Understanding the “Head-Coverings” in 1 Corinthians 11

Are Christians neglecting the command for head-coverings in church? Many are convinced that 1 Corinthians 11 teaches that women must wear garment head-coverings when practicing their faith around men. Yet, the text says that the covering is hair in verse 15, and the covering is not indicated to be a garment. The Greek text also confirms the covering to be hair as noted by James Coffman among other Greek linguists. A woman’s long hair “is given to her for a covering” (1 Cor. 11:15), and by not letting her hair down, this was the same as having her hair cropped or shaved. By not letting her hair be long, she was arranging her hair and claiming authority by social custom, and thus she dishonored the headship of God, Christ, and man. With hair being the glory of women, the Christian woman should let her hair hang down in subordinating to God’s headship and thereby glorified God, Christ, and man. Otherwise, the woman would put their hair up braided and adorned with jewelry as seen in other scriptures.

What other scriptures help with understanding 1 Corinthians 11:2-16? Remember that Christian women were instructed  in 1 Timothy 2:9-15 to be modest not adorning their hair with braided hair and with gold and pearls. The passage is clear that this behavior was immodest and insubordinate. By not letting the hair hang down, women would dishonor God’s headship. By braiding the hair up, women were or appeared to be in rebellion to subordinating to the birthright of men to lead and teach. Also, 1 Peter 3:1-6 applied this to a wife’s subordination to her husband where she was not to be insubordinate by arranging her hair and be adorned in gold. See, this was their custom and culture that powerful women of authority would dress as though higher than others even in pagan worship. They would arrange and adorn their hair up rather than letting their hair hang long showing the glory of God, Christ, and man. The Spirit of Christ taught through the Apostles that a woman’s hair was to hang down in such a way that is modest and glorified herself, her husband, Christ, and God.

How does this apply to the head-coverings in 1 Corinthians 11? In 1 Corinthians 11, the Apostle Paul revealed God’s tradition for Christians to show respect by referring to this ancient custom as a rebellious and factious example. Paul had previously addressed eating meat that may have been offered to idols and how a Christian may respond within a pagan culture (1 Cor. 10:24-33). The Apostle also taught about such social customs, “And if anyone thinks to be a contentious person, we have no such custom nor the churches of God” (1 Cor. 11:16). See, these cultural traditions were to be respected by Christians, so that they were respectful and not contention. Christians are to present themselves as humble and respectable to God by glorifying God first contrary to local practices of rebellion and immodesty contrary to Christian humility.

Again, how is this covering only referring to hair? Here is what James Coffman had to say about a woman’s hair being her covering:

Verse 4
Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoreth his head.

Having his head covered…
Here is where the misunderstanding of this passage begins. This clause, as rendered in the popular versions, is commentary, not Bible. As Echols noted:

“Having his head covered” is a commentary, not a translation. Lenski translated the sense correctly: ‘having something down from his head.’ What the ‘something’ is is neither stated nor implied in 1 Corinthians 11:4.

The logical understanding of this would refer it to ‘long hair,’ being long enough to hang down from the head, as clearly indicated by the apostles’ words a moment later: ‘If a man have long hair, it is a dishonor to him’ (1 Corinthians 11:14).

The ancients accepted Paul’s dictum on this and went so far as to define the length of hair that was considered an infraction of Paul’s words.

‘The hair of the head may not grow so long as to come down and interfere with the eyes … cropping is to be adopted … let not twisted locks hang far down from the head, gliding into womanish ringlets.’

Significantly, the words ‘hang far down’ strongly resemble Paul’s words ‘having something down from his head.’ The above is from Clement of Alexandria and was written in the second century.

The notion that Paul in this place referred to the [Hebrew: tallith] (shawl), or [Greek: yarmelke] (skull cap) worn by Jewish worshipers is refuted by the fact that the Greek New Testament does not indicate in this verse an artificial covering of any kind. This does not mean, however, that Paul would have approved of the use of either in Christian worship. ‘For Paul such a covering probably symbolized that the Jewish male continued in spiritual darkness, from which Christians had been liberated.’ We may therefore interpret this verse as a simple admonition that it was a disgrace for any long-haired Christian male to participate in praying and prophesying; and this interpretation certainly harmonizes with verse 14. History has certainly vindicated this view; because universal human behavior has departed from it only in isolated instances and for relatively very short periods of time” (emp. added).

Does “covering” mean a garment, cloth, or veil? Referring to verse 5, Coffman wrote,

With her head unveiled…
The word here rendered ‘unveiled’ is [Greek: akatakaluptos]. ‘There is no intrinsic meaning in this word which suggests either the covering material or the object covered; it is simply a general word.‘ (See under 1 Corinthians 11:15.) Only in 1 Cor. 11:15 does Paul mention any kind of garment ([Greek: peribolaion]) and even there he stated that the woman’s hair took the place of it.’ [Katakaluptos] means covered completely. [Akatakaluptos] means not completely covered. Thus again, the passage falls short of mentioning any kind of garment. To suppose that Paul here meant ‘mantle’ or ‘veil’ or any such thing is to import into this text what is not in it. We have seen that he was speaking of ‘hair’ in 1 Cor. 11:4; and that is exactly what he is speaking of here. ‘Not completely covered’ would then refer to the disgraceful conduct of the Corinthian women in cropping their hair, after the manner of the notorious Corinthian prostitutes; which, if they did it, was exactly the same kind of disgrace as if they had shaved their heads. It is crystal clear that Paul is not speaking of any kind of garment; because he said in 1 Cor. 11:15, below, ‘For her hair is given her instead of a covering.’” (emp. added).

David Lipscomb addressed this very subject saying,

I understand that long hair serves as a veil or token of her subjection to authority; and if she has not long hair, she must cover her head when she approaches God in worship. I understand this to refer to her approach to God in private or in public assembly when others lead in worship. Many interpret this to mean that she is to do these things when she leads in public worship, but the Scripture says nothing of this” (Q & A, emp. added).

Within this previous context of hair being the “covering”, Lipscomb concluded this statement, “We understand verse 16 to say that the churches of God have no such custom as the women appearing in worship with uncovered or shorn heads.” The expectation was for women to have hanging hair in that society to show honor to the headship from God to Christ to man and unto woman.

Why did Paul say “covered” instead of “hair”? Still, some may ask about verses 5-6, which seem to imply that not having a garment for a covering is like a woman’s hair being cropped or shaved. Actually, these verses can be misinterpreted by readers to imply that a covering must be a garment when Paul specified that hanging hair is also a covering in verses 14-15. Let us not assume. A literal translation is,

“But every woman praying or prophesying with her head uncovered [without hanging hair, v.15] dishonors her head; for it is the same thing as being shaven. For if a woman is not covered, also being cropped: and if it is a shame to a woman to be cropped or shaven, let her be covered” (1 Cor. 11:5-6).

Coffman said in agreement,

If Paul meant ‘hair,’ why did he use the word ‘covered’? The answer is that in the vocabulary of the Old Testament ‘to uncover the head’ was to shave off the hair. When Nadab and Abihu sinned (Leviticus 10:1ff), God commanded Aaron not to ‘uncover his head’ in mourning at their death; and this meant not to cut off his hair (the customary sign of mourning). Job shaved his head when he learned his children were dead (Job 1:20). Many examples of this usage could be cited” (emp. added).

“[I]f it is a shame to a woman to be cropped or shaven, let her be covered” clearly refers to a covering of hair as seen in 1 Corinthians 11:15, “And if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her long hair is given to her for a covering.” This is customary for showing glory to the head, who is man, and the head of man is Christ. Christians must avoid such contentions and also observe all customs of respect, humility, and modesty.

What about verse 10′s reference to angels saying, “because of the angels“? This is what can be known. Verse 10 is referring to authority, so looking to the context, see what is said about women having authority on her head toward God and man. The woman, who prophesies, receives revelation from God through angels to be able to prophesy (Heb. 2:2, Rev. 1:1) and the woman has her prayers delivered by angels (Rev. 8:3-4). This instruction has to do with the woman’s service in prayer and teaching before God. She is to apparently be serving with respect and modesty. Therefore, “every woman praying or prophesying with her head uncovered dishonors her head” (1 Cor. 11:5). By not observing customs of respect, the Christian woman dishonors herself being that she is created to be the glory of man in addition to being created in God’s image. Remember 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.” The woman is subordinating to the man by her modesty and covering. Her hair hanging down is her glory for she is the glory of man. This is how the Christian woman honors the headship of God, Christ, and man.

Again, I must say that if any are contentious about this, then we have no such custom (1 Cor. 10:16).

About Scott Shifferd Jr.

Minister, Dean Road church of Christ in Jacksonville, FL. Husband and father of three. Email: ScottJon82[at]yahoo.com
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394 Responses to Understanding the “Head-Coverings” in 1 Corinthians 11

  1. My essay has a new intro since I posted its link last August:

    “The veil on the woman’s head is the symbol of the authority that the man with the uncovered head has over her. It is, as we see it, more a sign of subjection (ψποταγης — hypotagēs 1 Timothy 2:11) than of authority (εχουσιας — exousias).”

    Thus stated the late great Greek scholar A.T. Robertson in the classic tome Word Pictures in the New Testament (first published as 6 volumes in 1930-33) in reference to 1 Corinthians 11:10. The Greek word he referred to, exousia, means “a sign of the husband’s authority over his wife […] the sign of regal authority, a crown” : http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/exousia.html

    The Greek word that many believe Paul intended, hupotage, means “the act of subjecting, obedience, subjection” : http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/hupotage.html

    Obviously we have a problem. Why would anyone accept treating exousia as its opposite? Primarily because the word is located in a passage that we have traditionally had an opposite understanding of than Paul. We misunderstood who Paul meant by the term translated head. We interpreted it as the wrong head by assuming Paul was referring to the woman and not her man in 1 Cor 11:10. And what of the veil? The veil is a whole cloth fabrication not described in the passage at all. As I will show below, something is described materially in two related passages, but it’s clearly prohibited for the woman to wear. (Hint: search for gold and see what the Apostles teach that it represents when worn around a head in both 1 Tim 2 and 1 Pet 3)

    Besides 1 Timothy 2:11, Paul uses hupotage in 3:4: “He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive”. So if we want to treat exousia as hupotage and insist on veils, then let’s show some consistency and place veils on the heads of submissive children, be they daughters or sons.

    Did church fathers treat exousia as its opposite? Not exactly; they had a similar but different problem: some manuscripts of the ancient Coptic and Latin versions have headcovering in verse 10 instead of authority. The verse was then quoted as “ought to have a covering on her head” by patristic writers including Irenaeus, Origen, Chrysostom, Tertullian, Jerome, and Augustine. Once the word was devoid of explicit authority, it could be understood as any common inexpensive material, and that congruous to the head without authority: the woman.

    [Skipping down to an important point...]

    ★ The view which assumes “her head” in verse 13 refers but to a wife’s own head should not expect Paul to point us to the head of a man, much less point out from nature that man can’t get a glorious covering by letting his own head hair grow long. And those who think that only the wife is the visible glory of a husband can’t explain why Paul would want a man’s wife’s glorious head hair to be hidden. If she’s his glory, and she is, let all her hair covering shine! It’s glorious, obviously, but not a symbol of authority, especially since hair originated from a man—Adam.

  2. abasnar says:

    A few weeks ago I preached on Leviticus, mainly chapter 10, but gave an overlook on the whole book, summing it up in two verses:

    Lev 8:5 “This is the thing that the LORD has commanded to be done.”
    Lev 10:3 “This is what the LORD has said: ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified.’”

    The death of Nadab and Abihu demonstrates to us how important these two statements are. And these principles apply in the church of Christ as well. Even though we are not under the Mosaic Law, God gave clear instructions to the church also, and He still wants to be sanctified by us. I gave a number of examples, for instance when the scriptures say: I want men to lift up holy hands when they pray, we should do this without questioning or rationalizing. After all, the following paragraph we hold fast to as binding: women being not allowed to teach in the assembly. If the latter is still valid and we regard the first as “optional”, we sin by applying an abhorrable double standard. I also mentioned the headcovering as a symbol meant to sanctify the Lord and a command to be obeyed. I said, we surely won’t sin if we practice it literally, but we most likely sin, if we dismiss it.

    After the service a young sister from Albania approached me and thanked me. She was visisting just this Sunday. She is part of the Lord’s church in Romania, but the sisters there don’t cover. All the other churches in Romania do (so, American missionaries are even unwilling to accept local customs, while claiming Paul was simply accepting a local custom – do you get the irony?). Anyway, this sister feels that 1Co 11 ist to be applied literally by covering her head with a veil – she does that at home, but – until then – did not dare to do this in church out of fear she might be judged by the others. This same morning she met with an African sister from our congregation ansd saw her praying with a veil at home – she also does not do it in church for similar reasons. This sister received my sermon as an answer from God.

    I see two or three violations in this:
    a) Those who claim it was a mere Corinthian custom, when being missionaries in Eastern Europe or Africa often ignore and despise these “local customs” and introduce a new tradition. This is completely inconsistent.
    b) Those “stronger” sisters who claim “freedom” from this command trample on the consciences of those who don’t have this “freedom” by intimidating them (knowingly or unknowingly). So instead of using the veil (doing this is NOT and NEVER a sin) in order to encourage their “weaker” sisters in their “overscrupulous” obedience for Christ’s sake they MAKE them sin by discouraging their obedience. This is against Rom 14 we so often quote when defending our own freedom …
    c) Taking all evidence into consideration – not only contemporary commentaries – we must admit that the practice of the vast majorities of Christians through all ages is unanimous. And so by not veiling our women, we step out of line, breaking the consensus of all churches of God (1Co 11:16).

    This is serious.

    • You apply Romans 14 inconsistently. The stronger would consider herself subordinate wearing a veil or having her hair as her glory. If this were opinion and inference as Romans 14 addresses, both should respect each other’s conviction.

      Throughout history, most Christian women understood that the covering is hair hanging from her head glorifying God everywhere: in the home, praying with women, teaching women, and also in the Assembly. If this is the custom, I do not see why any missionary would not respect and keep that custom.

      Who else do you follow besides Christ and His Apostles? You said that you follow church writers from 3rd century as well as the 2nd. These are not Spirit-guided writers, and they are at the most commentaries. You keep an Assembly in parts where you have a “Love Feast” with women prophesying and in the second part you have symposium where women cannot prophesy. Let us keep the Assembly as in scripture.

      • abasnar says:

        “Throughout history, most Christian women understood that the covering is hair hanging from her head” Prove it or be called a liar! This is SOOO wrong, I can’t believe an educated and responsable teachger of the Word would dare to make such a claim! How stubborn and hardened are you??

  3. abasnar says:

    Scott, allow me to be blunt: Discuss this language issues with John Chrysostom or any other capacity and Native Speaker of the Early Church. I cannot accept you as an authority on the Greek language and therefore the interpretion of this verse. You are simply utterly wrong on this.

  4. abasnar says:

    Scott, if you can’t handle a serious debate, you may delete me anytime. After a number of years now that we are debating this, I feel like either I speak Chinese (so you cannot understand me) or you are illiterate in English. It has been a frustrating experience, especially your comments today. I have hardly ever felt that furious in a debate; and I serioulsy fear for your soul. You deny every and each argument and evidence I bring forth, and you throw in assumptions without any source or link to check them! This is a very bad style, and I am near to say I am done with you, because this leads nowhere. Stick with your 20th century traditions and be accountable to the Lord.

    • michael r. baggett says:

      Logic goes out the window when it comes to subjects like the hesd covering. Many people hold to muliple excuses at once to deny it. Hair, custom, lady prophets only? Imaginary covering, etc. Many members of the Lord’s Church treat the head covering like the denominations do the subject of baptism–all over the road.

  5. stephanie says:

    Hi Michael,
    Would you please send me an article as to what you think the bible says about HOW OFTEN to cover? I don’t like debates to ever get ugly but as of right now I am leaning toward the headcovering stance. To be honest though (I am sincerely not being facicious) it seems like wearing one (hat, veil, whatever the Lord leads) most of the time would make sense since we are to “pray without ceasing”. I pray silently in my head all the time. This is why I am confused as to why Paul limits it to “two activities” if praying occurs for many over 80 percent of the day (those silent quick conversations we have with God.
    Are there any scriptural or historical references that can help me understand the context of this?
    My email is plost572[at]gmail.com. Thanks.

  6. Miichael R. Baggett says:

    Just saw your message. Will do.

  7. Michael R. Baggett says:

    Brother Scott, do you think Paul meant that we literally go around praying a prayer either in our heads or out loud all the time? Think about this. I understood you to communicate this to Stephanie a few post up.

  8. Michael R. Baggett says:

    But no one prays literally all the time. For example, I can’t pray and work math or read or talk or write this post. Pray without ceasing must therefore be a figure of speech, hyperbole. Prayer should never cease being a part of our daily lives for sure. Anyway, the covering is needed for women when pray or prophesying (1 Cor. 11:5-10). Even natures teaches us that the woman should have a covering of long hair which shows her need “to cover” her head (action required) when praying or prophesying and by extension doing any kind of worship. We would not argue that the church at Troas “only” came together to break bread or hear preaching (Acts 20:7).

    • I do not really disagree with your statement. Yet, I do not see the need for a garment covering for any woman having long hair.

      As for praying without ceasing, hyperbole is an excellent answer, but in the Greek, 1 Thessalonians 5:17 does not have 3 words, but 2 words meaning “Pray constantly.” Even if we take this as without end, you are right that this is an hyperbole for a life filled with prayer. Does this not mean that we would pray at the grocer, while driving, at the park, at work, and so forth. That would certainly be constant prayer.

      • Michael R. Baggett says:

        I was involved in a collision one time while praying. I should have been focused on the road–true story. The idea of the head covering in the assembly only or out of the assembly also when praying, makes me think of another matter: some believe that a piano or other mechanical instrument of music is only forbidden in the public worship, but can be used in private family worship or individual periods of worship. How readest thou?

  9. raycap202 says:

    The conclusion of the to cover or not to cover section ends like this: “But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.” (I Corinthians 11:16 NKJV). It definitely appears MANY people have become very “contentious” regarding this “custom. When in truth, “we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.” It once again is proof, man looks for rules; God looks for relationship.

    • Michael Ray Baggett says:

      Check the New American Standard version or the Revised Standard version and get the true meaning of 1 Corinthians 11:16. Paul does not teach that he and the other churches don’t have a custom like men not covering their heads and women covering their heads in worship. That wouldn’t even make good sense in the context because Paul wrote for the very reason to convince men not to cover their heads when praying or prophesying and for women to cover when praying or prophesying (v.3-6). Paul even gives eternal reasons, reasons cemented into creation for men to not cover but women to cover their heads in worship. He even says, “because of the angels” (v. 10). Paul uses a comparison from nature to show the need for women to cover their heads in worship. I used to believe Paul was turning on a dime in verse 16, but I never really compared versions nor thought it out logically. Paul is saying “we” and the churches of God have no such custom as the contentious man. After everything Paul has already said, he says, if anyone still wants to be contentious, we don’t have a custom such as his. How do I know? Because Paul is ordering the women at Corinth to wear the covering in worship, and Paul taught the same ways and things, doctrines in every church (1 Cor. 4:16,17; 7:17; 14:33,34; 16:1; and certainly 11:16. Paul wants the church at Corinth to practice like the other churches. Check out the New American Standard Version: “…we have no other practice, neither the churches of God.” Now that makes sense in the context. May we all continue to learn and change our minds as we learn better. I did last year. I believe women should cover their heads when approaching God in worship and men should uncover their heads, just like Paul teaches.

    • abasnar says:

      “We have now such custom” is the answer to the rhethorixcal question in verse 13: “Is it proper for women to pray uncovered.” Ergo: In all churches of God women pray with their heads covered. We have no other custom, and furthermore it is an apostolic tradition (V2) and even a command to be applied in the assembly (V 17).

      Verse 16 is a forceful conclusion, in plain language: “Now stop it and do it as all others do it as well!”

      • Michael Ray Baggett says:

        Very accurate answer! I believe the whole issue here is a matter of “cognitive dissonance.” People are not comfortable with that which is contrary to what they are accustomed to growing up. It took me 30 years to see this passage for what it is. I always just repeated the same old excuses I had heard all my life; namely, the custom of that day excuse and sometimes I’d say it was only the hair. But now I see that people who excuse it don’t believe any of it. If those who believe it is the hair really believe that; then, they, if women will grow out their hair and men will cut their hair. I do believe men should wear short hair and women long hair (than a man’s) and that men should not cover their heads in worship, but that women should cover their heads in worship to show the headship order in worship. Thanks again for a great answer Abasnar. Thanks Scott for allowing an open discussion. God bless everyone who earnestly studies to discover God’s will.

      • If any are contentious, then we have no such custom.

      • michael r. baggett says:

        What custom are you referring to? I thought you believed this was all hair and no veil. I still don’t believe Paul spent all thid space pushing the covering only to take it all back in verse 16. Was Paul confused? I don’t think so. He ends up with the same idea he started with. He was for it.

      • Like 1 Cor 10, we learn to behave appropriately in our culture. Give custom to whom custom is due.

      • michael r. baggett says:

        Steve, that reply mixes two contexts. Kind of a shallow reply. Answer my question in prior post.

      • Matt, What question?

      • abasnar says:

        1Co 10:32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God,

        Please not that there are three groups mentioned. The Jews, the Gentiles AND the church of God. Clearly 1 Cor 11:16 speaks about a custom /practice in the church of God, whose “culture” so to say is “angelic” or “heavenly”.
        I notice, Scott that you use “custom” in two different ways:
        a) For once you say, custom is referring to being contentious.
        b) Then you refer to local customs, when pointing to 1Co 10
        Which of the two is correct? None of them.
        You fail to see that Paul is answering the question in 1Co 11:13 – the churches of God don’t have the custom of women praying uncovered! And therrfore we must not give any offense to the church of God!
        I remember an inquiry by a Nigerian brother who wrote to an American coC regarding the head covering, saying: “Our women cover their heads in the assembly, yours don’t. Are American women any different than ours?”
        If you make it a matter of local custom, then you teach the church to follow the secular society around us, which indeed too many believe they should do. But our society is secular, and driven by a feminist agenda – therefore our women indeed are different: Misled into rebellion against God. And the churches of Christ follow this rebellion, some apostate groups even allowing women to preach and denying all differences and God’s order.

      • Christian women are not commanded to wear cloth coverings every hour of every day. They are commanded to present themselves in subordination to God’s headship.

        There is no cultural custom to be kept that is contentious, but rather customs are kept to represent our faithful convictions. Therefore, we must keep cultural customs that present our beliefs.
        Likewise, our subordination to government in the US includes a pledge of allegiance stated toward the US flag. Yet, if the pledge included words contentious to our unity or God’s Word, then we would do it.

      • Michael Ray Baggett says:

        Brother Scott, I agree that women are not commanded to wear a covering “every hour of everyday,” but they are to commanded to wear a covering when praying or prophesying (1 Cor. 11:5-10). Remember, the same reason given for the wearing of the covering is the same reason given for women being in subjection in 1st Timothy 2:11-14. In the denominations, there are those using the culture reasoning to get around the passage in 1st Timothy concerning women and their behavior in worship regarding teaching and having authority over men; yet, both the covering and women’s quietness, subjection to men, are for the same eternal reason: man was created first and the woman was created for the man and first to fall into sin. These are not cultural reasons, but reasons God has given that are cemented into time. Are you willing to go ahead and say that women don’t have limitations placed on them because that too was just cultural from a time that women were denied education on a large scale? Brother, I never thought of this either until a little over a year ago. What does God want? He wants a relationship. He also wants men and women to behave toward Him and one another according to their place in His headship order (1 Cor. 11:3). I see no way around it. Brother Scott, I know you believe the apostles. Give up fighting against God.

      • Michael Ray Baggett says:

        Again, you nailed it! Our problem is the fear of women. Women rule in America. They defy their place in the headship by looking and behaving in many cases like men. No offense, but I think women dressing out like men in the military and cutting off their hair is the ultimate insult to God’s creation. We now have those who want unisex restrooms to go along with the unisex army. We have unisex roles in the homes which is destroying boys and girls as they will never know who is the head of the family, grow up having problems with authority, and never know what a nurturing mother could be like. Society has left God’s plan. We have paved an easier path with modern inventions, entertainments, and an easy road out of the house for women to make themselves in dependent of the men. We are not independent of one another (1 Cor. 11:11,12). We need each other in our roles. Certainly the changes in society have flooded into the churches. The idea of being under subjection is the doctrine of Christ (1 Tim. 2:11,12). The same reasons given for the women’s subjection in 1st Timothy 2:11-14 are the same reasons she is told to cover her head in worship (1 Cor. 11:1-10). Many women will not do this because they do not respect the man and in turn do not regard the chain of authority God has set into order from the beginning (1 Cor. 11:3). Many men fear the women and will not teach nor preach on the matter of the subjection of women and their place any longer. Another thing, women now contribute at least as much as the men into the church treasury; so, many preachers will not rock the boat. I, personally, have lost preaching positions because I preached unpopular truths. Last year I was warned not to preach on the covering again in a certain congregation, “the church” had discussed it and decided they didn’t want to hear about it! Is this where we are in the churches of Christ now? When we fear certain passages of Scriptures, certain people in the church, i.e., the women, and deny the preaching of the whole counsel of God, we have become no better off than a regular old denomination!
        I appreciate the fact that Scott is willing to allow this discussion on his web page, thanks brother, but I feel like the ball is being tossed back and forth between the custom and the hair whenever it seems best fit to take one or the other position. I used to do the same thing and didn’t even give it any thought. I never allowed anyone to challenge my thinking either as I cut them off very quickly. I used to place brethren who believed in the covering in the same circle as those who teach one literal cup only in the Lord’s Supper and called them false brethren from the pulpit! Only after I was asked over and over what does the covering passage mean, and that over a course of years; that, one day I decided to do a serious study to see what this was about and why anyone would possibly believe in it. There it was in the text. I applied the same rules of interpretation to this passage, looked at other versions, comments from all sources, not just those like brother Coffman who is quoted like an apostle, and it hit me right between the eyes! I repented and prayed and taught my wife and others and, yes, made some enemies. I see now that the issue of the covering is really an issue that exposes the dangerous attitude women have taken and men are allowing, and that is that they can be everything a man is and neglect the teaching of the Bible. It is a matter time before groups of women will rise up demanding to lead songs, prayers, and preach in the churches of Christ. The covering is there to remind us of the headship, our place in creation, it reflects the glory of God, it is because of the angels, who must be watching and observing our order of things. Whatever that means, it is in the Bible, and it is there for a reason and is therefore important in the spiritual realm. The Kingdom of God is not like the world. The worldly women may defy the man and act like the man and look like the man and despise what she was created to be–a woman, but the woman of God must respect what God says about being a godly woman and showing all subjection. If I was a woman, I would be afraid to imitate the majority of the women today. God help us to see the path the Church is walking on regarding women and their roles, which are needed and important and without which we cannot be acceptable to God. Men be men; women be women and don’t be ashamed of it. Forget the culture outside.

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