If Paul really considered it an abuse for a woman to speak in the Christian assembly, he had, without a doubt, the change to make this point in Chapter 11. Instead of arguing for the custom which required that women cover their heads in public, he would have taken advantage of such a strong argument against the supporters of a mistaken understanding of the equality of men and women.
Really the contradiction has a simpler solution. Although eliminating a text to eliminate a difficulty is always bad, in the present instance both the external and the internal evidence suggest that the verses cited above, (I Corinthians 14:34-35), are an interpolation which has nothing to do with the genuine text of chapter 14 as Paul’s true thought. In some important manuscripts these verses are given at the end of the chapter 14, after verse 40, since verse 36 logically follows after verse 33, the verses in question break the continuity of the reasoning process. Sever lexicographic and syntactic details are unusual in Paul’s vocabulary and style, such as the formals as even the law says,” (Katos ho nomos legei).
Finally, some of the ideas of this text disagree with what Paul says elsewhere about women. This short passage actually means that in the assemblies women must not speak, in the most natural sense of the word. If they do not understand something, all they have to do is to ask their husband at home. They should not indulge in whispering or interrupting the speaker or disturbing the meeting in any way. This type of behavior would be unbecoming and contrary to the subordinate condition in which the law intends they should remain.
WOMEN FORBIDDEN TO SPEAK
If the text in question, forbidding women “To speak”, (Lalein) and requiring them “to keep silence”, (sigan) had been inserted precisely at the end of the chapter 14 of I Corinthians, it undoubtedly would have been due to the fact that this section deals extensively with “speaking”, and “keeping silent”. The origin of this interpolation can probably be ascribed to the Jewish- Christian milieu. The reference made to “the law”, without further distinction and the anti-feminist tendency manifested in the formulation of this rule point to late Judaism rather than to tendency manifested in the formulation of this rule point to late Judaism rather than to Hellenistic society. The addition is certainly very ancient, not only because it is found in all manuscripts, although not always in the same place, but also because I Timothy plagiarizes it, warning women to “learn in silence”. And forbidding them not only to speak but also to teach. “Let a woman learn in silence with submissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men: she is to keep silent. For Adam was formed first, the Eve and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.”