Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



The mandate for women’s silence in 1 Corinthians 14.34-35 is an incongruity within Paul’s undisputed writings. Critical scholars expressed doubts about these verses’ authorship beginning in the nineteenth century. The consensus of egalitarian Paulists today is that vv.34-35 are not Paul’s sentiments. Disagreements about circumstances beyond this fact remain unresolved. Supporters of the quotation/refutation (“Q/R”) hypothesis argue that Paul quoted a letter from Corinth in vv.34-35 and refuted it in v.36. Supporters of the interpolation hypothesis regard the passage as a marginal gloss by a later author, inserted at one of two locations (after v.33 or v.40). The present work favors the Q/R position. Tertullian of Carthage (c.155-220 CE) was the first known exegetist of vv.34-35. Tertullian and his successors employed the Western text-type manuscript tradition. The second century CE displacement of vv.34-35 (following v.40) in this text stream is not evidence of haphazard interpolation. It coheres with a pattern of anti-feminist redactions in the Western texts of the epistles and Acts. The editors of the Western text-type sought to harmonize the genuine epistles with pseudo-Pauline material. This harmonization effort shaped later orthodox exegesis, which established canonical norms by domesticating Paul and recast him in the image of a Greco-Roman gender traditionalist.


This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/).



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.