The Don Martin - Mark J. Ward Discussion on

I Corinthians 11:1-16

Martin's 16th

This is the next (in sequence) post(s) Don Martin writes under the Subject line: Re:I Corinthians 11:1-16...

Re: I Corinthians 11: 1-16
Wed, 26 Feb 2003 14:14:23 -0700
"Don Martin" <>

Don Martin to Mark Ward and the list (post one of three):

I appreciate Mark's speedy reply and his continued good natured
demeanor. The only thing that really disturbs me is Mark saying that I have
misrepresented him. There are dialectic consequences to positions, but
sometimes we are not willing to accept these consequences. I have said that
Mark cannot see the role of the prophetess in Bible times. Mark does not
see the prophetess ever functioning as public teacher, teaching men in an
assembly. He maintains that this could not have been based on I Timothy 2:
12. I think Mark and I have a different understanding of "usurp authority
over a man" (authentein andros, I Tim. 2: 12). I believe the prohibition
precludes a woman assuming the role of public teacher in a religious setting
in the presence of men and that doing such automatically violates I Timothy
2: 12 (authentein andros). However, I believe that since these select women
were given the precise same gift as the prophets and are presented in I
Corinthians 11: 4, 5 as doing exactly the same thing, these prophetesses
also publicly taught and even taught men (assumed the posture of public
teacher). How do I reconcile this with I Timothy 2: 12? These special
women were the exception, they were allowed to use their inspired gift of
prophesy in such a public fashion. Mark rejects the obvious case and
description of what Anna the prophetess did (Lk. 2: 36-38). She taught in
the temple and taught all who looked for redemption. She was a prophetess
and as such, she assumed a public teaching role. She was not off in a
corner teaching women and children or "conversationally" talking with
the men in the temple. Yes, I repeat, Mark rejects the obvious role of

Again, I am laboring under the challenge of having reasonably short posts.
Therefore, I shall break my posts into three shorter ones and only respond
to what I deem is not needless repetition. I did try to move to new ground
with my question one. I would like to limit my comments to matters
pertinent to Mark's comments regarding question one and then ask my
question number two.

Mark wrote:


Don answers:

I have been using essentially the same wording from the onset. I believe
Mark's idea about "praying" and "prophesying" is in error. I think the play
Mark has made on "or" is exaggerated; however, to avoid going back over and
over this matter, I have been more consistently using, "praying or
prophesying." Praying or prophesying in application involved praying and
prophesying, as I have explained at least twenty times, since this is what
these inspired men and women were doing.

Mark wrote:

Please note what brother Don wrote in MARS-List Digest 3880, Feb. 7, 2003:
"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."

Mark here:
So, brother Don doesn't know what the practice was, but does (somehow) KNOW
that such was behind Paul's inspired instruction.even tho the text does not
so state!

Don comments:

I have not had more to say about the covering because I have been addressing
the issues at hand. However, with my next question, I intend to focus on
the covering, its nature and meaning.

Mark continued:

See the next quote by our good brother Don:
"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:." (from MARS-List Digest
3880, Feb. 7, 2003)

Mark here:
See the dual approach?....

Don comments:

Mark accuses me of contradiction. Mark should make this point if he thinks
it is correct (no problem). However, when we deal with this matter, I shall
harmonize these statements.

Mark wrote regarding my understanding and teaching of I Corinthians 11:

I am not sure where or how Don was taught this, it may have been from
reading other uninspired men's writings???

Don answers:

Many years ago I became disgusted with the many, divergent views about the
covering issue, even held by those who bind the covering on women today. I
decided that I was going to make a serious study and come to some definite
conclusions. My conclusions are based on the text: Every woman praying or
prophesying was to be covered...every man uncovered. These were prophets
and prophetesses. Since we do not have prophetesses today, the teaching is
inapplicable. Simple enough. I have wondered where Mark learned that the
covering was and is binding on all women and learned how to gymnastically
treat "praying" and "prophesying." I have started to ask, but I did not
want to appear unkind. It appears that both Mark and I believe the other
had to have help to come to our different conclusions.

Please see post two.

(from MARS-List Digest 3945, Feb. 26, 2003)

Re: I Corinthians 11: 1-16
Wed, 26 Feb 2003 14:15:23 -0700
"Don Martin" <>

Don Martin to Mark Ward and the list (post two of three):

Mark continued:

Mark had answered (in part) question #1:
"The Bibles teaches, whether in public or in private, whether in the company
of another human being or not, whenever and wherever a woman is engaged in
praying or prophesying she would need to be covered."

Don then wrote:
"Mark's answer resembles an answer to a similar question that I provided.
Notice both the similarity and the dissimilarity. I ("Don", mjw) wrote:

" I repeat that anytime and every time these special men and women were
'praying or prophesying,' the women had to be covered and the men

Mark here:
But DON really puts more LIMITATIONS on the passage when you know his
position, in full (thus read on), for he DOES NOT believe that ANYTIME a
woman was prophesying in the company of WOMEN ONLY, for example,
that she had to obey the instruction to cover!

Don replies:

No, I do not believe that the Corinthian prophetesses had to be covered
while prophesying to only women or children. The whole matter of I
Corinthians 11: 3-16 was precipitated by these prophetesses and prophets
doing precisely the same thing in precisely the same way and circumstances,
at precisely the same time. This was why the prophetess was to be veiled
and the prophets unveiled. As mentioned in my last posts, this was the
emblematic meaning of the covering to those people at that time: headship
subjugation. Hence, if the prophet were veiled in these circumstances, it
would visibly and emblematically bespeak his subjugation to the female
counter-part, the prophetess. My friend Mark just cannot seem to see this.

Mark still states:

God didn't teach that it was a shame for a woman to be
uncovered "only when engaging in inspired only praying or prophesying in the
presence of men who were also exercising the same gifts", but rather
when "praying or prophesying"!

Don comments:

I can see from the above that what I say just is not registering with Mark.
I am sorry that I do not seem to be able to communicate this to where
Mark can follow it.

More from Mark:


Don fails to see that whenever and wherever women pray, they are to be

Don replies:

Mark, may I kindly repeat that the context must be allowed to define terms
and present the climate for the mentioned action. I Corinthians 11: 3-16 is
not about prayers prayed by all Christians. You, my friend, are continuing
to ignore the context. These were prophets and prophetesses "praying or
prophesying." These are the acts that they performed in their public work.
Since prayer can be inspired (I Cor. 14: 15) and since the "praying" is
associated with "prophesying," I really understand the prayer itself in
I Corinthians 11: 4, 5 to be inspired. Who is it that ignores and denies
the context? Mark, you want to enter into a text dealing with inspired
people doing exceptional things and extract from it, through a process
of gymnastic maneuvers, uninspired matters applicable to all. It will
not work.

Mark has taken a position relative to binding the covering on all women that
I have not personally heretofore encountered on the part of those who hold
this general view. The fact of the matter is, I have not ever found two who
believe the same. Let me hasten to add that this could simply be indicative
of the limited few with whom I have discussed this issue. Some believe the
woman must put something on her head when in the assembly and a male leads a
prayer, but they may be uncovered when there is singing or preaching. Some
believe that since singing is teaching (they equate this to "prophesy"), the
woman must have something on her head. Some proponents of the covering
teaching believe that if a woman is teaching a Bible class comprised of
women, they need not be covered. I have yet to encounter one who believes
that a mother teaching her small children in the privacy of her home had to
be covered, until I met Mark.

Mark says that the woman must be covered who is "praying or prophesying."
Again, there are two problems in binding such on all women today:

(1). Women today do not "pray or prophesy" in the sense and milieu of the
prophetess (I Cor. 11: 3-16).

(2). Since prophesy has ceased, the prophetess has ceased to exist (I Cor.
13: 10).

Even if we had "praying or prophesy" today, the covering does not mean to us
what it meant to those people at Corinth.

I do not mean to be crude or facetious but in view of Mark's position, I
suppose every female Christian had better have a veil in her possession at
all times. I say this because she must have the covering in place even when
she prays to God in total privacy, according to Mark. I thought surely
exposing this extreme view would cause Mark to back off and take a second
look at his teaching that binds the veil on all women today.

Please see post three.

(from MARS-List Digest 3945, Feb. 26, 2003)

Re: I Corinthians 11: 1-16
Wed, 26 Feb 2003 14:16:17 -0700
"Don Martin" <>

Don Martin to Mark Ward and the list (post three of three):

Mark charges:

In fact, Don actually has gone on record to assert that
men could pray (when praying while following) COVERED in the presence of
women! More assumptions without proof.

Don reflects:

Mark again reveals his lack of familiarity with the circumstances involving,
how, and when these prophetesses and prophets were doing what they
were doing. The "praying" is not one in an audience who is following in a
public prayer lead by another. However, this is what Mark would have you
believe. Mark is wrong in this, notwithstanding the fact that he is a nice

Mark wrote, first quoting me:

Don concludes:
I can see a man who believes the covering is binding on all women today
maintaining its placement when men are present. However, to demand the
covering in the mist of only women, children, and then in total privacy, I
think clearly demonstrates a total lack of understanding of I Corinthians
11: 3-16.

Mark wrote: I am in a position of being consistent with the text. God sees
all, public and private. Some angels see us; not sure the limitations
and all the applications/implications on that part of the matter <g>.

Don remarks:

I sincerely appreciate Mark attempting to be consistent. However, if he
really wants to be consistent he should acknowledge that since we do not
have prophetesses today (women who prophesy), the covering teaching does not

Mark wrote, first quoting me:

Don also wrote:
"I accept the fact of the prophetesses and what she did, Mark cannot."

Mark replies:
Brother Don, I will ask that you try harder to be fair with the position I

Don responds:

Mark, you have stated that the prophetesses never assumed the public
position of the teacher who taught an audience including men. It is evident
from a careful study of biblical prophetesses that this is precisely what
the prophetess did. Hence, my statement stands.

Mark stated:

Note that brother Don again failed to deal with the reference/argument I
have made (more than once, unless I missed it) concerning "teachers of good
things" and "prophet is not without honor save in his own country" (in
Matthew 13:57, which is from the same basic Greek word as the other
forms found in I Cor. 11 and Titus 1:12) can properly apply to either
inspired OR uninspired teachers/prophets.

Don responds:

Mark, I have commented many times on your argument that "prophet" can mean
simply an uninspired teacher. I have repeatedly addressed the matter of
such verses as Titus 1: 12. It seems to me that my answer is also
applicable to the couple other verses you have cited in an effort to strip
prophesy of its common meaning of inspired teaching. I understand, Mark,
that you must attempt to water down the common idea of inspired teaching and
reduce it to uninspired teaching. Speaking of matters not addressed, I do
not recall you dealing with the below repeatedly mentioned point:

I wrote: Propheteia ("prophecy") is used about 19 times in the Greek New
Testament and is found 5 times in I Corinthians. Propheteuo ("prophesied,"
etc.) is used a total of 28 times, 11 times in I Corinthians; and prophetes
("prophet") is found 149 times and 6 times in I Corinthians. There is not
any thing present in the combined 22 occurrences of these words in the
vocabulary of I Corinthians to suggest any thing but the common and normal
meaning of the words. Again, prophets were actuated by the Holy Spirit (I
Pet. 1: 11, 2 Pet. 1: 21). They miraculously foretold events to come and
delivered God breathed teaching.

>From my question one, we learned that Mark binds the covering on women who
are praying or teaching in the total absence of any man, while only teaching
women, while teaching children, even their own children in the privacy of
their house, and even when in the privacy of their own closets.

If Mark's understanding of universal binding nature of the covering were
correct, I suppose that it would be wise to issue an authentic (next
question) covering to every female whom we baptize. After all, she is going
to need to have it with her at all times. If she is attempting to one on
one instruct a man, she must put on her covering; if she is speaking with a
woman about spiritual matters, she will have to be covered; if she is
babysitting the child next door and has a chance to impart a spiritual
truth, she will have to first put on her covering; or if she is driving down
the road and desires to approach God in prayer, she will have to get out her
covering and place it on her head. It seems to me, I say this without
rancor, that in view of all the circumstances that would demand the
placement of the covering, it would be better for her to simply wear the
coving at all times, perhaps even in her sleep, because she might wake up
and want to pray to God about a particular matter. I say all of this based
on Mark's own teaching about when the woman must wear the artificial
covering about which we are studying. In view of the binding nature of the
covering on all women, according to Mark, and in view of all the
circumstances that call for the covering, we should now turn our attention
to the covering itself. Hence, my question number two:

My question two:

What was the artificial covering (katakalupto), will the typical doily or
hat today placed on the crown of the head satisfy the requirements, and
what was its meaning in the situation of I Corinthians 11: 3-16?

I again thank Mark and you for your interest in these matters. I believe
Mark to be wrong in his teaching about the covering, but I also view Mark to
be sincere and convicted in this matter. I do not want to "make fun" of
Mark but I do intend to try to get him to see the truth and stop binding on
all women what God never universally bound.

Don Martin

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(from MARS-List Digest 3945, Feb. 26, 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]

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