The Don Martin - Mark J. Ward Discussion on

I Corinthians 11:1-16

Martin's 11th Article

This is the next Don Martin writes under the Subject line: Re:I Corinthians 11:1-16...


Re: I Corinthians 11:1-16 Just sent
Wed, 5 Feb 2003 09:30:30 -0700
"Don Martin" <>

Don Martin to Mark Ward and the list:

I try very hard not to misquote or misrepresent. Mark has now accused me of
misrepresenting him. I am still not sure I even understand how I have
supposedly misrepresented Mark. I do know that there are inevitable
positional consequences and sometimes we are unwilling to accept them.
Let me again try to address this matter.

I have said, thinking that I was being very accurate: "As you know, Mark
Ward believes the covering matter is binding on all 'praying and
prophesying' women today." (from MARS-List Digest 3863, February 3, 2003).
In view of the way that I thought Mark had defined "prophesying" as meaning
uninspired teaching when applied to today, I believed what I said was
correct. However, Mark objects to my statement. Mark wrote:

Mark wrote:

The study on participles (from MARS-List 3825, January 23, 2003) showed
that "praying or prophesying" is telling WHEN, not WHO, Don. I make a
distinction, in my position regarding this and I ask you to note that
distinction, please. You may NOT agree with it, but please note it and
don't misrepresent me good brother! Thanks.

Don comments:

Mark, I basically agree with the grammatical points you have quoted. I am
referring to the predicate position and posture of "praying or prophesying"
as opposed to the attributive (simply shown by the absence of the definite
article). However, Mark, I disagree with your application conclusion of
this Greek grammar rule. "Praying or "prophesying" are describing WHAT
these women and men were doing as opposed, technically considered, to WHO
these women and men were (attributive position). Nonetheless, the predicate
placement still provides insight as to WHO they were by WHAT they were
doing: they were "praying or prophesying." In other words, "...every woman
that prayeth or prophesieth..." is not every woman at Corinth, but every
"praying or prophesieth" woman at Corinth. Mark, my friend, you are
needlessly splitting hairs and grasping at straws, in my humble observation.

Mark, why would you make such a strained argument and even accuse me of
misrepresentation? Is it because you feel desperate to force the special
and unusual teaching that bound the covering on certain ones on all women
today? Mark, even at Corinth, the covering was not bound on all women,
just every "praying or prophesying" woman.

Mark, I think we are becoming bogged down in equivocation and word games. I
say this not trying to be rude, but helpful.

Look at what you wrote:

Mark here:
I believe that the ~proper interpretation and application~ of I
Corinthians 11:1-16 includes "every man" and "every woman" (whether
uninspired or inspired) at the times of "praying or prophesying"
(whether inspired activity or uninspired actions). The ~application~, of
necessity, that I would make of this passage ~today in 2003~ (NOT the
~interpretation~, mind you) would HAVE TO BE to only those uninspired,
for there are no inspired folks living today! But, please do not let Don
fool you into believing that Mark believes for one nano-second that the
instruction (properly ~interpreted~) EXCLUDES inspired activity.

Don comments:

Mark, I honestly do not know what you just said. I think I understand your
general argument, though. Why not say, as do I, that the teaching
pertaining to the binding of the head covering applied to inspired men and
women as clearly seen by "prophesying" (what they were doing, predicate
action) and by the full context and does not apply (the head covering) to
women today? By straining to bind this exceptional teaching on all women
today, you are having to do all kinds of word gymnastics and logistic
maneuvers. Mark, again, I am not trying to be unkind, but this is what I
see you doing.

Mark, I cannot deal with all that you said in your last post (too long).
However, I do want to address one paragraph:

Mark wrote:

When an uninspired brother taught at Corinth what could only be known by
divine inspiration (something revealed to one with a gift/miraculous who
had taught the uninspired), that brother was "prophesying", Don. My
inclusive definition allows this. (Aaron was a prophet like this at
times, regarding Moses getting it from God, Moses telling Aaron, etc.)
Furthermore, when ALL the brethren at Corinth "prayed" (inspired or
uninspired , whether ~led~ by a person exercising a spiritual gift or
not) "every man" and "every woman" was to uncover and cover their heads
respectively! They were "praying", Don! They really were! You change
God's Word from "every man (form of ~aner~ Gk.)" to "every PROPHET (no
Gk to support it since a form of ~aner~ is used)". That is one of the
FIRST of your fatal mistakes that launches you into an uninspired
sentence structure that takes you off into your exclusive view.

Don answers and concludes:

Mark, our whole view of I Corinthians 11: 3-16 is totally different, from
start to finish. When I look at the text, I see some women and some man at
Corinth doing precisely the same thing (praying or prophesying), in the same
way, and in the same circumstances. These were prophetesses and prophets
who were leading (yes, leading) the assembly. Because of doing the same
thing, etc., the problem and issue of headship arose. In order to satisfy
the matter and avoid even a wrong impression that these special women were
viewing themselves as not under subjugation to their male counter-parts
(again, they were publicly doing the same thing) and in view of the meaning
of the head dress to those people, Paul bound the artificial covering on
every praying or prophesying women. This is why there is not a scintilla of
teaching BEFORE, AFTER or even IN I Corinthians 11 binding the veil or
covering on all women.

Mark, I kindly but plainly say that this business of, "Furthermore, when ALL
the brethren at Corinth "prayed" (inspired or uninspired , whether ~led~ by
a person exercising a spiritual gift or not) "every man" and "every woman"
was to uncover and cover their heads respectively! They were
"praying", Don! They really were!" is removed from the action of the
context. Mark, you are manipulating the text and context of
I Corinthians 11: 3-16, extracting from it what is not there ("they were
all praying....") and then generally binding it on all women today. Yes,
when one publicly led prayer, all were praying in a general sense, but this
is not what is being discussed.

Mark, you have asked me if the teaching of I Corinthians 11 only applied to
the assembly at Corinth. I do believe the resident teaching did apply to
the assembly. Where else would it apply, to a street corner where the
prophets and prophetesses were teaching others? I suppose the teaching that
required the veil would apply to anywhere these certain women and men were
doing what they were doing. Any circumstance where there could be a
misunderstanding of the position of these special women relative to the men
in view of them both doing the same thing. Anywhere the covering would have
the meaning of headship subjugation.

Mark, I have said some plain things but I have not said them to put you
down. I am growing a little tired of the repetition, as I have said, and I
personally am ready to move on to question five. As I said many posts ago,
I believe we are bogged down in our differences of who the subjects of I
Corinthians 11: 3-16 were, what they were doing, and why the women were told
to be covered. You see the covering universally binding on all saved women,
I do not. If I believe there were teaching where I should bind the coving
on women today, believe me, I would not hesitate do so do. However, I
cannot take what is unusual and special teaching applied to only certain
people and bind it today. You, on the other hand, are under the influence
that the covering must be bound today. Hence, you must engage in all the
logistics and word games to try to arrive at a place where the covering is
required on all women. Mark, my friend, you are wrong.

Let us join hands in standing together for what is clearly taught and bound
on all men.

(from MARS-List 3871, February 5, 2003)


Re: I Corinthians 11: 1-16
Fri, 7 Feb 2003 15:42:22 -0700
"Don Martin" <>

Don Martin to Mark Ward and the list:

I have explained Paul's teaching in I Corinthians 11: 3-16 regarding the
commands pertaining to the head covering in view of the subjects (every
praying or prophesying woman) and the meaning of the veil at that time to
those people (headship subjugation). Mark, if I understand you, you are
saying that there really was no such custom pertaining to the covering.

Mark wrote:

No doubt there are some scholars who say that Paul is simply teaching
the customs of the day, and that women always appeared in public
with heads covered. On the other hand, there are other scholars just as
weighty, if not more so, who definitely do not say this. In fact, I am
convinced that the preponderance of the evidence is otherwise.

Don comments:

I imagine one can find conflicting statements by latter day writers relative
to the veil, who wore it and what it symbolized at the time period of I
Corinthians 11. However, I do believe reliable works should be accepted,
especially in view of Paul's instructions. Consider the statement found in
the International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia:

"...The use of the face veil as a regular article of dress was unknown
to the Hebrew women, and if "veil" is to be understood in Song of Solomon
4:1, etc., it was worn as an ornament only. The modern oriental custom of
veiling is due to Mohammedan influence and has not been universally adopted
by Jewesses in the Orient. In New Testament times, however, among both
Greeks and Romans, reputable women wore a veil in public (Plutarch Quaest.
Rom. xiv) and to appear without it was an act of bravado (or worse); Tarsus,
Paul's home city, was especially noted for strictness in this regard (Dio of
Prusa, up-front prior, section symbol 48). Hence, Paul's indignant
directions in 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, which have their basis in the social
proprieties of the time. The bearing of these directions, however, on the
compulsory use of the hat by modern women in public worship would appear to
be very remote....."

Don comments:

I am not totally sure as to the full societal practice of the head covering
at the time of Paul's special teaching, to be up-front. It could be that
the culture of Corinth was diversified to the point that there may have been
some intermixed cultures that did not so view the veil and its meaning.
However, it is certain that Paul told every praying or prophesying woman to
be covered and every praying or prophesying man to be uncovered. I do
believe that the reason for the issued teaching is in view of the meaning of
the covering: subservience to headship. In the case of the prophetess who
was doing the same thing as the prophet and in the same way and
circumstance, she needed to have a visible sign of her awareness of
subjection. To the converse, the prophet needed to be sure that he did not
have a tangible sign of headship subservience that could have been
interpreted, based on the meaning of the covering, that he viewed himself
only as an equal (if both were unveiled) or subservient (if he only were
covered) to his female counter-part, the prophetess.

Mark wrote:

I will be leaving for Artesia, New Mexico for 2 weeks on Feb 18th,
Lord willing, unless plans change again <g>.. I
would like, in another post, to catch up the study with my good brother
Don Martin and ask question 5. I apologize that my trip for my secular
job interferes with the flow of the good study.

Don comments:

Mark, I encourage you to accelerate our exchange. Please pose question
five. Let's go to second gear.

Don Martin

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(from MARS-List 3880, February 7, 2003)


Re: I Corinthians 11: 1-16
Sat, 8 Feb 2003 09:15:52 -0700
"Don Martin" <>

Don Martin to Mark Ward and the list:

A while back, Mark posted that he wanted for him and me to have an exchange
on the covering of I Corinthians 11: 1-16. I was in agreement and we began
the discussion. I have stressed to Mark from day one the need to do two
things: Keep the discussion going and to avoid long posts. I know that
Mark has been busy. It appears that after (it could have been before) the
invitation for me to enter the exchange, Mark committed to a debate the
covering issue with another on another list. Mark also has a secular job to
maintain. I have very much enjoyed the amicable spirit of the exchange, but
I am ready to move on.

Thus far, Mark and I do not agree on the recipients of the covering
teaching, "every woman praying or prophesying" and "every man praying or
prophesying" (I Cor. 11: 4, 5). I understand and teach that these were
special women doing precisely what their male counter-part, the prophets,
were doing, in the same way and circumstance. Mark does not agree with me.
I contend that to these special women (prophetesses) and in view of the
apparent meaning of the covering to those people ), Paul bound the head
covering. Mark contends that the covering is to be bound on every woman
"praying or prophesying" today. Mark has said that I have misrepresented
him in this latter matter. I think this is because Mark has his own take as
to the meaning of "praying or prophesying." Mark has the woman (all women)
today praying who are in an audience in which a man leads the public prayer.
I suppose Mark has the woman (all women) today prophesying in view of a male
preaching from the pulpit. I continue to experience great difficulty
understanding Mark's twists and turns on some of this. I am honestly not
trying to misrepresent Mark in the least.

I have asked Mark to move on in our exchange. Mark has said that he will
probably not be available for a couple of weeks, beginning February 18.
Mark has asked me four out of the five questions and I am urging him to
submit question number five. I do not plan on taking long for the
submission of my questions. Mark, I would like to conclude this exchange
before you leave, February 18.

Thanks again for you willingness to discuss and defend your belief that
women today must wear the head covering.

Don Martin

Check out our Web sites:
Ask a question and receive a Bible answer
Simply click on the URL to visit these sites. You may print out
the material for teaching purposes, see the copyright
provision on the home page of Bible Truths.


(From MARS-List Digest 3881, February 8, 2003)



[Editor’s Note: This is one of the most in-depth, comprehensive studies between two brethren on the issue of whether "the spiritual gifts view" of I Corinthians 11:1-16 is true, or whether God requires women today to cover their heads with an artifical covering whenever they pray. We hope all readers will continue to study all Bible topics with open minds, willing to conform to God's Truth. Thanks for reading! - Mark J. Ward]

Email the Editor at