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Is It True that Women Cannot Talk In Church?


It's a matter of what the Bible says.  The church strayed away from the pattern of Scripture within a few centuries of the church being established.  God is restoring all of that, but the church has a history of not listening to God as He speaks through the Bible.  
1 Corinthians 14:34 says: "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted to them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.  And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church."    This cannot mean that women cannot speak, since there are other verses that tell of how women should speak and some women are mentioned as women who prophesy.  It appears to be a reference to women who, in this specific congregation, were disrupting the worship or teaching with questions.  A church may have to have a similar teaching if the members are gossiping before the service instead of entering into prayer for the service.  
The older women may teach younger women.   "The aged women ... That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." Titus 2:4-5  
Women prophesy, pray, sing songs, sing in prophetic songs of the Spirit, and exhort (encourage).  1 Corinthians 11:4-11 "Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.  But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.  For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered."  One way form of prophesy is a testimony which may include reading a Scripture or two but not establishing a doctrine.  You will see what I mean by "establishing a doctrine" as you read on.  
If we look at the word, silence, and how it is used in other Scriptures, we can get somewhat of an idea of the meaning:  
Luke 9:36 And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept it close <4601>, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen.  
Luke 20:26 And they could not take hold of his words before the people: and they marvelled at his answer, and held their peace <4601>.  
Acts 12:17 But he, beckoning to them with the hand to hold their peace <4601>, declared to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things to James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.  
Acts 15:12 Then all the multitude kept silence <4601>, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.  
Acts 15:13 And after they had held <4601> their peace <4601>, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken to me:  
Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret <4601> since the world began,  
1 Corinthians 14:28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence <4601> in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.  
1 Corinthians 14:30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let <4601> the first hold his peace <4601>.  
1 Corinthians 14:34 Let <4601> your women keep silence <4601> in the churches: for it is not permitted to them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.  
As you can see, there are two other references right here in the direction for the Sunday meeting.  There are times for everyone to keep silence.  This is a reference to women disrupting with questions.  Men, by the way, can also disrupt with questions when it is inappropriate.  While we can't really know what the details are that Paul is addressing, we can know that women are to prophesy and pray.  They can testify but not teach.  
Now, a woman is not permitted to teach or to take authority over men.  This would be a disorder.  "I suffer not [do not allow] a woman to teach nor to usurp authority over the man." 1 Timothy 2:12   The elders of the local church must be apt to teach and also are the highest level of authority in the local church.   Can a woman serve as an elder?   God has not designed His Church in this way.  It is not according to the pattern of Scripture.  This does not mean that women are inferior to men, but they are different from men.  
I believe this is because women are to be protected.  A man who sends his wife to defend the home against a robber is not a godly husband.  He goes himself at risk of his life to defend his family.  "My brethren, be not many masters [teacher], knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation." James 3:1  A woman should not have to take the responsibility of establishing doctrine in the local church.  The elder actually has this responsibility, though sometimes there can be a local teacher who is not an elder.

We could do a lot of speculation here, but God forbids speculation.  The Scripture is not of private interpretation.  The Holy Spirit reveals the meaning.  If we are both led of the Spirit, then He will reveal that same meaning.  If we both go by our intellect to try to figure it out, then we will both be wrong.  That's exactly what is wrong with most theologians and scholars and writers of commentaries.  
Timothy was a traveling deacon, an apostle.  Paul, the traveling elder, another apostle was directing Timothy.  There are many references to teaching no other doctrine, and you do not have to go outside of the company of Christians to hear a lot of opinions on doctrine all of which cannot be right because they conflict with each other.  There is a lot in Scripture about how revelation is given.  Check this out:  
Interestingly, the word, heresy, means Dissensions arising from diversity of opinions and aims:  The Church does not ride along on a multitude of opinions--the True Church, that is.  The True Church follows the doctrine of the apostles. Yes, the apostles have been restored to the church since 1948.  

Our local assembly actually follows the order of Scripture as it is defined in 1 Corinthians 14.  The Sunday meeting is orchestrated by the Holy Spirit, and the local elders and deacons are there to make sure that everything is done decently and in order just as it says.  There is no telling how God will lead as long as we are submissive to allow the Spirit to lead.  It's really very wonderful.  Whoever is there starts a song or prophesies or has a song in the Spirit.  Of course, no on starts a song in the middle of prophecy or vice versa.  It is very orderly as the apostles, the traveling elders and deacons, have taught us.  
If someone is out of order repeatedly, then this usually just requires a little bit of teaching.  We have had a contentious woman who wanted to argue with the elder.  The Holy Spirit dealt with her quite directly, showing that her theological point was wrong.  Pride is a horrible thing.  The elder didn't have a clue that he was answering her question directly.  The Holy Spirit said, "Read on."  He looked down and read what was in the Bible open before him and didn't know that He had answered her argument until someone else informed him after the meeting.  Disorder is not pleasing to God.  

Last updated: Dec, 2011

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