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In 1 Corinthians, chp. 11, Paul talks about the necessity of women covering their heads when they pray and prophesy. He also says that men should not cover their heads and that women who don't cover their heads should shave them; although, Paul seems to import a sort of mockery when referring to the shaving of heads. My question then, should we females cover our heads still in this current age just as women did years ago when attending church services and/or whenever we pray? I mean, I realize our salvation isn't based on whether or not we do this, but is it  not still the proper thing to do, or do the fads of the ages make a difference in how we should present our selves? Would anyone care to explain what Paul is teaching here? thx. 

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Hi Ginnybee,

The covering of the head is a sign of submission. if you read further down you will see that the choice is up to the person, If you are convicted to cover you head then it is your own choice, the same as cutting the hair, I for one have been convicted of not cutting my hair I am not married so I do not submit directly to any man except my Pastor and ultimately, God so I must have a covering which is my hair and when I prophecy or Pray I wear a prayer shawl as you can see from my picture,

I think some churches can get very dogmattic about this and also about women being quiet in church, However, God choses to give us gifts and He expects us to be faithful in exercising them and we cannot do so if we have to be quiet. So I do not believe we can be dogmatic about these things it is purely a matter between you and God, pray about it and see what God requires of you.

be Blessed
To be frank the bible remain as it is.There never a time the contents are changed to meet our desire or to suit any generation.Therefore the precepts there are for us to read,digest and keep.It is better for us to do what we are directed to do .Women should continue tying their heads.Thanks.
Hello Ginnybee; Here is a good source answer for your question.
http://www.gotquestions.org/head-coverings.html

Thanks for such a thought provoking question. My eyes are opened again!
I read this over a few more times and here is what I gather from the following scriptures:

1Cr 11:3 NIV - Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

Obviously, this is describing the order of headship.

1Cr 11:4 NIV - Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head.

Meaning, the man would be dishonoring God by hiding his image from God, because God created man for his own admiration, in His own image.

1Cr 11:5 NIV - And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head-it is just as though her head were shaved.

Meaning, she would be dishonoring her man (her headship) just as if she were to shave her hair off, because that would cause her to appear less attractive to the one (the man) whom she is made to impress.

1Cr 11:6 NIV - If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head.

Just what is says. In order to remain in compliance, if she wishes to not cover her head with a cloth, hat, or what have you, then she should simply shave her hair off; although, if doing so signifies something bad (like prostitution) to the public, then she should instead, or still cover her head to avoid the negative indication.

1Cr 11:7 NIV - A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.

As I explained.. man should not keep his self image from God, who created man for His own admiration; but, women's image is created for the admiration of man.

1Cr 11:8 NIV - For man did not come from woman, but woman from man;

Notice the terms used... i read it wrong the first time i read this.. "from" and in the next text "for"

1Cr 11:9 NIV - neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.

Woman came from man and for man, not the other way around; nor were we ever meant to ignore the significance of this order, altogether.

1Cr 11:10 NIV - For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head.

As for the angels part, angels are present when we pray and prophesy; therefore, women should show their selves modest and under the authority of man in order to avoid wrongfully enticing the angels by flaunting their beautiful hair, which is for man's admiration, alone.

1Cr 11:11 NIV - In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman.

This is to remind us that even though there is a precise order of headship, we (men & women) remain similarly dependent on each other. Furthermore, we share the same flesh, or genetics, thus, we are one in natural comparison... we should respect eachother as both parties play an equally important role in life.

1Cr 11:12 NIV - For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.

This just adds that although men and women depend on eachother equally, God is above all. He is creator of all, and no man comes equal to Him in any way.

1Cr 11:13 NIV - Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?

He is telling us to acknowledge our gut instinct. Would it make natural sense to not depict a sign of submission to someone in authority?

1Cr 11:14 NIV - Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him,

This can seem like a sensitive issue to many, but to be honest, long hair on a man doesn't seem right...even without anyone saying so. My gut says it's out of order.

1Cr 11:15 NIV - but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering.

It is a woman's glory to have long hair; meaning, it is to her pride, for lack of another word that best defines glory here... and, "...long hair is given to her as a covering," doesn't mean her hair substitutes as a sign of submission. Rather, it suggests that a woman's hair is like an accessory, or an object of her natural beauty. Like we wear fashionable cloths and accessories, which are coverings, but for purpose of appearing attractive rather than simply to cover our bare bodies. And this attractive covering is for man's admiration... the man we are submitted to.

1Cr 11:16 NIV - If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice-nor do the churches of God.

IMO...This translates that if you want to argue about this as being legalistic and as going against our freedom in the Lord, then think again, because the rule of showing ourselves submissive to God was never debatable, it's the only practice that stretches over the time span of the church (from before Christ came to the present).
Very well said Glenda.

Because 1 Cor. 11:2 "I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the teachings/traditions, just as I passed them on to you." uses a word that can be translated teachings or traditions many in the family think Paul is simply talking about traditions here, but i tend to believe that he was using the word as it's used in 2 Thess. 2:15 So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions/teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. The usage of teachings and/or traditions on these verses refers to the word of God and not just traditions that were applicable in a specific setting only, however having said that i too believe he is dealing with local traditions, which i will try to explain. Is that confusing enough hahahaha or should add more hahahaha

I truly enjoyed reading what you wrote because you capture a couple of core teachings on those verses. The truth that there is no distinction between men and woman as far (as MaCarthur states and the word teaches) as personal worth, intellect, or spirituality are concerned. Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Our God is a God of order and even within Himself there is order, God the Father, son and Holy Spirit co-equals.

Paul is dealing here as you also stated with the divine design of male and female. The purpose of woman in regard to men. Men have authority over woman in the basic order of creation. This is not tradition, but

Men (v.4) were probably wearing head coverings, which suggested a reversal of proper roles in that society. Paul's instructions however are not for them alone as he states in v. 16 "...the churches of God,” using the plural word "churches". Paul is not stating a universal law from God, but acknowledging a local custom, which did reflect divine principal.

Verse 10. Woman are to be submissive by wearing the symbol of authority so as not offend these most holy and submissive creatures who watch the church (Matt. 18:10; Eph 3:9-10), who were present (Job 38:4,7) at creation, when God designed the order of authority for men and woman.

Great job sis. :)
Yes, so it's the principal of order that Paul is emphasizing. He's saying that the order is not negotiable, nor is the order subject to a matter of custom or tradition. It is the way we were created (natural law). However, what about law?

Some can look at this text and perceive Paul to be declaring a law or a command that women must wear a head covering. So is he? In a way, yes, in my opinion. He is teaching what are the proper measures to take, and it is good for us to acknowledge those measures and abide by them precisely, but our salvation doesn't rely on whether we wear head coverings. It's sort of like the Ten Commandments... Jesus didn't come to abolish them, but to uphold them, and we should continue to live in accordance to them, but falling short in our own efforts to comply won't change our status as children of God, due to Jesus paying our debts--we live because of what Christ did for us. Are we still on the same page here? lol.

You confused me a bit with this:

Men (v.4) were probably wearing head coverings, which suggested a reversal of proper roles in that society. Paul's instructions however are not for them alone as he states in v. 16 "...the churches of God,” using the plural word "churches". Paul is not stating a universal law from God, but acknowledging a local custom, which did reflect divine principal.

I take that you are saying Paul was not suggesting the churches of God should feel directly obligated about wearing or not wearing head coverings, but that all the churches should follow the principal order (order of authority) described. Basically, it's not as much about the physical covering as it is about the principal governing the practice. Am I right? Ok, you said, "Paul is not stating a universal law from God, but acknowledging a local cusom, which did reflect divine principal." So, you are saying that Paul was correcting them in their own practice. A simple translation would depict Paul saying "if you're going to practice a custom of head-covering, then do it the right way. Am I reading you right? haha..

Ok, but I think it was just a bit more than that. I think Paul was saying, we should practice the covering of our heads the way he instructed, even though our salvation is not dependent on it. But I can be wrong, lol. The part that causes me to think that is the part concerning the angels. Even though we can understand the proper order of authority while choosing not to wear head coverings, that doesn't change the fact that angels are watching and can draw offense by our open appearance. Right or wrong?

your turn :)

bless you, bro
Hahaahaha after reading that portion of what you said confussed you somewhat, I was confused. haahaha I thank God you got it, cause if you would have not explained it to me, I would still be trying to figure out what I was trying to say hahahaah don't you know I am loco for Coco puffs hahahaha

Ok-ok I will be serious - you deciphered what I was trying to say. I will give it another shot here. Paul is teaching two biblical principles that should not be negotiated. 1. God’s order of creation for man and woman and 2. Paul is establishing a woman’s sign of submission. That is to either use a head covering while prophesying or praying or to allow her natural long hair to be her covering.

V4.The Corinthian men by using head coverings were most likely imitating a local custom which reverse the order God established for headship for man, since in that society, a man's uncovered head signal his authority over woman.

Here is the lesson that needs to be learned in my opinion, we have the God given freedom to do a lot, to eat all things, celebrate every day the Lord's Day etc. However when a custom goes against establish principals by God we should not adopt those traditions.

You asked: Even though we can understand the proper order of authority while choosing not to wear head coverings, that doesn't change the fact that angels are watching and can draw offense by our open appearance. Right or wrong? You right girl. Remember that your long hair has been given as a covering though. Of course the issue now rises how long is long hahahaha I am not going there right now. :)

the jewish tradition of covering their heads started about 4th century A.D.. just extra info about Jewish covering: The Talmud says that the purpose of wearing a kippah is to remind us of God, who is the Higher Authority "above us" (Kiddushin 31a). External actions create internal awareness; wearing a symbolic, tangible "something above us" reinforces that idea that God is always watching. The kippah is a means to draw out one's inner sense of respect for God.
http://judaism.about.com/od/prayersworshiprituals/f/kippah.htm


Good questions Glenda, keep them coming.
Ok, lol... I see that I need to back up a bit, here. I recognize a discrepancy between your interpretation and mine.

You stated, "Remember that your long hair has been given as a covering though."

But this was my analysis:

1Cr 11:6 NIV - If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head.

Just what it says. In order to remain in compliance, if she wishes to not cover her head with a cloth, hat, or what have you, then she should simply shave her hair off; although, if doing so signifies something bad (like prostitution) to the public, then she should instead, or still cover her head to avoid the negative indication. [so u see, here, it's the hair that is meant to be covered in presence of the Lord, or of the angels.]

and...

1Cr 11:15 NIV - but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering.

It is a woman's glory to have long hair; meaning, it is to her pride, for lack of another word that best defines glory here... and, "...long hair is given to her as a covering," doesn't mean her hair substitutes as a sign of submission. Rather, it suggests that a woman's hair is like an accessory, or an object of her natural beauty. Like we wear fashionable cloths and accessories, which are coverings, but for purpose of appearing attractive rather than simply to cover our bare bodies. And this attractive covering is for man's admiration... the man we are submitted to. [Basically, if we carelessly flaunt this natural gem (our hair), which is precisely designed for man's viewing pleasure, then we are sort of like prostituting our selves, or giving ourselves away in spite of its intended purpose to delight man.]


So... Can you see how if you read these two particular verses side by side they may appear to contradict each other when under the impression you described? Therefore, in order to make better sense of them (drawing a common ground between them), it seems more plausible to me that a woman's hair is meant to be covered, rather than the reverse (rather than that her hair is her covering, symbolic of a state of subordination... and I use the term with respect to the proper order, not to signify that women are creatures of lower grade). What say you? :D

your sista,
Glenda
ok this website is one of my favs Michelle cause they keep it simple. You are a Spirit filled child of God and a country girl Hehaw! haha What a combination. :)

Ohhh and for the record my sister Glenda was beating me up on this one hahaahaha You see I ignore her last question. hehe I am still studying this one, but since is not high on my list of importance I keep pushing it to the side, but I have a feeling Linda Ruth is gonna make me dive into it. haha

From: http://www.gotquestions.org/head-coverings.html

Question: "Should Christian women wear head coverings?"

Answer: 1 Corinthians 11:3-16 addresses the issue of women and head coverings. The context of the entire passage of 1 Corinthians 11:3-16 is submission to the God-given order and "chain of command." A "covering" on a woman's head is used as an illustration of the order, headship, and the authority of God. The key verse of this passage is 1 Corinthians 11:3 "But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God." The implications of this verse are found in the rest of the passage. The order is: God the Father, God the Son, the man or husband, and the woman or wife. The veil or covering on the head of a believing Corinthian wife showed that she was under the authority of her husband, and therefore under submission to God.

Within this passage is also verse 10: "For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels." Why is that important to angels? The relationship of God with men is something that angels watch and learn from (1 Peter 1:12). Therefore, a woman's submission to God's delegated authority over her is an example to angels. The holy angels, who are in perfect and total submission to God, expect that we, as followers of Christ, be the same.

This covering not only means a cloth but also can refer to a woman's hair length. How can we say that? We must take this verse in the context or the setting in which it is presented. "Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him? But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering" (1 Corinthians 11:14-15). Therefore, in the context of this passage, a woman who is wearing her hair longer marks herself out distinctively as a woman and not a man. The Apostle Paul is saying here that in the Corinthian culture, when a wife's hair was longer than her husband's, it showed her submission to his headship. The roles of the male and female are designed by God to portray a profound spiritual lesson, that is of submission to the will and the order of God.

But why is hair an issue in this passage? The Apostle Paul is addressing something in the Corinthian culture that was being allowed to disrupt the church. Women in service in the pagan temples had their heads shaved. It marked them as pagan temple prostitutes. Paul says in this passage that a woman who is shorn or shaved should be covered (1 Corinthians 11:6), for a woman shorn or shaved of her hair had lost her "glory," and she was not under the protection of a husband. A shorn head without a covering was equivalent to saying, "I refuse to submit to God's order." Therefore, the Apostle Paul is teaching the Corinthians that hair length or the wearing of a "covering" by the woman was an outward indication of a heart attitude of submission to God and to His established authority. This was important because the Corinthian church was to be separate from the corrupt pagan culture of Corinth (2 Corinthians 6:17).

God's order is that the husband is the head of the wife as God is the head of Christ, but there is no inequality or inferiority implied. God and Christ are equal and united, just as the husband and the wife are one. This is not a passage that teaches the woman is inferior to man or that she should be submissive to every man. It is teaching God's order and spiritual headship in the marriage relationship. In the Corinthian culture, a woman who covered her head during worship or when she was in public displayed her submission to authority.

In today's culture, we no longer view a woman's wearing of a head covering as a sign of submission. In most modern societies, scarves and hats are fashion accessories. A woman has the choice to wear a head covering if she views it as a sign of her submission to the authority of her husband. However, it is a personal choice and not something that should be used to judge spirituality. The real issue here is the heart attitude of obedience to God's authority and submission to His established order “as to the LORD” (Ephesians 5:22). God is far more concerned with an attitude of submission than an outward display of submission via a head covering. First Timothy 2:9-10, "I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God."
http://www.gotquestions.org/head-coverings.html
Great attitude beloved in Christ,

First Timothy 2:9-10, "I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God."

Paul is not saying that braided hair, gold, pearls or expensive clothes are wrong. What is wrong is when women place their worth or their beauty in such items or hair styles. Or use them to feel superior to other members by flaunting their wealth among the poor.

1 Peter 3:3-5 (New International Version)
3Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. 5For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands,


Our beauty should be from within.

Just as a side note. There is nothing sexier to a Godly man than a Godly woman, nor more beautiful. A woman does not have to be beautiful physically to be beautiful and the same applies for us men. A regular looking Joe can become extremely handsome when God is shining through him. Thank God hahaha
Dear David you have it exactly right,

Women who are the heart of the family, must be an example to their children and to other women with whom they associate, most women do not realise what a powerful position they really occupy.......We hold the molding and propogation of ALL mankiind in our frail little hands so we need to mindful of our position and strong advocates of the word and the morals and requirements of our Lord.

some time ago For about 6 months the only reading I got from the word was proverbs 31, I read this day by day and pondered upon it to the extent that I realised that in myself I will never match up to this description of being a Godly woman to the extent that one day I just fell at the feet of my Lord and asked Him to stop tormenting me with this scripture... but as I lay there weeping I felt this amazing warmth and peace wash over me and My Lord said softly to me....This was not given to you to torment you but to make you realise that this is how I see you..because you are covered by My Blood......... this is a description of How I Know and see you... what an amazing thing to be described by my Lord as a woman of virtue and strength.... and what a difference this has made in my Ministry and my Life
This article really helps clear up any confusion.. I should have read it first before my other post. :)

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