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Old 03-15-2008, 02:18 PM
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Thought I'd add some references I used in my study last year in support of the head covering as something to be worn over the head and hair:

1. Mary Kassian, in her chapter on “Headship and Head Coverings,” in her book Women, Creation and the Fall, which is online at the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, gently recommends, based on her understanding of the passage, that a head covering should be worn by women in church: Scroll down to Chapter 9, on page 92. [It's noteworthy that in coming to this conclusion she is in disagreement with the CBMW. They endorse the position that the head covering was simply a cultural form of feminine presentation in Paul's day for which we may substitute our own culture's symbols of femininity, argued on their site by Thomas Schreiner as a chapter in a major book of theirs -- I'd have to look the title up.]

2. This is “The Bible Researcher” Marlowe’s very thorough exegesis of 1 Corinthians 11:2-16:

3. Another very thorough online discussion is by Bruce Terry:

4. Brian Schwertley has a lengthy sermon series on head coverings which can be heard at Sermon Very good discussion. This is a transcript of that sermon series:

5. Watchman Nee makes the simple point that “we should not frustrate God’s government by God’s grace” though his argument doesn’t remain quite that simple throughout. Scroll down to #84.

6. The first chapter of an online book on the subject by Tom Shank is at I particularly appreciate his remark on the headcovering as a call to die to self, which is after all THE work of Christian life for all of us -- in Amy Carmichael’s words, “A chance to die.” (And this reminds me of the period in Amy Carmichael’s life when she was helping the poor women known as the “shawlies.” They couldn’t afford hats so pulled their shawls up over their heads while in church, showing that covering the head in church was expected.)

7. Historically Paul was understood by all the churches to require a cloth headcovering, which is demonstrated by the fact that women in the Christianized West covered their heads not only in church but at all times up until very recently, which made it specifically the custom of Christendom. David Bercot has a page of pictures of this specifically Christian custom. He has also made a CD on the subject.

As anyone who reads through the above references will find out, there are many confusing points of disagreement on subordinate elements of the argument that remain unresolved even among people who agree on the main points. There is nevertheless basic agreement on these main points, and once it is clear WHAT Paul is telling us to do, his subordinate points aren’t as much of a problem.


I also tracked down the NIV footnote I referred to in my post above. There are footnotes in both the NIV and the Living Bible that give an alternative translation identifying the covering as hair. The note in the NIV reads:

11:4-7 Or 4 Every man who prays or prophesies with long hair dishonors his head. 5 And every woman who prays or prophesies with no covering of hair on her head dishonors her head–she is just like one of the “shorn women.” 6 If a woman has no covering, let her be for now with short hair, but since it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair shorn or shaved, she should grow it again. A man ought not to have long hair.
The note in the Living Bible has:

11:6 Or then she should have long hair. This would make it read: Yes, if she refuses to wear her hair long, she should cut off all her hair. And since it is shameful for a woman to have her hair cut or her head shaved, then she should have long hair.
Spiros Zodhiates’ Word Study Dictionary of the New Testament has entries which make the same equation between the covering and the hair:

2619. katakalupto … to cover. To cover with a veil or something which hangs down, hence, to veil; in the pass., katakaluptomai, to be covered, veiled, to wear a veil (1 Cor. 11:6, 7). The covering here involves either the hair of a woman hanging down or, in case that may not be possible, the veil.
4018. peribolaion {this is the Greek word translated “covering” in verse 15, “her hair is given to her for a covering (peribolaion)}…a covering, cloak, wrap, cape, outer garment, or mantle. By implication, a covering for the head, a headdress, or perhaps a veil (1 Cor. 11:15).
This equivalence between the covering and hair is merely asserted without evidence or explanation, as if it were an authoritative translation, although other sources give no hint of such an equivalence.

Eventually the NIV retracted it. In an article about a new (2002) translation of the NIV, Craig L. Blomberg mentions (p. 16) that the footnote in the earlier edition is not in the new edition:

The long footnote to an alternate translation of vv. 4-7, in which the head covering in question is simply “hair,” has been dropped. While I follow a minority that think this may have been the correct interpretation, it is true that it was not as obvious a translation.
Zodhiates’ reference book and the Bible footnotes mentioned must have influenced countless Christians to believe that the headcovering is a woman’s hair.

The above is just part of what I wrote up of my conclusions from my study last year. There's lots more.

Last edited by Connie; 03-15-2008 at 02:27 PM.