Re: katakaluptos

From: Christopher Hutson (
Date: Wed Sep 01 1999 - 10:44:18 EDT


I think your question has more to do with the cultural context of religion
Corinth than with Greek grammar.

You may be on the right track to conduct a lexical study of
KATAKALYPTOS. But I would say you need to take a broader
view of how the word was used in Greco-Roman culture and not limit
yourself to the LXX and early Christian sources. Sources that illustrate
Greco-Roman practice (roughly) contemporaneous with or prior to Paul will
be more important that early Christian interpretations of Paul. Look,
for example, at how this word root is used throughout
Euripides' Hippolytus to describe a veil. I once saw a stage version of
this play, in which Phaidra wore an exaggerated veil that was maybe 15-20
feet long and kept dragging across the stage. It made an interesting
effect, since veiling and unveiling is an important image in the play.

For another example of how this word could function, see

Plutarch, Sayings of the Romans, Moralia 200F, which refers to Scipio
the Younger KATA THS KEFALHS EXWN TO hIMATION, clearly referring to
his wearing his toga pulled up over his head. Compare this with
Paul's turn of phrase in 1 Cor 11:4.

There are numerous secondary sources, but you might start with:

Oster, Richard E. “When Men Wore Veils to Worship: The Historical Context
of 1 Corinthians 114.” NTS 34 (1988).

Thompson, Cynthia L. "Hairstyles, Head-coverings, and St. Paul: Portraits
from Roman Corinth." Biblical Archaeologist 51.2 (1988). 99-115.

Happy research,


Christopher R. Hutson
          Hood Theological Seminary
          Salisbury, NC 28144

>From: "Mike Piles" <>
>To: Biblical Greek <>
>Subject: Re: katakaluptos
>Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 22:42:54
>This word appears in 1 Corinthians 11.
>Are there any LXX uses, or extra biblical uses of the word, ie early church
>fathers, early christian art examples that would help me discern exactly
>what the practice, and article of adornment was in Corinth.
>Mike Piles

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