Women in Ministry: A Hermeneutical and Historical Approach Part 4

Yesterday, we left off with the question, ‘why are women allowed to prophecy and hold such a high position yet in chapter 14, verses 34 and 35 are called to keep silent?’ The answer is simple. Paul, “is simply correcting a specific disruption situation that is evidently present and problematic in the church,” [1] that is, to that particular church at that particular time.

Not only were pagans practicing ‘sex reversal,’ but pagan women were also acting in a frenzied worship style in practice to the Greek and Roman gods, which Tucker and Liefeld surmise could have contributed to Paul requesting silence in the church. “Paul knew that the appearance and behavior of women in the church would be a symbol to the watching world.” [2]

Judy Brown gives another take on this verse. She interprets this as women, presumably some but not all, within the Corinthian church were being disruptive by asking questions, apparently during teachings.

She noted, too, that Paul referenced a law here, but whether the law was civil, mosaic or Judaic is unknown. Still, he was imploring them to be obedient to a law.

As with the Corinthian church, it seems Paul in 1 Tim. 2:8-9 is correcting specific issues with the Ephesian church—one prevalent with males (lifting hands—free from anger and controversy), the other prevalent with females (a modest appearance). We will look at this tomorrow.


[1] Ibid. 269-270.

[2] Ruth A. Tucker and Walter Liefeld, Daughters of the Church (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan), 78.

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7 thoughts on “Women in Ministry: A Hermeneutical and Historical Approach Part 4

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