Monday, August 31, 2009

Getting Home And Catching Up


We made it home last night and I am now back in the saddle for the home stretch on "Pilgrim's Progress: Similitude Of A Dream".

The "Just Plain Folks" award show in Nashville was a great experience, and although we didn't win in our category, our nomination still represents the most widespread recognition we've ever received and it was an honor to be included in the largest music awards in the world. (In all categories combined, a massive total of 42,000 albums were entered for consideration.)

Our trip to Nashville also gave me the chance to connect with some old friends and spend a little time with family. I was also honored to spend the afternoon with Winston Crutchfield of "Critical Press Media". Winston has been a huge supporter of Spirit Blade Productions and it was a real treat to spend the afternoon with him. (Even though I managed to get us lost at least three times in the maze-like highway system of Nashville.)

But after a great trip, it's time to get back to reality. Though not too much. For the next several weeks I'll still be spending my time in a far off land of fantasy and adventure as I push to get "Pilgrim" out to all of you ASAP!

As always, thank you so much for your continued support of what we're doing! Talk to you again soon!

-Paeter Frandsen

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Gone This Week


Sorry for the late post. Our internet died over the weekend and we only just had it fixed last night. Bummer timing for computer problems, since I'll be gone for the rest of this week and was hoping to get ahead of the "catch up" that I'll have to do when I get back! (sigh.)

With no podcast this weekend, "In Search Of Truth" has also been delayed. And while I may still post something on Monday when I return, "In Search Of Truth" will not be on the blog until next Wednesday.

My wife and I are very much looking forward to this trip to Nashville. We hope to connect with some other independent artsy types at the JPF award show on Saturday, and can't wait to just take a break for a little bit. I'll be using the time to get caught up on some reading and video gaming, vegging out as much as possible before returning for the breakneck home stretch on "Pilgrim".

See you on the other side!

-Paeter Frandsen

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Two Scenes To Go!


Posting early because I'm taking the day off tomorrow.

Today I've finished (except for dropping in some music) scene 9 of "Pilgrim's Progress", leaving only two scenes left to mix! I plan to get a solid start on scene 10 next week before we take off to Nashville for the "Just Plain Folks" awards show next weekend.

Although the last two scenes of this project are pretty "effects intensive", I couldn't be much more pleased with my progress and look forward to making this project available in early October!

-Paeter Frandsen

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Remote Controlling


My pace has been improving this week and I'm trying to build on my momentum by figuring out a way to control my audio mixing computer with my laptop. I spend a few days each week working downstairs on our laptop while I keep an eye on our son and my wife goes to work. For the most part, it doesn't effect my productivity much, since I can still mix during his naps. And aside from some feeding and brief play breaks now and then, my son isn't very demanding. But the one thing I can't do on my laptop is mix audio, since all my software and files are upstairs on my office computer.

So I'm getting some advice and looking into options that will allow me to control my upstairs computer from my laptop downstairs, so that on those rare occassion when I've caught up on every e-mail, blog post, message board and Bible study, I can get some mixing done, too!

I'm running XP home edition, so I'm told I don't have the built in capability already on my PC. But I've downloaded VNC and am hoping to figure it out soon (I'm not real tech savvy). If anyone else has a suggestion for a free solution, I'm all ears!

Monday, August 17, 2009

In Search Of Truth, 1st Corinthians 15:29-58


Paul gives the Corinthians (and us) a further glimpse of the bodies that believers in Christ will have when they are resurrected. But first he finishes his argument regarding the existence of resurrection in general.


There is still speculation today over what Paul was referring to when he referenced those being “baptized for the dead”.(v.29) There are several possibilities for what was being done, but an important point to remember is that Paul is not necessarily approving of this practice, which was apparently being done in Corinth. He was using their own customs to point out the contradiction in their beliefs. “If there is no real life after death, why are you doing anything on behalf of the dead?”


Paul also points out his own life, marked by repeated suffering. If he was making up the fact that he saw Jesus alive after the crucifixion, he would have no motive to go through all the suffering he endured. (v.30-32) If the resurrection is a lie, then we should all “eat and drink, for tomorrow we die”, as Paul quotes from Isaiah 22:13, where this attitude is contrasted with a need and desire to turn from sin and follow God.


In verse 33, Paul quotes a secular poet that the Corinthians would be familiar with, reminding them to stay away from people who influence their thinking wrongly, as they had obviously allowed to happen. He tells the Corinthians to become “sober-minded”. The Corinthians had stopped thinking critically as they were introduced to new ideas. As a result, they began to believe things that were false and even had some in their community who didn’t know who God was. (v.34) It’s vital that we care about the truth and think logically as each idea, new or old, is evaluated and presented. If we don’t, we may even discover that we or some in our church communities lack an understanding of  some of the most basic truths of the Bible.


The hypothetical questions Paul asks in verse 35 are assumed to be coming from someone who is asking them to make a point or to express skepticism. (“Resurrected bodies, are you kidding me? What kind of body could a dead person possibly make use of?”) This is why Paul responds with the phrase “How foolish” or “You fool”, a common phrase utilized during philosophical debates of that time period.


Paul then compares resurrected bodies to seeds. To get plants, we don’t plant plants. We plant seeds. And just as Christians die and are buried, only to one day be resurrected with new bodies, a seed is buried and ceases to be a seed (dies) as it grows and turns into a plant.


There will be both a sense of commonality and difference between each person’s resurrected body, just like all living creatures have flesh of some kind, but there are significant differences between the flesh of various creatures. There will be some commonality between the pre-death body and the resurrected body, but there will also be very significant differences. (v.38-42)


For believers, resurrected bodies will be imperishable (in the Greek, literally “incorruptible”), glorious (meaning they will display perfectly the reflection of God’s character and be all God intended them to be), powerful (specifics are not indicated, but the Greek means “strong capability”), without animalistic or sinful tendencies (this is what the Greek word for “spiritual” here means), and this new body is just as real as the old one!(v.42-44)


Although the destiny of the Christian is to have a body like Christ’s resurrected body, we first have to live in our natural bodies, inherited from Adam and corrupted by his sin and the sinful tendencies we have inherited from him.

“Flesh and blood” was a common phrase used to refer to mortality, not specifically flesh and blood. In our current state, we are not fit for eternal, sinless existence. So believers will all be changed for compatibility with eternal existence, both those who are dead and those who are alive at the moment this transformation occurs. This change will happen instantly and all believers will be given bodies that will never die.  


This event will be a fulfillment of  Isaiah 25:8, which Paul quotes and explain here. Sin is the poisonous sting that brings about death. It is because of Adam’s sin and our sin that we die. And sin is given its power by the law, which is impossible for us to keep and only showcases our sin. (See Romans 7:7-12)


The incredible truth we can be thankful for is that we don’t have to claw and scrape our way into eternal life. We couldn’t if we tried. But Jesus has won this victory for us! (v.57)


So, knowing that our future is secure if we trust in Christ, we can focus our energies on being firm in our trust and doing the kind of work God has given us to do in this life; work that will express his love to others and lead them to trust in Jesus as well. Investing our lives in that kind of work will never be in vain. (v.58)


Next Time- Finishing up 1st Corinthians!



Coffee House Question


Why do you think we give so much priority to pleasure in our current life instead of our life in eternity? What practical steps can we take to change our outlook a little?

Friday, August 14, 2009

District 9 (Movie Review)

This Peter Jackson produced sci-fi flick has been simmering in the kettle for awhile now. But does it live up to the mystique? Hard to say.

My viewing of the film was tainted a bit by rumors I had heard that the flick had a heavy political agenda. I carried that baggage with me until almost the last 20 minutes of the movie, so my mind was a bit distracted and I may have been thinking too hard. So bear with me as I try to compensate for the baggage I brought to the movie and try to fairly review this movie.

The basic premise is that aliens came to earth 20 years ago in horrible physical condition. It's suggested that they were part of some sort of intergalactic "forced labor" and escaped to earth, seeking refuge. Humanity welcomes them and gives them some territory to live in, but then takes advantage of them economically, obsessed with gaining the alien's weapons technology. There is also a clear lack of respect, even racism toward the aliens.

The lead character is a man who works for the oppressive human government, who is infected by alien technology that allows him to make use of the alien's weapons, which humans are normally unable to do. From that point of the movie until the end, various group of people want to either capture, kill, or in some way use him for their own gain.

The story is interesting enough. I was certainly never bored and was actually very invested in the direction of the plot. But I was involved more intellectually than emotionally for most of the film. The script and documentary style just don't lend themselves to helping us get to know these characters.

District 9 looks great from beginning to end. It's use of the documentary film style is striking and helps cover flaws in special effects, much as the camera work did the same for "Battlestar Galactica". The visuals were not cheap, by any standards, but like most CGI effects, they look like CGI effects. The details are great, but the motion looks computer generated. Still, the various weapons, robotics and explosions are fun to watch and most movie fans will likely be impressed or at least pleased.

Adding to the gritty realism this film shoots for is the fact that it is cast with unknowns from top to bottom. A VERY nice change of pace. The acting was wonderful across the board (though a couple "bad guys" were a little cookie-cutter) and during the first 15 minutes of "interviews" I kept wondering how they cast so many small roles with so many believable actors! The lack of a single American accent made me feel just a little like a cultural outsider, but at the same time it brought a wonderful sense of realism to the movie.

As for the relevance of this film to real world issues, it certainly scores well in this category. I can easily see people having worthwhile conversation after watching District 9. But if I were to start a conversation after this film, it wouldn't be about Apartheid or racim, issues the script was inspired by. Why? Because aliens are aliens and people are people. The film clearly paints the aliens as victim and the human "segregationists" as bad guys, but I can't firmly put a black hat on the humans for wanting to be separated from the aliens. I think it's certainly wrong to take advantage of and manipulate them, but separation just makes sense. Nowhere in the film was their any discussion of comparative biology between the aliens and humans. It appears that humans just brought them to earth without making any effort to screen them for possible viruses or diseases that would be potentially harmful to humans. These are alien life forms, for Pete's sake! Just opening up their ship may have exposed the world to a deadly airborne virus!

One could argue that I'm being a little too serious about this plot issue and that the movie is not meant to be realistic. Yet the movie, through its gritty content, social themes and documentary style, asks to be considered realistic. If the script included mention of the alien's complete biological safety to humans, then I could condemn their segregation, as I believe the film-makers want me to. Otherwise, I have to side with those who wish the aliens to remain as physically distant from them as possible.

So, if the apartheid comparison doesn't really work, what is there to talk about?

There's a very common catch-phrase floating around today that goes something like "people are basically good". I think we say this of ourselves because the thought of being judged and coming up short is more terrible than we want to deal with. Since the definition of "good" might be debated endlessly, let's assume for the moment that at the very least, a good person will think about and care for others more than themselves. If this is the starting point for a universal definition of "good", then District 9 makes a strong statement against the idea that we are all "basically good". This movie has almost no redeeming human characters. Even the hero spends most of the film serving himself. Every human is after prestige, power, or some form of self-preservation. And although this film is a work a fiction, it reminds us that historically we have shown these traits to be a defining part of our nature. We can strive for goodness, but we've got to deal with our junk along the way.

Rated R for bloody violence and pervasive language

Quality: 8.5/10

Relevance: 8.5/10

Staring At The Screen


So here I am staring at this screen trying to figure out what to tell you all about my progress this week. But all the big progress happened in the first half of the week and I told you about it on Wednesday! The rest has been various emails and things on my to do list and a little inching forward on the scene I'm mixing. So I really have nothing interesting to tell you today.

But rather than spend more time staring at the screen until I come up with something interesting to say, I thought I'd just confess that my brain is currently empty. At least then I can move forward and get some work done that I can hopefully update you on NEXT week!

Have a great weekend!

-Paeter Frandsen

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Scene 8 of 11, and "Pilgrim" Bonus!


I FINALLY finished work on one of the most complicted scenes for "Pilgrim" yesterday and have begun work on scene 8. With only 11 scenes total, I can now see the end of this project in front of me like never before!

I also came up with an idea for bonus content on this project that I think listeners will dig. I've decided that each installment of "Pilgrim's Progress" will also come with an audiobook version of the original material from Bunyan's original classic work. So after listening to the "Spirit Blade Productions" version, you'll be able to listen to my reading of the original material and experience the story as Bunyan wrote it!

For those concerned about the effect this will have on release schedule, have no fear. The entire process should only add about two weeks to the production schedule. (And it will add about 40 minutes of content!)

At this point, I'm hoping for a release date somewhere in early October.

That's all for now!

-Paeter Frandsen

Monday, August 10, 2009

In Search Of Truth, 1st Corinthians 15:1-28


Before digging into this chapter, let’s do another quick vocab review that will probably be helpful to us:


From the Greek word- Euaggelion, meaning "Good News". Paul used this word specifically to refer to the death, burial and resurrection of Christ and the interpretation of these facts. The Gospel is the basic truth of who Jesus is, what he did for us, and what it means for us now and forever.


One of the most misused terms in modern Christian culture. “Sozo” is the Greek word in question here, and it has the general definition of “to save”. And although we tend to use this word to specifically refer to being saved from eternal punishment, it does not specifically have this meaning every time it is used. Its three common uses refer to different types of salvation.

  1. Salvation from the penalty of sin. (Called “justification”, this form of salvation rescues us from eternal punishment and removes all sin from our record.)
  2. Salvation from the power of sin. (Called “sanctification”, this refers to an ongoing process of being “set apart” for God’s purposes, becoming more like God in character and moving further and further from sinful tendencies.)
  3. Salvation from the presence of sin. (Called “glorification”, this refers to an eternal existence with God, where the human body is made perfect, immortal and indestructible and all tendency toward sin of any kind is removed.

Examining each occurrence of this word and its context is the best way to determine which definition applies.


Although throughout the Bible this word has a variety of specific meanings, in general it means "undeserved favor". Grace is something good given without being earned. If we have anything good that we enjoy in life, whether or not we are Christians, it is ultimately because of the "grace" of God. We don't deserve it, but God has given it to us because he loves us.

In this chapter, it becomes evident that the Corinthians needed a refresher course on the basic message about Christ that Paul had given them in the past. (v. 1) They had developed some illogical thinking that Paul sorted through by reminding them of the resurrection of Christ and how that fact is counter to the philosophy some of them are adopting.

He reminds the Corinthians that they are saved by believing in and holding firmly to the gospel message. (v. 2) (Paul’s reference to “believing in vain” is likely a foreshadow to his point in verse 13.)

In verse 3 and 4, the phrase “according to the scriptures” probably refers to Isaiah 53, specifically verses 4-6, 8 and 11—12. If you’ve not read this passage before, I’d highly recommend it!

(Side Note: Some translations use the name Cephas in verse 5. This is another name for the Apostle Peter.)

Paul reminds the Corinthians that there is good reason to believe in the gospel. In their own time there were eyewitnesses still living that could verify the truth of Jesus’ resurrection. Christianity is not a religion that encourages followers to simply have blind faith in. It repeatedly calls on sound reason and evidence, asking, by implication, to be examined!  (v.5-7)

Paul compares himself to someone “untimely born” because compared to the other Apostles, he came to belief after Christ’s Ascension, completely missing Jesus’ earthly ministry before that time. (v.8)

Paul has a very humble understanding of himself and his accomplishments. He calls himself the least of the Apostle and not fit to be called an Apostle, but because of God’s grace, he is an apostle despite his persecution of the church. He also recognizes the amount of work he has put into this role, but even this he credits to God’s grace. (v. 9-10)

After establishing the basics of the gospel, and the fact that the Corinthians believed it to be true (v. 11), Paul points out the poor logic in their circulating belief that resurrection is not possible. After all, if it is absolutely impossible then Jesus could not have been resurrected and their entire faith is a waste of time! (v.12-14)

Not only that, if the resurrection didn’t really happen, that makes Paul and the Apostles liars and it means that no one on earth is or ever has been cleared of their sinful record. Everyone would still be under the judgment of God, those who have died have no hope of eternal life and everyone who hopes in Christ in this life should be pitied more than anyone else alive. (v. 15-19)

Many would agree that Jesus was a wonderful teacher or human being. Some might even say he was a prophet and did miracles. But even Paul admits that if Jesus’ body is rotting away somewhere right now and not literally, physically alive, nothing else matters. Christianity stands or falls on the resurrection of Jesus and for this reason it is a vital subject for investigation.

Paul’s main focus here, however, is not suggesting that the resurrection may have been a fraud. He’s using an argument method called “reduction to an absurdity”. He takes the illogical assumption of a fraudulent resurrection and carries it to its logical conclusion, which would be absurd for the Corinthians to believe.

When we are considering new ideas about the nature of ourselves, the world and God, it’s important that we compare them to scripture to see if the two are compatible. As we determine our beliefs about God, our minds should be engaged at all times, evaluating the logic of every idea presented to us, or those we suggest to ourselves.

(I’ve found a fun way to do this is to pick apart various presuppositions or ideas presented in the fiction I take in. In fact that’s how I put together the “Relevance” score for my movie reviews!)

Paul affirms the resurrection of Christ and calls him the “firstfruits” of those who sleep. This is a metaphor meaning that those who trust in Jesus who are now dead, will one day have a resurrected body like the one Jesus has.(v.20)

Verses 21-23 explain that because of Adam’s sin, all humans have inherited bodies that will eventually die. But Jesus has countered this and made it possible for all who trust in him to live forever.

Paul gives us a glimpse of what the future holds. Jesus will return to earth and sometime after will abolish earthly authorities and government, forcing all enemies into submission. In some way, death itself will also be defeated! Jesus will then rule the world himself. Then at some point he will willingly give authority of this kingdom to God the Father, making God the Father the undisputed ruler of everything everywhere. (v.24-28)

There’s a huge amount of comfort we can take from this. God is the absolute embodiment of love, mercy and everything genuinely good. And he is the one who will rule everything everywhere. In this life, we have to deal with insecurity and injustice. But those who choose to trust in Jesus will never have a reason to fear either in the incredible life that they will one day live.

Next Week- A further glimpse of resurrected life!


Coffee House Question

How do you go about deciding whether or not an idea is true? What steps do you take and how effective do you think they have been?

Friday, August 7, 2009

G.I. Joe (Movie Review)

Although I didn’t collect the toys as a kid, I often watched the G.I. Joe cartoon whenever it came on. I came into this movie experience as a casual fan of “Joe”, but as a big fan of action movies with sci-fi elements.

On one significant front, this movie delivered. If you’re looking for a big action flick with lots of explosions, effects and crazy CGI fight scenes, don’t miss this flick. From beginning to end, viewers are assaulted with visually creative concepts. Gadgets, weapons and sets are often laced with CGI light or electricity. Not much realism in sight, but far from a Schumacher Batman movie.

Costumes are respectful of their cartoon counterparts. They are practical enough for a live action movie, and appropriately stylized for a movie of this type.

So what “type” of movie is this? It’s Michael Bay’s “Transformers” without the immature jokes and juvenile protagonists. Certainly tolerable and at some points enjoyable, but nearly without substance in terms of plot and featuring almost hopelessly shallow characters.

Although, as I mentioned, it is filled to the brim with nifty sci-fi weapons and gadgets, there are no boundaries established regarding what is possible technologically and what is not. As a result, I never feared for anyone's life, because for all I knew, some gadget would be pulled out at any moment that could respond to exactly the peril at hand.

This kind of world can still be fun to visit if the characters are compelling, but none of them really were. A few attempts were made to bring more than two dimensions to Ripcord and Scarlet, but they fell flat. (I also find Marlon Wayans incredibly unfunny, despite his efforts on this or his other films.) Duke and the Baroness had interesting conflict set up between them in the story, but it was instantly fixed late in the movie by another very convenient gadget. The best attempt at characterization was found in the back-story frequently referred to between Snake Eyes and Stormshadow. But the fact that Snake Eyes looks like a giant rubber action figure (complete with rubber nose and lips for some odd reason) kept me from investing much in him as a "real" person.

The only bit of relevance this movie possibly contained. from my perspective, is in a couple of exchanges between Ripcord and Scarlet, where they "almost" discuss the contrast between emotion and logic. But their dialogue is in service to a shallow romantic subplot and doesn't truly explore either of these ideas.

Fans of the original animated G.I. Joe will likely enjoy the ride and appreciate the "nods" to their childhood by way of catch-phrases and the appearance of various characters. This movie will also likely appeal to 'tween and young teen boys. But for those looking for any amount of realism or character development, this movie will be a disappointment.

Rated PG-13 for strong sequences of action violence and mayhem throughout

Quality: 8.0/10

Relevance: 5.0/10

Can't Wait For Dialogue!


Although I normally do not enjoy the monotony of mixing "dialogue driven" scenes, I'm very much looking forward to one at this point. I've been sitting in water and mud with these characters for almost three weeks now, and to make that kind of environment come to life I have to spend a TON of time layering in what amounts to different kinds of splashes or sloshes.

And I thought mixing dialogue could be tedious.

The good news is, I think this will be a really cool scene when all is said and done, and it looks like I may be close to finishing it early next week, if not today! So I better get back to it!

-Paeter Frandsen

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Dark Ritual Interactive Commentary Part 4!


At, I'm spilling more secrets and stupidity this month with the release of the Spirit Blade: Dark Ritual Interactive Commentary, Part 4!

A continuity fix, tribal gibberish, and what "Dark Ritual" says about Sunday morning worship!

Plus: Can you spot the moment where I replaced Raan's voice with my own? Bet you can't! Did you spot the script error? At least one listener did! And which character has no last name?

Find out all that and a bunch more at !


-Paeter Frandsen

Monday, August 3, 2009

In Search Of Truth, 1st Corinthians 14:33-40


The issue of women and their involvement in the Christian church has been discussed for many years and the discussion continues. Books have been written and tempers have flared in an effort to resolve it. And while we won’t exhaustively cover the issue here, I hope to be a part of your journey as you seek out truth on this important subject.


So, does Paul think women should never say a word in church? Does the Bible teach that women can’t teach men? That’s a tough argument to make. Take just a minute and read through:


1 Corinthians 11:5, Acts 18:26, Galatians 3:28. These verses make reference to Christian women prophesying, teaching(even teaching a man!) and sharing equality with men. One of these verses is from this very same letter!


So if women can clearly prophesy and teach, why would they not be allowed to speak in church? Is that even what this passage is saying? Seems pretty straightforward. What else could it mean? Let’s take a look.


First, there is one other passage of scripture that, if we don’t acknowledge it here, may remain a buzzing fly around our examination of 1 Corinthians 14. So let’s take a quick look at 1 Timothy 2:11-12, also written by the Apostle Paul.


A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.


We should note that in the original Greek it is implied that these verses refer specifically to husbands and wives. Paul’s concern in these verses is to preserve the distinction and unique roles of both men and women, especially in the marriage/family relationship.


Far from oppression of women, to encourage learning for wives(v.11) would have been counter-cultural and very progressive! The Greek word for “quietly” is more accurately translated “with tranquility” and “submissiveness” here in the Greek refers to being “under, in the proper order”. It does not have the deflated, oppressed sense we may give the word today. It’s an understanding and cooperation with one’s role.


In verse 12, the word “teach” in the Greek is the infinitive “didaskein” in the present tense and should be more accurately translated “continually teach”. In the context of husband and wife relationships, the wife should not be the constant teacher of the husband or exercise authority over him, because this goes against God’s desire for the husband to be the head of the family. Rather, in her role as wife she should remain tranquil and not disruptive of God’s design for the family. Lastly, the Greek word for silence was also used to mean “tranquil” or “settled”. 


So we might paraphrase these two verses this way: “A wife should learn. But she should do it with a tranquil understanding of her role.” (Don’t get so excited about learning that you dominate or disrespect your husband in the process.) “ I don’t allow a wife to constantly be instructing her husband or make all the decisions. Instead she should be calm and not make a fuss.”


A quick thought regarding the dreaded word: Submission.


Every unit composed of more than one personality must have a head in order to be united and make progress. If all agree, wonderful. But if not all agree, someone’s direction must be given priority in order to move forward. Although there is perfect unity in the Trinity, God the Father is the head of Christ. Jesus constantly submitted to the Father and his direction. (John 5:19) It doesn’t make Jesus any less God. But it’s the role he serves. Likewise, being the “head” of something does not make someone smarter or more valuable. Sometimes the leader may not even be the best equipped for the job. But it is still his or her role. The same is true of instances in the Bible where men are assigned the position (and responsibility!) of leadership. When these roles are abused, it isn’t the structure that is defective, it’s the people. We are born to rebel and anything that smells the slightest bit like authority is the first thing we aim to throw out. But leadership/submission structure works beautifully when all parties involved think of each other before themselves! (Ephesian 5:22-25)



As in the 1st Timothy passage, 1st Corinthians 14:34  refers more specifically to wives and husbands and not males and females in general. So Paul here is emphasizing the roles of husbands and wives, not making commentary on formal church leadership. In this context, verses 34-35 should not be used conclusively to prevent women from teaching or speaking to a gathering of both male and female Christians. Also, the Greek word used for “speak” in verse 34 is “Lalein”, the infinitive form of Laleo, which means “to speak randomly”. This Greek word refers to speech that doesn’t necessarily have any meaning and has been used in that context in this chapter. It can be strongly argued that the first half of verse 34 may also be translated: “Let wives hold their peace in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak randomly”


This random speech may refer to speaking in un-translated tongues or just thoughtless “chatter”. In any case, the principle idea is to avoid disruption, as Paul has been emphasizing in the previous verses, and especially in verse 33.


Verse 35, far from being oppressive, actually promotes women’s liberty in a radical way for the day and culture in which it was written. Even among Jewish religious teachers of that day, women were very low on the cultural totem pole. They were purposefully not given opportunities to learn the scriptures and had no voice in their communities. Paul tells women in Corinth to ask their husbands any questions they may have (and assigns husbands the obligation to be able to teach them!), opening the door for them to learn and grow in ways never possible before!


“Lalein” is used again in verse 35, and so we can argue that it is also being used in the same way, since no contextual clues tell us to change the way we’ve been looking at this word. So to clarify, Paul is specifically saying that it is shameful or “improper” for a wife to “speak randomly” in church.


Paul has said something similar in discussing the two forms of “tongues”. His basic principle has been, “Do everything with the goal of building others up”. (v.26) Un-translated tongues and “random speech” both serve as disruptions that distract instead of building up. But why does Paul single out wives?


There are at least a couple possibilities. First, it may be that Paul knew of tendencies toward thoughtless chattering in the Corinthian church women. But if the word “Lalein” refers to tongues of some kind, it may be that Paul especially wanted to avoid any comparisons to the Oracles at Delphi.


Delphi, just across the bay from Corinth served as home to a temple that used female oracles in pagan rituals designed to foretell the future. Women there were exposed to fumes that made them intoxicated. While they babbled incoherently, a listening temple poet would create a poem with very vague meaning that served as a “translation”.


This has some obvious similarities in structure to the way tongues worked (a strange language followed by translation), and Paul may have been aiming to avoid comparisons or integration of pagan theology into the Corinthian church.


This passage, and 1 Timothy 2:11-12 have been subjected to imperfect translations and misinterpretation for many years. Only in the last few decades have Christian scholars managed to more accurately handle these texts. As a result, Christians continue to have a hard time applying these verses to their lives. The tension seems to cause many to “snap” in one of two directions. Either oppression of women wins out, or a “devil may care” attitude toward the accuracy and authority of the Bible. Either is a terrible loss and departure from God’s desire for us as individuals and as local church communities. 


Almost in answer to this modern dilemma, Paul gives the Corinthians a humbling reminder of their need to submit to scripture, rather than doing whatever feels right to them. By using their gifts without structure and behaving chaotically in their worship times, they were acting as though they had been given special direction from God that allowed them to go against what was being taught in all the other churches. (v.36) Paul reminds them that if they are truly speaking God’s will, or living the way God wants them to, they will obey what Paul has been instructing them to do. Otherwise, their speech and choices are invalidated. (v.37-38)


Paul concludes this topic by assuring the Corinthians that prophecy and tongues are gifts to be valued and prayed for, but they are meant to be used in an orderly fashion.


Next Week: The Importance Of Christ's Resurrection 


Coffee House Question


The debate of women’s roles in the church continues to rage on. What images come to mind when you think of that debate?