Does I Corinthians 11:2-16 Teach Women May Preach In The Church?

One favorite text of the Women Preacher advocates is I Cor 11:2-16. They claim this text is talking about the church assembly, and since it refers to women prophesying that would prove women can preach in church. But I Cor 11:2-16 has nothing to do with the church assembly per se. Instead it teaches a woman should wear a veil whenever and wherever she prays or prophesies. And I Cor 14:34-35 shows that her prophesying never took place in the church assembly.

What about verse 16 which says “neither the churches of God.” Does that prove verses 2-16 are talking about the church assembly? No because verse 16 refers to local churches, not necessarily to the assembly of those local churches:

· For example, was there only persecution against the assembly in Acts 8:1?

· Acts 8:3 says Paul “made havoc of the church, entering into every house.” Was that persecution done only in the assembly?

· Acts 14:27 proves the church is the church even before it gathers.

· I Cor 14:23 proves the church is the church even when it is not assembled.

And what about the fact that I Corinthians 11:17-34 refers to the assembly. Does that prove verses 2-16 are talking about the church assembly? Notice that verse 2 begins the first section of I Cor 11 with “I praise you” while verse 17 beings the second section with “I praise you not” – an indicator that two different contexts are under consideration. And Paul says in verse 18, “For first of all, when ye come together in the church” – again indicating a switch in thought from the previous section.

If you are going to find an example of women preaching in the church assembly, you’re going to have to find it elsewhere.

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