Question:

I discovered your site while doing some personal research on the women's head covering, for myself and with my husband, who is a preacher of the gospel. My husband and I have come to the conclusion that we have been duped over the years, and were not taught correctly concerning the verses or the history involved in this subject. Of course, we both are intelligent and could have looked this up before, but.... anyway...

Tonight I came across your site, and how I missed it before in all my research online is a mystery. I am very impressed with the articles and sermons that you've presented in such a straight Biblical (though some might call it "legalistic") manner, full of truth and love. (I've also read several other articles tonight; while my husband was out of town and I have had some spare time.)

I need a head covering. I am convinced that a doily "doesn't cover it", and though there are a lot of Hindu and Muslim women in this area of Canada, I'm afraid that their style of covering wouldn't be wise for me either. Lace, like the Catholic women use a lot, just doesn't really seem to be "covering" either - would a lace blouse be covering the body? I used a little handkerchief style wrap on Sunday, and here at home, but I'm afraid it is just too casual looking for worship with other Christians. Is there a lady who could help me - or perhaps you could suggest - a proper or appropriate "modern day" head covering, which would not be mere "dressing up" that brings attention to itself, and yet is a true covering of the head? I was researching this again tonight, and am most impressed with some ideas that I've seen of scarves that are worn by the strict Jewish women (though they seem a little heavy) and women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments. I'm not sure that all of a woman's hair needs to be covered according to this passage, but I do believe the head should be covered, and not just the very top, as a doily, or the back, as the Anabaptist caps.

I find more and more interesting that the older I get, the more like a child I feel when learning new truths, and I pray this is a good thing. Don't let my up-to-this-point "conclusions" in my wording above fool you. I'm still very open to suggestions.

Do you have any broader sermons or answers on the use of symbols and emblems in the life of a true believer? Like the head covering, the communion, baptism, or etc. Tangible things which are required by Scripture, but considered options or at least trivial by the majority of "believers" in the West today.

Thank you for your time in maintaining this site. I will be praying - head covered - for you all there in "the middle of nowhere" (as I used to think of the center of the US).


Answer:

Around here we think of our area as the "Heartland of the United States," and certainly not the middle of nowhere. (Smiling) The Omaha area does have a population of over 800,000 and we do have famous places, such as Creighton University, the Henry Doorly Zoo (think "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" and you'll know why), and we're home to baseball's College World Series.

Finding a head covering these days can be difficult since coverings went out of fashion in the 1950's. You can also do a search on the Internet using the word "mantilla" or "snood." One of the sisters here who wears a covering picks out the wrap around scarves that are sometimes in fashion and uses them for a head covering. If someone reading this answer knows of other sources, please let me know and I'll add the to a list. The sources I know of are listed in "Sources for Head Coverings"

Though I understand your point about being see-through, I would point out that images of early Christian women do show them wearing see-through veils. See "Images of Head Coverings During Worship." While not proof, it does show that others who read the same passage came to the conclusion that it was the covering that was important and not its transparency. The word for covered in I Corinthians 11:6 is katakalupto, which is a compound word: kata (wholly) and kalupto (cover). The word kalupto is also used in II Corinthians 3:13 where Moses veiled his face. The idea is that it obscured the Israelite's view of his face, but it doesn't mean that it was solid, else Moses would not have been able to see. Such a meaning is seen in Paul's use of this in his illustration. The law was veiled (obscured) but not completely hidden (II Corinthians 3:15).

Also, what is being wholly covered in I Corinthians 11 is a woman's head, not necessarily her face or all her hair.

Christianity is filled with symbols: Baptism (Romans 6) and the Lord's Supper (Luke 22:19-20) being the most notable. See "Despising the Blood of Christ" and "The Lord's Supper" as examples of lessons on symbols.