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Examine Scripture

1 Corinthians 14:33-35

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Should Women Be Silent…

According to today’s verse, Paul speaks of women’s role in the Church:

“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. 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.”  -1 Corinthians 14:33-35, NAB

When we share Christ with others, we must allow the Holy Spirit to speak through us.  We cannot risk twisting God’s Word simply because we do not want to look foolish.  Today, I struggled to find the meaning to this verse.  I was tempted to just “wing it,” but I couldn’t.  Instead, the Spirit led me in a different direction.  He led me to speak about humility, and that may have been the greatest lesson of all.

If you really want to know what 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 means in today’s Catholic Church, I would refer you to someone who knows more than I – a priest, deacon, or other theologian.  How many times has someone asked you a theological question that you did not know the answer to, but you came up with one anyway?  Most of us have been there, done that.  Well, stop.  If you don’t know, it’s better to admit that you don’t know than teach your own version of the truth.

Is there a wrong way to share God’s Word?  Yes.  If we begin to speak from our own minds and our own thoughts, we may not be allowing the Truth that comes from the Holy Spirit to really come through.  Instead of sharing God’s Word with the people, we begin to share our word.  It is a dangerous path to travel, and we can easily be led astray.  Temptation leads us astray by our own pride, and we freely go in the wrong direction.  What we share with others becomes more about showing off our vast knowledge than speaking God’s Truth.

Why does this happen?  The more we speak in God’s name, the larger enemy we become for the devil.  Just when we feel the strongest, the devil shows us our weakness.  I face this challenge myself.  While I may feel like I have all the answers, I don’t.  Christ has all the answers.

In verses 34-35, Paul tells us that woman are to be silent in church.  How should I interpret this?  Honestly, I don’t really know, and I would rather admit that than teach you the wrong thing about scripture.  Is this an important topic?  Yes.  Do I have a good answer for you?  No, but that may be the best answer I could ever give you.


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