Posted by: clevsea | August 28, 2008

Could NOT find a way out

Someone recently asked about headcovering and I decided to post my answer here:

I am one of those who is *sure* what I Cor 11 means and have been for 18 years.

I’m one of those who studies hard, who goes in deep for Bible Study. Not everybody is the same and not everybody likes to study the Bible.

Many great Christians ladies are very casual in their Bible reading and that indicates to me that they see it as a living book, not at text book.

I think that “we” need each other.

Anyway, I enjoy doing in-depth Greek Word studies and one day I came to I Cor 11 and I read it in English like most people would do. I had read it before and I had “judged” it by the fact that my huge church [4000] did not follow that passage and that the commentary at the bottom of the page said not to cover.

But that one day, I was reading the passage out loud with a group of ladies and one of them asked why the church doesn’t follow that passage.

I basically said, “never fear, I will have an answer for you by next meeting.”

I dove into the Greek completly convinced that the original language and the verb tenses would explain why the current culture doesn’t cover.

About 2 or 3 weeks later I came to the small meeting of women with a home-made headcovering and told them that I could not find a way “out” of covering. That for now on they ought to expect to see me wearing this “doily” like object or something on my head when we met.

I used to pray about 1 hour per day at that time and I figured out that I had been praying “covered” for at least one year but that was quite by accident.

Every morning I was praying with my wet hair up in a towel. That was my daily routine. Shower, get dressed, pray, then face the work of the day.

Then I looked back further at the other years I had prayed uncovered and noticed that my prayers were answered. I had found through all that intense “Greek” word study work and reading I Cor 11 in English that there are no promises concerning the answering of prayer in the passage. No promises either way.

That is my personal story…but usually I skip that and just post the passage in the Greek/English transliteration so that a non-Greek reader can see *what* I can see when I read it in Greek.

Even in English the I Cor 11 passage itself gives 3 reasons.

The order of headship, God, Jesus, Man, Woman
The order of creation, first man, then woman
The Angels

All 3 of those go far back—-really, really, really far back and none of those 3 has to do with popular culture.

Some people read I Cor 11 and assume that Paul wants to turn the readers into mini-Jews…that is not Paul’s usual stance which is clear in Galations & Romans.

Plus, Paul wrote to letter to the Corinthians, not to Jerusalem, as an example.

In Corinth they were very much into the body-beautiful and the art and the statues (think Greecian) were of bare-headed women.

Paul was writing to an area where the women didn’t practise headcovering and if any Jewish people were among the recipients (and they might have been) then they would have quickly noticed that Paul was doing away with the male Jewish custom of wearing various things on the male head when coming to temple/synagogue.

I could keep writing for many hours on this but it’s easier to answer direct reasons than to write a blanket explanation.

If you admire commentaries then check with Matthew Henry (highly respected), and Dr. Ryrie and RC Sproul…to name only 3 whose commentaries are Pro-headcovering.

Then let me know what it is about I Cor 11 that makes you doubt.

Sometimes people think it’s the hair. That is easily explained in the Greek but even in English Paul would have been writing a huge part of his letter to tell people to wear their hair when they pray and to remove their hair if they are male when they pray.

As to whether the passage is for today, most churches follow the 2nd half of I Cor 11 and even read it outloud during communion services.

Somehow they believe in the 2nd half of the same chpt. but disregard the 1st half.

If you want to pray about it (and I’m sure you are) then please do. Pray and ask the Lord God what He wants you to do. That ought to be your main guideline and how He leads you will follow with His Word because He is the same yesterday, today and forever and He does not lie.

Thanks for reading,


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