Re: The TC Argument Regarding the Silenced Women of Corinth
I'm not impressed with the just referenced argument that the conflict between 1 Cor 11 and 1 Cor 14 can be resolved by claiming a distinction between the full church assembly, and the smaller assembly.
The previously linked article claims that women could prophesy in small group Bible study, if you will, but not in regular worship services of the entire community. Clearly, the article would then take the view that there is an absolute prohibition against women speaking in any gathering of the whole assembly, whether for prophecy, for prayer, or for any act of worship.
Much could be said, and I don't know if I'm up to dealing the article a death blow. And for the sake of keeping the TC issue at hand, I don't want to elaborate much. However, I should note that the broad instructions Paul gives the Ephesian men and women in 1 Timothy 2 suggests "house churches," without any distinction between small group and large group assembly. ("I want men in panta topos to lift up holy hands in prayer" [if my recollection of the Greek is accurate], inferring every place where the church meets.) In fact, I'm not sure we ever get the impression that Paul would make a distinction between worship in small group or in the larger assembly.
More importantly, we sure don't get the impression that there is ever any animus against women prophesying. Quite the contrary. Following Old Testament precedent (e.g., Huldah the prophetess contributes a major prophecy instrumental in the Josianic revival, which was announced to the whole assembly of Judah, and disseminated freely), and with the fulfillment of the Joelic prophecy in Acts 2, the notion that women could prophesy in small group but not in large assembly seems weak.
- Friends and scholars,
I have seen the posted discussions here and also previously in other
publications. I would like to see inquiry made into the character of each
witness and ask the following questions:
1) Do any of these witnesses tend to introduce random deletions,
substitutions, additions, and transpositions?
2) Do these witnesses tend to be careful transmissions/translations of the
text or something more akin to targums with midrashim?
I think most folks realize that both of these questions have been posed to
the category of the witnesses under consideration in the past, and it takes
nothing more than a general perusal of a passage such as Luke 23-24 to
realize that several of the manuscripts cited as proofs of the proposed
hypothesis do display characteristic random deletions, substitutions, and
transpositions. The existence of a divergent witness does not mean that it
is a reliable witness. And even what may be considered unreliable or
somewhat hostile witnesses, support the existence of the text in question.
Now as for the several contextual/internal arguments that have been
presented, pro & con, there exists a great deal of merit, and most seem to
me a great deal less speculative than some of the textual critical
arguments. Let me add one internal argument that I did not see, though I may
have missed that discussion. Taking for granted that the issue is a certain
1st century Robert's Rules of Order (v.40), let me go further to suggest
that what St. Paul is addressing is a teaching session, and that is what is
meant by EN EKKLHSIA, as in 14:19 KTL. It is catechal instruction (KATHCHSW,
v.19), both here and possible throughout the passage, especially in 34-35.
This is not the case where women were prophesying or even speaking in
tougues, but they were asking questions from the floor, possibly stopping
the prophets in mid-sentence. That is why St. Paul states EI DE TI MAQEIN
QELOUSIN ... EPERWTATWSAN (v.35). Now I venture to say that few church
services held in this day, even those presided over by women clergy, allow
questions from the floor during their sermons. Nor would it be allowed for
women sitting near the door with their children to call to the front and ask
either their own husbands or other men for an explanation. St. Paul simply
states that this sort of questioning should been done EN OIKWi, and from
each woman's own man/husband (IDIOUS ANDRAS, v. 35). Now, these meetings may
very well have been in someone's home, but it had become a [legal] assembly
and the rules of order must apply, such as is the example in Acts 19, where
a riot broke out because the rules for a public gathering were not followed.
The hO NOMOS v. 34 is not Torah, but assembly rules. Shouting matches were
not allowed. The whole rule was to stop the constant chatter (LALEIN, v.34)
that detracted from the main speaker, whether woman or man.
It has nothing to do with denying women, on the basis of gender alone, the
proper excerise of their spiritual gifts. But, on the other hand, some women
were in breach of the rules for assembly and public order. It just so
happened that the men were not doing the same; they had other problems. The
prophets and those who spoke in tongues were under the same guidelines as
the women to be quiet while others were speaking (v. 28-33). Everyone in the
assembly was under submission to the others, not just the women. And it may
also be noted, that though the prophets were subject to all the other
prophets (v. 27, 32), a woman was not subject to every man. What this
consists of appears in the various Christian household codes. Christians
were ultimately all subject to one another. There was no hierarchy, except
for administrative purposes, and this may be one of those examples.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Marlowe" <marlow@...>
Sent: Monday, July 03, 2006 11:46
Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Re: The TC Argument Regarding the Silenced
Women of Corinth
> James Leonard wrote:
> > I would, however, like to quote Dr. Epp as he explains the
> > impact of the combined literary analysis and text-critical
> > assessment for the tc argument: "...this combination...has
> > moved a sizable group of scholars to view the passage on
> > 'silent women' as a later intrusion ...
> I think Epp's assertion here has misled you into thinking that most
> who have denied the authenticity of 1 Cor. 14:34-35 have done so on the
> basis of a "combination" of "literary analysis and text-critical
> assessment." Despite what Epp says or implies about it, the transposition
> the existing old Latin MSS can have little relevance to the usual
> explanation seen in scholarly literature, which is chiefly
> redaction-critical in nature, not text-critical. The most
> explanation among secular scholars (and I believe that Ehrman can back me
> on this) is that these verses were inserted by a very early editor of the
> "Corpus Paulinum," as a way of incorporating into Paul's remarks about
> church order in 1 Corinthians the "deutero-Pauline" teaching about the
> of women that we see in 1 Timothy 2. Most scholars who talk about an
> anti-feminist tendency in the early chuch see it in the Pastoral epistles,
> not at some later post-canonical stage of the transmission of Paul's
> letters; and the concept of an edited "Corpus Paulinum" plays a large part
> in the explanation of 1 Cor. 14:34-35. Under this view, the verses are
> thought to have been interpolated by the first editor of the collected
> letters of Paul (before any Latin version was executed), and we have no
> access to the unedited originals. The Latin versions are understood to be
> based upon the (already edited) Corpus Paulinum. The *universal* presence
> 1 Cor. 14:34-35 in all streams of transmission requires some such
> explanation, in which the insertion is supposed to have happened in the
> edition of Paul's letters that was copied by everyone in the generation
> following Paul. So in a sense the text-critical argument contradicts the
> usual redaction-critical argument. That is why Conzelmann dismisses the
> shaky text-critical evidence that you have mentioned, as being wholly
> irrelevant. But then Fee came along with a rather different argument, in
> which redaction-criticism of the Corpus Paulinum plays no role, and I do
> think that many other scholars who regard the verses as being secondary
> would look upon Fee's argument as adequate. It is missing the whole
> redaction-critical dimension. Epp's discussion of this matter is also very
> inadequate if he does not mention the redactional theory.
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