of Biblical Literature
is sufficient reason for understanding central elements in the actual
of Paul's argument in the traditional way, but this
become clear later. As for interest, I have none here in showing that Paul is speaking either for or against women's liberation or any such thing, for the simple reason that
do not find it in any way binding on us whether he did one thing or the
I do have another interest, however, which concerns the question of how in general to understand Paul's theology in 1 Corinthians. In particular,if Paul's "religion" is to be understood as an idiom that informs the way in which Paul and his associates thought, wrote, and acted, then how does hehimself formulate that idiom (in what we call his "theology," the grammar of
idiom) and how does that formulation interact with his actual writing in
the one we are considering?
Here, moreover, I have a morespecific interest, which is to show that in the particular way in which that
argues, it explicitly reflects Paul's theology as developed elsewhere
1 Corinthians, thereby supporting an understanding of that theology as being
also concerned with the question of how to employ the Christianidiom in one's own argumentative practice.
second thing that one may note about the scholarly literature on the
is that although scholars speak and write about 1 Cor 11:2-16,
few actually say anything about 11:2.
But that, surely, is where we shouldstart.
The Frame (11:2, 3, 17, 22, 23) When 11:2 is read in its context (both backward, to 11:1, and forward, to11:17, 22, and 23), three ideas in the
stand out: (a) that of praising,(b) that of the Corinthians remembering Paul, and (c) that of their holding
to his teachings. The second of these ideas takes up directly 11:1 at the
of the preceding section and I shall come back to it later. The
ideas are connected, as is clear from w. 17, 22, and 23: In v. 17 Paulspeaks of something that he
he repeats the point about notpraising in v. 22; and then in v. 23 reintroduces the idea (c) of what he hadhimself received from the Lord and had also taught the Corinthians.
question is therefore: When Paul frames
in this particular
The talk of idiom and grammar is inspired by George A Lindbeck's development of thissimile for a proper understanding of religion and doctrine, see his
The Nature of
I have argued for this more general understanding of the theology of
Corinthians m "TheGospeland Social Practice according to I Corinthians,"
33 (1987) 557-84
For obvious reasons the commentaries generally fare better here
most independentarticles on the
The only real discussion I have come across m the many articles on
2-16 is James Β Hurley, "Did Paul Require
or the Silence of Women? A Considerationof
Cor 11 2-16 and I Cor 14 33b-36,"
(1972/73) 190-220, esp 191-93 On ρ 193 Hurley
effect raises the question about the relationship between 11 2 and 3-16 that I elaborate below