The Ward - Schellekens Debate

Mark J. Ward's Second Affirmative

"The scriptures teach that women today should

cover their heads when they pray."

Ward's Second Affirmative

Greetings (again) to Rudy Schellekens, the list moderators of The Religious Debates Website, and to all the readers of this discussion. I would like to thank Rudy for his kindnesses shown me in his first negative. I would also like to encourage Rudy to take up the task of the  negative speaker in this discussion and show wherein he thinks I err in the arguments I have set forth from God's Word.

The reader is asked to notice that Rudy did not negate any of the 9 affirmative arguments I gave in my first affirmative speech, he did not answer the 5 questions that I asked of him, and he proceeded to ask me 6 questions. I will make a few comments on Rudy's first speech/article, comment on his 6 questions, and review my affirmative argumentation thus far in this debate.

Rudy seemed to agree with the terms of my proposition as I defined them, but does not agree that a woman is to be covered when praying today. (Rudy, please correct me if I did not represent your belief properly on that. Thanks.) I understood that from the beginning, given his willingness to deny the proposition before us. What Rudy did not do, is tell us ~wherein~ he disagrees and ~why~ he differs with the affirmative arguments given from God's Word, thus far in our discussion. Why do you differ, Rudy? Wherein do you disagree, Rudy?

As noted in the first affirmation, I Corinthians 11:1-16 is the proof text to prove this proposition. My proposition was proven by showing that God's Word teaches that women today are to cover their heads whenever they pray. While I am not in favor of calling all translations reliable, I am in favor of reading and studying from various translations. I will provide the text of I Cor. 11:1-16 in this speech from the NASB:

1 Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.
2 Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly
to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.
3 But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and
the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.
4 Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying
disgraces his head.
5 But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or
prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman
whose head is shaved.
6 For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut
off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or
her head shaved, let her cover her head.
7 For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image
and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.
8 For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man;
9 for indeed man was not created for the woman's sake, but woman for the
man's sake.
10 Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head,
because of the angels.
11 However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man
independent of woman.
12 For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his
birth through the woman; and all things originate from God.
13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with
her head uncovered?
14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it
is a dishonor to him,
15 but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her? For her hair is
given to her for a covering.
16 But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice,
nor have the churches of God."

Rudy DID agree that Paul wrote this instruction to the church of God at Corinth, for he wrote, "I will from the onset agree with the fact that the passage in question was written to the Corinthians.". I agree with that also! I asked in my first, "Will my opponent contend that Paul did NOT teach this everywhere in every church (See I Cor. 4:17; I Cor. 11:16)?" Rudy did not answer this question directly. Rudy infers, but not necessarily, that he doesn't believe that other churches of Christ in the first century were to follow this instruction. Rudy, is that really your belief? (In fact, in light of Rudy's first question to me, Rudy ~may believe~ that only the "husbands" at the church of God at Corinth had to be uncovered when they prayed! What say ye, Rudy?) Maybe he will engage in this part of our Bible study now; or, will he wait until he is in the affirmative? The BIBLE teaches that Paul taught the same thing in every church per I Corinthians 4:17. This includes God's instruction concerning marriage and divorce, church discipline, the coverings of I Corinthians 11, the Lord's Supper, the proper exercising of spiritual gifts, etc.

Rudy accepted my defining of terms concerning praying, but I am a little  confused concerning the way he worded one of his questions. I had asked in my first, "Will my opponent argue that women do not engage in 'praying' today?" Again, Rudy chose not to instruct us as to his understanding of God's Word (at this time) in his first negative by not answering this Bible question. Rudy, I thought you agreed that folks today "pray" as I defined it in my proposition, but do you believe in a different definition of "praying" or "pray" in I Corinthians? We shall see.

Rudy mentioned, "Again, not because of a lack of respect for Strong's work, but I believe Thayer and TDNT to be more complete and accurate in their definitions." Rudy, to be clear, I will use STRONG's for the numbering differentiation of words, NOT for definitions. I had written, in my first, "A different basic Greek word is used for "covering" in verse 14 than in some of the previous verses when Paul was talking about what women were to do while praying or prophesying. STRONG's numbering system differentiates them as forms of #2619 and #4018, for example." I use STRONG's as a CONCORDANCE and the NUMBERING SYSTEM therein simply allows us to note Greek words' usage "by number" in various passages of Scripture. I hope this helps. Rudy, are there other reference works that you would agree are good lexicons, grammars or word studies of the original languages? What translation(s) of the Bible are you most comfortable with on this Bible subject?

I submitted that the teachings of I Corinthians 11:1-16 contain commands to be obeyed throughout the gospel dispensation. The God-given reasons underlying these inspired instructions are just as true today as they were when Paul wrote to the Corinthian brethren. Man dishonors his head whenever he prays with a hat on his head, for example (See I Cor. 11:4).

The Bible clearly teaches that women dishonor their head when they pray bareheaded (See I Cor. 11:1-16). Did Rudy refute these passages in his first negative? No, he simply asked 6 questions after letting us know that he disagreed with me whether women today are required by God to cover their heads when they pray. Our 9 affirmative arguments remain unchallenged and stand without refutation by Rudy, the negative in this part of the discussion. We encourage Rudy at this point to take up the challenge of the discussion and engage the arguments, testing them to see wherein they are strong or weak, true or false.

Rudy's 6 Questions to Me (From His First Negative):

Rudy wrote: "Having read your affirmative, the following questions seem to have been overlooked or lacking a convincing argumentation:" and proceeded to ask 6 questions (see them below).

Let's see if Rudy's questions apply to the proposition we are discussing and address the heart of our differences, and if so, what bearing do they have on our study? I am sure they are important to Rudy and his belief, or he would not have asked them.

Rudy asked

1. Do ALL men have authority over ALL women, or is it a husband-wife
relationship? You stated "I believe this includes mankind…head of
womankind in a general sense…", but did not develop that thought any
further. You would have to find a Biblical basis for that "belief".

Mark replies:

God only has to say something "once" for it to be true. I Corinthians 11:3 says, "3 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."(NKJV).

God clearly teaches us that Christ is the head of EVERY man (whether in Corinth, Thessalonica, Philadelphia, Ephesus, Athens, or Brunswick, Georgia, etc). There are liberal translations of verse 3 that substitute "wife" for "woman", but they are not doing the passage justice in this regard. I anticipate (but am not sure <g>) that Rudy will go this route in future argumentation. If he does, we will deal with it at that time. For now, Christ is the head of "every man" (not just "husbands") and man is the head of "woman" (not just "wives"). The ~basis~ for this belief, Rudy, is this passage: I Corinthians 11:3! God only has to teach it once in His revelation, for it to be true.

Notice the following translations, on verse 3:

KJV - "3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God."

NKJV - "3 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."

ASV - "3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God."

NASB - "3 But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ."

NIV - "3 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."

Rudy asked:

2. Are women still prophesying today?

Mark replies:

YES, in at least one sense of the definition of the word "prophesying" (and its forms: noun, verb, various tenses, etc.) as found in the New Testament. NO, in another sense of another definition of the word's usage in the New Testament. But, notice that the matter of "prophesying" is "off topic" with regards to our proposition, since we are discussing women today who pray! Rudy, is the word "prophesying" found in the proposition we are discussing? The Holy Spirit SEPARATED "praying" from "prophesying" with the word "OR" in the passage!

Notice the proposition I have agreed to discuss: "The Scriptures teach that women today should cover their heads when they pray." Since "praying" is SEPARATED from "prophesying" in the text of I Corinthians 11:1-16 by the word "OR" (supplied by God, through the Holy Spirit via Paul), we could grant (purely for the sake of argumentation only) that "prophesying" was exclusively inspired speech and it would not negate the fact that we "pray" today and that the instruction applies to "every woman" who prays today.

I do believe (since Rudy asked me and this is a Bible study) that women today prophesy, in the sense of uninspired teaching of God's Word. I do not believe, that men or women today are inspired prophets, since spiritual gifts have ceased (per I Cor. 13:8ff). We can possibly study, in detail, the matter of the meaning of the word "prophesying" later, if you like, Rudy. But, the careful reader will notice that this study concerns itself with women today praying with their heads covered.

Rudy then asked:

3. Are these prayers, prophesies expressed in a mixed assembly, alone,
or a "single gender" meeting?

Mark's response:

Rudy's question (as written above) is not clear (''...these prayers, prophesies...mixed assembly, alone, or a 'single gender' meeting"). I'll do the best I can to answer (in trying to set a good example for Rudy to answer my Bible questions as we continue throughout this Bible study).

The text regulates "every woman... praying or prophesying" and "every man... praying or prophesying". We know this by specific revelation from God. This is not based on supposition or conjecture. We must respect the silence of the Scriptures. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Rom. 10:17).

Since "praying or prophesying" can take place IN or OUTSIDE of church arranged assemblies (mixed gender and/or single gender meetings, and even when "alone"), the instruction of the text would apply whenever and wherever men and women today pray. I pointed this out in my first affirmative when I wrote, "I want to emphasize in this discussion the necessity of women using an artificial covering on their physical head while praying today (whether in or out of church assemblies)." God's stated reasons certainly apply in or outside of church assemblies. Paul mentioned individuals AND churches in verse 16. So, the instruction is for ~all instances of~ praying or prophesying, whether in or out of church assemblies.

Rudy asked:

4. What are the possible social circumstances in Corinth which might
warrant this kind of a statement from Paul?

Mark replies:

Again, Rudy's question is certainly important to him or he would not have asked it. I want to honor his request in answering his Bible questions. Again, I don't base my belief or practices from conjecture...but rather from what is revealed in God's Word. I must ask for clarification, however, as this question is too vague. Rudy, please tell me what you mean by "possible social circumstances in Corinth" and "warrant this kind of statement from Paul". What ~statement~ by Paul (which verse? he made lots of statements, in fact he wrote the entire book of I Corinthians, including verses 1-16 of chapter 11; no disrespect intended, but I must understand your question before I can answer)? Thanks.

Rudy then asked:

5. "Because of the angels" – Are you saying this coverage is mandatory
because angels exist? Or would there be another reason for that?

Mark kindly responds:

There are two questions at #5 above. To the first: I am saying one of God's reasons for women covering their heads when they pray is "because of the angels" (verse 10). This reason is just as valid today as it was when given. Therefore, women today are to cover their heads when they pray (this is the argument).

If angels did NOT exist today, for example, I could not very well argue that women today are to cover their heads (based upon Paul's argument "because of the angels") when they pray (given the instruction as worded in God's Word) could I?

There are ~other reasons in the text given~ for women to cover their heads when they pray (the answer to the 2nd question above now follows...) which we have pointed to before (in addition to "because of the angels"), in our first affirmative article, that we will summarize below:

- HEADSHIP (vs 3)
- [****BECAUSE OF THE ANGELS (vs 10)****]
- LESSON FROM NATURE (vs 14, 15)

Rudy chose not to negate my argumentation in my first affirmation, but he did state that he disagreed with me and raised some questions. I have tried to answer the questions he asked me in the spirit of conducting a good, friendly Bible discussion. Let's see where Rudy goes in his next negative speech/article. Will he follow the lead of the affirmative, taking up my arguments one by one, and attempt to show wherein he thinks the argumentation we have given is incorrect? Will he state "why" he disagrees and "wherein" he disagrees? We will see. We look forward to reading more about his actual denial of the proposition I am affirming in this part of our discussion.

Rudy's sixth question was:

6. What is the basis for extending this command beyond the Corinthian

Mark answers:

I Corinthians 4:17; Matthew 28:18-20; & 2 Timothy 2:2 teach,

I Corinthians 4:17, "For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who
is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into
remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in
every church."

Matthew 28:18, "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is
given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all
nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and
of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I
have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of
the world. Amen."

2 Timothy 2:2, " And the things that thou hast heard of me among many
witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to
teach others also."

These passages instruct us that: Paul taught the same thing in all the churches of the saints; the apostles were to go, teach, baptize and teach those saints to observe ALL THINGS whatsoever they had been commanded; and, the things that Paul taught Timothy were to be committed to faithful men (and women [a form of the word ~anthropos~ is used in that passage]) who would be able to teach OTHERS also. These passage are but a few that would teach us that the New Testament instruction given to the church of God at Corinth was to be taught "beyond the Corinthian church". This would include instruction concerning divisions in the church, fornication in the church, the need for church discipline, not taking a brother to court, abuses of the Lord's Supper, instruction about the gifts of the Spirit, instruction pertaining to the assembly and the regulation of spiritual gifts, women keeping silent in the church, contribution being authorized on the first day of the week, etc.

Also, I Corinthians 11:16 teaches that neither: Paul himself, the associates of Paul (they were individuals), NOR the ~churches~ of God (the assembly of Christians at Corinth and the assemblies of God other than at Corinth!) would contend for what the contentious man would contend for (so, of necessity, the teaching would go "beyond" the local church of God at Corinth)!

I will now review my 9 affirmative arguments that Rudy chose NOT to negate in his first negative.


Paul taught that this instruction concerning the matter of covered and
uncovered heads was a ordinance or requirement of God that would be
applicable to all saints (I Cor. 11:1-16; I Cor. 4:17). Since this
teaching is an "ordinance of God" based on God-given reasons that still
exist today, it is a command to be obeyed throughout the gospel age
(applies now).

Rudy did not negate this argument. The argument stands, waiting testing
from Rudy.

Paul, by inspiration of God, based one of the reasons women are to be
covered while praying or prophesying on HEADSHIP (I Cor. 11:3-6). Man is

still the head of woman today. Christ is still the head of man today.
God is still the head of Christ today. Therefore, women are to obey the
passage today.

Rudy simply asked me about headship. No negating of what I argued. Rudy,

is God still the head of Christ today? Is Christ still the head of man
today? Is man still the head of woman today? Do you believe that verse 3

is specifically teaching that Christ is the head of every "husband"

God teaches us, through Paul's instruction, that a woman DISHONORS her
head if uncovered at times of praying or prophesying (verses 5,6). He
goes on to state that such is "as if" she were shorn or shaven (as far
as shame and dishonor go). Since Paul taught that it is a SHAME for a
woman to be shorn or shaven, the woman is to be covered today when

Rudy did not negate this argument. The argument stands, waiting testing
from Rudy.

Paul, speaking as God's messenger, used even another reason for women to

be covered while praying or prophesying in verses 7-9. Woman is
mentioned as being the "glory of man" in verse 7 and in verse 9. God's
Word also teaches us that the woman was "created for the man". These are

inspired, God-given reasons for women to pray with their heads covered.
These truths are applicable today. Therefore, women are to cover their
heads while praying today because woman is still the glory of man and
because the fact is still true that woman was created for the man.

Rudy did not negate this argument. The argument stands, waiting testing
from Rudy.

Another inspired reason Paul gave in I Corinthians 11 for women to be
covered while praying was "because of the angels" (See verse 10). Angels

still exist today. This reason is just as valid now as when God gave it
originally in the writing of I Corinthians! Therefore, women are to
cover their heads while praying today.

Rudy asked a question about this argument. I answered the question.
Wherein does Rudy differ on this God-given reason? Why does he differ?
We shall wait and see.

Another reason God gave in I Corinthians 11 for women to cover their
heads while praying is that it is not "comely" for women to pray to God
uncovered (See vs. 13). This reason is applicable today. Women should be

covered and men should be uncovered while praying today. This still
applies today and we should answer the question the same way today as
Paul intended it would be properly answered when he wrote it.

Rudy did not negate this argument. The argument stands, waiting testing
from Rudy.

Further, Paul appeals to what is right and wrong about a natural
covering (the hair is given her for a covering, peribolaion Gk.)
concerning women having long hair for it is her glory and it being a
shame for man to have long hair. Similarly, it would be proper for women

to be artificially covered and men uncovered while praying or
prophesying. Long hair is still a woman's glory today. It is still a
shame for man to have long hair today. Since these reasons are still
valid today, women today are to cover their heads when they pray.
(Likewise, men are to be bareheaded, or uncovered, when they pray to God


Rudy did not negate this argument. The argument stands, waiting testing
from Rudy.

Paul goes on to state in verse 16 that he had "no such custom" as what
the contentious man would advocate. Neither did the churches of God.
This should teach us that Paul, by divine inspiration, was teaching
against women being bareheaded, or uncovered, while praying. My opponent

believes the opposite of what Paul & God taught in this passage,
concerning women today, in denying the present proposition.

Rudy did not negate this argument. The argument stands, waiting testing
from Rudy.

Let us hasten to point out that God gave several reasons for women to be

covered at times of prayer. All of these reasons are still applicable
today (headship, the order of creation, woman created for the man, woman

being the glory of the man, because of the angels, it is not comely for
women to pray uncovered, the natural covering suggests a difference in
man and woman and this relates to women wearing an artificial covering
at times of praying for the women to be different from the men, Paul and

the churches of Christ had "no such custom" as that advocated by a
contentious person). As we pointed out before, even if (for the sake of
argumentation, for example) "one" of the aforementioned reasons was no
longer valid, the other God-given reasons would suffice to prove our
proposition. ALL the reasons God gave must be addressed by our opponent
in this discussion. Since these reasons are all still valid today, women

are to be covered and men uncovered when praying today.

Rudy did not negate this argument. The argument stands, waiting testing
from Rudy.

Here are the 5 questions I asked of Rudy in my first affirmative that he has chosen not to answer (yet):

1. Did Paul teach women to cover their heads when they prayed?
2. Is God still head of Christ, Christ still head of man and man still
head of woman today?
3. Do angels exist today?
4. Since Paul taught the same thing everywhere in every church (I Cor.
4:17), did this instruction apply to all women who prayed in the first
century? Second century? Third? If not, why not?
5. Is it a shame for men to have long hair today and is it a shame for
women to have short hair today? If so, why? If not, why?

Here are 5 additional questions for my brother Rudy (he is getting behind in this part of our discussion of God's Word):

6. On what basis would you LIMIT the instruction of I Corinthians
11:1-16 to the church of God at Corinth (exclusively)?
7. Do men and women pray today?
8. Does God teach in I Corinthians 11:1-16 that women bring about shame
and dishonor if they pray to God uncovered?
9. Is it your contention that the word "woman" as found in verses
3,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13, and 15 is meant to be
taken/interpreted/understood as being "wives" ONLY and that the word
"man" as found in in verses 3,4,7,8,9,11,12,14,16 is meant to be
taken/interpreted/understood as being "husbands" ONLY? Please explain.
10. Rudy, do you believe it was a shame for an unmarried man at Corinth
(at the time Paul wrote I Corinthians) to have long hair, given the
instruction in I Corinthians 11:1-16?

We hope that Rudy will take up the task of the negative and engage the
argumentation given thus far and deal with the questions we have asked.
I want to again compliment Rudy on his demeanor, thank him for not using

the "Dutch" translation (as I would need an interpreter <g>), and let
him know that I consider him my brother and friend in this Bible
discussion, wherein we presently disagree.

Thanks to all for reading. Please give prayerful and careful
consideration (again) to what has been written so far in this discussion

and also to the reply forthcoming by brother Rudy. I appreciate so much
his kind, brotherly spirit towards me as we engage in this Bible study.
It is good when brethren who disagree discuss differences with the
proper spirit. May God richly bless us as we continue.

[-end of second affirmative by Ward]



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