I Corinthians 11:2-16 – Head coverings
First view – The covering is long hair and it does apply today.
- The passage starts by talking about God’s arrangement.
- Notice that this goes all the way back to the beginning.
- What is the covering under discussion?
- This seems to be referring to long hair – not some sort of clothing or artificial covering. I Corinthians 11:15 specifically says the woman’s long hair was given to her for a covering.
- Was Paul stating a universal truth or just referring to a Corinthian custom that doesn’t pertain to us today?
- When is this passage binding?
- What does nature mean in I Corinthians 11:14-15?
- What is meant in I Corinthians 11:16?
- How long should our hair be?
Alternate view – This covering is something placed on the head, and this passage applies today.
- I Corinthians 11:6 – This implies that two coverings exist – a symbolic covering and hair.
- This was not simply a Corinthian custom.
- Universal truths are stated throughout the passage (I Corinthians 11:7-12).
- I Corinthians 11:10 – Angels are not unique to Corinth.
- I Corinthians 11:14 – “Nature” is not Corinthian custom, but human nature, which exists outside of Corinth.
Third alternative view – Whatever the covering was, Paul is talking about a Corinthian custom and this does not apply today.
- This is the only place in the whole Bible that talks about this, although the concept of woman’s subjection is found in numerous places.
- A man being covered or a woman being uncovered is a disgrace (I Corinthians 11:4-6). But why? Paul is not appealing to an established scriptural principle. Perhaps he is referring to it being a disgrace in their culture.
- “Nature” (I Corinthians 11:14-15) is not referring to a universally recognized principle (example: Samson).
- I Corinthians 11:16 – We have no such custom (of women being covered – this is what the context has been talking about).
- There is a difference between God’s law and a custom that is one way to fulfill that law.
|Holy greeting||Kiss (Romans 16:16)|
|Hospitality||Wash feet (John 13)|
|Subjection||Covering (I Corinthians 11)|