Die Biblische Kopfbedeckung
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Die Biblische Kopfbedeckung
Christian Head Coverings
What is the Biblical head covering? There are various religious groups that exalt a piece of cloth of a certain color, cut to a certain size and shape and worn in a certain manner (according to their church laws and traditions) as the head covering of Scriptures. Their head covering is also often among theirchief doctrinal distinctives and is exalted to a salvation issue in some groups for the female members.
At other times, the head covering isn’t quite exalted to that degree but seems to come close to it. Hence, because their interpretation of the head covering is elevated to this degree, it becomes a primary issue. QUESTION: Must a Christian woman, after hearing teachings on why the head covering is supposed to be a piece of cloth, wear such for salvation and/or close fellowship with the saints, according to the Bible?
It is the purpose of this study to Biblically examine the details around Christian head coverings. For the God fearing Christian, we must remember not to go beyond what is written in Scripture (1 Cor. 4:6). Moreover, a Christian is thoroughly equipped with the Scriptures alone (2 Tim. 3:16,17). [Hence, he does not need the writings of any so-called “ church fathers” or church elders, etc.] With this in mind, let’s proceed carefully to see what God's word, final spiritual authority, says.
Head Coverings for Christian Women, According To The Bible
The** only** time in the Bible the Christian head covering is referred to is in 1 Corinthians 11. To get the whole context about the head covering, we must examine more than just one or two verses. Paul wrote:
Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. (1 Cor 11:3) Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. (1 Cor 11:4) And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is just as though her head were shaved. (1 Cor 11:5)
COMMENTS About The Biblical Head Covering
● Both Christian men and Christian women are to pray and prophesy, but this is to be done in the right way or their head will be dishonored. For the man to do this he must have his head uncovered. If not, he will dishonor his head—the Lord Jesus. The opposite is true for the woman when praying or prophesying. If her head is uncovered (no head covering), she will dishonor her husband.
● If a Christian woman prays or prophesies with her head uncovered (no head covering) it is the equivalent to her head being shaven.
Will sie sich nicht bedecken, so schneide man ihr auch das Haar ab. Nun es aber übel stehet, daß ein Weib verschnitten Haar habe oder beschoren sei, so lasset sie das Haupt bedecken. (1.Kor 11,6; Luther 1545)
● For a Christian woman to have her hair shaved off is a disgrace to her personally. Hence, if a Christian woman does not cover her head (have a head covering) when praying and prophesying she dishonors her husband and disgraces herself.
Der Mann aber soll das Haupt nicht bedecken, sintemal er ist Gottes Bild und Ehre; das Weib aber ist des Mannes Ehre. (1 Kor 11:7) Denn der Mann ist nicht vom Weibe, sondern das Weib ist vom Manne. (1 Kor 11:8) Und der Mann ist nicht geschaffen um des Weibes willen; sondern das Weib um des Mannes willen. (1 Kor 11:9) Darum soll das Weib eine Macht auf dem Haupt haben um der Engel willen. (1.Kor 11,10; Luther 1545) [Statt Macht übersetzen andere auch "ein Zeichen der Macht/Gewalt", sintemal = weil/da]
● Why Paul gave the aforementioned directives about how Christian women are to pray and prophesy is given—a woman is the glory of man, she was created for man and because of the angels. Paul also mentioned the woman’s head covering is also _a sign of authority._
Doch ist im Herrn weder das Weib ohne den Mann, noch der Mann ohne das Weib. (1. Kor 11,11) Denn gleichwie das Weib vom Manne [kommt] , so auch der Mann durch das Weib; aber das alles von Gott. (1.Kor 11,12; Schlachterbibel 1951)
The Identity of the Head Covering is Revealed as LONG HAIR
You are now about to read, in the clearest possible terms, what the woman’s head covering was in first-century Christianity:
Richtet bei euch selbst, ob es wohl steht, dass ein Weib unbedeckt vor Gott bete. (1.Kor 11,13) Oder lehrt euch auch nicht die Natur, dass es einem Manne eine Unehre ist, so er das Haar lang wachsen lässt, (1.Kor 11,14) und dem Weibe eine Ehre, so sie langes Haar hat? Das Haar ist ihr zur Decke gegeben. (1.Kor 11,15) Ist aber jemand unter euch, der Lust zu zanken hat, der wisse, dass wir solche Weise nicht haben, die Gemeinden Gottes auch nicht. (1.Kor 11,16; Luther 1912)
You would think the clarity of v. 16 would silence all those who wrongly say a woman’s head covering is a piece of cloth a certain size, shape, color and worn in a particular way, but often it doesn’t. Some continue to embrace their church standards and traditions and remain contentious, the very thing Paul just refuted with the woman’s long hair is her covering teaching. It seems that Biblical truth is not always the real issue for many in these circles. It is instead to go with the established flow in their group and what has been done in the past. These rules taught by men in certain circles have actually nullified these Scriptures for some.
Observations About The Head Covering
1. It is possible for a man to have his head covered (v. 4), just like it is possible to have a woman’s head uncovered (v. 5). In both cases it is done with hair.
2. It is a disgrace for a man to cover his head (have a head covering), which is done by long hair (v. 14).**
3. For a man to have his head covered is to dishonor his head, who is Christ (v. 3,4), which is infinitely more serious than a woman dishonoring her husband by having her head uncovered.
4. For a woman to have her head uncovered is on a par with having her head shaven bald (v.5).
Hair was an issue in the early Christian church. Hence, if you want to conform to that early Christian church standard, then you must adjust to the hair regulations for men and women just cited in Scripture. Such can not be legalism or a works salvation.
The truth is: It is merely rules taught by men that would state the woman’s head covering is a piece of cloth. It is not the word of God that teaches that. Hence, for those who reject this and remain contentious about this issue, Paul’s Holy Spirit inspired teaching still stands about the head covering:
und dem Weibe eine Ehre, so sie langes Haar hat? Das Haar ist ihr zur Decke gegeben. (1. Kor 11,15) Ist aber jemand unter euch, der Lust zu zanken hat, der wisse, dass wir solche Weise nicht haben, die Gemeinden Gottes auch nicht. (1.Kor 11,16; Luther 1912)
If the woman’s head covering was not clearly stated to be her long hair, we would have no idea what it is to be since nothing else is identified as the head covering. Nowhere does it say the head covering is a piece of cloth, much less specify the color, shape and how it is to be wore. How can some be so dogmatic about such, yet claim to go by the Bible? Furthermore, how can so many just follow along with no Scriptural support?
While some insist the woman’s head covering is a piece of cloth (usually white), one could have just as much Biblical support that the head covering is instead a brown hat, a blue scarf, a fig leaf, etc., since there is absolutely no Scriptural defense for any of these either. To elevate a man-made tradition to a salvation issue is DEADLY for the preacher and those who are so deceived (Gal. 1:8,9). Go by the Bible alone any you'll be safe (2 Tim. 3:16,17). GOD BLESS YOU.
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