Different views on how to understand 1 Cor 14:34-35
Possibility1) The complementarian view: Women should indeed keep silent.
It is the simplest interpretation of those 2 verses, in isolation. But it runs into lots of trouble when compared to the rest of the passage. It seems to contradict “all have a psalm/ doctrine/ tongue/ revelation/ interpretation, all (psalms/ doctrines/ tongues/ revelations) should be used to edify (the gathered believers)… All could prophesy… Desire to prophesy… Forbid not to speak…” All these texts are part of the context, as verse 26-40 is the passage this is a part of. It also contradicts some other evidence of women as teachers, apostles and gospel workers in the New Testament.
I have never seen any complementarian effort to reconcile these apparent contradictions. Their view doesn’t explain the “What! Did the word of God go out from only you? Or did it reach only you?” following right after :34-35 either.
It also has the glaring problem that nothing in the Old Testament law says it. Paul knew OT law, so why is the words “as the law also say” in the passage?
Possibility 2) “Silence” is meant only in a certain regard
Paul tells tongue speakers to be silent – unless an interpreter is present. (1 Cor 14:28) They could speak again later – when there is an interpreter. (more…)