Headship, Hair, and Hats: 1 Cor 11:2-16 Oncemore

Headship, Hair, and Hats: 1 Cor 11:2-16 Oncemore January 20, 2012

The issue of head-coverings in 1 Cor. 11.2-16 strikes readers as rather foreign and it is a difficult passage for interpreters to engage with. This passage is a good example of the cultural distance between our world and the world that Paul inhabited in places like Roman Corinth. We do not know what Paul originally taught the Corinthians on the matter and we are left guessing from fragmentary sources about the significance of veils, women, and head-dress in ancient Corinth. Despite the obscurities, Brian Rosner and Roy Ciampa point out that Paul affirms three things including (1) respect for a creation mandate to maintain and celebrate gender distinctions between the sexes; (2) a respect for culturally specific ways of guarding moral and sexual purity; and (3) a commitment to fully integrating women and their gifts into the experience of the worshipping community.[1] All in all, Paul is focusing on humanity as created by God, as male and female, and living out specific calling of their God-given gender appropriate to the cultural environs of ancient Corinth, so that God is truly glorified by their corporate worship of praise, prayer, and prophecy.

[1] Roy E. Ciampa and Brian S. Rosner, The First Letter to the Corinthians (PNTC; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2010), 503.


Browse Our Archives