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Is Ephesians 5:22-33 "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord." outdated?

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Is Ephesians 5:22-33 "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord." outdated?

Is this portion of scripture irrelevant to us today? Was it simply applicable due to the culture for the time?

Ephesians 5:22-33 (KJV)
22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
 
Member
I don't think it's outdated, today's culture is secular and doesn't follow Christian principals. The husband is the spiritual head of the household.
 
Member
I don't think it's outdated, today's culture is secular and doesn't follow Christian principals. The husband is the spiritual head of the household.
I get it now... Ephesians 5 isn't outdated, but for many 1 Corinthians 11 1-16 head coverings are outdated. Which other parts of the bible can we decide are outdated?
 
Member
I get it now... Ephesians 5 isn't outdated, but for many 1 Corinthians 11 1-16 head coverings are outdated. Which other parts of the bible can we decide are outdated?
Your very premise reveals to the enlightened that you are not one of us.

I.e., your eyes have not been opened to hear the Bible.
 
Member
Is Ephesians 5:22-33 "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord." outdated?

Is this portion of scripture irrelevant to us today? Was it simply applicable due to the culture for the time?

Ephesians 5:22-33 (KJV)
22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
"Submit" in Hebrew (I'm thinking it's Hebrew could be Greek) actually means to "uplift" your wife/husband; support them, etc.
 
Member
I get it now... Ephesians 5 isn't outdated, but for many 1 Corinthians 11 1-16 head coverings are outdated. Which other parts of the bible can we decide are outdated?
3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.

4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head,

5 but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven.

6 For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head.

7 For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man.

8 For man was not made from woman, but woman from man.

9 Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.

10 That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.

11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman;

12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.

13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered?

14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him,

15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering.

16 If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.
 
Member
You also have to remember some of the scriptures you quote are from the Old Test. and legality and animal sacrifices. Jesus is the new covenant. There is nothing we can do to save ourselves or works we can do to get to heaven only grace and the blood of Jesus. There is nothing in the New Test. about head coverings, etc. It's the end of legality and the beginning of the blood of Jesus and salvation by faith in Jesus Christ.
 
Member
You also have to remember some of the scriptures you quote are from the Old Test. and legality and animal sacrifices. Jesus is the new covenant. There is nothing we can do to save ourselves or works we can do to get to heaven only grace and the blood of Jesus. There is nothing in the New Test. about head coverings, etc. It's the end of legality and the beginning of the blood of Jesus and salvation by faith in Jesus Christ.
3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.

4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head,

5 but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven.

6 For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head.

7 For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man.

8 For man was not made from woman, but woman from man.

9 Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.

10 That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.

11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman;

12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.

13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered?

14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him,

15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering.

16 If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.

Paul's first letter to the Corinthians.
 
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I was born into a world in which all these Bible haters took over.

God opened my eyes to hear the Bible.
 
Loyal
1Pe 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
1Pe 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

Is this scripture out dated?
 
Member
1Pe 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
1Pe 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

Is this scripture out dated?
Good question. I think anything today's people don't agree within the bible or feel confortable following they will just claim it as "outdated" and not have to follow it. It's what I call a la cart Christianity, just pick and choose what Christian doctrines you will and won't follow. That's pretty much what has happened to Christianity today. Apostasy!
 
Member
2 Tim 3-16,17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God and Is profitable for doctrine, reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God maybe complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
 
Moderator
Staff Member
No scripture is outdated.

Man cherry picks the Bible to fulfill carnal desires.

The Old Testament may have practices that are no longer to be observed, and the New Testament clearly outlines the fulfillment of the law through Jesus Christ our Lord.

So why would Ephesians 5:22-33 ever be outdated?
Only man would label it as such.
 
Member
Is that what the Bible says?

And is it in context with surrounding scripture verses?

If so then Yes.
In 1 Corinthians 11 1-16 the apostle Paul discusses women wearing prayer veils. Should women wear prayer veils? After much research and prayer, I was moved by the Spirit that half a chapter of Holy Scripture should not be ignored or treated as “incidental” and not preached by the churches.

What are some of the common arguments heard against women wearing prayer veils in the church? One of the most common is that the women’s hair is their covering. Another is that it was a custom of the time and not a principle. Let’s discuss these one at a time.

Many read only one verse v.15 out of the entire 16 verses and decide that women's hair is their covering, but such an interpretation would contradict itself and make the entire scripture nonsense.

Let’s take a closer look about what I am referring to. If her hair has been given to her as a natural covering verse 15 then in verse 5 why would it read if her head is uncovered meaning "bald" let her be more bald? See the contradiction to such an interpretation? Obviously, two different types of coverings are being discussed here. One is her hair, her natural covering for the outside world and her veil inside the church.

1 Corinthians 11:1-16 (KJV)
1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
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.
4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
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.
7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.
9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.
11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.
13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?
14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.

When we read scripture, we tend to come to the scriptures with natural biases whether we realize it or not. We currently live in a post-feminist society. This world view has also infiltrated into the churches. It is difficult in our current society to interpret certain scripture when it goes against what societal norms and dictates. In our post-feminist society women wearing prayer veils would be considered sexist. Yet, so would many other teachings of the bible such as Pastors being men and the divine order discussed not only here 1 Corinthians but throughout the bible.

A veil may be whatever covering is customary for the day, other than hair. As long as the woman's head is covered is what the Apostle Paul was driving home in this half a chapter of Holy scripture regarding the topic. I try not to be dogmatic about what type of head covering it should be.

As I stated earlier another common argument against head coverings is that it was a custom at the time and does not apply to us today.

Principles are those commands of God that apply to all people at all time in every culture and in every life situation.

Customs are those things that are variant local applications of principles.

For example, in the NT the principle of tithing was there and in those days it was done in the Denarius or the Shekel. Does that mean that the only way we can please God today is by paying our tithes in Denarius or Shekel? Of course not! The monetary unit was customary the clothing styles those are the things that are subject to change from culture to culture from place to place. The principle of modesty applies to all generations, but how that modesty is manifested will differ from one country to another and from one time to another. We understand that those things are customary. Many times, distinguishing between custom and principles is a relatively easy matter, but not always sometimes it is excruciatingly difficult to make that distinction.

Here is the Principle to apply if you can't decide if something is a custom or principle. The biblical principle would be whatever is not of faith is a sin. The burden of proof is always going to be on those who argue that such and such a command is custom and not principle. If you are not sure then the principle that applies is treat it as a principle, because if you treat a custom as a principle then the only guilt you bear is being overly scrupulous, but if you take a principle of God and treat it as a local custom and don't observe it you have sinned against God.

Every serious student of the Word of God first seeks to discover its meaning and standards and then, and only then, to bring practice into conformity with it. Biblical principles determine Biblical practice.


It would appear the church had a rich history of veiling for women up until the feminist movement launched a specific attack against the practice.

It was the "meaning" of this act that the feminist movement took offense to as does our current day society regarding "male headship in the home & church," which is God's order of creation that the Apostle Paul touched on in several of his epistles.

Excerpt used for EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY: from Gardiner, Jeremy. Head Covering: A Forgotten Christian Practice for Modern Times Head Covering Movement. Kindle Edition.

The National Organization for Women (NOW) is a feminist organization founded by Betty Friedan (author of The Feminist Mystique). In 1968 they rallied their troops to have a “national unveiling.” Here’s what they said: “Because the wearing of a head covering by women at religious services is a symbol of subjection with many churches, NOW recommends that all chapters undertake an effort to have all women participate in a "national unveiling" by sending their head coverings to the task force chairman. At the spring meeting of the task force of women and religion, these veils will be publicly burned to protest the second class status of women in all churches.” [25] NOW rallied their various chapters to “undertake an effort” to stop the practice of head covering. They were so disgusted with the symbol and what it represented that they had a public burning of women’s veils. Sadly, their efforts achieved what they hoped it would.

I do believe that in regards to women wearing a prayer veil that it should not be "required" by the church since that would make it to no "effect," because the biblical principle here is "voluntary submission." As a Pastor, I believe I am required to preach the "whole" word of God to the congregation and let the women in the congregation make their own personal "choice" on the matter as to be in proper fellowship with the Lord. Basically, I believe I am held accountable for preaching it, but they are held accountable for its execution.


1 Corinthians 11: 5-16 Biblical Exegesis


Excerpt used for EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY: 1 MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (pp. 1785–1787). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

11:5 Every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, that is, the man. She is saying, in effect, that she does not recognize man’s God-given headship and will not submit to it.

If this were the only verse in the Bible on the subject, then it would imply that it is all right for a woman to pray or prophesy in the assembly as long as she has a veil or other covering on her head. But Paul teaches elsewhere that women should be silent in the assembly (1 Cor. 14:34), that they are not permitted to teach or to have authority over the man but to be in silence (1 Tim. 2:12).

Actually meetings of the assembly do not come into view until verse 17, so the instructions concerning the head-covering in verses 2–16 cannot be confined to church meetings. They apply to whenever a woman prays or prophesies. She prays silently in the assembly, since 1 Timothy 2:8 limits public prayer to the men (lit., males). She prays audibly or silently at other times. She prophesies when she teaches other women (Titus 2:3–5) or children in the Sunday school.

11:6 If a woman is not covered, she might as well be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, then she should be covered. The unveiled head of a woman is as shameful as if her hair were cut off. The apostle is not commanding a barber’s operation but rather telling what moral consistency would require!

11:7 In verses 7–10, Paul teaches the subordination of the woman to the man by going back to creation. This should forever lay to rest any idea that his teaching about women’s covering was what was culturally suitable in his day but not applicable to us today. The headship of man and the subjection of woman have been God’s order from the very beginning.

First of all, man is the image and glory of God whereas woman is the glory of man. This means that man was placed on earth as God’s representative, to exercise dominion over it. Man’s uncovered head is a silent witness to this fact. The woman was never given this place of headship; instead she is the glory of man in the sense that she “renders conspicuous the authority of man,” as W. E. Vine expresses it.

Man indeed ought not to cover his head in prayer; it would be tantamount to veiling the glory of God, and this would be an insult to the Divine Majesty.

11:8 Paul next reminds us that man was not created from woman but woman was created from man. The man was first, then the woman was taken from his side. This priority of the man strengthens the apostle’s case for man’s headship.

11:9 The purpose of creation is next alluded to in order to press home the point. Nor was man created primarily for the woman, but rather woman for the man. The Lord distinctly stated in Genesis 2:18, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”

11:10 Because of her position of subordination to man, the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head. The symbol of authority is the head-covering and here it indicates not her own authority but subjection to the authority of her husband.

Why does Paul add because of the angels? We would suggest that the angels are spectators of the things that are happening on earth today, as they were of the things that happened at creation. In the first creation, they saw how woman usurped the place of headship over the man. She made the decision that Adam should have made. As a result of this, sin entered the human race with its unspeakable aftermath of misery and woe. God does not want what happened in the first creation to be repeated in the new creation. When the angels look down, He wants them to see the woman acting in subjection to the man, and indicating this outwardly by a covering on her head.

We might pause here to state that the head-covering is simply an outward sign and it is of value only when it is the outward sign of an inward grace. In other words, a woman might have a covering on her head and yet not truly be submissive to her husband. In such a case, to wear a head-covering would be of no value at all. The most important thing is to be sure that the heart is truly subordinate; then a covering on a woman’s head becomes truly meaningful.

11:11 Paul is not implying that man is at all independent of the woman, so he adds: “Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord.” In other words, man and woman are mutually dependent. They need one another and the idea of subordination is not at all in conflict with the idea of mutual interdependence.

11:12 Woman came from man by creation, that is, she was created from Adam’s side. But Paul points out that man also comes through woman. Here he is referring to the process of birth. The woman gives birth to the man child. Thus God has created this perfect balance to indicate that the one cannot exist without the other.

All things are from God means that He has divinely appointed all these things, so there is no just cause for complaint. Not only were these relationships created by God, but the purpose of them all is to glorify Him. All of this should make the man humble and the woman content.

11:13 The apostle now challenges the Corinthians to judge among themselves if it is proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered. He appeals to their instinctive sense. The suggestion is that it is not reverent or decorous for a woman to enter into the presence of God unveiled.

11:14 Just how does nature itself teach us that it is a shame for a man to have long hair is not made clear. Some have suggested that a man’s hair will not naturally grow into as long tresses as a woman’s. For a man to have long hair makes him appear effeminate. In most cultures, the male wears his hair shorter than the female.

11:15 Verse 15 has been greatly misunderstood by many. Some have suggested that since a woman’s hair is given to her for a covering, it is not necessary for her to have any other covering. But such a teaching does grave violence to this portion of Scripture. Unless one sees that two coverings are mentioned in this chapter, the passage becomes hopelessly confusing. This may be demonstrated by referring back to verse 6. There we read: “For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn.” According to the interpretation just mentioned, this would mean that if a woman “does not have her hair on,” then she might just as well be shorn. But this is ridiculous. If she does not “have her hair on,” she could not possibly be shorn!

The actual argument in verse 15 is that there is a real analogy between the spiritual and the natural. God gave woman a natural covering of glory in a way He did not give to man. There is a spiritual significance to this. It teaches that when a woman prays to God, she should wear a covering on her head. What is true in the natural sphere should be true in the spiritual.

11:16 The apostle closes this section with the statement: “But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.” Does Paul mean, as has been suggested, that the things he has just been saying are not important enough to contend about? Does he mean that there was no such custom of women veiling their heads in the churches? Does he mean that these teachings are optional and not to be pressed upon women as the commandments of the Lord? It seems strange that any such interpretations would ever be offered, yet they are commonly heard today. This would mean that Paul considered these instructions as of no real consequence, and he had just been wasting over half a chapter of Holy Scripture in setting them forth!

There are at least two possible explanations of this verse which fit in with the rest of the Scripture. First of all, the apostle may be saying that he anticipates that certain ones will be contentious about these matters, but he adds that we have no such custom, that is, the custom of contending about this. We do not argue about such matters, but accept them as the teaching of the Lord. Another interpretation, favored by William Kelly, is that Paul was saying that the churches of God did not have any such custom as that of women praying or prophesying without being covered.



There is also a growing number of individuals reviving the practice. See https://www.headcoveringmovement.com for further information.
 
Member
So, we all agree that women should not pray of prophesy with their head uncovered.
Please understand that it is not my intention nor desire to demean those who believe women should not have to wear a veil during prayer while in corporate worship, in any way. I am aware that many who believe this doctrine may be better Christians than I am in many ways.

Yet, if I were to say to you that half a chapter of Holy Scripture was “incidental” what would you think? By what authority would I have to dismiss half a chapter of the Word of God?

Why is 1 Corinthians 11 1-16 important to us today? Why is it so commonly ignored by the Churches and not followed by the majority of today’s Christian women?

In 1 Corinthians 1:1-3 we read: Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God. That is a very impressive credential in his opening statement and all scripture he writes should be considered authoritative. Yet, many are quick to dismiss the first 16 verses of 1 Corinthians a half a chapter of Holy Scripture as either incidental or ignored altogether.

Let me first say that we live at a time when it is unpopular to confront others for immoral or improper actions and words. The popular belief of today is that everyone should be able to do their own thing, and others have no right to “judge” or correct them. What a mess this idea has created in our society and in our churches.

Sadly, many Christians have embraced this complacent attitude toward correcting others, and, as a result, sin and false doctrine in the church are seldom confronted and curbed.

However, the Bible tells us that:

2 Tim. 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Tim. 4:1-2
1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:
2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction.

God tells us that His Word is not only to be used to teach and encourage but also to “correct” and “rebuke.” And in 2 Timothy 4: 3, He tells us why we must be faithful to use His Word to correct others who are in the wrong:

2 Tim. 4:3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

This prophetic writing began its fulfillment shortly after it was penned and has escalated to what is happening in churches today. There are presently a great number of teachers willing to say what itching ears want to hear, instead of telling the truth as revealed in God’s Word.

However, many who embrace certain views about doctrine inevitably end up altering the clear meaning of passages that contradict what they believe. And as a result, they pass their tainted understanding of the Scriptures on to those they share with. Sadly, this in turn distorts other people’s knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word. Why does it matter? Because this is very serious. That is why God urges us to contend for the faith:

Phil. 1:27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel…

Jude 3 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.

Below we come to the periscope in question. Let us read it plainly as it is written.

1 Corinthians 11:1-16 (KJV)
1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
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.
4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
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.
7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.
9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.
11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.
13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?
14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.



Two points seem to be the most significant:
(1) No word for veil occurs in vv 2-14. Thus, that the hair is regarded by Paul as a veil in v 15 is not necessarily an argument that the hair is the same as the head covering that he is describing in these verses.
(2) Throughout this periscope, Paul points out the similarities of long hair with a head covering. But his doing so strongly suggests that the two are not to be identified. Precisely because they are similar, they are not identical. Note the following verses.

11:5-- “but any woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered disgraces her head--it is one and the same thing as having her head shaved.”
11:6-- “For if a woman will not cover herself, then she should cut off her hair; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or to be shaved, she should keep it covered.
11:7-- “For a man ought not to cover his head . . .”
11:10-- “For this reason a woman ought to have [a symbol of] authority on her head”
11:13-- “Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?”
11:15-- “but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory . . .”

Several points can be made here.
(1) If ‘covering’ = ‘hair,’ then all men should shave their heads or go bald because the men are to have their heads uncovered.
(2) If ‘covering’ = ‘long hair,’ then v 6 seems to suggest a tautology: “if a woman will not wear long hair, then she should cut off her hair.” But this in no way advances the argument.
(3) The argument caves in by its own subtlety. To see ‘hair’ = ‘head covering’ means that one has to go through several exegetical hoops. In short, it hardly appears to be the plain meaning of the text.
(4) Verses 10 and 15 would have to be saying the same thing if long hair is the same as a head covering. But this can hardly be the case. In v 10, a woman is required to wear a ‘symbol of authority.’ Such a symbol represents her submission, not her glory.

To argue, then, that long hair is the woman’s head covering seems to miss the very point of the function of the head covering and of the long hair: one shows her submission while the other shows her glory. Both of these are contrasted with an uncovered head while praying or prophesying, or a shaved head at any time: such would speak of the woman’s humiliation and shame.

So why is any of this important? Why does any of this really matter? It’s all about being in proper fellowship with the Lord! If you are a woman reading this, I strongly urge you to prayerfully seek out the Lord’s guidance. Perhaps you have been attending church for years and this is the first time this has been brought up to you? Given our post-feminist society, most Pastors will steer well clear of such passages to avoid conflict.
 

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