“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)
The Basket Case Chronicles #128
“For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels” (1 Cor. 11: 10).
The last part of this verse is obscure to us, and has generated a good bit of discussion. Because of the angels? The first question concerns whether they are celestial beings or just ordinary messengers, or perhaps pastors (as I think they are in Revelation). I take this as a reference to celestial beings, thinking that the burden of proof should be on those who want to maintain otherwise. That is what the word usually means. The second question concerns whether the women ought to behave in a particular way to avoid offending the angels, or to avoid stumbling them. I think there could be an element of both here, but I think it is a reference to Gen. 6:2, coupled with verse 5 of that chapter. When human societies are disordered, one of the fundamental relations that breaks down is the relationship between men and women. Christian churches should want to avoid being like those people who died in the Flood, wanting instead to be like those who were gathered into the ark.
The first part of the verse is much more straightforward. The word translated here as woman can also be translated as wife. I think it means wife here because she has to wear a particular sign of authority on her head, and to fail to do so disgraces a particular man, her husband (v. 5). She is obligated to have authority on her head. But though this has direct reference to wives, it is certainly relevant to those young women who are preparing to be wives, or those widows who have been wives. Reasoning by analogy, it is necessary for them to honor their fathers or their deceased husbands.
Put it together in this paraphrase. Because the man was not made for the woman, but the woman for the man, the woman is required to have a visible indicator of his authority over her, and she must have it on her head. She must do this because the woman was created for the man, and not for the angels.
AS IT IS IN HEAVEN – How do the angles understand the church’s acknowledgement of God’s authority, government, headship and glory in worship? If long hair alone is the visible symbol of this teaching in 1 Cor 11, WHAT is it’s standard? Paul makes very clear that it is disgraceful for a woman to have a sheared or shaven head. And so if long hair is the standard, what length of hair approaches the disgraceful length of sheared? How short can a woman’s hair get before it becomes dishonoring? Doug is inclined that “a woman with “most” of her hair… Read more »
Angels, not angles. Of course, when they cover their heads and uncover their legs…
“How do the angles understand…”
Easily. They are not obtuse.
“…uncover their legs”
That angle is acute, which of course in the context of church, is not.
Cute that is.
We may perceive Eve as Adam’s flesh; so that, just as the born again believer must choose to ‘live by the Spirit and not the flesh’, so God created the exact same free will conditions for Adam, for without choice there can be no free will. The head governs body; we may say that all sickness is the reverse of this, for example addiction is the body dictating terms to the mind; another hit.. another drink etc A man is only spiritual if in obedience to his head, Christ. A woman is only spiritual if obedient to her head, her… Read more »
Who’s Your Man? Ladies, and young ladies (all women); this modern and fledging teaching that married women alone acknowledge, via their long hair, their obedience to their husbands, is another attempt to have you recognize a man, but not the Man Christ Jesus. The use of wife in 1 Cor 11 has never been translated as such in the entire history of the church. It has alway been translated woman. “All” women are to come to worship, wearing this priestly vestment, acknowledging Christ and His governance before Him and His “angels.” Remember, the apostle Paul had been caught up to… Read more »
What is the Jewish tradition from that time?
“The use of wife in 1 Cor 11 has never been translated as such in the entire history of the church.”
“Remember, the apostle Paul had been caught up to the third heaven, into Paradise and heard inexpressible words which he was not permitted to speak about. Paul does however bring us this tradition, and mentions “because of the angels.””
So Paul wasn’t allowed to speak about it but he spoke about it anyway?
What proof do you have that it’s never been translated that way?
Good work, Steve Perry. Moreover, the idea that “angels” were the “sons of God” in Gen. 6 is riddled with too many problems to mention in a commbox. I thought Calvin had put that gross fantasy to bed once and for all.
I can see why a widow would need to continue showing respect to her late husband in the sense that she oughtn’t now go around saying, “Whew! So glad that jerk is dead so now I can kvetch about what a bozo he was!” but I don’t see how she would have to continue showing him respect as an authority over her, because he no longer is. If the covering (whichever way you take it to mean) is a sign pointing to a particular man’s authority over a particular woman, it can’t be pointing to a dead man. Same deal… Read more »
Hello Seth. I do stand corrected, and should not have made such a blanket statement that “it has never been used in the entire history of the church.” It has, and I’ve found 12 translations. 1) 2011 The Voice Bible 2) 1993 The Message Bible, 3) 1990 English Standard Bible 4) 1989 New Revised Standard Version Bible 5) 1977 Mounce Interlinear New Testament 6) 1971 Revised Standard Version 7) 1971 Living Bible 8) 1969 New Life Version 9) 1966 Good News Translation 10) 1965 The Amplified Bible 11) 1963 God’s Word Translation 12) 1887 Youngs Literal Translation. Youngs did susprise… Read more »
What say you, Pastor Wilson, to those that argue that the head covering was a Corinthian church tradition and therefore “we have no such practice”?