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Is Silence Golden?<BR> Paul and Women’s Speech in Corinth

Is Silence Golden?
Paul and Women’s Speech in Corinth

by Caroline Vander Stichele

Louvain Studies, vol.20 (1995) pp.241-253.
Republished on our website with the necessary permissions

1 Corinthians 14:33b-36 belongs to the more obscure passages in the first letter to the Corinthians. Not only are there some text-critical problems involved within this text, it also seems to be in outright contradiction with another passage earlier in the letter. If Paul accepts the praying and prophesying of women in 11:2-16, he silences them completely in 14:33b-36. It is therefore not surprising that a variety of opinions exists about the meaning and relation of both texts. With the entry of female scholars in the male academy, women no longer are solely the object of research but have become its subject as well. Yet, women's voices are often not heard, their writings ignored in major publications. Instead of silencing women, the policy now seems to be to neglect them, although women have been publishing their views on the interpretation of the New Testament for at least a century.

In 1898 Elisabeth Cady Stanton wrote the following comment on 1 Cor 14:33b-36 in the Woman's Bible:

The church of Corinth was peculiarly given to diversion and to disputation; and women were apt to join in and to ask many troublesome questions; hence they were advised to consult their husbands at home. The Apostle took it for granted that all men were wise enough to give to women the necessary information on all subjects. Others, again, advise wives never to discuss knotty points with their husbands; for if they should chance to differ from each other, that fact might give rise to much domestic infelicity. There is such a wide difference of opinion on this point among wise men, that perhaps it would be safe to leave women to be guided by their own unassisted common sense.(1)

Celebrating the hundredth anniversary of this Woman's Bible, most recently two commentaries have been published.(2) In the first commentary, J. M. Bassler suggests that 1 Cor 14:33b-36 is an interpolation,(3) while in Searching the Scriptures, A. Wire defends the Pauline character of these verses.(4)

In this article I wish to present my own view on 1 Cor 14:33b-36 and its relation to 1 Cor 11:2-16, in response to the feminist debate about its authenticity. Because, as far as I know, an overview of this debate has not yet been given, I will first present the arguments in favor of 1 Cor 14:33b-36 being an interpolation. Secondly, I will consider the arguments in favor of its authenticity. Finally, I will conclude with some remarks about the relevance of this debate.

An Interpolated Text?

In her comment on 1 Cor 14:34-35, Bassler states that "these two verses, usually printed as part of the paragraph that extends from 14:33b to 14:36, are strange by any reckoning of the matter."(5) There is an apparent contradiction between this "absolute insistence on the silence of women in the church"(6) and other statements in Paul's letters. One of them is 1 Cor 11:2-16 where women are said to pray and prophesy. Bassler also refers to the women who are mentioned as co-workers in Romans, 1 Corinthians and Philippians. According to her, the solution for this problem is to consider these verses as an interpolation. An indication of their later origin could be found in the manuscript tradition, where they appear at two different places, namely after v. 33 (as printed in our text-editions) or at the end of chapter 14, after v. 40, Therefore, it is not impossible that these verses originally were a comment in the margin that was inserted in the text. The correspondence between these verses, 1 Tim 2:11-12 and 1 Peter 3:1-6, where similar views on the subordination of women are found, supports, according to Bassler, that we have to do with a later addition.

Although rather few female scholars support the interpolation hypothesis, Bassler is not the first one who took this position. Already in the Woman's Bible Ellen Battelle Dietrick suggests that texts like this are inauthentic: "As for the passages now found in the New Testament epistles of Paul, concerning women's non-equality with men and duty of subjection, there is no room to doubt that they are bare-faced forgeries, interpolated by unscrupulous bishops, during the early period in which a combined and determined effort was made to reduce women to silent submission, not only in the Church, but also in the home and the State."(7)

As far as 1 Cor 14:34-35 is concerned, E. H. Pagels suggested in 1974, this text might be inauthentic;(8) and in 1981, J. Nunnally-Cox was inclined "to give Paul the benefit of the doubt in this particular passage."(9) She argued that vv. 34-35 could be a scribal gloss on the basis of text-critical evidence: the resemblance with 1 Tim 2:11-12 and Paul's appeal to the law in v. 34, which comes as a surprise.

A strong plea and a very specific one in favor of the interpolation hypothesis was made, however, by W. Munro. She presented her arguments in several publications, the major one being Authority in Peter and Paul.(10) Her thesis is that Paul's letters have been reworked by a later redactor, who can be held responsible for adding several passages. Munro designates this pervasive layer the "pastoral stratum," because this redactor shares the views that can be found in the so-called pastoral epistles, more specifically the teaching on subjection to authority in these letters. Munro ascribes 1 Cor 11:2-16 as well as 14:34-35 to this pastoral stratum.

In favor of the secondary character of 1 Cor 14:34-35, she argues as follows: "if one assumes that the original version of 1 Cor 14 did not contain 14:33b-35, the difficulty of reconciling this small pocket of material with the rest of the chapter is solved."(11) Verses 34-35 do not fit in with the context of chapter 14. When Paul speaks of "all of you" (v. 5) and "each one" (v. 26), all members of the community are meant. Also the "brothers" (’αδελφοι) in v. 6 are to be understood inclusively (NRSV: "brothers and sisters").(12) Moreover, the statement in vv. 34-35 cannot be understood as applying only to the specific situation in Corinth, because the reference to the other churches (v. 33b) and to the law (v. 34) reveal its universalistic claim. According to Munro not only vv. 34-35 but also vv. 32-33 and vv. 36-38 are part of the interpolation. This whole passage forms a break in the context that deals with prophecy, speaking in tongues and its interpretation. V. 39 again deals with prophecy and glossolalia. Originally, it would have followed upon v. 31.

The idea that "God is a God not of disorder, but of peace" (v. 33a) introduces vv. 33b-35 very well. Munro thinks the verb "subject" (‘υποτάσσω) in v. 32 is characteristic for the later redaction. It also occurs in v. 34 ("be subordinate") and in Eph 5:21-33. These two texts also have other elements in common, namely the combination "women . . . their husbands" and the grammatical construction "for not . . . but ... as also ..." (’ου γάρ...’αλλα....καθως και v. 34; compare Eph 5:29: "for no one . . . but . . . just as . . ."(13). According to Munro it is more probable that 1 Cor 14:32-38 is dependent on Eph 5, than the other way round. In 1 Cor 14:32-38 the subjection of wives to their husbands is transposed from the household to the church.

Another passage that has clear links with Eph 5:21-33 and should be considered an interpolation as well, according to Munro, is 1 Cor 11:2-16. She assumes that the Pastoral redactor of 1 Corinthians could "have deliberately interpolated material concerning women at the beginning and end of a complex concerning church order (11:1-14:40)."(14) But there are more similarities between 11:2-16 and 14:32-38. Munro points to the appeal to apostolic authority in 11:2 and 14:37f; to the practice in all the churches in 11:16 and 14:33b; to what is "proper" (11:13) or "shameful" (’αισχρον in 11:6; 14:35). Besides, in both passages it is presupposed that women are somehow expressing themselves.(15)

Paul's Own Words

Scholars who defend the authenticity of 1 Cor 14:34-35 point out that the textual evidence involved does not support the interpolation hypothesis. They question the so-called 'unpauline' character of these verses. They stress its relation with the immediate context and deny that there is a contradiction between 14:34-35 and 11:2-16. I will briefly discuss their arguments and then present my own view.

Textual Evidence

The fact that 1 Cor 14:34-35 appears at two different places in the manuscript tradition is not considered to be a strong argument in favor of the interpolation hypothesis. First of all, there is no manuscript where these verses are completely absent. That makes "simple displacement of the passage far more likely."(16) A second objection is that only a limited number of manuscripts have these verses at the end of chapter 14.(17) After an elaborate analysis of the textual evidence Wire concludes that the manuscripts which have these verses at the end of chapter 14 mainly belong to the "Western" type of text.(18) Therefore, it is very well possible that this reading originates from a dislocation in one Greek copy, in which the verses 34-35 were first omitted by accident or on purpose and then reintroduced in the text after v. 40.

A third observation is that, when the interpolation includes other verses than vv. 34-35, the place of these two verses after v. 40 cannot be used as evidence in favor of interpolation. This is, for instance, the case when v. 33b and v. 36 are also considered to be part of the interpolation, or, following Munro, v. 32 and vv. 37-38 are also included. The disposition of vv. 34-35 is then a secondary change. According to Brooten, this demonstrates "that the transposition of the verses in some witnesses is only a buttressing argument for the interpolation hypothesis."(19) Fourthly, one can notice the lack of consensus about the exact size of the interpolation, which makes h even less convincing.(20)

Unpauline Character

That vv. 34-35 are 'unpauline' because of the similarities with deutero-pauline passages like 1 Tim 2:11-12 and Eph 5:21-33, and because of the 'unpauline' reference to the law in v. 34, is also disputed. Common terminology does not necessarily imply direct literary dependence.(21) It is equally possible that these texts reflect a common tradition or regulation. Besides, common terminology in itself is not enough to label a text as 'unpauline'. If one takes a closer look at the terminology mentioned, the argument is even less convincing. As already noted, the verb "to subject"(22) is used in the immediate context, namely v. 32, and it is also used in the following chapter in 1 Corinthians, as well as in Romans.(23) The verb "to be silent" (σιγάω: v. 34) occurs in the preceding verses 28 and 30, and elsewhere in the letters only in Rom 16:25.24 Also "to learn" (μανθάνω), used in 1 Cor 14:35 and 1 Tim 2:11, occurs in the context of the supposed interpolation, namely in v. 31 and, earlier in the letter, in 4:6.25 The verb "to permit" (επιτρέπω: v, 34) is used in 1 Tim 2:12, but also in 1 Cor 16:7. These data seriously diminish the value of the terminology invoked to stress the dependence of 1 Cor 14:34-35 on 1 Tim 2:11-12 and/or the housetables (Col 3:18 and Eph 5:22). It is certainly not possible to speak of 'unpauline' terminology, if one takes into account the occurrence of the terms in question elsewhere in Paul's letters.

Another argument used in favor of the unpauline character of vv. 34-35 is the unusual absolute reference to the law in v. 34. Besides, "it is unclear what 'law' this refers to."(26) An interpretation put forward by some proponents of its authenticity is to see here a reference to something other than what is the written Torah. According to Blampied it is possible that, in accordance with v. 37, Paul's own regulations concerning order during the meeting are meant. Another possibility she raises is that secular law is what Paul had in mind.(27) However, the absolute use of "law" without further explanation contradicts such limited meanings. More convincing is the suggestion of Brooten, who argues that the reference to the law deliberately remains vague and rather general, because reference is made to the relation between man and woman in the Torah as a whole.(28) A comparable general reference to the law can be found in Rom 3:19: "whatever the law says."(29) This formulation also illustrates that the expression used is not 'unpauline,'

Relation with the Context

In response to the literary arguments used by the advocates of the interpolation theory, defenders of the authenticity of 1 Cor 14:33-36 stress the links with the immediate context and offer a number of proposals with respect to the relation with 1 Cor 11:2-16.

The verses 34 and 35, it is said, fit in with their actual context, because the problem dealt with in 14:26-36 is one of order and decency.(30) In the previous verses, three groups of people get instructions with respect to the desired behavior. First those speaking in tongues (vv. 27-28), then the prophets (vv. 29-33a) and finally women (vv. 33b-35) are mentioned. There is even a clear parallelism between

the instructions to these persons. Each instruction to the group concerned (vv. 27, 29, 34a) is followed by a conditional clause (vv. 28, 30, 35a) and, in the last two cases, by a motivation (vv. 31-33; vv. 34b, 35b).(31) Besides this structural correspondence, there are also terminological links. In vv. 32, 34 the verb "subject" (‘υποτάσσω) occurs, the verb "to speak" (λαλέω) is used in vv. 27, 28, 29, 34, 35,(32) "to be silent" (σιγάω) in vv. 28, 30, 34 and reference to the "church" (’εκκλησια) is made in vv. 28, 33, 34, 35.

But even if 1 Cor 14:34-35 fits in the context of chapter 14, the relation with 11:2-16 remains problematic. However, several solutions for this problem have been offered. It has been suggested that: vv. 34-35 are not Paul's own words; an evolution has taken place; or a different problem is at issue.

A first attempt to solve this problem is to assume that vv. 34-35 are not Paul's own words, but a quotation from the letter Paul is answering. In that case the rhetorical questions in v. 36 would contain Paul's - negative - reaction to the position taken in the letter he received.(33) A problem here is that there is no indication that vv. 34-35 are to be understood as a quotation. As far as v. 36 is concerned, this verse does not necessarily refer to the preceding verses alone, but can also refer to the whole preceding context or both.

According to a second interpretation, an evolution has taken place in Paul's thought between 11:2-16 and 14:34-35. According to Wire "Paul develops his argument as the letter proceeds, increasing restrictions on women's worship participation until he feels able to demand their silence."(34) This proposal is not really convincing for several reasons. In chapter 11 Paul does his very best to persuade his readers. He sums up a number of reasons to do so and ends with a final authoritative argument in v. 16: "we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God." Why would he trouble so much if he believes that they should not be praying and prophesying at all? Besides, there is no indication that Paul disproves of their doing so. Another problem with this proposal is that, unless one presumes the letter was written over a longer period of time, Paul needs only three chapters to make up his mind.

A third solution is that both texts deal with different situations. Three suggestions have been made in this respect: in chapter 14 we are dealing with a different kind of meeting, a different group of women, or a different kind of speech. In their book Scanzoni and Hardesty suggest that in 11:2-16 Paul has in mind the second half of the meeting where the baptized celebrated the Lord's Supper, because Paul explicitly writes about the Supper in the second pan of chapter 11. In chapter 14, however, Paul has the first part of the meeting in mind, during which also the catechumenes were present. While women were supposed to be silent in this first part of the meeting, it would have been possible for them to pray and prophesy in the second part of it.(35) Problematic is, however, that the basic presumption, namely that meetings consisted of a private and public part, cannot be substantiated. There is no indication in chapter 11 or 14, nor elsewhere in Paul's letters, for such a procedure.(36)

A second proposal is that different women are meant in chapter 11 and 14. More specifically in chapter 14 married women are in view, as is indicated by v. 35 where they are told to "ask their husbands at home." According to Schussler Fiorenza, 14:33-36 "has a specific situation in mind, namely the speaking and questioning of wives in the public worship assembly."(37) A third possibility offered is that rather a different type of speech is meant. Women are not supposed to be babbling,(38) asking questions,(39) or judging prophecies.(40) In general, these proposals limit the scope of 14:34-35 to either a specific group of women or a specific kind of speech. This at least seems to contradict the general and absolute character of these verses.

Silence Is Golden

The interpretations presented here have as their starting point the apparent contradiction between 1 Cor 11:2-16 and 14:34-35: Paul cannot simply forbid in chapter 14 what he approves in chapter 11. The question is, however, whether the presumed contradiction is so strong, as is often suggested. From a closer look at the texts, it is apparent that they have a lot in common. First of all, both texts presuppose a similar situation. Women are publically active during the gatherings of the community. Both texts also show a similar reaction from Paul: He restricts women's activity. In both cases he uses a theological argument. In 11:7-9 this is based on creation, in 14:34 on the law. He also refers to what is proper or not (11:4-6.13; 14:35) and to the practice in other Christian communities (11:16; 14:33b). He further uses rhetorical questions (11:13; 14:36} and authority (11:16; 14:36) to make his point. Basically, the two texts form a similar plea for a different behavior of women. It is supposed to be different from their current behavior, and also different from the behavior of men.

If 1 Cor 11 and 14 have so much in common, one might start to wonder what the problem is. It is generally assumed that Paul in 11:2-16 approves the praying and prophesying of women, while he forbids them some kind of speech in 14:34-35. However, this presentation is not completely adequate. Paul mentions the praying and prophesying of women in 11:5, but does this in a descriptive way. This activity of women is not his problem here. In 11:2-16 Paul is concerned about their acting without a headcovering, while in 14:34-35 women's speech is the central issue. The contradiction between the two texts is, therefore, less direct than often has been assumed. Paul is dealing with different topics, but he does this in a remarkably similar way. There are reasons then, to believe that Paul is consistent in his responses, both in 11:2-16 and in 14:34-35.

Still, there is some tension left. Are women condemned to absolute silence according to 14:34-35, or can they still pray and prophesy? Before one can answer this question, it is necessary to take a closer look at the situation with which Paul seems to be dealing. First of all, it is important to remember that we only have Paul's view and that we heavily rely on his information for any reconstruction of the situation in Corinth. Instead of taking his view for granted, though, we can take a more critical stance. If anything, it is quite obvious that in both 11:2-16 and 14:34-35 Paul does not agree with what is going on in Corinth.(41) There seems to be a conflict between Paul and at least some Corinthian women.

The suggestion of S. C. Barton, that the conflict in 1 Cor 14 is one about the boundary between church and household, can be particularly helpful here.(42) It makes it possible to understand the conflict between Paul and the Corinthian women in terms of a difference in perception of the character of church meetings. Since church meetings took place in homes, the traditional boundary between the public and the private sphere was blurred. The difference between these spheres is relevant in this case because it is related with gender. As a meeting with a public character, it could be claimed as the domain of male activity, it's domestic location, however, made it possible for women to extend their activity.

Paul's reaction in 14:33b-36 can be labeled as 'conservative,' because he reaffirms the gender-related boundary between public and private, claiming that church meetings belong to the public sphere and that women should behave accordingly. It is shameful for them to speak in church (’εν ’εκκλησίαι). They can ask questions at home (’εν ο’ίκωι). The verbal activity of women is thus limited to the private sphere. The Corinthian women, however, might have held a different view. According to Barton "they viewed church as an opportunity to extend their authority beyond the household and into the church gathering."(43) That Paul at least perceives it this way is proved by his associating speech with power and silence with subordination.

It is against this background that, I think, we should understand the meaning of "speak" (λαλειν) in 14:34-35. Rather than considering these verses as the exception to the rule of 11:2-16, we should see them the other way round: silence is the rule, speech can only be accepted under specific conditions. If one looks at the kind of speech Paul seems to ‘tolerate’ in 11:2-16, we notice it consists of two forms of ‘vertical’ communication. In prayer, human beings communicate with God, in prophecy God communicates with human beings. Paul can accept such forms of communication because they are in accordance with his conviction that as Christian believers, man and woman are equal. We can refer in this respect to Gal 3:28 where he writes that “there is no longer male and female. Another text that could be relevant here is Joel 3:1-5, cited in Acts 2:17-21 according to the Septuagint, where God says that He will pour out his Spirit, upon all flesh, "and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy." That Paul probably knew this Septuagint version appears evident from Rom 10:13, where he cites Joel 3:5 according to the Septuagint.(44)

In Joel 3:1 (LXX) the prophecy of sons and daughters is the initiative of God who pours out his spirit on them. There are reasons to believe that Paul would not oppose such God-given forms of speech.(45) But for him this does not imply that the same equality exists in the social order. Therefore, women are not supposed to behave as equals as far as ‘horizontal’ forms of communication are concerned. Even when praying or prophesying, it must be clear that women respect the established social order. They should wear a head-covering. In 11 2-16 as well as in 14:34-35 Paul insists that women respect the social order.

There are reasons to believe that the position of at least some Corinthians was not the same as Paul's. In 1 Cor 12:13 Paul states that "in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body - Jews or Greeks, slaves or free - and we were all made to drink of one Spirit." It is significant that "male and female" (Gal 3:28) are not mentioned in this verse. More specifically Corinthian women might have had a different view on what the impact of their new belief on their social life was. In that case, we can, unfortunately, only hear their voices indirectly, as they have been silenced by Paul.

Concluding Remarks

Why bother about what Paul wrote to the Corinthians concerning women? The importance of 1 Cor 14:33b-36 and its interpretation cannot be isolated from its Wirkungsgeschichte. For centuries this text has been normative for what women could do (and not do) in Christian churches. Even today the policy of silencing - or at least trying to silence - women and all those considered dissidents is common practice in the Roman Catholic Church. I can refer here to the way the discussion on the ordination of women has solemnly been declared "closed" by Ordinatio Sacerdotalis in 1994, the silencing of Msgr. Jacques Gaillot by making him bishop of a no longer existing diocese, and the silencing of critical Roman Catholic theologians. These are so many examples of the same strategy. As I was writing this article I was informed that a friend of mine, who courageously pleaded that women pastors could offer the sacraments to the sick and the dying, was called to order and literally silenced. She was ordered not to speak or write any more on this subject.

With these examples I also want to point to the contextuality of the debate on the authenticity of 1 Cor 14:33b-36. The meaning of Paul and his statements is, I think, different for Catholics and Protestants, for men and women. Maybe the striking fact that men are more eager than women to consider this text an interpolation is part of that picture. Rather than to deny this aspect of our context, we should be willing to recognize it.

The interpolation hypothesis might also be a way of solving the problem that the canonicity and Pauline authorship of 1 Cor 14:34-35 poses for Christians today. According to some authors, if Paul did not write this text, its authority can be reduced or even discarded. But rather than discuss the canonical status of this text, we have to put the whole notion of canonicity and authority of biblical texts under discussion. As E. Schüssler Fiorenza points out, this must be a priority in feminist discussion.(46)

An important presupposition in the history of interpretation of 1 Cor 14:34-35 has been that Paul is always right and the Corinthian women were wrong. Feminist scholars try to reveal the hidden side of history by questioning if the records which have been transmitted to us are not very much one-sided. To understand Paul "better" includes the recognition of this one-sidedness.(47)


1. The Woman's Bible (New York, 1895-1898; reprint, Salem: Ayer Company, 1986) Part II, 159.

2. The Women's Bible Commentary, eds. C. A. Newsom and S. H. Ringe (London/ Louisville, KY: SCM/Westminster/John Knox, 1992); Searching the Scriptures, vols. I and II, ed. E. Schüssler Fiorenza (London/New York: SCM/Crossroad, 1993-1994).

3. J. M. Bassler, "1 Corinthians," The Women's Bible Commentary, 327-328.

4. A. Wire, "1 Corinthians," Searching the Scriptures, II, 185-189.

5. The Women's Bible Commentary, 327.

6. Ibid.

7. The Woman's Bible, II, 150.

8. E. H, Pagels, "Paul and Women: A Response to Recent Discussion," JAAR 42 (1974) 538-549, p. 544: "1 Cor 14:34-35 might give further evidence for such a conservative reaction on Paul's part; nevertheless the arguments against its authenticity seem persuasive."

9. J. Nunnally-Cox, Foremotbers: Women of the Bible (New York, 1981) 145.

10. W. Munro, Authority in Peter and Paul: The Identification of a Pastoral Stratum in the Pauline Corpus and I Peter, SNTS MS, 45 (Cambridge: University Press, 1983). See also: "Patriarchy and Charismatic Community in 'Paul'," Women and Religion: 1972. Proceedings (Missoula, MT: American Academy of Religion, 1973} 141-159; "Woman, Text and Canon: The Strange Case of 1 Corinthians 14:33-35," BTB 18 (1988) 26-31; "Interpolation in the Epistles: Weighing Probability," NTS 36 (1990) 431-443.

11. Munro, Authority in Peter and Paul, 67.

12. Unless otherwise indicated, the English translation used in what follows is the NRSV.

13. ’Ουδεις γάρ...’αλλα . . . καθως και; the shorter construction "for . . . not . . . but ..." (’ου γάρ...’αλλα) occurs in v. 33.

14. Munro, "Interpolation in the Epistles," 437,

15. Munro, Authority in Peter and Paul, 69-70, For a more comprehensive discussion of Munro's arguments, I refer to my unpublished dissertation: C, Vander Stichele, Authenticiteit en integriteit van 1 Kor 11,2-16. Een bijdrage tot de discussie omtrent Paulus’ visie op de vrouw (Leuven, 1992).

16. Wire, "1 Corinthians," 186. Cf. also A. B. Blampied, "Paul and Silence for 'the Women' in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35," SBT 13 (1983) 143-165, p. 149.

17. N27 mentions the following witnesses: D F G a b vgms; Amst. A slightly different list is found in GNT3: D F G 88* itar d e f g Ambrosiaster Sedulius-Scotus.

18. A. C. Wire, The Corinthian Women Prophets: A Reconstruction through Paul's Rhetoric (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990) 149-152.

19. B. J. Brooten, "Paul and the Law: How Complete Was the Departure?," Princeton Sem. Bull. Supp. 1 (1990) 71-89, p. 79. Wire remarks that major proponents of an interpolation theory who propose a longer interpolation for literary reasons dismiss "the appearance of the two verses at the chapter's end as a copyist's effort to improve an already interpolated text." A. C. Wire, "Prophecy and Women Prophets in Corinth," Gospel Origins & Christian Beginnings. FS J. M. Robinson, eds. J. E. Goehring, Ch. W. Hedrick, J. T, Sanders, and H. D. Betz; Forum Fascicles, 1 (Sonoma, CA: Polebridge Press, 1990) 134-150, p. 135 n. 4.

20. Blampied, "Paul and Silence," 148.

21. Cf. Brooten, "Paul and the Law," 79: "In sum, the verbal similarity is nothing like between Colossians and Ephesians or between Jude and 2 Peter, works for which we must posit a literary dependence."

22. ‘υποτάσσω; see v. 34; Col 3:18; Eph 5:22. In 1 Tim 2:11 the noun "submission" (‘υποταγή) occurs.

23. See 1 Cor 15:27(3x),28(3x); Rom 8:7,20(2x); 10:3; 13:1,5. Cf. also E. Kahler, Die Frau in den paulinischen Briefen. Unter besonderer Berucksichtigung des Begriffes der Unter-ordnung (Zurich/Frankfurt a.M.: Gotthelf Verlag, 1960) 79-80.

24. In 1 Tim 2:11,12 a different expression is used, namely "in silence" (’εν ‘ησυχια). See also L. Scanzoni and N. A. Hardesty, All We're Meant to Be: A Biblical Approach to Women's Liberation (Waco TX: Word Books, 61978) 70.

25. Elsewhere in the 'authentic' letters in Rom 16:17; Gal 3:2; Fil 4:9. For the discussion on the authenticity of the Pauline letters, see R. F. Collins, Letters that Paul Did Not Write: The Epistles to the Hebrews and the Pauline Pseudepigrapha, Good News Studies, 28 (Wilmington DE: Michael Glazier,

26. Nunnally-Cox, Foremothers, 145.

27. Blampied, "Paul and Silence," 158. She follows here suggestions made by R. P. Martin and R. and C. C. Kroeger. See also E, Schussler Fiorenza, In Memory of Her: A Feminist Theological Reconstruction of Christian Origins (New York; Crossroad, 1983) 231.

28. She considers it is possible that Paul refers more specifically to marriage law "which is characterized in the Pentateuch by a radical gender asymmetry." Brooten, "Paul and the Law," 75.

29. ‘όσα ‘ο νόμος λέγει: this is part of the conclusion of the combined citation in vv. 10-18 that is introduced in v, 10 with "as it is written ..." (καθως γέγραπται).

30. Kähler, Die Frau, 72; E. Schussler Fiorenza, "Women in the Pre-Pauline and Pauline Churches," USQR 33 (1978) 153-166, p. 160; Blampied, "Paul and Silence," 148; Brooten, "Paul and the Law," 74.

31. Wire, "1 Corinthians," 187. Cf. also Schussler Fiorenza, "Women in the Pre-Pauline and Pauline Churches," 160.

32. In total this verb occurs 24 times in chapter 14, in 10 cases in combination with "tongues."

33. N. M. Flanagan and E. Hunter Snyder, "Did Paul Put Down Women in 1 Cor 14:34-36?," BTB 11 (1981) 10-12.

34. Wire, "1 Corinthians," 187.

35. Scanzoni and Hardesty, All We're Meant to Be, 68.

36. See also S. Foh, Women and the Word of God: A Response to Biblical Feminism (Grand Rapids, Ml: Baker Book House, 1979) 119.

37. Schussler Fiorenza, In Memory of Her, 233; Id., "Women in the Pre-Pauline and Pauline Letters," 160. See also L. Schottroff, "Wie berechtigt ist die feministische Kritik an Paulus? Paulus und die Frauen in den ersten christlichen Gemeinden im Romischen Reich," Einwürfe 2 (1985) 94-111, p. 105; and L. Fatum, "Image of God and Glory of Man: Women in the Pauline Congregations," Image of God and Gender Models in Judaeo-Christian Tradition, ed. K. E. BØrresen (Oslo: Solum Forlag, 1991) 56-137, p. 114.

38. Kähler, Die Frau, 76.

39. C, F. Parvey, "The Theology and Leadership of Women in the New Testament," Religion and Sexism: Images of Woman in the Jewish and Christian Traditions, ed. R. Radford Ruether (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1974) 117-149, p. 128; Foh, Women and the Word of God, 121; Blampied, "Paul and Silence," 165: ". . . women disturbing the meeting with their questions and perhaps some background chatter, or possibly a group of women prophets who had usurped the teaching office."

40. M. Hayter, The New Eve in Christ: The Use and Abuse of the Bible in the Debate about Women in the Church (London: SPCK, 1987) 131; L. Schottroff, Lydias ungedul-dige Schwestern. Feministische Sozialgeschichte des frühen Christentums (Gütersloh, Chr. Kaiser, 1994) 211 n. 103. According to Fatum this text "deals specifically with married women's participation in the official duty of testing the spirits, according to 12,10; this involves charismatic authority as well as the right to question and discuss." Cf. Fatum, "Image of God," 114 n. 77.

41. It is not impossible that the information Paul relies on is 'colored.' This is not only possible for this particular topic, but could also be the case for other 'problems' Paul wants to solve in this letter.

42. S. C. Barton, "Paul's Sense of Place: An Anthropological Approach to Community Formation in Corinth," NTS 32 (1986) 225-246. Barton is inclined to follow the suggestion of E. E. Ellis that I Cor 14:33b-35 is a non-Pauline paraenesis modified and added by Paul in a marginal note at 14:33a.

43. Ibid., 230-231.

44. An allusion to the same verse can be found in 1 Cor 1:2.

45. It could be argued that other forms of religious speech, although not explicitly mentioned in 11:2-16, like "speaking in tongues" are also inclusive, because the human being in question is a vehicle of the spirit. If this is indeed the case, the verses preceding 14:34-35 which regulate the speaking of glossolalists and prophets are to be understood inclusively, meaning that women are not only the object of vv. 34-35. They were already included in the preceding regulations.

46. Schüssler Fiorenza, "Transgressing Canonical Boundaries," Searching the Scriptures, II, 1-14.

47. I like to thank my colleague Prof. Dr. Jan-Willem van Henten for his much appreciated suggestions.

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The Institute is known for issuing academic reports and statements on relevant issues in the Church. These have included scholars' declarations on the need of collegiality in the exercise of church authority, on the ethics of using contraceptives in marriage and the urgency of re-instating the sacramental diaconate of women.

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