prove their thesis. Yet the latter hold that the precept of avoiding the fallen brethren is valid only as “ecclesiastical law” — for association with an apostate would constitute a danger to one’s own faith. But then they should also have to prove that a woman priest would be an analogous danger.

— (b) It could likewise be proved that in case of a civil lawsuit with a brother one may not go to a Gentile judge (1 Cor. 6, 1-11). This passage does not refer exclusively to what now falls within the competence of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, for Paul speaks precisely of ́ελαχίστων (v.2) and of βιωτκά (v. 3, 4). Lukas Vischer, who has made an in-depth study of this passage, speaks of “little everyday matters, things of ordinary life, property transactions, etc.”(110)

This prohibition was also taken very seriously in the first centuries. There is an abundance of passages on this matter incomparably richer than that which the dogmatic theologians can pull together for their thesis on woman. Vischer has collected the passages; it is not necessary to quote them all here besides, it would be simply impossible.(111) Even the chief witnesses of the dogmatic theologians —Ambrosiaster, the Didascalia, Origen, Augustine — put in an appearance. Only Epiphanius is missing. We will cite only one passage, that from Cyprian. Under the heading “Several chapters on the religious order of our community” (Quaedam capitula ad religiosam sectae nostrae disciplinam pertinentia) there appear (we mention those which are relevant in our context): (112)

Chap. 44: do not go to a Gentile judge
Chap. 46: woman should be silent
Chap. 48: ask no interest on money
Chap. 72: believing slaves should serve their earthly masters still more industriously
Chap. 78: one should not speak with heretics.

All these (chapters) have been forgotten in the course of time — except the one on women. Can it be excessive then to expect an extremely tightly-reasoned demonstration for this exception?

Vischer brought up no synods. Nevertheless there are many which could be cited: the Statutes of the Ancient Church,(113) the Irish synods under Patrick,(114) the Council of Seville of Pseudo-Isidor,(115) etc.

— (c) Doubtless one could search through the old literature in reference to many other precepts of Paul with the same result, perhaps on the prohibition against wearing gold and pearls at Mass (1 Tim. 3, 2), which was taken quite seriously by, for example, Epiphanius. He is fully as convinced and articulate on this point as he is on the question of the priesthood for women.(116)

All these regulations were considered valid for several centuries in just as principled a way as the exclusion of woman from office. The proofs are just as correct in a formally and technically theological way as those on the priesthood for woman. Nevertheless these prohibitions are shrunken to marginal phenomena in ecclesiastical life or are considered “dispensable ecclesiastical law.” The single difference between these proofs and those for our question is that there are texts on our problem which extend even up to the present. But do a few centuries more determine so much? The thesis of the “Creation of mankind from the dust of the earth,” the literal creation of Eve from the rib, etc., can also be illustrated with texts from many centuries. That the sinner can be reconciled only once was also taught for six or seven centuries.

7. The Same Subject?

There arises from this another completely different question. Within the framework of this book it can merely be asked, and not answered. But it seems clear to me that it must be raised. It is this: may it without closer analysis be simply assumed that all these texts which even up to the present century make assertions about woman are treating the same subject as we when we speak of woman? To put it another way: does not perhaps every syllogistic proof that a woman cannot be a priest, as soon as this proof is adduced with the help of texts from Paul, from old synods, and from the Fathers, contain four terms? Could not an opponent justly again place the proof in question by making the distinction: for “the woman of that day” I concede; for “the woman of today” I demand proof? In other words is it already demonstrated that the old assertions communicate something concerning the inalterable essence of woman and not merely concerning her sociologically conditioned place or the time-conditioned appraisal of woman? That the latter has basically changed in recent times demands no separate demonstration. And in the course of this work I shall cite many judgments on woman from earlier times which seem to me to be no longer obvious at all.

Theology, in this case moral theology, has suffered once before by not recognizing such a change at the proper time on the question of interest. After the economic function of money and its temporally conditioned place had already shifted, moral theology still remained inflexible in its prohibition of any charging of interest by appealing to scriptural texts and other newer and older documents. It was not seen that these texts did indeed use the same words money, capital, and so on but actually alluded to something quite different. The very danger that something similar could occur in our problem would obligate us to investigate the texts in a much wider context.

Another development in theology also suggests the need for greater caution. We refer to the newer views on natural law. To what extent is the natural law catalogable? Certainly many such individual material norms can be derived from transcendental deduction but does that include the role of woman? Relevant to this problem are the early contributions of F. Böckle in Fragen der Theologie heute (Questions of Theology Today) and several articles by Karl Rahner in Orientierung.(117) The understanding of natural law seems to vary. Has only the insight into what natural law signifies changed, while man (the source of the material statements of natural law) himself has remained the same? Or has man changed along with his insight? Much more remains unclarified: What is the connection between nature and history? Did significant changes, such as we indicated above in reference to money, occur in man as well? Is, for example, the customary solution to the problem of polygamy in the Old Testament — a dispensation permitted by God — correct, or was man really different then?

One must at least agree with Karl Rahner:

The higher a being, the more significant its act ... for it and its essence, and the more the act becomes the perfection of being. And if then this being is nevertheless historical and temporal, so much the more does it experience itself only through the history it undergoes; only in a historically real fulfillment does it measure off the boundaries of its potentialities which would otherwise remain concealed from itself. . . . [One] must . . , reckon with the possibility that . . . even the image of one’s own being in one’s own reflective recognition might be so disturbed [by the demonic], that the person, and even the Christian, does not perceive from his own essence and natural law that which he must really perceive. Or can it not be said that Christianity has not a few times failed in practice to derive from human nature human affirmations which it should have derived? Friedrich Spee, in any case, has admitted that freely. Proceeding from there, an attempt could be made to write a history of the concept of natural law in Christianity.(118)

Because there is much still to be clarified in this respect, one may not immediately assert that woman too has now become a different subject. One should also reckon with the possibility that our time likewise is not right on target in the judgment of what woman is (and what man is). Perhaps we too exaggerate when we believe that certain things which are now permitted to women (and to men) are not against nature — an occasion for further investigations.

8. The Subjection of Woman

So there arises once again the question of the Pauline assertions concerning the subjection of woman to her husband or to man in general. There is no doubt that Paul wishes to see woman subject to her spouse. There is no purpose in twisting his words on the subordination of woman so that ultimately an equality appears.(119_ The equality should not be sought in institutional things; it comes from the agape, through which the man makes himself the servant of the woman.(120) Else Kähler in her detailed investigations of the concept ύποτάσσεσθαι brings in the necessary corrections, but ultimately after the elimination of the implication of passive obedience and after the explanation that we are concerned with a mutual subordination because Christ, although Lord, is at the same time also the servant there does remain the subordination by a voluntary decision under God’s plan of salvation and order and in that framework under the husband.(121) Schlier’s commentary on Ephesians contains the same view(122) and, indeed, still more pointedly than Kähler, who cannot entirely accept his ideas.

Many think that with the headship, with the superior position of man, there comes simultaneously the exclusion of woman — from office for example, St. Thomas.(123) The question is whether that is so certain. For (a) is this a matter of the subjection of the married woman or of the subjection of woman in general? And if it concerns woman in general, would that be relevant to our thesis? Indeed subjects can become even bishops over their princes and president!(124) And (b) is that valid for all times and circumstances?

Ephesians 5 which is the chief evidence for the subjection of woman is concerned with the relationship of husband and wife, as Schlier says: “ϊδιος often indicates the possessive likewise, v. 28 states: ‘τας ́ευτων γυναικας


And further: This passage concerns not man and woman as classes, as it is sometimes interpreted, but rather the individual man and the individual woman in the situation of their marriage. (126)

But we may not quote Schlier in this regard as witness, for he is of the opinion that this is valid merely for Ephesians 5. According to him, 1 Cor. 11, 3 ff. teaches a universal subjection of woman:

The man is according to Ephesians 5 the head of his wife. That follows naturally from the evidence which Paul mentions in 1 Cor. 11, 3 ff. in reference to man and woman in general. The man is (born) through the woman, the woman is (taken) out of the man. The one signifies the historical relationship, the other the real essence. . . . This apostolic opinion that such a ranking of man and woman is founded in creation and their marital ranking is based in the mystery of creation is of course contested, and it is argued that it could change with the current image of man of that time and area. What can change in accordance with the current spirit and understanding of the time is merely the form of the appearance of mankind, and even that only by a comparatively slight further development.(127)

According to Schlier, then, both the above questions should be answered in the affirmative; the subjection of woman to man is valid for man and woman as a class, and it is valid for all time. Thomas and with him almost all authors proceed from the same presuppositions.

Several questions yet remain open, however. First of all it still does not seem to me to be very clear that this contains any implications for the priesthood of women, as already amplified above. Later on, in chapters III and V, I shall go more closely into the question of how far one can say with a few Fathers and Thomas that in certain circumstances (for example, through monastic vows) woman loses the “defect” of womanhood and is made equal to man. And I shall there raise the question of whether one can perhaps say that just as a slave in ancient church law became a freeman through the fact of ordination, so too woman through an eventual ordination would also no longer remain “in the state of subjection.” Secondly there are already serious Catholic writers who believe it can be asserted that this condition of woman was only time-bound and is now outmoded. So, for example, V. Heylen writes: It is true that he [Paul] occasionally demands from the woman submission before the man, but these are prescriptions inspired by the circumstances and the customs of the moment.(128)

And thirdly we are not entirely convinced that Paul in 1 Cor. 11 is suddenly considering man and woman as a class. Does not the question of man and woman as unmarried lie outside his field of vision? (129) Kähler argues for 1 Cor. 11 that Paul meant here an actual subjection of woman, and her arguments are worth noting.(130) One might consider what consequences that would have! It would mean that woman could not be a leader even in the secular area. Schlier would base his interpretation on creation.

With this we arrive at the second presupposition. For if it also be true (and this is not conceded) that Paul in 1 Cor. 11 wishes to subordinate women as a group, is what he said still valid for women of our time? Schlier believes the question must be answered in the affirmative. But will he then wish to exclude woman from secular office? He must say with Thomas and Aristotle: “When a woman attains command, a corruption of urbanity occurs” (corruptio urbanitas est quando ad mulierem dominium pervenit).(131)

We thus confront the question of whether Paul’s views on the subordination of woman are valid for all times. Schlier believes that they are because they are founded in the mystery of creation. We have already spoken of the questionability of Pauline argumentation: he bases something which is time-bound in the order of creation. Equally moot is the question to what extent one can discover in Scripture in general a supertemporal jus divinum, as well as the question to what extent there is an unalterable feminine nature or to what extent each age can have a total picture of it. All these questions return here. We must look still farther.

9. Surmounted and Canonized Rabbinism

One cannot avoid concurring in great part with the authors who attribute to Paul a rabbinic interpretation of woman.(132) E.Kähler has, it is true, rectified much, but one certainly cannot deny the matter completely. (At most it could be added that these concepts were not exclusively rabbinic and that other, Hellenic influences also had an effect on Paul.) It seems important to me to investigate in which passages Paul speaks rabbinically. And it will be in the spirit of the Constitution on Revelation of Vatican II to say that here and there Paul is rabbinic and he speaks differently than in other places. If we find other understandings of woman in other passages in Scripture in general, or even in Paul himself, may we not then think that, in those texts which are less illuminating for us, he is perhaps speaking more directly from his rabbinically influenced situation?

Rondet says:

Paul accents more than is just the submission of the woman to her husband. Elsewhere to justify the silencing of woman in the church he recalls that Eve was not created first and that it was she who let herself be seduced. These ideas seem to bear the mark of the spirit of the Old Testament, and one is right to correct them by the other statements of the Apostle.(133)

Perhaps it is not actually Paul who needs correcting but rather our understanding of his texts. Perhaps it is merely necessary to realize that he is speaking of woman in a rabbinic manner only in the places where he should accommodate himself to the existing custom.

First I shall substantiate my assertion that Paul thinks of woman rabbinically. Then I shall show whether and when he himself has gone beyond this understanding.

At the beginning of this chapter the rabbinic background of the statement “Let the women be silent in the congregation” was shown. In the synagogue a woman could neither read aloud nor speak, expound, or teach. Indeed, she could not even study the Torah. She should and could bear no witness; her words were not considered trustworthy.(134) Besides, a woman’s voice was accounted shameful (obscene),(135) and could thus not be tolerated in public. Behind 1 Cor. 14, 35 (to ask the man for instruction at home) stands the same precept from the rabbinic tradition.(136) The reasoning in 1 Cor. 11 and 1 Tim. 2 (the story of creation) and 1 Tim. 2 (the Fall and seduction of woman) are likewise the rabbinic demonstration for the second-class status of woman.(137) Eve should cover her head (cf. the veil of 1 Cor. 11), because she must mourn on account of her sin.(138) Delling has referred to the attempts of later Judaism to reinterpret everything in the Old Testament which gave evidence of the cultic activity of woman. There are two reports in the Old Testament of women “doing service” at the entrance of the tabernacle; in the one passage the Septuagint alters it to “fasted”, in the other it simply struck it out. (Ex. 38, 8; Sm. 2, 22).(139) We have already seen how knowledge of the Torah, which in Deut. 31, 12 and Neh. 8, 2 f. is demanded of the woman, is described by the rabbis as an occasion of debauchery for her; Oepke demonstrates that later Judaism brought more retrogression than progress in reference to woman. At the time of Jesus especially the situation of woman was quite bad.(140) Flavius Josephus expressed the ideas of his time correctly when he said: “The woman is in every respect less than the man.”(141) Thus, if we seek the background of Pauline thought on the position of woman, we find it here.

The following statement of Kosmala is also important:

As an example to weaken the basically negative attitude of the rabbis toward women, Beruria, the wife of Rabbi Meir, is continually named. But she has not been the ideal of the Jewish wife to the rabbis. In later times a shameful story was told of her to annihilate her moral reputation completely.

The story is, as far as Kosmala knows, nowhere translated. He gives the translation and adds:

The story is not very probable and apparently invented only ad hoc. That it was told, however, shows that a woman of Beruria’s cast has no place in rabbinic thought. She is in every respect the exception which proves the rule.(142)

The great women of the Old Testament are often referred to: Rachab the whore, Judith, Esther, and so on. But were they really women? Or were they praised merely because, although women, they nevertheless did men’s work? For Judith this is certainly clear. And Scripture itself praises the mother of the seven Maccabee brothers because “she reinforced her womanly argument with manly courage” ( Macc. 7, 21).

Up to now no one has alluded (says Kosmala) to the fact that all favorable expressions of opinion — that one should for example esteem, love, honor, and not grieve his wife(143) — refer exclusively to the married woman, not simply to woman. Of course the married woman shares the generally negative evaluation of woman, in the religious sphere especially, for the married woman also shares the natural station of her unmarried sisters. Nevertheless, the married woman has a special position in contrast to the single woman. For she is no longer merely a female human, but the legitimate wife of an Israelite man. She actually makes the man a full citizen in the Jewish religious community. She is the mother of his children, she is his “house.” She occupies this position even if she is not a good wife. But if she is a good wife, the Haggadah bestows unstinting praise on her: she is her husband’s riches, his crown, his jewels, etc. The good wife — this we must note — receives her honors only with express relation to her spouse and lord. Of herself the woman is nothing. The statement that the woman enriches the man as a jewel cannot be reversed.(144)

That seems to me to be the background of the Pauline assertions in 1 Cor. 11: “A man should certainly not cover his head, since he is the image of God and reflects God’s glory; but woman is the reflection of man’s glory. . . . Man was not created for the sake of woman, but woman was created for the sake of man.” Also one must immediately think of Ephesians 5: “The husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the Church.” Paul could speak in this way from his own background: the woman was in truth the house of the man.(145) The expression “head of the woman” is more easily understood in this context. Head of the woman then means head of the house or of the family. The point can be further developed. For the rabbis the concept “woman” included at the same time the children born of her and those to be born; the woman was in herself the essence of the family. That may have been the case in that time, for there were scarcely any unmarried women, and the married women had no other goal than just to be good mothers to the family.

But one wonders whether all this really describes the nature of woman, as Schlier feels. Is our time so unchristian in thinking that a woman (yes, even a married woman) is more than merely a mother? May one not think that Paul in 1 Cor. 11 and Eph. 5 spoke only of one limited, though obviously true, aspect of woman, namely of her role as member of the family? It is not the intention of this work to question the position of the husband as head of the family and thus also as head of the wife insofar as she is precisely a member of the family community. But is not the woman more, outside marriage and even within it? If that is true, the Pauline assertions in 1 Cor. 11 and Eph. 5 would be no point of departure for a total theology of woman, but at most only for a theology of woman insofar as she is a member of the family.

Did Paul not know that a woman is more than that? Or did he correct himself in other passages, namely, those where he did not speak in a concrete manner? To discover that, we must first listen to still another rabbinic statement in reference to woman.

The Jew was (and is) obligated to say daily three prescribed benedictions. The Jew should praise God that he has not made him (a) a Gentile (b) a woman (c) an ignoramus.(146) The basis of this is the following: (a) according to Is. 40, 17 all Gentiles are as nothing before God; (b) no commandments are enjoined on the woman (in the newer prayer books the woman should say in the second passage that you have created me according to your pleasure); (c) the ignoramus has no fear of sin.(147) The ignoramus, however, can become knowledgeable through the study of the Torah. Therefore Rabbi Akiba (who came from the family of an Am-ha-arez — an unknowing, or ignoramus) recommends saying “that you have not made me a slave.” To this another rabbi responds that the mention of the slave is not necessary, for in reference to the religious rank the slave stands precisely on the same level as the woman. The answer was given him: “The slave (is differentiated nevertheless from the woman for he) is more to be despised.” The Gentile, the woman and the slave thus are of lesser religious value; they do not stand in the same divine community as man, and this of course is a result of their station, not merely of their concrete conduct. Only the free Israelite man is, by virtue of his being a son of Abraham (by virtue of his circumcision), participant in this convenantal community.(148)

Now Gal. 3, 28 f. is clearer to us: “There are no more distinctions between Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female, but all of you are one in Christ Jesus. Merely by belonging to Christ you are the posterity of Abraham, the heirs he was promised.”

Galatians 3 treats of the relapse into the belief that being a son of Abraham and fulfilling the law are still necessary or mandatory for salvation. Paul here issues a reprimand and in conclusion expresses the new belief in a statement which obviously has its origin in the old, familiar Jewish formula.

Obviously this passage is not directly relevant to our discussion of woman in office, for it concerns salvation and not salvation-service; and it is (as Schlier says in his commentary on Galatians) founded on the fact of baptism, while office proceeds from its own mission.(149) But Gal. 3, 28 does show us how very true it is that Paul himself in principle — in other illuminating passages — transcends the rabbinic assertions on women. This passage from Gal. 3 shows us how unjustified it is to appeal to 1 Cor. 11 and Eph. 5 for a theology of the sexes.

Certainly Oepke is correct in emphasizing that the removal of the distinction (in Gal. 3) should be understood in the light of the new era,(150) and that it therefore does not press for practical consequences of a revolutionary sort. The same is true of von Allmen, where he says: “One does Paul an injustice when one believes it possible to infer from Gal. 3, 28, a notion of political and social egalitarianism of the sexes. That text is an eschatological statement.“(151)

But how the text could have no consequences at all for this world is not comprehensible to me. Certainly Christianity has not explicitly wished revolution (slaves, women), but the utterances of Oepke and von Allmen breathe, in my opinion, a too eschatological mentality. The new era, much as it is still also to come, nevertheless is already begun!

Therefore we may conclude some things in Paul certainly point to an apparent canonization of rabbinism. But the question is: What precisely does he canonize? Not the interpretation that the woman is a member of the convenantal people only through the medium of her husband. Thus he rejects the fundamental rabbinic principle relating to woman. But he has no intention of changing what at that time could be changed only with disruption of good order. Perhaps he never saw that such a social change ought to come. What he says is that the distinction between man and woman no longer has significance in Christ; we would say that from a religious perspective it no longer has significance. The alteration of the social structure does not lie within his field of vision; the world had already settled that. Rather, one gets the impression that Paul reacted against those who too freely misused the changes of meaning in religion (cf. 1 Cor.).

Already in the gospel it is clear that Christianity rejects the system of the rabbinic concept of woman in its entirety. It is not necessary here to point out the various aspects: polygamy, the bill of divorce, etc.(152) But even in Paul it can be seen particularly in those places where he is not speaking in exhortation, and thus does not need to be concerned with the existing circumstances but stands in the center of the Christian message of salvation, as in Gal. 3, 28. But it is not only in the letter to the Galatians. He recognizes prophesying women; that too is rabbinism transcended. He also recognizes in 1 Cor. 7 the woman who can abandon her husband, which is an almost impossible idea for a rabbi.(153) And the relegation of the woman to the household sphere, which we read in 1 Tim. 2, is transcended by the frequent mention of feminine activity in the congregation. In Rom. 16, 3, Prisca is given the same title as Timothy in verse 21: fellow worker! Rom.16 mentions nine women among twenty-nine persons. Daniélou notes of this:

The terms which he [Paul] employs are important to note. He names [Rom. 16] first of all Phoebe, our sister, who is a servant (διάκονος) church of Cenchreae. She has been a support (προστάτις) for me and for many. Greet Prisca and Aquila who are my coworkers (συνεργούς) in Christ Jesus, , . . Greet Mary who has worked (̀εκοπίασεν) hard for us. . . . Greet Tryphoena, Tryphosa and Persis who have worked ( κοπιαν) in the Lord. In the epistle to the Philippians it is a question of Evodia and Syntyche who struggled along with me in the Gospel ( ̀εν τωι ὲυαγγελίωι


) .(154)

All this is so, not because these women had entertained the male preachers as guests in their homes so well or something of that sort; and also not merely because they have children, which according to 1 Tim. 2, 15 is the way for women to become blessed.

Leenhardt is right in saying:

So much is certain, that we could not find such a large number of women who were connected with his apostolic office if he basically were as determined as he is described to be that the woman must be silent in the Church and that she is to be relegated to the circle of her household duties and family tasks.(155)

We may really infer from this that Paul himself in many places overcame his rabbinism in reference to woman except, perhaps, in the passages where he speaks of woman in household and in church life (in any case in 1 Tim. 2). Why is that, and is the distinction valid for us? May we say on the basis of the other passages that Paul himself knew better and that he only accommodated himself on account of the temporal circumstances?

Perhaps we may suggest the following hypothesis. The primitive congregation confronted the task of ordering the religious community. There were models; the Christian congregations formed themselves mostly in connection with Jewish and Jewish-proselytizing circles. But not only was a form of organization taken over with the models, but in some cases perhaps also the attitude on which this order was based. Tendencies toward innovation were certainly there, and Paul himself had not forbidden such things as the prophesying of women. But the development of a radically new social and sexual teaching and practice (slaves!) did not occur then.(156)

To the question of whether this attitude toward women should be determinative for us, the answer in this case is clear. Paul’s regulations are to a certain extent a regression to rabbinic Judaism, which is so much the more easily comprehensible because the primitive community wished no revolution, in any case not in the social area. And office is a social function in Christianity! On the matter of salvation the correct concept of woman was clearly comprehended. On the matter of salvation-service, thus in the external-juridical-sociological aspects, existing sociological structures were accommodated to, just as had been done in reference to the sociological phenomenon of slavery. How could it be otherwise? Moreover, was not the Second Corning of Christ in his glory near, and would not a new order begin then?

One would like to think that the new order is already in process; it comes through more and more in this age. The eschatological word (Oepke) of Gal. 3, 28, is already true. Should not then the sociological structure of the Church also be altered as soon as it is possible in the concrete situation? To those to whom this seems to be true, it would have to be incontestably shown that God has willed it otherwise, that is, it would have to be demonstrated either that todays secular development is a false development, or that the matter is different in the religious sphere than in the secular.

But the mere citation of scriptural passages, as we have seen in this chapter, does not further the argument significantly.


1. Didascalia 3, 6: F. X. Funk, Didascalia et Constitutiones Apostolorum I (Paderborn, 1905), p. 190. The Constitutiones Apostolorum add nothing essential.

2. Epiphanius, Adversus Haereses; Migne, Patrologia Graeca (hereafter cited as PG) 42, c. 744; Die Griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller (hereafter cited as GCS) (Leipzig, 1897 ff.), 37, p. 477.

3. Ambrosiaster, Comment. in Ep. ad 1 Tim. 3, 11; PL 17, c. 496.

4. Diekamp-Hoffmann, Theologiae dogmaticae manuale, vol. 4 (Paris, 1946), p. 426.

5. Pohle-J. Gummersbach, Lehrbuch der Dogmatik, vol. 3 (Paderborn, 1960), p. 581.

6. Karl Rahner, Theological Investigations (Baltimore, 1963), vol 2 pp. 319 ff.

7. Stein, Die Frau (see chap. I, n. 18, above), p. 108.

8. Not always, but often; cf. Strathmann’s article *** p.173

/ta/jrus in G. Kittel, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Mich., 1967), vol. 4, pp. 492, 497.

9. Hans Kosmala, “Gedanken zur Kontroverse Farbstein-Hoch,” Judaica 4 (1948): 234. Cf. Hermann Strack and Paul Billerbeck, (hereafter cited as Billerbeck) (Munich, 1922), vol. 3, pp. 157, 467.

10. Oepke’s article γυνή in Kittel, vol. 1, p. 782.

11. Billerbeck, vol. 3, p. 468.

12. Kosmala, pp. 235 ff.

13. Oepke, p. 782.

14. Billerbeck, vol. 3, p. 468.

15. Kosmala, p. 227.

16. Billerbeck, vol. 3, p. 467.

17. Ibid., p. 217.

18. Ibid, p. 251.

19. Ibid., p. 560.

20. Ibid., p. 559-60.

21. Ibid., vol. 2, p. 441.

22. Denzinger— Schönmetzer, Enchiridion Symbolorum (hereafter cited as Denz.-Schönm.) (Freiburg, 1965), p. 1752.

23. Wahl, The Exclusion of Women (see chap. I, n. 1, above).

24. Ibid., p. 12.

25. Oepke, p. 787; cf. J. Leipoldt, Die Frau in der antiken Welt und im Urchristentum (Leipzig, 1954), p. 190; Lietzmann-Kümmel, An die Korinther 1-11, 4th ed., Handbuch zum Neuen Testament 9 (hereafter cited as HNT) (Tubingen, 1949), pp. 75, 190.

26. E. B. Allo, St. Paul, Premiere Epitre aux Corinthiens (Paris, 1934), p. 258.

27. Leitzmann-Kümmel, pp. 75, 190.

28. Ambrosiaster, Patrologia Latina (hereafter cited as PL) 17, cols. 240, 259.

29. R. Comely, Commentarius in Si Pauli Epistol. (Paris, 1890), 2, p. 444.

30. Origen, Catenae in 1 Cor., quoted in P. de Labriolle, Les sources de I’histoire du Montanisme (Fribourg, 1913), pp. 55 f.

31. PL 30, c. 878.

32. PG 66, c. 938.

33. PL 68, cc. 663-64.

34. In Luc. 24, Lib. 10, 165: Corpus Christianorum (hereafter cited as CCh) Series latina 14, p. 393.

35. PL 191, c. 1672.

36. Summa Theologiae II-II, q. 177, a. 2; III, q. 55, a. 1, ad 3; cf. III, q. 67, a. 4; in 1 ad Cor. 14, lectio 7.

37. E.g., L. Lercher, Institutiones theologiae dogmaticae IV-2, pars altera, 3d. ed. (Innsbruck, 1950), pp. 316-17.

38. Ph. Bachmann, Der erste Brief des Paulus an die Korinther, ed. E. Stauffer, 4th ed. (Leipzig, 1936), pp. 346, 425.

39. Else Kähler, Die Frau in den paulinischen Briefen, unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Begriffes der Unterordnung (Zurich, 1960), pp. 45-46.

40. L. Hick, Stellung des hl. Paulus zur Frau im Rahmen seiner Zeit (Cologne, 1957), p. 181.

41. Ibid., p. 181.

42. PL 191, c. 1630; cf. c. 1672.

43. In 1 ad Cor. 11, lectio 3.

44. Adversus Haereses 3, 11, 9: PG 7, c. 891.

45. H. Greeven’s article “Frau” in Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 3d ed. (Tubingen, 1956), vol. 2, c. 1069.

46. G. Friedrich’s article on irpo***** p.174

riT7]s [KT\] in Kittel, vol. 4, p. 851.

47. Allo, pp. 254-55.

48. Lietzmann-Kümmel, p. 53.

49. P. Tischleder, Wesen und Stellung der Frau nach der Lehre des hl. Paulus, Neutestamentliche Abhandlungen (hereafter cited as, NTA) 10, nos. 3-4 (Munster, 1923), p. 140.

50. J. Daniélou, “Le ministère des femmes dans l’Église ancienne,”61 (1960): pp. 73-74.

51. Kähler, pp. 43-67.

52. Ibid., p. 171.

53. Kirschbaum, Der Dienst der Frau (see chap. I, n. 17, above), p. 24.

54. Barth, III/4, pp. 168-81; cf. III/2, pp. 309 ff.

55. Kähler, p. 170.

56. Ibid., p. 169.

57. Ibid., p. 160.

58. Allo, p. 259.

59. The dispute began, one could say, with G. Delling, Paulus’ Stellung zu Frau und Ehe, Beitrage zur Wissenschaft vom alten und neuen Testament, 4th ser.,no. 5 (Stuttgart, 1931).

60. F. a. P. Salá, Sacra Theologiae Summa, 2d ed., Biblioteca de Autores Christianos 73 (hereafter cited as BAC) (Madrid, 1953), vol. 4, p. 710.

61. For further references see chapter III.

62. Wahl, pp. 14 ff.; Lercher, p. 316; Diekamp-Hoffmann, p. 426.

63. Cf. H. Haag, ed., Bibellexikon, 2d ed. (Einsiedeln, 1968), pp. 1316 ff.

64. Kähler, p. 76.

65. Ibid., p. 84.

66. Ibid., p. 77.

67. Delling, p. 111, is of course of another opinion.

68. Ibid., p. 112.

69. Lietzmann-Kümmel, p. 190.

70. Hick, p. 182.

71. Tischleder, p. 173.

72. Greeven, p. 1069.

73. F. J. Leenhardt and Fritz Blanke, Die Stellung der Frau im Neuen Testament und in der alten Kirche, Kirchliche Zeitfragen 24 (Zurich, 1949), p. 42.

74. Barth, CD III/4, p. 156.

75. Rondet, “Eléments” (see chap. I, n. 2, above), p. 926.

76. F.-R. Refoulé, “Le problème des ‘femmes-prêtres’ en Suède,” Lumière et vie 8 (1959): 80f.

77. A. J. Rasker, “De vrouw in het ambt,” In de Waagschaal 11 (1955): 152.

78. Hick, pp. 188 f.

79. Danielou, “Le ministère des femmes,” p. 74. His interpretation of προφήτης [κτλ] as “prédication de la parole” has already been questioned by us above.

80. In disagreement with me are Kähler, pp. 151 ff. and Leenhardt, p. 45.

81. Kähler, p. 170.

82. Tertullian, De cultu feminarum, passim.

83. Y. M.-J. Congar, “La femme dans l’Église,” Recherches de sciences Philosophiques et Théologiques 37 (1953): 763.

84. Thrall, Ordination of Woman (see chap. I, n. 11, above), p. 13.

85. Refoulé, pp. 65-99.

86. Ibid., pp. 82-83.

87. Ibid., pp. 84-85.

88. Ibid, pp. 85 ff.

89. H. von Campenhausen, Die Begründung kirchlicher Entscheidungen beim Apostel Paulus, Sitzungsberichte der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philosophisch-historische Klasse, Jhrg. 1957 2. Abh. (Heidelberg, 1957).

90. Ibid., pp. 22 f.

91. Lietzmann-Kümmel, op. cit., at the appropriate place.

92. Billerbeck, vol. 3, p. 468; cf. Kähler, p. 81; Campenhausen, p. 24.

93. Billerbeck, vol. 3, p. 561.

94. Sessio 5, canon 1 ff. Denz.-Schönm. 1510 ff.

95. Campenhausen, p. 29.

96. Refoulé, p. 90.

97. K. H. Steck, “Authorität und Freiheit in der Theologie,” Evangelische Theologie 14 (1954): 389 f.

98. Cf. Kähler, pp. 67 ff.; Havel, “La question du pastorat” (see chap. I, n. 10, above), pp. 122-23.

99. Interview with Karl Barth in In de Waagschaal 3 (1948): 376.

100. Refoulé, p. 92.

101. Ibid., p. 94.

102. Ibid., pp. 94-95.

103. Campenhausen, p. 15.

104. PL 17, c. 210.

105. Ad. Quir. 3, 44: PL 4, c. 725.

106. C. J. von Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, 9 vols., vol. 8 and 9 by J. Hergenröther (Freiburg, 1855-90); trans. by H. Leclercq as Histoire des conciles d’après les documents originaux, 9 vols. (Paris, 1907-) (hereafter cited as Hefele-Leclercq); vol. 2, p. 118.

107. Ibid., n. 2.

108. Ibid., p. 124.

109. Ibid., p. 900.

110. L. Vischer, Die Auslegungsgeschichte von l Kor 6, 1-11, Beiträge zur Geschichte der neutestamentlichen Exegese l (Tübingen, 1955), p. 13.

111. Ibid., pp. 21-43 passim.

112. . 3, 44: PL 4, cc. 725 ff.

113. Hefele-Leclercq 2, p. 119.

114. Ibid., p. 894.

115. PL 84, c. 206.

116. PG 41, cc. 1022-23; PG 42, c. 823.

117. F. Böckle, “Bestrebungen in der Moraltheologie,” in Fragen der Theologie heute, ed. J. Feiner, J. Trütsch, and F. Böckle (Einsiedeln, 1957), pp. 439 ff.; Karl Rahner, “Bemerkungen über das Naturgesetz und seine Erkennbarkeit,” Orientierung 19 (1955): 239-43; Karl Rahner, “Über das Verhältnis des Naturgesetzes zur übernatürlichen Gnadeordnung,” Orientierung 20 (1956): 8-11; cf. also J. David, “Wandelbares Naturrecht,” Orientierung 20 (1956): 171-75; J. Fuchs, “Positivistisches Naturrecht?” Orientierung 20 (1956): 113-15, 127-29. The more recent discussions concerning natural law will be presumed to be familiar to the reader.

118. Rahner, Orientierung 20 (1956): 10.

119. H. van Oyen, “Man en vrouw volgens de Bijbel,” Wending 9 (1954-55): 317.

120. C. J. H. Vaessen, “Die Stellung der Frau, theologische Betrachtungen nach der Lehre der Heiligen Schrift und des kirchlichen Lehramtes,” Dissertatio ad obtinendum lauream in sacra theologia, Promotor Prof. Mag. H. Häring, O.P. (unpublished dissertation), Pontificium Athenaeum An-gelicum (Rome, 1956), p. 57.

121. Kähler, pp. 138 ff., 198 ff. See this chapter, sec. 2, for Statements by Barth and Charlotte von Kirschbaum.

122. H. Schlier, Der Brief an die Epheser (Düsseldorf, 1957), pp. 252-80.

123. Summa Theologiae II-II, q. 32, a. 8, ad 2; q. 177, a. 2; q. 67, a. 4; suppl., q. 39, a. 1.

124. Cf. ibid., II-II, q. 177, a. 2.

125. Schlier, p. 253, n. 1.

126. Ibid., p. 254.

127. Ibid., pp. 227-28; on the whole matter cf. also H. Schlier’s article on λαλεϊν in Kittel, vol. 3, pp. 673 ff.

128. V. Heylen, “Het hoofd van het gezin,” Tijdschrift voor Theologie l (1961): 309-28; this quotation is from the “sommaire,” p. 328.

129. He mentions, naturally enough, virgins and widows.

130. Kähler, pp. 48-67.

131. Summa Theologiae suppl. q. 19, a. 3, ad 4.

132. Above all Delling; see above n. 59 of this chapter.

133. Rondet, p. 926; cf. p. 932.

134. For the references, see above nn. 9 ff. Also cf. in general J. Jeremias, “Die gesellschaftliche Stellung der Frau,” in J. Jeremias, Jerusalem zur Zeit Jesu (Göttingen, 1958), pp. 232-50.

135. Billerbeck, vol. l, p. 299; cf. vol. 3, p. 469.

136. Kosmala, p. 234.

137. Billerbeck, vol. l, p. 137; vol. 3, pp. 561, 626, 645.

138. Ibid., vol. 3, pp. 370, 427, 442. Further references are in Delling, pp. 49 ff.

139. Delling, p. 49.

140. Oepke, pp. 781-82; also cf. van Oyen, pp. 305 ff.

141. Oepke, p. 782; cf. Billerbeck, vol. 3, p. 558

142. Kosmala, pp. 231-32.

143. Billerbeck, vol. 3, pp. 610-11.

144. Kosmala, pp. 230-31.

145. E. A. Synan, “The Covenant of Husband and Wife,” in The Bridge, A Yearbook of Judaeo-Christian Studies 4 (Newark, 1962), pp. 149-70; esp. p. 154.

146. Oepke, p. 776; cf. Kosmala, pp. 227-28; H. Lietzmann, An die Galater, 2d. ed., HNT 10 (Tübingen, 1923), p. 23.

147. Kosmala, p. 227, with references.

148. Also cf. K. Rengstorf, Mann und Frau im Urchristentum (Cologne, 1954), p. 11.

149. H. Schlier, Der Brief an die Galater, 11th ed. (Göttingen, 1951), p. 130.

150. Oepke, p. 785.

151. J. von Allmen, Maris et femmes d’apres Saint Paul, Cahiers théologiques 29 (Neuchâtel-Paris, 1951), p. 36.

152. Hick, pp. 78 ff.

153. Billerbeck, vol. l, p. 318; vol. 2, pp. 23 ff.; cf. Kähler, p. 27.

154. Daniélou, “Le ministère des femmes,” p. 70.

155. Leenhardt, p. 14.

156. Kosmala, pp. 233 ff.

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