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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : 1 Cor. 11 from the notes of the Greek & Hebrew Study Bible

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Joined: 2009/12/8
Posts: 1795

 1 Cor. 11 from the notes of the Greek & Hebrew Study Bible

Dear Saints,

I wanted to know more about this subject and this has cleared it up for me and I pray that any confusion on the subject will be cleared up for those who are wondering. May the Holy Spirit give insight to this subject to all. May He reveal to each one what He has for us.

Notes from the NAS Greek-Hebrew Bible.

1 Cor. 11:2-16
Paul is writing here to the Corinthian Christians who, living in Greece, customarily complied with Greek traditions: men had their heads uncovered and the woman covered theirs, which, however, was contrary to the Jewish tradition. Even to this day, Jewish men cover their heads at worship, but not the women. The question which faced the Corinthians was what to do with the existing custom of their day. Paul’s advice is to examine the symbolism of the custom.

If it has nothing in it that is contrary to God’s Word or order in creation, accept it. Do not allow contentions to arise regarding customs which symbolize something that is proper (vv. 13,16). In this case, the Greeks believed that by not covering their heads, the men declared their independence as contrasted to the slaves who had to cover themselves.
The women covered themselves, symbolizing the protectivness that they enjoyed from their husbands.

Paul intimated that there is nothing wrong with this, for in creation God created man, and from man there came the woman. That is good as far as it goes, but remember that man also, in spite of the fact that he prays without a covering, still has a Head and that is Christ (v. 11, however, he equates both men and women in the Lord as is also stressed in Gal. 3:28 and 1 Peter 3:7. In spite of this equality made him physically stronger than the woman in order to protect the woman. He ought ot recognize his care.

God is responsible for the difference in the make-up of male and female (1Cor. 4:7), and no man should at any time endeavor in any way to diminish the difference between the two either in physical or emotional constitution, appearance, or function of life.

Since this custom of head coverings showed beautifully that is true in creation and also in the order of things, why should the Corinthian Christians living in Greece reject the Greek custom and assume the Jewish one?

This decision, however, was left entirely to the Corinthians as we see in v. 13 which would have been far better translated: “Decide in regard to it your own selves.: Therefore, these are personal decisions which must be exercised in following a custom as long as the symbol is good and there is not contrary teaching involved in the symbolism. This whole Scripture teaches that existing customs, as long as they are not contrary to morals and Scripture, are to be adhered to for the sake of unity and not to be flauntd.

The little phrase at the end of v. 10, “because of the angels,” means that when a young woman covers her head or wears her hair like a woman it accomplishes four things; (1) She gives a visible attestation to her womanhood. (2) She shows that she recognizes her husband’s protectiveness. (3) She does not disturb a good custom. (4) She knows that Heaven is pleased by her action. She does what she does also “on earth we must make sure that it also has the approval of Heaven. Angels here are representatives of Heaven watching the believers as per 1 Cor 11:10.


The verb Komoa (2863) from kome (2864), “hair,” means to have long hair or so to fix the hair in such a way as to distinguish a woman from a man. It occurs only in these two verses. “if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her.” The noun doxa (1391) comes from the verb dokeo (1380), which means to recognize something for what it is. A woman’s hair ought to be longer than a man’s hair to distinguish her from the man and identify her as a woman.

Paul brings out the point that at no time should a woman make an attempt to look like a man, and by the same token, a man to look like a woman. God made them different, and even natural propensities show forth their particular nature. And then Paul says, “:for her hair is given to her for a COVERING,” Actually it is “for the hair has been given to her (dedotai, the perfect tense of didomi, 1325, “to give,’ which means that at some time in the past it was given to her and continues to be hers) in lieu of (anti, 473) a a covering.: This word peribolaiou (4018), “covering,: occurs only here and in Heb. 1:12 and it is made up of the preposition peri (4012), “round about,”, and the verb ballo (906), “to place, “ something that one places around him, a covering or a mantle. In other words, Paul says here that if a woman has sufficient hair to distinguish her from looking lik a man, that is the same as if she wore a covering around her head. The fact that a woman has the capability to care for their hair in a somewhat different manner that a man was a gift given to her at the creation and continues to be her distinctive gift (dedotai).

 2011/10/13 18:55Profile

Joined: 2008/10/27
Posts: 742

 Re: 1 Cor. 11 from the notes of the Greek & Hebrew Study Bible

Thank you for posting this. It did help me to understand much better.


 2011/10/13 19:18Profile

 Re: 1 Cor. 11 from the notes of the Greek & Hebrew Study Bible

Good background for what has come to be contentious verses.


 2011/10/13 19:19

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