The first article on women in Corinthians is here.
Later in this epistle, Paul plainly state that in the assembly the women are not to speak, but they are to keep silent (14:34-35). This has caused no small controversy in today’s environment. In fact, there are many men and women who reject outright what the Holy Spirit said through the apostle Paul.
What are we to understand in the context?
First, starting in v. 26, Paul speaks with regard to them “coming together.” This is an occasion for the church in Corinth to assemble. Second, there is something relative to this assembly that allows the exercise of the supernatural gifts of God to be utilized (14:26-31). Third, the gifts of God can be controlled by the one (or the ones) who have them (14:32). Fourth, that which is done is to be done decently and in order (14:32-33). Fifth, in this context, the women are to keep silent, that is, they are not authorized by the Holy Spirit to teach. The next verse (14:35) is difficult, but I think the idea is along this line: since the assembly is gathered together, and there is teaching done, it might be that the wife/woman does not understand what is being said/taught. In this context, rather than disrupting the assembly (how this would be done is unstated), she is to speak with her husband about it at home.
Having already weighed in on the positive side earlier today, let me share one for the negative side…
Silence is NEVER good on TFR!
Can I get an “Amen” Randal? 🙂
P.S. I appreciate this “place.” Thanks for inviting me & for all who post.
James 1:19-20. Someone once said we have two ears and only one mouth, so we ought to understand the wisdom behind God’s construction and listen twice more than we speak. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “Remain silent and the world may think you a fool; speak and remove all doubt.” I often say that preachers have one overwhelming occupational hazard: they keep their mouths open too long.
Silence is always good. When speaking, one should only say that which God may approve (1 Peter 4:11)
I believe this sums it up:
The Lord is in His holy temple.
Let all the earth keep silence before Him.
Keep silence before Him.
What I think about what God says has no bearing on what He says. When God speaks, we should keep silent and listen.
Stephen Covey writes about the significant pause between a stimulus and one’s reaction to it. In that space lies the key to a proper response and creative solutions. It’s a time for thinking and considering, a silent pause, if you will.
When is silence good? When we see a “Thus saith the Lord” in the Bible, we should keep silent. Our input is not necessary: http://mbriley.preachersfiles.com/2006/01/07/keep-silence-before-him/
Silence (or declining to engage in a particular behavior) is good when we are tempted to speak (or act) in a way that is not authorized by the NT.
Consider this appropriate quote from Bill J. Humble –
“Early in the history of the restoration movement, Thomas Campbell coined the plea, ‘Let us speak where the Bible speaks, and be silent where the Bible is silent.’ This commitment to the authority of the Bible has been the secret of our strength, our uniqueness, and our growth. And if the time ever comes when we surrender this commitment and become unconcerned about speaking as the oracles of God, from that time onward it will make little difference what we speak, or whether we speak at all.”