The Taser's Edge

The Hermeneuticonarod
March 27, 2007, 9:45 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Last week, for New Testament I had to write a paper on 1 Corinthians 14:34-35.  You may have heard it before: “Women should be silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as the law also says.  If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.” (New Revised Standard Version).  Provocative, ain’t it?


The assignment was to read and assess Gordon Fee’s (a prominent New Testament scholar) commentary on this passage, in which he claims that it is a later addition to the text, was not written by Paul, and thus is not binding on the Church.  I personally was not convinced by Fee’s argument that it was a later addition, although almost everyone else in the class was, and I don’t know if I’m right (and in any case, for the sake of my point here, there are probably other Scriptures that I could be convinced are later additions). 


Here is the assumption that Fee makes: “the exegesis of the text itself leads to the conclusion that it is not authentic [i.e., not Paul].  If so, then it is certainly not binding for Christians.”  As far as I know, for most of you, that’s not actually problematic—just get out the stuff that isn’t Paul and get back to the original text, right?

But is it really that simple? 
What about the fact that the Church has used this text as it is, with those two verses, as the text it has called and claimed as sacred Scripture for almost two thousand years?  Can we just rip them out?

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