Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Veil or Long Hair?

As some persons read I Corinthians 11:1-16 (see side bar) - 
they conclude that the head covering referred to is long hair.  
I, on the other hand, believe a separate veiling is called for.  
Since I keep my posts short - here are my top 5 reasons for why 
I believe a separate cloth covering is the head covering. 

1.  The whole text - including it's praying and prophesying 
references - indicates something that can be taken on and off.

2.  Paul was very literate.  There was no reason for him to 
beat around the bush.  If he meant to say - 'every woman who 
prays...without long hair dishonors her head...' - 
he could have said that.  Or he could have said
 'Is it proper...to pray without long hair?' (verse 13) - 
but he didn't say it that way either.  
Instead - he refers to being covered and uncovered.

3.  Church history shows us that a separate head covering 
of some sort is what was understood and worn.
 (Incidentally, the evidence is pretty overwhelming...)

 4.  The Greek word translated long hair in verse 15 
is completely different than the Greek word used for
 covered in the previous verses of the chapter.

5.  There are modern day testimonies of evil being 
thwarted as a result of a woman having her head 
covered by a separate veil....too many to ignore!  
(Some of these will appear in future posts I'm sure.)

Let's keep praying and seeking the Spirit's leading.  
I love you in Jesus! ~Joyce


hjurgelis said...

What do you do with the verse:

"But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering."(1 Cor. 11:15)

I can only read this as our long hair given to us as our covering. I can understand a woman with short hair wanting to wear a cloth covering, but not a woman with long hair.

I dislike when women try to use the greek or hebrew to justify a cloth headcovering. If we have to go back to the greek and hebrew all the time, why did God have the Bible translated. And if we think that the Bible is translated wrong, why not translate it ourselves?

I trust that God preserved His word in english as well as other languages, and after reading verse 15 I can't see a good argument for cloth coverings without being extra-Biblical.

Joyce @ WP said...

Hello and thanks for your interest in learning on this subject.

As I mentioned in the post - even without the greek - there are lots of indicators that this passage is referring to an actual cloth covering. Interestingly too - much of current church teaching states that this is a cloth covering - they just teach that it is not for today.

It also makes no sense to me that Paul would have written all those verses about being covered - same word used in other places in scripture referring to a covering and not hair - but then undo the whole teaching by saying what her really meant was 'long hair' at the end. And he doesn't say long hair at the end - he just says hair.

May I offer the following examples to consider - a coat rack is given 'for' coats - doesn't mean it is coats - but that the 2 go together. Or a box is given for a package... you get the idea.

When the majority of the verses speak of 1 thing and then there is 1 verse that seems contradictory - we seek to understand it in light of the majority of verses.

Blessings to you this day ~Joyce

hjurgelis said...

I don't see it as describing a cloth covering, like in this verse:

"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."(1 Cor. 11:5)

What's shaven? Being bald or having short hair(depending on who you talk to), and what's the opposite of that? Having long hair. The opposite of having short hair or being bald is having long hair.

Also, it doesn't really matter what modern churches teach because most are wrong. Like, Joel Osteen teaches that homosexuals can go to heaven without repentance(wrong), and the new pope teaches atheists can go to heaven without accepting Jesus as their savior(wrong). You get what I'm saying?

Also, I know that a lot argue that many women in the past have worn veils. To this I say, and? It doesn't matter what the cultural traditions of the past were. God has this to say about tradition:

"And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition." Mark 7:9

"Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye." Mark 7:13

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." Collosians 2:8

It may, and probably was, a tradition for women to wear headcoverings in the past. But, that doesn't mean that we must do it today or risk "dishounoring our head." That's not biblical.

Joyce @ WP said...

I'm only interested in what was done in the past when that thing that was done was based on scripture. There are plenty of Christian writings out there from the early church forward that indicate a 'cloth covering' referencing scripture. They did not reference cultural or traditional practice at all - but a scriptural biblical practice.

You are very right to heed all the scriptures you mentioned - I do too!

Do you also take the english word 'silent' from I Timothy 2:12 as a basis for church conduct for women to be totally silent? I look in other passages and to the greek for my understanding of that text.

Here's another article that I found quickly on veil/long hair teaching... (there are more of course)


We each have to answer to the Lord for our practice and understanding. May we study as the Bereans in all humility - being willing to follow where the Lord leads us. sometimes we have to pray and fast over passages... seeking the Lord again on it.

I also can't tell if you are male or female. You're welcome to further discuss doctrine w/ the writer of the link above for male 'counsel'.

In Christ - Joyce

hjurgelis said...

I'm a female. My name is Hannah.

I see the verse in 1 Tim. 2:12 as being silent in the church, yes. Specifically during the sermon. I see no reason why a woman should talk during a sermon(it's distracting and rude), but a Bible study could be held anywhere so I don't see why we couldn't ask questions during one.

I think that we should interpret the scriptures literally as long as they make sense(the parables aren't literal, etc.). So that's why I don't see how you can look at verse 15 and think anything other than a woman's long hair is her covering, it's in plain english.

Also, I'm well aware of that site. Many of the women on that site seem to think that if you don't wear a cloth covering you aren't saved or God can't hear your prayers. That's heresy. No where does it say that in the Bible or we wouldn't be arguing over the validity of a cloth covering, it'd be a fact. And he goes back to the greek for everything, not only is that annoying it also makes the Bible seem flawd(which it's not).

And, can you give me proof for early church members wearing a covering for a scriptural reason? I doubt it, because they'd site the same scriptures that we're siting. I think that if God wanted us to wear a cloth covering, then the word veil would be in 1 Cor. 11 somewhere; or cloth or scarf or bonnet.

If this were cut and dry, we wouldn't be debating this. It's not like we're talking about things that are obvious in scripture(like modesty or saved by grace through faith). Also, I enjoyed this explanation of headcoverings: http://www.momof9splace.com/headcoverings.html

Joyce @ WP said...

Hello Hannah!

Good to know your name.

Actually - the website I referred you to has quite a bit of 'wiggle room' in the varying beliefs that come out. More wiggle room that I am comfortable with.

Yes, there are several very early writings pointing to Paul's words. Here is 2 for your perusal...



The "not so long ago" Methodists covered their heads for biblical reasons. The Moravians did. The Lutherans did. Catholics did/do too - and those that cover today will point to I Cor. 11 - I'm unsure of the early Catholic teaching on 'covering'. I'm somewhat conservative anabaptist - originating I think in the 1500s with a strong emphasis on returning to early church practice and the teachings of Jesus - and we did/do cover as well. (more liberal groups have dismissed this portion of scripture as 'not for today')

I've given various explanations as to why verse 15 needs to line up with the rest of the verses there in I Cor. 11 and why I do not believe it to make sense to be referring to long hair only.

I also know of too many modern day stories (know of personally - didn't 'read' somewhere) where the enemy (demons, evil forces, satan's angels... whatever you wish to call them) - were stopped in their tracks by a cloth covering.... not long hair. They make reference to it. It's very interesting.

Remember - the topics are ones of headship - showing a distinct difference between men and women... and praying and prophesying are specifically mentioned. If long hair were the covering spoken of in the first 13 verses - there would have been no reason to go into much of what is stated there. Paul could have simply said to have long hair and men short. But he's mentioned times when it should be done - you can't regrow hair, etc. at certain times.

Verse 14 switches gears - going into an example from nature - not what he was referring to previously. This can be noted without looking at the Greek (but is confirmed when you do.)

I have prayed about this issue over and over again in my life. (I have very real and personal reasons to do so - it is not a light matter in my life to be sure.) Every time the Lord has been clear in showing me an actual covering (not just long hair) is to be worn. Convincing you of this matter is not my job any more than leading someone to Christ would be. I have prayed for you this day and am trusting you to Jesus. He alone knows our hearts. I firmly believe Luke 12:48 and Phil. 3:15

In Christ with His love ~ Joyce

(side note regarding being 'silent in I Tim 2:12 - it doesn't say 'just the sermon'. I'm sure most people would say to be quiet during a sermon. However - scripture teaches for women to not teach men. Few churches practice this or uphold it... having women SS teachers in a mixed class, women leaders, ministers, etc. But it is indeed what scripture is teaching for those who want to take scripture literally.)

hjurgelis said...

I can't really take either of those sources seriously because they both are from people that were big in the Catholic church. The Catholic church is not Christian, they are guilty of breaking the first 2 commandments(as well as a bunch of other things, I can give you sources of their unbiblical teachings if you want them). For that same reason I do't really care what denominations that stemmed from Catholicism do/did(like Lutherans, methodists, etc.) because they all came from the corrupt Catholic church.

I realize that you gave several explanations, but they are all lacking.

1. People that called themselves Christian did it in the past--- That doesn't matter. People in the past thought it was a sin to show your ankle and that getting a cold was a demonic possession, neither of which are biblical. So, I find this point moot.

2. The Greek word used changes in 1 Cor. 11--- The Greek word in verses 4-7 is different from that used in verse 15. I don't believe this is significant, though. Both words mean basically the same thing: a covering. The KJV correctly translates both words by the same English word, "covering." I don't believe this proves that a different covering is referred to in verse 4-7 as in verse 15. The Greek New Testament frequently uses different Greek words as synonyms, just as we do in the English language. The words mean the same thing, they are synonyms.Therefore, this point is moot to me as well.

3. Many churches agree that it means a cloth covering but that it's not for today---- If I thought that 1 Cor. 11 was pertaining to a cloth covering, I'd wear one. I'm not kidding. I grew my hair long because I read verse 15, my hair used to be up to my ears in a bob. I was convicted when I read that verse. I only wear skirts/dresses because of my understanding of Deut. 22:5 and 1 Tim. 2:9, I was heavily convicted on this. I gave up my head of household authority that I had in the beginning of my marriage due to too numerous verses in the Bible to list, due to conviction(this one was harder for good reason, not that I didn't want to, just that when you're in charge and then you're not it's more difficult to let your husband lead). But, I've never thought that 1 Cor. 11 was talking about a cloth covering and I don't care if the modern churches think that it is. They are wrong on so many things(like what is and isn't sin, premarital relations, homosexuality, etc.) that I can't trust almost anything that most churches say anyways. This point doesn't make much sense.

4. Well what about verse 6, that verse proves a cloth covering!---- I don't think so. Verse 6: "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." People commonly read this as: "If you refuse to have long hair, you should cut your hair short? You’d already have short hair! This argument wouldn’t make sense." But, I don't see this argument. I find this grasping at straws. Read the verse again: "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." I see it as this: If a woman refuses to wear her hair long for a proper covering and token of authority, if she wants to bob it like a man's hair, let her go ahead and shave it all off. By saying this, the Apostle is emphasizing with the strongest language the seriousness of this matter. It is obvious that is not proper for a woman's head to be shaved. This wording is not abnormal in the KJV. There are many times when God repeats Himself for added emphasis of importance(like saying "Go to Damascus, even Damascus," you see that a lot in the OT). I just don't find this argument biblically grounded. It's shakey at best.

hjurgelis said...

So yes, you did give me a ton of explanations, but as you can see they don't really hold a lot of weight. I want to submit to God and my husband, and I would gladly wear a cloth covering if I thought it were biblical. I've been changed by God in so many ways that I try not to think that I'm 100% right on something til He convinces me(a good way for all Christians to be, not just women). But, I can't see any other way to look at 1 Cor. 11 than this. I've prayed about this for months, and I keep coming back to the same conclusion. So, if you have anything that I don't know about this I'd be happy to hear it but saying that people in the past did it or other reasons I've gone over don't convince me. Only God's Word does, and verse 15 is clear. Also, if we were supposed to wear a cloth covering why didn't Paul specify how big it should be, what it should look like, etc? If it were this important that we are dishonouring our head without it, why isn't there an explanation? Could a cloth headband be seen as a covering? Most headcovering advocates would say no it's not big enough, but by who's standards? You get what I'm saying?

I'm sure you have prayed about this a lot, and if wearing a headcovering is what God wants you to do---fine. It doesn't bother me to see a woman in a cloth covering. But, what does bother me is when you try to push it on me with shakey arguments that aren't grounded in the faith. I have faith that if God wants me to wear one, I'll get there. But, after many months of prayer and studying it's going to take a clear verse for me to wear a covering other than my long hair. I, too, agree with Luke 12:48 and Phil. 3:15; that's why I warn people and try to tell people about dressing modestly and not celebrating pagan holidays that are commonly accepted as Christian. I think that many will have trouble explaining these things at the judgement seat of Christ(2 Cor. 5:10), but thankfully Jesus shed blood covers it all.

(Side not regarding 1 Tim. 2:12: In the past, sermons and some songs were church. We shouldn't talk during those, I agree(not that I think we can't sing, of course we can when it is going on). But, to say that we can't participate in a Bible study is wrong in my opinion. You don't have to be in a church building to do a Bible study, and if there is a Q&A period I don't think that it's unbiblical to ask something(though if I'm wrong please point me to scripture! =) And I completely agree that women shouldn't be teachers of men. It is unbiblical. There should be no women pastors, preachers, etc. But, I see nothing wrong with a woman leading a woman's Bible study(similar to what we are doing now). Like I said, I take the Bible literally until it doesn't make sense to do so(as in parables), I don't talk during church, it'd be rude and distract from what's going on but we are to learn in silence as the verse says. It says "learn in silence with all subjection"(1 Tim. 2:11) so I don't think it's unbiblical to say hi to someone when coming into church before the sermon or to invite someone to lunch after church after the sermon(there's no learning going on! =)

Beth Ann Worden said...

Your blog is a huge encouragement. Thank you!