Women keeping silent in churches… What!?

As we continue through our series in 1st Corinthians, we came across a few verses in that section on tongues and prophecy that seemed out of place in our culture: 1 Corinthians 14:33-35. Yet, it doesn’t just seem out of place in our culture, but the text and topic we were engaging with. What!? What are these few words about?

As with everything, context is your friend. And in the context of 1st Corinthians, it’s pretty easy to work out what the Apostle Paul means here. If in chapter 11 he has already said that women are to pray and prophesy, it can’t be that ‘silent’ = ‘seen and not heard’. Rather, in that context of the book, and the Bible, along with the immediate context of the subject of prophecy in church gatherings (which we saw was speaking the word of God to one-another), it must be that when it comes to the weighing of prophecy – that this role of weighing what is said is for the male leaders (1 Cor 14:29-32).

So, women, men, let’s be speaking the gospel word of God to one another in our Gospel Groups, in our church fellowship over morning tea and suppers. And let the word of Christ dwell in you richly (Colossians 3:16).