Must women never ask questions in church meetings?

‘As in all the congregations of the [saints] women should remain silent in the     churches.  They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.  If they want to enquire about something they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church’ (1 Corinthians 14:33b -35).

Paul is here addressing legalistic heretics and quoting their teaching back to them.   Paul is adamant that this is not his teaching; he had already in this letter given women the right to pray and prophesy in church gatherings  (1 Corinthians 14:11 2-16).

[] Not all women had believing husbands at home that they could ask (1 Corinthians 14:7; 13, 16)!

[] Nowhere in Moses’ Law is a woman forbidden to speak in the presence of men – Deborah had a very public ministry as a national deliverer and judge (Judges 4:1-24 to Judges 5:1-31 especially  Judges 4:4-7) – and nowhere does it ever say she got the job because no men were available! However, this is certainly rabbinic law.  Indeed, a research student in Aberdeen University discovered this actual statement: ‘It is a shame for a woman to let her voice be heard among men’!

[] The most telling clue of all is Paul’s use of a Greek ejaculation – a word of one Greek letter, namely long ‘e’.  It can be translated directly into English as ‘eh?’‘What?’ ‘Nonsense!’ ‘Get a life!’ ‘Give me a break!’ He uses it nine times throughout this letter to the Corinthian church – always to correct a wrong.  Here they are:

1 Corinthians 6:2 where he expresses his surprise and disgust that they are taking fellow-believers to secular law courts: ‘Eh? Don’t you know that the saints will one day judge the world?’ 

1 Corinthians 16:16, 19 where he cries out against the heresy that ‘sex is merely sex – something I do just with my body when I go to a brothel; no more a sin than sneezing.’ ‘What? Don’t you realise that you become one flesh with that prostitute?  Eh? Doesn’t it enter your stupid head that your body is no mere machine but the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit?’ 

1 Corinthians 9:8, 10 where he corrects them for not supporting their teachers financially. ‘Eh? Doesn’t even the law tell you to let the ox feed on the grain he is threshing? What? Did God only say that for the benefit of dumb farm animals?’ 

1 Corinthians 10:22 where he corrects their glib participating in idolatrous functions such as at their trade guild meetings: ‘Nonsense! Are you trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy by eating from his table and that of an idol?’ 

1 Corinthians 11:14 where, I believe, he is correcting those who encourage a man to wear his hair in an effeminate way in public worship: ‘What? Doesn’t nature itself teach you that a woman’s long hair is her glory, but for a man to wear his so is a disgrace?’ 

1 Corinthians 14:36 (twice): Garbage! Did the word of God just come to you elitists?  Eh?  Did it only go out from you?’

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