Long Hair, Head coverings, Angels, Oh my!

We have finally reached the text which has long puzzled many theologians and churchgoers. I’ve had my eye on this text ever since we started this letter, and I am not exaggerating when I say I have read and studied more for this sermon than for any previous one. In fact, the first four commentaries I picked up all said something to the effect that this is the hardest passage in the New Testament.

I say all that simply to explain why this sermon will feel a little different than normal. Because this text feels so foreign to us, I will be making a lot of logic arguments, a lot of exegetical spadework, and so I want you to try and hang with me.

For those that persevere through the study of this passage, you will be rewarded with keener insight on some fundamental principles concerning man and woman, how they relate, and how we are to act towards one another. And so, this text which feels so foreign, actually rewards diligent labor with very practical and important practical instruction.

But before we get to the rewards, we have to put in the study, and let’s do that by reading our text, 1 Corinthians 11, starting in verse 2:

Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman[a] is man,[b]and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head,but every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a woman will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short.

But since it is disgraceful for a woman to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 That is why a woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.[d]

11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.

Last week we spent our time examining just the first two verses of this section, specifically endeavoring to understand rightly verse 3. And that’s because verse 3 is really the bedrock theological text that undergirds all of the instruction that follows.

And verse 3 deals with the authority structures that God has built into creation from the very beginning. God is the head of Christ, Christ the head of man, and man the head of woman. These are the fundamental principles, or channels of authority, that have been hard-wired into the very fabric of nature since God first spoke things into existence.

And if we don’t understand that, then all of the discussion downstream of that will run amok. It doesn’t matter how you interpret the head coverings or the discussion of hair, if you buck at the very idea of submission and authority. The emblems of authority and submission are meaningless, without a heart and mind aligned with these god-ordained channels of authority and submission.

So, having tried to sketch out these good and godly structures, we’re now in a position to try and understand what Paul is doing in the rest of this section. If you’ll remember, Paul has been addressing a series of questions that the Corinthian believers had asked of him: questions about sexuality and marriage, about meat sacrificed to idols, and now about head coverings.

I’ll try to explain what’s going on in this passage I want to try and ask and answer a series of questions. 3 main questions that I hope will help us make sense of what Paul is doing here.[1] The first will be:

What is the covering?

Why is Paul concerned about these coverings?

How does this apply to us today?

Now before I get to the first question, let me just go ahead and say a brief word about one of the most enigmatic statements in the whole bible, and that is verse 10 about the angels. Paul says, “That is why a woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.”

This phrase, because of the angels, is intriguing to anyone who has spent any time studying the passage. Scholars disagree about exactly what point Paul is making by mentioning the angels.

Some say that with the word ANGELS Paul is not referring to the heavenly spiritual beings, but rather to Messengers, which is a legitimate way to translate the same word. That is, women ought to have the symbol of authority on their heads because of the visiting travelers who might be in the worship service and be scandalized by women not wearing the sign of authority.

Others think that Paul IS actually referring to angels as the Heavenly spiritual beings. Some of these interpretations get quite fanciful and speculative. For example, some posit that women ought to have the sign of authority on their heads, lest the male angels lust after the women like the sons of God did in Genesis 6. That is a bit far-fetched to me.

Others, like Tom Schreiner think that this mention of angels is simply a reference to the good angels who assist in worship and desire to see God’s good order of creation being maintained, and would likewise be offended by any visible usurpation of God’s intended order, as demonstrated by the lack of a head covering on a woman in worship.[2] The angels were present at the time of creation, as passages like Job 38:7 teach us, and even today they celebrate the goodness of God’s created order. This interpretation is appealing and is helped by verses like 1 Timothy 5:21 which speaks of us being in the presence of God and the elect angels.

Another possible interpretation is an expansion of the previous one about the good angels, and it takes into account the fallen angels as well. I do think that the good angels look into our worship and do desire to see God’s good authority structures honored. But I also think that the biblical account of the fallen angels is a parable of what happens when God’s authority structures are rejected.

For example, Jude 6 says this: “And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, [God] has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day.” Wicked angels rejected their proper place, rejected their position of submission to God and His authority, and have been imprisoned until the final judgment.

So, with all of that, I think that the reference to angels in 1 Corinthians 11 likely is referring to both the godly station of good angels and their desire to see God’s creation patterns maintained, but also a reference and a warning tied to the punishment given to wicked angels because of their rejection of God’s hierarchy of authority and submission.

You might disagree with me on that finer point of this interpretation, and I think that’s ok. This is a harder text, and I do think that the main point of this passage is clear, regardless of where one lands on interpreting the angelic reference.

Now with that, let’s move on to our first question. What was the head covering? What was the head covering to which Paul keeps referencing?

Verse 4 says this: Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head.”

So what then is this covering? Good Christian theologians have disagreed on this question, and still do even today. Two main views have been proposed as to the exact nature of the covering. The first is that the covering is actually a person’s hair, and not some fabric veil or shawl or hat. Thus, this position teaches, Paul is concerned in this passage with the Corinthian women in the congregation who were letting their hair hang down loose, hang down their backs.

We might say it this way: that some of the Corinthian women were so styling their hair in a way that disregarded the goodness of God’s created order, and so communicated in a non-verbal way a rejection of submission to their head, their husband, and ultimately a rejection of God’s authority.

According to this view, Paul is wanting the women to use their hair as a natural covering, and to style their hair on top of their heads in a way as to demonstrate their submission to their earthly head and their heavenly head. Some of us have been among congregations where the women all wear their hair in buns on the top of their head.

Many Christian women, in fact, have worn their hair that way in the history of the church. In fact, some of you are old enough to remember when women all wore Sunday hats to church, and if they ever were to take that hat off, you’d have noticed her hair up in a bun on the top of her head. That tradition or custom goes all the way back to this text.

That’s the first view, which Alistair Begg comically calls the “bun view.”[3] In favor of the bun view we might cite the following arguments. Number 1, Paul nowhere mentions a veil except in verse 15. Even though some people interpret the word for “covering” as “veil” throughout this passage, in actuality the only time Paul uses the word for veil, paribolaiou, is in verse 15. For her hair is given to her for a covering [or a veil].

So, argument number 1 in favor of the bun view as opposed to some other sort of fabric covering, is that Paul doesn’t actually mention fabric head coverings or veils, and when he does use the word in verse 15, it is clear he is talking about HAIR, not a hat.

Number 2, a second argument in favor the bun view, veiling was not required in OT Israel, and it is doubtful that it was expected practice in the time of Jesus, except by some of the rich, cosmopolitan woman of the day.[4] I won’t bore you with the historical background of all of that. For those that are interested you can read the footnotes of this sermon when I publish it online on Monday. The points to note so far in favor of the bun view, is that we neither have the word for veil used, nor the common practice of the day.

Third, in Greek, Roman, and Jewish culture, long or disheveled hair, or hair that had been closely shorn and short, was a sign that the wearer had been cut off from their community.[5]

Fourth, the word for “covering” throughout, is related to another word found in Numbers 5:18,

16 “And the priest shall bring [the woman] near and set her before the Lord. 17 And the priest shall take holy water in an earthenware vessel and take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle and put it into the water. 18 And the priest shall set the woman before the Lord and unbind the hair of the woman’s head and place in her hands the grain offering of remembrance.

This word for the unbinding of her hair, letting her hair to hang down loose, this word is tied in the Greek Old Testament to the same word that Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 11.

There we go. Those are the four primary reasons that some commentators people argue in favor of the covering being merely a woman’s hair, rather than a fabric covering.

On the other hand, some commentators think that Paul is actually talking about a covering, apart from a woman’s hair. The simplest argument to me in favor of interpreting Paul as referring to a fabric head covering is to not actually look at the women, but look at what Paul says about the men.

Paul says that it is shameful for a man to pray with his head covered, and if that is the case, then it seems to me that the plain reading of the text is that all the men should be bald. If a covering is naturally shameful for men to have, and that covering is simply hair, then prudence would dictate that men remove any bit of the shameful covering, and have no hair on their heads at all.

So, in favor of the head covering view, or the veil view, we can make several arguments. And it is worth noting that this isn’t a full-face veil, like Muslim women sometimes wear. It was more like a head shawl, or a small piece of fabric over the head.

But the first argument in favor of the veil view is the comparative usage of the verb to cover. The verb translated as covering (which is used 3x in 6, 7, and one other place) that verb most commonly refers to an actual covering of some kind. For example, in Isaiah 6 we are told that the cherubim covered their faces, same kind of verb, and it refers to an actual covering, and not merely letting one’s hair hang down.

Likewise, in Esther 6:12, we read that “Haman hurried to his house, mourning and with his head covered.” That’s the same language from 1 Corinthians 11, and it was not a reference to Haman changing his hair style, but rather covering his head in shame with some sort of fabric covering or shawl, or maybe a scarf.

Furthermore, we can look at the usage of the covering language outside of scripture to see that the word covering as it relates to a head is used to reference an actual covering, and not merely hairstyle. Plutarch speaks of the head being covered with part of the toga. Philo uses the same term to speak of the priest removing a handkerchief off of someone’s head.[6]

What all that means is that the words Paul is using here to describe the covering itself and the state of being covered or uncovered, all those terms usually are used in a manner that indicates the presence of an actual covering, in a transitive way, to speak in grammarian terms, which means that it points to the covering being something other than mere hair.

And so that leads me to conclude that this covering to which Paul is speaking is an actual covering, probably something like a shawl or a scarf, that covered the head. That’s where I land on that issue of what the head covering is.

But wherever we land, the major point is clear. Women are to dress in a certain way, and that way is supposed to look clearly different from men. That much is clear. As to the exact nature of the covering and what it was supposed to look like, that is less clear.

Paul is speaking to some form of apparel or adornment, and teaching us that that adornment was expressive of either submission to God’s design and order, or the rejection of God’s design and order, and thus rejection of God himself.

How we dress matters, and Paul makes clear that women and men ought to dress differently. We can debate all night the exact nature of what that looks like, but I think it is best to press into the second major question, which is this:

Why is Paul concerned with these coverings? Why is he making these claims? Why are women to dress in a certain way and men in another way?

Verse 3 spells out man’s headship and woman’s submission to him, yet it never undermines the woman’s equality with man. Equality and headship together.

Head coverings are not to be worn by men (although Jewish men do that today, interestingly, starting around the 400s). Women are to wear them, and this indicates her submission to God’s plan, and her vital role in it.

Consequently, for a man to wear a covering, or for a woman to leave the covering off, is express either the rejection of or confusion about the roles that God has ordained for the man and the woman. A woman covered is expressing her submission to the role to which God has designed her, as a helpmate for man. And a man uncovered is expressing his submission to God’s role, and the leadership that the man is to express under God’s own authority.

So important is this to Paul that he equates the rejection of these principles with the embrace of either prostitution or radical feminism. That’s what verse 5 and following says, “but every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven.” If a woman refuses to wear the covering, she might as well to shave her head, which in that culture expressed harlotry or a radical rejection of femininity. I point out this rhetorical overstatement to indicate its importance.

Further, Paul states that there is dishonor associated with getting this wrong. Rejecting the pattern brings dishonor on her head. Does that mean her own cranium? Or does that mean her head, specifically her husband? I think both, in the same way that proverbs speaks of rebellious children bringing shame to themselves and to their parents.

When we rebel against any godly authority, it brings shame upon us, but it also dishonors the authorities placed over us, and ultimately dishonors God. This is no small issue for Paul, and this explains why this passage is relevant to us today, even though we are so removed both geographically and historically from Corinth. We don’t want to dishonor our head, neither men nor women, by behaving in a way that is rebellious against God’s plan and pattern for authority and submission.

Another observation before we move on to the third major question, and that is this: the context of the discussion. The context of this discussion is praying and prophesying. Men praying and prophesying with covered heads and women praying and prophesying with heads uncovered.

But how do we reconcile that with 1 Corinthians 14:33-35?

“As in all the churches of the saints, 34 the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. 35 If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.”

So Paul addresses women who are praying and prophesying in chapter 11, but then says in chapter 14 that they shouldn’t be doing that stuff. So which is it Paul? Can the women pray and prophesy or not?

Some people just abandon ship and say that Paul was contradicting himself. But that’s not helpful or satisfying, nor does it honor the holy spirit nor give Paul any credit as a writer. He’s not going to contradict himself in the space of a couple of chapters.

Some others say that the speaking that Paul is addressing in chapter 11 and chapter 14 are two different kinds of speaking. But that is unconvincing textually for me, especially since the same words are used in the same ways just a couple chapters apart.

Others reconcile these two passages by saying that they are speaking to two different contexts. For example, John Macarthur says that chapter 11 refers to when a woman is out in public, out shopping or at the market, anywhere else but the church.[7] But chapter 14 addressed the woman within the context of the worship service. Two different contexts. I suppose that is possible, but I don’t see any compelling reason within the text to make that distinction in contexts.

Another reason, which I find more compelling, is that Paul is taking the problems on one at a time.[8] In chapter 11 he is addressing the fundamental issues of authority and headship, and he’s not here going to muddy the water by addressing the practical inconsistencies that flow downstream in Corinth.

That is, he’s got to get the main problem fixed first, in chapter 11, by addressing how God has designed creation to operate. Only then can he address the problems of their disorderly worship services in chapter 14.

We’ll address the particulars of that passage in due time, but for tonight, let’s focus on the main points of this passage: that God has made man and woman to have equality of being, but diversity in role. Ontological equality, functional difference. And that fact is to be expressed and honored by the way that we dress and behave.

Now, before we leave this question, it is worth noting Verse 11-12:

11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.

This is similar to the passage in 1 Peter 3:7 where Peter mentions how men and women are joint heirs in Christ Jesus, just after he had spent 6 verses explaining the authority of man over his wife.

Similarly, I think Paul is aware how some of this argumentation could be twisted by wicked men into arguing for a subordinate status for women, as if women were made for the pleasure of men, or for the service of men. Paul’s cutting that off. There is to be no chauvinistic, macho, brow-beating, male dominating character to the church of God. All things are from God.

Both men and women are united together as equals in the salvation of God, but that union in no way separates the distinction of roles given by God from the beginning. In fact, verses 11-12 highlight the mutual dependence that we all have upon one another in our proper roles. Man needs woman and woman needs man. Neither exists without the other; we are mutually dependent, and all of these things come from God, verse 12 ends.

Mutuality and dependence, in harmony with leadership and submission, and that is how God has designed the home and the church to operate. Woman can’t build a home with another woman, just as man cannot build a home with another man. I won’t go into details there, but there is a complementarity to how God has made things to operate, and when that complementarity, that fitted-ness is rejected, you’ll see that it’s not merely the parts that don’t fit right, but the whole ethos of the institution is torpedoed.

Verses 11-12 keep us from going off the rails in one direction, just like verses 3-10 keep us from going off the rails in the other direction. Equality of being and complementarity of roles.[9] God’s plan is clear for all to see, and any failure to recognize it will bring pain and disfunction upon those too stubborn to see it.

Now, let’s move on to the third and final question. How does this apply to us today? How in the world does any of this apply to us today?

Paul says in verse 13: Judge for yourselves. Consider yourselves. Think it through.

And what does verse 14 teach? Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory?

Does not nature itself teach? That’s an interesting question. Is Paul saying that a man wearing long hair is clearly perceived from natural revelation as a universal, moral wrong? That is, is Paul saying that for a man to have long hair, or a woman to have short hair, is a universally applicable, timeless moral reality, and thus moral law for every person who ever lived?

That’s what some people teach, or at least imply, that Paul is saying here. That for a man to have long hair is ALWAYS wrong, and by extension, a woman having short hair is ALWAYS wrong.

I couldn’t bring myself to agree with that statement for a few reasons, not the least of which is that God commanded the men who partook of the Nazarite vow in the Old Testament, men like Samson, commanded them to have long hair. And how could God command something that was inherently dishonoring for a man? How could God demand of a man a haircut that was necessarily dishonoring to that man? I couldn’t reconcile that.

This, to me, was the hardest part of this text, because I couldn’t figure out how to reconcile in Paul’s thought the categories of nature and custom. Does not nature itself teach?

I was really helped by reading a couple of articles by a theologian named Steven Wedgeworth.[10] And I’ll summarize his arguments to hopefully enable us apply this text in a helpful way.

Significantly for this discussion, note that Paul’s arguments include the valuing of tradition, seen in verse 2, and the valuing of custom, seen in verse 16. These references imply within the logic of Paul that there exists a category of ethical behaviors which aren’t moral law (like though shalt not kill). But nor is it positive law, which is tied to a particular covenant (think like observing baptism and the Lord’s supper).

Outside of those moral and positive laws, we have custom, and custom or tradition can either be proper or improper. Customs can be fitting or unfitting. That is, customs can align with and accentuate nature, or they can conflict with nature, and thereby prove themselves to be un-fitting.

“The apostle Paul sounds a similar note when he asks, “Does not nature itself teach you?”… Paul believes we should present ourselves in public in a manner consistent with what we are called to be, as defined by God. We should look like what we are. In social settings, our public presentation should be governed by humility, submission to appropriate authorities, and moderation.

A custom is a public and repeated practice meant to enforce a certain moral or social principle. It’s not a law but rather a routine action meant to teach and persuade through example and conditioning. Customs vary according to time and place, and take their meaning from broader public interpretation.” [11]

By way of example, there’s not moral law requiring me to open the door for a woman so that she might enter a building ahead of me. And yet, that custom is fitting, given the fact that man ought to be the chief servant of woman, willing to lay down his life to serve her, and given the fact that woman is the glory of man. That custom of me opening the door is itself morally neutral, but is consistent with nature and the way that God has designed creation to operate.

We have many other kinds of customs today, that aren’t absolute moral law, but which can contribute to and accentuate the way God designed things to be. I’m thinking of things like wedding rings, or a woman taking her husband’s last name. Neither are universal moral law, but the rejection of such a custom might reveal a deeper issue with submission to God’s design.

Paul himself calls the use of head coverings in “verse 16 a custom, or a practice. Martin Luther and John Calvin both commended women for covering their heads in public assemblies, but both also noted that this was a matter of custom. Many other commentators agree.[12]

The head coverings in Corinth served as customs that honored and expressed the authority structures of creation, while also allowing for decorum to be maintained within the context of the church. And I think that that principle helps us as we apply the principles of this passage to us today.[13]

Let me close this sermon with a 3 brief principles of application, drawn largely from the work of Steven Wedgeworth:[14]

“First, this passage teaches us the importance of decorum in Christian assemblies. We should make sure our dress and behavior is consistent with what we believe about human sexuality, as well as modesty and respect for others. This means Christians need to learn to resist many fashions and trends. Yes, we may sometimes wish to dress for comfort, but we must also always dress for the conscience of our neighbor. Our public presentation should promote a respect for authority.

Second, [this passage] shows us the deep reality of human sexuality and its implications for public interactions. Our behavior ought to reflect who we are as God created us. This isn’t a matter of biblical prescriptions and proscriptions, but rather of actions that flow from our nature and that glorify our callings as male and female.

This isn’t a purely individual decision. Instead, we ought to respect the abiding customs in the place where we live, and we should reject revolutionary impulses, even if we believe them to be spiritually inspired. We should embrace our creational or natural sexuality and live by it in consistent and appropriate ways.

Third, I don’t believe that churches have to resurrect the custom of head coverings. Were the custom still dominant, it would be pious to respect and retain it, but a lost custom is somewhat different. When a custom is lost, the public meaning of that custom changes, and enforcing it anew can send a new and different (and, [possibly], mistaken) meaning.

For example, 100 years ago men wore dark suits to most public events, including recreation, from a desire to not stick out. Were they to do so today, their suit would have the opposite effect. Wearing hats is a similar example. In earlier eras, it signified a certain ordinary politeness. Now, however, it carries a somewhat …[different] public meaning.

In sum, 1 Corinthians 11:2–16 teaches us that godly customs in practice should be retained, and it teaches us to investigate our customs to see what message they are sending. Intelligible customs that signify male headship or the glory of godly femininity should be respected and promoted.”[15]

Now I have said a lot tonight, and I may have lost some of you. Others of you might disagree with how I’ve tried to put this passage together. Even still others of you might flat out hate what this text is teaching, and don’t care what God says.

For each of us, whether it be the men who have failed to be who God has called us to be, or the women who have failed to be whom God has called you to be, we have all fallen short of the standard. We’ve failed to lead, failed to submit, failed to honor, and in doing so, have brought dishonor upon our head, who is ultimately Jesus Christ.

But praise be to God that he has worked to bring about forgiveness. We that trust in Jesus are forgiven of our rebellion, and given the Holy Spirit that we might grow in what it means to live as godly men and women in His strength.

And if you haven’t yet trusted in Jesus, then tonight is a wonderful opportunity. God has provided a way, and all you must do is trust in Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Do that this night, and be saved from the wrath to come.

[1] Little in this sermon is original to me. I’ve read/listened to many other learned me and tried to build on their work. For helpful works on this passage: Alistair Begg, “Man and Woman in Biblical Perspective” sermon delivered 9/19/1993, https://www.truthforlife.org/resources/sermon/man-woman-in-biblical-perspt2/ (accessed 6/1/2022); Charles Hodge, 1 & 2 Corinthians. (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1974), 204ff.; David E. Garland, 1 Corinthians (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2003), 505ff.; Gordon D. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 1987); Roy E Ciampa and Brian S Rosner, The First Letter to the Corinthians, Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2010); John Gill, John Gill, and John Gill, An Exposition of the Old and New Testaments (Paris, Ark.: Baptist Standard Bearer, 2005), vol 8, page 682ff.; Thomas Schreiner, “Head Coverings, Prophecies, and the Trinity,” in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, ed. John Piper and Wayne Grudem (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2021), 157–78; Kevin DeYoung, Men and Women in the Church: A Short, Biblical, Practical Introduction (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2021); Leon Morris, 1 Corinthians: An Introduction and Commentary, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, v. 7 (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2008), 148.

[2] Schreiner, “Head Coverings, Prophecies, and the Trinity,” 173 n. 26.

[3] Alistair Begg, “Man and Woman in Biblical Perspective” sermon delivered 9/19/1993. https://www.truthforlife.org/resources/sermon/man-woman-in-biblical-perspt2/ (accessed 6/1/2022). The following points are largely expanded from Begg. Also helpful: DeYoung, Men and Women in the Church.

[4] For more on the practices of the day: Ciampa and Rosner, The First Letter to the Corinthians, 539; Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, 584; DeYoung, Men and Women in the Church, 54.

[5] See Ciampa and Rosner, and Fee, referenced above.

[6] Frederick W. Danker, Walter Bauer, and William Arndt, “A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature” (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), s.v. ακατακαλθπτοσ.

[7] John MacArthur, 1 Corinthians, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1984).

[8] This point is made eloquently by Begg. See also Charles Hodge’s commentary on verse 5, which can be found here: https://www.truthaccordingtoscripture.com/commentaries/hdg/1-corinthians-11.php (accessed 6/5/22).

[9] A helpful article creation patterns and ethical imperatives: Joe Rigney, “Indicatives, Imperatives, and Applications: Reflections on Natural, Biblical, and Cultural Complementarianism,” Eikon: A Journal for Biblical Anthropology 4, no. 1 (Spring 2022), https://cbmw.org/2022/05/23/indicatives-imperatives-and-applications-reflections-on-natural-biblical-and-cultural-complementarianism/.

[10] Steven Wedgeworth, “Good and Proper: Paul’s Use of Nature, Custom, and Decorum in Pastoral Theology,” Eikon: A Journal for Biblical Anthropology 2, no. 2 (Fall 2020), https://cbmw.org/2020/11/20/good-and-proper-pauls-use-of-nature-custom-and-decorum-in-pastoral-theology/; Also helpful: Steven Wedgeworth, “Going on a Bear Hunt: Head Coverings, Custom, and Proper Decorum,” The Gospel Coalition (blog), February 24, 2021, https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/head-coverings-1-corinthians-11/.

[11] Wedgeworth, “Going on a Bear Hunt: Head Coverings, Custom, and Proper Decorum.”

[12] E.g., Charles Hodge: https://www.truthaccordingtoscripture.com/commentaries/hdg/1-corinthians-11.php, (accessed 6/5/22).

[13] Wedgeworth, “Going on a Bear Hunt: Head Coverings, Custom, and Proper Decorum.”

[14] The following three points of application are quoted and expanded from: Wedgeworth.

[15] Wedgeworth.


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