From: Steven Craig Miller (
Date: Sun Nov 28 1999 - 22:08:54 EST

<x-flowed>To: Michael Sigurd Olszta,

<< Is it possible that the word [EKKLHSIA] is here [at 1 Cor 14:34] 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 males? >>

Although it is possible for the word EKKLHSIA to be used in the NT to refer
to a secular assembly of free men entitled to vote (e.g., Acts 19:39), I
think it near impossible for Paul to use the term EKKLHSIA generally to
mean "congregation" and yet in a technical sense meaning "an official
business session of the church" without giving some hint that he was using
the term differently.

I belong to a church (ELCA) which ordains women. I personally feel that
Saint Paul was wrong on this issue. But as to what the Greek text says, I
think it is clear enough, Saint Paul states that women should be silent at
Christian services.

On the other hand, Conzelmann (Hermeneia commentary series) suggests that 1
Corinthians 14:33b-36 is an interpolation, since verses 33a and 37 seem to
share the same context. And according to NA27, Straatman has suggested a
smaller interpolation, namely verses 34-35. But there is no textual support
for either of these suggestions, and (without suggesting that such
interpolations were impossible) I would be hesitant to expunge a passage
simply because I didn't like what was said.

-Steven Craig Miller
Alton, Illinois (USA)

"O villain! thou wilt be condemned into everlasting redemption for this"
(Shakespare, "Much Ado About Nothing", 4.2.60-61).

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