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Apr 13th 2012, 03:25 PM
This is a continuation of the thread, Women speaking in the church - 2 (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php/237303-Women-speaking-in-the-church-2-Ephesians-5?p=2832782#post2832782)

I started another thread because we will need to move rather slowly through the NT passages. Internet discussion forums aren’t ideal for this type of study, but we’ll do the best we can.

1 Corinthians 11:3-16 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head. But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved. For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. For man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. Nevertheless,neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.

Judge among yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him? But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering. But if anyone seems to be contentious,we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.

Hopefully, we’ll not get bogged down in a discussion of hair length! In fact, IIRC, there is already at least one thread on this forum about that. We have previously explored the meaning of head, but let’s take another look to see if we can find a meaning for head that fits the context and meaning for head in this passage. Paul began this fragment by observing that God is the head of Christ, Christ is the head of man, and man is the head of woman. Head, in this case,does not mean lord, because Christ is Lord of both men and women with no other mediator between them. As previously mentioned, the Greeks of that day used head (kephale) in a variety of ways. There was no well-established idiomatic use for the word, and it was also used metaphorically. Consequently, we need to find the meaning of head contextually. Possibilities for the meaning of head are : source, ruler, and image (a metaphoric use overlooked by most commentators.) Each will be discussed in turn, then we’ll see if we can draw any conclusions. More as time permits!

W :)