1 Corinthians 11:14-15 | Conclusion | Commentary

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1 Corinthians 11:14-15

— Conclusion—

It is our ultimate conclusion that Paul's definition of the individual differs critically from ours. Where we find ourselves and every other person automatically of a certain nationality, a certain race, or a specific gender — qualities that add up to a specific individuality — Paul equally automatically views every human female as a representation of any human collective, and every human male as a representative of any human individual. His general statements about men and women do not come from a gender-view such as ours, but are rooted in his view of society. A quick look at other seemingly woman-unfriendly texts may illustrate this:

Paul's Women

The function of genders in the Bible.

We could easily fill another megabyte or two with discussing the differences between man and woman in Scriptures (and maybe we should) but for now we would like to ask the reader to trust that these essential differences, which contemporary science has exposed, are recognized and utilized by the Bible.

To sum them up: masculinity usually functions as the tendency towards individuality; femininity as the tendency towards collectivity. Researchers note that boys at play tend to organize in hierarchy and concentrate on competition. Girls on the other hand tend to unite and share.

And to illustrate: Even though we still speak of fatherland or motherland, the Bible actually recognizes a human collective to be a form of human femaleness, and its members to be her sons. Hence it speaks of Mother Life (Genesis 3:20), Mother Judah (Isaiah 50:1), Sister Samaria and Sister Sodom (Hosea 16:46), Mother Hagar and Mother Jerusalem (Galatians 4:24-26).

Hence, a widow may represent a nation whose government has fallen away, which has to be carried by surrounding nations, and wouldn't mind instating a new government.

A prostitute on the other hand may represent a society deliberately without central rule, and whose anarchy is so thorough that it has become the base of all economy; hence Babylon the Whore (Revelation 17:1, 17:15-16 and 19:2, see also Revelation 18:7). A typical example of such a whore is the Internet, and to avoid an avalanche of angry emails: don't judge whores too harshly or too quickly. One of Jesus' ancestors was a whore (Matthew 1:5, Hebrews 11:31, James 2:25).

A bride may represent any colony or subculture that has grown without central rule other than that of the 'father,' and eagerly awaits her husband, who will be devoted to her alone. The most famous bride in Scriptures is of course the Bride of Christ; that is the group of called-out ones that presently is hardly aware of herself, and should never be mistaken for the formal church.

Paul says that women are saved by their childbearing (1 Timothy 2:15) but that most likely does not mean that he wants every woman to be a baby factory, and certainly not that salvation in the Biblical sense for a woman depends on her utilized fertility. That would go against everything else that Paul had written about salvation.

Although we can be sure that he meant it the way he wrote it, this statement must have been derived from his observation that any organization is alive because of its members and dead without them.

Paul's command that women aren't allowed to have authority (1 Timothy 2:12) or even speak in church (1 Corinthians 14:34) has through the ages caused the silence of many bright theologians, simply because they were female. But, even though he meant what he wrote, this statement may in fact have originated in his objection against polarization and clique formation within the Body of Christ.

Where did Mrs. Cain come from?

A pleasant side-effect of this little theorem is that it explains right away the old standing mystery of where Mrs. Cain may have come from. The Chaotic Set theory suggested as much: Adam and Eve represent the most basic definitions of corporeal existence.

The name Adam means Earthling, or rather, One Made Of Matter; a Bodied Person. The name Eve is less easily explained but of her it is said that she was the 'mother of all life.' That makes the creation of woman all of a sudden quite logical; she came from the rib of man, but after man had had time to evolve into an individual.

The word usually translated with rib (?) is an architectonic term, used solely to describe sides of buildings (and once a mountain). It has nothing to do with a human bone, and denotes solely lateral relations between individuals. Sodality and society follow from the maturity of the individual, but in turn, man matures under influence of society (1 Corinthians 11:12).

The story of Cain, Abel and Seth, consequently, is not about the first human offspring but rather the most rudimental steps in life's organization. Cain's killing of Abel may denote nothing more than competing until death, while Cain's wife denotes the very first form of governmental authority, the classic chiefdom, in short.

Extending this theorem allows also an explanation of why the patriarchies of Jubal and Jabal survived the deluge, and may even shed new and important light on the usage of the signature elements of these patriarchies in the tabernacle cycle.

Our final opinion about the cranial hair of humans

Nature or God provides both men and women with long cranial hair. We believe that this is because our body reflects our nature, and we are defined by our ability to comprehend, remember and conclude. Our long hair signifies that. Simply by the way the human world is, or was, organized, men are trained to mostly heed exposure to suddenly occurring events, like prey or enemies or rivals. Women on the other hand are trained to focus on processing long term progressions; the development of their children or the keeping or their man. Of Mary, the mother of Jesus, twice Luke says that she stored things in her heart (2:19 and 2:51).

Societies work exactly alike. The human individual lives short and can't remember everything. But a society, and its culture of story telling, is able to remember vast amounts of knowledge and wisdom. Here at Abarim Publications we are amazed daily by the immense amount of insight that the Bible possesses. But equally amazed are we at the obvious structure that make the Bible tick, which seem to have been drawn from some kind of human collective subconscious, and which contains the casual usage of advanced psychology, quantum physics and chaos theory, and who knows what else? But the Bible isn't the only amazing work of art that culture has preserved. We have the mesmerizing Giza complex, the explanation defying Peruvian dessert drawings, Homer's Iliad...

Both men and woman have the ability and the permission to look far into the past and some of us can even look into the future. It seems that Paul says that men are to debate the current issues and hip theologies of our time, but they are to submit their fads and rages to the wives at home, who can test their enthusiasm against the backdrop of the wisdom of the ages. And this all in his response to the way society works, of course. The human individual runs after wildebeests; the human collective stores treasures in her heart.