Head Covering (1 Cor. 11)

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by RLBosley, Dec 24, 2014.

  1. RLBosley

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    Ladies - do any of you wear a head covering to worship?
    Men - do any of your wives?

    I ask because my wife has started looking into this and we are both confused. She had never really studied it in the past, and when I had read it I just assumed that v15 proved that the woman's hair was the covering. But now I am not so sure. In fact I'm almost convinced that cannot be the case based on the way the apostle argues his case. It seems that Paul was arguing for either a literal, artificial covering or is using that to symbolically argue for wifely submission.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Scarlett O.

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    The answer is ultimately a woman's conviction. It's the heart of the matter that matters.

    A woman can wear a head covering and still have a rebellious heart towards her husband and God. It's just an outward symbol that held much more meaning at the time Paul wrote the letter. The culture at the time understood what veils and coverings meant.

    Paul was telling men and women in the Corinthian church to teach Godly order to the culture and to the angels, for that matter.

    Today, many head coverings are just fashion statements and teach absolutely nothing except excess and pop culture statements.

    As for long hair being a covering? Long hair today for many people represents a pornographic sexuality.

    Kim Kardashian wears very long hair and hats and all sorts of head pieces. I do not.

    Which one of us shows submission to God in our daily walk? I may not be perfect, but ....

    I think women today can show their reverence to their husbands and submission to God Almighty in ways that OUR culture will understand better than long hair and a hat. The point is to show - overtly and demonstratively - that one practices the order of God.
     
    #2 Scarlett O., Dec 24, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2014
  3. convicted1

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    Brother RLB, how would you define 'head covering'?
     
  4. RLBosley

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    OK. What you said is actually what I am leaning towards as well, but I am having a hard time being certain about that from the text - since Paul doesn't argue anything about culture, and verse 16 seems to indicate that the practice of head covering was done in all the churches that existed at that time. If Paul was talking about an actual head covering at that time, are we sure it was only a cultural thing that we no longer have to literally obey, as long as we adhere to the spirit or heart of the teaching (submission)?

    Regardless you are 100% correct that a woman can have outward conformity and still be in rebellion in her heart. The core of the issue, either way, is that this is an outworking from a converted and submissive heart.

    As for the point about long hair - you are of course correct that it can be oversexualized, but then again, in this culture, what isn't? I also doubt that in 1st century Corinth all women with long hair were modest.
     
    #4 RLBosley, Dec 24, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 24, 2014
  5. matt wade

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    What?! Where in the world do you get this?
     
  6. RLBosley

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    Ummm... something that covers the head??? :tongue3:

    But seriously, I'm not sure how far to take the language or what would fit in that category today. I know one of the original words used in 1 Cor 11 for covering, originated or was related to the term for a veil which would cover all the head, hair and often most of the face. But is that what the apostle also had in mind? I don't know.
     
  7. Iconoclast

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    Some teach an external covering....some teach long hair neatly sty l ed or arranged. Not just hair...but long hair.
     
  8. RLBosley

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    Right. And that's what I thought too, but now I'm not so sure that long hair is the covering Paul is speaking of in verses 5-6.

    If Long hair = covered, then short/no hair = uncovered.

    So with that in mind, look at verses 5, and 6, replacing covered/uncovered:

    1Co 11:5-6 NASB - But every woman who has [short or no hair] while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved. For if a woman does not [have long hair], let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her [have long hair].

    Verses 6 would essentially be saying, "if a woman has short hair, let her also short hair." That doesn't make sense to me.

    Maybe I'm over thinking it... :confused:
     
  9. Scarlett O.

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    I know many that teach the "long and neatly styled and arranged". I've just always wondered where in the Bible is the "neatly styled and arranged hairdo example". :flower: :laugh:

    Matt, please don't make me post a picture. :flower:

    I wasn't saying that as a slur to Godly women who wear long hair. I was just saying that to prove that long hair does not make one Godly. Neatly styled or not.
     
  10. matt wade

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    I agree with you on your last statement that hair doesn't prove holiness/Godliness.

    I disagree with your statement of : "Long hair today for many people represents a pornographic sexuality."
     
  11. PreachTony

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    Just out of curiosity, how do you all feel about this discussion in light of 1 Cor 11:16 - "But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God." ?

    I've always felt that Paul was saying that the things listed in the verses up to 11:16 were great and worthwhile, but they were simultaneously not worth tearing up a congregation over. If any man sought to contend with a congregation over hair length, then it was likely that man was not focused on the Lord, as his contention would drive division over an issue that has no bearing on salvation.

    So I'm just curious what y'all think...
     
  12. Scarlett O.

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    About the "neatly styled and arranged". My hair is naturally thin and fine and if grown out long - it looks stringy, unkept, and like a witch's hair.

    Like this on the left (this is not me):

    [​IMG]

    This woman's only alternative to having long and neatly arranged hair was to get hair extensions. I'm just not going to do that.

    When my hair is short (between my ear lobes and chin or chin and barely touching the shoulder), it give the appearance of thickness and neatness.

    If I, personally, were to grow my hair out long, it would never be neatly styled.

    It would blow around like tumbleweeds on top of my head and people would think I was celebrating Halloween. There's a picture of me somewhere here on the BB (I'll find it later) from last May and my hair it getting too long and you can tell it's hard to manage when long.
     
  13. RLBosley

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    Good point. The question is what exactly is he referring to? That is also what I thought, but one of my preferred commentaries, the JFB Commentary, interprets the custom referred to as women being uncovered. So Paul would be saying, "we have no custom of letting women pray uncovered, neither do the other churches."

    Another problem is the translation; the KJV, NKJV and the ESV all say "no such custom."
    But the NIV, NLT, HCSB, and NASB say "we have no other custom(practice NAS)."
     
  14. The Biblicist

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    Verse 16 is saying the very opposite. He has provided an orderly defense of the covering in verses 3-15. In verse 16, to paraphrase it, "if you still want to be contentious over this, then you stand alone, as no other custom can be found among the churches of God but the one I am defending."

    However, if you want a more intense study of this subject may I suggest you read the following booklet you can freely download at:

    http://victorybaptistchurch.webstarts.com/uploads/Baptist_Women_Exalted.pdf
     
  15. Aaron

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    Long, straight, shiny, dark hair. Va va voom! But only on a slender well-proportioned, adult female. :D
     
  16. prophet

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    The first part is sarcastic..."if you are gonna cut her hair, cut it all off" but, it is saying, "if it isn't acceptable to shave a woman's head, or shear a woman's hair, then leave it long."

    1Co 11:6
    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.
    (KJV)

    "Shorn", is what is done to sheep.
    "close cropped" is a more modern term.

    Don't remove the covering, and here is an extreme to illustrate "where is the line drawn?".
     
  17. DHK

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    I agree with Biblicist here.
    After listing a number of reasons why a woman should wear a head covering he sums it all up in this one argument, the strongest of all his arguments.
    In contemporary language we would word it like this:

    If you are going to contentious and divisive and try to split this church by your disobedience, then go away. We don't want you here. Your contentiousness or argumentative spirit is not our custom, but rather unity. The churches of God do not engage in contention. They are all unified on this doctrine. Don't bring your argumentative spirit here.
    In other Scripture he says:
    Rom 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
    --Avoid them completely. Avoid those that cause contentions.
    --In that century a heretic was one that caused divisions. We don't want them around.
    This was Paul's strongest argument after summing up all the arguments why a woman should wear a head covering.
     
  18. Scarlett O.

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    May I ask the boy's club here at the BB what they truly think of a woman like me and countless others (including some of the Bond girls) who have short hair and do not wear a head covering? I've already explained that I do not keep short hair as a rebellion against anything and let me explain that I do not know any women who do wear head coverings - long hair or short hair. I've never been taught by any conservative pastor to do so.

    I promise - I won't reply at all and you can tell me the honest truth. I'm just truly interested in what you think about women who do not wear them.
     
  19. DHK

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    Most pastors that I know don't preach on it or dismiss it as cultural, or for that time only. I really don't see how they can get around it if they honestly expound the entire passage.
     
  20. salzer mtn

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    Seems today the older a women get's the shorter she cuts her hair. Some females today wear their hair cut off like a man's haircut. Then the flip side of the coin, I've seen church woman with very long hair wear their hair in public braded or what I call pig tails twisted around their heads or in a bun that make them appear older than what they actually are.
     

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