Question:

I was reviewing your article on "Head Coverings" from your web site. I thought the article was very well presented!

I was wondering though why the article used a picture from the Catacomb of Priscilla in Rome (under Early Christian Worship), the same catacomb that elsewhere shows Priscilla serving communion, and yet does not appear to allow women to serve communion?

Could you please answer this apparent contradiction?


Answer:

Well, first off, despite a search because you brought this up, I find no mention of an image showing Priscilla serving communion. The best I was able to locate as an image of a meal being serve to five men and one woman. It is incorrectly labeled as a communion meal even though the picture shows fish on the table.

Second, the purpose of the article was to show how people worshiped during that time period. What they did does not constitute authority to copy their practices. These are people and they make mistakes. We already know that various people by this period of time had strayed from the teachings of the New Testament. Instead, the illustrations and quotes tell us how these early Christians understood what Paul stated. That is important because you have people running around saying that Paul didn't really mean what he said or that we misunderstand what he meant. If that were the case, then why did early Christians make this particular conclusion? Why was their practice in worship in the matter of head coverings different from the practices of other religions in their area?

The only thing that constitutes authority is the teachings found in the New Testament. In the matter of worship, the Bible states, "Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church" (I Corinthians 14:34-35). If serving the Lord's Supper could be accomplish while maintaining silence, then there would be little objection.