Women Should Remain Silent (?)

I’ve been preaching through 1 Corinthians this last year and recently covered chapter 14.  While there are many things which are heavily debated in this chapter, I particularly wondered how to preach verses 34-35.

 34 women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says.
 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. (1 Cor.14:34-35 NIV84)

 Interestingly, the NIV84 (CEB, CEV, ESV, HCSB, NAB, NET, NJB and NRSV) makes 34a “women should remain silent in the churches” a part of the preceding statement in verse 33 (which in full reads: “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the saints,”).  The KJV, NIV2011 (though see the footnote), NKJV, NLT, and TNIV read the last phrase of verse 33 with the first phrase and then end verse 33 with a period…thus separating 33 from 34.  I personally prefer the reading of the latter. 

Also, how does one preach “women should remain silent in the churches”?  I know the traditional explanations I’ve heard about women speaking up asking questions but being too far away from their husbands and thus disturbing the congregational meeting, but I find this utterly unsatisfactory on historical grounds for congregational settings.  How does remaining “silent” relate to Paul’s earlier instruction that women could publicly pray and prophecy (1 Cor.11:5, 13; 14:31)?  I ended up essentially passing over this text with some comments about its questionable content and thus a need to not make doctrine of it in light of Gordon Fee’s arguments (NICNT “The First Epistle to the Corinthians” Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1987: pp.705-708) for verses 34-35 being an interpolation (since one of the issues is that in a number of manuscripts this text is placed completely after chapter 14 suggesting their was early question of the placement — or authenticity???).

So how would you preach this text?

N. T. Wright Paper Approved

Yesterday I finally was notified that one of my paper proposals for the Society for Pentecostal Studies for the upcoming 2011 meeting in Memphis has been approved!  That’s happy news indeed.  My proposal is (tentatively) titled: “N. T. Wright’s ‘Justification’ and the Cry of the Spirit”.  It is an interaction with Wright’s view of justification (from his book of response to John Piper’s response to him in “The Future of Justification”…talk about having a lot to say to each other).  Essentially I’m arguing that Wright’s pneumatological orientation for justification is helpful (especially for a more robust Pentecostal theology of justification) and will tease this out through expositions of the two Pauline passages (Rom. 8:15 and Gal. 4:6) dealing with the cry of the Spirit, “Abba!”  (any possibility of a plug for the group by the same name…their songs always get stuck in my head 🙂  There will also be some cameos by Gordon Fee in the paper (as he has been saying much the same thing as Wright…though obviously not in full agreement with Wright overall scheme as I understand it).