5.29.2016

The Main Point of 1 Corinthians 11:2-16


I puzzled about 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 for years, and eventually began wearing a head covering during worship even though I did not really understand the passage.

But I kept on trying to figure it out, and finally came across something which turned on the light for me.

The key to the whole passage, I believe, is verse 7. 
Once I saw the point of what Paul was saying in that verse, many other puzzling things gradually became clear.








Once I understood the meaning of the symbol, the passage stopped being murky and became clear.

The implications are obvious:  whenever we come into God's presence, we are to come humbly, not showing off our own glory, but acknowledging God's authority and glory.  
When we worship God, we admire and reverence and praise and glorify Him, not ourselves.
Man's glory is to be hidden from sight ---- and God's glory alone is to be seen.


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7 comments:

  1. I am also a member of the church. Thank you for this post. I will share more later.

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  2. Have you studied the practice of headcovering through christian history and what the church fathers have to say about it? It's very interesting. All christian women covered all the time until the protestant "reformation", then it started to wane in protestant groups as tradition was rejected and liberal interpretations of the bible became part of practices in different sects. By the mid 19th century and 1st wave feminism, most protestants only covered in church, and with loose versions of covering. By the mid 20th century and 2nd wave feminism, catholic women also threw away the head covering. It is making a come back though. I veil full time. You should read Tertulian's "the veiling of virgins", written around 200 AD I believe. Good stuff. Particularly explaining of Paul's reason of "because of the angels " in 1 Corinthians 11, tying to Gen 6:4.

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    1. Thank you for your comment! Yes, I have looked through the history in the 30-page appendix that David Philips has in his "Covered Glory" article --- there is a link in the "Ancient Culture" section of this web site. Also I believe Paul Williams talks about the history of the head covering in his book (I've also got a link to that in the same section --- they are both free downloads). I remember Philips mentioned Tertullian, but it's been awhile since I read it. I do not wear my head scarf all the time, only during worship and prayer at church and also whenever I pray or read the Bible whether in church or not --- for reasons which I explain in the "All the Time?" and "Prayer" sections of this web site. If you are viewing this site on a mobile phone you may not be able to see the blue section links along the left side. I am still working on this site, and want to make a Table of Contents so the sections can be accessed whether on desktop or mobile. Thank you again for your comment! It means so much to me to hear from other women who practice the head covering, since I am the only one in my family and at church who does this.

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  3. I did not begin covering my head consistently until late August 2018. For a month or so before that, I tried it on and off and prayed for the Holy Spirit to direct me. As time has passed in just these few months, the reasons I feel convicted that I should cover (basically full-time) have only deepened. And the number of reasons seem to multiply. One Bible scholar speaking of 1 Corinthians 11:5 brought up a perspective that had not before occurred to me. He points out that in 1 Corinthians 11:3 the use of the word "head" is not of the body part over the neck but refers to the authority or power over each (the head of every man is Christ; the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God). This brings a new meaning to "dishonoring her head" by not covering. Also, in 1 Corinthians 11:4 it says "every man praying or prophesying with his head covered dishonoreth his head" (dishonors Christ is how I read this); and IF hair were the kind of covering Paul was talking about here, he would be saying that all men who had even short hair were "covered" and therefore should keep their heads shaven. We know he did not mean that; therefore we know he meant a fabric covering. It's all very interesting.

    As you mentioned, there is a HUGE cultural component about this issue today. Women who see other women wearing head covering are easily OFFENDED. What a switch! I believe it is due to a feminist conviction that a woman wearing head covering (other than clearly due to fashion or cold weather) is the symbol a downtrodden or somehow "lowered" or abused woman who is thus accepting her minimalized status as a helpmate to man. Just as Lucifer wants to be higher than the Most High; so too feminism wants woman to rule over man. This is, I believe, the crux of the "offense" many women feel when they see head-covered women.

    Conversely, it is interesting to note that since I have begun head-covering, it has brought out the gentleman and protector side of many men I come across in daily life, who are many times more likely to open the door for me, offer to help me carry my bags, or get up to give me a seat on a filled-up bus. This is NOT due to attractiveness (or youth) on my part. I possess neither.

    One of the most astonishing "hints" I got was a dream I had soon after I began wearing head-covering basically all the time (I say basically because I go uncovered for hours after washing my hair for instance, because it takes a while to dry, but I do not go out in public uncovered.) In the dream I was told that it was my honor that I wear the head-covering. That was a very nice affirmation for me~!

    One issue I have is the hijab: personally, I prefer that look more than any other head covering, and it looks I think most like the kind of head coverings one would see on a woman in biblical times. However, today it is equated with being Muslim -- and I live in a neighborhood with more than a few Muslims. I suppose the day will come that I will wear hijabs (if I can find them in cotton material and they are affordable), but I know it will require even more boldness on my part: to let any Muslim know, who may assume I am Muslim by saying "Salam Allaikum" to me (which means peace be upon you), I will reply with "Allaikum Salam" (peace be upon you) and "Oh, and I am a Christian." I imagine many others would have negative attitudes toward me -- and perhaps Jews and Christians because they would mistake me for Muslim or feminists because of their usual bias against headcovering. I believe it is a powerful tool for the kingdom, women wearing head covering, but those of us who are doing it now are most likely to bear the brunt of negative attitudes toward ourselves.

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    1. please see regular comment after yours --- I'm afraid I clicked the wrong reply button; I meant to respond to your comment, but instead I guess I just added on another comment to the post! sorry

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  4. Thank you so much for your comment! I agree; I believe the physical head of the man symbolizes or represents Christ and for a man to cover up his physical head is a symbol of covering up or hiding from view the authority of Christ and the glory of God --- it dishonors Christ. And likewise the physical head of the woman symbolizes or represents the authority and glory of man ---- and to have the authority and glory of man uncovered or on view during worship is to symbolically give glory to man instead of to God.
    I think you are probably correct about the feminist viewpoint, although I have not received any flak from wearing my covering. Of course the only time I wear it in public other than worship services is when I pray before a meal in a restaurant, or when I happen to read my Bible in a waiting room or something.
    Thanks again for taking the time to leave a comment!

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Thank you so much for your comment! I appreciate any comments, either pro or con, as long as they are made in a manner respectful to others. I want this to be a place where Christian women can think this issue through and reason together, without the quarrelsome type of argument and debate. Since this blog is intended for women only, comments from men will not be published.