Video: 1 Corinthians 14 and Women’s Silence in Church

Today’s question:

I have a friend who is from a non-religious background who is interested in Christianity and is reading the bible for the first time. She asked me to explain 1 Corinthians 14:33b-35. “As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.” She said, “I don’t know how to make sense of that.” I’m also curious (and unsure) about that passage as “keep silent”, or it being “shameful for a women to speak in church” and needing to only ask questions of their own husbands goes far beyond men only as elders, teaching or having authority. As I type this I wonder if I should only ask my own husband about this. 😉 We have five daughters, three of them are young adults now, believers with a high view of scripture, and they also wonder about this verse. We’ve had a lot of discussions about this in our home, and we are curious about your views.

I mention Kirk MacGregor’s article as a reading of these verses (a reading I disagree with).

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About Alastair Roberts

Alastair Roberts (PhD, Durham University) writes in the areas of biblical theology and ethics, but frequently trespasses beyond these bounds. He participates in the weekly Mere Fidelity podcast, blogs at Alastair’s Adversaria, and tweets at @zugzwanged.
This entry was posted in 1 Corinthians, Audio, Bible, Controversies, Hermeneutics, NT, NT Theology, Podcasts, Questions and Answers, The Church, Theological, Video, Worship. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Video: 1 Corinthians 14 and Women’s Silence in Church

  1. cal says:

    I think you’re generally right, but I wonder how this understanding of not only the place of men and women, and families, but the general functioning of church in Paul’s day plays out in our contemporary situation? How does this verse act as Scripture (infallible and a norming norm)?

    This follow-up might require its own video, but I suspect that’s the question lurking beneath most people’s concerns about this verse.

  2. Pingback: Alastair on Themes of Household and Sexuality – A Pilgrim's Missives

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