Women keep silent in the churches
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“Women Keep Silent in the Churches” . 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 1 Timothy 2:12-13. Women Keep Silent?. Very touchy subject in today’s society. Passages are misinterpreted, misrepresented, and ignored by many. Many have great distain for Paul’s instruction here.

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“Women Keep Silent in the Churches”

1 Corinthians 14:34-35

1 Timothy 2:12-13


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Women Keep Silent?

  • Very touchy subject in today’s society.

    • Passages are misinterpreted, misrepresented, and ignored by many.

    • Many have great distain for Paul’s instruction here.

    • Nevertheless, it is an issue that must be dealth with.

  • As a command of God, this issue requires just as much attention as every other command of God (1 Cor. 14:37).

  • In order to come to a proper understanding of it we must set our minds on the things of God and not man.


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Introduction

  • As some read this text they are concerned that God (or Paul) is diminishing the role of women.

  • However, God shows us that this is not His intention.

    • Throughout the scriptures God shows equality between men and women.

    • 1 Pet. 3:7: They are equal heirs in the kingdom.

    • Gal. 3:26-27: Spiritually, there is no distinction.

  • He does, however, distinguish between the different roles of men and women, just as with every other part of the church body.

  • Every body has different parts which are equally members of the same body.

    • 1 Cor. 12:12-19




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1 Corinthians 12:12-19

Many MembersOne Body

Not a Body

1 Cor. 12:18


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Introduction

  • In passages such as 1 Cor. 14:34-35 God is describing the organization His body requires in order to function properly.

  • In order for us to be able to apply His instruction we have to receive His words with meekness (James 1:21).

    • Not quickly come to false conclusions.

    • Not take offense if different than what we want.

    • Rather, understand to the best of our ability and obey its commands (1 Cor. 14:37).


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The Context1 Corinthians 14:34-35

  • Paul’s discussion does not begin here.

    • It begins back in 12:1, “Now, concerning spiritual gifts…”

    • He ends it in 14:40. What his purpose for the discussion?

    • “Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Cor. 14:40).

  • He is instructing the body (the church) on how to organize itself in the worship services in a decent and orderly manner.

  • Since their services included miraculous gifts, there are some points of discussion that don’t necessarily apply to us today.

  • But the principles behind them certainly do.


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The Context1 Corinthians 14:34-35

  • Chapter 12: A single body is made up of many members.

    • Members must fulfill their own function (12:17-18).

    • They must cooperate in a loving and considerate manner (12:23-26).

  • Chapter 13: A functioning body require love from all of its members.

    • The gifts will cease (13:8).

    • But love will never fail.

    • Therefore every member must work out of love for the others.


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The Context1 Corinthians 14:34-35

  • Chapter 14:

    • The Benefit of prophecy over tongues (1-5)

    • Tongues only profitable when understood by all (6-12)

    • All things be done with understanding (13-19)

    • Tongues are for a sign, not for those who believe (20-25)

    • Many elements in a service, but all must be edifying (26).


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The Context1 Corinthians 14:34-35

  • Chapter 14:

    • Vs. 27-28: Speak in tongues is orderly only if there by an interpreter.

      • If no interpreter, tongue speaker keep silent in the church.

      • Can he sing with the rest? Yes.

      • Can he say amen? Yes.

      • Silent means he cannot lead the congregation by speaking in tongues.

    • Vs. 29-33: Prophets speak in turn as each receives a revelation.

      • If another receives a revelation while the first is speaking, let the first be silent.

      • Can he sing with the rest? Yes.

      • Can he say amen? Yes.

      • But cannot lead the congregation by prophesying after his turn.


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The Text1 Corinthians 14:34-35

  • Now we come to our text

    • “Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak.

  • How does this fit into the context?

    • Tongue speakers to lead in their turn.

    • Prophets to lead in their turn.

    • Women not to have a turn in roles of leadership of the church, therefore concerning leadership they are to be silent.

      • Can they sing? Yes.

      • Can they say amen? Yes.

      • But in terms of leadership they are to be silent.


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The Text1 Corinthians 14:34-35

  • That is the thrust of Paul’s comments. Women are not to fill roles of leadership or take authority over men in the assembly of the church.

  • What about Bible classes? Vs. 35 says they cannot ask questions.

  • To understand the nature of this instruction we must again connect it with its context.


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The Text1 Corinthians 14:34-35

  • Look again at the instructions for the prophets:

    • It extends from vs. 29-38.

    • The prophecies were to be given.

    • Then they were to be examined by the rest in order to determine their authenticity and to gain proper understanding (since there was no complete Bible at the time).

    • Prophets to practice self-control and not be arrogant.

    • The instruction to women is given smack in the middle of this section (vs. 34-35). Why?


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The Text1 Corinthians 14:34-35

  • Why mention women? Because women may have desired to take part in the examination of the prophets.

  • We know women were not to take leadership in the assembly, but what if they just wanted to ask the prophet to clarify something?

    • Examining the prophets in such a way was the role of the leaders in the assembly, most likely the other prophets (vs. 29).

    • For one to examine a prophet in such a way would have been to exert authority.

    • In such a context, Paul said that women were not to speak, not even to ask questions.

    • If they had a question about the prophecy they could ask another man in a private setting (husband or someone else).

    • But they were not to exercise authority by speaking out in the services.


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The Text1 Corinthians 14:34-35

  • It should also be pointed out that there was no distinction between worship services and classes in the NT.

    • The assembly was the assembly and where men were present women were to participate in the assembly in “submission” (vs. 34).

    • Today the teacher may ask questions of the whole congregation to which all are welcome to respond. Such is still in submission.

  • However, women should be careful that they do not become overconfident so as to speak out in such a way that exerts authority in the assembly.

    • If error is taught the men need to deal with it in an expedient manner.

    • If one of the women pick up on an error that was taught, let her bring it to the attention of one of the men in a private setting so that it can be dealt with in an expedient manner.


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The Text1 Corinthians 14:34-35

  • What about women reading scripture in classes?

    • Our reading scripture was the equivalent of their giving a prophesy.

    • Therefore it remains the same for both, “women keep silent in the churches.”

  • Paul gives little in the way of explanation in this passage.

  • His explanation was already given in a previous discussion in chapter 11.

  • Paul also gives an explanation in 1 Tim. 2:11-15.

  • Each of these passages will be dealt with individually in future lessons.


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Conclusion

  • As we conclude let us understand that submission is not humiliating, nor is it degrading, therefore none should take offense at it.

  • In the husband/wife relationship both are to be submissive to one another in their own turn (1 Cor. 7:3-4).

  • In the organization that God has set forth Christ is in submission to the Father, man to Christ, women to man (1 Cor. 11:3).

  • Is Christ humiliated because He is in submission to the Father?

  • Neither should women be humiliated because they are in submission to men.

  • According to God’s pattern each member of the body receives honor in its own time and in its own way.

  • When men alter God’s pattern that is no longer the case.

  • Therefore let us heed Paul’s words as instructed in 1 Cor. 14:37.


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