1 Corinthians 14:33b-38 as a Pauline Quotation-Refutation Device | CBE International

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1 Corinthians 14:33b-38 as a Pauline Quotation-Refutation Device

From the third century to the present, 1 Cor 14:34–35 has been a standard proof text for those who wish to preclude women from various positions of authority in the church. One significant response to this development contends that 1 Cor 14:34–35 is an interpolation, an insertion made by someone other than the author. The interpolation hypothesis is perhaps most persuasively articulated by Philip Payne.1 Payne argues, quite rightfully in my judgment, that a number of factors necessitate the conclusion that 1 Cor 14:34–35 is a non-Pauline sentiment with which Paul sharply disagreed.2 But interpolation is one of two possible explanations of this fact, the other being that Paul is quoting the position of the Corinthians from their letter in order to refute it.

This article maintains that the interpolation hypothesis sets a dangerous precedent for textual scholars who evaluate manuscripts, a precedent which would, albeit unintentionally, threaten the authenticity of many sound NT passages attested by the earliest relevant manuscripts but not by later manuscripts. Rather than following the interpolation hypothesis, this article argues that 1 Cor 14:33b–38 is best understood as Paul’s quotation and subsequent refutation of the Corinthian men’s position that women ought to be silent in the assemblies, a position which originated in the Judaizing faction of the church.

Review of the Manuscript Evidence

The earliest known copy of 1 Cor 14 is the manuscript called Papyrus 46 (abbreviated P46), which contains the beginning of v. 34, followed by damaged papyrus of precisely the space needed for the middle of v. 34, then resuming with the end of v. 34 and vv. 35ff. It is therefore undisputed that P46 originally contained vv. 34–38 in its entirety without any indication of doubt about its authenticity or placement.3 The next three manuscripts of 1 Cor 14 are P123, Codex Sinaiticus, and Codex Vaticanus, all from the early to middle fourth century. P123 and Sinaiticus both indisputably attest to the authenticity and placement of 14:34–35.4 At this juncture it should be emphasized that the presence of 1 Cor 14:34–35 in P46, P123, and Sinaiticus, even if (contrary to fact) absent from Vaticanus and all subsequent manuscripts, would be deemed by most scholars sufficient to establish 1 Cor 14:34–35 as almost certainly belonging to the original composition.5

But the case for the authenticity of 1 Cor 14:34–35 is far stronger than the earliest relevant manuscript and two of the three next earliest manuscripts. Indeed, the content of 1 Cor 14:34–35 is present in every extant manuscript, with the following three qualifications. Vaticanus (fourth century) attests its authenticity but notes through a symbol in the margin adjacent to 14:33 the existence of a variant reading.6 Codex Fuldensis (a Latin manuscript from AD 541–544) contains the text but was corrected by Bishop Victor of Capua, Italy, either to delete vv. 34–35 or alter the wording of vv. 36–40.7 “Western” manuscripts (from the sixth century onward) plus at least one other (manuscript 88, dating to the twelfth century) place the content of vv. 34–35 after v. 40.8

Taken by themselves, even these three qualifications render the content of 1 Cor 14:34–35 more plausibly authentic to the original composition than inauthentic. Whatever the variant known to the original scribe of Vaticanus, the scribe still placed 14:34–35 in the text, a placement the scribe did not give to readings he or she deemed unreliable. When the scribe of Vaticanus placed a symbol in the margin adjacent to John 7:52, for example, John 7:53–8:11 is not included in the text, which instead proceeds directly to 8:12 because the scribe judged the story of the woman caught in adultery to be an interpolation. Likewise, when the scribe placed a symbol in the margin adjacent to Luke 14:24, he or she omitted the interpolated “for many are called but few are chosen” and proceeded directly to Luke 14:25.9

Shifting to Codex Fuldensis, even if the manuscript’s corrector believed that 1 Cor 14:34–35 was inauthentic, it is a standard principle of textual criticism to prefer a manuscript’s original reading over a correction proposed by a later corrector.10

Thirdly, the placement of vv. 34–35 after v. 40 in “Western” manuscripts and manuscript 88 only shows that, at some point in the history of the “Western” textual tradition, a scribe observed that these verses stuck out like a proverbial sore thumb in Paul’s argument, interrupting its chiastic flow.11 Believing these verses to be Paul’s own sentiment, the scribe moved them to the place in the chapter where they would make logical sense and hence, in the scribe’s mind, back where they originally must have stood.12 The use of “properly” (euschēmonōs) and “in order” (kata taxin) in v. 40 could readily be viewed as a natural introduction to vv. 34–35. This scribal movement probably occurred by the early fourth century and was precisely the textual variant known to the scribe of Vaticanus. Manuscript 88 is most simply explained by proposing that its scribe knew both at least one “Western” and at least one other manuscript. Assuming the Pauline origin of vv. 34–35, the scribe took the “Western” location to be more likely than the other location but acknowledged through appropriately placed slashes the alternative possibility. Hence the unanimity of the manuscript evidence, including manuscripts with qualifications, in favor of the authenticity of 1 Cor 14:34–35 makes the probability of this conclusion overwhelmingly high.

Assessing Payne’s Case for Interpolation

Payne’s case for interpolation is based on both internal (contextual) and external (physical) evidence. The internal evidence only demonstrates the non-Pauline origin of 1 Cor 14:34–35, which interpolation and quotation-refutation explain equally well. Hence the internal evidence cannot be used to decide between these two hypotheses. Thus we turn to the external evidence adduced by Payne.

Notwithstanding Vaticanus’s inclusion of vv. 34–35 at the typical location (a location substantiated by P46), Payne argues that Vaticanus’s adjacent distigme-obelos (the technical term for two [di] dots [stigme] and a horizontal bar [obelos]) indicates that the scribe regarded vv. 34–35 as an interpolation. This implies the scribe had knowledge of a manuscript lacking these verses, hence furnishing Payne with a hypothetical pre-Vaticanus manuscript supporting interpolation. Noting the absence of a distigme-obelos adjacent to v. 40, Payne reasons that if the symbol adjacent to v. 33 had signified the “Western” position, putting vv. 34–35 after v. 40, “there should have been a second distigme at the end of verse 40 to identify the equally great difference in the text there.”13 On the contrary, however, the scribe would only have placed a distigme-obelos at v. 40 if the relevant variant were not already present in the text he or she took to be authentic. There would be no point in indicating that something should be in the text that was already in the text. Thus the symbol at v. 33 is all we should expect from the scribe’s knowledge of the “Western” placement. Accordingly, I argue that the hypothetical pre-Vaticanus manuscript inferred by Payne did not exist.

From the surmise that Victor of Capua rejected the authenticity of vv. 34–35 (which I grant for the sake of argument), Payne concludes that Victor must have known a manuscript that did not contain these verses, thus furnishing Payne with another posited manuscript supporting interpolation. However, it is simpler to suppose that Victor, who, as a careful textual critic, likely recognized on stylistic and contextual grounds that vv. 34–35 could not have been Paul’s sentiment,14 felt on this basis alone that it must be an interpolation, ignorant of any other option of accounting for these verses. So there is no reason to postulate the existence of a hypothetical manuscript known to Victor. Payne also proposes a hypothetical manuscript lacking vv. 34–35 to account for manuscript 88’s treatment of the passage, a proposal shown above to be unnecessary.

Turning to early Christian authors, Payne attempts to undermine the authenticity of 1 Cor 14:34–35 by noting that none of the Apostolic Fathers cite the text. Payne goes so far as to argue that Clement of Alexandria (c. AD 150–215) possessed a manuscript missing 1 Cor 14:34–35. For when Clement discusses the behavior of women in church (Paedagogus 3:11), he cites 1 Cor 11:5, 13 but not 1 Cor 14:34–35, even though elsewhere in the same work he cites 1 Cor 14:6, 9, 10, 11, 13, 20. But Clement’s failure to cite 1 Cor 14:34–35 is better explained by the following proposal, which also explains its absence from the Apostolic Fathers: Clement and the Apostolic Fathers before him knew that 1 Cor 14:34–35 was not Paul’s position but was a quotation of the Corinthians’ position that Paul proceeded to refute. So of course they did not cite 1 Cor 14:34–35 as authoritative. This explanation is supported by the fact that Tertullian (c. AD 200), writing at about the same time as Clement, cites 1 Cor 14:34–35, as do the Greek church leaders Origen (AD 253–254), Chrysostom (AD 407), and Theodoret (AD 466).

Despite Payne’s assurance that interpolation “provides the most satisfying answer . . . and it does so on a factual, not speculative, basis,”15 Payne’s defense of the interpolation hypothesis is, in the end, based on speculation—albeit carefully considered speculation. We have seen that the evidence for the existence of hypothetical manuscripts lacking 1 Cor 14:34–35 is weak. Moreover, Payne’s date for the proposed interpolation strains credulity. Since the earliest witness to 1 Cor 14:34–35, P46, likely dates between AD 126–138, Payne needs for the interpolation to have occurred at an extraordinarily early date. And this is exactly what he proposes:

The gloss could have been entered into the margin of any manuscript that became the exemplar . . . of the first copy of Paul’s collected letters as a codex. The gloss could even have been written into the very first codex collecting Paul’s letters sometime late in the first century.16

Payne defends this proposal on the grounds that it alone adequately explains the entirety of the manuscript evidence and fulfills the foundational principle that the form of the text best explaining the emergence of all other forms is most likely the original.17 But my thesis better explains the manuscript evidence, requiring no hypothetical manuscripts for its plausibility: 14:34–35, though pre-Pauline, was original to 1 Cor, and near the turn of the fourth century a “Western” scribe who wrongfully believed these verses to be Paul’s opinion, but saw that they interrupted the chiasm of Paul’s argument, moved them back where he thought they originally must have stood.

Contrary to Payne’s assertion that an interpolated 1 Cor 14:34–35 “does not undermine the reliability of any other passage,”18 the most troubling aspect of the interpolation hypothesis is that one could use the same type of logic to falsely threaten the reliability of numerous recognizably sound NT passages contained in the earliest relevant witnesses but omitted from later witnesses.19 Limiting myself to examples from the Gospels, this logic would allow one to make interpolation cases—even stronger than the case for 1 Cor 14:34–35—for Matt 21:44 (“And whoever falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, and anyone on whom it falls will be crushed”), Matt 27:16–17’s identification of Barabbas’s given name as “Jesus,” Mark 1:1’s identification of Jesus as “the Son of God,” Mark 10:7’s phrase “and be united to his wife,” Mark 14:30 and 72’s description of the cock crowing “twice” and “the second time,” Luke 17:24’s phrase “in his day,” Luke 22:19b–20 (“‘which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ And in the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood’”), John 1:18’s identification of Jesus as “God,” John 9:38 (“Then the man said, ‘Lord, I believe,’ and he worshiped him”), and John 13:32’s phrase “If God is glorified in him.”20

The Quotation-Refutation Device Hypothesis

We now turn to an exposition and defense of the hypothesis that 1 Cor 14:33b–38 stands as a quotation-refutation device, where vv. 33b–35 comprise Paul’s quotation from the Corinthians’ letter to him, while vv. 36–38 constitute the decisive refutation of that quotation. In the process, we shall answer the objections to this hypothesis raised by Payne. I hold that the quotation-refutation device begins in v. 33b rather than v. 34 because of the break in thought marked by “As” (hōs) which begins v. 33b. Contra Payne’s suggestion that v. 33 is a complete sentence, v. 33b is most naturally taken as the first clause of the sentence continued in v. 34.21 Following the paragraph divisions and punctuation of two standard editions of the Greek NT (NA28 and UBS5), a woodenly literal translation of 1 Cor 14:33–38 follows:

33For God is not of disorder but of peace.

As (hōs) in all the assemblies of the saints, 34the women should keep silent in the assemblies; for they (autais, fem. pl.) are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, just as the law says. 35But if they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in an assembly.

36Or (ē) did the word of God originate with you (humas, pl.), or (ē) to you men only (humas monous, masc. pl.) has it come? 37If anyone seems to be a prophet or spiritual, let that one recognize that what I write to you (pl.) is a commandment of the Lord; 38but if anyone disregards this, let that one be disregarded.

Paul introduces both rhetorical questions in v. 36 with “or” (ē), which he does six times elsewhere in 1 Corinthians to argue against the Corinthians’ position (1:13; 6:16; 9:6, 8, 10; 11:22) and five times to express disapproval of a Corinthian practice (6:2; 9, 19; 10:22; 11:13). We shall now make some important observations which, though not relevant for deciding between my hypothesis and the interpolation hypothesis, conclusively rule out the complementarian view that 1 Cor 14:34–38 is both authentic and is specifically addressed to women.

Complementarians typically hold that in v. 36 Paul chides women because, by seeking to dominate the worship services, they act as though they alone have received a word from God. But this interpretation is grammatically impossible. As an inflected language, the gender of Greek adjectives must agree with the gender of the words modified. Thus if Paul had meant to direct v. 36 to women in particular, he would have used the feminine plural monas, “women only.” But instead Paul employs the masculine plural monous, which can either be translated “men only” or “people only” (because groups of men and women are referred to by the masculine plural). If, as this article has argued, 14:34–35 is not an interpolation, then the translation “people only” is incoherent, for 14:33b–35 specifically concerns women and is not addressing the Corinthian church as a whole. Now if 14:34–35 were an interpolation, then monous would indeed mean “people only,” as vv. 29–33 are addressed to the entire Corinthian church. However, given the evidence that 14:34–35 is not an interpolation, the meaning of monous is “men only,” since this alone furnishes a coherent grammatical contrast between the women concerned in 14:33b–35 and the men rebuked in v. 36. Since the gender of monous is the same as the term it modifies, namely the second-person plural pronoun humas (“you,” which is genderless in isolation but whose gender must be otherwise determined), humas in v. 36 is masculine as well, denoting “you men” rather than the generic “you.” These observations disclose Paul’s intended meaning of v. 36: “Or did the word of God originate with you men, or to you men only has it come?” This twofold rhetorical question provides the key to unlocking the remainder of the passage, for it indicates in no uncertain terms that Paul disagrees sharply with the preceding thought-unit or paragraph. The contrast between the women addressed in v. 34—seen in the feminine plural “they” (autais)—and the “you men only” censured in v. 36 for their position in 14:33b–35, further demonstrates that 14:36–38 stands as a condemnation of 14:33b–35 and the Corinthian men who proposed it.

Far from attempting to silence women, therefore, Paul is rebuking the Corinthian men for prohibiting women from speaking in the assemblies, for he regards such a restriction as tantamount to alleging that the word of God belongs properly to the men and merely derivatively to any woman married to one of them. Paul summarily exposes the absurdity of this allegation with each part of the rhetorical question, whose form (not to mention the context) requires a negative answer to each part. Obviously, the word of God neither originated with men nor has come only to men; hence it is ridiculous, and contrary to the character of the gospel, to act as though the word belongs properly to men by disallowing women from discoursing about it or asking questions about it in church. For these reasons, the preceding thought-unit is shown not to belong to Paul, but is rather Paul’s quotation of the Corinthians’ position from the letter they had previously sent him, his response to which letter constitutes in large part the purpose of 1 Corinthians. This conclusion explains perfectly the paragraph breaks in our translation (hōs [“as”] and ē [“or”]), as Paul would clearly compose two shifts in thought when alternating from his own counsel to the position of the Corinthians back to his own counsel again. Hence Payne’s complaint that “none of the other Corinthian quotations Paul refutes are nearly this long”22 has no purchase; the paragraph breaks make clear that vv. 33b–35 are a separate thought-unit. Likewise, the shift of vv. 33b–35 is apparent by its interrupting the chiasm spanning vv. 26–40. Through this interruption, Paul makes it quite clear that vv. 33b–35 do not represent his thoughts, as opposed to his thoughts throughout the chiasm. Contrary to Payne’s objection that nothing in vv. 36–38 requires that it refutes vv. 34–35 if these verses were authentic,23 the “or” (ē), the “you men only” (humas monous) and its implications, and the two-part rhetorical question cumulatively require that v. 36 begins a thought-unit refuting what precedes it.

Quotation-Refutation Devices Elsewhere in 1 Corinthians

The accuracy of our conclusion is secured by the undisputed presence of this device five other times in 1 Cor (6:12–13; 7:1–2; 8:1, 8; 10:23), in which Paul quotes a position from the Corinthians’ letter with which he disagrees and then refutes it. We shall abbreviate this quotation-refutation device as QRD. Assessing the grammatical structure of these five instances logically necessitates the presence of QRD in 14:33b–38, for four of the five are widely regarded as QRDs in spite of being less-clearly so than 14:33b–38. The most explicit instance is 7:1–2, the recognition of which led to the scholarly discovery of the other four instances during the last century: “But concerning (Peri de) that which you wrote about, ‘It is good for a man not to have sex with a woman.’ But because of (dia de) sexual immorality, each man should have sex with his own wife and each woman should have sex with her own husband.” Here Paul employs the phrase “but concerning” (peri de), which introduces a new topic, then clearly identifies the extra-Pauline source of this topic’s discourse as “that which you wrote about” (hōn egrapsate), and finally shifts to his refutation with the interjecting phrase dia de. First Corinthians 8:1 is similar but less overt: “But concerning (Peri de) food sacrificed to idols, ‘We know that we all have esoteric knowledge.’ Esoteric knowledge causes conceit, but love builds up.” With the exception of the new discourse introduced by peri de, the presence of QRD is indicated by content alone apart from any grammatical markers. Likewise, the QRDs in 6:12–13 and 10:23 are substantiated largely by contrast in content with only one grammatical indicator, here the indicator—“but” (all’) conjoined with the negator “no” (ou[k]) or “but” (de) alone—qualifying Paul’s rebuttal rather than the Corinthians’ stance as in the former instances. Thus the original shift from the position of Paul to that of the Corinthians goes initially undetected and is only perceived in retrospect after reading or hearing the Pauline interjection:

“Everything is permissible for me,” but not (all’ ou) everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me,” but I will not (all’ ouk egō) be mastered by anything. “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food,” but (de) God will destroy them both. (6:12–13)

“Everything is permissible,” but not (all’ ou) everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible,” but not (all’ ou) everything is constructive. (10:23)

In the same way, the QRD in 8:7–8 goes undetected until Paul’s “neither” (oute):

Since some have become so accustomed to idols, they still think of the food they eat as having been sacrificed to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled: “Food will not bring us close to God.” Neither (oute) are we worse off if we do not eat, nor (oute) are we better off if we do.

Of special note is the Pauline two-part refutation, which comprises a direct structural parallel to the two-part refutation in 14:36. The “neither . . . nor” (oute . . . oute) qualifying both halves of the 8:8 refutation is analogous to the “or . . . or” (ē . . . ē) qualifying both halves of the 14:36 refutation.

In sum, 14:33b–38 features both of the two possible species of grammatical indicators possible in QRDs—an introducer of new discourse governing the Corinthian quotation and an interjecting term governing the Pauline refutation—while each of the four established QRDs in 6:12–13, 8:1, 8:8, and 10:23 contains only one of these species. Only the foundational QRD in 7:1, like 14:33b–38, features both, along with the unique acknowledgment of the Corinthian correspondence as the source material of this and all other QRD quotations. The linguistic evidence, then, permits no doubt that 14:33b–38 is a QRD and hence that the prohibition against women speaking in church is non-Pauline, a conclusion which can only be avoided by denying the existence of four of the five firmly attested QRDs in 1 Corinthians.

To the possible objection that Paul did not explicitly identify 14:34–35 as a false Corinthian statement, we respond that there was no need for such introduction, for the Corinthians knew what they themselves believed and had written. Just as in 6:12–13, 8:1, 8:8, and 10:23, the Corinthians required no reminder that 14:33b–35 was their own position being refuted. Moreover, the contextual evidence led the Apostolic Fathers, who had no access to the Corinthians’ epistle to Paul, to precisely the same conclusion. It is to this contextual evidence that we now turn.

Contextual Evidence

Equally strong as the grammatical evidence in decisively ruling out Pauline origination of 14:33b–35 is the contextual evidence. In 11:3–16 Paul argues that women should have their “heads covered” when praying or prophesying in church, which covering he identifies as “long hair” (v. 15).24 Here Paul explicitly states his view that women should pray and prophesy in church. Such overt advocacy by Paul of religious speech by women in church illustrates the impossibility of Paul’s expressing his own perspective in 14:33b–35, as it would render Paul guilty of self-contradiction. Further, 14:33b–35 contradicts Paul’s central point in 1 Cor 14 that in the church everyone, regardless of gender, should be instructed by everyone else: “What is the outcome then, brothers and sisters? When you assemble, each one has a hymn, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, or has an interpretation. Let all this be done for edification. . . . For you can all prophecy one by one so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged” (14:26, 31).

We shall now call attention to the basis on which 14:33b–35 restricts women from speaking in the assemblies, namely, adherence to the Jewish oral Torah, which was closely associated with the Pharisees: “They are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, just as the law says.” That “the law” here denotes the Jewish oral Torah (later to become the Mishnah) and not the written Torah is evident by the facts that no OT text precludes women from speaking or demands their submission in assemblies. More to the point, both mandates (silence and submission) are explicit in the oral Torah. The Mishnah (M. Ketub. 7:6) states that it is sinful for a woman to “speak with any man” in assemblies, and the first-century AD historian Josephus (Ag. Ap. 200–1) relates the following instruction from the oral Torah: “The woman, says the law, is in all things inferior to the man. Let her accordingly be submissive.” As Payne observes, “although 1 Cor 14:34 is out of harmony with Paul’s use of ‘the law,’ it fits Jewish appeals to oral law perfectly.”25 The same is true of 14:35, “But if they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home,” which is directly paralleled by the first-century AD Hellenistic Jewish philosopher, Philo of Alexandria, in a comment on the oral Torah, “The husband seems competent to transmit knowledge of the laws to his wife” (Hypothetica 8.7.14).

In addition, the rationale of 14:33b–35 flies in the face of one of the dominant themes running throughout the entire Pauline corpus: the freedom of believers from the oral Torah. Far from exhorting believers to keep these rules, Paul consistently admonishes his congregations not to observe them, even going so far as to state that embracing them spells rejection of Christ. The following portions of Paul’s epistle to the Galatians are representative:

Now, however, that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back to the weak and miserable principles, whose slaves you want to be once more? You are observing special days, months, seasons, and years! I am afraid I have labored over you in vain. . . . It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. . . . You who want to be justified by the law have cut yourselves off from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. (Gal 4:9–11; 5:1, 4)

In light of Paul’s emphasis on liberation from the oral (and even the written) Torah, coupled with his warning that observation of the oral Torah could only be required on pain of alienation from Christ, it is unthinkable that Paul would have demanded the ecclesiastical silence of women by virtue of obedience to the oral Torah. Among the Corinthians, rather, it seems clear that 1 Cor 14:33b–35 originated in the Judaizing faction of their church, which stressed obedience to the oral Torah as necessary for salvation and which Paul vehemently opposed. Regarding these Judaizers who identified themselves as “belonging to Cephas” (1 Cor 1:12) and disputed Paul’s apostleship (1 Cor 4:1–5, 9:1–18), Paul inveighed against them as “false apostles and deceitful workmen who masquerade as apostles of Christ” (2 Cor 11:13) and warned their fellow Corinthians that such self-proclaimed “super-apostles” (2 Cor 11:5, 12:11) preach a “different Jesus,” a “different spirit,” and a “different gospel” than the Way which leads only to damnation (2 Cor 11:3–4).


The foregoing evidence demonstrates that in 1 Cor 14:33b–38 Paul is not forbidding women to speak in church, but in the opposite vein is harshly reprimanding the Corinthian men for their arrogance in attempting to ecclesiastically silence their female equals and is insisting as a commandment of the Lord that women play the same roles in worship as men. A growing number of scholars are coming to accept this view.26 It is one of the most tragic ironies in the history of biblical interpretation that the very text Paul penned to guarantee the unrestricted ecclesiastical participation of women has often been unwittingly yet effectively falsified to deny women this right—an irony which stands whether Payne’s interpolation theory or my QRD theory is correct.


1. Philip B. Payne, Man and Woman, One in Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Study of Paul’s Letters (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009), 217–67; Payne, “Vaticanus Distigme-obelos Symbols Marking Added Text, Including 1 Corinthians 14.34–5,” NTS 63, no. 4 (2017): 604–25.

2. Payne, Man and Woman, 253–62.

3. Philip W. Comfort and David P. Barrett, eds., The Complete Text of the Earliest New Testament Manuscripts (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1999), 266–67 (pp. 276–77 in the revised edition [Wheaton: Tyndale, 2001]). Scholars date P46 as early as AD 81–96 (Young Kyu Kim, “Palaeographical Dating of P46 to the Later First Century,” Bib 69 [1988]: 248–57) and as late as the early third century (UBS5, 13*). I concur with Comfort and Barrett that P46 can be dated to AD 126–138 (Comfort and Barrett, Earliest New Testament Manuscripts, 196–67).

4. Bruce M. Metzger and Bart D. Ehrman, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, 4th ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 67–8.

5. Secondary, derivative evidence should not be used to overturn the findings of early, primary evidence. Eldon J. Epp and Gordon D. Fee, Studies in the Theory and Method of New Testament Textual Criticism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993), 157–58.

6. Payne, Man and Woman, 232–33.

7. Philip B. Payne, “Fuldensis, Sigla for Variants in Vaticanus, and 1 Cor 14.34–5,” NTS 41 (1995): 243–45.

8. Gordon D. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, NICNT (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987), 699.

9. Payne, Man and Woman, 233. “Western” manuscripts include those which are Latin or bilingual (Latin/Greek). Because many manuscripts written in Syriac (hence eastern) are also included in this family of texts, the title “Western” is typically placed in quotation marks.

10. As Constantin von Tischendorf famously put it, “If one reading appears to be an intentional correction, the reading which invited such a correction is best” (Robert B. Waltz, The Encyclopedia of New Testament Textual Criticism [St. Paul: Robert B. Waltz, 2013], 99).

11. A point observed by Payne, Man and Woman, 254–56. Chiasm is inverted parallelism, which here takes the following pattern:

A (v. 26)

  B (vv. 27–28)

    C (vv. 28–30)

      D (v. 33a) (vv. 33b–35, not part of the chiasm)

    C΄ (vv. 36–38)

  B΄ (v. 39)

A΄ (v. 40)

12. Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, 2nd ed. (Stuttgart: German Bible Society, 1994), 499.

13. Payne, Man and Woman, 233.

14. Victor’s stature as a textual critic is documented by F. H. Blackburne Daniell, “Victor, Bishop of Capua,” in A Dictionary of Christian Biography, 4 vols., ed. W. Smith and H. Wace (London: John Murray, 1877–1887), 1:1126.

15. Payne, Man and Woman, 225.

16. Payne, Man and Woman, 266.

17. A principle established by Johann A. Bengel in the early eighteenth century.

18. Payne, Man and Woman, 227.

19. This is the maneuver made by Wilbur N. Pickering, The Identity of the New Testament Text (Nashville: Nelson, 1977), in arguing for the superiority of the “Majority Text” over the “critical text,” a maneuver rightly rejected by virtually the entire guild of textual critics.

20. Translations of all NT passages are my own.

21. Many egalitarians accept that v. 33 is one sentence. I should note that my argument does not stand or fall on whether the quotation begins at v. 33b or v. 34.

22. Payne, Man and Woman, 225.

23. Payne, Man and Woman, 225.

24. Kirk R. MacGregor, “Is 1 Corinthians 11:2–16 a Prohibition of Homosexuality?” BSac 166, no. 2 (2009): 202–17. Independently of my exegesis (both my article and his book were published in the same year), Payne (Man and Woman, 199–215) draws exactly the same conclusions about 1 Cor 11:2–16 as I do.

25. Payne, Man and Woman, 258.

26. E.g., Gottfried Fitzer, Das Weib schweige in der Gemeinde: über den unpaulinischen Charakter der mulier-taceat-Verse in 1. Korinther 14, in Theologische Existenz Heute, Neue Folge 110 (Munich: Christian Kaiser, 1963); Neal M. Flanagan and Edwina Hunter Snyder, “Did Paul Put Down Women in 1 Cor. 14:34–36?” BTB 11 (1981): 10–2; D. W. Odell-Scott, “Let the Women Speak in Church: An Egalitarian Interpretation of 1 Cor. 14:33b–36,” BTB 13 (1983): 90–3; Chris Ukachukwu Manus, “The Subordination of the Women in the Church: 1 Cor 14:33b–36 Reconsidered,” NRTh 106 (1984): 23–58; Charles H. Talbert, Reading Corinthians (London: SPCK, 1987) 91–5; Raymond F. Collins, First Corinthians, SP 7 (Collegeville: Liturgical, 1999), 514–17, 521–23; Michel Gourgues, “Who Is Misogynist: Paul or Certain Corinthians? Note on 1 Corinthians 14:33b–36,” in Women Also Journeyed with Him: Feminist Perspectives on the Bible, ed. Gérald Canon et al. (Collegeville: Liturgical, 2000), 117–24; Paul J. Achtemeier, Joel B. Green, and Marianne Meye Thompson, Introducing the New Testament: Its Literature and Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001), 345–46; Gilbert Bilezikian, Beyond Sex Roles: What the Bible Says about a Woman’s Place in Church and Family, 3rd ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2006), 110–16.


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