Contrary to the arguments of many, when read in context, 1 Cor 14:34-35 is not a command for church-wide female silence. The passage is actually an appeal for the Corinthians to maintain an ordered worship, and fits within Paul’s overall section (ch. 11-14) regarding orderliness in the ekklesia. By contrast, however, the displacement of the passage in some manuscripts brings the passage out of context and makes it seem to be a direct command to church-wide feminine silence. The Apostolic Fathers and early Greek Church Fathers did not understand the passage to mean universal female silence in the church. It was not until the late second century that Western Church Fathers began referencing the passage to silence women and combat the heretical Montanist sect which was known for its prominent women prophets. The citations of 1 Cor 14:34-35 in the late second century coincide with the emergence of the Western text-type which relocates 1 Cor 14:34-35 several verses later to follow 14:40. This work argues that Western Church Fathers repositioned the passage in the late second century to combat Montanism and to align Christianity with Roman social standards.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (MA) -- Religion; Bible --Corinthians, 1st, XIV, 34-35; Women and religion; Women in the Bible

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Seaver College



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

De Long, Kindalee