1 Corinthians 14:34, 35
Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted to them to speak…
I. WOMEN HAVE A PLACE IN THE CHURCH. Christianity exalts woman. It found her degraded; it ennobles her. In Christ there is neither male nor female (Galatians 3:28).
II. WOMEN HAVE MANY MINISTRIES CONNECTED WITH THE CHURCH. If excluded from some positions, how many are still open to woman! In not a few of these she is unrivalled by the other sex. If woman may not do some work, man cannot do other. Christianity has opened to woman a most wide sphere of usefulness. It is quite an open question whether the Church has received more help from men or women; not a few would say from women. The Church owes a vast debt to the holy women who have been enrolled amongst her adherents.
III. WOMEN ARE DEBARRED BY THE APOSTLE FROM SPEAKING IN CHURCH ASSEMBLIES, On the ground of propriety. Does not accord with woman's true position. This position indicated in the Law (Genesis 3:16), and laid down in the eleventh chapter of this Epistle. It had been foretold, "Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy" (Joel 2:28), and in Acts 21:9 we read of four daughters of Philip who prophesied; but in neither case is anything said of prophesying in public and mixed assemblies. The apostle does not prohibit women from prophesying, but only from prophesying in public. This, according to his view, would conflict with modesty and with woman's rightful position, and would lead to many evils. It is an evasion to discriminate between women speaking in Church meetings and women addressing general congregations. The apostle's objection was to the public character of the act, and when he is speaking of "meetings of the Church" in this very chapter, he is referring to gatherings to which unbelievers had access (ver. 24).
IV. WOMEN'S INSTRUCTION ENCOURAGED. To supplement instruction of the sanctuary, women may ask questions at home of their husbands. It may be said - What are those to do who have no husbands? Emphasis seems to rest upon "their own" (Revised Version) rather than upon "husbands." It would be acting in the spirit of the apostle's injunction for the unmarried to ask their relatives or personal friends. There seems no possible reason why an unmarried woman should be allowed to speak in public mixed assemblies whilst a married woman is debarred, but rather the reverse.
1. We have here incidentally indicated a special and most important sphere of woman - the home. A beautiful temple for the exercise of woman's ministry. Oratorical females are frequently poor housewives.
2. A suggestion that husbands should be well furnished with religious knowledge. The head of the house should not be an empty head. If he glories in a superior position, he should realize its responsibilities. But many people like their office more than its duties.
3. Evidence that women are not in the religious sphere to be mere automata. They are not to be the dupes of priests. They are to think, ask questions, understand. They are not to be kept in ignorance. Intelligent service is expected from them. Highest culture is as open to them as to men. There is nothing unwomanly in being well informed. - H.
Parallel VersesKJV: Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.