1Co 14:34 - Show Context
"Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says."
I have heard the argument that Paul only meant this for the church at Corinth, but in the previous verse he talks "all" the churches of of the saints. (1 Cor 14:33 "for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints."
The most logical interpretation, therefore, of the following verse, when he continues to refer to "churches" (note the plural) is "all the churches of the saints"...not just the churches of Corinth or Galatia or isolated places.
How then, can we interpret the passage as not applying to all Christian churches? Is this not simply a rationalization to avoid the fact that it is no longer politically correct to subjugate women (in or out of the church)? How can we ignore the teaching of the New Testament simply because it is not politically correct in our age? Can those who claim it was only meant for the women at the particular church to whom he was writing support this with evidence to that supposition? If this position is taken with regard to this issue, how can we ever know whether anything Paul said was universally true or only intended for application to the particular church to whom he was writing?
Bible Answer: I believe 1 Corinthians also applies to churches today. A woman (and men) should keep silent in reverence to the the one(s) God has called to lead the church. For example, in prayer service, where the bishop or preacher is leading the service, I notice a lot of women speaking in tongues and praying very loud so that the preacher can't be heard. This is not orderly. In the Corinthian church, which was predominantly new converts, they were blessed with the gifts of the Spirit. The problem was that the women were speaking over the men and it caused a lot of confusion. That's why they were told to keep silent in the church (also, the men were told to keep silent if there were no interpreters). Everything has to be done decently and in order. Women can speak in church, as long as it is orderly (when called to speak by the preacher). I do not believe 1 Corinthians 14 should be used to tell women that they should not speak at all in the church.