1 Corinthians 14: 34


In The First Letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 14 Verse 34 states:

    As in all the churches of the holy ones, women should keep silent in the churches, for they are not allowed to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says.      

Please explain.       


The Church in Corinth had many problems, among them disorder in worship. Paul tells the women to keep quiet and tells the men that they are to all shut up as well, that only two or three should speak and they should do so orderly.

*If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn; and let one interpret. (1 Corinthians 14:27)

For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. (1 Corinthians 14:33)

but all things should be done decently and in order. (1 Corinthians 14:40)*

The problem Paul was addressing was disorder. He basically tells everyone to shut up and behave themselves.



Amen brother, Amen!
If we don’t get on top of this, than next thing ya know, they’ll be wantin’ the right to vote. lol I’m Joking. :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley:

In all seriousness though, I agree with what TimothyH has said, and there was also a really good quote a came across the other day that went like this -

“The woman came from a man’s rib. Not from his feet to be walked on. Not from his head to be superior, but from his side to be equal. Under his arm to be protected, and next to his heart to be loved.”

And I would also say to remember too, that St Peter tells us that some of what St Paul has said is difficult to understand and that many have twisted his words in order to suit their own condemnation, thus why I believe it’s important for us to interpret them in context and within the lens of the Catholic Church, especially versus like this.

God Bless

Thank you for reading


Here is an excerpt from a Catholic apologetics question-and-answer document that touches this topic:

**15. Please recite 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 in their entirety.
1 Timothy 2:11-15 - “Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet woman will be saved through bearing children, if she continues in faith and love and holiness, with modesty.”

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 - “The women should keep silence in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law 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.”

**16. Forbidden from teaching, submissive, and silent – that’s what you quote to prove that women can’t be priests? Don’t be ridiculous – you can’t fool anybody into thinking the Catholic doctrine is of God with passages like that.
To those who love God and believe the Bible is His Word, passages like these are all the authority they need to conclude that our teaching is of God. And if you accept that God’s Word cannot be in error, and if you accept that sexism is an error, then you will also conclude that there must be nothing sexist in this passage – except when it is read superficially.

**17. Men are allowed to say what they please, but women must shut up and “be subordinate”!
Men are not allowed to say what they please. St. Paul teaches that assemblies of the Church are to be conducted with order (1 Cor. 14:37-40), and part of that is being subordinate, both men and women, to the ordained authorities. Women, not being able to exercise the ordained ministry, are told generically to be subordinate in Church and not to presume to speak in a teaching capacity, for that is the job of the minister. This is all perfectly sensible, granted that they cannot be ordained; there is no hint of sexism unless one assumes beforehand – falsely – that women have a right to be ordained and are being denied that right.

**18. How is it not unjust to deny women equal right with men to speak in the Church?
Equal right to speak? Nonsense. We are not talking about speaking of just anything; this is speaking as an officiate, as the homilist, as the minister – that is all. And nobody has a right to that, as I have shown elsewhere. You speak of rights being denied, when in fact there is no right there to be had. If ordained ministry was selected for on the basis of worth or justice, then there would be a question of rights violated, by telling women at large to be silent at Mass, and not to teach; but God calls whom He wills, and He does not call people on the basis of worth or justice. Women are generically told to be silent, in this regard, for the simple and not at all unreasonable fact that they just cannot be ministers, who are the only ones allowed to speak in a teaching capacity at Mass.

**19. I have heard that Paul only excluded women from ministry as his own habit. “I do not permit them to teach,” he said; not “God does not permit them to teach.”
That interpretation does not account for the data given us in the passage. Paul tells us precisely why he does not permit women to teach, and he does not base it on his own opinion; for him, it is bound up with the order of creation: “for Adam was created first, and then Eve.” (1 Tim. 2:12-13) Any interpretation which makes his doctrine subjective and mutable, violates that reason. Furthermore, in another passage where St. Paul expresses the same thought, he says that his teaching is not his own, but the Lord’s: “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, as even the law says. … [And] acknowledge that what I am writing to you is a command of the Lord.” (1 Cor. 14:33-37) Therefore it is not only his own private practice to forbid women to the ordained ministry, up to the discretion of churches; he lays it down as a law for all churches, based on the law of God, on the order of creation, and on a command of Jesus.

**20. Paul cites “the law” – the Old Testament. Where does the Old Testament say that women must be silent?
Paul does not command women to be silent at large, but only when it comes to teaching as a minister in the Church. That is no burden – everyone who is not ordained has to be silent in that regard. But as for the Law, the Old Testament taught that only Aaron and his sons were to be selected for ministerial duty – Exodus 28. As far as conducting the assemblies of the Israelites went, then, only men were allowed to serve, and everyone else had to be silent. Things are no different now. This is because the Old Testament priesthood was also an image, a picture if you will, of the true Priest, Jesus Christ. And He was a man. So God decreed that only men should be His priests, and in the modern priesthood this same requirement remains, for the same reason: priests are images of Jesus Christ. And therefore God takes, for the sake of that supernatural image, men, since they are already natural images, in our race, of the Son of Man.

[Cont’d next post]]

Staying free from feminist lies

[Cont’d from last post]]

21. Well, Catholics don’t exactly respect St. Paul’s doctrine anyway. They allow women to teach and hold authority over men – in classes, in television ministry, and in other ways too.

St. Paul does not forbid women to teach and hold authority over men just in any matter at all; he forbids it only in regard to ordained ministry. And we can know this for several reasons. Firstly because, besides forbidding them to exercise teaching authority over men, he also forbids them even to speak; and this shows that he was talking about doing these things in the Church alone – for he would not forbid women to speak just at any time at all; that would be ridiculous. Secondly, because he says “let a woman learn in silence.” Where was the faith learned? In Church! Thirdly, because of the context, which is that, the letter to Timothy is a pastoral letter, in which St. Paul explains to the young bishop Timothy how to run the churches in his area; and immediately after these verses where he forbids women to the ministry, Paul goes on to explain whom he should ordain, listing the qualities of good bishops and deacons. Thus he was teaching whom to ordain to the bishopric and the diaconate, and started by saying not to admit women to the ministry. And finally, because the Church has declared, in the document Inter Insigniores, the proper interpretation of this passage, which is that St. Paul was speaking of the ordained ministry alone, as a thing that women are not allowed to exercise teaching authority in; and this means also that they cannot be ordained, because to teach the faithful as an officiate at Mass is a fundamental part of ordained ministry, and women are forbidden to do that.

Let me know if that helps.

Staying free from feminist lies

:thumbsup: Great quote. You know, it may come from St. Thomas Aquinas. I know some people love to say that he was anti-woman, but this quote shows otherwise:

1273 A.D. - St. Thomas Aquinas - “[T]he woman [was] made from a rib of man…to signify the social union of man and woman, for the woman should neither ‘use authority over man,’ and so she was not made from his head; nor was it right for her to be subject to man’s contempt as his slave, and so she was not made from his feet.” (Summa Theologica, Part I, Question 92, Article 3)

The next year St. Bonaventure wrote basically the same thing:

1274 A.D. - St. Bonaventure: “[T]he woman was created to the image of God and to equality with the man—just as her formation from [his] side hints at.” (Commentary on the Four Books of Sentences, Book II, Commentary on Distinction XVI, Question 2, “Whether the image [of God] is more principally in the male than in the female.”)

I wouldn’t be surprised if they got that analogy from somebody before them, but it is clear from these passages that these two saints and Doctors of the Church thought women should be neither over nor under men, but in a position of “social union” and “equality.”


There is another recent thread on this very subject, where I pointed out an earlier verse in First Corinthians that contradicts this supposed prohibition of women speaking.

Contrary to not speaking at all, Paul tells them that women can pray and prophecy in the assembly, but that they must do so with their heads covered.

Owing to this seeming contradiction, it is difficult to state absolutely what Paul was addressing or what the solution was. There’s a lot of difficulty in understanding I & II Corinthians.

The commentaries and footnotes from the NAB Study Bible are sinking into my head, as I have been recently and am currently studying these letters.

These and other commentaries open my eyes to the fact of how the early church “worked,”

Paul could not appeal to “scripture” because there was no such thing as a New Testament book for him to appeal to. He couldn’t appeal to a Code of Canon Law which was not to appear for centuries; same for a Catechism. What we read is that he appeals to his apostolic calling and the evidence of his suffering in the manner of Christ and it is clear that he is quoting the Old Testament at times (the Septuagint, in particular), and he is offering his spontaneous, off-the-cuff inspired advice based in part on his Jewish training in theology and moral practice. He also deferred subjects until he could get to Corinth again.

I & II Co are thought to be a collection of up to six letters that Paul wrote to this church, which he had established and cared for, when he was there and sent letters when he was away.

This thread deals with a question about the worship they conducted,


Regarding the red/bold, I respectfully disagree. Paul was addressing specific problems.

Divisions and Factions

I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. (1 Corinthians 1:10)

Sexual Immorality

It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and of a kind that is not found even among pagans; for a man is living with his father’s wife. (1 Corinthians 5:1)

Encroachment of Pagan Practices

*Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.” (1 Corinthians 8:4)

**Therefore, my beloved, shun the worship of idols. *(1 Corinthians 10:14)

Disorder in Worship

*When you meet together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat. For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal, and one is hungry and another is drunk. (1 Corinthians 11:20-21)

**but all things should be done decently and in order. (*1 Corinthians 14:40)

Denial of the Resurrection of Christ and Other Core Doctrines Taught by False Apostles

*Now if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? (1 Corinthians 15:12)

**Come to your right mind, and sin no more. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame. *(1 Corinthians 15:34)

The Church in Corinth had very specific problems owing to the diverse and pagan population of the city.



Thank you dmar198 :slight_smile:


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