Why do you require ladies to wear a head covering during worship services and formal studies?

   Why do you require ladies to wear a head covering during worship services and formal studies?

   As the Bible states, all Scripture is profitable for instruction, including the New Testament. Knowing this, Paul in 1Corinthians 11:5-6 states that it is a dishonor for women to have their heads uncovered during times of prayer or worship: “But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.”

The word “covered” in verse 6 comes from the Greek katakalupto and means, “…to cover wholly, i.e. veil,” Strong’s. The Brown-Drive-Briggs states, “…to veil or cover oneself .” Clearly, katakalupto here refers to a physical covering or veil.

Adam Clarke’s Commentary concurs: “The only difference marked by the apostle was, the man had his head uncovered, because he was the representative of Christ; the woman had hers covered, because she was placed by the order of God in a state of subjection to the man, and because it was a custom, both among the Greeks and Romans, and among the Jews an express law, that no woman should be seen abroad without a veil. This was, and is, a common custom through all the east, and none but public prostitutes go without veils. And if a woman should appear in public without a veil, she would dishonour her head-her husband. And she must appear like to those women who had their hair shorn off as the punishment of whoredom, or adultery.” Note, YRM does not believe Paul requires that women be veiled at all times, but only during times of prayer and worship.

Some argue this position and state that Paul confirms in verse 15 that long hair represents this covering. The problem with this interpretation is that the word for “covering” in verse 15 is from an entirely different word. This word comes from the Greek peribolaion and refers to “something thrown around one, i.e. a mantle, veil,” Strong’s. Paul here is not referring to an artificial covering, but to the hair that also acts as a natural covering to enhance beauty, unlike the covering found in verse 5, which represents a physical covering. The one does not negate the other.

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