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Old 07-08-2019, 05:58 PM
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votivesoul votivesoul is offline

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Women Keeping Silence: What I Teach

A few weeks ago, a friend sent me a text asking for my view about women keeping silent in the church.

I emailed him the following:
__________________________________________________ _______

34. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.

The first thing to note is that in Greek, there are not two different words for either man and husband, or woman and wife. As it pertains here, "Let your women..." can just as easily, and perhaps more accurately, be translated as "Let your wives...". You can see this at the following link:


The context must be the determining factor, as since, in the very next verse, it speaks of asking husbands at home.

So, wives must "keep silence". Now, what does this mean? If you look at this link:


you can see a range of meanings, more than just being silent. It also means to "hold one's peace" and to be "kept secret".

I submit that holding one's peace is the right way to understand the passage. Holding one's peace means to not lose control over one's tongue, to know when to refrain from speaking, so that peaceful relations can be maintained (think James 3:8). Remember the context. In 1 Corinthians 14, right before this verse, Paul gave a pretty thorough summary of how certain gifts of the Holy Spirit should operate, particularly prophecy and diverse kinds of tongues with interpretation. The adjoining verses previous to 34 speak of the following:

1.) Allowing two to three prophets in the meeting speak.

2.) Letting others then judge what they have said.

3.) If something prophetic is revealed to someone else, the prophet who is speaking is to "hold his peace" so that the other person may interject their revelation. This holding of the prophet's peace is from the same Greek word as keeping silent in verse 34. So, even men, prophets no less, are enjoined to "keep silence", same as the women/wives of the church.

4.) Allowing all that are present an opportunity to prophesy one by one so that everyone may learn and be comforted. All that are present includes women, since 1 Corinthians 11:5 grants women the right to pray and prophesy in the church, provided they are properly "covered" or "veiled", as it were.

5.) The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets, meaning even prophets or those prophesying can control themselves, hold their peace, choose when to speak, and when to refrain, not speak over someone, vie for attention, shout someone down, and etc.

6.) God is not the author of confusion, but of peace (that is, if properly obeyed, God can and will help everyone correctly hold their peace, and not lose control of themselves, men and women both, in every church everywhere).

It is into that context that Paul writes about women/wives holding their peace. When he writes stating they are not permitted to speak, it's in this sense. If a woman or wife is going to lose control of herself, endanger the peace, add confusion, or etc., by not being in submission/subjection to her husband, then she must, to put it bluntly, shut up. Particularly when a prophet is speaking, particularly when she doesn't understand what has been said by that prophet.

It doesn't mean she can't even say "hi" or "Praise the Lord" in worship, or pray when the saints pray. Rather, she can and should pray, and she can and should prophesy, as the Spirit allows, in the decency and order God ordains. Remember what prophesying is: it edifies, exhorts, and comforts. It doesn't teach or indoctrinate (1 Corinthians 14:3). If a woman/wife is going to attempt to do that, it must only be under her husband's permission, and only among other women and with children, lest 1 Timothy 2:11 be violated.

Going further, remember that Corinth began as a synagogue, among Jews. The law of the synagogue regarding the mechitzah requires that men and women be separated.

See here: https://www.myjewishlearning.com/art...the-synagogue/

It is likely this is what Paul meant when he referred to "law" in verse 34. There is no actual law in all of the Torah that states a woman or wife cannot speak, that is, that not talking during religious rituals is the means whereby a woman or wife proves she is under obedience to her husband.

So, imagine a scenario in which a wife, who is separated from her husband by a mechitzah, who is tending to the children, while a prophet is speaking to the church, suddenly interrupts to call over to her husband because she doesn't understand something and wants her husband to explain it to her.

That would be out of order. She needs to hold her peace and ask her husband at home. If a woman/wife has missed something important, likely because she was tending their children, or helping with the meal, or for any other reason, that would otherwise bless, edify, exhort, or comfort her, it is the husband's job, at home, to share what was said, what was missed, or not understood, and explain it to the woman/wife, and thus, she gets fed what the Spirit was saying through the prophet, just at a later time, that is, at home, away from the meeting.
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Old 07-09-2019, 05:40 AM
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Michael The Disciple Michael The Disciple is online now
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Re: Women Keeping Silence: What I Teach

One of the best teachings I have seen on this subject.
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Old 07-10-2019, 09:56 PM
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Esaias Esaias is offline
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Re: Women Keeping Silence: What I Teach

Holding one's peace means to be quiet. Prophets are permitted to speak, but women are 1) not permitted to speak, AND 2) required to hold their peace. So women are not given the same range of instructions as prophets, but are more restricted in the assembly.

Elsewhere the woman is not authorised to teach, NOR to usurp authority over the man. Paul appeals to the Law for confirmation that the woman is a help to the man, not a leader, and is to be under subjection.

The speaking under consideration has to do with teaching and judging, especially of inspired utterances. This is the primary function of those who serve as elders and BISHOPS. A bishop is an episkopos, a word which means one who looks upon something, as an inspector. It is similar to the word used for "visitation" where God visits Jerusalem to inspect its moral character and render a decision.

A bishop or overseer (elder) is responsible for teaching, and for inspecting what's going on, especially any teachings or inspired utterances brought forth in the meetings. This is done primarily via "asking questions" as in an investigation of doctrine or preaching or claims. Women are forbidden to engage in that role.

They are to ask their husbands at home. If they have questions about doctrine, faith, and practice, they are not to assert control over the meeting by asking questions, which directs the meeting. Instead, they are to ask their husbands at home. Thus the man is to teach the wife. She is not to assist in directing the meeting by asking questions in the meeting.

Women can prophesy, but cannot direct the meeting by exercising investigative judgment of inspired utterances or teachings, nor by directly teaching the assembly. Instead they are to be under authority subject to their husbands, be quiet, hold their peace.
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Last edited by Esaias; 07-10-2019 at 09:58 PM.
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