Re: katakaluptos

From: Michael Haggett (
Date: Wed Sep 01 1999 - 11:51:06 EDT

I would add to Christopher Hutson's reply (Plutarch's example) the only LXX
instance of KATA KEFALHS (i.e. with genitive, not accusative) Esther 6:12.
Here Haman rushes home, not with something on his head, but with something
covering his head and face (because he was so ashamed at his humiliation to
want to be regonized). Compare some present day prisoners being taken to
court with a blanket over their head (in England, anyway).

Would it be worth noting the present Jewish custom of a man pulling his
prayer shawl over his head and face so as to pray privately? I reckon Paul
might well be saying (1 Cor 11:4) that for a man to pray (out loud) or
prophesy like that is dishonouring. But that he's not saying it's wrong to
have something on his head, provided it doesn't cover his face as well.

Of course, what Paul is saying about women is something else again.

Micahel Haggett
164 Holland Road

----- Original Message -----
From: Christopher Hutson <>
To: Biblical Greek <>
Cc: b-greek <>
Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 1999 3:44 PM
Subject: Re: katakaluptos

> Mike,
> I think your question has more to do with the cultural context of religion
> in
> 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
> of 1 Corinthians 114.” NTS 34 (1988).
> Thompson, Cynthia L. "Hairstyles, Head-coverings, and St. Paul:
> 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
> >fathers, early christian art examples that would help me discern exactly
> >what the practice, and article of adornment was in Corinth.
> >
> >THanks
> >Mike Piles
> ---
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