1 Corinthians 11:2-16 and supposed sexism

When talking to people who reject Christianity, sometimes I’ll come across someone who thinks that 1 Corinthians 11 supports sexism. You know, the whole women covering their heads and women being made for the glory of man, while man was made for the glory of God. These people will claim that this chapter supports sexism, especially pointing towards the second point (that women were made for the glory of man). I’m not quite sure how to answer this. I’ve tried to answer by saying that men and women have different jobs, but that doesn’t mean that one is worth more than the other. But I haven’t had any success in changing peoples’ minds with that statement. How would you answer?

This too: 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 “As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church”

Yes, this as well! This is also a troublesome passage for these people that I referenced in my OP.

Yes any verse pulled out of Bible and singled out can be very troublesome.

When we read this Chapter we need to first understand that St. Paul is not stating that man is greater than woman in the eyes of God. St. Paul teaches that we are all equal in Christ.

Galatians 3:28
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

However, being equal in Christ does not mean we are equal in the order of creation. In these verses he is referencing the creation story in Genesis 1:26-27 through the lens of Genesis 2:21-23.

Sorry God set it up that way. Man has a natural precedence over woman in the created order established by God. Men are typically stronger and faster than woman. They are naturally the protector and the leader. Sure our equality for woman mindset, that believes woman can do whatever men can, has changed this in today’s culture but can woman honestly say the benefits outweighed the loss of giving up who they really are?

There is no easy way to answer this objection. You will come off as the bad guy or girl every time.


Unfortunately, I’ve experienced this. No matter my answer on some issues, it always comes off as bad.

Thank you for your answer! :slight_smile:

What absurd misogynistic thinking. Good grief.

Sorry if I offended you.

Are men not typically stronger than woman?

Am I incorrect in stating that Historically it has been the man who has put his life on the line in war?

How do these facts prove I am strongly prejudiced against women?

Like I said there is no easy way to answer this without offending someone.

Thanks for proving my point.

God Bless


Well, first I’d quote it correctly.

1 Corinthians 11:7 A man, on the other hand, should not cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man.

OK. Now. The first part says.

Man is the image and glory of God

Why? Because God made man in His image. But why His glory? I think it’s because man is made in the image of Jesus Christ who is the glory of God. In other words, man is made in the image of Him whom God loves the most.

but woman is the glory of man.

Why? God made woman from Adam’s rib. But why is she the glory of man?

Because, in my opinion, God glories in the woman more than in the man. The woman is the better part of mankind.

That’s my opinion, but then I believe that women are the most beautiful creatures with which God ever graced this world.

Because that is a stock answer that means nothing when someone is trying to understand things.

It’s like someone saying that slaves are not less than their masters, they just have different jobs , their work is important and they’re equal because Galatians 3:28. It just doesn’t address anything.

Not to sound rude of course, but it should be clear why that won’t comfort anybody.

I don’t know how to explain these verses though. I just call it sexist (it’s really not surprising that men at that time and culture are not like today, isn’t it), and move on.

That presents a problem, though. If these Scriptures were inspired by God, who doesn’t change, then would that mean that God is sexist, yes? Unless of course these Scriptures are not inspired by God. But if that’s the case, are they really even the Word of God? Can they be trusted? If these writings can’t be trusted, how can we know that the rest of what’s in 1 Corinthians is to be trusted?

I understand. It’s not really a problem for me bc I do think it was inspired. Some verses needed to be seen in context (eg women being silent) because it’s not really a law for us. I don’t think God is sexist in the hostile way, but that one gender is above the other for God knows what, since idt it would be that beneficial today.

I suppose we need to understand what “inspired” means in this context.

1 Cor. 14:34-35 says “the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.”

For a number of reasons, I’m not buying it. I think it far more logical to conclude that this comment is a culturally sensitive anachronism and not a timeless directive.

I second that. I mean look at the Blessed Virgin Mary, she gets to receive Hyperdulia (super veneration) and only she receives that honor. It seems also that God has a fair amount of respect for women. But that’s just my opinion.

Also a good question would be, was Jesus sexist?

Also didn’t Saint Paul say to in Ephesians:

5:23. Because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church. He is the saviour of his body.

5:24. Therefore as the church is subject to Christ: so also let the wives be to their husbands in all things.

As the church is subject to Christ… The church then, according to St. Paul, is ever obedient to Christ, and can never fall from him, but remain faithful to him, unspotted and unchanged to the end of the world.

5:25. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church and delivered himself up for it:

5:26. That he might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life:

5:27. That he might present it to himself, a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

5:28. So also ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

5:29. For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, as also Christ doth the church:

5:30. Because we are members of him, body, of his flesh and of his bones.

5:31. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother: and shall cleave to his wife. And they shall be two in one flesh.

5:32. This is a great sacrament: but I speak in Christ and in the church.

5:33. Nevertheless, let every one of you in particular love for his wife as himself: And let the wife fear her husband.

So even if we are a patriarchal religion we still must treat our wives as ourselves. We still must give them respect.

What does any of that have to do with the original question posed?

Women also need to love people like christ loved us. that passage isn’t as groundbreaking as people think it is. Maybe at that time.

Both passages are related to the assembled church. 1 Cor 14:34-35 is often taken out of context because all you have to do is read 1 Cor 11:5 and 1 Cor 14:39-40, particularly verse 40 to understand chapter 14.

They might as well ask you why women can’t be priests. This passage may have connections to that topic. Maybe someone more qualified can discuss this.

Don’t forget to include Eph 5:21.

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I was pointing out that there is a difference between men and woman. Isn’t that an underlying issue with the verse in question?

There must be a reason God became incarnate as a man, wants us to refer to Him in masculine terms (Father), chose all men as Apostles, reserved the sacrament of Holy Orders to men alone, created man first, and said husbands/fathers are to be the head of their families.

Just as there is a reason He chose to be born of a woman (without the aid of man), he spoke of the Church in feminine terms, He interacted with women in ways society at the time would not approve, He created women to alone be able to bear and nurse children, etc.

Men and women are different and have different roles in the natural and supernatural order. That doesn’t mean one should lord it over the other or oppress or abuse the other or treat the other as less human or less “valuable.” All have the same origin in God and are called to the same destiny in Him.


That type of ‘sexism’ is a good thing.

That there is a difference is self evident. The original question had to do with sexism such as women being silent, deferring to men etc.

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