Posted by Kevin Megill on Sunday, 8 March 1998, at 8:04 p.m.
REASON FOR THIS POST
Tammi posted the web address of a very interesting article about 1 Corinthians 11 (I've included the address again with this post). The article argues that 1 Corinthians 11 is responding to a "pro-veil contingent" in Corinth that wanted to force women to wear head coverings, and was actually teaching that women DON'T need to wear head coverings, since their hair is sufficient. I thought it was a great article! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, I learned a lot, I wish I'd said most of it first (just kidding :-) -- mostly!), and I disagree with its conclusions!
At the time, I wrote this response to that article, but I didn't proofread and post it until today. This is a LOOOOOOONG post, and heavy going, so feel free to ignore it or just save it for later.
WHAT THE AUTHORS OF THE ARTICLE SAY
If you haven't read the original article, most of this won't make much sense, so go read it now, and then come back to this post!
OK, back now? Let me go on...
The argument in the article rests on three pillars, each of which is an observation about the text.
Observation 1) There is a change in tone from verses 3-10 to verses 11-16 which must be explained. The authors of the article explain it by saying that Paul first agrees with the basic principles of the pro-veil contingent, but then goes on to explain his different application based on a balancing principle.
Observation 2) Verse 16 says "we have no SUCH practice", not "we have no OTHER practice", literally. They explain this by assuming that the "such practice" to which Paul refers is the practice of wearing head coverings, and he is saying the churches do not practice this, i.e., do not have the women wear head coverings.
Observation 3) Verse 15, which says "her hair is given her for a covering" has two important elements in it in the original. First, the word "for" is ANTI, which means "against", i.e., "instead of". Second, the word "covering" in this passage is PERIBOLAIOS, whose literal meaning is "that which is wrapped around the head", but earlier in the passage the word used is a general word for covering, KATALUPTOS.
Based on these three pillars, the authors give their annotated interpretation of the passage at the end of the article. Their interpretation nearly convinces me, but not quite (at least so far).
MY RESPONSE TO THE THREE OBSERVATIONS
If you haven't read their interpretation of the passage, most of the rest of this REALLY won't make sense, so GO READ IT NOW, and then come back to this post!!!
OK, did you really go read it this time? Let me go on again...
Here's the way I wish to deal with their three observations.
Observation 1) There is definitely a change in tone that occurs between verse 10 and verse 11, but I don't see it as a change in tone of the whole passage from vv 3-10 to vv 11-16; rather, I see it as a change in tone from verses 8-10 to verses 11-12. Actually, maybe I wouldn't call it a change in TONE, but a change in content itself. In 8-10 Paul moves in one direction, and in 11-12 he moves back in the opposite direction, balancing what he has just finished saying. As the authors of the article said, Paul is making a point and then offering a counterpoint. Whatever these points are, they are meant to balance one another.
If you look carefully at verses 11-12, you'll see that they specifically mirror the verses in 8-9, balancing them point by point. Verse 9 -- "man was not created for the woman's sake, but woman for the man's sake" -- is balanced by verse 11 -- "in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman". Verse 8 -- "man does not originate from woman, but woman from man" -- is balanced by verse 12 -- "as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God".
Now the authors of the article believe that 13-15 carry the counterpoint further, continuing to balance the principles in 3-7. I, on the other hand, believe that in 13-15 Paul goes back to the original thrust of his statements in 3-7, so that 11-12 is a parenthetical comment thrown in to balance his statements in 8-9, which might be taken too far by his readers. Paul was only bringing in the arguments in 8-9 to show why it is fitting for women to publicly express submission to men. He wanted to be sure that no one would carry his theology to the point of denying the intrinsic spiritual value of women compared to men.
Observation 2) Verse 16 says, literally, "But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor have the churches of God." I agree that this is not "no OTHER practice" as in the regular NASB translation. But what is the "such practice" that is referred to? The authors of the article think it refers to the practice of head coverings. They maintain that probably Corinth had two factions involved in the head-covering issue: the "pro-veil" faction, who are the contentious ones mentioned here, and the faction which felt women need not cover their heads. Verse 2 -- "I praise you because you ... hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you." refers to the fact that the Corinthians were not yet caving in to pressure to require head coverings for women.
I agree that there were probably two different factions in Corinth, but I see their positions as reversed -- the contentious faction was the "anti-veil" faction, arguing against the use of head coverings, and Paul was praising the Corinthians for not yet caving in to this faction. I think the "such practice" refers back to the contentiousness of the anti-veil faction, specifically their practice of contending against head coverings. Paul is saying none of our churches have the practice of contending against the traditional symbols of submission.
Observation 3) The authors of the article argue that the word PERIBOLAIOS and KATALUPTOS refer to different things. The first is more specifically something wrapped around the head, and the second is any general covering. Paul is saying that he agrees that a woman needs a general covering -- a KATALUPTOS -- but that she does not need a specific garment -- a PERIBOLAIOS -- since her hair is given to her instead.
I agree that the two kinds of coverings are different. I think that through most of the passage -- everything except verses 13-15 -- Paul is talking about a garment used to cover a woman's head when praying or prophesying as a symbol of her submission to man.
To understand verses 13-15, take a look at verses 5-6. In 5-6 Paul says that we can see the need for a woman to cover her head with a garment/hat when praying or prophesying by analogy with her physical hair. If a woman were to shave her head or cut her hair, she would be disgraced by it. In the same way, if a woman prays or prophesies with her head covered, she disgraces her head in a spiritual sense. Paul is arguing from the evident disgrace of physical baldness (I checked with Kate, and she assured me she isn't offended by this statement!) to say that there is a similar disgrace spiritually when a woman prays or prophesies without a head covering.
In verses 13-15 Paul repeats the same argument in another form. He says that even in nature we see that it is a physical disgrace for a woman to have short hair, or a man to have long hair. He says that God has designed her physically so that her long hair covers her head and is a glory to her (physically -- i.e., it makes her attractive). In the same way it makes a woman spiritually attractive when she covers her head with a garment/hat while praying or prophesying.
Until 13-15 Paul has used a general word for covering -- KATALUPTOS -- but now he wants to say that a woman's hair is given to her for a physical covering. What word can he use? He instinctively chooses something other than KATALUPTOS -- since he is not saying that a woman's hair can replace the need for a head covering when praying or prophesying. In verse 15 he does not intend any deep meaning by the word "covering" -- he just means a literal covering for her head. So he uses the specific word PERIBOLAIOS, i.e., a woman needs something wrapped around her head to cover it and make it attractive -- so God gave her hair to fill the place of ("against") this need.
MY INTERPRETATION OF THE PASSAGE
Paragraph breaks are mine.
Now I praise you because you remember me in everything, and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you [even in the face of pressure from the anti-veil contingent to have your women reject the practice of head coverings]. But I want you to understand that [there are theological reasons for this tradition: namely, that] Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. [Therefore] Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying, disgraces his head. [Obviously he can have hair -- but I am referring to a man-made covering] But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying, disgraces her head, for she is one and the same with her whose head is shaved. [That is, it is as much a disgrace to her as if her head were shaved.] For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off, but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off, or her head shaved, let her cover her head.
For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman's sake, but woman for the man's sake. Therefore the woman out to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. However, [don't misunderstand what I am saying. This does not mean that women are somehow spiritually inferior to men in general. Indeed, ] in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman, and all things originate from God.
[Now to return to my original argument: ] Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with head uncovered? [To see that the answer is no, consider the analogy with the physical creation:] Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him, but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her? [That is, it adds to her physical attractiveness, and she can be proud of it.] For her hair is given to her for a covering. [That is, her hair is given to her to fill the need for something to physically cover her head.] But if one is inclined to be contentious [and argue against all that I say here, let me just lay down the law: even if you want to continue to fight this out and reject the tradition of head coverings], we have no such practice, nor have the churches of God.
COMPARING THE TWO INTERPRETATIONS
I am still thinking about the interpretation the article offered, because it handles some aspects of the passage better than my own interpretation (which is pretty standard) does. Why then do I prefer the standard interpretation? Because it seems more natural when I put myself in the Corinthians' shoes.
Assume that Paul himself never taught the Corinthians that head coverings were necessary; that a pro-veil faction was trying to introduce the new requirement. How would the Corinthians read and understand the passage? In verse 2, when Paul refers to their holding to the traditions, they wouldn't think of head coverings at all -- since Paul would have taught them nothing of head coverings as a tradition. They would assume he was praising them for their faithfulness to other traditions (perhaps baptism, communion, operation of spiritual gifts, etc). Then in verses 3-4 they would assume at first that Paul was endorsing the pro-veil faction. "I want you to understand" would sound like he were saying "in addition to what you already follow, I want to let you know as well that the pro-veil faction is right". In verses 5-6, Paul would seem to be comparing two different things -- head coverings VERSUS hair ("if a woman does not cover her head, let her ALSO have her hair cut off" implies there are two distinct ideas here). Verses 7-10 would be heard as laying down some spiritual reasons for this tradition. Would verses 11-15 be heard by the Corinthian church as rejecting the need for man-made head coverings after all? I don't think so. They would already be thinking of the head covering in verses 3-10 as something more than hair, and verse 15 wouldn't be interpreted as the authors of the article intend. The article's interpretation is a very consistent one in hindsight -- but I just can't see how it would be the natural interpretation for the Corinthians. If Paul meant the Corinthians to understand that the pro-veil faction was wrong, he doesn't seem to have mentioned it specifically anywhere.
I have trouble imagining any circumstances under which the Corinthians would have clearly understood Paul to mean that head coverings were not needed; but it is easy to imagine circumstances in which they would have understood that head coverings are needed. The most natural interpretation, and the one to be preferred, is the meaning it would have most likely had to the original readers. That is why I prefer the standard interpretation.
URL Suggested: <Alternate interp. of 1 Cor 11>
Posted by michele on Monday, 9 March 1998, at 6:16 a.m., in response to Still another post on head coverings (LOOOOONG), posted by Kevin Megill on Sunday, 8 March 1998, at 8:04 p.m.
I don't argue with your reasoning but I thought I might throw in an additional twist....
Why is it then that Jewish men wear a head covering while in Synagog and praying? You are saying that men should not have their hair covered. Is this practice only of modern day Jews or was this a practice back in OT and NT times. If it is a tradition handed down to Jews throughout the ages, why the change? Was this only for Gentiles or was Paul's statements for Jews as well?
Posted by Krista on Monday, 9 March 1998, at 4:36 p.m., in response to Still another post on head coverings (LOOOOONG), posted by Kevin Megill on Sunday, 8 March 1998, at 8:04 p.m.
Well, Kevin, if nothing else you're teaching me patience! :-) I'd decided you weren't going to comment on that article!
I enjoyed reading through your interpretation of the article and passage. One other thing that I disagreed with in the article is that the writer pointed out several times that because the woman's hair is her glory, that is *why* she doesn't need to wear a covering.
However, as far as I can see, that is exactly why she *should* wear a covering--to cover *her* glory and instead show glory to the Lord. I think you referred to this point obliquely with this comment:
###In verses 13-15 Paul repeats the same argument in another form. He says that even in nature we see that it is a physical disgrace for a woman to have short hair, or a man to have long hair. He says that God has designed her physically so that her long hair covers her head and is a glory to her (physically -- i.e., it makes her attractive). In the same way it makes a woman spiritually attractive when she covers her head with a garment/hat while praying or prophesying.###
Am I understanding you correctly? Thanks for sharing your carefully studied insights!
Grace and peace,
Posted by Peggy on Monday, 9 March 1998, at 9:54 p.m., in response to Re: Still another post on head coverings (LOOOOONG), posted by michele on Monday, 9 March 1998, at 6:16 a.m.
Here is some information that I found:
Jewish women and headcoverings:
In biblical and talmudic times women covered their heads with scarves or veils as a sign of chastity and modesty.. To expose a woman's hair was considered a humiliation (Isaiah 2:17 and Berochot 24a). Some talmudic scholars regarded the wearing of a headcovering as an expression of guilt for their sin of Eve (Genesis 17:8).
A tichl is a large kerchief or scarf used by ultra-Orthodox married women to cover their shaven heads. In biblical times women covered their heads as a sign of medesty and chastity. Today, ultra-Orthodox married women cover their heads with a tichl rather than a shaytl (a wig) to make themselves less appealing to the opposite sex. Paradoxically, wigs often make women more attractive.
Jewish men and headcoverings:
A yarmulke, called a kipa in Hebrew, is a skullcap worn by Jews. Some wear one at all times, others only during prayer and at mealtime.
The earliest biblical reference to a headcovering is in Exodus 28:4, where it is called a mitznefet. It was part of the wardrobe of the High Priest. In other biblical references, the covering of the head and face is regarded as a sign of mourning (II Samuel 15:30). The Talmud, however, associates the wearing of a headcovering more with the concept of reverence to God and respect for men of stature.
Yarmulke is a distorted form of the Hebrew words yaray may'Elokim, "in fear and awe of God." This idea is based, for the mot part, on a statement made by a fifthe-century Babylonian talmudic scholar, Huna ben Joshua who said, "I nver walked four cubits with uncovered head because God dwells over my head" (from the Kiddushin 31a)
The custom of covering the head received wide acceptance, but not by all. Historian Israel Abrahams points out that in the thirteenth century "boys in Germany and adults in France were called to the Tora in the synagogue bareheaded."
Posted by Lisa TX on Tuesday, 10 March 1998, at 6:04 p.m., in response to Re: Still another post on head coverings (LOOOOONG), posted by Peggy on Monday, 9 March 1998, at 9:54 p.m.
Posted by Peggy on Tuesday, 10 March 1998, at 11:42 p.m., in response to So, did the rules change for Christian men, as per 1 Cor. 11? (nt), posted by Lisa TX on Tuesday, 10 March 1998, at 6:04 p.m.
You know how much I like questions and I loved her questions...I just tried to find some factual information with no intention of trying to figure out how it fits into any particular interpretation.
Posted by Loraine, CA on Sunday, 21 June 1998, at 9:56 p.m.
I have recently been impressed to study and pray about the need of women to cover their heads during prayer and worship time as instructed in ICor 11. I have always been taught that this was a cultural custom of Paul's day and no longer applied to us today.
I have done some reading that refutes this argument, and also the argument that the hair is the covering and none else is needed.
I would dearly love some solid scriptural direction on this sensitive issue from women who have studied this issue.
To be quite honest, I am terrified that I will be led to begin using a covering during prayer and worship! I go to a conservative church and I am nervous about the reaction, how odd I would feel, etc.
Thanks for the advise!
Posted by Judy Cook in TX on Monday, 22 June 1998, at 12:00 a.m., in response to Head Coverings--Yes or No???, posted by Loraine, CA on Sunday, 21 June 1998, at 9:56 p.m.
Several years ago I was convicted to study I Cor.11. Actually took a couple of years to *listen*. Then took a while to study and then another while to accept. Suffice it to say that for the last few years I have been wearing a covering to pray and teach. It is a scary decision to make. It is much more *obvious* than some of our other choices. We worship with a group who considers the long, uncut hair to be the only covering referred to in the passage. They have been very accepting. Can't say as much for some others we worshipped with before! *grin* Would be happy to talk about it. You can e-mail directly, if you want. I will warn you--it is a divisive topic! Not sure why, as I would never consider it an issue to divide over.
Also, will try to do the link here for a website you would find interesting.
URL Suggested: <Christian Woman's Headcovering Directory>
Posted by Judy Cook in TX on Monday, 22 June 1998, at 12:50 a.m., in response to Head Coverings--Yes or No???, posted by Loraine, CA on Sunday, 21 June 1998, at 9:56 p.m.
Before proceeding further--what I should have asked before I sent that response! Have you talked to your husband?!! First step. Vital step. Sorry I jumped the gun earlier.
Posted by Marnie on Monday, 22 June 1998, at 7:02 p.m., in response to Head Coverings--Yes or No???, posted by Loraine, CA on Sunday, 21 June 1998, at 9:56 p.m.
I too was lead to this passage not too long ago and I asked my dh for some input. He really didn't have much to say except we neede more info and until then I wouldn't. Anyone with some input for and against?
Posted by Loraine, CA on Monday, 22 June 1998, at 10:51 p.m., in response to Re: Head Coverings--Yes or No???, posted by Judy Cook in TX on Monday, 22 June 1998, at 12:50 a.m.
I have asked my husband what he thinks and at this point after reading the scripture he doesn't feel that a head covering is necessary all the time. He feels that perhaps it would apply in public prayer and prophesying, but that it would be very disruptive in our church as no one at this time wears a covering.
If you could find some web sites to go to, I would really appreciate knowing about them.
What sort of covering do you wear, and is it all the time or just during prayer and worship? If you would rather email privately, let me know.
Posted by Loraine, CA on Monday, 22 June 1998, at 11:30 p.m., in response to Head Coverings--Yes or No???, posted by Loraine, CA on Sunday, 21 June 1998, at 9:56 p.m.
To any who are interested and would like further study, I found this web site that has links to sites that address the issue of head coverings. I'll try to post it below.
Posted by Barbara on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 4:15 a.m., in response to Head Coverings--Yes or No???, posted by Loraine, CA on Sunday, 21 June 1998, at 9:56 p.m.
I am doing some research on this very subject, I am still looking up scriptures and looking at customs of the time. I have not found in the Old Testament any law concerning head coverings for women. I am still looking though. I believe that this was a custom used at that time, but not something that was made law through the law of Moses. I am still searching.
Personally, I do not understand why we would need head coverings, the Bible teaches us that we are neither male or female in Christ (Galatians 3:28). That God does not distinguish between us (in gender), but looks at the person. So if that is the case then why distinguish in time of prayer?
I'm going to keep researching this and I will keep in touch with you. If you have any Scriptures that can show me what the Law of Moses said on this subject, please give it to me.
Posted by Kate Ingram on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 5:32 a.m., in response to Re: Head Coverings--Yes or No???, posted by Loraine, CA on Monday, 22 June 1998, at 10:51 p.m.
Have you ever heard of Patriarch Magazine? They have a website where some of their previously published articles are posted. The link below will take you to their "worldview" articles page and there you will find a list which includes links to two articles on headcoverings. Just scroll down the list until you see them. It's a starting point for your study, at least.
URL Suggested: <Patriarch Magazine Articles>
Posted by Julie H. on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 6:20 a.m., in response to Head Coverings--Yes or No???, posted by Loraine, CA on Sunday, 21 June 1998, at 9:56 p.m.
it's really between the individual and the Lord. I would never do it to look more godly. I believe that the verse in 1 Corinthians refers to the hair being given as a covering and I also think that it was cultural in the Pauline days (is that how you say it?) I've talked with my pastor about this, prayed about it, and read SEVERAL commentaries from well respected commenters and came to the conclusion that in those days, if a woman had short hair, she was labeled as a prostitute. Also, if a woman dared to enter a church without a covering on her head, what a stumbling block she would be!! I believe that Paul is talking about the fact that everything is permissable (true) but not everything is beneficial and that we need to be honoring within our culture. So, therefore, if the church that I now attend wanted women to wear head coverings, and everyone wore head coverings, I too would feel I needed to wear a head covering so not to cause others to wonder or stumble. I base that on the passage in discussion here. My point is that I believe that there is a much deeper issue in this passage than just long hair and head coverings. After the last discussion on this over on Titus two, I spoke with both my pastor and associate pastor and they too also believe Paul to be talking about this. I have great respect for both pastors, my husband (who also agrees with me, or is it that I agree with him? *grin*) and most importantly I am at peace about this with the Lord.
I think that if a woman feels that the Lord is calling her to do something, in this case wear a head covering, then who am I or anyone else to go up to her and tell her she doesn't need to? I respect and admire any man or woman who wholeheartedly does what the Lord calls them to do regardless of the flack they may get for it.
Also, just because I don't feel convicted about this right now, doesn't mean I won't in the future. I think that we all are convicted of various things at different points in our spiritual walk. For instance (and this may be a pretty stupid example, but a simple one) As a new christian, I wasn't too concerned about the fact that my library books were three months overdue. As I grew in the Lord, even not returning the library books leaves me feeling guilty and convicted about the fact that I am withholding someone elses property from them. See what I mean?
Well, that is all my very humble opinion. Sorry that once again my post was so long.:)
In Him, Julie H.
ps. Gee, this topic is appropriate for bible issues, hot topics and titus 2!!
Posted by Kevin Megill on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 8:30 a.m., in response to Re: Head Coverings--Yes or No???, posted by Loraine, CA on Monday, 22 June 1998, at 10:51 p.m.
You said: "He feels that perhaps it would apply in public prayer and prophesying, but that it would be very disruptive in our church as no one at this time wears a covering."
I have worn head coverings for 18 years now and have only been in a church that has worn them for a short period of time (and not when I first started to wear them). Scripture says (in the context of the church and *I believe* the implication is verbal and not merely silent prayer) she is to have her head covered when she prays or prophesies. Whenever I pray aloud in the presence of others I cover my head in order to give honor to my "head" which is my husband. I also wear a head covering if I go to a bible study "in case" I pray aloud or "in case" God may speak through me in a prophetic way. I also wear a head covering in the corporate worship meeting. (I know this seems odd since I also follow the verses that say a woman is to keep silent in the church*grin*...and by that I believe it means not to "lead out" in speech in some way.) My reason for this is two-fold. I believe in the corporate worship meeting I am a visible expression of the headship of my husband over me (which in itself is an expression of the headship of Christ over the church) AND when I sing or if our church does responsive-type things these become prayers for me and I am verbally praying in corporate with the rest of the congregation and I cover my head.
One thing I see in the head coverings issue. I don't believe the scriptures were meant for us to go out of our way to "look" like we were covering our heads. It seems that the women in the early churches understood that they were to wear the familiar everyday head coverings worn by all the women (and men as well)...so I don't think we need to wear something that would draw undue attention to the fact that we are wearing a head covering. I have been in churches where the women wore mantillas (and it is not common in our culture or country) wear those anymore. I personally wear hats...those that are in fashion but are understated. No one looks at me and says, "there's Kate, wearing that thing on her head again, I wonder what she is doing?" If they notice at all they say, "Oh, a hat...how nice!"
Just thought I'd share my thoughts on this with you.
In His Joy and grace,
P.S. Even if people hold the perspective that hair was given to woman for a head covering, since I have none, it would make perfect sense for me to cover my head with something else!
Posted by Ronda in Mo. on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 8:58 a.m., in response to Head Coverings--Yes or No???, posted by Loraine, CA on Sunday, 21 June 1998, at 9:56 p.m.
In a teaching I heard several years ago they discussed the head covering issue. The teacher researched the times and customs at which time this scripture was written and said that there were many harlots that had been converted in this area and there way was to shave their heads, and that this scripture was in reference to them. I personally have never felt a conviction on this issue so have never really researched it but thought this might give you another avenue to check out.
Posted by Barbara on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 9:34 a.m., in response to Head Coverings--Yes or No???, posted by Loraine, CA on Sunday, 21 June 1998, at 9:56 p.m.
Hello! Ive been doing some reading! I took out my exhaustive concordance! Whew! Have I done some reading! :) I called my pastor, friends, and Christian teachers that I know and trust. I also read 1 Cor 11 in three translations. In the 2nd verse he pretty much sums it up, (2) Now I praise you, brothers, that you remember me in all things and keep the TRADITIONS, as I delivered them to you. Then he goes on by saying (3) BUT I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ;and the head of the woman is the man; and the had of Christ is God. Paul was saying "its good that you have kept the traditions, but keep in mind that there is an order that must be followed. I'm going to skip to verse 13 where Paul says "Is it 'proper' that a woman pray to God uncovered?" This verse to me implies that its not proper for that culture to have their women running around with their heads uncovered.
I could not find anywhere in the Bible where it said that it was "law" for women to cover their heads. Also I read the 10th chapter, Paul is chastising them for going back to the law. Why would he change his mind in the 11th and turn back to the law?
From my prayers, discussions w/friends, pastor, and reading the Scriptures I see that head covering at that point was something that was embraced by the culture of that time, not something that was mandated by God at any time.
This is what God has shown me about this subject, and I will keep researching and reading!
Posted by Kevin Megill on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 10:14 a.m., in response to Hello Lorraine!, posted by Barbara on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 9:34 a.m.
How would you see verse 10 in 1 Cor 11? It says: "For this cause ought the woman to have authority on her head because of the angels."
The entire passage in 1 Cor 11 on headcoverings is primarily dealing with the issue of headship. That headcoverings were used as a proper symbol of this headship, visible for all to see...but Paul goes further and says it is also a sign to the angels.
I am not wanting to get into a long, drawn out discussion on this, but I do want to look at what the Word says about it. My understanding is that the visible sign of headship (the headcovering) is not just for the community of believers, but also a visible sign to the angels who witness our worship as well...what do you think?
In His Joy and grace,
Posted by Julie H. on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 10:41 a.m., in response to Re: Head Coverings--Yes or No???, posted by Kevin Megill on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 8:30 a.m.
What is a mantilla? Is that what they wore in bible days, like in the jewish temple? Like a shawl? I feel so silly, everytime I hear on this board of a woman wearing a head covering, I think of one of those and then think how I've never seen that before. Well, I've seen plenty of women wear hats and I was just thinking that this morning how in many of the Baptist churches, lots of women wear hats.
Thanks so much for your posts. You often help shed light on something--at least to me you do. Even though we don't "know" each other, after several months of reading your messages I have developed a very deep respect for you and what you have to say. I hope I don't make you uncomfortable in telling you that you really fit what I would describe as a "spiritual mother" to me on this board.
In Him, Julie H.
Posted by Robyn O. on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 11:43 a.m., in response to I don't think it's necessary, but...., posted by Julie H. on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 6:20 a.m.
I really enjoyed reading your response. Really, I must say that I agree with you and with the respect you have for others' opinions. You really handled this in a Biblical manner. God bless you.
Posted by Kevin Megill on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 11:49 a.m., in response to Re: Head Coverings--Yes or No???, posted by Julie H. on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 10:41 a.m.
A mantilla is a lacy rectangle or triangle that is drapped over the head (looks like a table runner; in fact in our younger days my sisters and I used to grab the doilies off the tables at home if we couldn't find our mantillas!!! *grin*)...we used to wear them in the Catholic Church years ago when head coverings were required (am I dating myself??) and they are still worn in the Catholic Church in other cultures.
Thank you, Julie, for your kind and gracious words. I did have someone e-mail me to ask how old I was...they thought I was in my mid to late 50's...I guess I sound older than I am...(who knows what I look like!! *wink*).
In His Joy and Grace,
Posted by Julie H. on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 11:54 a.m., in response to Re: Head Coverings--Yes or No???, posted by Kevin Megill on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 11:49 a.m.
Is it the same thing as a "prayer veil"???
I don't think that a spiritual mother has to be much "older" physically but spiritually, right? I hope you don't think I was calling you "old"!! (I've gotten in trouble for that here before LOL--I'm 26 and was looking for advice from "the older and wiser" and people teased me about it LOL) Anyway, I appreciate your wisdom.
In Him, Julie H.
Posted by Kevin Megill on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 12:01 p.m., in response to Re: Head Coverings--Yes or No???, posted by Julie H. on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 11:54 a.m.
As far as I know it comes from a shawl or scarf worn by women in latin countries.
LOL...I AM getting old!!! But no, I didn't think you were calling me old, but I wouldn't be offended if you did! (compared to 26, 41 does seem old! *grin*)
With much love,
In His Joy and grace,
Posted by Barbara on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 12:46 p.m., in response to Re: Hello Lorraine!, posted by Kevin Megill on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 10:14 a.m.
I agree with you that it was a symbol of headship, but it was a symbol that man chose to use, not one ordained by God. When God gave the Law to Moses, He was very specific, He even said what He wanted men's hair to look like, if He wanted us to wear a vail, or head covering why would He have not said so?
Verse 10, "The covered head is not a sign of man's authority over women, but of the authority of a woman to "prophesy and pray" in church as a woman. You dont't have to be male to participate fully in the life of Christ's church." This quote I took from one of my study guides. Again this is in reference to a man-made rule. This study guide also suggest that by not covering their heads women were asserting their equality with men by symbolically adopting a culturally defined male prerogative. In other words it was part of culture that women covered their heads by not doing so they were trying to be like men. This is not the case in our time, I dont know of any man that feels threatened by seeing my head uncovered in church.
Please, I dont want to offend or hurt anyone. But I must ask. Why would anyone want to go back to the law, when Christ offered us grace. There is scripture after scripture to prove the grace we have in Him. We see in the Bible that there is no male or female, we have all been set free, equally. Why would we want to go back? Again, this is an honest question, not intended to cause ill feelings. I am honestly seeking understanding.
In Christ Service,
Posted by Michelle on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 1:52 p.m.
Some of the women at our church (Baptist, Independent) wear a head covering. I was absent the Sunday our Pastor spoke on this passage of Scripture. I am puzzled on how to interpret this passage and wonder if any of you out there have decided for or against wearing a head covering. Also, do you wear it only in the sanctuary (that appears to be what the women at our church do), and if you are in a ministry service such as choir, do you wear it then (as it would draw attention to yourself and might be distracting)? Any answers out there?
Posted by Kevin Megill on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 4:32 p.m., in response to Re: Head Coverings--Yes or No???, posted by Ronda in Mo. on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 8:58 a.m.
You wrote of a teacher who "researched the times and customs at which time this scripture was written and said that there were many harlots that had been converted in this area and there way was to shave their heads, and that this scripture was in reference to them."
I don't understand! I hear this a lot, but I never see the point these teachers are making. Maybe someone can clarify it for me.
The passage in question says (NIV):
5 And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head--it is just as though her head were shaved.
6 If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head.
Although I don't know that much about the customs myself, it makes sense to me that the verses above refer to the way of harlots who shaved their head when he says "if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off ..." Paul means that even the Corinthians will agree that the harlots, with their shaved heads, are dishonoring their heads.
But Paul's whole point here is to compare two different things -- harlots shaving their heads with other women not covering their heads when they pray or prophesy. The Corinthians aren't convinced that a woman not covering her head when praying/prophesying is dishonoring in any way, so Paul argues his point by beginning with something they DO agree with. He knows they already agree with him that a harlot who shaves her head dishonors her head. Based on that example, which he assumes they have no argument with, he argues that the case of a woman who does not cover her head while praying or prophesying is similar.
It's sort of a little "proof" of his point: Look, Corinthians, is it dishonorable for a harlot to shave her head? Well, IF IT IS dishonorable to do that, THEN IT IS ALSO dishonorable for a woman to not cover her head when praying or prophesying.
(Actually, in verse 6, he says it more like this: if a woman is going to leave her head uncovered, she might as well go to the extreme and cut all her hair off! On the other hand, if she is doesn't want to shave her head, then she ought to agree to cover it.)
So the passage makes reference to harlots as one of its arguments, but the point Paul is trying to argue has nothing to do with harlots or shaved heads. He is primarily talking to women who are not harlots about covered/uncovered heads.
Am I misunderstanding the passage? Isn't that the only way to logically analyze Paul's statement (regardless of its how we decide to apply it today)?
P.S. This time it's really me, not Kate -- and just to clarify, yes it's KATE who wears the head coverings, not ME!
Posted by Judy Cook in TX on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 5:14 p.m., in response to Re: Head Coverings--Yes or No???, posted by Loraine, CA on Monday, 22 June 1998, at 10:51 p.m.
I still haven't read all the responses, just here and there, maybe later tonight I will get time! But I did want to respond.
First the covering is an outward sign to God and man that you are under the authority of your husband. Yes, I know that God can read your heart and doesn't need an outward sign. However, this is what I read in I Cor. 11. Sooo, if your husband tells you how he would want you to practice it or not practice it--remember to be submissive. If you wear it in defiance of your husband I would think it would be a useless symbol.
Many people believe that it is only to be practiced during public worship assemblies. I also have friends who wear a covering any time they are praying but wear a tri-cornered cloth, like a shawl or large collar which coordinates with their dresses and when they pray, they bring it up and when they are done, put it back down. Their husbands are more comfortable with this as they, too, worship with those who do not practice the covering.
I wear mine most of the time--a kerchief tied beneath my hair in back. I have others but this is the most practical for me. With a barrette on the top of my head, I can put a straight pin through my hair in front of the barrette, and it stays neat and tidy all day without fussing. I wear mine all the time for convenience. Whenever I want to pray I'm ready. But I don't think it is necessary except for times of prayer or teaching.
For worship services, I wear a hat a lot. Although now the brethren we worship with are used to seeing me with my usual covering. But I find that people in general are more comfortable and less distracted in their own worship if I have a hat on.
If your husband is set against this, I would advise prayer and study. Also, if not dead-set, maybe you could ask about wearing a hat? And, remember, it is not up to you to lead your husband. :-)
Maybe this is helpful, maybe not.
Judy Cook in TX
Posted by Susan Davis on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 6:51 p.m., in response to Head Coverings--Yes or No???, posted by Loraine, CA on Sunday, 21 June 1998, at 9:56 p.m.
I started wearing a head covering nearly 3 years ago for two (well maybe three) reasons:
1) "Because of the angels..." If it was a cultural thing then why does the passage mention angels at all? This portion of scripture haunted me for weeks when I was pondering this question. My pastor has said that one would be hard pressed to find a commentary before the turn of the century which *did not* advocate women wearing headcoverings (if you can find such a commentary he would like to know of it). Artwork of christian women praying and worshiping throughout the centuries invariably have the women wearing headcoverings. I feel our culture today is *far* from the Lord's ideal, and unfortunately many in the church have adapted to our culture in this area (witness all the churches with women clergy and women elders). Not wearing a head covering is - IMO - another example of women rebelling against the authority structure which the Lord has established for *OUR GOOD*!! I consider being under my dh's authority to be a priviledge (believe me, the Lord has shown me this, I did not always feel this way!!!)
2) I was struggling with submission issues when I began wearing the headcovering and this was a "reminder" to me of my commitment to be sumissive to my dh "in everything" as the Lord has called me to do. This was the major practical reasoning which led me to wear a headcovering - I was desperately trying to reform my attitude towards my dh with the goal in mind of saving my marriage, my children's spiritual future, my dreams to homeschool and be a SAHM, ect. If the Lord was going to call me to wear a head covering as a symbol of my willingness to be submissive, well all I can say it is a small thing in light of the other battles I was facing.
3) It was at this same time that I started going to a church which advocated headcoverings, so at first I did admittedly wear the headcovering out of deference. (Which is perfectly ok IMO, you should know where your heart is on any issue and should not say you have a conviction which the Lord has not in fact given you. I had in fact NEVER even considered the headcoverings issue b4 I entered this body of believers. I was influenced by the fact that this church is the most bible-believing church I have ever known and the pastor and congregation live out many tough convictions in other areas of the christian faith. These were issues I had convictions on before finding this church. Issues which have changed my life for the better - even saved my marriage (such as being in submission to my dh and married women being called to a career of being a "keeper of the home" and divorce and remarriage not being a bibical option and letting the Lord be our family planner).
A couple of women I personally know, *and I am not speaking of anyone who has posted here*, who are ADAMENT about not wearing headcoverings are also adament about women not being called to be submissive to their dh's "in everything" (despite what scripture clearly says), they are in fact rebellious wives and the damage can be seen in their families as a result, sad to say. On the other hand, women I know who have the attitude that they have not personally been convicted about headcoverings but they can still respect where other women have been called on this issue are not who I am talking about here...I am talking about women who would not enter my church because the pastor and elders advocate headcoverings.
In my own life I can see the fruit of wearing a headcovering. My dh at first thought it was corny (he did not forbid it), he now reminds me to take my hat to church and seems to have a new respect for me. Our marriage is stronger (it was on the verge of divorce) and my dh is now walking with the Lord - and being our family's spiritual leader. I am not saying this all came from wearing a hat, but it was the general change in my heart which happened at about the same time I started wearing a head covering. I purpose to wear a hat while praying, during bible study, communion services and worship services. Some women in our church wear a veiling at all times, in the Mennonite manner. I have looked at that and do not feel called to it at this time for various reasons which I will not go into right now.
I see wearing a head covering as a symbol of my submissive spirit to the LORD first and foremost, and also to my dh of course. Symbols *are* a part of the christian faith, at least most people believe the Lord's supper is symbolic and not the actual body and blood of Christ.
I do feel I concentrate better on the sermon and the prayer meeting while wearing the headcovering, even come under Godly conviction more often while wearing a headcovering (I have forgotten my hat on enough ocassions to know this)- I attribute this to the power of the angels watching over us believers.
Once again I refer to the symbolic Lord's Supper, we are told to take it with reverence and a clear conscience or serious reprecussions could result. On the other hand, taking the Lord's Supper on a regular basis gives us extra spiritual blessings because we have had that communion time with the Lord, time to examine and cleanse our hearts. I feel that I am blessed when I wear a headcovering, in much the same manner. It is not necessarily wearing the hat which gives me the blessing, it is where my *heart* is on the issues of submission and authority.
I hope this helps someone. I do not feel "holier than thou" because I wear a head covering, it is just where the Lord has led me in my walk. I am in submission the Lord, my dh and my church leadership by wearing a headcovering - so I know I am where I should be on this issue.
Mrs. Susan Davis (MINNESOTA)
Posted by KATE Megill (pay no attention to that man behind the screen! *grin*) on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 7:55 p.m., in response to Re: Hello Lorraine!, posted by Barbara on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 12:46 p.m.
You said: "I agree with you that it was a symbol of headship, but it was a symbol that man chose to use, not one ordained by God."
I guess I am confused as to why you say God did not chose the head covering...is it because it was not in the Old Testament law? Because Paul, not Moses was the one who gave this to the church? Even those who believe that this was a cultural "command" believe (as I understand) that it was the *Lord* who was saying that for the sake of the gospel to those around you, follow the culture of the times.
There are many things that are directives to the church from God that are not mentioned in the OT...do you think they are not from God but from man because they are only mentioned in the NT?
You said: "Verse 10, "The covered head is not a sign of man's authority over women, but of the authority of a woman to "prophesy and pray" in church as a woman. You dont't have to be male to participate fully in the life of Christ's church." This quote I took from one of my study guides. Again this is in reference to a man-made rule."
I'm sorry, but I just don't see this from the passage (verses 1-16). The entire passage is talking about the headship of the husband over the wife and in THIS context the issue of head coverings comes up. It has "everything" to do with the authority of a man over his wife.
You said: "Why would anyone want to go back to the law, when Christ offered us grace."
NOT ME!! But I don't see wearing a head covering as being under the law. I don't wear one to obtain my salvation or to gain favor from God. I do it as a symbol (a scriptural symbol) of the headship my husband has over me.
You said: "We see in the Bible that there is no male or female, we have all been set free, equally."
In Christ (in our inheritance in the faith) there is no difference whether you are male or female, Jew or Greek, slave or free...all believers gain the same inheritance, yes. But God still does give instructions to how men are to deal with their wives, how women are to submit to their husbands, how slaves are to respond to their masters and vice versa...so it is not that differences no longer exist from the moment of salvation, but that in our *relationship with God* there is no distinction.
There is no hard feelings on my part; I have no problem if people study the passage and come to a different conclusion from me as we study the passage in context of the chapter, book and the whole of scripture.
In His Joy and Grace,
Posted by Judy Cook in TX on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 9:03 p.m., in response to Re: Hello Lorraine!, posted by Barbara on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 12:46 p.m.
I am also confused about why you refer to the old law in this matter--women wearing a covering was not dictated in the law. Also, just because God doesn't say "this is a law" does not mean it is not a responsibility of a Christian. Very seldom are commands in the NT spelled out as "laws".
I base my conviction on the need to wear the covering on the reasons given in I Cor. 11. I firmly believe that we can read and understand the Bible well enough to obtain God's grace and salvation without access to resources teaching us about the culture of that day or any other day. I enjoy those resources but the ultimate authority is God's Word.
The reasons I see are 1)headship of man over woman in verse3; 2)shame in verse 5;3) creation in verses 8,9;4)angels in verse 10; 5) judgement in verse 13. Nowhere does the Word refer to culture of the day.
I certainly don't feel superior because I wear the covering, on the contrary it serves as a constant reminder of my failure to completely submit to my husband as unto the Lord. It is humbling.
I also don't want to bind it on others. But I have increasingly felt the need to be clear to others why I feel a *need* to practice this.
Certainly no offense is taken because of your discussion. *grin*
Posted by Barbara on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 9:18 p.m., in response to Man-made rule??, posted by KATE Megill (pay no attention to that man behind the screen! *grin*) on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 7:55 p.m.
Well, when I look at the old testament, I see that it says that God gave Moses the Law. It doesnt say that when reffering to Paul. At this point women wearing head coverings was a form of submission, but only for that culture, not this one. I dont see that in this day and age. I can guarantee that women who love the Lord, who love their husbands and want to do what Christ wants them to do, does not need to wear a head covering for the world to know that she is a loving, submissive wife, and that her husband is her head. The woman in Proverbs was not and is not known for her head covering, she was known for the things she did for her family and those under her care. 'For by their fruits you shall know them'.
I also know that a head covering was used to show the headship of the husband over the wife and if you live in a culture where that has been and is a tradition...then YOU GO GIRL!
But if you do not have that tradition, if you are not in that culture, then why submit to something that does not pertain to you?
As far as the head covering being scriptual, I think Paul used this as an example to the people of Corinth, and only because it was part of their heritage. He related to them in a way that they could understand. I say this because it is not mentioned when the diciples speak to the other cities. In all of the other cities the headship is discussed, but the head covering is only mentioned in this chapter.
Kate, I really enjoy this, it's through respectful discussion that we learn about each other and learn more about the Lord we both love so very much. I look forward to your next response!
Posted by Susan Davis on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 9:27 p.m.
Posted by Emily on Wednesday, 24 June 1998, at 6:11 a.m., in response to Re: Head Coverings--Yes or No???, posted by Kevin Megill on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 8:30 a.m.
Kate, I don't believe a hat fits with a covering. If you want to follow the NT practice and say it was not cultural, then how can you use a different covering than in the NT? And "fitting in" by wearing a hat does not fit with showing an attitude of submissiveness. No, if we want to follow the practice as described we must be consistent. I hope you will understand my concern and I thank you for all you share.
Posted by KATE Megill on Wednesday, 24 June 1998, at 7:21 a.m., in response to Re: Head Coverings--Yes or No???, posted by Emily on Wednesday, 24 June 1998, at 6:11 a.m.
Scripture says "head covering"...with a hat on, is my head not covered?? Scripture does not say that "you have to cover your head with this certain type of head covering"...
You said: "If you want to follow the NT practice"
I don't want to follow the NT "practice", I want to obey (what I feel to be) a NT command. The type or style of head covering is not the issue (of either the command or the wording in scripture), the issue is for me to cover my head in order to be a symbol of my husband as the head. I believe the women in the NT church at Corinth simply wore what was appropriate to wear on their heads in that day, not thinking anything more about it than to have something on their heads while they pray or prophesy.
You said: "And "fitting in" by wearing a hat does not fit with showing an attitude of submissiveness."
I don't believe I used the term "fitting in" because that is not my goal. I was, however, addressing a gal whose husband thought she should not purposely "stick out" (my expression not his). I believe this is appropriate in fitting with the whole topic. My goal is not to make myself conspicuous (sp?) in my style of headcovering...this would distract from the atmosphere of worship and would draw attention to me rather than to the Lord. NOT the goal for corporate worship, I think! *wink*
There are lots of "practices" of the NT churches that I don't do, but my goal is to obey the NT commands. Does this help to explain why I wear a hat and not a veil of the type that certain muslim women wear today (which is probably more in the "style" of what a NT woman would wear) and why I believe that I am following the scriptures? Thanks for sharing your thoughts and concerns.
In His Joy and Grace,
P.S. Let's just throw another monkey wrench in here. When I am at home, I don't wear my hair and so when I pray I wear my turban...ANOTHER ONE...when I am praying with just my husband and we are, say, out on a date, I don't even put a hat on, since in actuality my hair (wig) IS covering my head!!! (phew, talk about run-on sentences!!*wink*)
Posted by Ronda in Mo. on Wednesday, 24 June 1998, at 9:34 a.m., in response to Re: Head Coverings--Yes or No???, posted by Kevin Megill on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 4:32 p.m.
In consideration of the scripture 1Co 11:15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
I always felt this answered my questions on the issue. And as I mentioned I never felt any leading or conviction differently in this area, but I know on occasion God deals differenly with each of us at times for his own reasons.
Posted by Beth Branch on Wednesday, 24 June 1998, at 1:28 p.m., in response to Re: Head Coverings--Yes or No???, posted by Ronda in Mo. on Wednesday, 24 June 1998, at 9:34 a.m.
If Paul meant that our hair was our covering, I don't think he would have said that a man ought not to cover his head. If he meant our hair, then that would mean that a man would need to be shaven.
Posted by Ronda in Mo. on Wednesday, 24 June 1998, at 1:38 p.m., in response to Re: Head Coverings--Yes or No???, posted by Beth Branch on Wednesday, 24 June 1998, at 1:28 p.m.
I feel if Paul meant something besides our hair he wouldn't have specifically said hair. But he did clarify by saying Long Hair. 1Co 11:14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? I don't particularly think he meant shaved. But short in comparison to the womens. And if a woman's is shorter that the mans maybe in this instance it would be required. IMHO
Posted by Barbara on Wednesday, 24 June 1998, at 2:34 p.m., in response to Re: Hello Lorraine!, posted by Judy Cook in TX on Tuesday, 23 June 1998, at 9:03 p.m.
I'm sorry its taken me so long to respond.
I refer to the OT because there is where God gave the law to Moses. In the NT everything that can be considered a command or law can be researched by looking back into the OT and reading about it there. It is not a command of the NT, nor was it a law of the OT to wear a head covering, if it were then we would ALL be required to follow it, not just some.
I also recommend looking in the other cities that the diciples taught. The subject of submission comes up, however, head covering only comes up this once, and only in one verse. Paul chose this example because it was a custom, because it was part of their heritage, to show the headship of the church and family and only in Corinth. In Corinth respect was shown for the husband by using head coverings.
To obtain God's grace all we need is to understand and accept in faith what Jesus did for us on the cross. It is beneficial however to understand and use every resource available to us to make clear the traditions and times of the OT and NT. If you did not use these refrences then you would not understand most of the parables Jesus spoke of. For example, When Jesus was approched by the rich man, I think you know the story, Jesus said that it was easier for a camel to enter through the eye of the needle. Did you know that "the eye of the needle" was an entrance into the villiage they were in? Also ask your pastor if he uses resources for his sermons, I have asked my pastor he told me he uses everything God leads him to use.
I would like you to read, (if you haven't already) about the woman in Proverbs, at no time is she known for head covering. She is known for her submission to her husband by the way she cares for her family and those she is in charge over. So much so that her husband is well known because of her. The last verse pertaining to her is (30)" Give her the reward she has earned. and let her works bring her praise at the city gates."
Being a Godly woman with noble character means that you follow God, follow your husband in spirit and in deed.
Again I will say that if you are of this heritage, and you have had this custom, then Praise the Lord for your obedience. But if you do not have this custom and have chosen to adopt it, well I have seen that this is not what this scripture is about. I have the need to follow Jesus, Praise God and follow my husband. The world can see my actions, they can judge me by the praises of my husband and the willingness to obey God, they need not see a head covering to do so. I suppose I feel the need to understand. I want to understand where you and everyone else is coming from. You see, if you are following scripture by wearing it, then I am not following scripture by not wearing it. God is no respector or men, nor does he apply diff. rules to diff. people. His word does not change, He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Its not that I want to be wrong or right, I just want to be with God, and because of that I will not make doctrine for myself based soley on one verse.
I await your responses
Posted by Kevin Megill on Wednesday, 24 June 1998, at 3:29 p.m., in response to Re: Head Coverings--Yes or No???, posted by Ronda in Mo. on Wednesday, 24 June 1998, at 1:38 p.m.
Here is the conversation thus far:
Ronda: "The teacher researched the times and customs at which time this scripture was written and said that there were many harlots that had been converted in this area and there way was to shave their heads, and that this scripture was in reference to them."
Me: "The passage in question says ... [and then I quoted 1 Cor 11:5-6] ... So the passage makes reference to harlots as one of its arguments, but the point Paul is trying to argue has nothing to do with harlots or shaved heads. He is primarily talking to women who are not harlots about covered/uncovered heads."
Ronda: "In consideration of the scripture 1Co 11:15".
Oops! I guess verses 5-6 WEREN'T the passage in question. Let me try again.
The passage in question is 1 Cor 11:13-15 (NASB)
13 *Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?
14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him,
15 but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her? For her hair is given to her for a covering.
I view this passage the same way as the previous verses. Paul has just about finished his case for head coverings. He's given several reasons for them. Finally, he concludes with one last appeal in verse 13 -- "judge for yourselves ... does not EVEN NATURE ITSELF TEACH YOU ...". Again he makes an analogy with something the Corinthians will agree with. He says: even you yourselves will see and agree that by nature women tend to glory in long hair and men not. If nature has given the long hair to the woman for a covering, how much more should women be willing to cover their heads in the church while praying or prophesying. It's not something really unusual -- it's just a extension of the way things are naturally.
He uses nature and long/short hair to make his point, but what he's really talking about is head coverings, not hair -- and only when praying or prophesying, not all the time.
I trust you all know that I would give liberty to any sincere Christian to follow their own convictions about what the Scripture says on this tricky (and nonessential) issue.
Posted by Emily on Thursday, 25 June 1998, at 5:57 a.m., in response to Re: Head Coverings--Yes or No???, posted by KATE Megill on Wednesday, 24 June 1998, at 7:21 a.m.
I don't believe your reasoning fits - hat = covering- so I think it's time to "agree to disagree" !! I was glad to see Kevin called it a nonessential.
Posted by Kevin Megill on Thursday, 25 June 1998, at 6:59 a.m., in response to Re: Head Coverings--Yes or No???, posted by Emily on Thursday, 25 June 1998, at 5:57 a.m.
Yes, Kevin and I believe this to be a "non-essential" issue to our Christian faith and it's fine with me to "agree to disagree". Actually I'm still not sure I understand your point, but that's OK! *grin*
In His Joy and Grace,
Posted by Loraine, CA on Thursday, 25 June 1998, at 2:16 p.m.
After reading all your responses, I am completelty overwhelmed with the number of responses to my question. I do argree with someone who posted below (Barbi?) that I want to know what is RIGHT in God's eyes and there must be a correct answer and I desire to know what it is.
That aside, I have been doing much reading from some Mennonite friends and sites on the web.
I am afraid to say that a great concern of mine now in donning a covering would be the pride that I fear would sublty creep into my thinking (well, I have studied this and it seems clear to me that ALL women should wear a covering...this one is not following God's command, that one is disobedient, why hasn't SHE ever studied this issue, etc). I am not saying that I would consciously do this, but I think it would creep in nevertheless over time. I am ashamed to say that I have felt this way about homeschooling (if only so and so would pray about it, they would see it's really BEST to homeschool....)
So, is it better to forget the whole thing until I mature a little more in the pride area? I know the covering is not meant to cause me to feel prideful, but to remind me of my submission....How subtly Satan twists things!
Posted by Judy Cook in TX on Thursday, 25 June 1998, at 2:26 p.m., in response to Re: Hello Lorraine!, posted by Barbara on Wednesday, 24 June 1998, at 2:34 p.m.
Yes, God gave the Old law to Moses in the OT. But I agree with Kate that there are directives to the church from God that are not mentioned in the OT. I agree that there are many "types" shown in the OT but I see the new law in the New Testament. I believe that all scripture is inspired. 2Tim 3:16-17.
Yes, I am aware that the headcovering is only spoken of in I Cor. 11:2-16. As I've said before, though, Paul does not mention the culture of the day as a reason to wear the covering. In Corinth at the time there was a diverse culture. And different traditions. Jewish men and women at that time wore a covering when worshipping. Greeks and Romans worshipped with men covered and women uncovered.
No, I have not heard that the needle referred to was the gate to the city. I have read many times that it referred to a narrow mountain pass which would be very difficult, though not impossible, for a camel to navigate. One of our reference books does say that it could also refer to a narrow gate.
As the daughter of a pastor for 25 years and the wife of a minister for 20 years I have access to our private library of several hundred Bible study and reference books. And believe me I make use of them. However, the Bible is still the final authority. It has been my experience that many scholars disagree on many things. Among those are whether or not harlots shaved their heads in those times, whether or not women covered their heads in day-to-day public activity and others. What do we do when our scholars disagree? We look to the Bible for the final answer.
I agree that the Proverbs lady was not known for her covering. Nor should she have been as it was not commanded for the Jewish women of that time. Nor should we be. Anymore than we should be known for the color of our hair or the car we drive. I hope that people pay more attention to my actions and attitudes than my covering.
I spent at least a year or more studying the scriptures and reference books and study books and commentaries before wearing the covering. If it had been possible to find a plausible reason for not wearing it, I think I would have found it. I was certainly looking for one--just one!! I did not want to wear the covering. But, in the end, I could not ignore the scriptures.
As far as making doctrine based on soley one verse, I believe God has to only say something once.
Barbi, I think we are opposed on this topic. I think we disagree on some basic issues--like everything having to have been commanded in the OT to be relevant today. I don't expect to change my position on that. Nor, do I expect to change my position on the covering. I felt in your last e-mail that we were losing the ability to discuss this without rancor. I am not one to agree to disagree but there comes a time when those involved in a discussion must agree to end a discussion and perhaps continue in individual study.
It is not my place to argue or try to convince you of what the Bible says. That is up to God.
I hope there is no offense to you here. I have certainly meant none.
Judy Cook in TX
Posted by Kate Megill on Thursday, 25 June 1998, at 2:37 p.m., in response to Head Covering and Pride, posted by Loraine, CA on Thursday, 25 June 1998, at 2:16 p.m.
Bless your heart! I admire your desire to obey the Lord (whether it be to wear or not to wear a head covering!) and your sincere look into your motives.
Whatever the Lord is calling you to do or not do in accordance with His word, I would say obey that and ask the Lord to keep your heart pure.
I think the point that was made (I can't remember by whom, sorry) that this whole issue is minor compared to the purpose of the church (which is to reach the lost and build up the church in love) was excellent! Not that we shouldn't search out and understand the heart of God on minor points, but that we keep them in perspective. Usually a "minor" issue is big only for the time that God is using it in our lives to teach us something. Once we deal with it, it then takes it's proper place in our Christian walk. We gain in wisdom and love as we understand more deeply the heart of God.
In His Joy and Grace,
Comments and Outline of 1 Cor 11:2-16
by Kevin Megill
"One of the things I try to do whenever I study something Paul wrote is to get a sense of the outline of the passage, to understand the flow of thought as he moves from one point to the next. Paul usually intermixes the points he is trying to make with his arguments for their truth. If we can separate the things he wants to convince us of from the arguments he uses to convince us, it sometimes helps."