Silence in the Church
1 Corinthians 14:26-35
it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a
teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things
be done for edification. 27If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there
be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret.
28But if there is no interpreter, let
him keep silent in church, and let him speak to
himself and to God. 29Let two or three prophets speak, and let the
others judge. 30But if anything is revealed to another who
sits by, let the first keep silent.
31For you can all prophesy one by one,
that all may learn and all may be encouraged. 32And the spirits of
the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33For God is not the
author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
your women keep silent in the churches, for
they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the
law also says. 35And if they want to learn something, let them
ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.
First of all the
the above verses concerns the gift of prophecy, & the context of what is
underlined were guidelines so that the prophetic moving of the Spirit within the
meeting were not interrupted.
To explain verse 34-35 we
need to look at historical setting as well. At the time Paul wrote this, the
church met publicly and from house to house. In the public meetings the people
often met in synagogues as at that time there were “many
myriads" or tens of thousands of Jews who have believed on the Lord.”
In a synagogue setting the
men sat on one side of the room and the women on the other; copying the basic
pattern of the temple as there was a court for the women.
Also at this time the
practice was to send only the males to school for formal religious education.
The only thing Paul was
communicating to the women was (paraphrasing) ‘don’t
interrupt the moving of the Holy Spirit in the meetings… if there is something
you don’t understand wait and ask your husband at home.’ What was
shameful was also that the more a woman asked questions of her husband, the more
it brought shame as it exposed the husband’s neglect in sharing the truths that
he would have learned in school.
This thought also
demonstrated Kingdom order concerning the authority of the husband as head of
the house and can be clearly seen as we look at Ephesians 5:25-29:
“Husbands, love your wives,
just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26that
He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing
of water by the word, 27that He might
present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such
thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28So husbands
ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves
himself. 29For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and
cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
Back to 1 Corinthians 14:
part of a husband's obligation in loving his wife was such that he was to teach
her at home. Jesus in John 17 prayed in part "Sanctify
them by Your truth. Your word is truth..." As
addressing the spiritual obligation of a husband; it is clear that part of this
to wash her with the water of God's word; showing forth his love for her;
imitating Christ's love for the church.
He was to
lift her up; having a total
commitment to raising her up in the faith to stand beside him. A wife who had
to continually ask her husband questions at a meeting of the church exposed her
husband’s neglect in this area and brought shame upon him. While this situation
of neglect needed to be addressed, I believe Paul’s comment reflected that the
Holy Spirit did not want to shame a man publicly over this.
ALL SCRIPTURES UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED ARE FROM
"NKJV" VERSION OF THE BIBLE