women keep silence

1 Corinthians 14:34

14:34 women keep silence. This command is, of course, quite controversial in this age of militant feminism. Nevertheless, as Paul insists (I Corinthians 14:37), it is a command of God, and can only be disobeyed in peril of divine judgment. In context, however, Paul is specifically prohibiting women only from speaking in tongues “in the churches.” This gift, for reasons related to the divinely ordained roles for men and women, had been restricted to men, at least in church meetings. However, women were permitted to pray (I Corinthians 11:5) or even to prophesy in church, as long as the other rules were observed. With respect to women as teachers, see notes on I Timothy 2:11-15.

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