The meaning of silence

Jacob Elias (Letters, June) had me with his first sentence: “Paul had his faults, but silencing women was not one of them.” Regarding 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 and its decree that “women should be silent in the churches,” the handling by translators of the Greek word hesychia is significant. In 1 and 2 Thessalonians, this word tells the brothers to live and work quietly, not silently. The same word is, in certain instances, translated in a positive way about women. In Luke 23:55-56, the women who return to the tomb have “rested,” not become silent. In 1 Peter 3:4, the advice to wives includes having a “gentle and quiet [not silent] spirit.” In 1 Timothy 2:12 (“she is to keep silent”), a better translation would be “she is to be peaceable.”

Nancy Lee, Madison, Wis.

Anabaptist World

Anabaptist World Inc. (AW) is an independent journalistic ministry serving the global Anabaptist movement. We seek to inform, inspire and Read More

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