Re: SIGATW in 1 Cor 14:34

Date: Tue Jul 01 1997 - 23:59:26 EDT

In a message dated 7/1/1997 8:02:01 AM, (Paul S. Dixon)

<<Technically, your notation is not quite right. The way you have it makes
it a bi-conditional (if and only if a man prays or prophesies with his
head covered, then he shames his head), rather than a conditional (if a
man prays or prophesies with his head covered, then he shames his head;
same as, 'every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered, shames
his head). There is a significant difference.>>

I think your reading the bi-condition into it, I stated the propsition as
rendered in the RSV. A more accurate translation would be: "Any man who prays
or prophecies while having something down the head shames his head." Either
way, no bi-condition is intended. A man may shame his head in other ways, but
thios would be one. Correspondingly, a woman can shame her head in other ways
than prayin and prophesying with an uncovered head, but this is the one Paul

<<Secondly, the negation is never a valid inference. Now, the negation may
be true, but it is not true by inference. We cannot infer it. That is a
basic rule of logic. If it is true, we must know it to be true by
statement here or elsewhere. Otherwise, it is only guess work.

I would agree that the first negation is true, i.e., that if a man prays
or prophesies with his head uncovered, then he does not shame his head.
It is true, because by prescription men are instructed elsewhere to pray
or prophesy, certainly in the church.

But, are we to conclude because the negation for men is true, then so it
must be true here for the women? No. Where in scripture are women
instructed to pray or prophesy in the church? In fact, it could be
argued that they are forbidden to teach or authority over the men (1 Tim
2:12-14), or even to speak (1 Cor 14).

You say or conclude that the main issue here is not that women were
praying or prophesying, but that they were doing so with their heads
uncovered. That may be the case, but that does not prove or demonstrate
that their praying or prophesying in the assembly was right in itself,
just that when it was done with heads uncovered, then it shamed their
heads. He says nothing here about their praying or prophesying with
their heads covered, whether that was right or wrong. That is the point.>>

I will agree that the negation is a valid inference from the statement
itself. But it may be valid from the context and argumentation that the
statement is in. The negation may be such a widely known thing that it does
not need to be stated (such as men praying in the assembly). It seems to me
that the whole reason Paul brings the comparison up is that both are free to
pray and prophesy in the assembly, but would shame their heads if they did so
under certain conditions. Also EXOUSIAN in 1 Cor 11:10 does seem to argue for
the woman's authority to pray and prophesy in the assembly. As far as
specific commands for women to pray in church, it must be noted that most of
the commands are generic and the ones directed specifically toward men
emphasize the manner in which they are to pray (1 Tim 1:8). Most commands to
pray woul include men and women. The fact that there are women prophetesses
in Acts 21:9 and that prophecy is meant for use in the assembly for
edification argues for the permission of women to prophesy in the assembly.
The prohibitions concerning teaching and exercising authority over men do not
apply to prayer and prophecy since one does not necessarily teach or exercise
authority when they pray or prophesy. As far as 1 Cor 14:34-35, I argued that
it refers to silence with respect to judging prophets and prophecies which is
the point of the immediate context.

<<We cannot and we must not infer the negation. Paul reasons like this
often. In 1 Cor 7:8 he say a woman should not leave her husband. Then
in verse 9 he say, but if she does leave, then let her remain unmarried.
Should we infer from v. 9, that Paul approves or condones of women
leaving their husbands. He does assume she has left here. But, he does
not approve of it, as revealed in v. 8.

We've got to be careful not to say things scripture does not say or does
not imply. The negation cannot be inferred and must not be affirmed.
Check Calvin's comments on this (in his commentary).>>

I think that the the comparsion with 1 Cor 7:8-9 is not a good parallel
exactly because the negation is specifically stated not to be valid. We are
dealing with situations where the negation is not stated and the question is
can it be reasonably inferred from the context and argumentation of the
statement as opposed to the statement itself.

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