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Head Covering

What about headship and submission? Unsaved spouse? Other marriage roles.
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LBD
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Re: Head Covering

Post by LBD »

LuckyInLove wrote:As always, context is paramount when reading scripture. A head covering in that time and place was a symbol that the woman was married. For a wife to remove her head covering meant that she was no longer interested in being faithful to her husband. It was a signal to men that she was available. It would be similar to taking off your wedding ring today, as a symbol of no longer desiring to be faithful.Similarly, Roman culture viewed long hair on a man as a disgrace, while bald heads (old age) were a sign of wisdom. I would have to research again, but I believe a bald head on a woman was a sign that she had been convicted of prostitution.Basically, the passage is saying that it would be dishonoring to God and husband to pray while showing the world that you no longer desire to be faithful.ETA: The clue that points to the cultural context is the preceding passage starting at 1 Cor. 10:23
And I have often wondered why this verse that he ends it all with doesn’t answer all the questions: 1Co 11:16  “But if any man seemeth to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.”
He lays out an answer to the debate, but finally says, to paraphrase, “but if anyone wants to fight about it, let it go because this isn’t a rule in the church either way.”
Yes, context is very important, but also reading the entirety of the book/thought is also very important.


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Re: Head Covering

Post by SeekingChange »

LBD wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 5:16 am1Co 11:16  “But if any man seemeth to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.”
He lays out an answer to the debate, but finally says, to paraphrase, “but if anyone wants to fight about it, let it go because this isn’t a rule in the church either way.”
What version is that? I have always read it to say the opposite. NASB, the most literal word for word translation in English, says, "But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God." It sounds like this is saying the opposite of your interpretation, in other words like your paraphrase, "If anyone wants to fight about it, this is the only way we practice/worship, and same with the other churches."

Interesting in the difference of how we read it, because we are quite opposite in interpretation, I wonder how others have always read it?
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Re: Head Covering

Post by 69greyshades »

I agree with those who believe that the covering of the head for women - as explained in the new testament - is just a cultural thing at those times. In those passages we see the use of words like "disgraceful" and "improper", which for me suggests it is just a cultural thing in those places/times; but I don't see the word "sinful".

As this is NOT a sin, then my interpretation is that women shouldn't be forced/expected to wear one.
I understand the point that wives should submit to their husbands (of course having in mind an un-biased non manipulative meaning of "submit"), but I think that sometimes some churches and denominations have lost the point, interpreting scripture too literally, then they end up encouraging women to "submit to old traditions and culture" seen in the new testament.
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Re: Head Covering

Post by LBD »

@SC - American Standard Version. Commonly understood as a very literal translation.

As with all things, I also consider the tone and how the writer, particularly Paul, handled similar situations in other areas. When you take the interpretation I laid out here, and place it beside Romans 14 - how does it look then? How would contention be perceived and how would it be avoided? To the church in Rome, Paul suggested to have your own convictions, but do not let those become a stumbling block for a brother. And in Romans 14, he clearly labels the one with the strictest convictions as the "weaker brother." I believe Paul to be a consistent teacher. The Corinthians were struggling mightily with worldly/spiritually way of going about life. The old "rules" they lived by were encroaching upon the new life they were supposed to be embracing. They wanted some clear instruction, as it seems 1Cor certainly was a direct response to questions being asked. Paul does that of course, but his answers aren't always what they would have expected and from his tone and words, he seems to know this is how they will feel with some of his answers. This can be applied to his "from me, not the Lord" statements as well. He took the role as a advisor sharing wisdom not necessarily direct from God (though that can be debated as it was still an God inspired wisdom.) And Paul also was very adept at handling things in the context of the situation and place.

For some comparison, here are many translations of this passage: Many literal, some more idiomatic in nature.

(ASV) But if any man seemeth to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.
(BBE)  But if any man will not be ruled in this question, this is not our way of doing things, and it is not done in the churches of God.
(CEV)  This is how things are done in all of God's churches, and that's why none of you should argue about what I have said.
(ESV)  If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.
(ESV+)  (R16)If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do (R17)the churches of God.
(ISV)  But if anyone wants to argue about this, we do not have any custom like this, nor do any of God's churches.
(KJV)  But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.
(KJV+)  But(G1161) if(G1487) any man(G5100) seem(G1380) to be(G1511) contentious,(G5380) we(G2249) have(G2192) no(G3756) such(G5108) custom,(G4914) neither(G3761) the(G3588) churches(G1577) of God.(G2316)
(LITV)  But if anyone thinks to be contentious, we do not have such a custom, nor the assemblies of God.
(MKJV)  But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor the churches of God.
(YLT)  and if any one doth think to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the assemblies of God.

As you can see, the more literal (word for word) translations all fall into the ASV realm of translation, as does the preponderance of them all. That leads me to what my paraphrased interpretation says.
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Re: Head Covering

Post by Duchess »

When I was a kid, some of the older members of my church wore one. Church of the Brethren has many similarities with Mennonites and some folks choose what they call "plain dress". The only time anyone wears one now is at Love Feast and Communion twice a year when we wash feet (or hands if you are unable to kneel.)

I've given it consideration a time or two, but never felt strongly that it was something I needed to do. The last time it came up, I remember thinking I needed to really study the scriptures more deeply to know for sure, but determined there were more essential things I needed to work on first. At this point, I remain unconvinced of the necessity, but willing to change my mind if I realize God is telling me differently (through the HS or the Word.) I also respect those who do it because they believe it is God's instruction. (We have a lot of Old Order Mennonites in our area--for that matter, I have them in my ancestry--and I respect the spirit of obedience proclaimed by their way of life, even if I do not feel personally called to that degree of outward expression. It has been my experience that when you meet an OOM in plain dress, you can be fairly confident that "them's good people".)

OTOH, SOA's explanation of her reasoning and intent with wearing a head covering in the circumstances she presents sounds to me like a love offering to God and her husband. I think there are many things we can do that can be interpreted as "outward symbols" or if required by man could become a legalistic crutch, but if done with a pure heart are simply a way of shaping the faith and love we want to offer to our God. I am not Catholic, but have considered using a rosary as a prayer reminder for "covering prayers" to be sure I don't miss someone or something I want to pray about regularly. (I haven't, but not because I'm worried about it being a Catholic symbol.) One summer I was thinking about the OT instruction to the Jews about writing the scripture on the doors of your home and started writing them on the posts of our porch. The posts are in bad need of a re-paint so I paused the project until that's done but when it is, I fully intend to cover the posts in favorite scriptures. (I'd really love to make a door frame like the one in LOTR with the Elvish inscription on it--attractive and covered in Scripture in beautiful script. We'll see.) But these things would not be because the OT says to write them (the commandments) on your doorframe, but because following that old practice just might bring me closer to God and plant His word deeper in my heart and life.

Frankly, I too struggle with showing submission to my DH, and I also tend to be the one to do most of the talking when we pray. If wearing a hood or covering of some kind would impress upon my DH that he is actually the one leading our meeting with God, I think that could be a fantastic thing for our spiritual walk! I am going to talk to him about it, so thank you SOA for the inspiration!!
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