Thanks for the reply! I enjoy this discussion. I won’t call this a fight, I’ll call it a discussion. Here are my responses…
It may seem that 1 Timothy is at odds with 1 Corinthians in this regard. How can Paul speak of women prophesying when he forbids women to teach in church? I think the mistake here is to assume that teaching in church is what is signified by “prophesying.” One solution is that prophesying does not refer to teaching. Cornelius a Lapide writes:
The phrase, “Every woman that prayeth or prophesieth,” does not use “prophesieth” in its strict, and proper meaning of uttering a prophecy or an exposition, but in the improper sense of singing hymns or psalms to the praise of God. For S. Paul is here speaking of the public assembly, in which he does not allow a woman to speak or to teach, but only to sing her part well when the whole congregation sings. Prophet means singer in 1 Chron. xxv. 1, and in 1 Sam. x. 10. So Saul is said to have been among the prophets, that is among the singers of praises to God. So in the Books of Kings those are called prophets who served God with praises.
A second interpretation, although I think less lilely is that St. Paul is not referring to prophecy durying the liturgy. Thus St. Thomas writes:
Then when he says, but every woman, he gives an admonition as it applies to women, saying: But any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled (which is unbecoming, considering her condition) disgraces her head, i.e., does something unsuitable in regard to covering her hair. But against this is the Apostle’s statement in 1 Tim (2:12): “I permit no woman to teach in church.” How, then, does it befit a woman to pray or prophesy in public prayer or in doctrine. The answer is that this must understood of prayers and readings which women say in their own groups.
I think that in context of the rest of 1 Corinthians, the discussion of prophecy suggests that it’s not just singing or talking to other women. Like Biblical scholars, we can’t just read 1 Corinthians canonically, we need to read it as Paul himself meant it.
1 Corinthians 13:2
"And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing."
1 Corinthians 14:
“3 On the other hand, one who prophesies does speak to human beings, for their building up, encouragement, and solace. 4 Whoever speaks in a tongue builds himself up, but whoever prophesies builds up the church. 5 Now I should like all of you to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. One who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may be built up.”
Funny enough, 1 Corinthians 14 also includes this text: *
"31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged. 32 Indeed, the spirits of prophets are under the prophets’ control, 33 since he is not the God of disorder but of peace. As in all the churches of the holy ones,** 34 women should keep silent in the churches, for they are not allowed to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. 35 But if they want to learn anything, they should ask their husbands at home. For it is improper for a woman to speak in the church."*
And at the location where I put in ***, the USCCB web site includes this footnote:
"Verse 33b may belong with what precedes, so that the new paragraph would begin only with 1 Cor 14:34. 1 Cor 14:34–35 change the subject. These two verses have the theme of submission in common with 1 Cor 14:11 despite differences in vocabulary, and a concern with what is or is not becoming; but it is difficult to harmonize the injunction to silence here with 1 Cor 11 which appears to take it for granted that women do pray and prophesy aloud in the assembly (cf. 1 Cor 11:5, 13). Hence the verses are often considered an interpolation, reflecting the discipline of later churches; such an interpolation would have to have antedated our manuscripts, all of which contain them, though some transpose them to the very end of the chapter."
In the first century of Hellenistic Jewish culture, “prophets” were those who were talking about religious and spiritual issues, social issues, cultural issues, and other concerns to the body of believers. The prophets in the Old Testament aren’t just singers, they’re pretty much discussion how the exegesis of scriptures apply to the world around them, often warning Israel that its children have gone astray. Jesus describes himself as a prophet (Mark 6:4, Matthew 13:57), and we are baptized and anointed “priest, prophet, and king.”
Given the context of 1 Corinthians, in which women leaders were present in other sections (e.g., Chloe, a deacon from Cenchrae cited in Romans 16, Priscilla), I don’t think we can read it as having meaning compatible with 1 Timothy 2.