The main reason why I wouldn't buy into this explanation is that any writer who quotes an opinion he disagrees with will be anxious to make sure that the quotation cannot be misinterpreted as his own thought. In a writing which includes no quotation marks or punctuation Narkissos, Paul was responding to a personal letter from the Corinthians and they knew what they said. He did not have to punctuate it as you suggest since they could not misinterpret their own words or their own doctrine when he threw it back. And we see this throughout 1Cor not just here. Anyone carefully reading the texts that knows Paul’s position on the Law should be able to parse such texts properly. You really have no reason, no argument as you suggest. Look how fast Paul is working. For example: who do you think the someone Paul calls, “fool” is in these verses?. 15:35 But someone will say, "How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?" 36 You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies; 37 and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38 But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own. That someone was someone in this Corinthian congregation who’s comments on such resurrection appeared in this letter. Can you find them? Paul is tearing them up and is not concerned with the niceties you are looking for. Look at the way Paul had to reaffirm Christian theology and his apostleship to them not only in chapter 15 but throughout his letter. It is a work of art. Paul does use a technique to punctuate his letters but is it subtle. He builds his arguments around a structure like a sandwich. And 1Cor is not unlike a thread here on this forum with entry and exit routines around his arguments. His work has been a problem for many prompting even Peter to say: 2Pet 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Not so easy is it? And the stakes are high. Paul is not just any writer. He was a man with a mission and if first century Christians had a problem with his epistles how much trouble do you think we will have? Joseph
Appropriateness of Women's Headcovering
I can't figure out whether he's saying 'we don't have that custom' or if he's saying 'we don't have any other custom, so follow this one.'
I would rather suggest that the use of "custom" (sunètheia) in v. 16b ironically applies to the "being contentious" (philoneikos einai) of 16a.
To explicit the irony: "So you don't like the veil custom and want to debate? Well, that's another custom. Too bad we don't have this one."
As Peacefulpete pointed out, 14:33ff is most likely a later addition -- pretty close in mind to the post-Pauline Pastorals which obviously react to the Gnostic program so subversive of so-called "creational" gender roles. And I would add that there is a slight possibility (although an ultra-minoritary view in current scholarship) that Galatians might be post-Pauline too -- only from very different heirs of Paul.
JosephMalik: 1 Corinthians 15:35 is just another example of how another speaker is explicitly introduced, and needs not be guessed into the text. QED. Btw this by no means requires a real person: fictitious interlocutors are a common rhetorical way of introducing and refuting objections, especially in diatribe (Romans, Galatians or James offer many examples).
I must say that I'm surprised. I thought this may be clear cut case of where the society got it wrong. Based on the posits made thus far I'm inclined to think that Paul did indeed feel that women should wear head coverings when praying or prophesying to show their submission.
Perhaps then where the society has made the misstep is in requiring this a law. Making it something that sisters must follow as part of organizational rules. This is where I see inconsistency with the society. I've stated this before ( I think in this thread) that if Paul told women not to talk in the congregation, not be be braiding hair and wearing jewelry, etc. why doesn't the society hold those up as rules? I can remember no explanation as to why the headcovering rule is strictly adhered to but the others are not. They don't allow women to officially teach but they do allow them to speak in the congregation quite frequently through comments, talks and demonstrations.
I'm leaning to my answer to this situation being that Paul was trying to get a principle across. Women should be submissive to men. In his day that was shown by a head covering, in our day it may be shown in some other manner. It's not a law given my Jehovah, but a principle to help the congregation run smoothly. The society is big on principles, I'm surprised they haven't went that way with it themselves.
1 Corinthians 15:35 is just another example of how another speaker is explicitly introduced, and needs not be guessed into the text. QED. Btw this by no means requires a real person: fictitious interlocutors are a common rhetorical way of introducing and refuting objections, especially in diatribe (Romans, Galatians or James offer many examples). Narkissos, Oh, yes, someone sure, whoever that may be. Maybe even a fictitious character and not one of the Corinthians? You offer assumptions and they have no place here. 1Cor is not Romans, Galatians or James is it? Look at this one. I did not bother with it because it was already offered by Mike: Corinthians letter being quoted: 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. Paul’s response to it: 36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? 37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. Corinthians goes on and on like this and it is up to each one of us to parse it correctly. Such prophets such spiritual men resisted Paul and he not only corrected their thinking but told them that his comments are the commandments of the Lord. Can anyone now see that Paul is teaching that women should not keep silence in the churches and that they are not under what the law saith? They do not have to ask their husbands advice on such matters and such speaking up is not a shame for them? Such Corinthians doctrine was the problem, keeping the law and enforcing doctrines contained in such law. Are we to understand that we are still under such Law? Paul kicked this law out yet so many want to put it back in as if such law was gospel for us today. He had no delusions about such men. He knew some would not listen. So he kissed them off this way: 38 "But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant". He knew our Lord would deal with them when it came time for the resurrection. Joseph
I don't think Paul liked women very much.
Oh, yes, someone sure, whoever that may be. Maybe even a fictitious character and not one of the Corinthians? You offer assumptions and they have no place here. 1Cor is not Romans, Galatians or James is it?
As I said it was a common rhetorical device and in Romans (where he doesn't really answer anybody) Paul clearly resorts to it (see my above quotations).
In 1 Corinthians Paul does know his readers and they have written to him indeed (7:1). In chapter 15 it is quite clear where real interlocutors are meant, e.g. v. 12: "how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead?" In v. 35 the question doesn't seem to have been submitted to Paul as the tense is (hypothetical) future: "But someone will ask (erei) "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?" This perfectly fits the rhetorical pattern of a question put on the lips of a fictitious character -- at least this seems to be the more economic reading by Ockham's razor. Anyway, and this is my main point: the quotation, real or fictitious, is clearly introduced, isolated, and answered (v. 36: "Fool!...") This is absolutely not the case in 11:3-10 if you mean it not as Paul's own argument.
14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. Paul’s response to it: 36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? 37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
First notice that your "What!" is not actually an interjection of indignation, but a simple è = "or". Meaning, if you don't feel like complying with the above instructions remember you are neither the source nor the unique receptors of the Gospel and you should not proceed differently than other churches. A uniformity principle in the early Catholic style.
The question is, were v. 34-36 (or at least 34-35) originally part of the Corinthian instructions? They disrupt the thought which centers on prophecy down to v. 32 and again in v. 37ff. In a number of (mainly Western) manuscripts they come after v. 40. The Catholic Jerusalem Bible (French 1998 edition) has the following footnote: "V. 34-35, which some mss put after v. 40, are a post-Paulinian addition. Not only their calling for obedience to the Law (perhaps Genesis 3:16) hardly resembles Paul, but the requirement of silence for women contradicts 1 Co 11:5. This injunction reflects the misogyny of 1 Timothy 2:11-14 and probably originates from the same church."
at least this seems to be the more economic reading by Ockham's razor Narkissos,
Sure it is but does that make it right? This has been a problem for a long time. As I said before these are assumptions and readers can come to their own conclusions or are we to think we are still under Law.
36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? 37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
Narkissos,: First notice that your "What!" is not actually an interjection of indignation, but a simple è = "or". Meaning, if you don't feel like complying with the above instructions remember you are neither the source nor the unique receptors of the Gospel and you should not proceed differently than other churches. A uniformity principle in the early Catholic style.
Malik: Some translations try to soften this a little bit but What? is appropriate here. It is a particle of distinction that effectively prepares such Corinthians for what is coming next, a strong rebuke. Matthew Henry comments on vs36:
In these verses the apostle closes his argument,
1. With a just rebuke of the Corinthians for their extravagant pride and self-conceit: they so managed with their spiritual gifts as no church did like them; they behaved in a manner by themselves, and would not easily endure control nor regulation. Now, says the apostle, to beat down this arrogant humour,
"Came the gospel out from you? Or came it to you only? #1Co 14:36. Did Christianity come out of Corinth? was its original among you? Or, if not, is it now limited and confined to you? are you the only church favoured with divine revelations, that you will depart from the decent usages of all other churches, and, to make ostentation of your spiritual gifts, bring confusion into Christian assemblies? How intolerably assuming is this behaviour! Pray bethink yourselves."
When it was needful or proper the apostle could rebuke with all authority; and surely his rebukes, if ever, were proper here. Note, Those must be reproved and humbled whose spiritual pride and self-conceit throw Christian churches and assemblies into confusion, though such men will hardly bear even the rebukes of an apostle. [End Matthew Henry]
I know this is hard to take for many as they would like to think the early Church was better than this, more perfect and closer to the truth but not so. And since so many denominations get this wrong it is an embarrassment for them and a challenge to their authority. Joseph
First notice that your "What!" is not actually an interjection of indignation, but a simple è = "or".
Not an interjection, but David W. Odell-Scott argues that the è is a disjunctive adversative and cites examples from the (koine?) literature in which the pragmatic effect is beyond that of a simple disjunction. I understand tho that there may be a problem with this suggestion by construing è as dismissing the immediately preceding proposition.
The one piece of evidence that makes me hesitant of the interpolation theory is that the disputed passage seemingly lies behind 1 Clement 21:6-7, which is striking because this epistle was addressed to the Corinthians as well and referred frequently to Paul's 1 Corinthians. So at least the edition of 1 Corinthians that circulated outside Corinth by the early second century AD contained the passage, if this datum is indicative. There was still opportunity for the passage to have been added (e.g. by a post-Pauline copyist at Corinth, by the compiler of the original public corpus Paulinum), but less so than otherwise.
I know but does it change anything? Theories abound on this verse and I can quote them also but what for? Paul is giving the Corinthians a rebuke is he not? And the AV with all its faults was not translated by dummies was it? What? is just fine here at least such dummies thought so. This is after all a translation and the message is not altered by this is it? Why is everyone so interested in going somewhere else with this? Do women need a headcovering? No! Can they speak in the congregation or speak in tongues for that matter without being humiliated by men present? Yes! Must we still keep the law? No! That is what Paul is teaching here. That is what Paul taught in nearly all his letters. This is the same battle Paul fought in Jerusalem with James and Peter, and 14 years later with James again. That is what this thread is all about. Many churches have this the wrong way. They are clearly WRONG! They are not as inspired or enlightened as they pretend to be. They are not as knowledgeable as they want you to think. This is what I see in their literature on this subject and this is the battle that must be fought today just as Paul did in his day.
A few Pauline examples of the rhetorical connection represented by è = or.
A. For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.
B. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also...
Here we have exactly the pattern I can read in 1 Corinthians 14:35f: A. author's affirmation B. è + rhetorical questions -- meaning what is implied if affirmation A is rejected is impossible. The disjunctive force of è serves, not to oppose affimation A, but to confirm it through a demonstratio ab absurdo.
Not so obvious but similar however, Romans 11:2:
A. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.1 Corinthians 6:1f:
B. Or do you not know what the scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?
A. When any of you has a grievance against another, do you dare to take it to court before the unrighteous, instead of taking it before the saints?1 Corinthians 6:15f:
B. Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world?
A. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! B. Or do you not know that whoever is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her?But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.1 Corinthians 10:21f:
A. Shun fornication! Every sin that a person commits is outside the body; but the fornicator sins against the body itself.
B. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own?
A. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.2 Corinthians 11:6f:
B. Or are we provoking the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?
A. I think that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. I may be untrained in speech, but not in knowledge; certainly in every way and in all things we have made this evident to you. B. Or did I commit a sin by humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I proclaimed God's good news to you free of charge?