From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sun Nov 28 1999 - 20:49:59 EST

At 5:21 PM -0500 11/28/99, Michael Sigurd Olszta wrote:
>I am looking for some input on the word "EKKLHSIA". What I've read at
>the Perseus Project's English translations of various texts indicates a
>rather "official" definition for the word. To the Corinthian church,
>Paul writes:
>LALEIN ktl.
>I know many have tried to limit Paul's limitations of women speaking in
>the EKKLHSIAS to a local problem at Corinth, but his command appears
>much broader than just to that locality. In our modern day of equality
>among the sexes, I realize this text can be quite disturbing to many.
>However, I see Paul as only limiting women's speaking in a particular
>circumstance here, namely EN TAIS EKKLHSIAIS. Is it possible that the
>word is here being used in the same sense as it would have been among
>the Greeks in their senate meetings, i.e., an official, called out
>assembly of males where speaking and decision making is limited to the

Let's keep this discussion focused on what the Greek text is saying,
please, rather than upon modern reactions to it. I think that you may be
asking much more than the Greek text of 1 Cor 14:34 can yield. It looks
like you are reading the Textus Receptus here, the only GNT that seems in
what I have available to me to show the hUMWN; if the hUMWN were authentic,
that would seem to have to refer specifically to the Corinthians being
addressed in this chapter. At any rate, it seems rather dubious that
EKKLHSIA here in the plural can refer to anything other than the "house
churches" or congregational meetings of believers, but in view of verse 33
(hWS EN PASAIS TAIS EKKLHSIAIS), which leads into verse 34, the assertion
of verse 34 seems to be applied more generally than to the situation in
Corinth. I really don't think there's any question of the EKKLHSIA here
being used in the older Greek sense of "assembly" of commons where the
business of the community was voted upon.

We had a thread not all that long ago on the usage of EKKLHSIA; you might
want to consult the archives for July 26-29 of 1999 at the web site for a
discussion of the range of NT usage of this noun.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649

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