Monday, March 28, 2011
The Hair is not "the" covering
You probably know that I've answered this before but only just today the issue of "hair" as covering has come up once again. This time with the twist found in the word "instead" found in v 15 -- the entire teaching is I Corinthians 11:1-16.
Many smart women read the I Cor 11 passage and are led astray by commentaries and the confusion of the translation using the word "covering" for both the covering and for the hair. Really smart women check it out in Greek and some of those stumble over the word "instead" thinking they have Found something that lesser Christians have missed. They read the passage in a transliteration and think that their hair is their covering. Let me explain why it is not.
There are many issues hidden by the translation from Greek into English. The biggest one is that from v 5 through v 13 the Greek is using the word Katakalupto and akatakalupto. The "a" in front of the word means "not" the same as when "a" is put in front of the word moral.
Then, at the very end of the teaching a whole different word is used and that is about the hair. That word is peribolaion which is only used one other time in the Bible. The BEST translation of peribolaion is Vest or mantle.
Long hair is like a vest or mantle. Peribolaion also means something you can throw around oneself like a shawl.
At the close of the passage the teaching is totally different than putting a covering, a katakalupto, on your head. The passage in Greek teaches women to do that and in addition it teaches that your long hair is like a vest. When the passage says, "instead" the hair is given instead of a covering the Greek is saying that the hair is given instead of a vest, not instead of the head covering katakalupto.
I know it's difficult. I know it would have "popped" out so much more clearly if the translators had simply translated the close of the passage the way the Greek does ...
"A woman/wife is have long hair, glory to her it is; for the long hair instead of a vest is given to her."
That is the exact teaching in Greek.
There is no way the Bible is saying wear your hair instead of your vest. It's saying that your long hair could be vest-like, mantle-like it covers that well. But the passage does not say that your hair/vest is THE covering, the katakalupto, so painstakingly taught above.
If the hair is THE covering then men need to take their hair off to pray or prophesy and it makes the passage silly because people don't put on hair and take off hair. The verb tense is in the "putting" on. An action; that's the tense when teaching the katakalupto covering.
I too looked for any way to get out of covering. Any way to get out of it would have worked for me. I too noticed that with 3 strong reasons given in the passage to cover I could not find an excuse.
The headship order = God, Jesus, Man, Woman
The order of creation = man, then woman
The Angels = which have been around a long time
No cultural reason is given, only "long-term" reasons are given.
This is why Christians obeyed I Cor 11 for 2000 years and only stopped around 40 or 50 years ago. Coverers are outnumbered now, but that was not the case for 2000 years. This "not" covering situation is new in church history.