Friday, September 2, 2016

Reasoning From Nature: Christian Woman's Headcovering

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 our 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: “ 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 permits herself to be covered 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 permit your heads to be covered (with hair), then you can understand the Churchʼs requirement of a Religious Article of Clothing,” (a R.A.C).
Concerning this matter, John Chrysostm (A.D. 339-407) 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.

Apostolically Speaking
☩ David Ignatius

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The Covering Identified
Many argue that the actual covering cannot be identified by verses 4, 5, 6, 7, and 13, and would insist on verse 15 identifying the long hair as Paul’s intended covering. We take strong issue with that position, and will set about to show why.

The word for the covering in our text is “katakalupto” (Strongʼs #G2619). Katakalupto means “to cover oneʼs self” (Thayer). Katakalupto is in the middle voice of the Greek language, requiring an action on the person’s part—such as a cloth covering, that one could put on and take off (a RAC). This is the covering spoken of in verses 4-13.

In the English language, verbs are either active or passive. If the subject of the sentence is executing the action, then the verb is referred to as being in the active voice. If the subject of the sentence is being acted upon, then the verb is referred to as being in the passive voice. But, in Greek there is a third voice which shows the subject acting in his/her own interest, or on his/her own behalf. For example, in the statement: “I am washing myself,” the subject performs the action and yet is receiving the action. Thus, with “having his head covered” (1 Corinthians 1:4), the subject performs the action of “covering” and is receiving the action of “being covered.” So, Paul is not describing the noun, hair, as being uncut with his injunction against men having a “covered head,” nor is he speaking of cutting the hair with his injunction against women being uncovered, but he IS speaking of reflexive ACTION4. Therefore, “having long hair” and “being covered” are NOT inter- changeable.)

However, when the hair is referenced as the womanʼs “covering” (in verse 15) the word is the noun: “peribolaion” (Strongʼs #G4018). Because “peri- bolaion” is a noun and “katakalupto” is a verb, it is argued by United Pentecostal Church International scholar, Daniel Segraves, that they are not inter-changeable. Here is a quote from his book, “Hair Length in the Bible” page 23:
“It is wrong to say that the verb cover means veil. ... Katakalupto does not mean “veil.” It is formed from kata, a preposition meaning “down from” or “down upon,” and kalupto, meaning “to cover, hide, or conceal.” The Greek text of verses 4-7 teaches that a man’s head is to be uncovered and a woman’s head is to be covered; it does not say what the covering is. Moreover, katakalupto in verse 6 is a verb, while peribolaion in verse 15 is a noun. They cannot be interchanged.” Page 28: “ ... in v15 Paul states unequivocally that a woman’s long hair takes the place of an item of dress.”

The Septuagint Refutes Segraves
Segraves’ argument is that Paul does not identify the covering in verses previous to v15; and, that, in verse 15 the covering is identified as the hair. he does this by defining the two parts of katakalupto (kata and kalupto), but does not define the word as it exists in its compound form. And then declares that “katakalupto” and “peribalaion” cannot be interchanged.

Even though peribolaion is a noun, the verb form is periballo, and the correct grammatical form of the verb, periballo, IS used INTERCHANGEABLY with the
verb, katakalupto, in the Septuagint,5 the Greek translation of the Old Testament. Here we see katakalupto and periballo both mean “veil.”
Genesis 38:14, 15 “Tamar...covered (periebale) her with a veil... When Judah saw her he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered (katekalupsato) her face.”

Segraves, further postulates, “... the KJV trans- lation ‘having his head covered’ is a literal rendering, and it leaves open the question of the nature of the covering.”

A literal rendering simply means that it is a word- for-word translation from the Greek, without any paraphrasing or amplifying. The truth is, the Greek speaking Christians of the 1st century would have understood the common idiom employed by Paul to reference the RAC. (Here, again, the proponents of the 2Oth Century American Innovation, of long, uncut, hair being Paul’s required covering, are caught by the idiom. Their tripwire is trying to understand 1 Corinthians 11 3-16 in a 20th century American church context.) The word-group which includes the words translated “cover” and “uncover” in verses 5, 6, 7 and 13 is not used elsewhere to refer to the hair. The usage of kalupto (also: apokalupto, kata-kalumma, katakalupto, kalumma, krupto, sunkaumma, and sunkalupto) refers to an external fabric covering over 80 times, in the Septuagint (Grk OT), but never once to long hair:6

    • Genesis . 28:15 – “... she had covered her face ...” (with a veil – Gen. 38:14)
    • Exodus. 28:42 – “... make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness ...”
    • Numbers. 5:18 – “And the priest shall set the woman before the Lord, and uncover the woman’s head.,..” (her hair also uncovered—not cut)
    • Ruth 3:4,7 – “and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet...” “...she came softly, and uncovered his feet...” (a blanket)
    • Esther 6:12 – “...and having his head covered...” (his hair also covered)

In verse the expression translated “having his head covered” is literally rendered: “having down on a head.” In the Greek it ikata (down) kephales (head) echon (having.) Kata kephales (= ‘down the head’) is found in the Septuagint in Esther 6:12. In the Septuagint (Grk OT) we read that Haman went to his house “mourning down on a head” (lypoumenos kata kephales)—a way of saying he put something over his head to show his mourning (an idiom). Obviously, Haman did not grow long hair.7
“And Mordecai came again to the king’s gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered.”
The minority of Biblical teachers, who believe the “covering” is long hair, point to the absence of a noun naming the identity of the “covering” in the phrase, “kata kephales echon;” but, one must acknowledge that neither is there a noun in Esther 6:12. According to Dr. Richard Oster, in When Men Wore Veils to Worship: the Historical Context of 1 Corinthians 11:4, the “argument from silence” is not valid. Dr. Oster states,
“It is clear from Greek and Latin texts the argument based on the absence of a noun in 11:4 is specious. In a score of examples from Plutarch that refer to a head covering, or the lack of it, there is no consistent pattern for describing the wearing of the head covering. The noun is often lacking. ... Often in Greek sources the term “head” was not to be found. On the basis of silence, is one to conclude that some other part of the body was being covered since the term kephales is not specifically employed? Moreover, the Latin sources that mention head coverings often do not
mention the garment that covers the head, but only that the head is covered—capite velato.”

Plutarch,8 in his Sayings of the Romans, speaks of Scipio the Younger walking through Alexandria “having the garment down the head” (kata tes kephales echon to himation), meaning that he concealed his head with part of his toga to avoid being recognized by the people. (Plutarch is especially important to the modern Bible student because of the time period in which he lived and wrote: A.D. 45-120).
Doctor Oster further explains: “When describing individuals wearing head coverings Plutarch demon- strates that “kata kephales echon” can refer to something resting on the head. Greek literature contemporary with the NT demonstrates that the phrase “kata kephales” can clearly mean ‘on the head.’” Oster cites Plutarch and Josephus.9

The noun forms of this word group, katakalupsis and katakalumma, both meaning “covering,” are not found in the New Testament, but katakalupsis does occur in the second century Christian writing, The Shepherd of Hermas, Visions 4, 2, 1:

“...a virgin arrayed as if she were going forth from a bride-chamber, all in white and with white sandals, veiled up to her forehead, and her head- covering [katakalupsis] consisted of a turban, and her hair was white.”10

Here again it is obvious that the covering is not hair, but a turban. Katakalumma occurs in the Septuagint, in Isaiah 47:2, where it refers to a head-covering. In 47:2-3 we read, “Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks [apolilupsai to katakalumma, which meant to remove your veil—not cut the hair] uncover the thigh [or take off the skirt—anakalupsai tas polias--...] Thy nakedness shall be uncovered (anakaluphthesetai.)” Once again the covering is cloth or fabric.11

“Uncovered” in verses 5 and 13 translates akatakaluptos, and is found nowhere else in the NT, and only once in the Septuagint. One manuscript contains the word in Leviticus 13:45 where it is said that one with a leprous baldness should “uncover” his head. It is obvious “uncover” does not mean cutting off the hair.

Philo, the Greek philosopher, used the word for “uncovered” to mean removing a cloth.12 

Apostolically Speaking

☩ David Ignatius

reflexive verb - a verb whose agent performs an action that is directed at the agent; "the sentence ‘he washed’ has a reflexive verb";
Septuagint (sometimes abbreviated LXX) is the name given to the Greek translation of the Jewish Scriptures. The Septuagint has its origin in Alexandria, Egypt and was translated between 300-200 BC. The Septuagint was also a source of the Old Testament for early Christians during the first few centuries A.D. Many early Christians spoke and read Greek, thus they relied on the Septuagint translation for most of their understanding of the Old Testament. The New Testament writers also relied heavily on the Septuagint, as a majority of Old Testament quotes cited in the New Testament are quoted directly from the Septuagint.
“No More Excuses,” by A. A. Bieler
“No Such Custom,” by Bruce Terry, pages 6-7 25
Plutrach: AD 46 – AD 120),was a Greek historian, biographer, and essayist, known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia. He is considered today to be a Middle Platonist.

Josephus De bello Judaico libri vii 2.48; Antiquitates Judaicae 1.50; 5.252; 13.117 and Plutarch Regum et imperatorum apophthegmata 200F; Aetia Romana et Graeca 267D; Vitae decem oratorum 842B; Pyrrhus 399B; Pompeius 640C; Ceasar 739D

10 J.B. Lightfoot (trans.) “The Apostolic Fathers”, ed. J.R. Harmer [Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1967]
11 “Head Coverings in Public Worship,” by Brian Schwertley; p5
12 Schreiner, 126, “Women Who Pray or Prophesy: 1 Cor. 11:3-16”

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