THOUGHTS ON SPECIFIC RELATIONSHIPS
I connected 26h to 26a-f as Ac-Mn near the end, once I saw how 27d and 31b-c talk about edification.
I originally had the relationship between 26a-h and 27a-35c as Id-Exp, since 27a-35c are expanding on what doing all things for building up looks like. But I think that Ac-Mn is more specific and accurate.
There are a lot of Conditional relationships in this passage! That shows Paul’s purpose in ordering their worship in different circumstances.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO “KEEP SILENT”?
Is Paul saying that women should not prophesy at all, or speak in tongues at all? No, because that would directly contradict his words just a few chapters earlier in 1 Corinthians 11:4-5. Paul allowed women to pray and prophesy in the public assembly (tongues are not mentioned here, however). Also, notice “all” in 31a, b, and c.
That means that 33c-35 should be attached only to 29-33b, not to 27-28.
Here are some helpful quotations on this:
“Whatever this section is teaching, it is not telling women to keep quiet in church. In 11:5, Paul has already referred to women praying and prophesying. The reference to their husbands at home (35) immediately indicates that the apostle is thinking about the behaviour of some married women at Corinth, behaviour which needed firm control of the kind which had clearly proved necessary in all the churches of the saints (33). Although we cannot uncover the details of what was going on, we can discern some of the attitudes prevalent at Corinth. It seems that the principle of submissiveness was being ignored (they should be subordinate, 34), that a spirit of defiance was uppermost (it is shameful …, 35), and that an isolationist tendency was turning these wives into arbitrators of their own church order and even doctrine (Did the word of God originate with you?, 36)” (David Prior, The Message of 1 Corinthians: Life in the Local Church, 251–252, bold emphasis mine).
“Indeed, the word translated remain silent was already used twice before in this chapter. First, in v. 28, in reference to one with the gift of tongues remaining silent when no interpreter is available to translate the unknown tongue. Then, in v. 30, in reference to a prophet who is to stop speaking if someone else receives a revelation. The inclusion here of this discussion of the silence of women or wives is most likely explained by the fact that Paul had just finished discussing those two other situations that also called for silence on the part of certain participants in the church’s worship. In neither of those other cases, of course, are those people expected to remain silent at all times” (Roy E. Ciampa and Brian S. Rosner, The First Letter to the Corinthians, PNTC, 720, bold emphasis mine).
This injunction could refer back to 29a-b, where a prophesy would be weighed as to its accuracy. Paul is saying that women should not do this. This would fit with 11:2-5, where Paul ties prophesying with heads covered or uncovered to the fact that “the head of every man is Christ,” and “the head of a wife is her husband” (v. 3). The order in creation would be overturned if a woman were publicly judging the accuracy of a prophecy. This also fits with 1 Timothy 2:11-12, where the words “submissiveness” and “quiet” are used, tying the two passages together. (The words “quiet” and “silent” are different, however.)
WHAT DOES “THE LAW ALSO SAYS” MEAN?
This is difficult, since there is no passage in the OT that specifically says anything quoted in 34a-c.
“The problem is that he does not cite a text from the law, and no OT passage instructs women to be silent. Perhaps he refers to a general assumption that the law calls for the wife’s submission to her husband. Others pinpoint Gen. 3:16, “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you,” as the backdrop. Oster (1995: 356) maintains that since Paul alludes to the Genesis creation narrative in 1 Cor. 11:3, 8–10, which lays the scriptural foundation for the wife’s submission, he saw no need to cite these texts again. The problem with this view is that Gen. 3:16 is predictive, not prescriptive, and Jewish exegetes did not ground the subordination of women in the creation narrative (Rowe 1990: 66). Liefeld (1986: 149–50) suggests that Paul alludes to the patriarchal perspective in Num. 12:1–15, which records Miriam’s punishment for questioning Moses’ authority. This passage fits the context of discerning, which may involve questioning, what the one prophesying has said. On the other hand, it may be best to see the reference to the “law” functioning in this case as another reference point beside cultural rules (“the common feeling of humankind” [Barrett 1968: 331]), the practice of all the churches, and the command of the Lord (1 Cor. 14:37; cf. the same pattern in 9:7–14, noted by Baumert 1996: 196–97)” (Garland, 672-73, bold emphasis mine).
This passage teaches that women should not have roles of teaching authority in the church. This is supported by the pattern of creation order in the OT.
It also teaches that husbands need the knowledge to teach their wives (and children) the truth of Scripture.
Are you (men or women) living in a biblically-ordered way in your home? At your church? These things are God’s commands (37c).