Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.

  • 1 Corinthians 14:34

What law? Please provide a reference.

  • As far as the law is concerned, women were not regarded as reliable witnesses in ancient courts of law, due to their propensity for subjectivity and emotionality. The passage you quoted refers to women abstaining from their usual chattiness in public gatherings.
    – Lucian
    Jul 9, 2021 at 7:30

3 Answers 3


In Leviticus there is no law requesting that women should be quiet. In Jewish literature there are also no laws requiring women to be silent in a synagogue, probably because women were usually separated from the men in some capacity (Sukkah, Talmud). Women in Jewish synagogues often led a separate prayer for the women in the synagogue.

1 Corinthians (in reference to women speaking) has no relation to the Talmud or Torah in any shape or form and is entirely a Christian discourse, Paul also uses the word ekklesiais, which usually referred to the new Christian churches. What Paul is talking about is a woman's need to be submissive (hypotassesthōsan), which is mentioned in Genesis 3:16 "To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you shall deliver children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.” He is saying submissiveness to men is required by the Old Testament.


Paul does not say that the Law command women to be silent. The argument Paul uses from the Law is that women are to be insubmission as the Law also says. Remaining silent in the assembly is simply a way of demonstrating that submission.


The cited verse does not say that there is a law that women aren't allowed to speak.

The logic of the argument is as follows:

Women shouldn't be permitted to speak because, as the law says, they should be submissive.

The idea that women should be submissive to men is throughout scripture. But even the prohibition on speaking is taken out of context, which is an extended discussion of people interrupting the service of the church by speaking in tongues spontaneously and disruptively prophesying.

Apparrently, there was a problem in Corinth of the women interrupting the speaker by speaking in tongues, and Paul was in effect forbidding them to speak and reminding them that they should be be quiet and submit to their husbands. If they had a question, they were to ask their husbands after the service. Possibly the husbands in that church were not the ones interrupting the service, and therefore they were not the ones commanded to be silent.

One of the issues with reading these letters to the churches is that you are listening to one statement in a conversation, as the churches wrote to Paul for guidance or may have asked Paul for advice on the normal issues of church administration, and we are seeing just one message in this back and forth.

There is just no substitute for spending time reading the context and really trying to understand what these things are about, rather than just grabbing a couple of clauses, stringing them together, and then demanding an explanation.

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