λαλεῖν in I Cor. 14.34, 35?

How do I work out the meaning of a Greek text? How can I best understand the forms and vocabulary in this particular text?
Forum rules
This is a beginner's forum - see the Koine Greek forum for more advanced discussion of Greek texts. Please quote the Greek text you are discussing directly in your post if it is reasonably short - do not ask people to look it up.

When answering questions in this forum, keep it simple, and aim your responses to the level of the person asking the question.
Post Reply
R. Perkins
Posts: 68
Joined: January 18th, 2013, 9:55 pm

λαλεῖν in I Cor. 14.34, 35?

Post by R. Perkins » March 9th, 2018, 3:04 am

⸂αἱ γυναῖκες ⸆ ἐν ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις σιγάτωσαν· οὐ γὰρ ⸀ἐπιτρέπεται αὐταῖς λαλεῖν, ἀλλʼ ⸁ὑποτασσέσθωσαν ⸇, καθὼς καὶ ὁ νόμος λέγει⸃. εἰ δέ τι ⸀1μαθεῖν θέλουσιν, ἐν οἴκῳ τοὺς ἰδίους ἄνδρας ἐπερωτάτωσαν· αἰσχρὸν γάρ oἐστιν γυναικὶ λαλεῖν ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ. (NA28)

Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

If ever there was a thread to get me in trouble I figure this question might surely have the potential :lol:! Seriously, I got an email from the former president of a Bible college inquiring about the Greek verb λαλεῖν in v. 34. We have become good friends throughout the years & is highly intelligent. He recently published his magnum opus of over 40 years of research on the KJVO controversy. I wanted to consult those w. far more knowledge of Greek than myself. Here's his query (copied):

Someone has suggested that insight may be gained on this question if we looked closely at the Greek terms for “speak/speaking” used by Paul. Scholars have debated for centuries the full meaning of lalein (speak) as used in the chapter 14 passages. According to Bauer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, lalein was synonymous with lego (“to lay forth, relate in words, usually of systematic or set discourse”) in New Testament times. Strong says that lalein means “an extended or random harangue” (see 3004). It is the infinitive of laleo, meaning “to talk, utter words, preach, say, speak” (see 2980). Is the apostle saying that ecstatic speech (tongues, prophecy, etc.) is permissible since one is speaking by inspiration of the Spirit (“not from one’s own understanding”), but that teaching and instruction (via one’s own store of knowledge, communicating doctrine, judgments, and opinions) is the kind of speaking which is prohibited to women?

**My response to him (in part below) was to simply point out relevant lexicography on this verb:

BDAG: οὐ γὰρ ἐπιτρέπεται λαλείν (women) are not permitted to express themselves 1 Cor 14:34f (cp. Plut., Mor. 142d: a woman ought to take care of her home and be quiet; for she should either converse with her husband or through him). This pass. refers to expression in a congregational assembly, which would engage not only in worship but in discussion of congregational affairs; the latter appears to be implied here, for it was contrary to custom for Hellenic women, in contrast to their privileges in certain cultic rites (cp. 1 Cor 11:5), to participate in public deliberations (s. Danker, Benefactor 164, w. ref. to IG II, 1369, 107-9; for other views s. comm.).

Concise Greek-English Dictionary: λαλέω speak, talk, say; preach, proclaim; tell; be able to speak; address, converse (with); promise (of God); sound (of thunder).

Zodhiates: (II) As modified by the context where the meaning lies not so much in the verb itself, laléo, as in the adjuncts.

(A) Of one teaching, meaning to teach, preach, used in an absolute sense (Luke 5:4; 1 Cor. 14:34, 35; 1 Pet. 4:11). (CWSB; Warren Baker; AMG Publishers)

Indeed, this Greek verb is translated "preach" 6x's in the KJV (also other translations such as NASB). Of course, context will always be the determiner in translation & word-meaning.


*Honestly, this is a sincere question & not intended to set off a firestorm. I do have my own exegesis-interpretation of this notoriously difficult text - but, wisdom says I might want to keep that to myself :oops:.

Although, I really would love to see your exegesis of this passage. However one views this text, IMO it's an important matter since Paul subsequently states, "If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write to you are the commandments of the Lord." :shock:

In particular I was hoping someone could shed some light on the infinitive λαλεῖν used in this text as per the question sent to me above. Thank you much.

Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1172
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: λαλεῖν in I Cor. 14.34, 35?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » March 9th, 2018, 12:15 pm

The reason this is a difficult passage has to do with broader hermeneutical and theological concerns. The Greek is actually quite straightforward, but what often happens with passages that have become theologically charged is that people try to do strange things with the Greek in order to get the passage somehow to fit their concerns.

If there is a difference between λαλέω and λέγω, it's that λαλέω emphasizes the utterance of actual words, whereas λέγω would simply be speaking in general. Not really much of a difference at all, and the word is often used in contexts where the other would work just as well. I'm afraid there is not going to be a lexical solution to the problems people bring to this passage.

BTW, citing Strong's and Thayer doesn't inspire a great deal of confidence in the individual's depth of scholarship.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
Χαίρετε ἐν κυρίῳ πάντοτε· πάλιν ἐρῶ, χαίρετε

R. Perkins
Posts: 68
Joined: January 18th, 2013, 9:55 pm

Re: λαλεῖν in I Cor. 14.34, 35?

Post by R. Perkins » March 10th, 2018, 4:12 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
March 9th, 2018, 12:15 pm
The reason this is a difficult passage has to do with broader hermeneutical and theological concerns. The Greek is actually quite straightforward, but what often happens with passages that have become theologically charged is that people try to do strange things with the Greek in order to get the passage somehow to fit their concerns.

If there is a difference between λαλέω and λέγω, it's that λαλέω emphasizes the utterance of actual words, whereas λέγω would simply be speaking in general. Not really much of a difference at all, and the word is often used in contexts where the other would work just as well. I'm afraid there is not going to be a lexical solution to the problems people bring to this passage.

BTW, citing Strong's and Thayer doesn't inspire a great deal of confidence in the individual's depth of scholarship.
Thank you. I should have clarified that the quote referencing Strong's was not from the man who sent me the email, but rather it was a quote from a book being used in a Bible college curriculum on the Gifts of the Spirit. The quote is an excerpt from Harold Horton's work entitled simply, "The Gifts of the Spirit." My mistake :oops:!

I do agree that Strong's & Thayer are very poor & misleading sources for serious exegesis. Although, I did read a good point some years ago about Thayer that if one could afford nothing more Grimm-Thayer was a decent inexpensive resource since "many of the Greek word-meanings in his lexicon have not changed" (i.e., in light of the papyri).

But, yea', it really frustrates me to hear & read preachers appeal to "Strong's" :x. And, it seems no matter how many times I point out the dangers of these resources - they will still appeal to the same :roll:.

Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3308
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

Re: λαλεῖν in I Cor. 14.34, 35?

Post by Jonathan Robie » March 10th, 2018, 12:31 pm

R. Perkins wrote:
March 10th, 2018, 4:12 am
But, yea', it really frustrates me to hear & read preachers appeal to "Strong's" :x. And, it seems no matter how many times I point out the dangers of these resources - they will still appeal to the same :roll:.
I think 1 Cor 12:10 has this right:
For when it is Strong's, then I am weak.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Stirling Bartholomew
Posts: 714
Joined: August 9th, 2012, 4:19 pm

Re: λαλεῖν in I Cor. 14.34, 35?

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » March 10th, 2018, 2:41 pm

R. Perkins wrote:
March 10th, 2018, 4:12 am
Although, I did read a good point some years ago about Thayer that if one could afford nothing more Grimm-Thayer was a decent inexpensive resource since "many of the Greek word-meanings in his lexicon have not changed" ...

I have made a habit of comparing Grimm-Thayer with Danker 3rd Ed., they sit side-by-side within arms reach following Louw & Nida which is referenced orders of magnitude more often. I was near the front of the que at Barnes&Noble waiting for Danker 3rd Ed to be released. My copy is still in pristine condition in contrast to the Second edition which show signs of heavy use. I'm still waiting for a new work that replaces Louw & Nida.

I had a friend in the early '70s named Ken Talbot who was a bible study aficionado, big time advocate of all the books used for bible study groups of that era. I'm currently doing a memorial study for my friend on First Peter 3:17-22. Reading everything from Bo Reicke, 1946... Karen Jobes 2005.
C. Stirling Bartholomew

R. Perkins
Posts: 68
Joined: January 18th, 2013, 9:55 pm

Re: λαλεῖν in I Cor. 14.34, 35?

Post by R. Perkins » March 11th, 2018, 1:35 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:
March 10th, 2018, 12:31 pm
R. Perkins wrote:
March 10th, 2018, 4:12 am
But, yea', it really frustrates me to hear & read preachers appeal to "Strong's" :x. And, it seems no matter how many times I point out the dangers of these resources - they will still appeal to the same :roll:.
I think 1 Cor 12:10 has this right:
For when it is Strong's, then I am weak.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

R. Perkins
Posts: 68
Joined: January 18th, 2013, 9:55 pm

Re: λαλεῖν in I Cor. 14.34, 35?

Post by R. Perkins » March 11th, 2018, 2:08 am

Stirling Bartholomew wrote:
March 10th, 2018, 2:41 pm
R. Perkins wrote:
March 10th, 2018, 4:12 am
Although, I did read a good point some years ago about Thayer that if one could afford nothing more Grimm-Thayer was a decent inexpensive resource since "many of the Greek word-meanings in his lexicon have not changed" ...

I have made a habit of comparing Grimm-Thayer with Danker 3rd Ed., they sit side-by-side within arms reach following Louw & Nida which is referenced orders of magnitude more often. I was near the front of the que at Barnes&Noble waiting for Danker 3rd Ed to be released. My copy is still in pristine condition in contrast to the Second edition which show signs of heavy use. I'm still waiting for a new work that replaces Louw & Nida.

I had a friend in the early '70s named Ken Talbot who was a bible study aficionado, big time advocate of all the books used for bible study groups of that era. I'm currently doing a memorial study for my friend on First Peter 3:17-22. Reading everything from Bo Reicke, 1946... Karen Jobes 2005.
Jobes is interesting. I have her work also.

Recently purchased a sentence diagram for the entire Greek NT. I have spent literally thousands of dollars to ensure that I have the best resources in the last few years. I really like these works: https://www.olivetree.com/store/product ... ctid=25664

Personally, I use Olive Tree software since it's usually cheaper than, say, Accordance or Logos. I do see Louw & Nida referenced a lot in translators notes. At this point I really cannot see anything else I would need for original language research for either OT or NT - but am always checking on Olive Tree :roll:! Just found out that NA29 is not set to be released until 2021 :cry:.

It does baffle me why so many preachers - and even academics - still appeal to Thayer when so much better lexicography is available now. IMO, this is like opting for surgical techniques from 1900 as opposed to 2018 (& don't even get me started on KJVO :roll:).

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest