Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives. The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version. At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture. To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.
1 Corinthians 14-15
Questions & Observations
Q. (1 Corinthians 14:1-25): Rob, do you know if anyone today has the gift of speaking in tongues or prophesying? To me, this passage speaks out for the gift of prophesying or preaching and not so much for speaking in tongues because the latter can only benefit the person speaking in a unique language.
A. That is a highly debated topic with no consensus. Though I have not personally witnessed either speaking in tongues (or interpretation) or prophecy, I am surely open to the possibility that the Spirit can do as He pleases.
Q. (14:34-35): OK, Rob, talk about this one. This is a hard one for me to swallow. I feel like God is saying that women have no understanding of His word. I had counseling when I was in high school because I had held my feelings in for so long because I didn’t think what I thought really mattered. Now, God is telling me that I don’t matter because I’m a woman! Besides, this says because the law says to be submissive. The Law is no longer valid.
A. Ok, here goes. The entire point of this passage is Paul’s instructions is NOT to keep women in their “place,” but rather to maintain an orderly worship. Since in this society, it would have been improper for women to speak in public, Paul instructions are about preventing a “scene” in worship — the worship experience should present order, not disorder for non-believers. There are other places (like Acts 11:5) where Paul would appear to go against his own instructions and expect women to pray and prophecy in church, so we’re clearly not talking about a universal, ironclad standard here. If you examine 1 Cor 11:5, Paul himself indicates that there were times when women were permitted to speak at church. So, I leave it to you to decide from there what he meant.
O. (15:8-11): I like what Paul says here about him being the least of the apostles. He says he does not even deserve to be called an apostle. Nevertheless, He has let God work through him and been more effective than the others. But, it doesn’t matter because as long as people are preaching as God instructs them, their word is all solid.
A. God has the amazing ability to bring light out of the darkest places, even those in the human heart. His ability to change lives, even of those closest to me, is a powerful testimony, and I believe it is the very best witness to the truth of the Gospel.
Q. (15:35-58): This is an amazing description of life after physical death that I’ve never read. Our old bodies being a seed to our immortal spirits shows how God continues to use the same ways of life over again and again.
A. It is one of the least read and understood passages of scripture, and it does a lot of damage to the idea of the afterlife as being where disembodied souls play harps on clouds for all eternity. That is certainly not the record of Scripture! Wait until we wrap up with Revelation!
O. (15:58) Love this one!