On Attitudes Toward Women in Paul and Paulinist Literature: 1 Corinthians 11:3-16 and Its Context

University of Sydney Australia 2006

ROBIN SCROGGS has recently defended St. Paul against charges of "male chauvinism," distinguishing Paul's views from those of deutero-Pauline authors.1 In his second and most substantial article, Scroggs highlights the Pauline theology of new creation and then proceeds to comment on the crucial, better attested passages in the epistles (Gal 3:27-8, greetings to fellow women workers, as well as 1 Corinthians 7 and 11). Surprisingly, he concludes with an analysis of 1 Cor 11:2-16, a passage he confesses is fraught with problems (p. 297). Even from these tortuous verses, however, he seeks to establish that Paul is "the one clear voice in the New Testament asserting the freedom and equality of women in the eschatological community" (p. 302). Scrogg's effort to rescue the curious passage in 1 Corinthian 11 from ill-odor is not unprecedented; among others, two female theologians tried the same at a time when the women's liberation movement was not such a vital force.2 Yet any present-day feminist who reads 1 Corinthians 11 on the head-covering of women is bound to wince and quite justifiably. At "the head of every man is Christ" and "the head of a woman is her husband" (v 3); "a man ought not to cover his head since he is the image and glory of God; but a
1 "Paul Chauvinist or Liberationism" in The Christian Century, 89 (1972) 307-9, "Paul and the Eschatological Woman", in J AAR 40 (1972) 283-303, "Paul and the Eschatological Woman Revisited," m ibid , 42 (1974) 532-7 2 E Kahler, Die Frau in denpaulinischen Briefen, unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Begriffes der Unterordnung {Zurich Gotthelf, 1960)45-46, M Hooker, "Authority on her Head, an Examination of I Cor χι 10," in NTS 10 (1964) 410-6


WOMEN IN PAUL: I COR 11.3-6 197 woman is the glory of man" (v 7). These are surely so-called sexist statements, implying that women are subordinate and exist primarily for the sake of males. This requires honest admission, even if one concedes that the passage is mild for its time, or that it grants equality to women "in the final analysis" (cf. ν 11).3 The question arises, however, was Paul himself the author of 1 Cor 11:2-16? Until recently this has been a neglected question, and even now, despite one or two changes of heart, virtual unanimity over the Pauline character of the passage has tended to stifle exploratory discussion.4 When W. O. Walker Jr. argued in detail that these verses comprised three distinct pericopae (not one of which was Pauline),5 it did not take long for him to meet opposition—in the form of two important articles by Catholic scholars.6 Neither of these latter scholars deny the obscurities and unusual qualities of the passage; they are simply left unconvinced by Walker's exegesis. This is one of those unfortunate instances, though, when an exegete fails to persuade because he has gone too far. Walker has been justifiably criticized for ques­ tioning the unity of 1 Cor 11:3-16 (a unity I take to be fairly obvious), while his moderate claim—that the whole passage sits ill at ease in the context of 1 Cor
3 In recent years critical scholars have tended to defend Paul's views in this passage by emphasizing the egahtananism of vv 11-12 However, although equality between the sexes is indicated there, it is unfair to pose vv 11-12 against 7-10, as if contrasting a new situation "in the Lord" (v 11a) with the older order of things (or the natural order of creation) This is simply because ν 3 states the situation in the Lord even more explicitly, and there one finds a hierarchy descending from God down to women So against J Hering, The First Epistle of Saint Paul to the Corinthians (London Epworth, 1962) 109, cf also C Κ Barrett, A Commentary on the First Epistle to the Corinthians (HNTC, New York Harper, 1968) 255 The concession in vv 11-12, then, implies only that the sexes are indispensable to each other (oute chöris) and therefore in some ultimate sense equal under God In admitting the "male chauvinism" of 11 3-161 do not stand alone e g J Weiss, Earliest Christianity (1914) (2 vols , New York Harper, 1965) 2, 584, cf his Der erste Korintherbrief(McycrK 5, Gottmgen Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1925) ad loe , Ε Η Pagels, "Paul and Women A Response to Recent Discussion," in JA A R 42 (1974) 543-9 4 Ancient authority for Pauline authorship includes Irenaeus Adv Haer 3, 11,9 (PG 7, col 891) and Origen Catenae in 1 Cor For the latter see Ρ de Labriolle, Les sources de l'histoire du Monlanisme Fnbourg Gschwend, 1913) 55-6 Among more recent writers joining Weiss, Hooker, Hering and Barrett in accepting Pauline authorship are A Isaksson, Marriage and Ministry in the New Temple, a study with special reference to Mt 19 3-12 and I Cor 11 3-16 (LUÂ, Lund, 1965) 160-79, H Conzelmann, A Commentary on the First Epistle to the Corinthians (Philadelphia Fortress, 1975) 181-91, J S Ruef, Paul's First Letter to Corinth (Pelican NT Commentaries, Harmondsworth Penguin, 1971) 107-1 l,cf D E H Whiteley, The Theology of St Paul (Oxford Oxford University, 1964) 224-5, J C Hurd, The Origin of I Corinthians (London SPCK, 1965) esp 90-1, 182-6 See also η 44 infra 5 "1 Corinthians 112-16 and Paul's views regarding Women," JBL 94 (1975) 94-110 6 J Murphy O' Connor, "The Non-Pauline Character of I Corinthians 11 2-16?" in JBL 95 (1976) 615-7, J Ρ Meier, "On the Veiling of Hermeneutics(l Cor 11 2-16)," in CBQ 40 (1978) 212-22

198 THE CATHOLIC BIBLICAL QUARTERLY | 42, 1980 10:1-11:34—could have had its plausibility enhanced by more careful argu­ mentation. I myself remain undecided as to whether the short excursus on head-covering comes from Paul or not, but I submit that the strongest possible case against its traditional ascription has yet to be considered, and believe it possible to account for its interpolation into the original text. Arguing for an editorial addition and exonerating Paul at the same time, admittedly, invites the charge of rationalization, but my refusal to forego this special opportunity—to combine higher criticism, apologetics and libera­ tionism—should be judged from the evidence. It is manifest that Paul's discussions in 1 Corinthians 10-11 proceed much more smoothly if we omit 11:3-16 from the text.7 Examining the narrower context, Paul rounds off his comments on eating with pagans and turns to the complex subject of behavior in church. "I commend {epaino) you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you" (v 2). Surely it is not ν 3 but ν 17 which follows on more naturally from this: "But in so giving solemn directives I do not commend (ouk epaino) you,8 because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse" (17, cf. also ν 22b). If vv 3-16 are Paul's, he is hardly pleased with the way persons dress in church, and so it makes little sense that he should put aside his introductory note of reprobation until vv 17-18. The problematic vv 3-16 clearly concern public worship, for there is reference to praying and prophesy­ ing,9 but Paul makes it plain (in ν 18 later) that the first point (proton) to be made about the assembled community concerns factions. Why should divi­ sion be the first issue rather than the second, if the question of head-covering in church has just been handled? Thus the possibility of an insertion, of someone introducing an argument which is out of place in the context and flow of Paul's correspondence, presents itself. Examined in the broader context, 1 Cor 10:1-11:2, 11:17-34 holds together as a continuous argument concerned with eating and drinking. Paul begins with reflections on the OT. After stating how all who crossed the sea with Moses ate the same supernatural food and drank the same supernatural drink (10-.3-4), he pleads with his readers, a. not to be idolaters (10:7) b. not to indulge in immorality (10:8)
This was first noted by A Loisy, Remarques sur la littérature epistolare du Nouveau Testament (Pans Nourry, 1935) 60-62, long before Walker, who seems unaware of Loisy's contribution ("1 Corinthians 11," 97, η 14) Had Walker read Loisy, would he have included ν 2 in the supposed interpolation1? 8 For textual differences here, cf D Β Weiss, Textkritik der Paulinischen Briefe (TU 14/3, Leipzig Hmnchs, 1896) 51, cf also Walker, "1 Corinthians 11," 98 9 (4-5) Cf Whiteley, Theology, 224

WOMEN IN PAUL: I COR 11:3-6 199 c. not to put the Lord to the test (10:9) d? not to grumble (10:10), since, when the disobedient Israelites succumbed to such temptations, they were punished by God (10:8-11). This small halakhic midrash was Paul's way of introducing instructions (cf. 10:11; 11:17) specifically directed to the Cor­ inthian situation, these still being held together by the theme of eating and drinking, and falling into three sections: i. against idolatry (10:14-22) ii. against a form of careless license (10:23-11:1) iii. against division and profanity at the eucharist (11:2, 17-34). If one omits 11:3-16 one finds in each of the above sections a theological point developed out of Israel's wilderness experience. As the worship of the golden calf (10:7, cf. Exod 32:1-6) brought trouble (by implication, 10:6, 11, cf. Exod 32:7-24), so participation in pagan sacrificial meals will incur God's wrathful jealousy (10:20-22). As the Israelites "played the harlot" with Moab's daughters, who invited them to sacrificial meals and so brought on a great plague (Num 25:1-2,9; 1 Cor 10:8), so there is danger in unthinking libertarianism (10:23). For although Christians are not bound by old Jewish food laws (vv 25-7), they must think through the implications of being invited to the unbeliever's meal table (vv 27-32, cf. Acts 15:20). Paul had already rebuffed the Corinthian claim that all things were lawful (exesti) in 6:12-20, and there he associates misuse of food with immorality (porneia) (6:13-4, cf. ν 10). Now in this later part of the letter he alludes once more to both the claim and the association, yet with a view to saying something specifically about eating food already sacrificed before idols (cf. also 8:4-13; 15:32-33). The Israelites indulged in immorality (eporneusan) in the dual sense of fornication and idolatrous unfaithfulness to Yahweh (10:8a; cf. Num 14:33; Hos 4:12; 5:4; Rev 2:20-1), but it is especially the Moabite invitations to participate in sacrificial meals which Paul has in mind in 10:8, and this prefaces his treatment of the parallel problem at Corinth in 10:23-11:1. Thus a foreshadows i, and b foreshadows ii. The passage 11:3-16 still aside, what of the connections between 10:9-10, c and d, and 11:2, 17-33, i.e. iii? At the stage denoted by iii Paul had come to the most important points he wished to make about eating and drinking. Having anticipated it in 10:16-17, he opened a discussion on behavior at the eucharist (11:2, 17-18, om. vv 3-16). Much more time is given to this topic (before proceeding on to a different subject in Chap. 12), and emphasis is placed on maintaining the tradition received from the Lord ( 11:23-6, cf. 11:2). But the instructive warnings from the wilderness period still remain highly pertinent, for in this case many of the Corinthians were weak and ill, and some

200 THE CATHOLIC BIBLICAL QUARTERLY | 42, 1980 had died ( 11:30). Already events were paralleling those in Israelite history, and the warnings of the Old Testament should have been heeded (10:11). To be more precise, Paul's halakhah on both tempting God and on complaining appears to recall Num 21:5-7. The LXX version of this passage runs as follows: And the people spoke against God and against Moses, saying, why is this: Have you brought us out of Egypt to slay us in the wilderness, for there is neither bread nor water, and the soul loathes this light bread (tö arto to diakenö toutö).10 6And the Lord sent deadly serpents (opheis) among the people, and they bit the people and many of the children of Israel died. 7And the people came to Moses and said, we have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord, therefore, and let him take away the serpent (ton ophin) from us. It is this significant backround material which allows one to exegete 10:9-10 or the pleas c and d? satisfactorily and to relate them directly to Paul's comments on the Lord's supper. In 10:9-10 Paul asserts that the temptation of the Lord brought serpents, and grumbling resulted in death by the destroyer (hypo tou olothreutou). Now there are various passages in LXX Numbers which refer to the grumbling or gongysmos of the Israelites. In each case, however, it is Yahweh himself who punishes or threatens to requite (Num 11:1; 14:27-9; 16:41-5; cf. 17:5), while in Paul's injunction the destroyer is the one who acts. It is fascinating that in both the Septuagintal and Massoretic texts of Num 21:7, the people come to plead for the serpent (ton ophin/hannähäS) and not the serpents (plural) to be destroyed, thus allowing for the identification of the destroyer with Satan (cf. Gen 3:1), a conceptual step evidently taken by Paul.11 It is sensible to conclude, then, that the charges not to tempt God and not to complain should be taken together, since they derive from the one relevant OT passage which combines allusions to murmuring, serpents and the destroyer Satan. Moreover (and apart from the telltale reference to sickness and death in 1 Cor 11:30), Paul's discussion of the eucharist is directly tied up with his interpreta5

By contrast MT haqqëloqël ("worthless") ' That the destroyer is meant by Paul to be the angel of death is not impossible See Exod 12.23; 1 Chr 21.12, 15 cf J. Schneider, "olothreutês," in TWNT 5 (1964) 170-1. But Paul's midrash was on Numbers at this point and not Exodus, and the singularizaron of ophis in Num 21 7b leads us in a new direction Paul goes on in 1 Cor 10 12-3 to write about temptation, and for him it is Satan (and not the angel of death) who tempts ( 1 Cor 7 5b, 1 Thess 3 5) In any case, near Paul's own time the angel of death was confused or identified with Satan in certain rabbinic wntings. See Str-B 3, 412-3. In Acta Phihppi, 130, ho olothreutês is clearly the Devil (and the serpent)


WOMEN IN PAUL: I COR 11:3-6 201 tion of this ancient passage. What was he getting at when he reminded his correspondents how snakes appeared after the Lord had been tempted or put to the test (ekpeirazomeri)! Precisely that the Israelite complaints in the wilderness were about food: the Lord's food or manna—his gift—was not gratefully accepted (Num 21:6). Thus the Corinthians are now tempting God because they are more concerned with their own food than with what is provided at the Lord's table (1 Cor 11:20-2, 33-4). Their attitudesfactionalism (vv 18-9), greed (vv 21-2), lack of self-criticism (or of penitence, vv 28-9,31-2; cf. Num 21:7a)—lead them to profane the precious food offered by the Lord (v 27; cf. vv 24-5). In a covert and subtle way the rejected light bread given in the wilderness (LXX Num 21:5b) was being paralleled to the misused unleavened bread of the eucharist. The prohibitions c and d therefore hang together in the light of the passage Num 21:5-7 and of Paul's halakhic midrash upon it, and they jointly foreshadow and affect his critique of eucharistie worship at Corinth, iii. What of 1 Cor 11:3-16? We have shown that some extraordinarily intricate, tight-knit argumentation emerges from Paul's epistle as it reads before and after this difficult section. Was the discussion of head-covering simply a Pauline digression? I require convincing. There is certainly no reference to the eating and drinking theme which binds 10:1—11:2, 17-34 together, and the introduction of an entirely new topic, handled so ambiguously, detracts substantially from the cunning of Paul's reasoning.12 Not only are the concerns of 11:3-16 strikingly tangential, but a closer examination of the link between 11:2 and 11:17-34 supports the likelihood of an interpolation. More than one scholar has contended that 11:2 contains an allusion to the Corinthians' correspondence.13 According to John Meier, "one can imagine the Corinthians protesting that 'in all things we remember you and hold fast to the traditions just as you handed them to us.'"14 The possible quotation has been of consequence in the recent defence of 11:2-16 as authentically Paul's. Jerome Murphy-O'Connor has emphasized the need "to determine as objectively as possible" the Corinthians' position through Pauline citations of their statements,15 and the presence of such a quotation at 11:2,1 take it, is supposed to throw light on the theology of head-covering. Taking such a cue, Meier rightly notes that 11:2 refers toparadosis, and since Paul's only other appeals to this primary tradition are in connection with such paramount issues as the eucha-

On ambiguity, J.-M. Aubert, La Femme: Antiféminisme et christianisme (Paris: Cerf, 1975) 36-40. 13 H. Lietzmann, An die Korinther I, //(HNT9; Tübingen: Mohr, 1949), 53; F. F. Bruce, The First Epistle to the Corinthians (Century Bible; London: Oliphants, 1971), 102. 14 "Veiling," 215. 15 "Corinthian Slogans in 1 Cor 6:12-20," in CBQ 40 (1978) 391.


202 THE CATHOLIC BIBLICAL QUARTERLY | 42, 1980 rist and the resurrection (11:23, 15:1), Meier infers that "the question of the veil. . . touches the substance of the apostolic tradition," and was thus for Paul a crucial issue concerning "faith and morals."16 Assuming the authenticity, then, scholarship has taken us a step further—to make new claims about the weight carried by 11:2-16 in Paul's theology. May it not be, however, that the more concertedly we all go on defending the authenticity of the passage, the more it becomes obvious we are being taken down a blind alley? The onus of proof is now on those who wish to argue that St. Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, who has just given careful but (by Jewish standards) conspicuously liberal conditions for dining with pagans (10:25-9; cf. Acts 15:20a; 21:25), now wants to impose a very culture-bound regulation which has its basis in the kerygma or fundamental teachings of the earliest church. The defenders of authenticity also have the task of explaining, not only why there is such an abrupt digression between 11:2 and 17 (with the last curious jump back from the royal plural hemeis of 16 to the first person singular of both 2 and 17), but also why Paul interrupts the dynamic, intense flow of his reasoning about food and drink. Murphy-O'Connor disputes the point that 11:17 does follow so easily upon 11:2, because the phrase touto deparangellön in ν 17a (JB: "Now that I am on the subject of instructions. . .") can be said to refer back to the issue of head-covering.17 This, however, is to miss the broader context of Paul's argument. Parangellö very often connotes prohibition; one is usually "solemnly charged not (me, mede) to do something "(cf. Matt 10:5; Mark 6:8; Luke 5:14; 8:56; 9:21; Acts 1:4; 4:8; 5:28; 23:22; cf. 2 Thess 3:6). In keeping with this usage Paul charges (or gives solemn injunctions or directives) to the Corinthians not to separate and not to divorce (in 1 Cor 7:10-11). So it is that the halakhic midrash on the Book of Numbers takes the form of three (-four) commands not to fall into temptation (10:8-10; cf. vv 12-3), and it is these charges which, having been stated to foreshadow the careful discussion on eating and drinking, are referred back to by the touto de parangellön of 11:17. As 11:3-16 is not couched in the language of solemn entreaty or commands of prohibition, the view that Paul's opening phrase of 11:17 is leashed with the passage on head-covering loses ground. The context of 11:3-16 within 1 Corinthians, then, already renders its authorship problematic. Some comments on the language and content of this passage itself, however, now seem called for. By itself an appeal to linguistic idiosyncrasy in this or that passage attributed to Paul does not yield positive conclusions. On the other hand, if the language of 11:3-16 could be reckoned characteristically Pauline, the case for excursus as against interpolation could
16 17

"Veiling," 215-6. "Non-Pauline Character," 616.

WOMEN IN PAUL: I COR 11:3-6 203 be strongly upheld. What we find is that the evidence is slightly tipped in favor of deutero-Pauline authorship. There is that curious, dissociating, self­ consciously authoritarian hemeis in ν 16, with the accompanying appeal to 18 customs prevailing among the "churches of God." The paragraph contains 19 words which appear nowhere else in the Pauline corpus or even the NT, while those found elsewhere in 1 Corinthians or in epistles normally ascribed to Paul are used uncharacteristically.20 The introductory gambit "I want you to understand . . ." may be contrasted with Paul's preferred general formulae (e.g. "I would not have you ignorant . . .," "now concerning . . .," and it appears only once elsewhere in the NT (Col 2:1), prefacing what is most probably a deutero-Pauline interpolation.21 The formula "praying and pro-

There are other places where, in being defensive, Paul associates himself with others (e g 10 7-15, Gal 1 8), and both 1 Cor 2 16-17 and Col 1 28-29 (if indeed the hêmeis in these verses refers to Paul and his companions alone) see shifts from the first person plural to the singular which are worth comparing to the transition in 1 Cor 11 16-17 Yet Paul's habit is to appeal to his own labors, not to make the kind of pontifical pronouncements based on ecclesiastical authority we find in 11 16 As for the phrase the "churches of God," it is true that Paul used it to refer to the church of Jerusalem (or Judea) Cf esp 1 Thess 2 14, 2 Thess 1 4, and see L Cerfaux, La théologie de Teglise suivant Saint Paul (US 10, Pans Cerf, 1948) 80-86, and there is little reason to question that meaning for 11 16b 1 Corinthians, however, is noted for the consistent use of the phrase "church of God" in the singular, and of all places just before and after the controversial passage See 1 Cor 10 32, 11 22, cf also 1 2,15 9 Apart from plural references to the churches of Galatia and Asia in 16 1,19, the appeal to authority with the plural ekklêsiai of 11 16b links with the comparable appeal m 14 34 (a better substantiated interpolation) to "the churches of the saints," and thus the usage is more likely to be deutero-Pauline than not 19 Namelyjty/Yiomai(5,6,cf Acts 21 24), terö (6, cf Acts 8 32,18 18), katakalyptomai (6; 7), komê(\4, 15),peribolaion (15, cf Heb 1 12),philoneikos (16, cf philoneikia in Luke 22 24) 20 Thus doxa (11 7, 15, yet cf 2 7, 15 40-1, 43, 1 Thess 2 6, Rom 8 18, 9 23), synëtheia (11 16, cf 8 7), atimia and kataischynö (see η 21), exousia (see infra and η 24), and to a lesser extent krinö (11 13a, yet cf 2 2,4 5,5 3,12-3, etc ) and physis (11 14, cf Gal 2 15,4 8, Rom 1 26, etc) 21 Col 2 1-5, which contains this prefatonal phrase, breaks the flow of the argument in 1 28-9,2 6-7) Notice Paul's hope for men mature in Christ (v 28b), with his stress on his own toil and energy (v 29), expended so that others may now live in Christ, and be rooted ana built up in him (2 6-7) Paul's train of thought appears to be interrupted by the hope that the Colossians and Laodiceans may be knitted together (symbibazo) in love, and have nches of knowledge, that they will not be beguiled and will maintain good order in the church (2 1-5) The shift suggests an editor's redaction That vv 1-5 contain autobiographical references (in vv 1 and 5a) presents a separate problem deserving another article, largely to do with J Knox's study Philemon among the Letters of Paul (New York Abingdon, 1959) and with parallels between vv 1-5 and Eph 3 1-4, 7-9 The use of the term symbibazo links Col 2 1-5 with vv 16-9 (which also appears to be an interpolation, cf Loisy, Remarques, 99, et al ), and Eph 4 15-6, cf 5 29 The emphasis on the understanding and knowledge of God's mystery of Christ, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2 2-3, yet cf 1 26-7,4 2) recalls impressive themes in Eph 1 7-9,17,3 9 Note, however, 1 Cor7 32, 10 1,12 1,14 5, Rom 1 13,16 19,1 Thess4 13 for thelö in characteristically Pauline phrases cf Phil 1 12 (ginoskein boulomai)


204 THE CATHOLIC BIBLICAL QUARTERLY | 42, 1980 phesying" (vv 4-5) is unique in the NT, while words chosen to stress shameful actions or encourage propriety are reminiscent of deutero-Pauline terminol­ 23 ogy. Exousian echein is a phrase used differently in the rest of the letter; 24 evidently quoted as a Corinthian catchcry, it has to do with liberty in 1 Cor 9:4-6; 12 (cf. 7:37; 8:9; 9:18) rather than with being empowered. All these atypical expressions moreover are bundled together in such an opaque passage, even one with enough abstruseness and inner contradiction to persuade Walker that it had three separate authors. As Scroggs himself acknowledges, "this is hardly one of Paul's happier compositions. The logic is obscure at best and contradictory at worst. The word choice is peculiar, the tone, peevish".25 The argumentation of 11:3-16 does not carry the conviction which abounds in the rest of 1 Corinthians. Elsewhere Paul urges his readers to be imitators of himself (4:16; 11:1); he lays down what is his (albeit open-ended) rule in all the churches (7:17b); he admits he has no directive from Jesus himself concerning the unmarried and certain related matters, yet bolsters his own judgment (gnome) by claiming to have the Spirit of God (7:25, 40). By contrast, the arguments in defence of head-covering are much less assured and their grounds more diffuse. Not only are his readers asked to judge for themselves (11:13),26 but there is an appeal both to nature and custom as guides (14, 16).27 These show up as flimsy supports when set beside his usual reliance on Christ's commands, the scripture, the kerygma or the Spirit. The (supposed) editor, however, can hardly have considered his own logic uncon­ vincing. Quite the reverse. After all, his statements have been deliberately placed after a verse referring to theparadoseis. The evidence of any underlying insecurity is circumstantial, then, and carries weight only once the major thesis concerning the ungainly interruption to Paul's arguments is conceded.
22 For prayer and prophetism closely associated in worship, note Ignatius, Phld 5 1-2, Herrn Man 11 9 Cf however 1 Cor 14 26 where the term apokalypsis may imply prophecy (and look to vv 29-32), but when* there is no mention of prayer In Col 3 16-7,4 2 (a passage split by the deutero-Pauline interpolation 3 18-4 1, cf η 48) prayer in the worship of thanksgiving is mentioned, but not prophecy 23 Esp aischrosm 1 Cor 11 6, 14 35 (cf infra), Eph 5 12, Tit 1 11, ana prepon in 1 Cor 1113 Eph 5 3, 1 Tim 2 10, Tit 2 1 Atimia{\ Cor 1114) and kataischunö (vv 4, 5) appear elsewhere in Paul, yet the usages here are distinctly narrow in application 24 Cf J Dupont, Gnosis (Pans Gabalda, 1949)282-90, R A Horsley, "Consciousness and Freedom among the Corinthians 1 Corinthians 8-10," m CBQ 40 (1978) 574-5 25 "Paul and the Eschatological Woman," 297 26 Cf 10 15 (where readers are asked to judge or carefully consider Paul's (and Christ's) words rather than reflect for themselves on what is natural or proper 27 See also Barrett, Commentary, 250-1 (on hinting at the natural in ν 6), Walker, "1 Corinthians 11," 107 Cf R A Baer, Jr , Philo's Use of the Categories of Male and Female (ALGHJ 3, Leiden Brill, 1970) 20-44, for some Jewish background


WOMEN IN PAUL: I COR 11:3-6 205 What of theology in 11:3-16? Are not certain theological features of the passage rather typically Pauline? I mean here the allusions to Christ's head­ ship (presumably) over the Church (v 3), and to the earliest chapters of 28 Genesis (vv 7-9, 12a). An affirmative answer cannot be assured. The closest parallel to the hierarchy: God/Christ/Man/Woman in ν 3, in fact, is to be found in the deutero-Pauline epistle to the Ephesians (5:21-4, esp. ν 22). It is doubtful, moreover, if we have been bequeathed any genuine Pauline state­ ments which are specifically about the Lord as kephale of the Church (outside the verse in question). Whereas Paul reflected on Christ as head of the universe (Col 1:18; 2:10),29 and also on the body of the Church (1 Cor 10:16; 12:14-26; Col 1:24), it is in deutero-Pauline writing that one finds Christ's headship of the Church a prominent theological leitmotiv (Eph 1:22; 4:15; 5:23; Col 2:19).30 As for the relationship of Christ to God in 1 Cor 11:3, I consider subordinationism to be stated there with noticeably less subtlety than in other Pauline pasages (3:23; 8:6; 15:27-28; Rom 1:3-4; 8:3; Gal 1:4; 4:4; Phil 2:11; Col 1:15, 19; cf. 1 Tim 2:5; 6:13-16; 2 Tim 1:9-10). Appeals to the Genesis material in 1 Cor 11:7-9,12a points us in the same direction, for they bear a closer resemblance to the more disturbing (dare I say sexist?) argumentation of the deutero-Pauline 1 Tim 2:13-15 than generally admitted.31 The discussion in the Pastoral Epistle is pitched on a broader plane, yet the worship situation remains central to it ( 1 Tim 2:8,12), the author first expressing his desire (boulomai) for a worshipful order. The issue at stake is the dress and role of women, and it is women above all who are told to keep their place (vv 9-11). Then comes the general statement about the relationship between the sexes—that women are not to teach (or direct) nor to have authority (or domineer) over men (presumably) in the gathered congregation (v 12). The justification comes from Genesis (vv 13-15). As for 1 Cor 11:3-16, the author wishes (thelo) his readers to understand the correct general rela28 Paul's usages of Genesis 1-4 have been conveniently listed by D M Stanley, in Christ's Resurrection in Pauline Sotenology (AnBib 13, Rome Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1961) 78, η 60 29 The tes ekkïêsias in Col 1 18 is surely a later addition, detracting from Paul's line of thought m 15-23, cf J L Houlden, Paul's Letters from Prison (Pelican NT Commentaries, Hardmondsworth Penguin, 1970) 171 30 Cf esp J A Τ Robinson, TheBody(SBT 5, London SCM, 1952)65 If the writer of 1 Cor 11 3 subscribed to this theology of man's headship over woman, did he feel obliged to expunge the phrase "male and female" from 12 139 Considering the neat catena of Gal 3 28, that is not so improbable 31 Among scholars observing similarities in the thoughts behind 1 Corinthians 11 and 1 Timothy 2, note esp Κ Stendahl, The Bible and the Role of Women (FBBS 15, Philadelphia Fortress, 1966) 28-29, G W Knight III, The New Testament Teaching on the Role Relationship of Men and Women (Grand Rapids Baker, 1977) 34, C Brown, "Woman," in NICNT 3 (1978), 1063

206 THE CATHOLIC BIBLICAL QUARTERLY | 42, 1980 tionship between the sexes under God (v 3), but more especially so in connec­ tion with public worship (vv 4-5,13). The really contentious issue again is not the dress and role of men but of women (though male propriety is mentioned, vv 4, 7, 14), since references to men only serve to disclose the real need for appropriate female behavior which steadily becomes the author's dominant concern (vv 5-7, 10, 13-15). The core of the argument lies in the general statement of ν 7, where woman is distinctly subordinated to man in worship. Again the justification lies in the Genesis traditions. The two appeals to the model of the first human pair are quite analogous. In each a point is made about the order of creation (cf. Gen 2:7, 20-23: 1 Cor 11:8-9 For man was not made from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for the sake of woman, but woman for man (cf. also ν 7) 1 Tim 2:13 Adam was formed first, then Eve

Then each argument suggests that there is something to recognize in the condition of womanhood which should lead women to find their proper place (under men): 1 Cor 11:10 That is why a woman ought to have exousia on her head, because of the angels Then comes the saving phrase in each case: 1 Cor 11:11 Nevertheless there is neither women without man, nor man without woman, in the Lord (cf. Gen 2:20-24) 1 Tim 2:15 Yet woman will be saved through child-bearing, if she continues in faith and love and holiness, with modesty (cf. Gen 3:16, 20) 1 Tim 2:14 Adam was not deceived, but woman was and became the transgressor (cf. Gen 3)

Thus the general drifts of the arguments are comparable, and there are sufficient parallels to corroborate any claim that the passage on head-covering is not Pauline. As I have hinted at an interpretation of 1 Cor 11:10 which differs from others, 3 2 1 should comment briefly on the matter. The implication of ν 7 is that
Esp A Jirku, "Die Macht auf dem Haupte (I Kor, 11 10)", in ΝKZ 32 (1921) 710-11, J A Fitzmyer, " A Feature of Qumran Angelology and the Angels of I Cor χι 10," in his Essays on the Semitic Background of the New Testament (London Chapman 1971) 187-204, cf Hooker, "Authority," 415-6

WOMEN IN PAUL: I COR 11:3-6 207 because woman (or Eve) was not created in the image of God, and was (or is) the glory of man instead, it is only right and fitting (opheilei) that her head be covered in worship. Thus it is this too, along with man's temporal priority, which is the reason (cf. dia touto, ν 10) why she should veil her head. She has to be more cautious or circumspect—apparently because she is in a less secure position than man—and to take on protective power (exousia) "because of the angels." It is not necessary to conclude that only fallen or lustful angels are meant here,33 although such beings ought not to be excluded from considera­ tion. If we take our cue from contemporary Jewish reflection on Eve and Genesis 1-4, we would be safe to infer that the writer brings in the angels because women were expected to be particularly repentant and self-reproach­ ful in their fallen state. According to the Books of Adam and Eve, for example, Eve deprived Adam of "the glory of God,"34 yet in her penitence for having caused Adam's death by her sin against God, the elect angels and cherubim, and while she "looked on the ground with hands folded over her head" in anguish, the angels reassured her of Adam's final entrance into heaven.35 Eve, these books indicate, was tempted by the Devil when her guardian angel was absent and even after being expelled from the garden for the great transgression, her first attempts at penitence were foiled by "angels of light."36 It is arguable, then, in view of this relevant intellectual background, that the author of 1 Cor 11:3-16 is not acknowledging any new authority (exousia) now acquired by women "in the Lord" (v 10), but is reminding them of their position and proper place. They would bring dishonour to themselves by showing no sign of careful repentance (vv 5-6),37 and for putting aside the capacitating or effective aid (exousia) they ought to have in the presence of

33 Yet see Héring, First Epistle, 106-7; cf. Gen 6:4; / Enoch 6-7; 67-8; 106-13-4; 2 Enoch 7:18; T. Reub. 5:7; Jub. 5:1; 2 Apoc. Bar. 56:8-13; Tob. 6:10-18; 8:1-8; Yoma 67b; Deut. Rab 11 finis; Beth ha-midrash 4:127-8 (ed. A. Jellinek), in J. D. Eisenstein (ed.), Otsar Midrashim, (New York: Naveark, 1915) 2, 549-50. 34 Apoc. Mos. 21:6 and Adam and Eve 14:1; 37:3 (on Adam as the image of God). 35 Apoc. Mos. 32:l-4;y4í/emaw/£ve46:l-48:3(cf. 18:1-21:3 on the blessing of Seth's birth under the protection of angels, after Eve's holy confession and the intercessions of Adam). On Eve lamenting with hands folded over her head, cf. also G. Weil, Biblische Legenden der Muselmanner (Frankurt: Literat. Anstalt., 1845) 29-32. 36 AdamandEve 33:2, and (on Satan in disguise) 5:1-11:3, esp. 11:1,cf. 1 Cor 11:14. See also Tg. Ps.-J. 3:6; 4:1, where the angel Sammael both causes woman to be seduced and brings about the birth of Cain (in the Hamishe version Eve even desires an angel). On women being led astray by spirits of evil, note 1 Enoch 69:6; 1 Tim 5:14-15a; cf. T. Reub. 5:1-7. 37 Cf. Tob. 3:7-17 (the angel Raphael is sent in answer to Sarah's holy prayer to save herself and her father from dishonor), cf. 8:1-8; Josephus, Contra Apionem, 2.201; Τ Reub. 6:3; and (on Mary's behavior) Luke 1:29,34,46-2:35. Jewish women were taught to take care not to tempt men (Sir 25:16-26; Τ Reub. 4-6; T. Jud. 13:3) and encouraged to maintain self-control, simplicity and temperance (Philo, De Opfic. Mundi 164).

208 THE CATHOLIC BIBLICAL QUARTERLY | 42, 1980 angelic beings.38 If there is no suggestion that these angels are inimical, together they remain the heavenly host before whom Jews had believed no woman (nor child or cripple) could stand.39 I suspect that the author of the passage harbored a decidedly Jewish Christian theology in which Jesus is the one who recovers the "glory of God" for men. In the Epistle to the Hebrews one finds Psalm 110 expounded in this sense. Jesus, the Son of Man, was made lower than the angels for a short time (brachy), yet soon after was crowned with "glory and splendor." Since he came to men and not angels, it is the sanctified brotherhood, the newly chosen children or sons of God who are brought by his work "into glory" (eis doxan 2:6-17). For the author of 1 Cor 11:3-16 however it is now the question of woman's place in the new hierarchy which requires resolution, and I suggest that it is not only women's vulnerability but also the relative hierarchical status of females vis-à-vis the angels which is being alluded to in ν 10. The two issues were inseparable because the traditional Jewish separation of the sexes at worship was breaking down in the newly fledged Gentile churches. If the old discriminations were being undercut (and we may note that the notion of women as potentially unclean is conspicuously absent from the NT), the author still felt the necessity to define relationship within the created order. Significantly, the writer does not harp on the theme of some fatal femi­ nine flaw nor claim unveiled women behave like harlots. 40 Neither does he specify that women be ranked below angels. Certainly the passage concerns the order of things, not sexual license. The attempt to connect 10:1-11:2 with 11:3-16, by arguing that mention of fornication in the wilderness foreshadows hints of promiscuity in 11:6, 8-10, 13-15 proves unsatisfactory, precisely because illicit sexual relations, or suggestions of their possible occurrence, are nowhere mentioned in these last verses.41 Appeals to a sense of shame (in vv
38 For recent interpretations of exousia as power (even magical power) rather than author­ ity, see esp A Feuillet, "Le signe de puissance sur le tête de la femme, I Cor 11, 10," in ΝRT95 (1973)945-9, A Jaubert, "Le voile des femmes, (I Cor 11 2-16)," in NTS 18(1971-2)419-30 On angels watching over congregations, see 1 Tim 5 21, Rev 1 20, Herrn Vis 3 6, cf W F OrrandJ A Walther, / Corinthians (AB32, Garden City Doubleday, 1976) 264 39 E g Deut 23 9-18, ÎQM 7 4-6, lQSa 2 8-10, 4QDb 40 Concerning defectiveness in women, I agree with Fitzmyer's criticisms of Hering and others (Essays, 196), although the former does not perceive the distinction between some basic weakness and vulnerability Incidentally, emphatically sexist notions of la femme fatale are not found in the NT (yet cf Ep Arist 250, 2 Enoch 30 9-18, Philo, De Opf Mundi 134, Gen Rab 80 5, cf 18 2, Gos Thom log 114, Acta Archelai 10, etc ), and neither 1 Corinthians 11 nor 1 Timothy 2 state that woman was and remains the cause of death (cf Sir 25 24) On the question of harlotry, I here disagree with G Delling, Paulus' Stellung zu Frau und Ehe (BWANT 4/ 5 or 56, Stuttgart Kohlhammer, 1931) 96-105, for reasons which follow 41 Cf Conzelmann, Commentary, 189 Hooker's view that the writer also guards against the possibility of the angels worshipping man and thus upsetting the new creation need not be precluded, "Authority," 415

WOMEN IN PAUL: I COR 11:3-6 209 5-6, 14) are not unrelated to sexuality, but they concern the potential break­ down of the created order. Since both headdress and hair provided traditional Jewish means of distinguishing women from men, discussion of them does not come unexpectedly.42 Since this created order also contained the angels, heavenly persons who played a crucial part in the salvation events and who now overshadow the Church with God and Christ (1 Tim 3:16; 5:20), their position was bound to merit attention.43 As with the first Pastoral Epistle (cf. also 5:3-16), women are told their place: they are reckoned indispensable (1 Cor 11:11-12), and they are not considered unacceptable or unclean (cf. 1 Tim 4:4), but they occupy a lower position than men and require additional power to help and thereby identify them. The function of 1 Cor 11:10, then, along with its comparable verse 1 Tim 2:14, is to put restraints on women and define their position in the community by recalling the cosmic blueprint presented in Genesis. If it is not unlikely that the passage under consideration—hardly a manifesto of equal rights—is deutero-Pauline, what may be said about its relationship to other deutero-Pauline statements, and to the theology of womanhood in Paul himself? An awkward problem arises in connection with 1 Cor 14:33b-35(6), a short polemic against women speaking in churches. Some scholars hold that this short piece cannot have been written by the author of 11:2-16, since the latter mentions the prophesying of women (in church) in ν 5.44 This apparent contradiction has tended to reinforce common acceptance of the discourse on head-covering as genuinely Pauline. Recently, however, A. Feuillet has defended the Pauline authorship of both passages by asserting that 14:33b-35 does not preclude female prophecy (for this was initiated by God) but rather the act of interpreting the word of God in the assembly.45 My own answer, naturally, is that both passages, though not necesarily contradictory, interrupt the flow of Paul's arguments and could be clairped to be intrusions, even by the same hand. Apart from their common focus on the subject of women, both apparent interpolations appeal to a uniform ecclesiastical practice (cf. 14:33b), and to a sense of shame which

2 E.g. Lev 5:18; Kelim 24:16; Sota 3:8; Kidd. 1:7; Ketub. 7:6. Paul's own approach to angels in 1 Corinthians is clearly less hierarchical, cf. 4:9; 6:3. 44 E.g. Weiss, Korintherbrief, adloc, A. Oepke, "gynë," in TWNTÌ (1933) 788; A. Scott, Christianity according to Saint Paul (Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1961) 227-8; G. Fitzer, "'Das Weib schweige in der Gemeinde,* Über den unpaulischen Character der mulier taceat Verse in I Korinther 14," in Theologische Existenz Heute, (NS 90, Munich, 1963),passim; H. Conzelmann, Commentary, 246; Ruef, First Letter, 154-5; J. Galot, Mission et ministère de la femme (Paris: Lethielleux, 1973). 45 "La dignité et le rôle de la femme d'après quelques textes pauliniens," in NTS 21 (1975) 162-70; cf. J. Daniélou, "Le ministère des femmes dans l'Église ancienne," in Maison Dieu 61 (1960)73-74. Note 1 Tim 2:12.


210 THE CATHOLIC BIBLICAL QUARTERLY | 42, 1980 women should feel in not exercising propriety (35b, cf. n.23). W. A. Meeks' interesting conclusion that both passages are Paul's consistent answers to the troublesome pneumaticism of Christian prophetesses at Corinth helps con­ firm the common authorship of the two, but does not explain why 11:2-16 sits 46 in a context which has nothing to do with spiritism. In eliciting two likely additions to the original epistle, however, one is not required to press for identical authorship so much as for shared interests. After all, as J. C. O'Neill's recent tour deforce instructs, Paul could have had more than one editor. 47 The theology of "woman's place," I am contending, is to be found in both 1 Cor 11:3-16 and 14:33b-35, but not only there, for it also appears in Col 3:18,48 Eph 5: 21:4; 1 Tim 2:9-15 and Titus 2:3-5. It is a characteristic preoccu­ pation of Paulinists, or of later writers who stress the need for good order, institutional soundness and strong growth in the Church (as a result of Jerusalemite pressures?) yet who do not share Paul's sense of eschatological urgency. 49 One way of identifying the phenomenon and stance of Paulinism is through the very theology of "women's place" so consistently upheld in the above passages. Paul's own position is radically different. Its locus classicus may be found in Gal 3:28, where any discrimination between Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female, is deemed inappropriate in the new commu­ nity. In 1 Cor 7:17-39 Paul asks three sets of explosive questions about these relationships between Judaism and the Gentile order, slavery and freedom, and between the sexes: "Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised?. . . Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised?" (v 18) "Were you a slave when called?" (v 21) "Are you bound legally or morally (cf. Rom 7:2) to a woman? . . . Are you free from a woman?" (v 27) In each case he assures his readers that no one should be anxious or ashamed about one's condition of uncircumcision or bondage, nor of one's feelings toward the opposite sex. In his arguments concerning the married and unmar­ ried, Paul is geared more to a male rather than a female readership (vv 27,29,

"The Image of the Androgyne: Some Uses of a Symbol in Earliest Christianity," in HR 14 (1974) 201-3 Note the recent attempt to argue that 14 34 was added to the epistle because of Montanism, J A Diaz, "Esta San Pablo en contra de la actividad docente de la mujer en la iglesia 9 " in Teologia y mundo contemporaneo (Homenaje a Κ Rahner, Madrid Ediciones Christianidad, 1975) 47 Paul's Letter to the Romans (Harmondsworth Penguin, 1975) 14-22 48 Col 3 18-41 is an insertion interrupting the theme of euchanstia which Paul follows in 3 15b-17, 4 2-4 49 Cf E Schweizer, Gemeinde und Gemeindeordnung im Neuen Testament (Zurich Zwingh-V, 1959), chap 6

WOMEN IN PAUL: I COR 11:3-6 211 33-4,36-8), but his particular advice to women is not condescending (vv 28,34, 39-40). Men are bound to their wives just as wives to their husbands (vv 27, 39), and there is no accent on masculine authority nor womanly submissiveness. Although there is an appeal for personal restraint and good order among Christians (vv 27, 35), it rests on the prior assumption that the time of the eschaton draws nigh (vv 26, 29-31). Consequently he suggests what are the appropriate actions and attitudes of Christians at this stage in world history, and is flexible rather than prescriptive. True, Paul probably opposed the confusion of the sexes,50 but the idea of man's inherent superiority over woman is foreign to the best attested passages of the epistles. On the one hand, for instance, the gifts of the Spirit are not bestowed on one sex as against another (12:4-11; Rom 12:6-7). On the other hand, Paul is afraid that anyone among his fellow Christians could be deceived, like Eve was, by the serpent's cunning (11 Cor 11:3); women are no more prone to sin than men (cf. Rom 3:9-18). He castigates men who misuse women (1 Thess 4:3-5).51 InGal4:19he depicts himself as woman, giving birth to disciples, and in 1 Thess 2:7 as a nurse. 52 The Son of God himself, he avers, was born of a woman (Gal 4:4), and in one of his allegories Christians are described as children of the free woman Sarah, who is mother through God's promise rather than through fleshly desire (22-31). Christ is the second Adam, indeed the perfect redemptive substitute for the first man, for it is Adam (Rom 5:12-21; 1 Cor 15:21-2; 45-9) and not Eve (cf. 1 Tim 2:8-15) who was the original transgressor. 53 Scroggs is quite right; Paul is certainly a clear voice asserting the freedom and equality of women within the eschatological community. This is substan­ tiated not only by his greetings to women in the epistles, and the significant reference to Priscilla as a co-worker (Rom 16:3, cf. 1,4-20; 1 Cor 16:9; 2 Tim 4:19), but also by evidence of his relationship with women in the Book of Acts (16:14-5; 17:34; 18:18, 26) and the tradition of the "platonic" love between 54 Paul and Thecla. If Paul had so eluded the patriarchal attitudes of his Jewish inheritance, then, it makes it the more unlikely that 1 Cor 11:3-16 is from his hand. That Paul should have belabored an obscure point about dress in

50 Paul interjects a kai rather than oude between male and female in Gal 3 28 This is not just for the sake of quoting LXX Gen 1 27 (cf Stendahl, Bible and Role, 32) but to preserve the distinction of the sexes in their new equality Cf Rom 1 26-27 (Paul9) 51 Weiss speaks unjustifiably of skeuos in 1 Thess 4 4 as an "ugly expression" {Earliest, 2, 584), it is an idiom denoting a companion as intimate as one's own body (Bauer, Arndt and Gingrich, 761b2) 52 Β Thienng, "Adam the Androgyne," in Deliver us from Eve (ed Β Thiering, Sydney Australian CC , 1977) 85 53 Thus Paul should not be placed among those exegetes berated by J M Higgins, in "The Myth of Eve the Temptress," in J AAR Ad (1976) 639-75 54 Acta Pauli II, 24-41 (M R James, 277-81)

212 THE CATHOLIC BIBLICAL QUARTERLY I 42,1980 church—when so many other crucial issues were at stake—is difficult to comprehend. The imaginable retort that he remained a child of his time55 does not square with all this evidence to the contrary, nor help settle why Paul was so liberated from the rest of his cultural inheritance. The last, difficult question awaits attention, however: as the passage sits there in the time-honored, received texts of the Bible, we must satisfactorily explain how and why it was inserted at that particular point in the letter, and why someone felt compelled to supplement the original. Any such explanation is likely to appear too speculative, but it begs no more success than to make sense of the evidence and show how it was at all possible for an interposition to have occurred. Let it be clear that the nature and rationale of interpolations in ancient texts can vary enormously. We are not contending that 1 Corinthians contains within it substantial late (or definitely second century) glosses added to a non-extant master codex, nor that insertions were made (at 11:3 and 14:33b) because someone believed Paul originally intended additional material to be included.56 It is more feasible to work with the hypothesis, given what is known of deutero-Pauline ideas, that there was a shift in thinking among those in a position to preserve and round off Paul's correspondence with the Gentile churches. When the letters were circulated as a corpus around the turn of the century (2 Peter 3:15-6), probably with Ephesians as their preface,57 they not only suffered from apparent excisions (2 Corinthians now containing parts of two or three separate letters),58 but received adjuncts as well. That women's issues feature prominently in the editorial additions is quite natural if one supposes Paul's liberal attitudes to have created problems where male superiority traditionally prevailed in social structures or attitudes, and to have produced variations in worship patterns which troubled those concerned with ecclesiastical uniformity. We know that the Jerusalem church was keeping a critical eye on developments in the Gentile mission before Paul voyaged to Rome (Acts 21:17-26), and that Paul's work in Mediterranean areas was threatened by Judaizers. 59 Even despite the crisis brought upon Judean Chris55 Cf e g A U Dubarle,"Pauletl'antiféminisme,"in^5'Pr60(1976)261-80 Aforthcomìng work on women m antiquity by R Mortley (Macquane University) makes the same point 56 Cf, e g , Velleis Paterculus, Histonae Romanae, 1, vi, 6 57 For background, C L Mitton, The Formation of the Pauline Corpus of Letters (London Epworth, 1955), chaps 5,3-5 58 J C Hurd, Origin, 235-7 (and the literature cited there) 59 Cf J Munck, Paul and the Salvation of Mankind(London SCM, 1959), chap 4-6 On head-covering practices (in connection with virgins) among Hellenistic Jews, see Joseph et Aseneth(cd and trans M Philonenko, Leiden Brill, 1968) 15,1 For literature on the strict rules of headdress among those in the urban centres of Judea, see J Jeremías, Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus (London SCM, 1974) 359-60, cf Ρ Κ Jewett, Man as Male and Female (Grand Rapids Eerdmans 1975)53

WOMEN IN PAUL: I COR 11:3-6 213 tianity by the events of AD 70, it is reasonable to expect compromises to have been made after Paul's death. The sociology of attitudes and ideas is extremely important here. Paul's revolutionary outlook toward the sexes was not likely to have succeeded either in the short or long term. Patterns of leadership in all known ancient Mediterranean cultures reflect male dominance, and it is erroneous to infer that sexual mores and predispositions are best reflected in Stoic or Plutarchan philosophy.60 In the first century church itself we now not only have to account for the strength of Jewish patriarchalism, but also the permeation of Gnostic sentiments hostile to femaleness.61 There was bound to be a reaction, yet not so much against Paul's written views (which at least in theory were acceptable and in any case were fast acquiring authority) as against the flexibilities which Paul allowed in services of worship. In spiritist churches like Corinth women evidently used worship to break loose from social conventions to behave as the Spirit gave guidance (without regard for distinguishing dress, 1 Cor 11:5), or to say what they thought (14:34b-5, cf. 1 Tim 2:11-2). We have seen parallel developments in Africa and the Pacific. Relatively speaking, the teaching of missionaries or just the general purport of the Bible itself is sexually egalitarian in comparison to most primal traditions. Prophetism and ecstatic Christian worship have enabled African women to increase their self-esteem and prominence; in Melanesia there has been a strong missiological drive to enhance the status of females. But in most cases any general shift toward sexual equality has met with male hostility at the congregational level; a prophetess may be accepted without question as a vehicle of the divine, but a broader levelling is an entirely different matter.62 The thoughts of 1 Cor 11:3-17 parallel this kind of reaction,

Here I rely on an unpublished address by Κ O Wicker on "The Virtues of Women, a Comparative Study of the New Testament and Plutarch," delivered to the AAR/SBL Western Region Conference, San Jose, 1975 Cf J Leipoldt, Die Frau in der Antiken Welt und im Urchristentums (Gütersloh Mohn, 1962) 9-79, Μ Β Arthur, "Early Greece, the Origins of the Western Attitude toward Women," in Arethusa 6/1(1973) 7-58 (along with various articles and S Β Pomeroy's bibliography in the same journal issue), L Ρ Wilkinson, Classical Approaches II Woman's Liberation," in Encounter 1 / 5 (1978) 23-36 Female cults should not be confused with cultures 61 Esp Gos Thorn, log MA, Thorn Cont 144 Cf W C van Unnik, Newly Discovered Gnostic Writings (SBT 36; London. SCM, 1958) 55-56, 92 or the possibility that the Coptic Gospel of Thomas (or one like it) was used for the first Gospel harmony by Tatian For a reappraisal of Gnostic attitudes to women, see E Pagels, "The Suppressed Gnostic Feminism," in New York Review of Books, Nov 22, (1979) 42-49 62 I rely here on my own field work, 1967, 1971-8 For helpful background Β G M Sundkler, Bantu Prophets in South Africa (London Oxford University, 1961)22, 139-56, H W Turner, African Independent Church (Oxford Oxford University 1967) 2 44-8,0 p'Bitek, Song of Law ino (Nairobi East Africa Pub H se , 1966), Β Β Darò, "The Challenge of Equality," in


214 THE CATHOLIC BIBLICAL QUARTERLY | 42, 1980 and it is a kind, incidentally, one would be unfair in depreciating from an avant-garde western viewpoint. The convoluted arguments of our supposed interpolater, after all, do call for our genuine sympathy, because Paul's eschatological perspective was so out of tune with his time. Consciousness was not ready for the egalitarian implications of his position any more than most of the wide world are ready for our contemporary women's liberationists of the West. As for his eschatological outlook, it made sense while the earliest Mediterranean churches were predominantly Jewish, but less and less so as the sociology of the local congregations altered with the impact of other cultures. In the light of these arguments one should question the likelihood that Paul would "plunge headlong into a very complicated theological question in this fashion,"63 and appreciate the real possibility that another (male) author, writing in the name of Paul and his supporters (cf. hêmeis, 11:16), and perhaps even acting as the editor of the Pauline corpus, had developed a compromise theology of the family and the relationship between the sexes. And why did he choose to place 11:3-16 between 11:2 and 17? I think one can best understand why by assuming a link between 11:3-16 and 14:33b-35(6) (the second pertinent interpolation). The second cluster of verses was evidently inserted because women were considered to be saying too much, in prophesying (cf. the context: 14:29-32) and in general (34b, 35b). The Paulinists wanted to silence women (34a; cf. 1 Tim 2:11, 12b) to prevent uncontrolled spiritism and disorder in the assembly. This second interpolation—its appeal to the Torah (1 Cor 14:34b) signaling compromise with Judaizing pressure—is the more intractable of the two, and comes at the climax of Paul's treatment of glossalalia and spiritism in church worship (12:1-14:40). Its injection was easy: just after Paul's appeal to the God of peace rather than of confusion (14:33)! By comparison, the head-covering issue was not strictly to do with spiritual excitement in worship, yet in its earlier place in the epistle the passage on this matter could be said to lead up to the heavy-handed statements against speaking in chap. 14. It is important that 1 Cor 11:5 cannot be said to condone female prophetism, but only to acknowledge its existence, and thus it may well be that the most decisive statements about women—or the efforts to silence them—were left until a more strategic moment toward the end of the letter. As discussion of head-covering was out of place within the diatribe on spiritual gifts and tongue, the interpolater inserted it into the previous section on eating and drinking (for these verses [10:1-11:2, 17-34] at least concerned public worship, while the previous chapters, 1 to 9, did not). Examining this section with care, it is difficult to imagine another place where the intrusion could

Point Forum for Melanesian Affairs 2 ( 1975) 5-16, J Knoebel, "Old Wine in New Skins", in ibid, 24-31 63 Hering, First Epistle, 102

WOMEN IN PAUL: I COR 11:3-6 215 have been made (by a simple use of de, cf. 11:3) without altering the text of the 64 original. From certain points of view, moreover, the supposed interpolater could be satisfied that his discussion did not clash with Pauline theology and that it suited the context quite well. In connection with eating at meals, Paul had appealed to the Corinthians "to give no offence to Jews or Greeks or the church of God" (10:32). This was just the kind of statement which the Paulinist(s) needed to legitimate (and well nigh preface) their compromise. At both 10:16-7 and 12:12-3, further, there were references to the Church as a body, so that the introduction of the new topic with talk of "headship" was not inappropriate. Only those who look below the surface, however, can appre­ hend the relative arbitrariness of the insertion and query whether it belonged to the original. Not that the spuriousness can be proven, nor that Pauline authorship can be denied outright. Paul may even have edited his own letters, written the Pastorals in a deliberately episcopal style65 and succumbed to Jerusalemite pressure by preparing a small declaration on women's matters meant for Corinthian readers. The evidence so far mustered, however, sug­ gests that both 1 Cor 11:3-16 and 14:33b-35(6) are interpolations which are not characteristically Pauline, and which belong to the period of adjustment after his death, when some of his epistles were selected and edited for common usage among Mediterranean churches. Thus the last real cause for charging Paul with "male chauvinism" lacks firm foundation, while in the context of the first century the reactions of his near contemporaries ought not to be denigrated as uninspired. Uninspired? Can only Paul be rescued, while women are still left with unpalatable scripture? An urgent question. How does one answer it? Quid postea?

Other possible reasons for an interpolation at this point are given by R Jewett, "The Redaction of 1 Corinthians and the Trajectory of the Pauline School," in J AAR Supp 46/4 (1978)417-8 65 See J A Τ Robinson, Redating the New Testament (London SCM, 1976) 67-85


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