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Topic 33: 1 Cor. 14:26-39: Part 2: “…in all the churches…”


Does the phrase in 1 Corinthians 14:33b, “as in all the churches of the saints, …” belong with verse 33a or with verse 34?

(1) Is the silence to be held in all the churches (local parenesis, connecting to verse 34) or is God the God of peace for and in all the churches (the theme underlying the chapter, connecting to verse 33)?

(2) Verses 34 and 35 are placed by the Western Text after verse 40, indicating that the ancients did not think that this phrase in 33b belonged as a part of verse 34.

(3) Lenski (First Epistle to the Corinthians, pg. 613) notes that most of the ancients, as well as Luther, connect the phrase “as in all the churches” with the preceding verse, verse 33a.

(4) Harrisville (1 Corinthians, pg. 243) notes in the “publication of the American Standard Version in 1900, the original division was altered, and the new sentence begun at v. 33b.  Since then, all English versions of the New Testament have followed suit (the RSV, the NEB, the Jerusalem Bible; but cf. The Living New Testament).  Curiously enough, Nestle’s Greek text of the New Testament, first published in 1898, and in its subsequent editions used by the majority in Europe and America, contained the same verse division as appeared in English versions until 1900, while the Greek text of Westcott-Hort, first published in 1881, and in subsequent editions used by English scholars, evaluated the old division as on a par with the new.  To what extent aversion to female occupancy of the pulpit contributed to the alteration can only be surmised.”

(5) Given the “disordering” style of worship in pagan cultic practice, Paul’s “rubrics” in verses 26 to 36 apply to all within the universal church.

(6) The interpretive significance: “Peace in the society is a mark of the presence and work of God.  This is true (ideally) not only in Corinth, but universally …there are Christian assemblies elsewhere from whose example the Corinthians might learn a lesson …” (Barrett, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, pgs. 329-330).