Women, Will You Cover Your Head?
clear explanation of first Corinthians chapter 11:1-16
"Therefore, though I might be very bold in Christ
to command you what is fitting, yet for love’s sake I rather
appeal to you." (Philemon
It is my prayer that you
would be of such a Christ-like mind to understand what is the will of
God regarding this subject (Romans 12:2). Those that walk in the flesh
and not in the Spirit will say that these teachings are not valuable for
the believer, for these they say, are a subtle form of legalism, or a
cultural practice. It is by no means legalism, for the teaching is not
foisted on anyone. Only for the spiritual life
the believer is the matter presented for consideration as a deep
reflection of the inner spiritual life and observation of you who are
Let us be reminded what the
Holy Spirit spoke through brother Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:2, “Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep
the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.” Ordinances
and traditions of the Christian faith is NOT legalism as long as it
is from God's Word. But praise be to God to
be bound with such glorious and life-giving beauty, for
“know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his
servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of
obedience unto righteousness?” (Romans 6:16). It is obedience to righteousness that
is the intent of the Spirit filled life.
truth resulting in strict obedience we must have a final authority; that
final authority is the Lord Jesus
He is, by decree of of God and by His work of grace, declared to be the
final authority (Hebrews 1:1,2; Matthew 17:5; Deuteronomy 18:15-19).
Jesus is the final authority in all the universe. Given this fact then,
anything written in the letters or epistles (Acts - Revelation) should
compliment, comment on, or expand on the words of Jesus they will not
"override" the authority of Jesus. Always remember the Old Testament is
understood or interpreted in light of the New. There would be no need
for a New Testament if
the Old was valid in effecting our salvation. So when we speak about a
teaching or doctrine we really want to know what Jesus says on the
Sometimes our Lord makes no mention directly about a teaching, but
through the Holy Spirit by His apostles He has made it clear.
this for us today? If you follow
and, "teaching them
to observe all things", and following Jesus through Paul with "all the
churches of God" --
it is. "The region of the veil is co-extensive
with the space covered by the hair when unbound.... Arabia's pagan
females will be your judges. For they cover not only the head, but the
face also." (Tertullian
average Christian, in regards to the issue of head coverings for
Christian women, usually respond that it's "archaic," "of the first
"it's a cultural thing." However, it's in the Scriptures, and is
taught to those true believers of the common faith of our Lord Jesus
Christ. As always we truly
make every attempt
to be sound, accurate, and
comprehensive in our research of this neglected topic. Most of us when
reading 1 Corinthians 11 have accustomed ourselves to pass over this
section with no thought as to its relevance for us today. However, I
would like to lay down some undeniable facts on this
topic before we begin.
Fact #1 - It's in the Holy
Scriptures, whether it was for the first century or not, it's there
and must be addressed.
Fact #2 - If we single this topic out with
the acceptation of it being only for the primitive Church; does that
give us the license to do that with other Scriptures?
Fact #3 - Seeing it's the work of the
adversary to rob (Matthew 13:19; John 10:10) and deceive (Matthew
24:24; Revelation 20:3,8) is it not logical then that he attempts to
deceive the gullible in this topic also.
What is this?
To have a better understanding
of what Scripture is talking about we need to define some terms. First,
the teaching of head covering for Christian women is a lesson in the New
Testament. It's exemplified in the Old Testament, but no specific lesson
is given. Where is the passage found? In the New Testament. What is its
location? The epistle to the Corinthians from Paul the apostle. What is
the context? He is speaking to them about general lessons, and then
introduces the topic to them specifically. Finally, and most importantly
who is he speaking to? Christians! One of the interesting aspects of
this doctrine is that, like a couple of others, is mentioned only once.
Many examples can be found but this is the "only" direct passage of it.
There are two things that
we should take note of before studying this passage. One, there are
literally, and I do mean literally, thousands upon thousands of pages
written on this very passage! If one were to do a search on the Internet
you would be amazed at how many web sites, articles, books, and links to
pages concerning this subject there is. Yet,
it's rarely taught. Two, almost every article or book written on this
subject states that "Paul says" we need to remember that Paul was used
of Holy Spirit to convey God's mind on this matter, but it was not Paul
himself that this teaching had its genesis. The main point I'm saying
here is, it's a teaching that comes from God, and we should be very
quick to obey Him.
Below are the basic words from the Hebrew and Greek with definitions.
Hebrew word for veil, covering, and head are as
Veil – (radiyd
raw-deed') in the sense of spreading, something spread, wide wrapper (tsa`iyph
tsaw-eef') meaning to wrap over, veil, wrapper, shawl
Covering – (mikceh
mik-seh') a covering. (kacuwth kes-ooth) raiment, clothing,
Head – (rosh roshe) head, chief,
In the New Testament
Veil – (katapetasma
kat-ap-et-as-mah) a veil spread out.
Covering – (peribolaion
per-ib-ol'-ah-yon) covering, vesture, mantle, a covering thrown around.
Head – (kephale
kef-al-ay) head (physical or by ranking), supreme, chief,
text of first Corinthians eleven we must understand we need the Holy
Spirit to help us, and furthermore all Scripture should be
taken seriously and thoroughly examined. Also, we must read it as
it was intended, that is, as a letter to fellow Christians written by
inspiration from the Holy Spirit by the Apostle Paul. We see from the
start the text goes against what we're "programmed" to believe in
America. Also it's
not taught in the body of Christ as it should be today. Many so-called
pastors and leaders simply look at it and conclude
"it's not for us today" which is incorrect. Who said we can pick
and choose what to obey and not obey. For the first 1800 years of
Christianity the material veil was a part of the woman’s modest clothes.
She made it the same way she made the rest of her clothes. It was more
then just fashion it was obedience to a command. To take off this veil
in public in the first century would announce that you are a woman of
"Be ye followers of me, even as I also [am] of
Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all
things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered [them] to you. 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.
Every man praying or prophesying, having [his] head covered,
dishonoureth his head. 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. 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. 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. For the man is not of the woman; but
the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but
the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power
on [her] head because of the angels. Nevertheless neither is the man
without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
For as the woman [is] of the man, even so [is] the man also by the
woman; but all things of God. Judge in yourselves: is it comely that
a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach
you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a
woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for [her] hair is given
her for a covering. But if any man seem to be contentious, we have
no such custom, neither the churches of God."
(1 Corinthians 11:1-16)
the text before us. Lord Jesus, help us to the glory of God to be
faithful in understanding it.
It's assumed by a great many
that verse one, be ye followers of me, even as I also [am] of Christ,
is connected to the statements of verses two through sixteen, and as
they are positioned in our Bibles, indeed it does appear that it is.
However, looking at manuscript evidence and Bibliology we know that the
Biblical texts were written without verse and chapter separations.1
The theme flow and textual evidence indicates that verse one of chapter
eleven should be the ending of chapter ten.
means is that verse one carries no introductory part in interpreting
chapter 11:2-16. It's more realistic to interpret this passage starting
from verse two to verse sixteen. There are two reasons for this, as
discussed the manuscript text supports verse one as being a closure to
chapter ten. It's also very clear that a "new" teaching or "thought
pattern" is to be developed by the change in tone and by the use of the
in verse two.
inspiration of the Holy Spirit, does this several times in 1
Corinthians: 1:10,12; 2:12; 3:8,12; 4:8,18; 5:11; 6:7; 7:1,25; 8:1;
10:6; 11:2,17; 12:1,27; 15:12; 16:1,5,10. It's clear that Paul is
expressing his confidence, that just as he follows Jesus Christ, we
should follow how Paul followed Jesus Christ. I would stress here that we ought to be
very careful now a days as to whom we choose to follow; seeing the
degree of deception and false teachers is extraordinary. Paul the
apostle was an exception and it is doubtful we would be blessed with
another such as he.
Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me
in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered [them] to
The word praise
means to commend or approve. In the human element Paul was
commending the Corinthian Christians that they remembered
him in all things meaning his teachings and that from Christ, not how he dressed or looked. He also
commends them because they keep the ordinances katecho
paradosis holding fast, to possess the traditions—things handed
down, he says, "as I delivered"--to commit or give over to.
As Christians, indicated
by the use of "brethren," we're asked to remember what was handed down
to us from God by the instrument of the apostles. It would be like
saying, "Christians, let's remember what the Scriptures have to say."
Because the teaching of the Scriptures was "handed down" in the first
century until the cannon of Scripture was completed. We're asked to
keep the ordinances as part of the connection in which we follow
the teachings of our Lord Jesus. We are to keep such traditions and
commands as Jesus instructed us to.
"Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I
have commanded you…." (Matthew 28:20a)
We cannot assume that the command of headcoverings is man generated, for
if it were, we would not be asked to keep such a command. Certain
traditions that Jesus instructed his apostles were to be
"ordained in all the churches" 1 Corinthians 7:17. Understand
that it was important enough to God to indicate to us His will with
regards to this Scripture for our
Christian life. Let me ask you this, If
it was for only the first century and thus we need not obey this why do we have it in our
Bibles? Think about that as we move on.
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. (v.3)
(eidw eido) means to understand, consider, or be aware. It's in the Greek "perfect
tense"—once for all never needing to be repeated. God is saying, I want
you to understand or be aware of what I am about to say.
In other words, be taught this, believe this, and understand this truth. What is the first
principle he lays down as a prerequisite to the rest of the teaching?
...that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman [is]
the man; and the head of Christ [is] God.
Obviously, he's talking about supremacy/authority not a physical head on
How do we know this? Well, let's draw this out in a simple paraphrase
and you will see what I mean.
(physical head with hair and eyeballs)
of every man is Christ; and the head (physical head with hair
and eyeballs) of the woman [is] the man; and the head of
Christ [is] God.
Not very logical at all is it? In fact, it looks confusing and absurd.
So you see in this section of 1 Corinthians 11 it's talking about
supremacy/authority not a physical head on our bodies.
teaching here has to do with position and submission; not cultural
relativism. The order is: God, Christ, man, then the woman. It should be
understood that Jesus is not inferior to God the Father in terms of his
divinity, but in terms of his humanity and subjection to the directive
of the Father while on earth. This is demonstrated as an example of how
the order, in its proper arrangement, is successful.
Christ is the head—the supreme in authority over our lives (Ephesians
1:22; 4:15; Colossians 1:18; 2:1,19). As we are subject to Him, showing
subjection and obedience so too the woman should be subject to the man
by showing due subjection and obedience to the man (Genesis 1:27;
2:7,18,21-25; 3:16; Ephesians 5:23). Man was, as a matter of fact,
created as the head of the woman (Genesis 1:27; 2:7,18,21-25; 3:16;
Every man praying or prophesying, having [his]
head covered, dishonoureth his head.
do you want God to be? I think God is very clear here.
After teaching us our "position" in
are led into the intent of the this teaching. Again,
let me draw this out in a simple paraphrase and you will see what I
Every man praying or
prophesying, having [his] head (authority or
supremacy which would be Christ) covered, dishonoureth his
(physical head with hair and eyeballs).
See what I mean? Does not make much sense does it? It it clear the the
reverse is true, Every man praying or
prophesying, having [his] head (physical head with hair and
covered, dishonoureth his head (his authority or supremacy
which would be Christ).
God allows Paul to
reiterate this teaching to make it clear to
He says men should not have their physical heads
covered when praying or prophesying, and in the next verse he says women
should. Why is it a tradition or natural inclination for some men to
remove a cap or hat when prayers are offered up? Perhaps the law of God
written on their hearts? However, many were just simply
taught this. Prophesying
is defined by several meanings to speak forth by divine inspirations,
the idea of foretelling future events, to utter forth, or declare divine
revelations. Of course this means speaking out God's written Word also.
clear that what's being taught here is proper order and submission.
Because we are under Christ, and being "…the image and glory of
God" we, men, are not to "cover" our physical head when praying
or prophesying. It's interesting to note that the Greek text of verse 4 reads as
notice is the words this is translated in the authorized version and others as
"head covered." However, the exact Greek word for kata is
"according or down." One can easily look it up in a Greek dictionary,
lexicon, or Greek translation for confirmation.
translation reads as follows:
man praying or prophesying, having anything down over his
head shames his Head." (*italicized words not in the original
manuscripts-The Interlinear Bible, p. 890, Jay P. Green, Sr.,
editor, Hendrickson Publishers 1976)
early translations read:
man praying or prophesying having anything on his head, shames his
head." (William Tyndale, Tyndale Translation, 1534)
man praying or prophesying having anything on his head
shameth his head." (Geneva Translation, 1557)
is, that the text reads that men are not to pray or prophesy
with their head (physical head) covered or pointing down.
Is this not a practice that has come into many fellowships today? Ever
heard, "let's all bow our heads"? We're redeemed by the blood of Christ
and His work is perfect and complete. We should not be ashamed of that
work by bowing our heads when we pray to Him. I understand that bowing
the head is a sign of humbleness and submission to Him, but it also
asserts that we are not worthy of coming to Him. That's true if we're
sinners and not cleansed by the blood of Christ. However, Christ has
finished the work and it's good and nothing to be ashamed of. There is
not a single case in the New Testament were the believer is instructed
to bow the head in prayer. On the contrary the bowing of the head in
prayer is a sign of guilt for sin in the New Testament.
"And the publican, standing afar off, would not
lift up so much as [his] eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his
breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner."
here is what some of the early Christians had to say about not bowing
also raise the head and lift the hands to heaven." (Clement of Rome,
lift our eyes to [heaven], with hands outstretched." (Tertullian, AD
tax collector did not pray with eyes lifted up boldly to heaven, nor
with hands proudly raised." (Cyprian, AD 250)
Scriptures teach the following:
"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of
grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of
need." (Hebrews 4:16)
"So that we may boldly say, The Lord [is] my
helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me."
As far as
instruction on the method of praying and prophesying. 1 Corinthians 11:4
teaches men should not pray or prophesy with their head covered or down
as being ashamed of Christ's work for this dishonors Christ. We're told
the proper instruction for the men up front then in verse 4. We're
then taught in verse 5 the proper instruction as to the women. We're
told that men are not to cover their head (physical head) while praying
or prophesying in verse 7.
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. (v.5)
But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth
this is the same definition as verse 4—what the
man must do uncovered the woman must do covered. If she, prayeth or
prophesieth with her head uncovered (her physical head) the word
uncovered akatakaluptos meaning not covered or
not veiled. This is a compound word from a meaning no and kata
meaning down or down from and kalupto to hide, cover, or veil.
Literally it says, but every woman that prayeth or prophesieth
with [her] head having no down covering or veil
dishonoureth her head (her husband).
if she prays or prophesy uncovered it dishonors her head (her husband)
and it's like "as if she were shaven." Shaven
means to shear or be shorn. This is in the Greek perfect
tense—once for all never needs to be repeated. In other words, if she
does not cover let her be sheared. It's the utmost of disgrace for a
woman to be shorn. Deuteronomy 21:11,12 tells us.
seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto
her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; Then thou shalt bring
her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her
Some will say, "but wait, verse
says the long hair is her covering?" Ok, let's apply that. If we look at verse 5 again
it says she dishonors her head when not covered. It's clear that there's
a possibility she could pray and prophesy uncovered; what can she do
remove her hair? If her hair was her covering and she removed it (by
shaving it off) how could she be in danger of having her head shaven? He
"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." (v.6)
word "covered" here is the same as in verse 5--katakalupto
a down covering. How could there be a possibility of her being "not
covered" if her hair is her covering? He tells us, "…but if it be a
shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, (and it is because it's not
natural for women to be without long hair) he then says, let her be
"And the priest shall set the woman before the
LORD, and uncover the woman's head, and put the offering of memorial
in her hands, which [is] the jealousy offering: and the priest shall
have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse."
Old Testament the covering of men's heads was a frequent response to
shame, disgrace, and mourning. Thus, for example:1 Samuel 4:12
(man bearing news of loss of ark of covenant, using earth); 2 Samuel
1:2 (man bearing news of Saul's death, using earth); 2 Samuel
15:30-31 (David's response to the rebellion of his son Absalom);
2 Samuel 15:32 (Hushai met David with earth on his head);
Jeremiah 14:3-4 (here a sign of mourning as well as shame); 2
Kings 19:1-3 or Isaiah 37:1-3 (King Hezekiah covers himself with
sackcloth (probably including his head though this is not explicitly
stated) in response to blasphemy by Rabshakeh, saying it was a day of
rebuke and disgrace). Esther 6:12 (when Haman was shamed and in
disgrace he covered his head, showing that this response was not
confined to God's people).
Association of the loss of hair by both men and women with being shamed
or judged is quite frequent in the Old Testament. For example:
Deuteronomy 21:11-14 (the foreign woman taken captive); Ezra 9:3
(Ezra plucks his own hair in response to national disgrace); Nehemiah
13:25 (punishment of rebels); Isaiah 3:24 (a judgment);
Isaiah 7:20 (used metaphorically of being conquered by foreigners);
Isaiah 50:6 (associates plucking of hair with shame); Jeremiah
7:29 (Jerusalem to cut off her hair); Ezekiel 5 (Ezekiel cuts
off his own hair and treats it as a symbol of God's judgment on his
people); Micah 1:16 (loss of children to captivity); 2 Samuel
10:4 (half of beard of David's servants cut off).
"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." (v.7)
describes the direct term for man
in this verse--aner meaning man or husband, and not the general
The men indeed meaning verily, truly, or
certainly are not to cover their heads (while praying or prophesying)
why? Forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God. What does the
"image" mean? Image means figure or likeness. Its root
meaning is from the word eiko, which is to be like. When using
eikon in relation to man it's stating that man is in the image of
God because of his position of authority in God's taxis—he is head over
the women and the children. What about the glory? Men
are referred to as being the glory of God. This is because God created
man perfect at the apex of His creation. So much so that man, at
creation, was given dominion over all things.
"And God said, Let us make man in our image,
after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the
sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all
the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the
earth." (Genesis 1:26)
No where in the Scriptures do we read that God
created the female first, nor do we read that God gives the woman any
authority over the man; just the opposite.
How do I know this? I
looked up every verse.
He says, but the woman again a direct term is used for the word
woman gune meaning woman or wife. She is the glory
doxa of the man—she is not the glory of God she is the
glory of man because she was second in the creative order taken "from"
man not created from an original, underived, unbarrowed idea as man was.
She being taken from man, for man, is his glory. Verses 8 and 9
make clear verse 7 which simply states
man is head over the woman (Genesis 1:27; 2:7,18,21-25; 3:16; Ephesians
"For the man is not of the woman; but the woman
of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman
for the man." (v.8,9)
very simple and from a clear Biblical stand point—we can understand that
God has created an order and that order is God, Jesus, man, women, then
children. The word "of" can also mean "out from" that is, at the
beginning of creation God did not bring the man out of the woman in the
manner He did when He created Eve. Of Eve's creation, from the rib of
Adam, we read the following:
"And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall
upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up
the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken
from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam
said, This [is] now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she
shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."
important to note that God's Word, not the words of men, but God Himself
says, "she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."
The fact is clear for us to see—the woman/wife is to be in a subordinate
position to the man/husband. Think of how illogical it would be if we
used the same reasoning to elevate some other taxis. In declaring, for
example, that a woman does not need to be subordinate to her husband
would be like our children not having to be under our authority.
Imagine our children at young ages pushing us around telling us to do
this and do that, or other such insubordinate actions? The woman is not
some whipping post for her husband, but a companion under him to model
the pattern and taxonomy God has ordained.
"For this cause ought the woman to have power on
[her] head because of the angels."
verse can, and has been, open to a wide verity of interpretations;
however, it is not my intention to add yet another one. Therefore,
we will be true to the Scriptures and look at it in its purest sense.
First it says, for this cause ought the woman…the word
is a preposition and can mean by, with, through, because, cause, account
of, or reason of. The word ought opheilo comes
from an "...old English word meaning should by reason of duty"
(T.F. Hoad, Dictionary of English Etymology, p. 327).
For this cause ought the woman to have power on
[her] head…The question comes then for what
cause should she have power
exousia authority, strength, right, or liberty on her
head—physical head? The answer? because of the angels. The
submissive woman who knows her place (which modern day culture in
America seeks to remove) happily wears the headcovering because it is a
reminder of her subjection to her husband, or men in the body of Christ,
and ultimately her God.
angels are mentioned as examples of created beings of God placed in
subjection to Him. The idea here is that, as man is the glory and image
of God, created for God's pleasure; so woman is the glory of man,
created for man -- for this cause the woman should have a symbol of
authority (submission to this order) on her head, because not to do so
reveals rebellion to God's order. This spiritual sign tells the spirit
world (angels) whose side you are on. When you are under your canopy of
authority, you are protected in ways you may never know. She covers her
head in co-operation with the angels that remained faithful to God as a
testimony of submission and obedience. Remember angels and demons see
"…for it is written, He shall give his angels
charge concerning thee: and in [their] hands they shall bear thee
up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone."
"But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the
city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an
innumerable company of angels…" (Hebrews
"…which things the angels desire to look into."
(1 Peter 1:12)
"Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a
flaming fire." (Psalm 104:4)
"Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him,
all his hosts." (Psalm 148:2)
"For the Son of man shall come in the glory of
his Father with his angels…" (Matthew
covers her head as a reminder to the fallen angels of their rebellion
and disobedience—for in wearing it she testifies to them of their
disobedience and insubordination.
"Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his
angels he charged with folly." (Job
"For if God spared not the angels that sinned,
but cast [them] down to hell, and delivered [them] into chains of
darkness, to be reserved unto judgment."
(2 Peter 2:4)
"And the angels which kept not their first
estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in
everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great
day." (Jude 1:6)
outward symbol of her God given role, subjection to her head (her
husband), and her womanhood. It's a reminder of what her life should
exemplify which is respect for her head (husband)
"…and he shall rule over thee."
"And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw
Isaac, she lighted off the camel. For she [had] said unto the
servant, What man [is] this that walketh in the field to meet us?
And the servant [had] said, It [is] my master: therefore she took a
vail, and covered herself." (Genesis
and his cohorts hate the head covering because of what it
represents; it reminds them and puts them to shame because of their
own rejection of God's headship." (Tom Shank, "…let her be veiled,"
"Nevertheless neither is the man without the
woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the
woman [is] of the man, even so [is] the man also by the woman; but
all things of God." (v.11,12)
There is interdependence in the human race—woman came out from man and
in turn it is by a woman that men are born. The fact is, human life is
dependent on the abilities and operations of women to perpetuate the
race. It must be stressed that in regards to her hair it should be long
because it is her glory and identification of her femininity.
"Hast thou given the horse strength
hast thou clothed his neck with thunder?(ra`mah)" This word "ramah" is used
only one time and it's here in Job 39:19. And guess what? It means mane
Her glory must be covered
and in rejecting to do so she is rejecting the authority, set up by God
Himself, of the man and ultimately God. The concluding phrase of these
verses but all things of God reminds us that He is in control and
nothing moves without His knowledge and approval.
"For of him, and through him, and to him, [are]
all things: to whom [be] glory for ever. Amen."
"Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman
pray unto God uncovered? " (v.13)
verse we're asked to make a decision based on natural law—is it
comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Is it? Well, lets
define some terms.
that we should judge in yourselves that is to determine
or call in question. This is a command (imperative mood) to the
Corinthians, and all Church ages, that we are to determine by evidence
of natural law is it right for a woman to pray uncovered? Based on
natural law—her hair is her glory and femininity and should be covered
to honor her head (man), and on what was just taught to us; that it is
not right for her to pray uncovered.
The word comely
means right, fit, or becoming. He wants to know is it
right for a woman to pray
uncovered? The word uncovered
akatakaluptos again means uncovered or unveiled. It
comes from a compound word kata down from and kalupto to
cover or hide. It's speaking about a "down from veil or covering."
"Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if
a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?"
challenge is, look don't you see how wrong it is for a man to have long
hair? The meaning of the word nature
implies distinctive native peculiarities—what we know to be right and
wrong. Our natural sense of what's right and what's wrong should, if our
spiritual senses have not been dulled, say to us long hair on a man is
not right. Why not? Because that distinct beautiful characteristic is
reserved for the women as God has ordered and ordained it.
"The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth
unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all
that do so [are] abomination unto the LORD thy God."
says long hair
he's talking about long hair like a woman. It would be safe to say
anything past the shoulder—to the point were from the back you could not
tell if it was a man or woman. He says for a man to have long hair it is
a shame atimia
dishonor, despise, vile, or disgrace. This can be contrasted to verse
six and the positive verse fifteen.
"But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to
her: for [her] hair is given her for a covering."
contrasts that with the opposite using the conjunction "but." If the
woman has long hair it is her glory. Note, it is a glory to her—her
hair is given to her as "her" glory. For [her] hair is given her for
a covering the word "covering" here is different than that of verses
7,and 13 here it's peribolaion meaning a covering or a
wrapper. It's a compound word from peri around or about and
ballo to cast or throw. Note the following comments.
today, in mimicking what they've heard, say that the woman's hair is
her covering, as it seems to imply in verse 15. Such statements are
not at all original or honest. Besides, the Greek word used for
'covering' in 1 Corinthians 11:15 ("for her hair is given her for a
covering") is completely different from the one translated
'covered' prior to this in Chapter 11. This Greek word
(peribolaion), here in verse 15, means to 'wrap around'. Hence the
meaning would be ... "for her hair is given her for 'to be wrapped
around'". There is no clear idea here, nor from any early Church
writer, that the 'hair' is the women's 'covering'. Furthermore, it
would seem to be negating what Paul had just spent 13 verses on
prior to this in chapter 11. The words translated "covering",
"covered" or "cover" prior to verse 15 in Chapter 11 use an entirely
different Greek word (katakalupto). This one means to 'veil or cover
equally clear that the Apostle Paul is describing an actual veil
for the woman’s covering, rather than her hair. The two Greek words
used for hair and covering are not interchangeable, for
means to cover wholly, indicating some cloth hanging down that covers.
comes from peri – perimeter – indicating the natural hair
around the head."
Corinthians 11:15 goes on to reveal that woman's hair is given to
her "instead of (something) thrown around" (Greek "anti
peribolaion"). A good way to describe this long hair is as a
"wrap-round", something which falls around her body, and provides a
cover for her modesty. The usual translation "for a veil" fails to
draw the necessary distinction between this word and those very
different words used at 1 Cor 11:10 ("authority") and in 1 Cor 11:5
(something "down upon the head"). (This "wrap-round" is not
a substitute for the "down upon the head" (1 Cor 11:5) as sometimes
claimed, otherwise a man would need to be shaven in order not to
have anything down upon his head!)"
"But if any man seem to be contentious, we have
no such custom, neither the churches of God."
inspiration of the Holy Spirit, closes with the injunction that it was a
custom in his day, and it is something God wants all Church ages to
practice. He then says, but if any man seem to be contentious the
word seem means to think, suppose, or be of the opinion
is the Greek word philoneikos it’s a compound word from philos
to love and nikos to strife together its also defined as fond of
strife or love of strife.
words, "if any man is of the opinion to love strife over this
issue we have no such custom, neither the churches of God."
Some will say, "See, Paul says the Churches don't have the headcovering
custom." But wait a minute that's not what he's saying, he does
not say the Churches don't have that custom. If he did say that why
waste the time in communicating the last fifteen verses? Why tell us
that you praise us and order us to "keep the ordinances delivered to
us"? Is not the headcovering ordinance included in verse two of this
chapter? Of course it is!
they, the apostles, and the others fellowships (Churches) do not have
the custom sunetheia with manners—which is a totally
different word than that used in verse two. Which is paradosis
meaning tradition of arguing whether or not the sisters should wear a
headcovering. Why? Because only the Corinthians were having a problem
with it. No wonder, it was the Corinthians that were the most "carnal."
Only the Corinthians were having a problem obeying this tradition. In
many other countries around the world Christian women have no problem
wearing the headcovering. So, Paul was saying either there is no such
custom in the body of Christ/the Church--all those born again and called
out to wear the headcovering. Which would be illogical seeing he just
finished speaking about this custom in fifteen verses. Or he is saying
they don't have a custom or a manner of arguing about wearing it or not
because others sisters do. That is the more correct idea.
brother Paul told Timothy about folks that like to argue about truth of
the Scriptures instead of obeying.
"If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to
wholesome words, [even] the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to
the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing
nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof
cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings
of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that
gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself."
(1 Timothy 6:3-5)
is the teaching of the headcovering of Christian women is in the
Scriptures. It's a Christian practice that is to be obeyed through out
all ages; not just the first century. It is a Godly slap in the face of
satan showing his rebellion and disobedience. It is an obedient posture
in submitting to your husband as the head and declaring that you agree
with God's governmental design that He planned for us. It's considered
disobedient for a Christian woman not to wear the headcovering while
praying or prophesying. Down through the centuries satan has loved to
use his Jezebel's to derail the purpose of God and His Church. Does
history show that after the first century they still practiced the
headcovering? Yes, let's take a look.
people today consider head-covering to be of purely local cultural
significance at Corinth, or something which can be expressed
differently according to the prevailing cultural background. This
opinion cannot be correct because all New Testament churches,
whether predominantly Jewish or predominately Gentile, had the same
custom (1 Cor 11:16). This eliminates the possibility that the
tradition was of purely temporary or cultural significance, as
follows." (BIBLICAL AUTHORITY AND HEAD-COVERINGS by R H Johnston )
start from the beginning we find that the earliest reference to a
headcovering is found in Genesis 24:65.
she [had] said unto the servant, What man [is] this that walketh in
the field to meet us? And the servant [had] said, It [is] my master:
therefore she took a vail, and covered herself."
Genesis 6:1,2 we question what prompted the desire of the sons of God to
go after the daughters of men? Perhaps they did not cover themselves?
came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth,
and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the
daughters of men that they [were] fair; and they took them wives of
all which they chose."
Hebrew word for saw
in this passage carries the meaning to cause to look intently at, cause
to gaze at, or give attention to. This also happens to be the same word
to describe the perverted gaze of Ham, Noah's son, in Genesis 9:18. We
also discover the passages in Genesis 38:14,19 concerning Tamar's
she put her widow's garments off from her, and covered her with a
vail, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which [is] by
the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was
not given unto him to wife…And she arose, and went away, and laid by
her vail from her, and put on the garments of her widowhood."
period of history women might have gone out without a vail. However, in
the passage in which Rebekah "puts on a vail" it's because she is
showing modesty and submissiveness. Tamar is practicing the custom of
Canaanite goddess worship attire (see 2 Kings 23:7). Men in the Old
Testament wore a headcovering of some kind like a turban, which is still
in practice today in many Middle Eastern countries. We read of a "mitre"
being issued to the priests for the ministry of the tabernacle Exodus
28:4, Leviticus 8:9, and Zechariah 3:5. Reference is also made in Ruth
3:15, and Isaiah 3:20,23; Song of Solomon 5:7 to vails and coverings for
men wear a yarmulke Hebrew
kipa skullcap. Some wear one at all times others only during
prayer and at mealtime. The earliest Biblical reference to a
headcovering is in Exodus 28:4 where it is called a mitznefet.
It was part of the wardrobe of the High Priest. In other Biblical
references the covering of the head and face is regarded as a sign of
mourning (2 Samuel 15:30; Esther 6:12).
Talmud; however, associates the wearing of a headcovering more with the
concept of reverence to God and respect for men of stature. Yarmulke is
a distorted form of the Hebrew words yaray may'Elokim
meaning "in fear and awe of God." This idea is based, for the most part,
on a statement made by a fifth-century Babylonian talmudic scholar, Huna
ben Joshua, who said, "I never walked four cubits with uncovered head
because God dwells over my head" (from the Kiddushin 31a).
move through the Old Testament into the New Testament we come across
examples of those that were harlots not being covered in public (Luke
7:38; John 4). The New Testament teaches that harlots went uncovered
while sober women went covered (1 Corinthians 11:1-16).
Talmud states 'The sight of a woman’s hair constitutes an erotic
stimulus (Berakhot 24A).' 'Jewish women, married or not, should not walk
in the marketplace with their hair uncovered' (Shulhan Arukh, Even
Biblical and Talmudic times women covered their heads with scarves or
veils as a sign of chastity and modesty. To expose a woman's hair was
considered a humiliation (Isaiah 2:17 and Berochot 24a). Some Talmudic
scholars regarded the wearing of a headcovering as an expression of
guilt for their sin of Eve (Genesis 17:8).
proceed with our examination of headcoverings I would like to show a time line
headcoverings, or lack thereof, from early times to the present. As we
have seen the idea of any modesty or conviction of the headcovering
began to cease in about the 1930's. It really began to take hold in the
1950's and from that point American women have grown more and more
decadent and brazen in their appearance.
this country women don't cover their heads anymore for no other
reason than "that's the way we do it now" or "just because we don't
cover them anymore." That's about as logical as saying, "I kill
because I do." I've heard reasons like "that was for back then, in
their time and culture" etc. Such reasoning is illogical and
dishonest at best. It completely ignores the fact that even in this
country, women wore them universally just over a hundred years ago."
Below are various
quotes, pro and con, as to the headcovering. We simply quote them
for comparison and in no way agree with all, parts, or positions of
Hermas (AD 150)
meets me, adorned as if she were proceeding from the bridal
chamber...her head was covered by a hood."
Clement of Alexandria (153-217 a.d.)
also understands the words in 1 Corinthians 11:5 to refer to a veil of
fabric and not to a woman's hair.
will never fall, who puts before her eyes modesty, and her shawl; nor
will she invite another to fall into sin by uncovering her face. For
this is the wish of the Word, since it is becoming for her to pray
veiled" [1 Corinthians 11:5 GLP].
also been commanded that the head should be veiled and the face covered.
For it is a wicked thing for beauty to be a snare to men.
Tertullian (AD 198)
you uncover before God what you cover before men? Will you be more
modest in public than in Church? Be veiled virgin."
severe a chastisement will they likewise deserve, who during the
psalms—and at every mention of God—remain uncovered."
Hippolytus (170-236 a.d.)
Hippolytus, a church father from Rome, is wrongly ascribed the following
canon for worship (though perhaps wrongly ascribed to Hippolytus, it
appears to represent the practice of the church of that time in
Seventeenth. Of virgins, that they should cover their faces and their
John Chrysostom (340-407 a.d.)
Chrysostom was the preacher of Antioch. The following excerpts are taken
from Homily XXVI (1 Corinthians 11:2-16). Chrysostom identifies the
problem Paul addresses in 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 as
women used to pray and prophesy unveiled and with their head bare."
Especially to the point of a woman needing a separate head covering
other than her long hair (cf. 1 Cor. 11:15) is the following remark: "'
And if it be given her for a covering,' say you, 'wherefore need she add
another covering?' That not nature only, but also her own will may have
part in her acknowledgment of subjection. For that thou oughtest to be
covered nature herself by anticipation enacted a law. Add now, I pray,
thine own part also, that thou mayest not seem to subvert the very laws
of nature; a proof of most insolent rashness, to buffet not only with
us, but with nature also."
follows that being covered is a mark of subjection and authority. For it
induces her to look down and be ashamed and preserve entire her proper
virtue. For the virtue and honor of the governed is to abide in his
obedience." (Chrysostom.HOMILY XXVI. ON THE VEILING OF WOMEN.)
Constitutions (AD 390)
are in the streets, cover your head. For by such a covering, you will
avoid being viewed by idle persons…."
Jerome (345-429 a.d.)
Scripture does not endorse the practice of virgins shaving their heads
(rather the Scripture condemns such a practice in 1 Corinthians
11:14-15), nevertheless Jerome is quoted here because he clearly
understood Paul to be teaching that a woman ought to wear a fabric head
covering upon her head (this is especially obvious in this case for the
virgin's head was shaved of all hair).
usual in the monasteries of Egypt and Syria for virgins and widows who
have vowed themselves to God and have renounced the world and have
trodden under foot its pleasures, to ask the mothers of their
communities to cut their hair; not that afterwards they go about with
heads uncovered in defiance of the apostles command" [1 Corinthians
Augustine (354-430 a.d.)
Augustine, post-apostolic theologian prior to the Reformation, quotes 1
Corinthians 11:4,7 with regard to men as follows:
man praying or prophesying with veiled head shameth his head;' and, 'A
man ought not to veil his head, forsomuch as he is the image and glory
of God.'"Now if it is true of a man that he is not to veil his head,
then the opposite is true of a woman, that she is to veil her head. "We
ought not therefore so to understand that made in the image of the
Supreme Trinity, that is, in the image of God, as that same image should
be understood to be in three human beings; especially when the apostle
says that the man is the image of God, and on that account removes the
covering from his head, which he warns the woman to use, speaking thus:
'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.'"
Augustine - (Cited in Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, Schaff, ed. vol.
"...especially when the Apostle says that the man is the image of God,
and on that account, removes the covering from his head, which he warns
the woman to use, speaking thus..." (quoting 1 Cor. 11:7.)
likely that headgear for women was becoming more common by the seventh
century. It seems that Christian morality (based on St Paul's edicts)
was influential in this respect. By the eighth century it seems that
headcoverings were worn by all women. It seems that a close fitting cap
was worn by most women (perhaps similar to the slightly later caps from
York and Dublin), which sometimes left the hair at the forehead and
temples visible." (Angelcynn, Clothing and Appearance of the Early
Christian Anglo-Saxons (c. 600-800 A.D.)
11th and 12th c. it is very unusual to see a man wearing a hat, though
the women, unless they are very young or representing some virtue,
inevitably have some sort of headdress on…while most women wore
something that was more or less a derivative of a veil." (firstname.lastname@example.org
women usually wore their hair gathered up into a knot at the back of the
head, or coiled atop their head in some arrangement and often covered
their hair with a cap, veil (hustrulinet) or headdress. Several
sources indicate that it was mandatory that Norse women who were married
wear a headcovering, however the actual archaeology doesn't seem to
support this belief: "Many of the ninth and tenth century women's
burials at Birka reveal no headcoverings at all, let alone graves in
some other locations, although finds of headwear are more common in
Christianized areas like Dublin and Jorvík" (Carolyn Priest-Dorman,
Mistress Thora Sharptooth, OL, Viking Women's Garb in Art and
looked at dozens and hundreds of illuminations, pictures and medieval
artifacts that portray people in the civilian dress of various periods
and my observation is that you can't generalize. All through the Early
Christian, Migration and Carolingian Eras you don't see many people with
hats on, although you see an occasional crown, the women are inevitably
veiled and many of the soldiers are wearing helmets."
John Knox (1505-1572)
say, the woman in her greatest perfection was made to serve and obey
man, not to rule and command him. As saint Paule doth reason in these
wordes: 'Man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man. And man was
created for the cause of the woman, but the woman for the cause of man;
and therfore oght the woman to have a power upon her head,' (that is, a
coverture in signe of subjection)."
Knox, First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous [i.e., against
nature] Regiment [i.e., governing authority] of Women, in Works of John
Knox, David Lang, ed. vol. 4, p 377: "...and therefore ought the woman
to have a power on her head, that is, a coverture in signe of
(p. 392): "Even so, (saith he) oght man and woman to appeare before God,
bearing the ensigns of the condition whiche they have received of him.
Man... oght he to appear before his high Majestie bearing the signe of
his honour, havinge no coverature upon his heade...Beware Chrysostom
what thou saist! thou shalt be reputed a traytor if Englishe men heare
thee... He procedeth in these wordes, "But woman oght to be covered, to
witnesse that in the earth, she had a head, that is man. Trewe it is,
Chrysostom, woman is covered in both realmes, but it is not with a signe
of subjection, but it is with the signe of superioritie, to witte, with
the royal crowne." (Lest it bears saying, his "warning" to Chrysostom
was sarcastic. In context, Knox agrees with Chrysostom and is quoting
him against the Royalists.)
theologian of the Reformation preached three sermons from 1 Corinthians
11:2-16 from which the following excerpts are taken.
Calvin (cited in Men, Women, and Order in the Church: 3 Sermons by John
Calvin, by Seth Skolnitzky. Presbyterian Heritage Pub.):
women are thus permitted to have their heads uncovered and to show their
hair, they will eventually be allowed to expose their entire breasts,
and they will come to make their exhibitions as if it were a tavern
show; they will become so brazen that modesty and shame will be no more;
in short they will forget the duty of nature….So, when it is permissible
for the women to uncover their heads, one will say, 'Well, what harm in
uncovering the stomach also?' And then after that one will plead [for]
something else: 'Now if the women go bareheaded, why not also [bare]
this and [bare] that?' Then the men, for their part, will break loose
too. In short, there will be no decency left, unless people contain
themselves and respect what is proper and fitting, so as not to go
infer that the woman has her hair given her for a covering. Should any
one now object, that her hair is enough, as being a natural covering,
Paul says that it is not, for it is such a covering as requires another
thing to be made use of for covering it. And hence a conjecture is
drawn, with some appearance of probability — that women who had
beautiful hair were accustomed to uncover their heads for the purpose of
showing off their beauty. It is not…" (John Calvin's Commentary on Head
George Gillespie (1613-1648)
Gillespie, the youngest commissioners at the Westminster Assembly,
addresses the issue of women speaking as a voice of one in the public
worship services of the church when he says:
where find we that women who were prophetesses, and immediately
inspired, were allowed to deliver their prophecy in the church? I
suppose he had a respect to 1 Cor. xi:5, 'But every woman that prayeth
or prophesieth with her head uncovered, dishonoreth her head,' which is
meant of the public assembly, for the Apostle is speaking of covering or
uncovering the head in the church. . . . So that the Geneva annotation
upon ver. 5, gives a good sense of that text, 'That women which show
themselves in public and ecclesiastical assemblies, without the sign and
token of their subjection, that is to say, uncovered, shame
Group of Presbyterian Ministers from London during the time of the
Westminster Assembly (1646)
must have power (exousia) on her head, i.e., a veil is token of her
husband's power over her (1 Cor. 11:10) …."
word to the Female Sex only, who come into the Assembly with their hair
the most part uncovered, short to shorn, to the shame of their Natures
as afore-shew'd: as they may read [Num.5.18.], that that Woman that had
her hair uncovered before the Lord, in the Assembly or Worship of God,
were only such Women that their Husbands accused them for being
dishonest, so were tried by the Law for Jealousie. Mr. Ains. in
his Annotations on the words, Uncover the Woman's head, note what
the manner was, as the Hebrews write, that the Priest uncovered
the Woman's hair, and untied the locks of her head to make her unseemly;
hence saith the Apostle, Is it comely for a woman to pray unto God
with her head, to wit, her hair,
uncovered [I Cor.11.13.]? ...the name Vail, saith Mr. Ainsworth,
5.7. hath its name in the original of spreading, as being spread over
her head to cover her: such Vails were worn by Women, partly for
ornament, as appeareth by Isai. 3.23. partly for modesty, and in
sign of subjection to Men, especially their husbands, I Cor.
11.6,7,10." (Thomas Wall - To Defend the Head from the Superfluity of
Henry Alford (1810-1871)
Corinthians 11] 2-16. The law of subjection of the woman to the man
(2-12), and natural decency itself (13-16), teach that women should be
veiled in public religious assemblies."
phrase [in 1 Corinthians 11:4], "'having down from the head,' that is to
say, wearing a kerchief in the form of a veil coming down from the head
over the shoulders. And since the woman does not naturally belong to
public life, if it happen that in the spiritual domain she has to
exercise a function which brings her into prominence, she ought to
strive the more to put herself out of view by covering herself with the
veil, which declares the dependence in which she remains relatively to
1830s Women kept their heads modestly covered most of the time. They
wore "day caps" of fine linen or cotton, with ruffles around the face,
and chin ties. These were even worn under the cape hood, or under the
summer straw bonnet or winter quilted bonnet. Ladies of fashion wore
elaborately decorated bonnets when they left home: flowers, feathers,
lace, ribbons, ruchings and ruffles abounded.
R. Fausset (1821-1910)
co-authored with David Brown and Robert Jamieson the work, A Commentary,
Critical, Experimental, and Practical on the Old and New Testaments.
putting away the veil, she puts away the badge of her subjection to man
(which is her true 'honor'), and of her connection with Christ, man's
Head. Moreover, the head covering was the emblem of maiden modesty
before man (Gen. xxiv: 65), and chastity (Gen. xx: 16). By its unlawful
excitement in assemblies is avoided, women not attracting attention.
Scripture sanctions not the emancipation of woman from subjection:
modesty is her true ornament."
a threefold use, For decoration, as in Isa. iii. 23. 2. For a sign of
modesty, pleaded for by the apostle, 1 Cor. xi. 6. 3. And mainly a sign
of women's subjection to their own husbands..." (Banner of Truth reprint
of 1840 edition; originally published posthumously in 1668. p 280. James
Durham - Commentary on the Song of Solomon:Though Durham puts emphasis
on it as a sign for wives, he notes the second use as a sign of modesty,
which would be applicable to all Christian ladies.)
R. Vincent (His Word Studies in the New Testament was published in 1886)
head-dress of Greek women consisted of nets, hair-bags, or kerchiefs,
sometimes covering the whole head. A shawl which enveloped the body was
also often thrown over the head, especially at marriages or funerals.
This costume the Corinthian women had disused in the Christian
assemblies, perhaps as an assertion of the abolition of sexual
distinctions, and the spiritual equality of the woman with the man in
the presence of Christ. This custom was discountenanced by Paul as
striking at the divinely ordained subjection of the woman to the man."
G. Findlay (no specific date cited for his work on 1 Corinthians in The
Expositor's Greek New Testament, but it was written in the late 19th
woman to discard the veil means to cast off masculine authority, which
is a fixed part of the Divine order, like man's subordination to Christ
T. Robertson (His Word Pictures in the New Testament was published in
commenting on 1 Corinthians 11:4 ("having his head covered"), he points
"Literally, having a veil (kalumma understood) down from the head." Paul
declares in 1 Corinthians 11:6, "Let her be veiled. . . . Let her cover
up herself with the veil (down, kata, the Greek says, the veil hanging
down from the head)."
William Barclay, 1954
problem was whether or not in the Christian Church a woman had the right
to take part in the service unveiled. Paul's answer was bluntly this the
veil is always a sign of subjection; it is worn by an inferior in the
presence of a superior; now woman is inferior to man, in the sense that
man is head of the household; therefore it is wrong for a man to appear
at public worship veiled and it is equally wrong for a woman to appear
John Murray (1898-1975) was Professor of Systematic Theology at
Westminster Theological Seminary
excerpts are taken from a letter to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church
(Australia) concerning the matter of women being veiled in worship.
Paul appeals to the order of creation (Vss. 3b, vss 7ff), it is totally
indefensible to suppose that what is in view and enjoined had only local
or temporary relevance. The ordinance of creation is universally and
perpetually applicable, as also are the implications for conduct arising
convinced that a head covering is definitely in view forbidden for the
man (Vss 4 & 7) and enjoined for the woman (Vss 5,6,15). In the case of
the woman the covering is not simply her long hair. This supposition
would make nonsense of verse 6. For the thought there is, that if she
does not have a covering she might as well be shorn or shaven, a
supposition without any force whatever if the hair covering is deemed
Pope Paul VI promulgated the Roman Missal, ignoring mention of women’s
veils. But at the time the missal was published, it didn’t seem
necessary to keep mandatory such an obvious and universal practice, even
if it no longer had a "normative" value (Inter insigniores, # 4). (THE
VEIL Derived from a book in progress called: "The Unveiled Woman"
by Jackie Freppon.)
Vernon McGee (1904-1990)
"Apparently some of the women in the church at Corinth were saying, 'All
things are lawful for me, therefore, I won't cover my head.' Paul says
this should not be done because the veil is a mark of subjection."
Charles Caldwell Ryrie (The Role of Women in the Church was published in
angels desire to look into things pertaining to salvation, then they
should see as they look at veiled women in the assembly of Christians
the voluntary submission of a woman to her head. Thus the early church
(for this was the custom of the churches generally) while offering
religious equality in spiritual privilege insisted on showing in public
worship the principle of subordination of women by their being veiled."
Albrect Oepke (A contributor to the highly acclaimed Theological
Dictionary of the New Testament which was published in 1965)
veiling of women is a custom in Israel. A disgraced woman comes veiled
to judgment (katakekalummene, Sus.32). Yet one may suspect that a woman
muffled up (katekalupsato to prosopon) and lurking by the wayside is a
harlot (Gn. 38:15). This opens the way for an understanding of the
relevant NT passage. The veiling of women in the NT and the contemporary
the second Vatican Council, a mob of reporters waited for news after a
council meeting. One of them asked Msgr. Annibale Bugnini, then
secretary of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship, if women still
had to wear a headcover in the churches. His response was that the
Bishops were considering other issues, and that women’s veils were not
on the agenda. The next day, the international press announced
throughout the world that women did not have to wear the veil anymore. A
few days later, Msgr. Bugnini told the press he was misquoted and women
must still had to wear the veil. But the Press did not retract the
error, and many women stopped wearing the veil as out of confusion and
because of pressure from feminist groups.
Robert H. Gundry (A Survey of the New Testament was published in 1970)
instructions concerning the veiling of women also demand knowledge of
prevailing ancient customs. It was proper in the Roman Empire for a
respectable woman to veil herself in public.
Bruce Waltke ("1 Corinthians 1:2-16:An Interpretation" was published in
Bibliotheca Sacra in 1978)
Paul does not use the word veil [kalumma GLP], it seems reasonable to
suppose that he has this article of apparel in view. . . .To appear at
the public assembly, then, with inappropriate headdress would disgrace
the revision in 1983, Canon law had stated that women must cover their
heads "...especially when they approach the holy table" (can.1262.2).
But in order to reduce such a growing collection of books, the new
version of Canon law was subjected to concise changes. In the process,
mention of head coverings was omitted.
Noel Weeks (The Sufficiency of Scripture was published in 1988)
something ludicrous about being the head or authority while one at the
same time hides one's physical head. It follows therefore that praying
and prophesying are authoritative functions which call for an unveiled
head, unshrouded head. Hence any woman engaging in those activities must
also be bare-headed. Consequently Paul turns to what such unveiling must
mean for the woman. In contrast to the man, when she prays or
prophesies, the unveiling of her head must be dishonorable to her. What
does it mean for a woman to be bare-headed? As Paul says, it is
equivalent to being shaved or having her hair shorn off. That of course
is dishonoring for a woman. Hence she should not uncover her head."
Robert D. Culver (Contributed "A Traditional View" to Women in Ministry
Four Views which was published in 1989)
distinguishes sharply between the sexes as to appearance and activity in
formal Christian assemblies. A man's hair is to be short and his head
uncovered by hat or shawl, while a woman's hair is to be uncut and, in
visible recognition of submission to God's order, she is to wear an
additional head covering in order to veil, not her face, but head."
are not required to wear a head covering, except when up on the
bimah [the 'stage'' in front of the sanctuary]. However, women should
feel free to cover their heads at other times. Any hat (including a
kippah) will do just fine as a head covering; feel free to wear a
fashionable hat." (Beth El Temple Center, AD 2000)
women, according to the words of the holy Apostle Paul, go to God's
church with covered heads. For nearly two thousand years now, this
custom has been kept by faithful women and has been handed down from
generation to generation. It is a custom not only of the local churches,
but also of the Universal Church, and, therefore whether we be in a
Greek, in a Serbian or Russian church the women in the church have
their heads covered." (The Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. John the
Baptist, Washington, D.C.)
What others say
should, even in our dress and habit, avoid every thing that may dishonor
Christ. The woman was made subject to man, because made for his help and
comfort. And she should do nothing, in Christian assemblies, which
looked like a claim of being equal. She ought to have "power," that is,
a veil, on her head, because of the angels. Their presence should keep
Christians from all that is wrong while in the worship of God…It was the
common usage of the churches, for women to appear in public assemblies,
and join in public worship, veiled; and it was right that they should do
so. The Christian religion sanctions national customs wherever these are
not against the great principles of truth and holiness; affected
singularities receive no countenance from any thing in the Bible."
(MATTHEW HENRY’S CONCISE COMMENTARY)
man praying or prophesying — Speaking by the immediate power of God,
With his head and face covered either with a veil or with long hair
dishonoreth his head. St. Paul seems to mean, as in these eastern
nations veiling the head is a badge of subjection, so a man who prays or
prophesies with a veil on his head, reflects a dishonor on Christ, whose
representative he is.
woman — Who, under an immediate impulse of the Spirit, (for then only
was a woman suffered to speak in the church,) prays or prophesies
without a veil on her face, as it were disclaims subjection, and
reflects dishonor on man, her head. For it is the same, in effect, as if
she cut her hair short, and wore it in the distinguishing form of the
men. In those ages, men wore their hair exceeding short, as appears from
the ancient statues and pictures.
if a woman is not covered — If she will throw off the badge of
subjection, let her appear with her hair cut like a man’s. But if it be
shameful far a woman to appear thus in public, especially in a religious
assembly, let her, for the same reason, keep on her veil.
indeed ought not to veil his head, because he is the image of God — In
the dominion he bears over the creation, representing the supreme
dominion of God, which is his glory. But the woman is only matter of
glory to the man, who has a becoming dominion over her. Therefore she
ought not to appear, but with her head veiled, as a tacit acknowledgment
is not — In the first production of nature. For this cause also a woman
ought to be veiled in the public assemblies, because of the angels — Who
attend there, and before whom they should be careful not to do anything
indecent or irregular." (JOHN WESLEY’S COMMENTARY ON 1 CORINTHIANS)
corrected the more private abuses which prevailed among the Corinthians,
the apostle begins in this chapter to consider those which relate to the
mode of conducting public worship. The first of these is the habit of
women appearing in public without a veil. The veil in all eastern
countries was, and to a great extent still is, the symbol of modesty and
subjection. For a woman, therefore, in Corinth to discard the veil was
to renounce her claim to modesty, and to refuse to recognize her
subordination to her husband. The other was more in the fashion of the
common eastern veil, which covered the face, with the exception of the
eyes. In one form or other, the custom was universal for all respectable
women to appear veiled in public. — The apostle therefore says, that a
woman who speaks in public with her head uncovered, dishonoreth her
head." (CHARLES HODGE’S COMMENTARY ON 1 CORINTHIANS)
"Unveiled: without the peplum or shawl, which Greek women wore usually
on their shoulders, but in public over their heads. Now when men stand
uncovered before God, and women covered, they accept formally and
visibly by their own action this distinction of sex and the position in
reference to the other sex which God has given." (JOSEPH BEET’S
COMMENTARY ON 1 CORTINTIANS 11)
Puritan and Pilgrim women all wore one while working. Even later, the
pioneers in the westward expansion were still wearing bonnets, both
indoors and out. Pictures on the walls of the Roman catacombs show the
early Christian women wearing one; the Samaritan woman was shown without
one. Some old Bibles contain pictures replete with women in veils. The
from early church history that the woman's headcovering became the norm
in Antioch, Rome, and Africa. The apostle Thomas took the practice of
wearing the headcovering to India and the Christian women have been
wearing the veil there ever since. The practice continues to appear with
many of the Chinese, Asian, African, and Eastern European Christians.
Women there wear one today just by learning from the Scriptures, without
any explanation to the contrary.
recent history, there appears the Salvation Army bonnet in the 1700s and
coverings amongst the early Methodists. Susanna Wesley wore one.
Currently, the wife of Richard Wurmbrand (founder of The Voice of the
Martyrs) wears one, as do many others.
brides wear a wedding veil? Is it not a vestigial remnant from an
earlier practice? From where does the nurse’s cap come? And, of course,
the nun’s black veil? Charles Finney said of any devout Christian
practice, "You will appear eccentric. Your obedience will challenge
this from the early Church, who taught that "God is pleased to bless and
answer the petitions of the women who takes her place in His divine
cannot be unequivocally asserted, but the preponderance of evidence
points toward the public head covering of women as a universal custom in
the first century in both Jewish culture and Greco-Roman culture. The
head covering itself seems to have been a part of the outer garment
drawn up over the head of the woman like a hood; it may also have been a
shawl covering just the hair, and in some places, an actual face veil.
Evidently, however, some women in the Corinthian church began to avoid
wearing the customary head covering, not only in public, but also in the
church meetings. Apparently, what was taking place was that some women,
in expressing their liberation, even Christian liberty, were rejecting
subordination and with it the visible symbol of that subordination, the
that it was the loose women, the prostitutes and the like, who did not
wear such a covering. Women's hair was a prime object of male lust in
the ancient Mediterranean world. Societies which employed head coverings
thus viewed uncovered married women as unfaithful to their husbands,
that is, seeking another man (virgins and prostitutes, conversely, were
expected not to cover their heads, since they were looking for men)."
Canadian-born Muslim woman has taken to wearing the traditional hijab
scarf. It tends to make people see her as either a terrorist or a symbol
of oppressed womanhood, but she finds the experience liberating."
(Naheed Mustafa, A Muslim)
answer to the question is very simple - Muslim women observe HIJAB
(covering the head and the body) because Allah has told them to
do so. 'O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing women
to draw their outer garments around them (when they go out or are among
men). That is better in order that they may be known (to be Muslims) and
not annoyed...' (Qur'an 33:59)."
shame even the cult of Islam is devoted to their god to obey without
question! emphasis mine.
woman has truly yielded to the submission of God's governmental plan,
she should not wear headcovering. To do so would be hypocritical. It is
to be symbolic of her willingness to bend her knee in submission and
obedience to God's Word and His ordained governmental system. Wearing
headcovering doesn't in any way make one more spiritual. Some who wear
it, however, would say this step in obedience has resulted in a
magnification of their sense of God's love and peace, and that since
wearing it, they have noticed significant increase in spiritual
strength, stability, and growth." (Karen McDaniel)
excuse their uncovered heads by citing verse 15, 'Her hair is given her
for a covering.' Since she has hair, these assert, that is enough.
Surely a careful reading of the text would show such an interpretation
to be a weak avoidance of the truth as it is set out. Notice that for
the woman there are two glories involved. She is a glory: "The woman is
the glory of the man" (v. 7). But she also has a glory of her own. Her
hair is a glory to her (verse 15). For the glory that she is (the glory
of the man), God has given her a natural covering, her long hair. For
the glory that she has (her hair), she must submit her will to cover
that with another covering which she places over her own glory." (J.
Boyd Nicholson, Sr.)
try and argue that the head covering women ought to have on their head
which is spoken about in verses 4-13 is answered by a 'covering' of long
hair in verses 14-15. In other words, Paul simply says that women ought
to have long hair and not cut it short. This is appealing to Christian
women in the United States where head coverings are not in fashion in
the pagan culture. Sadly, it seems many Christian women desire to fit
the culture's mold of what is physically "beautiful". Being bombarded
with the magazine covers at the checkout line at the supermarket has
taken its toll. Oh that Christian ladies could clearly see that those
women on the magazine covers are nothing more than a parade of
prostitutes. It might also be appealing since women were raised without
headcoverings, so it would take some getting used to physically."
(http://www.john14-6.org/Women.html#XII. What About Head Coverings?)
since this was a custom which was in the Greek culture, it has no
bearing on us today in America, as we have no such custom. Our custom
has been that when a male enters a house (residence) or a house of
worship that he removes his hat or head covering. May we continue this,
out of respect, just as we "tip" our hat in the presence of a female.
No, God does not demand that American women wear a head covering in a
house of worship anymore than He does for us, as worshippers, to wash
one another's feet (that is another article), or to greet one another
with a holy kiss."
teachings have gone forth that say a woman must be under a male's
headship, or "covering," to be able to minister for the Lord. This has
even been applied to women who are unmarried. These false teachings
dictate they must be under the male leadership of some church if they
are to speak or minister. This is far from the true teaching of God's
Word. In the Old Testament…(Please note here, that I am not advocating
that women refuse to be a part of a local church, but rather saying she
may be the leader of a local church.)" (Betty Miller,
words, early Christian women apparently either wore veils at all times
while in public (which they admitted was a tradition, not a Biblical
teaching), or only while praying or teaching (as the Bible is teaching
in 1 Corinthians 11). Apparently they were not compelled to leave their
long hair uncut, provided it remained long."
while wearing head coverings no longer speaks to our culture, there is
an abiding principle in this text that is applicable to the twentieth
century…We cannot treat this complex question in detail, but the two
most probable suggestions can be set forth: (1) The custom Paul
recommends is for women to wear shawls. (2) Paul objects to long, loose
hair that falls down the back; he wants women to follow the usual custom
of piling their hair up on top of their heads. The problem with the
Corinthian women, then, is that they were wearing their hair loose and
flowing down their backs." (Thomas R. Schreiner) This person has some
ambiguous conclusions about the truth of the text, emphasis mine.
don't want to be unkind, but in my opinion a person must be totally
brainwashed to read this text and in all sincerity and earnestness
conclude it says what Shepherdship proponents and adherents assert it
says. Indeed, this text has been used as a premise for a number of
pretty silly and bizarre notions, ranging from the role of women in the
church all the way to the assertion that God is saying here that women
are supposed to wear little doilies on their heads when they attend
church. The second primary conceptual error on which the heretical
Discipleship/Shepherdship doctrines are established, is the matter of
"spiritual covering." Indeed, so-called "spiritual covering" is the very
centerpiece of these wholly unBiblical teachings and the
hyper-authoritarianism they engender."
begin by speaking plainly and directly: "spiritual covering" as
theorized by the Discipleship theosophy is an absolute myth. No
semblance of the Discipleship teaching version of "spiritual covering"
exists anywhere within the pages of Scripture. "Spiritual covering," in
the vein it is presented by proponents of these hyper-authoritarian
teachings, is an outright deception! It is a complete fabrication
concocted by the originators of these fallacious doctrines as a supposed
pretext for facilitation of purely self-aggrandizing objectives of
subjugation, domination, and control." (Steven Lambert, ThD)
evening of 16 November 1986 whilst reading the eleventh chapter of
Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, I was overcome by the Spirit and
began to understand the true meaning of what the apostle had written. In
reading the first sixteen verses I reflected on what I had been taught
in the churches, viz. that the practice of women covering their heads
during public worship was a local custom and not applic- able to our
day." (The Olive Branch,http://www.nccg.org/006.html)
wearing of a veil by a Christian woman is unnecessary, as that is not a
valid symbol of submission in our culture. And the wearing of a hat is
even more unneccessary, as the womanly wearing of hats is often a sign
of predatory aggression rather than submission in the Western world —
especially the fruited variety which appears on high days and holy
days!!! Fortunately, a woman's hair has been given to her as a covering
-- a glory to her, in fact -- and it will act as a sign of her womanly
submission, so she doesn't need to feel intimidated into wearing any
kind of hat by another Christian." (Alan Morrison)
proper for a woman to have a symbol of authority upon her head; what
that symbol consists of does not matter, but the necessity of the symbol
remains fixed even as the authority of man remains fixed. The woman's
covering is called "power," but it is a symbol of another's authority,
not her own, just as the references to glory in verses 7 and 15 speak of
the subjection to another's authority." (Tabletalk, June 21, 1996)
years ago I was convicted to study I Cor.11. Actually took a couple of
years to *listen*. Then took a while to study and then another while to
accept. Suffice it to say that for the last few years I have been
wearing a covering to pray and teach. It is a scary decision to make. It
is much more *obvious* than some of our other choices. We worship with a
group who considers the long, uncut hair to be the only covering
referred to in the passage. They have been very accepting. Can't say as
much for some others we worshipped with before! *grin* Would be happy to
talk about it." (Judy)
Personally, I do not understand why we would need head coverings, the
Bible teaches us that we are neither male or female in Christ (Galatians
3:28). That God does not distinguish between us (in gender), but looks
at the person. So if that is the case then why distinguish in time of
really between the individual and the Lord. I would never do it to look
more godly. I believe that the verse in 1 Corinthians refers to the hair
being given as a covering and I also think that it was cultural in the
Pauline days (is that how you say it?) I've talked with my pastor about
this, prayed about it, and read SEVERAL commentaries from well respected
commenters and came to the conclusion that in those days, if a woman had
short hair, she was labeled as a prostitute. Also, if a woman dared to
enter a church without a covering on her head, what a stumbling block
she would be!! I believe that Paul is talking about the fact that
everything is permissable (true) but not everything is beneficial and
that we need to be honoring within our culture. (Julie H.)
mine most of the time--a kerchief tied beneath my hair in back. I have
others but this is the most practical for me. With a barrette on the top
of my head, I can put a straight pin through my hair in front of the
barrette, and it stays neat and tidy all day without fussing. I wear
mine all the time for convenience. Whenever I want to pray I'm ready.
But I don't think it is necessary except for times of prayer or
teaching. (Judy Cook)
wearing a head covering nearly 3 years ago for two (well maybe three)
reasons: 1) "Because of the angels..." If it was a cultural thing then
why does the passage mention angels at all? This portion of scripture
haunted me for weeks when I was pondering this question. My pastor has
said that one would be hard pressed to find a commentary before the turn
of the century which *did not* advocate women wearing headcoverings (if
you can find such a commentary he would like to know of it). Artwork of
christian women praying and worshiping throughout the centuries
invariably have the women wearing headcoverings. (Mrs. Susan Davis)
So, is it
better to forget the whole thing until I mature a little more in the
pride area? I know the covering is not meant to cause me to feel
prideful, but to remind me of my submission....How subtly Satan twists
I wear a
headcovering daily, but it was not always so. I grew up in a mainline
denominational church where I came to know that God loves me. I lived by
grace and did whatever I thought grace dictated at the moment. Nothing
was too tight, nothing was too specific. Good feelings were all around.
Then, kicking and screaming, pinching and hollering and spitting, I went
down over the matter of the daily headcovering. What follows is the
input and thinking that made me draw such a conclusion. (Renee Ellison)
been covering my head about one month now. About two years ago God
started dealing with me from the 1 Corinthians 11:1-16 passage. I
started wearing stylish hats to church and prayer meeting. I thought the
covering was only for corporate worship…Praise the Lord! He would not
let me go! He kept it very heavy on my heart. I went to my husband and
asked him to tell me which was I should go. He, as I, is convicted that
I should veil my head. 1 Corinthians 11:6 is the verse that we cannot
dismiss. I am the only sister in our church at this time who covers her
head. Sometimes I feel very uncomfortable... I made one on my own and I
must admit it is unpracticle as well as ugly. I hope that my testimony
helps someone. (Mrs. Kristi Cassaro)
believe Christian men shall have short hair and not have their head
covered when praying or prophesying. We believe the wife likewise must
fulfill her Biblical role and be in subjection to her husband. We
believe the women's head should be veiled when praying or prophesying as
a sign of authority in light of God's headship principle. We believe the
sisters should also have long hair as taught in I Corinthians 11:1-16.
(New Covenant Mennonite Fellowship)
woman's dress, known as a caftan, which women wear inside the privacy of
their own homes. Because she is a good, middle-class lady, when she goes
outside the house she will wear a billowing overgarment, the djellaba,
and will wear the veil. Chema'a, the daughter, is a fourth grader in
public school. Because she is young, and still not of puberty, she does
not need to wear the veil or a djellaba. However, when she approaches
the age of marriage, she may well elect to wear the djellaba and veil.
covering within the first few months . . . in early 1996. My conviction
is to cover all day. I started out covering all day and then fell back
to just covering for prayer & worship. But something about my sinful
mind just found it too easy to fall into disobedience when I came home
from church and took off my veil, so I started back to wearing it all
the time. (Sister Vickie)
weeks before the feast of tabernacles 1998 I read it again and this
time, I was given understanding. I studied it for about a week and was
convicted that it was the right thing to do. I also studied Old
Testament references… I also prayed that I not be self conscious about
wearing a covering. The Sabbath (Shabat) before the Feast of Tabernacles
I wore a covering for the first time. (Keely A. Salisbury)
raised in a negligible Baptist family. As the l9SO's ended and the 60's
began my mother was sure to have us in church every Sunday and I
remember the women being covered with the most fashionable of hats. As
the 6O's bloomed into the 7O's hats went out of vogue and the Catholic
church took away their requirement that women be covered in Mass.
obedience became an "old-fashioned" word and rebellion was the by-word
of the day. Such was the "generation" in which I became of age…I was
saved in August of 198O in a Christian church after years of rebellion
and Christless life. Thanks to my dear mother-in-law, in 1983 I was
brought to a church where the headcovering during worship was
traditional, but only a few women were obedient. During membership
classes I was introduced to the Biblical passages that deal with the
covering and decided to wear the small lacy covering on Sunday mornings.
Now know that many within the "Christian" community hate me for my
obedience. I am ridiculed and called a "legalist". I have been deeply
hurt by many women, yes, women, who scorn my obedience and tear their
clothing over my testimony. Within my own church fellowship there are
those that scorn me and others precious sisters like me. (Mrs. Henry
I do not
deny having worn the veil,' the princess said. 'When I was a child my
aunt Christina, whom you know to be a determined  woman, in order
to protect me against the violence of the Normans, put a piece of black
cloth on my head, and when I removed it gave me blows and bad language.
So I trembling and indignant wore the veil in her presence. But as soon
as I could get out of her sight I snatched it off and trampled it
underfoot.' In a lively way she goes on to describe how her father
seeing the veil on her head became angry and tore it off, saying he had
no intention other than that she should be married. Anselm, before
complying with the wish of the princess, convened a chapter at Lambeth,
but after hearing their decision, he declared Matilda free and united
her in marriage to the king. (WOMAN UNDER MONASTICISM CHAPTERS ON
SAINT-LORE AND CONVENT LIFE BETWEEN A.D. 500 AND A.D. 1500 BY LINA
there it is what more evidence do you need in regards to the
headcovering issue? Let us follow the apostle's plea.
"Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me
in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered [them] to
you." (1 Corinthians 11:2)
Those called out, elected, Godly, remnant, saints of God, Christian
women should wear a headcovering while praying or prophesying (reading
or speaking God's word the Bible) and while coming together as the
Church (called out ones) in fellowship. It is a matter of proper order
and submission. The submissive woman who knows her place (which modern
day culture in America seeks to remove) and happily wears the
headcovering because it is a reminder of her subjection to her husband,
and men in the body of Christ, and ultimately her God.
lead you to truth, and that the Spirit of Christ dwell in you richly.
Comments or Questions?
Common opinion concerning
chapter divisions attributes them to Cardinal Hugo of Saint Cher for use
in his concordance to the Latin Vulgate (c. 1240, first printed, with
modification, at Bologna, 1479). This opinion rests on the direct
testimony of Gilbert Genebrard (d. 1597), that "the scholastics who with
Cardinal Hugo were authors of the concordance" made the division...The
better opinion is, that Stephen Langton, archbishop of Canterbury (d.
1228), made the chapter division to facilitate citation. Before the
invention of printing it had already passed from Latin manuscripts to
those of other tongues, and after the invention of printing it became
general. It has undergone slight variations from the beginning to the
present day. Many early printed Bibles, especially Greek Testaments,
besides these chapters retain also the old breves or titloi noted in the
margin. (see above, II, 1, § 5). The chapters were at first subdivided
into seven portions (not paragraphs), marked in the margin by the
letters A, B, C, D, E, F, G, reference being made by the chapter number
and the letter under which the passage occurred. The first portion of
the Bible printed with the Masoretic verses numbered was the Psalterium
Quincuplex of Faber Stapulensis, printed at Paris by Henry Stephens in
1509. In 1528 Sanctes Pagninus published at Lyons a new Latin version of
the whole Bible with the Masoretic verses marked and numbered. He also
divided the Apocrypha and New Testament into numbered verses; but these
were three or four times as long as the present ones. The present New
Testament verses were introduced by Robert Stephens in his Greco-Latin
Testament of 1551 (see above, II, 2, § 2). Stephens says in his preface
that the division is made to follow the most ancient Greek and Latin
Head covering Head covering
Christian Head covering