Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Christian Woman's Headcovering I

                                               



Headcovering Identified and Enjoin 
(1 Corinthians 11:3-6).

An Exegesis of Verses 3-6


Verse 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 head of Christ is God.
In this verse Paul lays the foundation for everything he is about to teach. It is very purposeful that headship is introduced at the very beginning, because it is the lesson being taught by the headcovering. God has placed an order of authority into His creation. For there to be peace and tranquility in His world, this order of authority must be recognized and honored. This is an indisputable fact and we hear this matter-of-fact tone in Paulʼs words “But I would have you know,...”
If the principle of authority is neglected, in any area of creation, Anarchy and his twin brother Chaos rule. This is especially true in the kingdom of God.
Discontentment with oneʼs sphere of authority was the original sin that divided heaven and created the Devil (Isaiah 14:12-14; Revelation 12: respectively). This original sin of Lucifer was threatening the Apostleʼs congregation at Corinth - and has raised its head to threaten Christʼs Church today. Here, Paul is giving an apostolic edict, which if obeyed, would maintain a bulwark against Anarchy and Chaos throughout the ages to come.
Paul demonstrates his prowess as a master teacher in verse 3. His task is to enjoin a headcovering for Christian women on the grounds that they have an authority over them, and they were to function in the kingdom of God in respect to this headship, or authority. (I might mention here that Paul employs the word “head” throughout his writings to indicate authority: e.g. Ephesians 5:22-23; Colossians 1:18; 2:10.) To bring this truth to bear he wisely shows that everyone from Christ down functions under the order of headship (authority). Since he is targeting the women in this ordinance he softens his approach by listing the manʼs head first -- then concludes by showing that even Christ has a head. The Christian woman finds herself in the middle position between man, who functions under the authority of Christ, and Christ who, functions under the authority of God. Therefore, her position in the economy of the Kingdom is supported and encouraged by the knowledge of man having an authority over him on one side and Christ having an authority over Him on the other side. Man and Christ, then, form book ends that bolster her in her role.
Notice that the role of the woman in Kingdom economy is to operate beneath the headship of her male leadership. The text says the “head of the woman is THE man.” Attention must be given to the definite article “THE.” The text does not read: “the head of the woman is man;” if it did, men in general would be in authority over women in general. By the introduction of the definite article Paul has the individual particular woman in view; the individual particular woman would then have an individual particular man as her head. Thus, the “head” of a virgin would be her father or perhaps an older brother, if the father had passed; for a married woman her head would be her husband. For a woman who was widowed or divorced the question of headship may become more involved. In the Old Testament, widows and divorcees stood for themselves before God without being subject to male headship. This is seen from Numbers 30:9, “...every vow of a widow, and of her that is divorced, wherewith they have bound their souls, shall stand against her.” “Thus, both the widow and the divorcee hold the same status - in regard to a vow. This is true because neither of the two are under the authority of a Man. If the woman was married and her husband was alive then any vow that she might have made would need to be validated by her male headship. However, since the womanʼs husband was either dead or divorced from her she stood for herself before God” (Finding the Grace of God in Divorce And Remarriage by Bishop Jerry Hayes, Seventh Millennium Publications). In the Lordʼs Church it may be scriptural to assign the pastor as the head to widows and divorcees in that the Saints represent the bride of Christ, while the pastor represents Christ to the church.
Verse 4 
Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoreth his head.
Here, the Apostle introduces the subject at hand; namely, the proper decorum of apostolic worshipers in the assembly. We know that the assembly is in view in this entire passage because the subject is praying and/or prophesying. These two (praying and prophesying) are a coupling in the case before us: they are two parts of a whole. The idea is: speaking in the assembly, either to God on behalf of the congregation (i.e. leading in prayer), or speaking to the congregation on behalf of God (i.e. preaching or operating in the gifts). It should be noticed, at this point, that prophesying requires an audience. One does not prophesy in private. The public arena is in view here. Also, since prophecy is listed, one may extrapolate this list to include all three of the spoken gifts of the Spirit: tongues, interpretation of tongues, and prophecy (1 Corinthians 12:10). The ministry of preaching should clearly be included. (Because of the emphasis on the assemble, it is doubtful if headcovering could be enforced scripturally outside the meeting place - though some Christian women feel as though they should wear the headcovering at all times in case the Holy Spirit wanted to speak through them while outside of the congregation.)
From verse 4, then, the Church is instructed that the proper decorum for a man when praying (leading the congregation in prayer), or prophesying (speaking in behalf of God to the congregation) is to be bareheaded. (The Greek: kata kephaleis echon; lit. “having anything down over his head.”
The Amplified Bible reads; “For a man ought not to wear anything on his head.”

It should be pointed out that this is a drastic departure from the Jewish custom of the yarmulke and prayer shawl. Paulʼs instruction (and that of the other apostles: see verse 16) was a new wineskin (i.e. Christian religious form) to hold and preserve the new wine (Christian worship principle). Whereas, the Jews pray with covered heads in the synagogues the Christian men were to pray with uncovered heads.

yarmulke |ˈyämə(l)kə| (also yarmulka)

noun
a skullcap worn in public by Orthodox Jewish men or during prayer by other Jewish men.

(The reader will notice that this practice, of praying or preaching with uncovered heads, continues to be observed by Christian men universally even in areas of the world where Christian women have neglected the ordinance - like the USA.)
In verse 4 “head” is listed twice. The former references the physical head of the man, while the latter is a metaphor for Christ since verse 3 tells us that Christ is the “head of man.” Therefore, Paul teaches: For a man to speak in the assembly with something on his head brings dishonor to Christ, who is the head of man. One must never suggest that this passage mandates a prohibition on women only, for this mandate also, and perhaps more importantly, prohibits men from being covered in the assembly. I say: “more importantly” because to dishonor Christ is more severe than dishonoring man.
Now as servants of Christ, we do not need to know how or why this is a dishonor, we just need to obey, and as men, not speak in the assembly with covered heads. We are not of the world (John 14:16). The physical worldly mind says: “If I understand, I will believe;” the spirit world says: “Believe, then you may understand.”

Verse 5.
Every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoreth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
In verse five Paul drives to his objective: the womanʼs head covering.
Notice that the opposite is true for the woman as was true for the man. In verse 4, if a man (any man: notice the word “every”) speaks in the assembly with something on his head he dishonors Christ - who is his head. The statement: “that is all one as if she was shaved” is a clear indicator that the Christian faith is not practiced in a vacuum. Paul brings the Corinthianʼs attention to the natural covering of women (not only Christian women) in general and reminds them how shameful it was for a woman to have her head shaved. (A parallel is drawn between the natural covering of hair and the religious covering. They are not the same [ two different Greek words are used to reference each in its turn]; but are compared for the sake of illustration.) This has been true in every society and age of civilized peoples. To disgrace a woman, her head was shaved. If a woman committed adultery or was found collaborating with her peopleʼs enemies her hair was cut off, or her head shaved in the public square, as it were.
The Apostle is making a hard comparison here: for a Christian woman to appear in the assembly with uncovered head was the same dishonor to her male head (father, husband, or perhaps pastor) in the religious arena, as fornicating or collaborating with an enemy would have been in the secular arena.
It is also important to notice that according to this verse (verse 5) the covering is the evidence of submission to Godʼs appointed headship. It is the evidence of humility. “Every woman that prays or prophesies” the Bible says “with her head uncovered dishonors her head.” Therefore, for the woman to pray or prophesy with a covered head is demonstrating respect to her head, which stations her in a position of humility.
Moreover, we are told in verse three that the head of the woman is the man. We see therefore that the womanʼs headcovering is the token of her submission to the man. Now, on the other hand verse 5 states that the removal of the headcovering is a matter of grave disrespect to the womanʼs head, i.e. husband, father, or pastor as her guardian. The headcovering, then, shows favor; it also shows respect.
The matter of favor and respect can be seen in the story of Isaac and Rebekah in Genesis 24:65. In this account, as Rebecca was delivering herself into Isaacʼs possession she covered herself with a veil as a token of her respect. I realize what I am teaching is a very unpopular subject in the midst of a time of great feminist fervor. As important as it is to me that the reader be informed of my awareness of how women have been misused and abused throughout history by men lording over them in an ungodly and cruel manner, it is even more important for the reader to acknowledge that the Christian faith elevates the woman from the position she held in days of antiquity, where she was only chattel, to a loving position beside her male counterpart. However, bear in mind that there is still a God ordained order - there is a position of headship that must be maintained in society at large and especially in the Lordʼs Church. If the position of headship is not maintained and is not everywhere asserted then the Church becomes out of order. When the church is out of order God cannot bless in the way He has purposed to do. The Bible clearly teaches a superiority and inferiority between the roles of men and women in society. It does not teach either sex to be a superior gender. Pertaining to their humanity men and women are absolutely, positively equal. This truth must be acknowledged and everywhere observed by those who call on the name of Christ. The distinction between the sexes is to be found, not in their value as human beings (as in Islam were it takes two women to equal one man), but in the roles they fulfill in the family, the church, and society at large. This distinction is to be limited to the roles that men and women fill in life, and is not to be assigned to the inherent value of gender. This truth can best be illustrated by drawing a parallel between the relationship of people within the armed services. On one end of the spectrum you have the general, and on the other end the private. The general is no greater or lesser a human being than the private; nor is the private a lesser or greater human being than the general. However, there is a clear distinction in their rank. Therefore, it is in this way that men and women are separated and distinct in the economy of God. Paul stated clearly in 1 Corinthians 11:3, “the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man.” Furthermore, Matthew Henry, a respected Bible scholar, said: “This is a situation in which God has placed the woman, and for that reason she should have a mind suited for her rank and do nothing that looks like an affectation of changing places.”
Verse 6
For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

This particular verse is the very text that convinced this writer, once and for all, that the “covering” required of the New Testament Church (by its apostolic authority) was indeed an artificial covering, a religious garment, and not the natural covering of hair that is alleged by so many. Long hair is viewed by many as the covering the Apostle is commanding. This conclusion is arrived at through a misunderstanding and misappropriation of verse 15 which states that a womanʼs hair is given her for a covering.
We will deal with this verse in its proper course. For now, we must honestly deal with verse 6.
If one does not have a proper understanding of verse 6 a correct mental grasp of the entire passage will be out of reach.
To those of you who are reading this article and believe that the hair is the covering Paul is teaching, I ask you to reason with me from this sixth verse. I am sure that we all will be agreed that the word “shaven” means to have oneʼs hair shaved completely from oneʼs head. It would not be unreasonable to assume that we also would agree that to have oneʼs hair shorn would mean to have oneʼs hair cut off shorter than it would be if it was left to grow. Therefore oneʼs head would be covered only if the hair was left uncut; for to cut the hair at any length would be shearing the hair. From this line of argument, then, it would be concluded that a woman would be uncovered if her hair was cut or her head shaved. (This is exactly the position of many holiness groups such as the United Pentecostal Church International and sister fellowships.)
Honestly, if this is the correct interpretation of what Paul meant by being covered or uncovered it leaves verse 6 in a very silly and nonsensical position.
Let me explain: If the hair is the covering then we should be able to replace the phrase “not covered” with the phrase “have her hair cut.” Notice then how verse 6 would read if such were the case: “For if the woman be not covered (have her hair cut), let her also be shorn (have her hair cut):”
Here we give it more plainly: “For if a woman have her hair cut, let her also have her hair cut.”
If Paul meant that the woman's headcovering were the hair itself, this verse would be saying, "If a woman does not have hair on her head, let her also have her hair cut off."
It is linguistically impossible to say that the woman's headcovering is nothing more than her hair. If the hair were the only "covering," then an "uncovered" woman would be a woman who already had her "hair cut off." An already hairless woman cannot be commanded to have her hair cut off. It would be like saying, "Let the bald man get a haircut" or "Let the beardless man shave his beard."
What verse six means is this: if the woman refuses to wear a scarf or shawl, she should also remove the natural covering, her hair. In other words, she should wear both coverings or none at all (which is shameful). Watchman Nee comments on this verse with these strong words: "Today people keep neither of these two commands of the Bible. If a sister will not cover her hair but shears or shaves it, she may yet be reckoned as hearkening to the words of the Bible. But today women neither shave nor cover their hair -- a double disobedience.” (Watchman Nee, Love One Another, Richmond, VA: Christian Fellowship Publ., 94.)
To imagine that the Apostle, who wrote over half of the New Testament, would write in such a silly manner is to insult both him and the Holy Spirit who inspired him to write. Do you, my friend, really believe that Paul, who was argumentatively the most educated of the Lordʼs apostles, would actually write: “For if a woman have her hair cut, let her also have her hair cut?”
If you, as I, do not think Paul would write in such a manner, nor reason in such a silly way, then you must agree that it is not long hair, but an artificial covering, which he is requiring of Christian women.
It should be obvious from the above illustration that the apostle Paul has an artificial headcovering in view and not the hair. The instructions are clear and simple: if it is a shame for a woman to have her natural covering, i.e. her hair, cut or shaved, then, she should not remove her headcovering when in the assembly. Paul simply said: If you will not cut your hair off, do not remove your headcovering.”
The apostle Paul teaches that women should wear a covering when prophesying or praying in the Christian assembly. Furthermore, the Apostle tells us that all the churches of Christ feel the same way and have the same practice and custom (1 Corinthians 11:16).

Apostolically Speaking


The Christian Woman's Headcovering II

                                               




Four Spiritual and Scriptural Arguments 
(1 Corinthians 11: 7-10).

In verses 7 through 10 of 1 Corinthians 11 the Apostle presents his argumentation for the headcovering, and the order of headship that the headcovering represents. As we continue, it will become clear to the reader that these arguments are at once spiritual and scriptural.         
We will proceed in our examination of this passage by using verse 10 as the pivotal point for the text:
“For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels” (verse 10).
  1. For This Cause.”
The statement “for this cause” is with the accusative case in the Greek language, which indicates the cause or reason of the act. The “act” in this situation is that the women ought to be covered. “For this cause,” referers to the preceding statements in verses 7 through 9, and also includes the cause given in verse 10; namely, “because of the angels.” The Bible states in this passage (verses 7-9) that the man, indeed, “Ought not to cover his head for in as much as he is the image and glory of God, but the woman is the glory of the man; for the man is not of the woman but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman but the woman for the man. For this cause ... because of the angels.” 
My friends, this is what the Bible is teaching. As much as this may rub our fur the wrong way, or ruffle our feathers, we must, as mature Christians, submit our conscience to the Word of God.
As we look closely at these verses, there are four arguments given in support for the injunction for the Christian woman to have her head covered in the place of meeting. 
  • Argument one: She is the glory of the man; 
  • Argument two: She was created from the man; 
  • Argument three: She was created for the benefit of the man; 
  • Argument four: She should be covered because of the angels.
We will proceed to examine these causes in a close manner.
Argument one: The woman is the glory of the man (verse 7).
Here the apostle Paul writes that the Christian woman is to have a covering on her head, when in the public meeting place, because she is the glory of the man. The Apostle shows that just as man (Adam) was made in the the image and glory of God - as Godʼs representative - even so, the woman Eve, in turn, was made to be the glory of man, to be manʼs representative. As the man is a representative of the glory and perfection of God among all other creatures (so that the fear and dread of him are on every beast of the field), so the woman represents the power and the authority of man in the home and society at large. Since man shows forth the glory of God, it, therefore, follows that the woman shows forth the glory of man.
The ministry of the woman to manifest the glory of man is beautifully demonstrated in the name that Adam gave her. He called her Eve: the “mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20). Then we see how well the preacher (Solomon) put it when he asked, “Who can find a virtuous woman? Her price is far above rubies, the heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. ...Her own works praise her in the gates” (Proverbs 31:10-12, 23, and 31b).
The argument presented in verse 7, for the Christian woman to have a symbol of her husbandʼs, fatherʼs etc. authority (or headship) on her head, is as follows: The glory of God (the man), should not be veiled in the presence of God. To veil the glory of God (the man) in the presence of God would be an acted out contradiction. Therefore, by the same logic: The glory of man (the woman) should be veiled in the presence of God. That is, in the assembly where the believers are in Godʼs presence (in a corporate manner), the glory of man is not to be flaunted.
Argument two: The woman was created from the man; or, the woman is from the man (Verse 8).
In this second argument the notion of principality rests upon the fact of priority. That is to say: That which is primary (first) must be the principal; that which is authoritative. Man was created first, and as a result was placed as the federal head of creation, by being the image of the divine Dominion. The woman was made out of man and was made superior to other creatures. Therefore, she shines with the reflection of manʼs glory just as the moon shines with the reflected glory of the sun. She derives this honor from him (the man) out of whom she was made; thereby, being subject to him. Adam Clark stated it on this wise: “Paulʼs meaning is that the man does not belong to the woman as if she was the principle but the woman belongs to the man in that view.”

Argument three: The woman was created for the benefit of man (verse 9).
From the Genesis record it is clear that man is the origin of woman and the reason for her creation. She was created to be a helpmeet for him; so, she was naturally made subject to him. She was made for him - for his use - for his help - for his comfort. Because this is true, she who was intended to be always subjected to the man should do nothing in the Christian assembly that gives the appearance of an affectation of authoritative equality; such as removing her headcovering.
Now, on the simple merit of “principal” and secondary creation” the woman holds a second place to man in Godʼs economy of order. It must be remembered that this “second place” is not in human value, but in rank only.
Moreover, apart from the arguments given above, Eve solidified this position for her gender in the fall. Notice the judgment pronounced upon the woman from the month by Yahweh: “... your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you” (Genesis 3:16).    Beloved, for these reasons Christian women should not strive for an equality in rank: such as appearing in public worship with uncovered heads.
One feels compelled to soften what may sound harsh to modern ears by saying that there is no superiority nor inferiority in the humanity between men and women. But, this superiority and inferiority is only in the headship, or in the rank which each gender holds within the church and the Christian family, and by extension - society at large. At this point we will go further into 1 Corinthians 11:10 by examining the next statement.

Argument four: Because of the angels.
The author has written on this topic in his work entitled, The Sons Of God And The Daughters Of Men, (which may be acquired through the Biblical Research Institute of Bishop Jerry Hayes™). The following text is an adaptation from that work.
When the apostle Paul writes on the subject of headship, one of the reasons that he gives for the Christian woman to wear a headcovering in the public assembly is “because of the angels.” Since the apostle did not specify what category of angels, we must assume that all categories are intended. There are two primary categories with which we are interested: the angels of God, and the fallen angels. 
In Paulʼs teaching of headship we are instructed that the head of Christ is God, the head of man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man (1 Corinthians 11:3). We are further told, that in public worship a man is to be uncovered, while a woman is to have her head covered (which serves) to demonstrate to the angels (both un-fallen and fallen) that she resides under a protective covering. 
When the angels of God (who are ministering spirits [Hebrews 1:14], and who are present in great numbers in the Christian assemblies in a very special way [Hebrews 12:22]), see the Christian woman covered, it speaks to them of order and delegated authority. Therefore, it directly affects their attitude in ministering on behalf of the saints of God. This is particularly true since man and woman, as husband and wife, serve to represent Christ and His church (Ephesians 5:22-32). The angels of God have known only one primary sin: namely, the violation of headship (Isaiah 14:13-14; and see Ezekiel 28:13ff), where Lucifer cast aside his covering (i.e. the precious stones of the earth), and violated headship by exalting his throne to be equal to Godʼs. On the other hand, when the angels of God view Christian women uncovered, it speaks to them of rebellion and a disregard for created order. This, also, directly affects their attitude of ministry to the church. Rebellion against Godʼs created order of headship was the original sin, and ministering angels cannot help but be adversely affected when they witness the same transgression in the body of Christ.
(Hebrews tells us that we are surrounded by heavenly beings who are bearing witness to the lives we live. So, as a consequence, we must be watchful how we run our race, for in the stands the heavenly hosts are witnessing the contest.  “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). 
Running counter to the angels of God, are the fallen angels. When these lieutenants of Perdition prowl about the assembly of the righteous, spying out the weak ones upon whom to prey, it is an effective defense for the Christian woman that she be seen with a covered head; thereby, giving testimony to these fallen angels that she resides under a spiritual covering of protection. The fallen Angels are put on notice, by such a display on the part of the Christian woman, that she cannot be touched, cannot be spiritually seduced, without first penetrating her male covering.
It was not Adam that was deceived, but Eve. It seems that a woman has a natural tendency to be easily led astray. The Bible student cannot easily ignore what Paul wrote to his son Timothy in 1 Timothy 2: 11-14. There, the Apostle writes: “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” Here, the apostle Paul is putting a prohibition on a womanʼs role in public teaching and preaching. He bases the restriction on Genesis chapters 2 and 3. The appeal to the creation account makes the restrictions universal and permanent.
1. “Adam was first formed.” Paul appeals to the priority of Adam in creation, which predates the fall. Thus he views the man/woman relationship set forth in this passage as grounded in creation. This reason militates against those who would argue that since the new birth reverses the curses of the fall, there is no distinction between the roles of men and women in the Kingdom of God. 
2. “The woman being deceived.” Paul argues that since the woman was deceived (and then led Adam astray), she is not to be entrusted with the teaching function of a bishop (or elder) in the public worship services of the assembled church. Of course this prohibition is qualified by the same Apostleʼs teaching in 1 Corinthians 11, where we are told that the Christian woman may, indeed, pray and preach in the public assembly, IF she does so under her covering; by which she demonstrates to all (human and angel alike) that she ministers in a delegated role under male supervision.
Therefore, the tendency of the woman to be  easily deceived makes her an easy target for the dark side of the spiritual world. The denominational Christian landscape is dotted with Christian (so-called) organizations founded by women who were seduced by lying spirits. So, the teaching of the New Testament that a woman wear a headcovering within the assembly is not only her badge of authority (to function on equal footing with her male counterpart, in prophesying and praying), but, is also her shield, which protects her from fallen angels that have a history of seducing human women, both physically (Genesis 6:1-2) and spiritually (Genesis 3:1-6).

Apostolically Speaking
☩ David Ignatius

The Christian Woman's Headcovering III

                                                 



Ought The Woman Previously, we looked at the statement from verse   10 “for this cause,” and there we found four causes; here we examine the next statement, “ought the woman.” These three simple words from verse   10 inform us that there is a moral devoir that rests on women to maintain a dress code that does not apply to the men (see verse 7). In this case Christian women are morally obligated before God to display a symbol of their rank in Godʼs economy of order. From verse 10 we learn that the women “ought” to do the very thing that verse 7 says the men “ought not” to do: namely, cover their heads when praying or prophesying. 
(As a “by the by,” the “ought not” of verse 7 and the “ought ” of verse 10 serve to illustrate that hair is not the covering being required by the Apostle. Men “ought not” to cover their heads when praying or prophesying, the Apostle writes. Is the Apostle saying: Men “ought not” to grow hair long before praying or prophesying? As if that would be possible. Further, is the Apostle instructing the Christian women that they, on the other hand, “ought” to, indeed, grow their hair long upon entering the assembly to pray or prophesy? As if they could. In that the covering is required only in the assembly when praying or prophesying, and not required otherwise, militates against the covering being hair. Simple reasoning would lay the hair issue to rest, if one were honest.)
In Ephesians 5:28-32 the Apostle Paul draws a parallel between a husband and wife, and Christ and his Church. In this apostolic teaching the man represents Christ, and the woman represents the Church. Therefore, each gender of the Lordʼs congregation has a moral obligation to manifest Christ and his Church to the world at large. The Bible tells us that we are living epistles read of all men (2 Corinthians 3:2). The world may never read the Holy Scripture, but they see and read the Christian life every day. So then, just as the Church is to be in submission to Christ (her head), so is the Christian woman to be in submission to her male head (her husband in particular). She should demonstrate this in her life, but particularly in the assembly of the saints.
The church must practice scriptural order; only by doing this can the angels (who are ministering spirits sent forth from God to minister in behalf of those who are heirs of salvation [Hebrews 1:14]) minister in the fashion heaven intends. The Scripture teaches clearly that women are to have a covering over their heads “because of the angels.” If we desire the angels to minister TO US on heavenʼs behalf and TO HEAVEN in our behalf, then we must exercise the order of headship that God Himself has placed in the Church through His faithful apostle: Paul.
  1. To Have Power On Her Head
Here we come to the central statement of the text. The woman is to have “power on her head.” What could such a statement mean?
Now, admittedly the King James Version (KJV) has a difficult rendering at this place for modern English speaking people, because of its attempt to give a word for word rendering of the Greek. Therefore, one should considered a thought to thought translation of the original language. When the apostle said “to have power...,” the Greek word is “exousian;” the sense in the Greek is: “to have a symbol of authority(semeian exousias). 
  • Todayʼs English Version of the Bible translates: “have a covering over her head to show she is under her husbandʼs authority.”    
  • Philips Modern English Version of the Bible translates: “to bear on her head an outward sign of manʼs authority.”   
  • New American Standard Bible translates: “therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head.”   
  • The Amplified Bible translates: “Therefore she should [be subject to his authority and should] have a covering on her head [as a token, a symbol, of her submission to authority, that she may show reverence as do] the angels [and not displease them].”
Going back to the King James Version rendering, the word “power” is, of course, the Greek word for authority. This strange rendering is, nonetheless, biblical. Many times, throughout the Word of God, the symbol of the principle is often named as the principle itself. Therefore, the headcovering is here called the “power” or “authority” that the Christian woman is to manifest. Many examples can be found throughout the Word of God where the symbol of a thing is actually called by the name of the thing that it symbolizes. Included here are three examples:
  1. The act of circumcision is actually called “the covenant” (Genesis 17:10-13), when in reality it is the symbol of the covenant; 
  2. The lamb slain at the time of Passover is actually called “the passover” (Exodus 12:21), when in truth it is but the symbol of all the Passover entailed;  
  3. In this present case (1 Corinthians 11:10) “power on her head” means that the Christian woman is to display on her head a sign or token that she is under the authority of her male head.

Apostolically Speaking
☩ Jerry Hayes







The Christian Woman's Headcovering IV

                                               



Reasoning Together 
(Verses 13 - 16)

After enjoining head-covering in verses 3 through 6, and following up in verses 7 through 10 with four spiritual and scriptural arguments to support his apostolic edict, then after softening his teaching on headcovering with the state-ments of verses 11 through 12 (“Nevertheless, neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man [a reference to v8], even so is the man also by the woman [every man has a mother]; but all things of God”), Paul reasons for headcovering from three areas of their physical world:
1. Their conscience: verse 13;
2. The nature of things: verses 14, 15; and
3. Christian society: verse 16.

A.  Reasoning from Conscience: Verse 13.
“Judge in yourselves.”
Paul has now moved into a third stage of his presentation: he is reasoning with the Corinthians from their natural world.
The Corinthians are being challenged by their Apostle to look inwardly, and take counsel from their conscience. They are being asked to acknowledge their better judgment. Paul had confidence that the departure from headship had not yet taken root in their heart to the degree that the voice of their conscience had been totally silenced. So, he admonishes them to “Judge in yourselves: is it comely...” (Greek: prepo, to be suitable or proper; Strongʼs #OT4241) “that a woman pray unto God uncovered.” Paul was confident that they would reason that such an act would be inappropriate behavior. They had not thought it through, in Paulʼs mind. “Calm down and think,” Paul is saying. Is it proper? Is it even decent? He is asking. He was confident that they knew the right answer in their knower; and, would, if given the chance, reason it through.
However, Paulʼs question hits hard and lays bare the nerve concerning women praying at all (in or out of the assembly) without covered heads. His words seem to put the women, who would dare come before God with uncovered heads, in a place of un-comeliness in the eyes of the Almighty. All I can say about that is this: the context of Chapter 11 is the public meeting of the believers. I, in good conscience, cannot require head- covering outside the assembly, or for private prayer. However, if a sister in Christ feels bound by her conscience to cover her head in private prayer, or even as a constant covering from rising to retiring each day, because of the weight of this verse, I surely believe she will have the pleasure of her Lord.

B. Reasoning from Nature: Verses 14 and 15.
“Doth not even nature itself teach you...”
It is only here that hair is introduced into the subject as a covering; and, only as an illustration of the correctness for a mandatory artificial covering.
It is sad that a lack of education and sound reasoning has led so many to teach the illustration as the object it has been introduced to illustrate.
Just as Paul asked the Corinthians to reason from their conscience, he here asks them to reason with him from the very nature of their lives. Paul is asking, “What does nature teach you? Does not nature say, “If a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair it is a glory unto her.” (The Revised Standard Version reads: “it is her pride.”) These things, Paul is saying, are taught to you by nature.
Here, Paul speaks of the nature of humans in general. He does NOT have Christian men and women in view only. He is saying that it is natural for men to have short hair. We may extrapolate from his reasoning that men are the workers and warriors of society; therefore, long hair would not be conducive to their natural roles. On the other hand, women are the softer sex; whose hair is a sexual adornment (“it is a glory to her”); and, as such she adorns herself with it and employs her long hair in her relationship with the male gender. Paul speaks here to the nature of the heart, and the natural usage of the hair.
His point is that the “hair is given” (to the woman) “for a covering.” The Greek actually reads: γυνὴ δὲ ἐὰν κομᾷ δόξα αὐτῇ ἐστιν; ὅτι ἡ κόμη ἀντὶ περιβολαίου δέδοται [αὐτῇ]. The phrase “ἀντὶ περιβολαίου”  is transliterated: anti peribolaiou; English translation: “instead of a covering;” it is so rendered in Young’s Literal Translation (YLT): “... and a woman, if she have long hair, a glory it is to her, because the hair instead of a covering hath been given to her;... . ” A. T. Robertson says, concerning “anti peribolaiou:”  
“... Old word from periballw  to fling around, as a mantle (Hebrews 1:12) or a covering or veil as here. It is not in the place of a veil, but answering to (anti, in the sense of anti in John 1:16), ... .” 


Robertson cites John 1:16 as an example of how "anti" is to be understood in out text. John 1:16 says:  καὶ  χάριν  ἀντὶ  χάριτος· (kai charin anti charitos); English: “and grace for grace.” So, then, the hair “answers to” (Robertson) the veil: it (the hair) “answers,” in the natural arena, to what the veil is in the religious arena.
Regardless of the clear teaching of the Greek scholars on the word “anti” such Bible teachers as Daniel Segraves, in his book entitled  Hair Length in the Bible, employes his preferred definition of “anti” and states on page 37, “Long, uncut hair is given to a woman instead of a veil.” Using, as he does, the literal wording from the Greek, with no consideration given to the idiom that all scholars recognize on the word “anti.” Gingrich’s Shorter Lexicon of the Greek NT, p17, states the definitions for “anti” as: “for, AS, in place of.” But, Segraves totally omits “AS”—the meaning that fits the context. This is also the definition found in Arndt and Gingrich, p73, and A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the NT. Here, “anti” does not refer to a replacement but to an equivalent. This phrase indicates equivalency. Therefore, “anti” is a word of COMPARISON. In Ephesians 5 Paul uses “anti” to teach how a man and wife are TYPED to Christ and the Church. The “anti” used in v15 does not mean “instead of” but “COMPARED TO,” because long hair is LIKE a veil—it SYMBOLIZES a veil. The French language Louis Segond Bible of 1910 translates the “anti” in v15: “...la chevelure lui a ete donnee comme voile,” or “...the hair is given to her LIKE a veil.”
The noun peribolaion is from “peri” to throw or cast, and “bollō” around. Used but twice in the New Testament: here, and Hebrews 1:12 where it is translated “vesture.” Thus, something thrown around one, such as a veil (Robertson, Strong, Thayer). It is  the peribolaion of verse 15, and not the hair, that identifies the katakalupto (covering) of verses 4, 5, 6, and 7. The peribolaion is not the hair, it “answers” (anti) to the hair, as grace “answers” (anti) to grace (John 1:16, Robertson). In Robertson’s paralleling of 1 Corinthians 11:15 with John 1:16, in relation to the Greek word “anti,” it is understood that hair does not replace the peribolaion any more than one grace replaces another grace. The graces (gifts) of God compliment, and compound, one another, as does the Christian woman’s long hair and the veil that she “casts about” her head, when in prayer or moving in the spiritual gifts during the corporate meeting of the Church.
There are two coverings referenced in our passage: the “peribolaion” (verse 15) which is the “kataka-lupto” (verses 5, 6, 7, and 13): a veil, or wrap, that a woman is to “cast about here head” when she prays or prophesies, but a man “ought not” to put on his head when he prays or prophesies [verse 7]; and the long hair that the woman is given by God as a natural mantle or wrap for her head (which “answers to,” and complements, the required peribolaion)—to be used as her adornment, and a display of her glory. The point made here, is that, just as the hair represents her proper covering in the natural realm, so the veil is the Christian woman’s proper covering in the spiritual realm.
Paul is saying: “It is the nature of men to cut off their hair, and the nature of women to let their hair grow long.” If, then, the woman, by the nature of her own heart covers herself with hair, what the Apostle is enjoining is in harmony with nature and not contrary to it. So, the reasoning goes like this: “Women, if you, by nature cover your heads (with hair), then you can understand the Churchʼs requirement of a religious article of clothing.”
Concerning this matter, John Chrysostom writes:
“‘And if it be given her for a covering,’ say you, ‘wherefore need she add another covering?’ That not nature only, but also her own will may have part in her acknowledgment of subjection. For that thou oughtest to be covered nature herself by anticipation enacted a law. Add now, I pray, thine own part also, that thou mayest not seem to subvert the very laws of nature; a proof of most insolent rashness, to buffet not only with us, but with nature also.”

The Apostle is not teaching that a womanʼs hair is the covering taught in verses 3 through 13, as verse 6 more than adequately proves. He is reasoning with the Corinthian women concerning the artificial headcovering, and masterfully employing their long hair as his illustration. It is a mistake (and very poor exegesis) to teach hair as the required covering.

C. Reasoning From Christian Society: Verse 16
“But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.”
Because we are presenting this lesson from the King James Version of the Bible, verse 16 is given from that translation.
The KJV rendering of this verse is unfortunate for the twenty-first century English reader. What was plain and clear Elizabethan English of the seventeenth  century is quite difficult for the modern English speaking person. So, I beg the readers’ indulgence as I give the rendering of this verse from the New American Standard Bible, New International Version, and The Amplified Bible:
New American Standard Bible
“... if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God.”
New International Version
“If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God.”
The Amplified Bible
“Now if anyone is disposed to be argumentative and contentious about this, we hold to and recognize no other custom [in worship] than this, nor do the churches of God generally.”
“We have no custom of permitting anyone to be contentious or argumentative concerning this injunc-tion,” is what the KJV is conveying; and was, in fact, clearly understood in the seventeenth century.
The Corinthians are challenged with the prospect of being out of harmony with the universal body of Christ: “The churches of God follow the same rule,” Paul writes. He reasons with them in this manner: “To take a path contrary to all other churches of God will put you sociably out of step with Christian society.”
In this third stage of Paulʼs discourse (see Chapter One “Outline” page 10) he has reasoned with them from three areas of their life: their conscience, the nature of their very existence, and the social standing within the universal body of Christ.

From all three of these arenas it is reasoned that headcovering should be practiced in the church, so that the principle of headship may be protected and maintained in the body of Christ. Paul is operating under the Lordʼs mandate of: “Whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever you loose all the earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 18:18). 

Apostolically Speaking
☩ David Ignatius

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The Apostolic Creed

I believe in one God,1 solitary in being;2 Maker of Heaven and Earth, and all things therein:3 by His eternal Word.4 That is to say: By the breath of his mouth.5 Thereby, and because of creation, reasonably termed the Father.6
Who, because of us sinners, and for our salvation,7 became manifested in flesh.8 Conceived by the Holy Spirit,9  born of the virgin Mary.10 This incarnation11 not lessening His deity,12 nor altering his humanity;13 fully God14 and fully man,15 consubstantiated.16 Therefore, the angel named him Jesus17 - Yahweh Savior.18 As to his deity, He is the same essence, nature, and being as the Father.19 As to his humanity, he is a like essence, nature, and being with us men.20 Thereby, and because of generation and redemption, reasonably termed the Son of God.21
Who suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, was buried,22 and descended into Hades.23 Who, in His deity raised Himself from the dead on the third day,24 ascending to the right hand of the Majesty on High;25 from which he shed forth His Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.26 Thereby, and because of emanation and sanctification,27 reasonably termed the Holy Spirit.28
I believe in the one true saving gospel:29 the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.30 Which saving graces are individually appropriated respectively,31 through repentance,32 water baptism by immersion,33 with the invocation of Jesus’ name:34 thereby, washed in his blood;35 and the infilling of His Spirit as in the beginning.36
I believe in the holy,37 universal,38 and apostolic Church,39 the communion of the saints,40 and the forgiveness of sins;41 the sacramental mysteries42 of: Jesus name water baptism,43 the Lord’s Supper,44 and the laying on of hands.45 I believe in the resurrection of the body,46 the catching away of the Church;47 the physical return of Jesus Christ,48 eternal judgment49 and life everlasting.50


1 De 6:4; Mk 12:29; 1 Ti 2:5; Ga 3:20. 
2 De 32:39; Is 43:3, 11; 44:6, 8; 45:5, 18, 21, 22; 46:5,9.
3 Is 44:24; 45:12; Mal 2:10.
4 Jn 1:1-3; He 11:3.
5 Ps 33:6; He 1:3.
6 1 Co 8:6; Mal 2:10; He 12:9 cf Zech 12:1.
7 Ro 2:23; 1 Jn 3:5.
8 Is 9:6; 1 Ti 3:16; Col 2:2-10.
9 Mt 1:18; Lk 1: 35.
10 Is 7:14; Mt 1:23,25.
11 2 Co 5:19; Col 2:9.
12 Jn 2:19-21; 11:25; 14:7-11; 15:24; 20:28.
13 Ga 4:4; Lk 22:41, 42.
14 Col 2:9; Ro 9:5; Titus 2:13; 1 Jn 5:20; Jude 25; Re 1:8.
15 Ga 4:4; Mt 26:28; Is 53:12; Ac 2:31; He 4:15; 1Ti 2:5.
16 To be united in one common substance: Is 9:6; Re 22:1-4.
17 Mt 1:21.
18 Is 43:11; Lk 2:11.
19 Jn 10:30; 14:8-9; Is 9:6.
20 Ga 4:4; 1 Ti 2:5; He 2:17.
21 Jn 3:16; Lk 1:35.
22 Lk 23:3-33, 46, 50, 52.
23 Eh 4:8-9; Re 1:18.
24 Jn 2:19; 11:25.
25 He 1:3; 8:1.
26 Joel 2:28; Mt 3:1; Ac 2:1, 3-4; Ac 2:16;  Col 1:27.
27 Ro 15:16; 1 Pt 1:2.
28 Jn 5:26; Col 1:27.
29 Ga 1:8; Eh 4:5; 2 Ti 1:15; Jude 3.
30 1 Co 15;1-4; Ro 6;1-4.
31 Ac 2:38; Ro 6;1-4.
32 Lk 13:3; Ac 17;30; He 12:14-17.
33 Col 2:12; Ro 6:4; Ac 8:38-39.
34 Ac 2:28; 8;16; 10;48; 19:5; 1 Co 1:13; Ja 2:7.
35 Mt 26:28; Ac 22:16; Eh 5:25-26 (washed by the Rhema = living voice); Re 1:5.
36 Ro 8:11; Ac 11:15-16; see Ac 1:5; 2:1-4; 10:46; 19:6.
37 To be set apart: Mt 16:18; Eh 2:19-21; 1 Ti 3:15.
38 Including, or covering all: Mt 16:18-19;Ga 4;26; 1 Ti 3:15.
39Apostolic: of, or pertaining to, the Apostles; Church: a called out body: Eh 4:5; Ga 1:9; Jude 3; Eh 2:20-22.
40 Communion: koinonia, fellowship; saints: godly believers, living and dead; Eh 3:15; Ac 2:42, He 10:25; 12:18, 22-23.
41 Mt 6:14; Ac 2:38; Eh 1:7; 1 Jn 1:9.
42 A rite that produces a grace from God when observed in faith: Ja 2:24-26 (also see vv 17, 20, 22).
43 Ac 2:38; 8:12, 16; 10:48; 19:5; 1 Co 1:13; Mt 28:19.
44 Mt 26:26-28;1 Co 10:16; 11:23-33.
45 He 6:1-2; 1 Ti 4:14; De 34:9.
46 1 Co 15:52; 1 Th 4:16.
47 1 Th 4:17-18.
48 Ac 1:10-11; Re 1:7.
49 He 6:2; 4:27; Mk 9:48.
50 Jn 3:16, 36; 4;14; 5:24; 6;40.

Apostolically Speaking
☩ Jerry Hayes