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One of the most controversial passages of the New
Testament is 1 Corinthians 14:33b-35 which seems to
require women to be silence in church meetings (read
Paul stated that women are not to address the church
four different ways:
1. âwomen should keep silentâ, 14:34a
2. âthey are not permitted to speakâ, 1434b
3. âlet tem ask their husbands at homeâ, 14:35a
4. âit is a shameful for a woman to speak in
Many have concluded it means exactly what it says:
The Expositorâs Bible Commentary states that âwomen
were not to speak in public worship (33b-36) . . .
The command seems absolute: Women are not to do any
public speaking in the churchâ (Vol 10, pp. 275-276).
B.B. Warfield wrote that âprecisely what the apostle
is doing is forbidding women to speak at all in the
church . . . It would be impossible for the apostle
to speak more directly or more emphatically than he
has done here. He requires women to be silent at the
church meetings; for that is what âin the churchesâ
means, there were no church buildings thenâ (âWomen
Speaking in the Church,â The Presbyterian, Oct. 30,
1919, pp. 8-9).
Gordon Fee, in his commentary on this passage,
opined that âdespite protests to the contrary, the
âruleâ itself is expressed absolutely. That is, it
is given without any form of qualification. Given
the unqualified nature of the further prohibition
that âthe womenâ are not permitted to speak, it is
very difficult to interpret this as meaning anything
else than all forms of speaking out in public . . .
the plain sense of the sentence is an absolute
prohibition of all speaking in the assemblyâ
(Commentary on 1 Corinthians, p. 706-707).
Steve serves as pastor-teacher of the Southern Baptist church he started in the Atlanta area. While in college he joined First Baptist Church of Atlanta (Charles Stanley, pastor). After graduation he moved to Birmingham where he led downtown First Baptistâs college department, ministering...