Re: Women in the Church

From: Paul S. Dixon (
Date: Wed Aug 19 1998 - 13:35:48 EDT

On Wed, 19 Aug 1998 15:21:07 +1000 Ward Powers
<> writes:

>At 20:02 98/08/16 EDT, Paul S. Dixon wrote, in response to an enquiry
>from Ted Mann about 1 Cor 11:5:
>>Check out my website for an answer to your question. Read the article
>>there entitled, "Negative Inference Fallacies: Mt 19:9, Acts 2:38 and
>>1 Cor 11:5."
>>In summary, there is a conflict between 1 Cor 11:5 and 1 Cor 14:34-45,
>>only if one assumes the negation of 1 Cor 11:5. As you well know,
>>the negation of a conditional is not a valid inference. "If A, then
>>B" does not imply "if not A, then not B." 1 Cor 11:5 says, "she who
>>prays or prophesies with her head uncovered shames her head."
>>This does not imply, as most usually erroneously infer, the negation:
>>she who prays or prophesies with her head covered does not shame her
>>Sincerely in Christ,
>>Paul S. Dixon
>Paul, it is indeed true that the valid negation of a statement cannot
>be drawn by turning it the other way round. But this does not mean that
>that second statement is then false - only that it does not
>and logically follow from the previous statement. This is important to
>This means, as you point out, that the statement in 1 Cor 11:5 does
>not necessarily mean that "she who prays or prophesies with her head
>covered does not shame her head". True, indeed. But the fact that such
>implication cannot validly be drawn from a reversal of the first
>DOES NOT MEAN that that second statement is therefore necessarily
>false. It only means that you cannot establish it on the basis of the
>statement. That second statement may be absolutely true - but you
>would have to establish it on other grounds.


My point exactly. "If A, then B" does not imply "if not A, then not B."
this says nothing about whether "if not A, then B" is true or false, just
the truthfulness cannot be inferred from "if A, then B."

Thus, "if a woman prays or prophesies with her head covered, then she
does not shame her head" may be either true or false. But, we cannot
infer it is true from 1 Cor 11:5. I raise this because it has often been
alleged that 1 Cor 11:5 appears to contradict 1 Cor 14:34-35. This is
only if one assumes the negation to be true, then also assumes that
LALEIN in 1 Cor 14:34 includes the PROSEUCOMENH N PROQNTEUWN
of 1 Cor 11:5.

No, I am not saying the negation is true or false, just that it cannot
must not be inferred from 11:5.

>In any case, it is fair to say that in 1 Cor 11:5 Paul is dealing with
>the situation where a woman IS engaging in prayer and prophesying. The
>question of the relationship of this and what Paul says in 1 Cor
14:34-35 about
>a woman being silent in the assembly is a substantial issue, one upon
which a
>great deal of ink has been spilt (or computer printer toner used up),
>which of course goes outside the guidelines of b-greek, because it
>does not just turn on questions of the Greek text.
>To mention, however, one facet of this which DOES turn upon the
>question of Greek meanings: there is no conflict between these
>two passages you mention if one takes LALEIN (twice occurring in
>1 Cor 14:34-35) to have its normal meaning of "converse, chat
>chatter", and accepts that THIS is what Paul is forbidding, instead
>of reading into LALEIN ideas of "preach" or "teach" in the assembly
> - for which meaning there are numerous other Greek words, and
>which Paul is not discussing in 1 Cor 14:34-35 and which he is
>certainly not forbidding in his comments there.

Yes, this is another plausible rebuttal of any necessary conflict between
11:5 and 14:34-35. Either way, one must not infer the negation 11:5,
use this as the rudder for interpreting 14:34-35, as is so commonly done.

Sincerely in Christ,

Paul Dixon

B-Greek home page:
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: []
To unsubscribe, forward this message to
To subscribe, send a message to

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:39:57 EDT