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I cor 14, when the church comes together and it states, one of you has a song, prayer etc, who is the one of you? could it be man, or a woman? If one then why not the other? The scripture for women to be silent in the church can not apply since they do have authority to sing, and that is some kind of noise being made?. how does the greek fit into this? - Charlie

Here is the passage in context.

"What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by two or at the most three, and each in turn, and one must interpret; but if there is no interpreter, he must keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets; for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church. (1 Cor 14:26-35)"

This is actually a very simple issue in the passage. If you remember to not take the phrase, "The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak," out of context, the issue becomes rather simple.

Paul had been discussing things such as teaching, prophesying, sharing a Psalm, etc. in the public assembly. These are all leadership roles. Because they are leadership roles, the women were to keep silent. If someone were to prophesy, others were to "pass judgement." They could question or even challenge them. Women were not allowed to question them in the assembly like this. Paul says in this passage that it is noot proper for a woman to speak in an assembly. Instead, they were to subject themselves in the assembly. If they had questions, they were to ask their husbands. That is the nature of the silence Paul is talking about. It does not prohibit things such as singing.

Greek doesn't shed any more light on this. It is simple enough in English. However, I do want to point out that the pronouns in these verses are masculine. "Each man has a Psalm, has a teaching...," "If any man speaks in a tongue...," "but if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent...," etc... Of course the case could be made that both men and women are including by the generic use of the masculine in the same way we use the word "man" in English to mean men and women. However, the context makes it clear that women were not to be involved in the teaching, questioning, and other roles in the assembly which were clearly leadership roles.

John Telgren
P.O. Box 452
Leavenworth, KS 66048
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