1 Corinthians 14:34 - Women must be silent in Church


1 Corinthians 14:34 from the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition

“As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silence in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate even as the law says.”

On its face, this verse would seem to outlaw women being readers, or in the choir, or female altar servers. However, the Church allows all of these things.

What is the proper interpretation or understanding of this verse?

What is the historical context in which this was written?


This is to give an example of contradiction and non-harmony with The Book to confuse the seeker, since, y’know, it’s the end times. :wink:
Oh, and bring your purse and cell-phone while you’re at it :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:
Forgive me.


You already answered your question.
In those times, women were not permitted to do much, much less teach.
We are not living in Biblical times.
The proper understanding of this verse is to study life in the time that passage was written.
As you probably know, we don’t take as literal which is an historical statement, meant for those times.

People in those times also received only int he hand, Nothing in that culture required someone to place food in other peoples’ mouths. Yet, later in Church history communion on the tongue became the norm. Now both are possible. Just one of many examples.


It’s a passage out of time. Those antiquared concepts are long gone. In spite of the opinions of some, the bible is a living document and must be viewed in context of current accepatable conduct.


When i said this about another passage i was called a heretic and compared to the devil… :shrug:



Read it in the original Greek and in the context of the times.

Before you attempt to debate it.

Women raise the children and teach them.


I should probably have said acceptable catholic conduct. I’ll let God judge me! :slight_smile:



I mean i talked about one quote, saying it should be seen in its historic context and i got called a heretic and i was compared to the devil… :shrug:



Since theology is not my forte, I hope someone can stop by and give us an understanding of these verses which are in context with Catholic teaching.


Here’s a great article on this topic:



Keep in mind women did have roles in the Church. I think this is more associated with who is allowed to preach. (Since only men may be ordained)


What did you quote?


I quoted pieces about sexuality.
Can not remember which one.

But the point is that i gave the same argument and i was blasted for it, so i feel a bit frustrated right now.

(Dont reply but PM if you want to talk on please)


“He says, therefore: I will that men use the gift of prophecy in this manner, but I do not want women to speak in the church, so that the women should keep silence in the church: “I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men” (1 Tim 2:12). And Chrysostom assigns the reason for this, saying: woman has spoken once and subverted the entire world. But on the other hand it seems that many women are recorded to have prophesied, as the Samaritan woman (Jn. 4:39) and Anna, the wife of Phanuel (Lk 2:36) and Deborah (Jg 4:4) and Huldah, the prophetess (2 Kgs 22:14) and the daughter of Philip the evangelist (Ac 21:9). Above, it also says (11:5): “Any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled dishonors her head.” The answer is that there are two things in prophecy, namely, revelation and its manifestation; but women are not excluded from revelation, for many things are revealed to them as to men. But manifestation is of two kinds: one is public and from this they are excluded; the other is private and this is permitted to them, because it is not preaching but manifesting” - Saint Thomas Aquinas

A woman merely speaking in the Church is not what Saint Paul is alluding to. If that were the case, only men could orally participate in the Liturgy of the Word and Eucharist. Could you imagine only men orally praying the Lord’s Prayer or proclaiming an ‘Amen’ during the liturgy while women looked on awkwardly in silence? Women have every right to participate in the liturgical acts as do men, including being a lector and/or acolyte. Women are to be silent in the authoritative sense of shepherding and teaching of the flock, not that they cannot teach RCIA or CCD etc., but that the primacy of teaching and shepherding souls rests within the Bishop, and the Priest through the Bishop.


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