Re: SIGATW in 1 Cor 14:34

From: Paul S. Dixon (
Date: Tue Jul 08 1997 - 18:24:34 EDT

Carl, Jonathan:

You give the impression, Carl, that you think this dialogue was sent to
the b-greek list. I can see how you thought that, since I addressed it
to Jonathan and Charles, and you got it as well. Actually, to my
understanding this entire discussion was private and was not being sent
to the whole list. Apparently it must have started between Jonathan,
Carl and myself, then died out, then somehow was renewed between
Jonathan, Charles and me. I thought my response was being sent to
Jonathan and Charles, hence my address. I would never have sent it to
you, Carl, since you had already made it clear to me in private how you
felt. So, please accept my apologies. But, I will respond to what you
said below.

On Tue, 8 Jul 1997 06:58:21 -0400 "Carl W. Conrad"
<> writes:


>while Paul on the other hand insists that (a) one may not legitimately
>assume any proposition that is not explicitly stated, and (b) the
>consistency of scripture rules out any likelihood that the apostle DID
>approve of women praying and prophesying in the congregation. Have I
>misunderstood these two stances being taken in this discussion?

Yes, (a) should read, "one may not legitimately assume any proposition
that is not explicitly stated, NOR LOGICALLY IMPLIED." Also, (b) should
read something like, "If other scriptures neither prescribe, nor condone
women praying or prophesying in the assembly, and if Paul neither
explicitly says so here, nor logically implies it, then neither we should
infer it. On the other hand, if the internal consistency of scripture is
not important to us, then none of this matters, and we can come up with
whatever interpretation feels good to us."
>hope not, because I think I have read both of them repeatedly. I also
>it is evident that both parties to this discussion are approaching
>matter with assumptions about the nature of the Biblical text that are
>odds with each other--but while it is impossible for any of us to
>any Biblical text without assumptions as well as deep convictions
>the nature of the Biblical text, those assumptions themselves are NOT
>proper focus of discussion here. I think it is quite appropriate that
>assumptions and convictions be frankly admitted "up front" when an
>such as this one continues, but I don't think that this is the
>forum to carry on a discussion about the validity or non-validity of
>list-member's assumptions and convictions. It is the Greek text itself
>is our focus, and whatever we may think about the logic of the Greek
>language's construction (Personally, I think it's one of the most
>languages in the world, but I also think it has some strange
>anomalies), it
>seems to me that the issue in this thread has become "How one should
>the Bible" rather than "How we should understand a particular Greek
>text--whether in its narrow or in its broad context--in the Bible."

Well, yes. I happen to believe there is as much internal consistency in
the written revelation as there is in natural revelation, both being the
work of an internally consistent and perfect God. This is my basic
assumption. It would be nice, I suppose, if we knew the assumptions of
the contributors. Sure would save a lot of time and effort. I have no
objection here to doing something like that, Carl.

Please accept my apologies, once again. I'd be happy to dialogue with
you further on our assumptions, if that is of interest to you. If not, I
will respectfully honor your wishes and not bother with futile attempts
to reason with you.

Sincerely and respectfully,

Paul S. Dixon

>At 12:16 AM -0400 7/8/97, Paul S. Dixon wrote:
>>Jonathan, Charles:
>>It just occurred to me in my last response that I did not respond to
>>of the things you said particularly. So, I do so now. Please
>>>I think one of the big problems we're having here is that formal
>>>leaves no room for what is implied, but not formally stated. It
>>>ignores a significant portion of what the speaker or writer meant to
>>>say. Paul Grice's "Logic and Conversation" gives good examples to
>>> illustrate this. Consider this example from the essay, which is
>>> included in the book "Studies in the Way of Words":
>>>A. I am out of gas
>>>B. There is a gas station around the corner
>>>We can assume that speaker B believes that the gas station is open,
>>>that they do sell gasoline, etc., even though none of this could be
>>>formally proven from the above statements. In fact, if we fail to
>>>this, we miss the whole point of what speaker B said. Similarly, if
>>> tells women what to wear when they pray or prophesy so that they
>>> do not shame their head, we can assume that Paul thinks that it
>>> makes a difference, and is not just giving fashion advice, telling
>>> women what to wear while shaming their heads.
>>The problem with doing this, however, is that it becomes conjecture.
>>have to assume things that may or may not be true. That's fine, as
>>as we understand that it is an assumption, and not an inference. In
>>case, then, we may want to introduce the discussion of probability.
>>we err if we draw conclusions dogmatically. This can have dire
>>consequences, especially if the conclusions drawn are used to
>>the interpretation of other scripture.
>>This is exactly what some have done with the 1 Cor 11:5 / 1 Cor
>>scenario. I have seen many times where 1 Cor 14:34-35 is interpreted
>>line with the assumption that the negative inference of 11:5 is
>>So, if the negative inference is not true, then the interpretations
>>two passages have been flawed.
>>We must be content with what scripture says, and what it logically
>>>The relationship between formal propositional logic and natural
>>>language discourse is quite difficult, and I doubt that we really
>>> have the expertise or bandwidth to discuss it in this forum. But
>>> I think that it is important to realize that (1) most of the
>>> content of *any* natural language communication is not in
>>> the form of logical propositions; (2) if we
>>>don't grasp anything that isn't explicitly stated, we often miss the
>>> whole point; (3) the reason most of us learned Greek is to grasp
>>> the richness of the original in all its ambiguity, subtlety, and
>>> implications.
>>I disagree. Logical thought is essential to our language. WIthout
>>there would be no hope for effective communication and all would be
>>chaos. Certainly with the inspired text we would be in serious
>>if we had to guess or figure out what the author was implying, apart
>>the rules of logic.
>>Secondly (2), can you give me an example in scripture where something
>>not explicitly stated, but the "whole point" is found otherwise and
>>from logic?
>>Thirdly (3), the reason I learned Greek was so I could study
>scripture as
>>it was written originally and so I could better exegete and interpret
>>scripture "in all its ambiguity, subtletly, and implications." But,
>>does not mean that the Greek language violates the rules of logic (I
>>challenge you to show me where it does), or that its meaning is
>>mystically communicated.
>>Paul Dixon
>Carl W. Conrad
>Department of Classics/Washington University
>One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
>Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(704) 675-4243
> OR

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