The Christian Woman’s Head Veiling

Growing up a Brethren girl and marrying a Mennonite, I’ve had many opportunities to answer this question:  why do you wear that thing on your head?

Here I will try to answer that question as pertaining not only to me, but to Plain folks in general.  And I’d also like to acknowledge those of you who have not grown up with the heritage some of us have, yet have come to this same conclusion through the teaching of God’s Word and the promptings of His Spirit.

I recently taught this to our youth girls Sunday School class and I will try to portray it the way we studied it – Scriptural basis first and the reasons we believe it is a command of God, and then answering the most common reasons people give in opposition of the head veiling.

1.  The Scriptural basis for this ordinance is in I Corinthians 11: 1-15.  I will not post the entire Scripture here, but you can go here to read it.

2. We woman cover our heads as a sign of our submission to the authority God has placed over us.  If you think this is some custom the men made up to exert their rights over women, then I suggest you dig a little deeper.  Start at Genesis and read forward and you will see that everything has an order, including human relationships.  Whether they be in the church or in the home.  Christ Himself is under the headship of God the Father.  At the Garden of Olives, He prayed, “Not my will, but Thine be done.”  This was the prayer of a submitted heart.

If you still don’t believe me, pick up a book of history or government.  For even in the secular world, there is a level of headship.  Someone always answers to someone else – there is always someone submitting.

God knew without this order of headship, there would be chaos.  It is His divine way of bringing peace and harmony to homes and churches.  So in putting on my veil every morning, I am saying to God that I submit to the authority He has put over me.

3. Some call this a prayer covering because of verses 4 and 5 where it speaks of the covered head in prayer.  Thus, they also suggest it only needs to be during worship services when a woman is praying.  But a true Christian woman will also be praying and communing with God while doing the laundry, washing dishes, and changing diapers.  See I Thessalonians 5:17.

In addition, Greek scholars have pointed out that the term “Let her be covered” (vs. 6) is in the present, active, imperative form.  Thus giving the meaning “Let her continue to be veiled.”

Also, in vs. 17-18, Paul specifically begins instructions for “when ye come together in the church” and speaking of other ordinances such as communion.  This strongly implies he had a broader context in mind when speaking of the head veiling.

4.  So what about size?  If you are of Plain folk background, you will know this is one that our churches struggle in.  How big is too big and how little is enough to still call it a covering?

Firstly, remember what the purpose of the head covering is – a reminder that I have submitted to the authority God placed over me.  This includes the church.  And if the local church I have joined has a set size or pattern for my veiling, then I would do well to adhere to what they say.  For in rebelling, I am going directly against what I have put the veil on for in the first place.

Secondly, this is called a head covering.  Therefore, it should cover the majority of the head in whatever way your church has specified.

Thirdly, some would call this a symbol and in doing so, reduce the size to where it looks more like decoration than something meant to cover the head.

It is true that God is a God of symbols, types and shadows, etc.  Yet in the laws laid down in the Torah, God was very specific in all His instructions.  What if the high priest had said one year at Passover that the killing of the lamb was only symbolic and not meant to follow out to the letter of the law?  What do you think God would have done?

True, it was symbolic of the blood Jesus would one day shed for the whole world.  But that symbolism did not reduce the importance of the command to sacrifice the lamb in exactly the way Almighty demanded.

So it is for the symbol of the veiling.  Because it is a symbol or reminder of my submission to authority, it does not take away from the importance of the command that it cover the head.

__________

Now that I’ve covered our basic reasons for doing this, I will present the common opposition regarding this ordinance.

Question:  I don’t wear a veiling because the Bible states that a woman’s hair is her covering in verse 15.  So shouldn’t that count as having my head veiled?

Answer:  If you take the time to study the original Greek text, you will find there are two different words for covering used in this passage.  In verse 15, the Greek word covering is peribolaion, meaning “to be covered or thrown around one”.    The word used prior to this is is katakalupto, meaning “to cover or hide; veil”.

So if you read this verse and insert the Greek definition for “covering”, it would say this:  But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her:  for her hair is given her “to be covered.”

Now this is the theological answer for this question.  Here is the logical:

If a woman’s hair would be considered her covering, then what do we do with the man’s hair?  For as his sign of submission, he is supposed to have an uncovered head.  So if the woman’s hair would be the covering, then all men must have shaved heads, i.e: no hair, in order to show their submission to Christ – their head.

Question:  Isn’t this just meant as a cultural custom of their day?  We don’t feel it applies to us in the twenty-first century.

Answer:  Paul inserts this command in the very same chapter that he does for communion.  And you will find that most Christian churches regularly hold communion and feel it is of great importance.  So why would you claim that the head veiling is not for today when it is listed exclusively in the same chapter as communion – which most feel is for today?

Some say verse 16 indicates this is only cultural.  However, look at it closely and you will find it different.

“But if any man be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.”

When Paul was writing his epistles, he would address to that specific church the areas in which they struggled.  The head covering most likely was one the Corinthian church was in danger of parting with.  And Paul was admonishing them in this verse to not be contentious (full of strife; going their own way) concerning this ordinance.  A church needs to be one of unity in heart and a contentious heart is one that is selfish and desires to go its own way.

_______________________

Now you know why some women cover their heads.  I believe the importance of this ordinance is fast slipping away amongst the “freedom” so often proclaimed in contemporary Christianity today.  What they don’t teach is that true freedom comes from a heart that is wholly and completely submitted to the Lord and the teachings of His Word.

So how do we get it back?

Study the Word for yourself and then teach it to your sons and daughters.  For they are the church of tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

Linking to Raising Arrows.

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  1. Very interesting post. I grew up as a Brethren as well, and both my grandmother and mother wore coverings as well as I did for a while. My husband grew up baptist and didn’t know anything about this, so I haven’t worn one for a while. However this has been something I have been searching through the Scriptures and praying about for some time. The problem with me was that neither my church or my parents explained to me the reasons for wearing one, so when no one at my husband’s church wore one, I thought it was no big deal especially when I heard the very same arguments you mention above. I thought, well I’m not very wise or old, so maybe I just don’t know. I am so glad to hear that you are actually teaching the young girls in your congregation why you do this. I have also found it extremely interesting that women, regardless of denomination, covered at least while at a service until the mid 20th century. I also find it interesting how the traditional coverings changed into fashionable hats in some denominations for a while. But the most interesting has been to find out that NOW (National Organization for Women), the feminist group, issued statements and pleas to women in all major denominations to quit covering in the 60s and 70s (looks like they pretty much succeeded). If it isn’t a sign of male headship and the wife’s submission to her husband as unto Christ (Ephesians 5:22-24), and a reminder of the relationship of Christ to His Church, than why would the feminists and the world want to get rid of it? As I said, I am struggling with this and seeking the Lord’s will as well as my husband’s in this area, and appreciate your clear explanation. Brethren Revival Fellowship also has a great article on why women should wear a covering. I pray God would make His Word and will clear to me in this, and I know your post has truly helped me in that. Love in Christ!

    • That is very interesting about the feminists push to get rid of it. I had never heard that! But their reasons why would definitely fit into their agenda.

      I am sorry you were never taught as a child the reasons behind this. My father was excellent in that he took us back to the Word to show us where and why God gave us the commands He did. The fact that your heart is open is more of a testimony than you’ll know!!

      I will be praying God will show His will clear to both you and your husband. :)

    • Thank you for the prayers. I really just desire clarity. I think my parents assumed I knew and had been taught at church in this area, but unfortunately many of the Brethren in our area have become increasingly liberal and have left much of the historical teaching and even doctrines of Scripture behind in favor of compromising with the local culture. My entire family left the denomination a few years ago over some very serious refusals to take Scripture seriously by the leaders in our district. I am an example of why you can’t just expect the church to teach your children, but have to teach them yourself, as well as why we have to teach them based entirely on Scripture giving them the “why” for the things we do and don’t do and believe and don’t believe. My husband is so wonderfully leading our family by the Scriptures and I know that I am exceedingly blessed in him. He isn’t afraid to submit to the will of God regardless of what others will think, say, or do and I trust that God will give him knowledge in this area and I will submit to him in it. I just want to be in correct submission to God in this as well as lead my children to submission in this. Thank you again and love in Christ!

  2. Thanks for sharing Kendra…May I repost? I’m not ready to yet but eventually id like too if you don’t mind…Thanks…You do have wonderful parents who teach well :)

    • Yes, I do have great parents, and you would know! :) You are welcome to repost, however please include info where the article originated from. Just to help keep plagiarism down! Thanks Rhoda.

  3. Nice post! A good, simple, concise explanation, which is rare on this subject! :) I need to bookmark this. Blessings to you~

  4. Wonderfully written post! I have been wearing a head covering for two years now, and only know one other person who wears one. I grew up Baptist and was told it wasn’t required of women this day and age. As God has led us down a path, I continue to really study the Bible to find God’s will for us. No longer can I take the word of any congregation or individual unless I see where it is in the Bible.
    I would love to know if you make or buy your head coverings, and how you keep it from slipping off. I know it sounds silly but it is a daily struggle to literally keep it on!

    • I don’t know about you, but I also have little ones that like to grab a fistful of veil once in a while. :) However, if you look closely in the picture, you can see that on the side at the top, I have a little white clip, then a straight pin below. I find that 2 clips on the upper sides work great, with two straight pins below, and then clasped together under my bun with another straight pin.

      We make our own veils and it truly isn’t hard. Play around with junk material before you make one from nice, hanging material to be sure you have the size and shape you want. Mine is shaped almost like an egg with the wider part on top and narrowing down at the bottom. Sometimes I need it wider across the bun area as my hair gets thicker. The material I like to use best is swimwear material – check Joann’s or Hancock’s for a nice, slick material that hangs gracefully. If you use that kind of material, there is no need to finish the edge and keep it from fraying. We like to sew a lace of small width around the edge to help it look finished. Keep at it and you’ll get it! Blessings to you.

  5. Kendra, thanks for this well written post. I have never known any Christian woman who practices head covering, but after reading this I have been looking a little deeper into this Scripture. As I have been researching, I have noticed a recurring theme of the discussion of public worship. It seems that when taken in context with the rest of the chapter (discussing the Lord’s Supper), Paul is discussing behaviors of public worship. I see that you pointed out that a woman should be praying at all times, thus should have her head covered at all times. However, if you use this logic does it not mean that a man is not permitted to ever pray while wearing a hat? Or, in what instance is it permissible for a man to wear a hat at all, if you use this logic?

    (I hope this does not come across as argumentative or condescending; I am genuinely curious!)

    • Hello Shannon!! :) I don’t take that as argumentative at all.

      To me, I think there is a difference between a hat worn for weather protection versus a religious covering such as an orthodox Jew’s prayer cap.

      Just as for me, a woman, there is no way I can be veiled 100% of the time. Sometimes I need to shower, sleep, swim, or whatever. :) I think here is where people can get legalistic and forget that God looks on the motives and intent of my heart. Am I striving to do my best in obeying his commands? In my humble opinion, it is better to err on the side of veiling more than necessary than looking for excuses to remain unveiled. And vice versa for the man.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m a guy in a Mennonite church. I agree with the veiling. Your post is great at explaining the apparent contradiction in the last verses.

      One of the things I’ve been wondering though lately, and am not convinced is OK is the following:
      We in our Mennonite churches ask the ladies to be veiled all the time. With the exception, as you stated of showering, swimming, etc. It is very hard, close to impossible for a lady to get a job wearing a veiling in our area (central America!). The jobs that are available, for example are teaching at our Mennonite schools, or jobs within the church. I guess the point is that it can be a significant sacrifice in more than one way for ladies to wear the veiling.

      It seems a little unfair to say that we ask a lady to not get a job because it would require her to not wear the veiling. However if we go hiking, go to the beach, whatever, it’s fine for us to wear hats so that we don’t get sunburned. It seems a bit like a double standard? Don’t know for sure. Curious what your take is on that? Thanks for your article.

    • Anonymous says:

      To the Mennonite guy….Kendra asked that I share my personal opinion on your question.

      “However if we go hiking, go to the beach, whatever, it’s fine for us to wear hats so that we don’t get sunburned. It seems a bit like a double standard?”

      My understanding is the “head veiling” the women are asked to wear in this scripture is some type of physical, hanging covering that covers the hair and presents an outward sign of her inner standing with her Head/husband.
      I see nothing in the Bible that would lead us to believe this “head veiling” is anything else. Therefore, when necessary it would seem proper for her to also wear a hat for sun protection, scarf, sock hat etc for cold protection. In this same vein, when a man occasionally wears weather protection, it does not fit the description of “head veiling” as I understand this passage.

      Having said this…..I have been personally convicted that for me to casually wear a hat for looks etc. is not ideal and could present the wrong message.

      - Lowell Graber, Kendra’s husband

  6. Anonymous says:

    hmmmm…as I read this I had to think again how blessed my friends and I are to have the opportunity Sunday mornings to learn from you and the example you are to us….=) ~Kelly.

    • Ah, Kelly. Sometimes I feel very scattered in Sunday School. :) But I try my best and truly enjoy you girls! I want you to know I’ve learned from you as well.

  7. Anonymous says:

    @Shannon

    You bring out a very valid point, the “physically covered head” of the woman being the sign of honoring her “head” (man/her husband). Then it stands to reason any time I physically cover my head for any reason other then protection from the elements. I am most likely dishonoring my “head”….Christ!

    Instead I am advertising a ball team/the truck I drive/or some other unimportant object that the hat may be labeled with……….as well as raising a double standard by expecting my wife to be covered.

    I have really enjoyed and been convicted studying this subject with Kendra!

    Lowell Graber – DH

  8. Anonymous says:

    i guess i got a different view studying this passage word for word and studying the greek meaning for each word, the word “for” in verse 15 means instead of, thats just one example i also studied http://www.theholdemans.com he explains exactly what each verse means and its very interesting. After studying both sides i think its a matter of what each person feels is right for them.

  9. Anonymous says:

    i should maybe just post a clearer explanation of it instead of cutting it so short, first of all in verse 4 covered means “to hang down from the head” which i believe means long hair, then in verse 5 uncovered means “not hanging down over” Verse 6: “For if the woman be not covered (doesn’t have something hanging down over her head), let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered (have something hanging down over the head). So far, there is not one word mentioned about fabric coverings. But there is talk about hair, i.e.. shearing and shaving hair. More about hair follows….. Verse 14: Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? this is the difference in your argument about a man needing to shave his head, the bible doesnt say that, the difference is a woman needs to have long hair hanging down over her head and a man needs to have short hair.

    And Now Comes the Only Word in This Whole Passage

    That Means Something Made of Fabric!
    Verse 15b: For her hair is given her for a covering.

    For: anti: instead of, in place of, as a substitute

  10. Anonymous says:

    ARGUMENT #1: If the covering is the hair, then men would have to shave their heads.

    This would be true if the Bible said the covering is simply “hair.” But the Greek wording says, “a woman But if she wears long hair a glory to her it is? Because the long hair instead of a covering [ fabric veil] has been given to her.”

    Therefore, the man is not to have “something hanging down over” his head and the woman should have “something hanging down over” her head. (It is an interesting inconsistency that some fabric head coverings do not drape at all, but are skullcaps giving the woman a cropped-haired appearance and making her silhouette almost identical with a mans!)

    Long hair provides “something hanging down.” Some have asked, What is long? The word for long hair does not mean “uncut,” so each Christian woman must rely on the Holy Spirit for direction in this. Could it be that what is considered long on a man is also long enough for a woman? Could it be that the importance is in the difference between men’s and women’s hair length, not necessarily the length itself?

    As the Bible indicates when it says, “Doth not nature itself teach you?” most cultures practice distinction between the sexes through hair length, even those of races with tightly-coiled wool type of hair that bushes out rather than veils down.

    Can we take our cue from the lengths for men and women that are recognized as appropriate among Christians in our own culture?

    ARGUMENT #2: It makes no sense for the long hair to be the covering, because if a woman won’t cover her head (with long hair) then she should cut it off—well, it’s already cut off!

    This would indeed not make sense if the passage said a woman who won’t cover her head (with long hair) should cut her hair short. But the Greeks words translated “shorn” and “shaven” do not mean simply “cut short.” These words mean shorn like a sheep or shaven with a razor. So, it makes perfect sense that a woman who won’t cover her head with long hair (meaning she has short mannish hair) should just go ahead and finish the job by shaving it off! Her short hair serves no purpose as a covering, so she might as well be bald. And the fact that it is a shame for a woman to be shaven is seen today in the baldheaded cancer victims who invariably cover their heads. Bald men are no disgrace, but women instinctively have a horror of appearing in public bald, as women undergoing chemotherapy can attest.

    ARGUMENT #3: Yes, a woman’s hair is a glory to her, but in humility and modesty she should not show that glory. Her glorious hair should be only for her husband to see, not displayed for all the world to see.

    This is an interesting theory that sounds pious—but again, the Bible simply does not say anything of the sort. If we are to understand the plain words of God, we must not add man’s words.

    This thought is also contrary to other usages of the word “glory.” In the Old Testament an old man’s white hair is his glory. Shall he cover that glory in modesty? A young man’s strength is his glory. Shall he only lift heavy objects in front of his wife? Flowers have glory. Shall we throw a tarp over our flowerbeds? The sun, moon, and stars all have a certain glory, and God does not require them to be hidden. Like a sunset or the colors of a butterfly or the mane of a horse, God created glorious beauty—and it brings honor to Him as creator!

    If the woman should in modesty hide the hair God gave as her glory, then man should hide his wife, for God gave her to be his glory. To be consistent with this thought of covering glory, husbands should require women to wear the Islamic burkha, so that none might see the glory.

    • **For reference in this reply, all numbers next to words will be the number for the Greek word in the Strong’s concordance, in case someone wants to look them up.**

      “……first of all in verse 4 covered means “to hang down from the head” which i believe means long hair, then in verse 5 uncovered means “not hanging down over” Verse 6: “For if the woman be not covered (doesn’t have something hanging down over her head), let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered (have something hanging down over the head)……”

      In verse 4, it is true that the word “covered” (2596) means “over, against, and down – denoting distribution.” But that word is only used when talking about the man. In vs. 6, when using the word “covered” as pertaining to the woman, it is a different word (2619) and means “to cover wholly; veil, cover, or hide”. Paul uses two different words when talking to the man and woman.

      “………And Now Comes the Only Word in This Whole Passage
      That Means Something Made of Fabric!
      Verse 15b: For her hair is given her for a covering.
      For: anti: instead of, in place of, as a substitute……“

      I looked up the word “for” in my actual Strong’s concordance (the book) and it did not give me two separate meanings. It only sent me to the appendix which had lumped them all together under one generic word which basically meant “for or that”. But I used a link someone sent me to an online Bible study website with commentaries and dictionaries and looked them up on there. My disclaimer is this: when studying the Bible, use the internet with great caution. But I wanted to see where you might be coming from. On this website, it did look like they are two different words.

      Vs. 6 For (3754) her hair is given her for (473) a covering (4018). The first “for” (3754) means “that”. The second “for” (473) means not only “instead”, but also “because of” and sometimes even “in addition to”. It can denote not only contrast, but also requital, substitution, and correspondence (or going along with).

      In simply reading the chapter up till now, Paul takes great pains to describe the whys and wherefores of a woman putting on a veiling – and a man keeping one off. So why would he suddenly change his tune and throw out the whole first 14 verses by saying it is simply the hair.

      Using the context of the verses till now, and also the meanings pertaining to this context, I read this verse as saying this: “But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory (honor) to her: for (that) her hair is given her for ( because of or in addition to) a covering(4018).”

      covering “peribolaion” (4018) means = something thrown around one; a mantle or veil.

      It is derived from the word periballo (4016) which means “to throw all around; array, clothe, to put on”.) In essence, her hair is given her “to be covered”.

    • “…….But the Greek wording says, “a woman But if she wears long hair a glory to her it is? Because the long hair instead of a covering [ fabric veil] has been given to her…..”

      I would like to see a reference or something regarding this phrase. In my studying, I do not find that the Greek inserts the word “long” in there. In our KJV, it only says that “her hair is given her for a covering”
      So if you’re going to call the hair the covering based on vs. 15, it would have to be simply hair – long or short. It doesn’t say “for her long hair is given her for a covering”.

      Now assuming the hair is the covering – long or short, there is still a problem. Verse 6 says “for if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn.” According to the first phrase, her hair would already be off, so how could she also be shorn? You cannot have two successive removals of the hair. Paul would not have needed to put in the phrase “let her also be shorn”, unless he was meaning an actual veiling and not hair as the covering.

      On the logical side of calling the woman’s long hair her veiling, there are a few questions I’d have. If this would truly be the case, she would never be able to wear it up on her head, (in a bun, ponytail or french twist) right? It would always have to be “hanging down or over”.

      “……But the Greeks words translated “shorn” and “shaven” do not mean simply “cut short.” These words mean shorn like a sheep or shaven with a razor. So, it makes perfect sense that a woman who won’t cover her head with long hair (meaning she has short mannish hair) should just go ahead and finish the job by shaving it off! Her short hair serves no purpose as a covering, so she might as well be bald……..”

      Here is the verse we are talking about: vs. 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.”

      I know you said shorn and shaven mean different things, but when I looked them up here is what they said: shorn (2751) = to shear. Shaven (3587) = shave (with razor) or shear the hair. Pretty close, I’d say. Plus, Paul equates them as having an equal amount of shame in this verse where he lumps them together.

      And fwiw, most men dread the balding stage as well as women. At least the groans I hear from my husband as he notices his receding hairline tell me so!

      As for your last argument regarding hiding the woman’s glory, I will let you take that one up with whomever you heard it from. Pious or not, there might be some truth in it.

    • “…After studying both sides i think its a matter of what each person feels is right for them…”

      This concept is one that I don’t believe any teacher of the Scriptures should tell another Christian. It smacks too close to the world’s view of living.

      As well as to this verse: “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes:….” Proverbs 12:15. But let us be like the ending of that verse where it says ” but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.”

      There is one last note which I’d like to touch on.

      “……Can we take our cue from the lengths for men and women that are recognized as appropriate among Christians in our own culture?…..”

      I do not believe that our beliefs, convictions, or actions should have their foundations (or cues taken) from anything within our own culture. God’s Word alone stands as the gauge for what is right and what is wrong.

      If you look at church history, this is a great downfall. As the world laid aside the veil, so did they lay aside modesty, then the distinction between the sexes clothing. Each little step downward has led to compromise on a Biblical stand on divorce and remarriage, and even now some churches allow gay marriages.

      Since the church has used the world as their gauge, they are only a decade or two behind it in the gross abominations. The call to be a pure and holy church has fallen by the wayside.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I corinthians 11:15. “For her hair is given her for a covering”. The word “covering” here, in my Greek lexicon is not the infinitive form of the word it is derived from. The greek word and form used here is a noun: Something thrown around one, i.e. a mantle, veil: -covering, vesture. So the New Living Translation is correct where it translates that phrase: …her hair is given her as a covering. This tells me that Paul was speaking about two distinct coverings. One which she “wears” especially during public prayers, worship and speaking (or one could interpret in general public) and one that God Himself gave her. Her God-made covering is her glory and should not be cut or sheared. She has this covering even when her cloth covering is not worn, i.e, in private or other specific times.

    God gave no specifications about type and size of cloth covering. He DID specify the size and length of her natural covering: un-cut. Therefore if a womans long hair is her covering then a mans long hair is also his covering. I and my boys cut our hair to an appropriate length so that we are not covered and if we wear hats in the sun or the cold we are still not “covered” because we have obeyed God and do not let our hair grow long. A hat is not a “veil” because that is not its purpose anyway. History shows that women often wore coverings and men wore hats.

    I am finding many of the hard-line anabaptist traditionalists to place their emphasis on the cloth covering insomuch that the hair is thrown by the wayside, tampered with, cut, and ignored in general. God placed a rather high priority, in this chapter, on her hair and it should not take such a degraded place in the covering issue.

    Note that Paul wrote “her hair is given her for a covering”. He did not say “THE” covering. It is therefore appropriate for us to take both coverings into consideration and keep both coverings in context and place our emphasis as God Himself does.

    My Opinion

  12. Anonymous says:

    To make wearing the veiling a test of salvation is not Biblical at all and isn’t what we want to portray. We very much agree that belief in the redeeming act of Christ on the cross is the plan of salvation.

    But the fact that we believe in the blood of Christ and wish to follow this verse “If ye love Me, ye will keep my commandments” John 14:15, as well as believing that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” 2 Tim. 3:16, leads us to want to follow His commands and those of His inspired followers as shared in Scripture.

    All of our Christian life is a journey and God is in the business of speaking to men’s hearts, first of all through His Word and the prompting of the Holy Spirit. If someone’s conviction/revelation/feeling etc. contradicts God’s Word, we have no choice but to believe it is from the wrong spirit. And when we are tempted to shun something that is spelled out in Scripture, we have to think of this verse “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” James 4:17

    This blog is a place that we/my wife can share bits and pieces of our lives. It is not, nor has ever been an outlet to personally attack anyone, just a forum in which we share the Biblical basis for our lives. We are open to any discussion with Scriptural backing used in context to learn to serve Him better. Frankly any other arguments are beside the point.

    I can truly share that “His yoke is easy and His burden is light” and I feel the most fulfilled and joyful when following His Word and not looking for ways to avoid submission to my Head.

    Lowell Graber – Kendra’s husband

  13. Anonymous says:

    It is clear that there are two coverings the passage is talking about—one is the natural long hair and the second one is the head covering.

    The scripture actually says to cover the head, not the hair. Now, if the hair is “a” covering, than maybe this is a good guide on the approximate area of the head is to be covered by the added covering. The word in Greek for wearing long hair means wearing long hair, the safest interpretation of which I take
    to be uncut hair. I would like to look into actual usage of this word in surrounding Greek literature to satisfy my own curiosity, although it does seem this is talking of natural length hair which in turn would be uncut.

    However, you will always find someone that can twist the first and clearest sense of the “Greek” or the “Hebrew” into some arcane and creative meaning using creative reasoning. The problem is that it is a shaky bridge that one has just built. However, when you trample on politically correct sacred cows, there
    is an army of schemers that cleverly manipulates the letter of the law to violate the spirit and the letter of the law.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    (In reference to the phrase “for her hair is given her for a covering”)

    So, this question is largely a matter of context. The word in this case is ἀντὶ and is usually translated as “for,” or “because.” It can also be translated as “in place of” or “instead” but this is dependent upon the context. All the major translations that I have looked at translate this word as “for” or “as” in 1 Corinthians 11:15 . In the NASB95 out of the 22 occurrences of this word 12 are translated as “for” and three as “instead” or its equivalent. In the ESV out of the 22 occurrences it is translated 12 times as “for” or its equivalent and “instead” or its equivalent 2 times. In the NIV out of 21
    occurrences it is translated as “for” or its equivalent 9 times and “instead” or its equivalent 3 times. I’m saying this so you get the picture that the normal sense of the word in the NT is “for” or “because” and not “instead of.”

    So now that we have established that context is the largest determiner in translating this Greek word, we need to look at what makes sense in this passage.

    Verses 4-7 almost certainly require that there be two coverings being talked about in this passage—one the natural length hair and the other a veiling of the head. Both of these are being argued for. To argue otherwise goes against the first and clear sense of the passage.

    The word used for “covering” in 4-7 is a different word than the one used in 15, lending itself very strongly to the idea that the one covering is the hair and the other is an additional head veiling.

    So with this context, if you translate ἀντὶ in this case as “instead of” the net result is an obfuscated and senseless passage. This one single verse may make sense in isolation, but then the entire passage taken together is saying two different things.

    All the serious scholarship that I’ve seen cannot help but understand this passage to be calling for an additional covering besides the hair. Even scholarship that claims that this passage is not binding to us today because of changes in culture admits that this passage is calling for a special covering.

    - Donnavon

    Jerusalem, Israel

  14. Anonymous says:

    I grew up in a church that taught the Christian woman’s head covering and could ‘argue’ with the best of them about why it is we should wear the covering. I actually could have written the post you wrote above.
    However….
    several years ago I began to realize that I had been taught to place entirely too much emphasis on the covering to the point that in my head I had attatched salvation to this practice. The more I searched through the teachings and my own heart, the more I wrestled. I knew in my heart that the covering has NOTHING to do with salvation! And funny enough, I was actually taught this very thing. However, what we were taught and what we practiced were two entirely different things!

    After a year of intense wrestling in my head and searching scripture, I realized that it was becoming a god to me. I was so determined to continue the practice because I knew the rejection I would face as a result of no longer wearing it. People may think some of us quit because wearing it isn’t the popular thing to do. Actually, in my case and the circles of people I was in it was quite the opposite! Unfortunantly, upon choosing to no longer wear a covering, I did face intense rejection which led me all the more to understand that it has been taught in a way that Christ never intended….and I don’t mean He never intended for us to wear one, I only mean that as humans we have taken it and twisted it into a “must do” to be a believer, hence rejecting those who choose otherwise.

    To this day I would never argue that it’s not a scriptural principal. I see it plain as day, however, I also know that God knows the reasons why I discontinued, and I think had I not been reared in a setting where it was mandatory, and would have come from my heart, I could have seperated things.

    I will always purpose to keep my heart open so that if I come to a better place in being able to seperate the practice from salvation, I will be willing to move in that direction.

    Unfortunantly some of the same folks who are so “right” and so studied about the covering seem to give themselves extended grace when it comes to the principal of gossip as well as numerous other scriptural principals that are written quite plain for all to understand.

    • Anonymous says:

      I grew up in a church that taught in order to be saved I must never gossip, lie, or cheat. I see these principles in the bible, however God knows why I decided to gossip, cheat and lie anyway.

      – Joe Christian

      p.s.- simply because a group may put over-emphasis on a biblical principle isn’t justification to discontinue obedience.

    • To the original poster, I cannot tell you how sad your post makes me. To base my obedience on my circumstances, settings, and the views of those around me does not seem Scriptural at all.

      I will not lie by saying that I do not struggle at times with obeying commands or principles from the heart. For I do, just like Paul even did. But at those times, I pray this prayer, “Lord, change me.”

      For I know it is my heart that needs the changing, not an escape from my circumstances. And to try to change my heart with my own efforts has always proved futile.

      I also know that I am ultimately responsible for my heart condition between God and I, even if I cannot change my church’s view on something.

      My heart could make a “god” out of anything, yet I know it is my heart that is the problem – not the command. And God is in the business of changing men’s hearts…….if only we truly let Him.

  15. Someone had left a comment giving their testimony on how they came about to believe that the long hair is the covering – before I turned the comments off to save this from becoming more of a heated discussion. It was pretty long, but I would like to touch on two things he said.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “I know people often go to Strong’s for definitions of greek words. I have nothing against strongs but its getting a bit outdated. It would be like looking up “gay” in a 1500s dictionary. It would probably say “happy.” Languages are always changing and words take on new meanings.”

    The fact that languages ARE changing is why I personally want to know what Paul meant at the time he wrote it. What did the word mean in Paul’s day – not in our day. And Strong’s has always been regarded as a solid concordance on Greek definitions and has also been around a long time – way before the days of internet commentaries.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “But if a woman has LONG hair (I just discovered this as I was writing this. The word for hair here is better translated as “tresses”. Tresses in english dictionary means “long locks or curls of hair.” so there goes your argument over what’s “long.”)it is a glory to her. (I really liked the discussion about this glory part in previous posts.)Now here is the “for” that is translated as “because”… BECAUSE her hair (or tresses, referring back to the LONG hair in the beginning of the sentence) is given to her INSTEAD OF something wrapped around [her head]….. “

    I spoke on this before in answer to another poster’s comment on the long hair being the covering. Here are the meanings in the Greek for the word “hair” used in this verse:

    “But if a woman have long hair (‘komao’ – have long hair; tresses’), it is a glory to her; for her hair (‘kome’ – the hair of the head; hair) is given her for a covering.”

    So I stand by my earlier comments that I do not believe you can honestly say the long hair is the covering. Someone, somewhere has inserted it. If you’re going to call the hair the covering, it would still simply be the hair – long or short.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    This poster also strongly inferred we were not studying this with an open mind. Can you honestly say you don’t think I’d like it to be the hair? That to fit in with the crowd wouldn’t please the fleshly side of me? Those of us who cover our heads are still just as human as those who don’t.

    We are and endeavour to be open to accurate, in-context translations of the Word of God. Upon this we base our Christian worldview – not “internet discussions, personal feelings, new revelations, enlightened theologies, or modern-day versions of the Bible.”

    “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

    I do pray the Lord has been glorified in this study. It was meant entirely as an apologetics post, but the emails and feedback I have received tell me people think I have meant it in a judging way. I most certainly did not, and if you have taken the time to read other posts, you’ll also know I am only a sinner saved by grace.