Aug. 6. Head Covering or Not During Worship

I Cor. 11:1-16

Another of the concerns of the Corinthians addressed by Paul dealt with the covering of one’s head during the worship. There were Romans, Jews and Greeks present in that church and they had different customs and ideas of proper headwear in the worship assemblies. He stated four illustrations showing how men and women are to show their humility and submission. There are differing opinions regarding this command. Following are comments gleaned from various commentaries on the subject.

First, Paul reminded the Corinthians that Christ is the head of man; man is the head of woman; God is the head of Christ. He stated that a man must keep his head uncovered and according to the customs of that time, the woman must keep her head covered to express her submission to the man. With an uncovered head, a woman could be mistaken for one of the temple prostitutes. A man with his head covered showed feminine characteristics and was disgraceful.

Second, the uncovered head of the man showed superiority created by God in that the woman was created from man and not the man created from woman. Even then, both man and woman must be submissive to Christ and to God. As being submissive to Christ does not dishonor the man, neither does being in subjection to the man dishonor the woman.

Third, it was natural that men should have short hair and the women to let their hair stay long.

Fourth, it had been the custom in the churches in other cities for men to worship with uncovered heads and women to have covered heads. In the Western culture in which we live, there is no custom requiring women to show submission by wearing a covering over their heads.