The Berean Expositor
Volume 45 - Page 99 of 251
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decide which is correct. It is possible that there is a combination of both meanings.
What is clear is that men must be bareheaded in public worship. What of the women?
"But every woman praying or prophesying with her head unveiled dishonoureth her
head: for it is one and the same thing as if she were shaven. For if a woman is not
veiled, let her also be shorn: but if it is a shame to a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her
be veiled. For a man indeed ought not to have his head veiled, forasmuch as he is the
image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man" (11: 4-7 R.V.).
This passage is without meaning unless women from time to time took part in the
worship of the assembly, and this in spite of 14: 34, 35 which will be considered in its
place. If it had been wrong for women so to do, the Apostle would certainly have
forbidden the practice. He reminds the Corinthians that man came originally from God
and displays typically the authority and glory of God on earth. Woman came originally
from man, with the express purpose of being a helper for him, and she finds her
fulfillment in this. As such she is "the glory of the man" (verses 7-9). From this the
Apostle goes on to deduce:
"For this cause ought the woman to have a sign of authority on her head, because of
the angels" (11: 10 R.V.).
This verse is indeed difficult to interpret. What does Paul mean, and how does this fit
in as a reason from what has gone before? There are at least two differing explanations
of the reference to angels. (1) They are the wicked "sons of God" of Gen. 6: (2) They
are good angels who are the guardians of God's people (Heb. 1: 13, 14) and they would be
offended by any improper behaviour in worship. We will consider this in our next article
and seek the true meaning in relationship to the passage.