Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Bookmark and Share

« Andreas Kostenberger: On Writing a New Theology Text | Main | Lynn Cohick: On God's Peace and the Nobel Peace Prize »


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Why would 1 Cor 14:34-35 be an interpolation? by Philip Barton Payne:


Great article! Wish I could make the paper reading at ETS. I've often wondered about the specifics of these two verses (ever since I read Fees arguments for their interpolation in the NICNT).

Hi Philip,

Thanks for providing an answer. Fee's argument starts from the dubious premise that verses 34-35 "interrupt" the flow of argument. However on that criteria, several other passages would be candidates for interpolation, and choppy argumentation is no excuse for an interpolation. Furthermore the more difficult or uncomfortable reading is generally preferable.

However your purely manuscript-based argument is very interesting but also a little confusing. I was left wondering which early manuscripts don't include verses 34-35? My trusty UBS Greek Bible shows most of the major manuscripts with these verses in their correct location albeit with a few exceptions such as Ambrosiaster which place the verses at verse 40. Carson ('Silent', 142) points out that if there was an interpolation it would have had to have occurred very early in the manuscript history because it appears in so many early manuscripts. As you point out later scribal notations introduce the possibility of an interpolation but this doesn't explain the presence of the verses in so many early manuscripts.

Thanks again, though for your explanation, it's good to discuss these things.

D. A. Carson, 'Silent in the Churches: On the Role of Women in 1 Corinthians 14:33b-36' in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

1. The date of the umlauts/distigmai is not fully established yet. They still can be late. Ink analysis is needed.

2. you wrote: "We know it is highly unlikely since no scribe of any surviving manuscript (and there are thousands) of any of Paul's letters ever did anything like this in any other passage of Paul's letters."

This is weak evidence, since it is an argument from silence. Many things happened only once in textual criticism.

Thanks, Philip,

I cite your piece on my new blog, where I mention that these verses should not be assessed in isolation, but should be weighed along with the other evidence that early Christians altered Paul's writings to reduce the authority of women.

Philip, I understand that your understanding of these distigmai has challenged by Peter Head at SBL, as summarised by Tommy Wassermann at http://evangelicaltextualcriticism.blogspot.com/2009/11/sbl-new-orleans-2009-i-peter-head.html and http://evangelicaltextualcriticism.blogspot.com/2009/11/sbl-new-orleans-2009-i-peter-head_22.html. See in particular Curt Niccum's comment on the latter, which mentions this 1 Corinthians passage and Codex Fuldensis. According to Peter the distigmai were probably added as late as the 16th century.

Would you care to comment on how a different dating of the distigmai might affect your conclusions on this passage?

The comments to this entry are closed.



Koinoniablog.net Analytics

  • :