What Does the Bible Say about Head Coverings?
I will give a literal rendering of the text. After this, I will have a series of questions and proposed answers for your consideration.
1 Corinthians 11:1 Be imitators of me according as I am also of Messiah. 2Now I commend you, brethren, that ye have remembered me in all things. And ye keep the guardings according as I delivered to you. 3But I wish you to know that the Messiah is the head of every man and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Messiah. 4Every man praying or prophesying having, on the head, puts his Head to shame. 5But every woman praying or prophesying with the head uncovered puts her head to shame. For it is one and the same with having been shaved. 6For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if shameful to a woman to be shorn or to be shaven, she shall be covered. 7For man indeed does not owe to have the head covered, being the image and glory of God. But woman is the glory of a man. 8For man is not from woman, but woman from man. 9For also man was not created on account of the woman, but woman on account of the man. 10The woman owes to have authority on the head because of this: on account of the angels/messengers. 11However, man is not apart from woman or woman apart from man in Yehovah. 12For as the woman is from the man, so is the man also via the woman, but all things are from God. 13Judge in yourselves. Is it comely for an uncovered woman to pray to God? 14Or doesn’t even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonour to him? 15But if a woman has long hair, it is glory to her! For the long hair is given to her instead of a covering. 16But if anyone thinks to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor the assemblies of God.
Questions and Proposed Answers
(Numbers correspond to verse numbers.)
1. a) Was Paul claiming perfection? He wasn’t, but he was stating that he imitated Messiah. Messiah was obedient to Yehovah the Father, and He selflessly served others. He was willing to (and did) give his life to save the lives of others. Paul did the same. Yeshua always taught Truth. Paul did the same once he was in faith of Yeshua. Imitating Messiah in this manner would require perfection. Yet, Paul’s statement shows a measuring system: “Be imitators of me according as I am also of Messiah.” This means that if Paul were not to imitate Messiah, they should not imitate him.
1. b) How would they know if Paul was imitating Messiah or not? They would learn that by word of mouth and by direct observation of Paul. Those who hadn’t seen Messiah were able to obtain direct documents of His works and teachings; they were very quickly available after Messiah rose from the dead.
1. c) What does imitate mean? It means to do the same things in the same manners. They could not imitate him by acting as missionaries (unless they were called). Since Paul was not a missionary of Yeshua until He called Him to that task, they should imitate him in this also: not playing missionary (which is almost universally what is done in Christianity, today).
1. d) Did Paul ever do anything that was contrary to imitating Messiah? He once upbraided Peter in public in a way that he, himself, by the Spirit of Yehovah told others not to do.
Galatians 2:11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. 12For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. 13And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. 14But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
1 Timothy 5:1 Rebuke not an elder, but intreat as a father, the younger men as brethren.
1. b) Did Paul give this imitation command because those present couldn’t see Messiah, but they could see Paul (who imitated Messiah)? The Spirit of God through Paul gave this command. Thus, Yehovah recognized Paul as a proper imitator of Messiah. Thus, they could see Messiah in Paul and in his life as it was from that point on. Every person (regardless of faith) is the very image of God. Behaviours are what make distinctions. Imitating has to do with behaviours, not appearance.
2. a) What have they done that shows that they have remembered Paul in all things? They kept the guardings exactly as Paul delivered to them. (They also were ready to contribute to the poor Saints in Jerusalem as they had been apprised.) They very much remembered Paul in his various situations.
2. b) What guardings are these? They are the prophecies of the ‘Old Testament’ regarding Messiah and the commandments that Yehovah gave to non-Jewish Saints. These include events yet to come, since they had to be guarded. All the appointments of God are to be guarded (often commanded in the Tenach). They also guarded the commands that Yehovah gave to Israel—not as to do them (because they weren’t presumptuous), but because they are vital for understanding God, understanding righteousness, and understanding the plan of God and its working in the End Times. That is the basis of Hope. No one who cares about the Bible and God in the Bible can or will ignore Israel and the commands given to Israel.
2. c) What is the benefit of guarding these things (especially referring to Messiah’s visitations that He will do far into the future)? It is always important for one to be ready against the time of the Rapture or the person’s death. The benefit of guarding the very things that are normally ignored (and thus not guarded) in nearly all churches claiming Christianity is so that the individuals doing the guarding will not be fooled by false declarations of God’s intents and timings. A person who knows eschatology exactly right and who fears God will have little difficulty walking righteously, having no false expectation (of the supposed ‘soon return’ of Messiah, of disasters supposedly being ‘signs’ of God’s anger, of a death of a child showing that God is ‘displeased’, and therefore that He supposedly killed the child, etc.), and truly being consistent in doing right.
2. d) When did Paul deliver these things to guard? It was during a previous journey or in a previous letter:
1 Corinthians 5:9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
1 Corinthians 7:1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
2. e) Why did they have to keep the guardings exactly as Paul delivered to them? Was Paul infallible? He delivered the guardings of Messiah as a prophet. Thus, he spoke infallibly. These guardings had to stay accurate from generation to generation in order for what they taught to remain accurate.
3. a) In what way is Messiah the head of every man? Every man (that is, every male) is in the image of God (the woman also being in the image of God, but built later) and is not above Messiah in authority, but is subject to Him. He (the Messiah) is God. Thus, He is the boss. Most men do not know that Messiah is the boss—that He is sovereign and all-powerful, but they will in the Millennium. Messiah will be both King of kings and Lord of lords in the Millennium. His head status will be very evident as He rules with an iron rod.
Most readers of this text assume that it refers to Christian men. But the text does not demand any such thing. Yet, only folks who believe the text will take the head-status of Messiah seriously. The text will speak of Adam, and Adam never was a Believer of the Truth of God. (He resented Him.) The text giving the conversation between Yehovah and Adam after the fruit-eating incident shows this resentment. No text indicates that he turned from that.
Genesis 3:12 And the man said, “The woman whom Thou gave to be with me—she gave me of the tree. And I ate.”
3. b) Is a man always the head of a woman? This is referring to a marriage-type relationship. It is not referring to a brother with a sister or a son with a mother or men in general with women in general. The text is only referring to that relationship type formed by Adam and Eve.
3. c) What is the order of headship according to this verse? God is head of Messiah Who is head of every man who is head of a woman.
3. d) What does a woman mean? It is referring to the marriage relationship. The term woman is the same as wife; the Hebrew word for wife is practically never used. It is Biblically right to say, “She is my woman,” and for her to reply, “He is my man.”
3. e) Why is a man the head of a woman? She was made from him to be a helper. He wasn’t made for her. But there is a second part to this. She was not responsible for the fall due to sin, but he was. She was in transgression having been deceived; he was not deceived. His actions were intentional and thought out. Therefore, part of Yehovah’s rehabilitation of males is to set them as head and to bring them to responsibility to lead and guide their families (of which they are the husband) to do right before God, reversing the sin that a male brought into the world.
4. a) What does “Every man praying or prophesying having, on the head” mean? We searched the text to find any place that mentioned a head covering like a scarf, a hat, or a turban. We found no direct reference. Translators assumed that the text referred to some object like that as the covering, but what we found was in verse 14: long hair. If the text is self-contained and doesn’t have a reference to some other text, all the information needed to understand that text will be right there.
If the above is true, then the text would be implying, ‘Every man praying or prophesying having [long hair] on the head…’ This is not contrary to the culture that Yehovah taught Israel, since all Nazarites grew their hair, and some were assigned to be Nazarites from birth.
Since verse 16 denies that this instruction to Corinth is also the custom of the Israelis and the assemblies/congregations of God (that is, those groups consisting of Saints), I understood that this is speaking of the Corinthian culture. That culture must have looked badly on men with long woman-like hair, and it must also have looked badly on women wearing their hair cut short (shorn) like men or shaved like men who have all their hair removed from the scalp.
4. b) If the above is true, should Godly women maintain long hair if possible, and should Godly men keep their hair short? This is an issue of culture, and it is not an issue of the Word of God. Making one’s culture into an extension of the Word of God shows contempt for the Word of God.
On the other hand, taking pieces of the Word of God and making them into a culture is also treating the Word of God with contempt.
Yet, many brought up in these traditions are unaware of the nature of the founder who misused the Bible to produce a dress code. Those who are brought up in ignorance are not showing contempt, but are following a new cultural tradition from their parents. There is nothing wrong with a new cultural tradition even if it includes women wearing dumpy clothes and all having curls over their foreheads with their hair color being mandatory green as long as they don’t misuse the Bible to prove that Godly women must dress and color their hair this way. Such arrogant exclusivity has never been the way of gracious, Godly men or women. Instead, they serve others to save lives.
In some cultures, long hair is dangerous. Having long hair, then putting it up is akin to cutting one’s hair, though one can let it down. The only case where the Bible specifies long hair of which I am aware is in the case of the Nazarite vow for life.
Judges 13:5 For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head. For the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb.
4. c) What is shameful about a man praying or prophesying with something on his head? If this is speaking of his having long hair as verse 14 addresses, it is dishonourable in the Corinthian culture. I propose that this culture came with a history of warriors. A warrior with long hair has a major disadvantage: a handle for an enemy to grab. Such cultures saw long-haired men as effeminate—or at least not useful in battle. If that is in the psyche of the culture, a person who is out of the norm in this way will be viewed as not honourable in the culture, and therefore has no business praying or prophesying in the assembly. (Imagine in today’s conservative churches how a cross-dressing preacher would seem.) There is no absolute standard regarding hair length and honour in the Bible’s culture that Yehovah gave to Israel.
4. d) Why do Orthodox Jewish men of today cover their heads when praying in the synagogues? They (or their ancestors) determined to do and be the opposite of the ‘Christians’ who identified Jesus (or Yeshua) as the Messiah. Thus, if the ‘New Testament’ commanded a male to pray with his head uncovered, the orthodox leaders of centuries ago commanded followers of Judaism to pray with their heads covered. They apparently also thought this text referring to head coverings, when it appears to only deal with hair.
5. a) Why would every woman praying or prophesying with the head uncovered put anything or anyone to shame? A woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered is as if she is a congregational leader, and her husband as a follower of her, a subordinate. If she prays or prophesies with her head covered, however, she shows respect to her husband in this ancient culture. Thus, the text shows that she puts her head (her husband) to shame by that behaviour. She is showing that she isn’t under the authority of a husband if her head is shorn or shaved. (This text does not speak of a single woman at all.)
5. b) Why is her praying with her head uncovered compared with her being shaved? In some cultures, if her head is shaved, she is bemoaning the loss of her parents, and she is declaring a disassociation from her parents who may have died or been killed. If she is disassociated, she is not married. Thus, both cases declare singlehood—that she is not in a marriage situation or under a father. She is under no man. A woman shaved shows her humiliation. She has been greatly humiliated, and therefore cuts off her glory—her hair.
Her head being uncovered gives her the look of a man and the station of a man in the assembly, as if she were a man.
The Teaching of Yehovah (Torah) is very strong regarding a commandment against cross-dressing. No man is to dress like a woman, and no woman is to dress like a man. That is a death-penalty offense. This was not a command given to the Gentiles, but to Israel. These folks in Corinth also have a propriety regarding dressing. A woman who takes on the hair style of a man is shaming her husband (assuming she is married, as this text does assume). A woman whose hair is in a butch format in this culture is shaming her husband. Praying or prophesying to God while shaming her husband is a flagrant violation.
6. a) Why should a woman who is not covered be shorn? (This is referring to a married woman who will be praying or prophesying.) Shearing is like what one does to a sheep, not a stylish haircut. It would be an insult to the woman because she has insulted her husband and the culture by refusing to have her head covered with hair (or something) while praying or prophesying in the assembly. In Corinth, being sheared like a sheep or having her head shaved with a razor was shaming the woman. If she will be beneficial to the assembly by prayer or prophecy, she must not be in violation of the culture and of her husband.
6. b) If the woman is married, why would she shave her hair? She wouldn’t; that makes no sense. But if she has the audacity to come into this group in this culture without her head covered by her hair or some object, she deserves to have her head shorn bald; for she is showing contempt for her husband, and thus for Messiah who is above her husband.
This text is not addressing a woman who is married and isn’t part of this assembly, being a stranger to the faith.
6. c) Could a shaved married woman pray or prophesy in this assembly? She would first have to cover her head. (This text doesn’t deal with an unmarried woman.) This text only refers to a woman who is praying or prophesying in the assembly; it has nothing to say if the woman is just in attendance.
6. d) If the woman has total baldness, can she pray or prophesy? She would just cover her head. That is all the text is declaring.
7. a) Why does man not need to have the head covered according to this text? He is the image and glory of God.
He does not owe this, but rather he owes to uncover his head if he is wearing a head covering when he comes into the assembly as a mark of the respect of rank before Yeshua in this culture. The issue, here, is hair, not head coverings. I don’t see where coverings like hats or scarfs are directly mentioned anywhere in this text. Making them part of the text is a presumptive error unless proof can be provided.
7. b) Why isn’t the woman also the image and glory of God? She is the glory (importance) of the man. She makes his importance. It is not appropriate to assume that a woman isn’t in the image of God or that she isn’t the glory of God, but rather that she is the glory (not the image) of the man (referring to the husband). She is still in the image of God just as much as the man is, and sometimes more! The emphasis is on glory, on importance. She makes the importance of her husband (since glory in Hebrew is importance). In the same manner, the man is the importance of the Messiah since Messiah is the man’s head. Everyone under the rank and authority of another becomes the importance of the one under whom that person serves.
7. c) What does image mean in this text? It is the sum of the characteristics that produce a resemblance. This is physical in nature as well as psychological and emotional.
7. d) What is glory? It is importance. It can be brightness if a different Hebrew word is used, but normally refers to importance.
7. e) In what respects is a man the glory/importance of God? The higher-ranking person’s reputation is always set by those under that person. Whatever the underlings do, the reputation of the head is either enhanced or is degraded. The willingness to selflessly serve greatly enhances the clout of the leader. Thus, humans are the ones who give importance to God or who demonstrate evil things about God by what they do.
7. f) How is woman the glory of a man? She shows and is his importance. Her abilities and wisdom will only tend to reflect well on him. If she is a tramp, she will greatly lower his importance. His importance can be greatly diminished without her. If she is insipid, obnoxious, rude, annoying, bitchy, or of some other irritable type, she tends to lower his importance because she diminishes his glory.
Proverbs 31:23 Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.
She has greatly increased his importance.
7. g) What if a man desires his woman to do wrong, should she do that, being his importance? No! It is for that very reason that she must refuse. She makes his reputation, and therefore has no business doing wrong if she will prove to be his importance.
7. h) Why is his importance based on a woman? What if a man has no woman? The text states that this is the case, and it is only speaking of a married man and woman. It has nothing to do with singles. She was built to help him in life. She therefore had to be endowed with much greater abilities than he has in areas that he needed help in order to be an excellent helper. Her abilities and her work on his behalf will therefore be the greater part of his reputation and importance.
There is no correlation between being a help and being the importance. These are two different things. While a woman is the importance of a man and a help to that man, no man is a helper of God. He needs no help. But the Bible does state that a man is the importance of God. This text speaks also of being the head. It doesn’t state that God (as in Yehovah the Father) is the head of man, but instead that Messiah is the head of man with God being the head of Messiah. These three must be kept separate. But all three enter into Yehovah’s design. The man is the head of the woman while the woman is the importance and the helper of the man. This all refers to responsibilities and to God-given abilities.
If a man has no woman, he can still achieve much importance in life.
7. i) What is the timing of this? Is it always true? Man is always in the image of God. He thus must always be the glory (importance) of God. Thus, the timing is always.
7. j) Why does Yehovah permit a man to be His importance? It has everything to do with being made in His image. A human is a physical, limited representation of Yehovah. Since a human sees other humans, that human is seeing how important Yehovah is by seeing His limited representation. If a human is as capable as most are, how much more is Yehovah capable? That is why humans are held so responsible. They bear the image of Yehovah.
7. k) If one looks at a violent unbeliever who is also a limited representation of Yehovah, does this represent an evil side of Yehovah? It doesn’t since Yehovah has no evil side. Yehovah uses violence in justice. That doer of evil also has capabilities and responsibilities. That person isn’t being responsible to the image of Yehovah that has been fashioned onto him or her. That is why such a person will suffer great damnation. This person is smearing the image of God with violence contrary to justice.
7. l) Why does a doer of evil behave this way instead of living in accordance with the image of Yehovah that has been formed into him or her? The three reasons for sin are given:
1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
This person is pursuing one or more of the above three: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and/or the pride of life. Anyone who follows these passions will not be doing what is right.
7. m) If a person will be among the damned, how can that person be the importance of God? What shows this importance is Yeshua’s always abiding with everyone found in the Lake of Fire and Sulfur forever, everlastingly providing the heat of His wrath. This could not be the case if man were not His importance. The one major torment of the Lake of Fire and Sulfur is Yehovah’s presence being always there.
Revelation 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God that is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation. And he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11And the smoke of their torment ascends up forever and ever. And they have no rest day nor night who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name.
7. n) What does “woman is the glory of a man” indicate? She is the importance of a man! That means that a man who has a woman has importance according to her character. If she is a good woman, the man will have much importance even if his character is lacking. If she is an evil woman, his importance will be compromised even if his character is good. A woman can make or ruin a man’s reputation just as a man can make or ruin Messiah’s reputation through sin.
Read the following text carefully, noting the section at the end:
2 Samuel 12:1 And Yehovah sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him. And he said unto him, “There were two men in one city—the one rich and the other poor. 2The rich had exceeding many flocks and herds, 3and the poor had nothing except one little ewe lamb that he had bought and nourished up. And it grew up together with him and with his children. It did eat of his own food and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter. 4And there came a traveller unto the rich man. And he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him, but took the poor man’s lamb! And he dressed it for the man that was come to him.” 5And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man! And he said to Nathan, “Yehovah lives! The man who did this shall surely die! 6And he shall restore the lamb fourfold because he did this thing and because he had no pity!” 7And Nathan said to David, “Thou art the man! Thus says Yehovah God of Israel, ‘I anointed thee king over Israel! And I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul! 8And I gave thee thy master’s house and thy master’s women into thy bosom! And I gave thee the House of Israel and of Judah! And, if too little, I would have also given unto thee such and such things. 9Why hast thou despised the commandment of Yehovah to do bad in His sight? Thou hast murdered Uriah the Hittite with the sword and hast taken his woman thy woman! And thou hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon! 10And now the sword shall never depart from thy house because thou hast despised me and hast taken the woman of Uriah the Hittite to be thy woman!’ 11Thus says Yehovah, ‘Behold, I will raise up bad against thee out of thine own house! And I will take thy women before thine eyes, and give unto thy neighbour! And he shall lie with thy women in the sight of this sun. 12For thou secretly did, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun!’” 13And David said unto Nathan, “I have sinned against Yehovah.” And Nathan said unto David, “Yehovah also has put away thy sin. Thou shalt not die. 14And because thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of Yehovah to blaspheme by this deed, the child also born unto thee shall surely die.”
If one made in the image of God sins, that person gives others occasion to blaspheme—that is, greatly insult the God in whose image that person is made.
7. o) The last statement is not equivalent to the one before it, since it leaves out image. Why doesn’t the text declare this: “But woman is the image and glory of a man”? She was taken from the man. Thus, she is not his image, but is derived from him with separate parts from him being fashioned into her. An image is a faint representation. She is no faint representation of a man; she is part of the line of Adam. She is every bit as much the image of God as the man. Thus, she is the image of God while being the glory of a man.
7. n) Does the above mean that she is not the importance of God? She is vital to all pictures of God (the image), but her importance makes the man. If she has no man (that is, if she is not part of any man), she is directly responsible to Yehovah and is thus His importance. But if she is part with a man, she is doubly responsible: to Yehovah and to the man. She must do right before Yehovah, and she is the importance of that man. (That is why mistreating/abusing a woman is a crime against Yehovah; she was made to benefit a man, and a man who abuses is showing direct contempt for the gift that Yehovah gave.)
7. o) Does this mean that a man has no importance without a woman? No. He is directly responsible to Messiah, and therefore a portion of his importance is in that representation of Messiah in the man’s own body. He is still the importance and representation of Messiah in limited form. Yet, how many single men still have women in their lives who are their importance? One does not have to be married to be glorified by the work of a woman. This starts early. A mother is the glory of her son.
The man who has no woman is still directly responsible to Messiah, and a man who has a woman is still directly responsible to Messiah. That is his given role on this earth.
8. a) What does “man is not of woman, but woman of man” mean? Man did not come from woman; this is not referring to birth. Woman came from man because Yehovah took her from him and built her to be a help to him in Genesis concerning Adam.
8. b) If woman was taken from man, who is greater in importance? She is the importance of the man! Thus, it would appear that she is more important. Yet that is impossible. She is not more important, but she is the importance of the man! His importance is invested in her! Thus, he is a fool who sees himself as more important than his own importance (the woman)!
9. a) If the woman was created on account of the man, what part of her was created? Her soul was not the same; she had a separate personality. She did not think like Adam. She did not do in life what Adam did as an occupation. Her thoughts were diverse from his and her justice and humility were quite different. She was not a mirror of him. She looked for the Messiah. Adam was bitter against Yehovah.
The part of her that was created was her soul. Her body was built from Adam’s body.
9. b) Again, why was woman created? She was created because Adam was alone, and that was not good, and he needed a helper. Thus, Yehovah designed a being who could do well and help. She was efficient; he was deficient. She completed.
10. a) What does the woman owe? She owes to have authority on the head.
10. b) What does that mean? She has a debt to have and maintain authority on the head.
If we recognize this head to be her husband, it means one thing. If this head is her own head, it means another.
First, she already has authority over her own head; anyone who doesn’t has lost her head! That is insane.
If the text is referring to her owing to have authority by having something on her head, that makes no sense. Whatever is on her head doesn’t show that she has authority.
The only one left is that she owes to have authority on the husband. This makes sense, because she was built to help him. She cannot help him if she has no authority on him. She doesn’t have authority above him, since that would make her his supervisor, but she has authority with him such that she is able to help him when he is unable to help himself. (This occurred numerous times in the Bible.) A man who doesn’t hearken to his helper when she is attempting to help him is a fool, like Nabal in the Bible. Rebecca (Rivka, Rebekah) saved Isaac’s life; she was a helper. She had authority on her head—that is, on her husband, and she used it.
10. c) Why must she fulfill the debt of having authority on the head, her husband? The text states, “on account of the angels/messengers.” The messengers are themselves under authority, and they deliver messages to humans—often to women. The commands to women involve the women’s homes. They therefore must be able to show their husbands what must be done as commanded through the messengers. If they didn’t have authority on their husbands, their husbands could countermand what Yehovah is commanding the women to do. This line of authority is passed down from Yehovah the Father to Yeshua to the man, and finally to the woman. Yehovah sometimes gives commands directly to a woman, however, and her husband is involved in obedience to that command.
Even Joseph and Daniel gave information and instructions to those far higher in rank than they were to save lives.
10. d) What does this verse tell the man? This verse tells the man that the woman owes the debt of having authority on him, and he had better listen, since she will occasionally be speaking the Word of God. When messengers came to women in the Bible, husbands who hearkened to their women were both wise and alive. One who didn’t was very soon dead (I refer to Nabal in 1 Samuel 25).
10. f) What is the timing of the fulfillment of these verses? The situation of these verses is in a particular culture (in Corinth) that views hair, being shorn, and being shaved in a particular way. The timing will be for any time (though this text may speak of a particular End Times event; we will have to discover that, if that is the case).
11. a) What does this verse mean? They are derived from each other. See the next verse. No woman exists without a man first existing, and all men that exist after Adam were born from a woman.
11. b) How does this connect to verses above it? The verses above it dealt with authority and responsibility, especially in the assembly when praying or prophesying. The two, the man and his woman, are a team. They are not equal in the team in abilities or in rank, but they are absolutely equal in that they are both the image of God and are responsible to each other for the sake of the team. Their inequality has to do with their abilities. The woman is often much more able than the man. The man is directly responsible for himself and the woman. He also is the importance of Yeshua.
12. a) In what way is the woman from the man? She was taken from the man (Adam) and built into a woman.
12. b) In what way is the man via the woman? Every man (except Adam) is born from a woman. He comes into the world via a woman.
12. c) Are all things, including sin, from God? Sin is obviously not from God. All things that are created and all forms of life are from God. Every personality is created from God. Every living creature has a personality and individuality. Humans and angels are able to take good things and use them for bad. Even animals and small organisms can do this, because of the fall of man (because sin is in the world).
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights.
13. a) Isn’t comeliness very subjective? Yes, it is. So are cultural traditions. This text is exploring a cultural tradition, and rank and authority as Yehovah views it. These two very different views are being combined to instruct those in Corinth and careful readers in any period of the world. One culture will see bald women as being a shame, while another may see it as good fashion. Since this culture in Corinth had views of shame and dishonour, the Spirit of God through Paul is using this culture to explain Truth to folks in Corinth. They did not see anything appropriate about uncovered women praying to God in an assembly. Violating a culture when that is not necessary is rude, and is not part of Godliness.
13. b) What exactly is an uncovered woman in this text? It is a woman whose head is not covered, especially with hair.
14. a) Does nature teach everyone that a man’s long hair dishonours the man? No. This is only the case for this and some other cultures. They observe nature and animal coverings as pictures of honour and dishonour, shame and glory. This is no universal Truth (as a future verse will prove).
14. b) Did nature teach the Israelis that long hair on a man dishonoured the man? No, it didn’t. Those who took the Nazarite vow had to grow their hair. Some were Nazarites for life; cutting their hair would have been a shame.
15. a) Is a woman’s long hair always glory to her? This is not part of many cultures today. Women often cut their hair, preferring to have shorter cuts. Again, this is a cultural issue.
15. b) Why, according to this text, was long hair given to a woman? It was given to her instead of a covering.
16. a) Why would a person even think to be contentious on this issue? A person would potentially be contentious for the following reasons:
- If the person’s culture saw hair in a very different way, the person might fight for what is in that person’s culture
- If the person misunderstands the text, the person might be contentious. This is true of some ‘Christian’ faiths today that do misunderstand this text.