Philipp Foltz Pericles Funeral Oration
“And, if I am to speak of womanly virtues to those of you who will henceforth be widows, let me sum them up in one short admonition: To a woman not to show more weakness than is natural to her sex is a great glory, and not to be talked about for good or for evil among men.”

The following is Melanchthon’s commentary on 1 Corinthians 14:34

Αἱ γυναῖκες ιμων ἐν ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις σιγάτωσαν

Let your women keep silence in the church.

This passage is not obscure. For it is known among all nations whose governance was not entirely barbaric that there were distinct duties for men and women, and that men managed warfare and political affairs in public assemblies of the people, as Homer states both: “War shall be the concern of men” and “Discourse shall be the concern of men.” However, women took care of domestic matters at home and were not accustomed to addressing public gatherings of men. Paul desires that this honorable custom be observed in the Church, and in public governance he desires alignment with the law of God and true human judgments according to right reason. He does not want barbaric confusions to occur in the Church, nor does he want Semiramis[1] or Zenobia[2] to become bishops. Although there are indeed many holy and wise matrons, these public duties are not fitting for this sex, and it would set a dangerous precedent.



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