Women, Will You Cover Your Head?

A clear explanation of first Corinthians chapter 11:1-16

Head covering


"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 1:8,9)

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 of the believer is the matter presented for consideration as a deep reflection of the inner spiritual life and observation of you who are born-again.

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.

To accept truth resulting in strict obedience we must have a final authority; that final authority is the Lord Jesus Christ. 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 matter. Sometimes our Lord makes no mention directly about a teaching, but through the Holy Spirit by His apostles He has made it clear.

So is this for us today? If you follow Jesus and, "teaching them to observe all things", and following Jesus through Paul with "all the churches of God" -- then 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 207 A.D.)  The average Christian, in regards to the issue of head coverings for Christian women, usually respond that it's "archaic," "of the first century," or "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.


Chapter 1
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. (see footwashing) 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.

In the Old Testament

The Hebrew word for veil, covering, and head are as follows:

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, vesture.

Head – (rosh roshe) head, chief, beginning.

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, prominent.

Chapter 2
The Text

In studying the 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 loose morals.

"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)

This is 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.

What this 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 word "now" in verse two.

Paul, by 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 you. (v.2)

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)

To know (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 our bodies. How do we know this? Well, let's draw this out in a simple paraphrase and you will see what I mean.

...that the head (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.

The 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.

Jesus 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; Ephesians 5:23).

Every man praying or prophesying, having [his] head covered, dishonoureth his head. (v.4)

How clear do you want God to be? I think God is very clear here. After teaching us our "position" in v.3 We 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 mean.

Every man praying or prophesying, having [his] head (authority or supremacy which would be Christ) covered, dishonoureth his head (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 eyeballs) covered, dishonoureth his head (his authority or supremacy which would be Christ).

God allows Paul to reiterate this teaching to make it clear to us. 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.

It's 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 follows:

greek1.jpg (6414 bytes)

What we notice is the words greek2.jpg (1918 bytes) 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.

A literal translation reads as follows:

"Every 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)

Some early translations read:

"Every man praying or prophesying having anything on his head, shames his head." (William Tyndale, Tyndale Translation, 1534)

"Every man praying or prophesying having anything on his head shameth his head." (Geneva Translation, 1557)

The point 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." (Luke 18:13)

In fact, here is what some of the early Christians had to say about not bowing the head.

"We also raise the head and lift the hands to heaven." (Clement of Rome, AD 96)

"We lift our eyes to [heaven], with hands outstretched." (Tertullian, AD 195)

"The tax collector did not pray with eyes lifted up boldly to heaven, nor with hands proudly raised." (Cyprian, AD 250)

The 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." (Hebrews 13:6)

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).

It says 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.

"And 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 nails."

Some will say, "but wait, verse 15 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 goes on.

"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)

The 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 covered."

"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." (Numbers 5:18)

In the 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)

He describes the direct term for man in this verse--aner meaning man or husband, and not the general term anthropos. 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 5:23).

"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)

This is 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." (Genesis 2:21-23)

It's very 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." (v.10)

This 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 cause 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. 

The 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 us.

"…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." (Matthew 4:6b)

"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 12:22)

"…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 16:27)

She also 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 4:18)

"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)

It's that 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) because "…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 24:64,65)

"satan 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," p.16)

"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 not thunder. 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." (Romans 11:36)

"Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? " (v.13)

In this 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.

He says 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?" (v.14)

The 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." (Deuteronomy 22:5)

When he 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." (v.15)

He now 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 5, 6, 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.

"Many 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 up oneself'."

"It is 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 katakalupto means to cover wholly, indicating some cloth hanging down that covers. Peribolaion comes from peri – perimeter – indicating the natural hair around the head."

"1 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." (v.16)

Paul, by 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 of. Contentious 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.

In other 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!

He says 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.

Look what 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)

The truth 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.

Chapter 3
Some History

"Some 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 )

If we start from the beginning we find that the earliest reference to a headcovering is found in Genesis 24:65.

"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."

In 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?

"And it 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."

The 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 duplicity.

"And 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."

In this 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 women.

Jewish 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).

The 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).

As we 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).

"The 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 ha-Ezer 21:2)."

In 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).

As we proceed with our examination of headcoverings I would like to show a time line of 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.

"In 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 those quoted.

Hermas (AD 150)

"A virgin 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.)

Clement also understands the words in 1 Corinthians 11:5 to refer to a veil of fabric and not to a woman's hair.

"And she 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].

"It has 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)

"…Why do you uncover before God what you cover before men? Will you be more modest in public than in Church? Be veiled virgin."

"How severe a chastisement will they likewise deserve, who during the psalms—and at every mention of God—remain uncovered."

Hippolytus (170-236 a.d.)

To 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 worship).

"Canon Seventeenth. Of virgins, that they should cover their faces and their heads."

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

"Their 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."

"It 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.)

Apostolic Constitutions (AD 390)

"When you 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.)

"Though 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).

"It is 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 11:5]."

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:

"'Every 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. 3, 523):

"...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.)

AD 800

"It is 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.)

AD 1100-1200

"In the 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." (sclark@epas.utoroto.ca SusanCarroll-Clark)

"Married 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 Archaeology)

"…I have 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)

"First, I 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)."

John 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 subjection."

And again (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.)

John Calvin (1509-1564)

The theologian of the Reformation preached three sermons from 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 from which the following excerpts are taken.

John Calvin (cited in Men, Women, and Order in the Church: 3 Sermons by John Calvin, by Seth Skolnitzky. Presbyterian Heritage Pub.):

"So if 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 headlong overboard."

"Hence we 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 Coverings)

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:

"But 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 themselves.'"

A Group of Presbyterian Ministers from London during the time of the Westminster Assembly (1646)

"The wife must have power (exousia) on her head, i.e., a veil is token of her husband's power over her (1 Cor. 11:10) …."

"Yet a 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, on Song 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 Naughtiness,1688)

Henry Alford (1810-1871)

"[1 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."

Frederick Godet (1812-1900)

"The 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 her husband."

In the 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.

A. R. Fausset (1821-1910)

Fausset co-authored with David Brown and Robert Jamieson the work, A Commentary, Critical, Experimental, and Practical on the Old and New Testaments.

"In 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."

"It hath 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.)

M. R. Vincent (His Word Studies in the New Testament was published in 1886)

"The 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. 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 century)

"For a 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 (3 f.)."

A. T. Robertson (His Word Pictures in the New Testament was published in 1931)

In commenting on 1 Corinthians 11:4 ("having his head covered"), he points out:

"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

"The 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 unveiled."

John Murray (1898-1975) was Professor of Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary

These excerpts are taken from a letter to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (Australia) concerning the matter of women being veiled in worship.

"Since 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 therefrom."

"I am 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 sufficient."

In 1970, 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.)

J. 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 1958)

"If 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)

"The 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 world."

During 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)

"Paul's 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)

"Although 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 one's head."

Before 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)

"There is 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)

"God 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."

AD 2000

"Women 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)

"Orthodox 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.)

Chapter 4
What others say

"We 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)

"Every 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.

But every 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.

Therefore 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.

A man 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 of it.

The man 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)

"Having 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)

"The 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 Samaritan woman

We know 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.

In more 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.

Why do 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 others."

Consider 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 order"

"It 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 head covering."

"It seems 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)."


"A 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)

The 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)."

What a shame even the cult of Islam is devoted to their god to obey without question! emphasis mine.

"Unless a 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)

"Some 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.)

"Now some 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?)


"Thus, 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."

"Recent 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, http://www.bible.com/answers/acoverin.html)

"In other 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." (http://www.bibledoctrines.com/html/hairveil.htm)

"Also, 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.

"Now I 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."

"Let me 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)

"On the 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)

"…the 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)

"It is 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)


"Several 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 prayer? (Barbara)

it's 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.)

I wear 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)

I started 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 things! (Loraine)

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)

I have 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)

We 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)

Moroccan 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. (http://geogweb.berkeley.edu/GeoImages/Miller/momand.html)

I started 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)

A few 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)

I was 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 Elsea, Jr.)

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 [209] 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 ECKENSTEIN)

Well, 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)

Chapter 5

Practical Application: 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.

May God lead you to truth, and that the Spirit of Christ dwell in you richly.


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1- 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 copies.

Head covering Head covering

Christian Head covering