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Must women wear a hat or veil when they worship God? What does this passage say to us today?

Must women wear a hat or veil when they worship God? What does this passage say to us today?

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  • 1. Women, Hats, and Hair 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 Must women wear a hat or veil when they worship? Is it a sin for a woman to cut her hair? What does this passage teach?
  • 2. The Subject of this passage
    • NOT: Women wearing hats or scarfs to a worship assembly
      • Acts of worship are missing
      • Assembly is missing
      • Modern hat vs. the veil of that time
    • Why give a rule here if they are forbidden later? (Must be veiled when they pray. But in chapter 14, they are forbidden to pray in worship.)
  • 3. The Subject of this passage
    • IS: About headship and how it is recognized and demonstrated in Corinth
  • 4. Words to Study
    • HEAD - anything chief, prominent, of persons, master, lord – Thayer's Greek Lexicon
    • VEIL – Greek – katakalupto
      • Kata – preposition showing movement down, from higher to lower, hang down, down from
      • Kalupto – to cover, to veil oneself, to be covered
      • Veil – hanging down and covering the face
  • 5. Words to Study
    • VEIL – Greek – katakalupto
      • Not specific as to color, cloth, composition
      • Must hang down and cover the face
      • Moses wore a veil (2 Corinthians 3:13-14)
    • Man was NOT to wear a covering on his head
      • A woman without a veil indicated masculinity
      • A man with a veil indicated femininity
  • 6. What was the situation at Corinth?
    • Veil – customary sign of a woman in subjection
      • Judge in yourselves – v. 13
      • Is it proper (comely – KJV)? – v. 13
      • Does not nature teach you – v. 14
      • We (the church) have no such custom – v. 16
    • Same with other customs, cultures, times
      • Foot washing (John 13)
      • Holy Kiss (Romans 16:16)
  • 7. What was the situation at Corinth?
    • A woman without a veil = not in subjection (not married or engaged)
    • A woman with shaved head = convicted of prostitution
    • The point was not that they should PUT ON a veil to pray or prophesy
    • The point was the should NOT REMOVE the veil
  • 8. What about today, in USA?
    • Customs change with nations, times, cultures
      • Man with a wedding band = married
      • Years ago – red light district = prostitution
      • Years ago – men removed hat in buildings
      • Foot washing – travel methods changed
    • WHAT IF: In USA, a yellow shirt was the sign of a drug dealer? Red purse = prostitute?
  • 9. Do these rules apply today?
    • YES if the conditions are met
      • Hangs down, covers the face
      • Has the same significance in society
    • Long hair – is a woman's glory v. 15
      • This is a covering
      • Given by God
    • In absence of a custom – a woman's hair is her covering.
  • 10. Is the text dealing with custom?
    • YES – Custom has always had symbols of subjection
    • FACTS:
      • Woman has always been in subjection to man
      • Method of showing it has changed
      • Principle remains, when customs change
  • 11. Is the text dealing with custom?
    • Humility is required – foot washing is not
    • Friendliness is required – holy kiss is not
    • Subjection is required – veil is not
  • 12. SUMMARY
    • What I have admitted:
      • There are 2 coverings – veil and hair
      • In Corinth, the veil was a sign of subjection
    • What I have objected to:
      • Binding a custom from another society
      • Substitution or changing of the text
      • Reading into the text what is not there
  • 13. SUMMARY
    • What I have not said:
      • That headship is a matter of custom
      • That roles are a matter of custom
      • Ruled out the possibility that 1 Corinthians 11 may be applicable today
      • It is wrong for a woman to wear a hat or veil to worship today
  • 14. Principles taught:
    • Woman is subordinate to man
    • Man is subordinate to Christ
    • BOTH must show their subordination
    • Christians must fit into the society where they live – “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”
  • 15. Principles taught:
    • Everyone must recognize his or her place in society and honor it
    • Sex identity: The distinction between the sexes must be kept clear in dress, hair, behavior, jewelry, hair styles, etc.