Did early copyist and writers alter Paul's writings to reduce the authority of women in the church? It seems to me that this question can be answered only by evaluating the cumulative case, rather than by looking at individual pieces of data in isolation. So here I bring together some of the relevant passages and recent discussions.
In the undisputed texts Paul sees an equality, or at least symmetry, between men and women (Gal 3:28; 1 Cor 7:3-5, 10-17; 32-34; Phil 4:3). In the disputed letters, in contrast, women are put down (Col 3:18-19; Eph 5:21-33; and 1 Tim 2:11-15, which is discussed by Emily Gathergood here). This raises the possibility that early interpreters of Paul were quite misogynist.
1 Cor 14:34-35 is found in different places in different texts and this is explicable if these verses were added to the margin of an early copy of the letter and were latter incorporated into the letter by later copyists. Philip Payne argues the case here, and Matthew Malcolm discusses it here.
Dominika Kurak-Chomycz argued here that some copyists may have amended their texts to put down Prisca.
It is now almost universally agreed that interpreters and translators changed Junia of Rom 16:7 to a man. This is discussed by Rena Pederson in her book "The Lost Apostle", and by Dianne McDonnell, Patrick McCullough, Bernadette Brooten, and Mark Goodacre.
Concerning alterations to Acts, Ben Witherington writes, "In view of the above evidence, it appears that there was a concerted effort by some part of the Church, perhaps as early as the late first century or beginning of the second, to tone down texts in Luke's second volume that indicated that women played an important and prominent part in the early days of the Christian community.' (The Anti-Feminist Tendencies of the 'Western' Text in Acts', JBL, March 1984).
I have not studied these issues in great detail, but, for now, I am convinced by the cumulative case, as is Bart Ehrman here.
Learning from Leviticus
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