RE: "Veils"

From: Kenneth Litwak (
Date: Sun Apr 21 1996 - 19:30:04 EDT

   Actually I have several thoughts, but the best thing to do is to find
Alan Padgett's article from about a decade ago in JSNT on 1 Cor 11:2-16, plus
his more recent article in Tyndale Bulletin (about a year ago I think).
Basically, the gist of his argument (with which I agree whole-heartedly) is that
1 Cor 11:2-16 has been grossly misinterpreted. To begin with, the inital part,
like other places in in 1 Cor., is a quote or summary of the position held by
some or all of the Corinthians. It is not per se Paul's theology.
Second, compare the language in 11:10 to similar examples, whether to the
Son of Man having authority over the Earth in Mark 2, or several examples of
parallel wording in Revelation. You have to do major eisegesis to get this
verse to mean that a woman should have a sign/symblo of authority sitting on
her head. That's NOT remotely what the Greek says. It says she has
ECOUSIA over, that is concerning, her head, which means, she has the right to
do whatever she feels like rather than being tied to some legalistic nonesense.
Next, it is often averred that prostitutes in Corinth at this time went
veilless but proper women wore veils. That's affirmed but I have yet to see
a single piece of evidence that would support it. Instead, what I have seen
suggests to me that we cannot even say for certain what hair styles were like
at Corinth any time in the 1st century CE. Consider also that Paul says
that GOd has given women hair ANIT a covering. It's clear that ANTI here
ought to mean "instead of" a covering. Next, I would argue that Paul poses
a question which ought to be understood as meaning "Nature does not teach you that
it is a shame for a man to have long hair, does it?" with the expected answer of
"no". Finally, after saying mena dn women are free and that women have long
hair instead of a covering, Paul says in v. 16 that if anyone wants to be
contentious about this, the churches have no such custom, which I can only
take to mean that they have no custom of veiling. Otherwise, why would Paul
include that as an argument?

   While I am trying to get my POSTMASTER to fix a problem on my end, please be
sure to NOT reply to If anyone knows the id for the
postmaster at, that would help as well. The one I got in an
automatic message was rejected as a non-existent address. Thanks.

Ken Litwak
Bezerkley, CA

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