Sunday, April 8, 2012

Slog Bible Study: 1 Corinthians 14:34-35

Posted by on Sun, Apr 8, 2012 at 7:00 AM

1 Corinthians 14:34-35
Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.



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Fifty-Two-Eighty 1
I guess nobody had invented ball gags yet.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on April 8, 2012 at 7:16 AM · Report this
Jesus loves you, Goldpussy. Everyone else thinks you are an asshole.
Posted by BetarayBilly2 on April 8, 2012 at 7:22 AM · Report this
michijo 3
There is a strange movie from Lars Von Trier called 'Breaking the Waves' about a small northern Scottish village filled with religious fanatics. That is one of their rules. I suppose some of them immigrated to the USA at some point and became southern assholes. Maybe we should send them to Antarctica?
Posted by michijo on April 8, 2012 at 7:40 AM · Report this
Vince 4
@1 See Tomas de Torquemada. He knew how to silence people but good.
Posted by Vince on April 8, 2012 at 7:40 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 5
that's not in my Jefferson Bible.
Posted by Max Solomon on April 8, 2012 at 7:53 AM · Report this
@3 - that "strange village" was in Scotland, which filled the Republican cracker belt with its descendants. When I saw the movie I felt like I was watching a movie about my upbringing. It's a strange village but it's not unusual or rare at least not in the U.S.
I hated this verse so much as a child and heard it on the regular but it gave me the impetus as a brainwashed little Church of Christ girl to get myself out of that mess. A good college education helped too. Here's a link to a map showing the Scottish and Irish republican voting patterns. I can't do a tiny url or I would:…
Posted by Lalala on April 8, 2012 at 8:07 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 7
As my religious dad likes to say, Paul may have said it, but he didn't get it from God.
Posted by Matt from Denver on April 8, 2012 at 8:18 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 8
Mike Wallace is dead today. Another old school journalist gone. Soon all that will be left are CNN anchors who do tabloid news shows in the daytime.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on April 8, 2012 at 8:22 AM · Report this
And that is a problem? Here's something current.…

"The Catholic Church teaches that it has no authority to allow women to become priests because Jesus Christ willingly chose only men as his apostles when he instituted the priesthood at the Last Supper."

And that's on 5 April 2012.

Why bother arguing about 2,000 year old literature when you have implementations from last week?
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 8, 2012 at 8:22 AM · Report this
OuterCow 10
"Thanks, Jesus. If I wasn't so sure you existed it would almost seem like a bunch of white men made this religion shit up so they could do whatever they wanted. Oh well."
-Jamie Kilstein
Posted by OuterCow on April 8, 2012 at 8:25 AM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 11
Women must find something they like in those religious places of they would not go.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on April 8, 2012 at 9:21 AM · Report this
@11 is right, it appears!

According to Rodney Stark's fantastic little sociological study of the early church, The Rise of Christianity, women enjoyed much better treatment and respect within the Christian church. Scholars have reached the consensus that many of the early church leaders were women. A good many of the converts certainly were, and they ended up bringing along their pagan husbands as secondary converts. Textual analysis of Paul's letters supports this (check out all the shout outs he gives to women), and so do the archeological findings of the first churches (lots of women's stuff found). So does more circumstantial evidence, such as the fact that many of the martyrs were women, and the authorities only bothered to execute the leaders. (In the present age, the first converts to new cults - which is what Christianity was at the time - still tend to be women.)

So what did Christianity offer that was so great for women? Well, for one, the church was staunchly anti-abortion and anti-infanticide from Day One. Both were practices of the time. Infanticide, in particular, was done without an afterthought, particularly if the child was a daughter. Women were valued by the church, including widows. Pedophilia, or, as it was thought of in those days, marrying your husband when you're a young teen, was also discouraged by the church. Most women married after their eighteenth birthday. In short, women were not treated like garbage by the church, as they were in society at large. The turn to male dominance within the church, I guess, came a couple hundred years later, once the church was better established (and, I would think, no longer depended on women so much to expand the church rolls).
Posted by floater on April 8, 2012 at 10:04 AM · Report this
psst #12, your right wing is showing.
Posted by Madame Chintoa on April 8, 2012 at 10:16 AM · Report this
Just one paragraph from the aforementioned and recommended Rise of Christianity, by Rodney Starks, who was teaching at the UW at the time. (He's somewhere else now.):

As to the status of women in the early church, there has been far too much reliance on 1 Cor. 14:34-36, where Paul *appears* [original emphasis] to prohibit women from even speaking in church. Laurence Iannaccone (1982) [he's referencing "Let the Women Be Silent", published in something called Sunstone, according to his bibliography] has made a compelling case that these verses were the opposite of Paul's position and were on fact a quotation of claims being made at Corinth that Paul then refuted. Certainly the statement is at variance with everything else Paul wrote about the proper role for women in the church. Moreover, Paul several times acknowledged women in leadership positions in various congregations.
Posted by floater on April 8, 2012 at 10:17 AM · Report this
Goodness, Madame Chintoa. My right wing? You haven't tracked down my posts, have you.
Posted by floater on April 8, 2012 at 10:19 AM · Report this
#10 - are there a lot of white men in the Middle East? Cuz that's where this shit comes from, mostly.

Not that others didn't pick up the ball and run with it, so to speak....
Posted by catsnbanjos on April 8, 2012 at 10:30 AM · Report this
OuterCow 17
@16 Yeah I caught that too, but I didn't want to edit the quote.
Posted by OuterCow on April 8, 2012 at 10:37 AM · Report this
sikandro 18
And I thought that on Easter you'd be taking a dig at the resurrection, Goldy.
Posted by sikandro on April 8, 2012 at 10:40 AM · Report this
slade 19…

God liked killing men and pretty much left women out of the loop in Christianity, Men kill many women and were and still are a bunch fruit cakes who feel special about them self's as more money more sports more everything as the list goes on to the point that God seems more women as its all about killing men and killing the first born and killing those who just don't realize that wrath has given warning and is over the shoulder.

People build in the flood plains and fault zones and Tsunami zones even though they know what can happen?

Christianity states God did not support humanity and felt his creation was a full term miscarriage that should be ended as Human were just not serious enough to play in the major leagues and basically were dangerous to them self's and the heavens.

It was never a liberal Democracy and Gods motto is "I will just kill them all and sort them out later"

You are gay! you are a crook! your working on Sunday! your praying to Buddha! your don't give your best! you don't give thanks! you have sex for pleasure! you have a murderous heart and along with a million other screw ups as per Gods wishes and your omitted from that game plan.

Gods actions are never about much else other than his quest to make humans realize that when its game over that your "soul" (the crap that's left when your flesh is gone) had better realize that its far from perfect and "again" on earth as it is in heaven your going to be sucking like a leach "unless" you are more than a conscienceless moral less self worshiping Republican who believes they hold all answers .
Posted by slade on April 8, 2012 at 10:58 AM · Report this
As Garry Wills notes in his superb book "What Paul Meant," it seems clear that this passage was added to Paul's original letter by later male chauvinist pigs -- because in this same letter, Paul says women should keep their heads covered WHILE SPEAKING UP AND PROPHESYING IN CHURCH. Paul did not contradict himself in the same letter, he was contradicted by later dicks. It was Paul's message of sexual egalitarianism they silenced. Many of the first Christian prophets and Christian leaders, like Phoebe of Corinth, were women, and Paul honored them. As the church backslid from its original egalitarianism to the male-hierarchical model, we got the present rapist-priest Catholic church. Anybody who wants to attack Christianity should first learn its true, sad history.
Posted by Tim Appelo on April 8, 2012 at 11:29 AM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 21
I would have gone with the conflicting quotes on what was supposedly Jesus's last words.
Posted by Rob in Baltimore on April 8, 2012 at 11:30 AM · Report this
sirkowski 22
the church was staunchly anti-abortion and anti-infanticide from Day One.
Posted by sirkowski on April 8, 2012 at 11:31 AM · Report this
Chelydra_serpentina 23
Jeez, I quit singing in church when I was 12, and our parish priest got PISSED. Wish I'd known about these verses back then; it would've come in handy. "But Father, I'm supposed to remain silent in church! It's right there in Corinthians 14!"

I should thank the guy though. Without him, it probably would have been a few more years before I started asking the questions that put me on the road to agnosticism.
Posted by Chelydra_serpentina on April 8, 2012 at 11:37 AM · Report this
Posted by venomlash on April 8, 2012 at 11:53 AM · Report this
@20, Garry Wills rocks. I'd mostly read his history, but when I saw he tackled Paul too I gave it a go. My bedrock gayness and atheism places me squarely among those who've been taught the best way to deal with Paul is through loathing. So glad I picked up the Wills book. When he closed with "Paul meant what Jesus meant, that love is the only law" and I did not disagree, I realized how far a true scholar's work can help a person go.
Posted by gloomy gus on April 8, 2012 at 12:10 PM · Report this
MrBaker 26
In the really, really, really new testiment god cammanded that you move your lawn between good Friday and Easter Sunday.

The elaborate fantasy is taken to such amazingly minute and, out of context, meaninglessness that I am continually surprised by the number of people that occupy their time with DragonBall Z (or, whatever it is you people are discussing).
Posted by MrBaker on April 8, 2012 at 12:25 PM · Report this
MrBaker 27
That should say "mow" not "move".
Posted by MrBaker on April 8, 2012 at 12:27 PM · Report this
OuterCow 28
@20 Just because Gore should've been president in 2000, doesn't mean criticism of what actually ended up happening is invalid. Sure, in textual analysis your point has merit, but when people just want to attack Christianity? Ya'll gave us more enough history of evil to pick from, so you don't get a pass just because maybe some of your founders weren't as misogynistic as the vast majority your subsequent leaders.
Posted by OuterCow on April 8, 2012 at 12:35 PM · Report this

I remember when I went to church as a boy, that us guys used to go to Communion early so we could then watch all the girls in the neighborhood walking back while we oogled them.

Is that like this?

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on April 8, 2012 at 12:51 PM · Report this
seandr 30
At least half the males (myself included) that attended Sunday services in my childhood churches were there because a women insisted they be there.
Posted by seandr on April 8, 2012 at 12:55 PM · Report this
Holy shit! I went to mass every Sunday until I was 20. I don't remember ever hearing that in a reading. Wow.
Posted by idaho on April 8, 2012 at 1:11 PM · Report this
Sirkowski (and everyone else): This is from the fifth chapter of Rodney Stark's rise of Christianity, concerning the early Christian prohibition of abortion. I'm hoping a couple fragments won't violate copyright law:

From the start, Christian doctrine absolutely prohibited abortion and infanticide, classifying both as murder. These Christian prohibitions reflected the Jewish origins of the movement... [Examples of Josephus and someone else equating abortion and infantice to murder.]

... Those views are repeated in the earliest Christian writing on the subject... [Examples of the Didachae, Justin Martyr's First Apology, and Athagoras.]

... By the end of the second century, Christians not only were proclaiming their rejection of abortion and infanticide, but had begun direct attacks on pagans, and especially pagan religions, for sustaining such "crime."... [Example of Minucius Felix's Octavius.]

I'm not presenting any opinion on abortion or infanticide, or equating anything, only repeating what I've read in this book.

And as far as birth control goes, Stark states that both Jews and Christians "were opposed to sexual practices that diverted sperm from the vagina.". That means that anal, masturbation, and, presumably, condoms (made of goat bladders or fetal lamb stomachs in those days) or any other sperm barriers, were a no-no.

BTW the descriptions of abortion methods two thousand years ago are pretty grousome.
Posted by floater on April 8, 2012 at 1:12 PM · Report this
Posted by slade on April 8, 2012 at 1:37 PM · Report this
slade 34…

Talk about a Republican?
PETER BOGHOSSIAN: Because enough is enough. A lot of people are sick and tired of being held hostage to the delusions of others, and (I'm one of those people). I think that people are hungry for a (frank, honest discussion) about things—particularly about faith.(To profess things you don't know for certain), and then claim the reason for your justification is faith? That doesn't contribute to the conversation. That's the end of the conversation.

Lets replace Religion with a conversation with "DR. PETER BOGHOSSIAN who is a full-time faculty member in Portland State University's philosophy department who is well known around campus for directly challenging his student's faith-based beliefs."…

Its like I don't "have" to pay the church tuition fees to talk about things that are unknown? Its absurdly Republican to Yack out the side of your neck about people who yack out the side of their neck over crap that is all over the earth and has been since Rama appeared.

Yup there is nothing that supports religion and everything supports my Philosophy degree and help me calm my fears of what Republican twisted political pucktards are making me piss my pants about?
Posted by slade on April 8, 2012 at 2:56 PM · Report this
#34 - come again?
Posted by catsnbanjos on April 8, 2012 at 3:12 PM · Report this
slade 36…

Even a professor of Religion who types for a Catholic website can fly circles at the speed of light around some pro "nothing" school boys who failed history for a life time its seems?

Its sad when the catholic church web sight schools you on America and Politics?
Posted by slade on April 8, 2012 at 3:51 PM · Report this
thatsnotright 37
So why won't the far-right wing women who believe this crap shut up? All other women, free, progressive, liberal Christian and non-Christian women who do not believe the Bible is the living, literal word of god have taken the right to speak upon themselves. These fundie women have abrogated that right and should close their traps about abortion, marriage, womens' rights and politics. They shouldn't even vote. If they do any of these things they are breaking their god's law. Therefore whatever they say is invalid.
Posted by thatsnotright on April 8, 2012 at 3:57 PM · Report this
blackhook 38
What concerns Me is that once women ask for the right to speak in church, then what? ...talking back to their Husbands, driving cars (!?!), getting an education?!?

Praise Man for creating such a wonderful religion!
Posted by blackhook on April 8, 2012 at 4:25 PM · Report this
slade 39
You mean far right like Hillary Roddham Clinton?
Some people fail to take the debate further by injecting the known Human ignorance as a point of making a point.
"Gods law" is not even to be our concern and we are not to judge or to take vengeance or Kill or covet or anything? as per some people who wish to stick their backside in the air for the lone purpose of an "Ignorant" religion debate they will circumnavigate Religion as a whole so they can debate the ignorance of humans to make the point that Religion is flawed or in some ways is not up to Darwin's monkeys book of evolution.

In short all of the political groups and genders and nut jobs of Right wing Republican Christian terrorist groups have absolutely jack shit to do with religion and Substituting Human ignorance for the arguing point makes it obvious that that people who feel they can argue religion dose not and has never existed are of the same cloth of that Right wing Christian terrorist group who are all yack and no brains and total flunkys when it comes to History of the earth and Religion.

Asking two idiots to shut up may mean there are Three.
Posted by slade on April 8, 2012 at 4:26 PM · Report this
sirkowski 40
@32 Nice try! The old testament has a recipe for abortion.
I'm not presenting any opinion on abortion or infanticide, or equating anything, only repeating what I've read in this book.

Posted by sirkowski on April 8, 2012 at 5:23 PM · Report this
Joe Tex 41
If you are a woman you shouldn't be contributing to this discussion because you should have read that and then shut the fuck up!!!
Posted by Joe Tex on April 8, 2012 at 6:46 PM · Report this
@40 Pray tell me where I can find this recipe, for I have me Bibles and Bible commentary and am quite curious about it.

And please provide some source showing that the early church was okay with abortion. (I'll assume that you won't contest a prohibition against infanticide.)

Even if this particular issues is tangental to the Pauline passage Goldy posted. I'm not asking people to have some particular view on abortion (or infanticide). I'm just pointing out what is, according to the book I was referring to.

I see you're keeping score. Don't feel bad about being behind ten points and while still waiting to score. You can still come back and make a game of it.
Posted by floater on April 8, 2012 at 7:12 PM · Report this
This is why I belong to the Church of Google:…

"27 If she has defiled herself and been unfaithful to her husband, then when she is made to drink the water that brings a curse, it will go into her and cause bitter suffering; her abdomen will swell and her thigh waste away, and she will become accursed among her people. 28 If, however, the woman has not defiled herself and is free from impurity, she will be cleared of guilt and will be able to have children."

That said, being against abortion is not being pro-woman. Quite the opposite actually. And, as this quote suggests, being pro-choice is apparently ok as long as the man is the one doing the choosing.
Posted by stating the obvious on April 8, 2012 at 7:30 PM · Report this
Well, kind of. It's an inteteresting passage, a typically patriarchal passage.

The issue here is that a husband suspects his wife of infidelity, though he has no direct evidence or confession. Maybe the wife is showing signs of pregnancy. So he gathers some oats and grabs his wife and takes her to the temple. The priest sits her down "before God" and loosens her hair - a sign of a promiscuous woman - and takes some dirt from the ground and mixes it with holy water. Then he writes the sentence down - essentially, if you're guilty, you will suffer - and the woman has to agree with it, and then he washes the ink into the dirt-water mixture. This is "the water of bitterness." (Somebody somewhere thought of this.)

Then he burns some of the oats to help the omniscient god remember what really happened and bring the issue to his attention, and then the woman will drink the dirt-water and hope for the best.

This is an example of a trial-by-ordeal. The ostensible purpose is not to cause an abortion, though I don't know if dirt water and their ink would, but rather to determine a woman's guilt - or intimidate her into a confession, considering the degrading and onerous trial. Therefore it's not a true example of a traditional Jewish method of abortion.

It is, however, a good example of the rigidly patriarchal system of ancient Judaism. (Don't know what today's Orthodox Jews are like.) It's worth noting that nothing is supposed to happen to the husband if the woman passes the trial ("Well, guess you folks are okay today.") and there's no prescribed follow up to find the wife's purported lover if she fails the trial. It's only the woman who suffers and she has no say in the matter. This comes from the Torah, God's version of a constitution if he were asked to write one. Or at least this is what conservatives say our nation was founded on.

As for old-school abortion, not modern, safe abortion, considering what went in it, what the lasting physical damage could be, and how women in Roman times had little say in it - just like they had little say in anything - a ban on the procedure would be a step up for them. Now adays, not so much.
Posted by floater on April 8, 2012 at 9:19 PM · Report this
sirkowski 45
I see you're keeping score.

I thought you were trolling but I'm starting to believe you're a genuine Christfag.

Numbers 5: 12 to 31 Have fun with your textual diarrhea.
Posted by sirkowski on April 8, 2012 at 9:38 PM · Report this
venomlash 46
Guys, don't be thick.
One, the ritual of Sotah was not applicable, under ancient Judaic law, unless the woman had secluded herself with an unrelated man other than her husband in such a way as to provoke reasonable suspicion on the part of her husband, AND if there were no witnesses to prove her guilt or innocence. You know, asking God to settle the matter only as a last resort.
Two, Sotah was not supposed to cause an abortion, if the woman was judged to have been unfaithful, but rather to make her infertile.
Three, Sotah was formally abolished in the time of the Second Temple.
Posted by venomlash on April 9, 2012 at 12:13 AM · Report this
michijo 47
@6 I can also watch films about gypsies but actually respect them more, even though they are in the same sort of poverty as the Appalachians. What reason? I suppose wingnut Republican bastards provoke less empathy in fellow men. And as you say, their ideals result from lack of education. It's a shame they effect politics to the extent they do.
Posted by michijo on April 9, 2012 at 2:59 PM · Report this
michijo 48
@6 I can also watch films about gypsies (Gadjo Dilo for instance) but actually respect them more, even though they are in the same sort of poverty as the Appalachians. What reason? I suppose wingnut Republican bastards provoke less empathy in fellow men. And as you say, their ideals result from lack of education. It's a shame they effect politics to the extent they do.
Posted by michijo on April 9, 2012 at 2:59 PM · Report this
The Bible verses as food for thought are starting to get old. We GET it....the Bible is filled with fucked up shit for a bunch of reasons...translation, manipulation, selective editing, archaic philospohy, etc

No one is converting to agnosticism or vice versa due to this column. All this does is bring up a bunch of crazy nut jobs defending these ridiculous quotes. Can we move on already?

Or, maybe include a sane verse for once. Like the 2 greates commandments...'love thy neighbor as thy self.'

or the parable of the Good Samaritan.

or 'He who is without Sin, cast the first stone.'

or Judge not lest ye be Judged.

There are a handful of a nice tidbits in that God-awful book. Can we talk about thems?

Posted by Cassette tape fan on April 9, 2012 at 11:00 PM · Report this
@floater - must be nice to be Rodney Stark and not blush when arguing that when a bible passage says X, it actually means the opposite of X.

Silvio Levy
Posted by codairem on April 10, 2012 at 5:47 AM · Report this

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