Re: SIGATW in 1 Cor 14:34

Date: Tue Jul 01 1997 - 00:35:55 EDT

I've been following this thread with great interest and I wanted to throw in
my two sense worth. Concerning 1 Cor 11:4-5 and the negative inference. Let's
look at it a little differently.

Let A= the man who prays or prophecies--main proposition
Let A'= the woman who prays or prophecies--main proposition
Let B= with head covered-- attendant circumstance
Let C= shames his head--consequence

! Cor 11:4 is "any man who prays or prophecies with his head covered shames
his head," thus the equation A + B = C

1 Cor 11:5 is "any women who prays or prophecies with her head uncovered
shames her head," thus the equation A' + not B = C

The question is "Is the negative inference a valid assumption in this
context. It seems that Paul does assume that A + not B = not C is a valid
inference. The man who prays or prophecies with his head uncovered does not
shame his head. This seems to be valid from the logic and manner of
argumentation as well as extra-contextual considerations (cf. 1 Tim 2:1-8).
Second, it seems that the issue is not simply the problem of head covering
absolutely, but the problem of head covering while praying and prophesying.
If the problem was head covering absolutely, why is the discussion purely in
terms of praying and prophesying. The problem isn't the main proposition; it
is the attendant circumstances to the main proposition that Paul makes the
issue. Given these considerations as well as extra-contextual considerations
(cf. Acts 21:9), it seems that A' + B = not C (the woman who prays or
prophesies with her head covered does not shame her head) is a valid

Also there is the issue with the referent EXOUSIAN in 1 Cor 11:10: does
EXOUSIAN refer to the woman's husband's authority or to her own authority.
The latter seems better for several reasons: (1) EXOUSIAN normally refers to
one's own authority and everywhere else in 1 Corinthians it does refer to
one's own authority (cf. 6:12; 7:4, 37; 8:9; 9:4-5, 12, 18; 15:24). (2)
Verses 11-12 seem to elevate the role of the woman and guard against her
being regarded as inferior thus supporting v. 10 as referring to the
authority of the woman. (3) It is argued that the sign shows her authority as
a high creature who rules creation with her husband. (4) If the sign pictures
submission, how can it be called a sign of authority? (5) It seems less
complicated in view of the normal use of EXOUSIA to see the sign as a
recognition of the woman's full role in creation as defined in distinction
from man, as a fellow vice-regent, yet help meet. (7) DIA TOUTO in v. 10
seems to support the presence of this thought in v. 10. The use of the sign
shows her recognition of this position of distinction within creation as a
significant creature of God (v. 12) alongside but different from man (cf. vv.
11-12). The stress of the sign is one acknowledging the distinction between
men and women in creation while asserting the woman's right to participate
actively in worship. It is the woman's authority that is asserted as God's
creature and man's helpmeet. Thus answers posited in a submission emphasis
seem to miss Paul's point which is to elevate the woman, while recognizing
the differentiations in the creation of man an woman. The point of v. 10
seems to be that the woman is obligated to wear a sign of authority in
recognition of her high but distinctive role in creation, where she has a
distinct role and identity from the man, which is not to be blurred before
the Creator God, nor to offend the angels who observe worship.

Now to 1 Cor 14:34-35. My comment is brief. It seems to me that the referent
of SIGATWSAN is to the judging of the prophecies and prophets mentioned in
the immediate context (11:29-33).

Charles Powell

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