Headcoverings: The Last Video You'll Ever Watch On It

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This debate has been "covered" as long as every strand of "hair" in the world. We want to show you with a proper biblical hermeneutic and typology, and a holistic view of Scripture why 1 Corinthians 11 head coverings are not cultural, only hair, or even for today. Tune in to see why!


We've all experienced the odd occurrence in the Bible and was left with fringe questions.
Watch and listen as we leave no question unanswered.
What's up everyone? We have a topic today that has been hotly debated for centuries. This is a scripture passage that has been shrouded in confusion for many, and here at we want to help end the debate and remove the haze from our passage in question.
I'm going to be honest with you, my explanation may be unlike any other you've ever heard.
Today we will be looking to answer, does scripture command that women wear head coverings today?
We all know as conservative Christians that feministic ideology has seeped its way into the church to some degree.
Are head coverings that coming back to biblical standards, or an overcorrection?
And it's more serious than that. If God has potentially commanded something through the inspiration of the
Holy Spirit by the Apostle Paul, all Christians should seriously consider if they are observing that command correctly.
So without further ado, let's read the text in question. 1 Corinthians chapter 11 verses 1 -16.
Paul says, But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved.
For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off. But it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved.
Let her cover her head. For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God.
But the woman is the glory of man. For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man.
For indeed, man was not created for the woman's sake, but woman for the man's sake.
Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head because of the angels.
However, in the Lord neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman.
For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman, and all things originate from God.
Judge for yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him?
But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her? For her hair is given to her for a covering.
But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God.
Coverings. Hair. Headship. Creation. Symbol of authority. No other practice.
Because of the angels. What is going on here? I won't be able to exegete every aspect of the text, but we will get a holistic understanding, and unlike most, we will harmonize our understanding with the rest of sacred scripture.
Now before I get into the explanation, let me tell you there are basically three interpretations thus far of 1
Corinthians 11, the most popular. The first and most widely accepted view today is the cultural view.
That the woman in the first century, who practiced immodesty and maybe even prostitution, did not cover her hair, and therefore, to demonstrate a woman possesses those virtues, she met the cultural expectations of that day to wear a head covering, but those expectations no longer apply to us in the 21st century.
Hair covered or uncovered demonstrates a neutral image today, adherence of this view would say.
Now most against this will respond pointing out the appeal to creation and the order of headship by which
Christ is over all, and the husband over his wife. These things are timeless in a way that culture is irrelevant.
Those things are absolutely correct, but they are not the real reasons why the cultural view is inferior.
Now the second most popular view for this passage is that Paul is making an argument for long hair.
A woman's hair is her covering, and it should never be short. She should always be easily distinguished from a man.
But the issue with that is that Paul has made a clear distinction in the text between hair as a covering and an external garment on top of the head as a covering for a woman.
Why would he go to such great lengths to simply argue long hair is necessary while praying and prophesying?
Now the third most popular view, and widely accepted in Reformed denominations as well as some
Orthodox camps and Anabaptist traditions, is that Paul indeed commanded women to wear a covering on their heads when they gather for worship, and this applies to women today just as much as the women of the first century.
John Calvin is often quoted by proponents of this, in which Calvin essentially says if you uncover the heads, soon they will uncover their breasts.
St. Augustine and many other dear brothers and theologians agree, and see head coverings for women in worship as timeless.
I have to admit, the fact that the majority of church history is on this side is compelling.
But in the end, Scripture is the standard, right? So let's get into the fourth view, probably a minority view, but one we believe is the most harmonious with the entire text of Scripture.
It may seem odd, but we first have to look into what brought about these occasions that include praying and prophesying, which is when this head covering must be used according to Paul.
To do that, we ought to look at Joel chapter 2. It says, It will come about, after this, that I will pour out
My Spirit on all mankind, and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.
Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, blood, fire, and columns of smoke.
The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and awesome day of the
Lord comes. And it will come about, that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be delivered.
For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape, as the Lord has said, even among the survivors whom the
Lord has called. In Acts chapter 2, the Apostle Peter preaches his very first sermon to the people on the day of Pentecost.
He quotes the exact passage that I just read from Joel chapter 2, indicating that this pouring out of the
Spirit which was prophesied so many hundreds of years before is happening at this very moment.
And what I want to argue is that the rest of that Joel 2 prophecy about judgment and wonders in the sky is not something that is thousands of years later at the end of time.
Joel and Peter are both talking about a series of events that will occur starting from the ascension of Christ in the day of Pentecost, with the pouring out of the
Spirit, and then prophesying in dreams that will occur in the middle, as we see in the book of Acts, and then at the end, roughly 40 years later, what is often called the coming day of the
Lord will occur, that day being the AD 70 event of the destruction of Jerusalem that even
Jesus warned in Matthew 24 would occur in their lifetimes. Josephus recorded that those events in the sky, those signs did occur, the
Roman armies came and it was horrific, Jews so hungry that they even resorted to cannibalism.
But the Christians hated the warnings of Jesus and they fled as the armies surrounded the city.
Historically, they fled to a place called Pella, just as Joel chapter 2 said that there would be survivors who escape, all whom the
Lord calls. These were the ones who called upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. This prophetic and hyperbolic language often occurs when
God judges a city or nation as we see the same language in Isaiah 13,
Isaiah 34, Ezekiel 32, and Amos chapter 8, which those too were not earth -ending moments.
In other words, Joel's prophecy that Peter said was occurring right then at Pentecost was not followed by a break of thousands of years that have yet to be fulfilled, rather this is about the setting up of the new covenant church at Pentecost and the next 40 years for that church, which is the church's wilderness wanderings where God leads them, until the winding up of the old covenant, which can only occur with the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem in AD 70, since now
Christ is the fulfillment of all these things. The old is passing away and the new has come.
Think about it this way, Luke the gospel writer wrote the gospel according to Luke, that was like the book of Genesis, how the creator
God in a sense recreated people. Jesus calls it being born again, the new birth, regeneration, re -Genesis.
And then Luke also paired his gospel with the book of Acts. He is the author of the
Acts of the Apostles. This is the account of Exodus made new, Genesis and Exodus.
This is departing from slavery to sin like Israelites from Egypt. This is leaving the old taskmaster of Satan like fleeing
Pharaoh. The waters of the Red Sea like our waters of baptism. Then having
God's own presence in a pillar of cloud by day, in a pillar of fire by night to lead his people just like we now have the
Holy Spirit with us and in us always. Heading to the promised land, which is the global establishment of the gospel of the kingdom.
But to get to the promised land, they needed direction from God through revelation. The people were given a prophet.
Well, likewise, direction was needed for Christ's church in their 40 years of church wandering as it was becoming solidified.
Apostles and prophets were given during this time for that reason. Just like the manna that would fall down from heaven to feed
God's people in Exodus, piecemeal prophecy and dreams were given as God calls his word bread.
And these bits of revelation during this time were for the church's benefit until the canon of the
New Testament scripture was formed, which are like our stone tablets.
In fact, spiritually, they are set in stone. The canon is complete today.
So you see, it's Genesis and Exodus, Luke and Acts, type and fulfillment.
So what does this have to do with head coverings or veils for women? Everything. As Joel and Peter said, your daughters will prophesy.
There will be prophetesses. Now, there have been a few before this time. You have Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, Noadiah.
All of those are mentioned in the Old Testament as being prophetesses. Even in the New Testament, Anna is specifically mentioned as a prophetess in Luke chapter 2, verse 36.
However, in the 40 years between Pentecost and Jerusalem's destruction, there would not just be the unusual lone prophetess, but rather many would be raised up.
Even Philip the Evangelist in Acts chapter 21, verse 9, had four virgin daughters who possessed this gift of prophecy.
Therefore, we see this was no longer a rarity among women, but now common during this age of the church.
So that leads us into the context of our passage in question. 1 Corinthians 11.
During the time of the letter to the church at Corinth, it would be in that 40 years of the church wandering and needing prophecy to be led by God as they wait for the
New Testament scripture. And so the passage gives no indication, none at all, that these women were doing this at a worship service.
These were upper room type moments, prayer moments, Bible study moments. Not the worship service.
Paul doesn't transition into anything that could resemble a worship service until he speaks on the
Lord's Supper at the end of chapter 11. Not to mention just a few chapters later in 1
Corinthians 14, verses 34 and 35, Paul would write that women are to keep silent in the churches for they are not permitted to speak.
And he appeals to the law as well as saying this is the Lord's commandment. And he affirms this in 1
Timothy chapter 2, verses 11 through 12, says a woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness, but I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man but to remain quiet.
The point is, Paul wouldn't give rules on women wearing head coverings while verbally giving prophetic prayers and prophecy, then immediately go back on it just a few chapters later.
That is to say, head coverings don't need to be worn by women at all in a worship service because they are not permitted to teach, preach, prophesy, or pray aloud in that service.
Head coverings were then for, as Paul says, not the gathering together moment, but a praying and prophesying moment.
As I said, at the time that Paul was writing, before the completion of the canon of Scripture, most churches would have had little if any of the
New Testament Scriptures that we now have. They therefore needed more direct teaching from God, and it seems that the raising up of prophets and prophetesses, foretold by Joel and confirmed by Peter at Pentecost, was for precisely that reason.
The gift of prophesying spoken of in this epistle is a particular gift given to specially called people at that time.
But one which no longer exists. We no longer need prophesying because the prophetic
Word of God is now complete. Yes, the office of preacher is in a sense a prophetic one, but it is one where the minister is simply proclaiming, or forth telling rather than foretelling, and teaching and expounding
God's prophetic Word which has already been completed. It is not the kind of prophesying
Paul is talking about in 1 Corinthians, which Paul hints will soon cease as quote, for prophecies they will pass away.
And so with that said, the spiritual gifts, healings, tongues, and prophecy have ceased as normative giftings among Christians today, seeing as how their greatest purpose was served to spread the gospel like wildfire in an anti -Christian
Roman Empire, as well as edify and aid the church until the New Testament Word was given.
Miracles are still happening everywhere, but each Christian man, woman, or child isn't getting these gifts.
You simply won't walk into Christian churches all over the world today and see these gifts used in their true and biblical sense in which they were given.
And so seeing as how the gift of prophecy has ceased in a normative sense, so do head coverings.
And just to note, the praying here is not congregational prayer or silent prayers, but one that was often accompanied by prophetic utterance.
Remember, this isn't a worship service. Almost every other time in 1 Corinthians, the context of prayer is related to sign gifts, not regular prayer.
The question is then, why would women have to wear head coverings while praying and prophesying?
Well, Paul appeals to headship and the created order multiple times.
In verse 3 of 1 Corinthians 11, he says, Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman.
In verses 7 -12, man was created first, and then woman was created for the man.
Biblical headship is also seen in other parts of the Bible, like Peter's first epistle, but especially
Ephesians chapter 5. This is an important doctrine to God.
A man is to love his wife like Christ loves the church, and she is to be submissive to him as to the
Lord. The angels even look upon this God -given order. They see man made in God's image and likeness, and they marvel.
And the angels ought to marvel because it is properly practiced and obeyed, rather than marvel because we disobey this order.
And so, tune in right here. Listen to this, because many men were not getting the gift of prophecy, but possibly other gifts, and their daughters and their wives were indeed getting the gift of prophetic utterance, there could be a temptation to elevate these women because of their gift from God.
They're giving us direction from God, and so to maintain the created order, to maintain proper headship, to give a symbol of authority to the man, she wore a head covering while praying and prophesying.
This would be a moment of great humility, and it was often not just a band over the head, but the word also means a veil.
This is a submissive act of a woman to show the church, while saying wonderful things from God, she's saying,
I still submit to my husband or my father, and most of all, I submit to God's design.
Now, a few more things to consider. First, the Mosaic law says nothing about men not wearing hats, or women wearing coverings to worship
God. In fact, the Lord ordered priests to wear turbans on their head.
As the church was being established, in the Jewish context, every priest, high priest, synagogue leader, and eventually layman who wore the yarmulke, wore a head covering to worship
God. That was for men, however. Also, head coverings were not brought up in the
Jerusalem council. This is not something that is in God's providence, being impressed strongly upon in other epistles, because head coverings had an expiration date.
When the gift of prophecy ceased, and the canon was closed, and the prophetesses died out or their gift did, coverings then became a wonderful tradition.
And that's what they are. It is neither sin for a woman to wear one, nor sin for her to not wear one.
It is a matter now of Christian liberty and personal conviction. I will say, as a pastor in ministry, many women watch some video on coverings or read an article about it.
They get very excited. Essentially, they tell their husband, I'm going to start wearing a covering. The husband can shrug and say, do you think is right?
Or he says, I don't know about this, honey. Let's talk about it. And she fights him on it.
When in reality, the timeless principles of this passage are male headship, submission, and men should look like men and women should look like women.
A defiant wife going against her husband in an effort to honor God actually dishonors our
Lord. So if you're investigating this, be watchful for that.
The church has established many wonderful traditions over the centuries that we are allowed to have.
Commandments, prescriptions, the regulative principle. These are non -negotiable, but this one is.
And you may find that even though it is not commanded, you like the original principle that the covering demonstrates submission to a husband.
Feel free to do so. Wear a covering. But where this goes completely wrong is when people make it salvific.
If a woman doesn't wear a head covering, she's going to hell. This is adding to the gospel of Christ.
This is false. All in all, I highly respect families who have chosen to cover.
I think they take seriously their worship of God. But we can't say if a family doesn't cover that they don't take their worship of God seriously too.
And as you have seen, this is all related to the sign gifts that have ceased.
So humorously, I might point out that those who believe in biblical cessationism are often the proponents of coverings, while continuationists are often the ones against coverings.
It is the inconsistency of not considering all of the text of Scripture. So are head coverings for today?
Is it a sin to not wear one? The answer is no. Let's consider this one answered.