The Don Martin - Mark J. Ward Discussion on

I Corinthians 11:1-16

Martin's 19th

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

Subject: Re: I Corinthians 11: 1-16
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2003 12:31:40 -0700
From: "Don Martin" <>
To: <>

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

I believe Mark and I have had a good exchange on the covering issue. I say
this especially as the end draws near. Mark wrote:

I would like to review some of brother Don's comments and then
proceed to answer his Question # 3 of me.

Don comments:

Mark reiterates what we have covered (no pun intended) many times before
addressing my question three. An example would be:

Don continues to improperly limit "every man" and "every
woman" of the text to prophets/prophetesses ONLY. Don's
position fails to realize that men and women who pray, but
do not prophesy, are instructed in this text, as well. The
view I hold INCLUDES the prophets/prophetesses since
Paul's/God's teaching is for "every woman" and "every man".
The view I hold INCLUDES uninspired men and women who pray;
but not so with Don's "special men/special women" theory.
This is a crucial flaw in Don's assumptive view.

Don remarks:

Mark continues to make a big deal out of "or" (Greek he) in I Corinthians
11: 4, 5. What I see in the syntax is simply these prophets and
prophetesses would pray or prophesy, they would not each simultaneously
pray and prophesy. However, since praying or prophesying is what they would
do, they would pray AND prophesy in a given instance. Mark, though, has to
separate these acts and totally remove them from one another. Hence, Mark
keeps talking about praying men and women today. Notwithstanding, these men
and women at Corinth concerning whom Paul addressed the covering
(katakalupto, that which covered and hanged down the head), were not
ordinary male and female Christians, they were prophets and prophetesses.
I have pointed out many times that since "praying" is used in association
with "prophesying," these men and woman were in all probability also
engaging in inspired prayer as well (cp. I Cor. 14: 15). As expected, Mark
also denies this in an effort to bind the covering on all women today. Mark
has to distance the "praying" from the "prophesying" and the prophets and
prophetesses who were praying or prophesying (I Cor. 11: 4, 5). Hear Mark:

"We ALL pray today and the instruction is applicable to all
men and women who pray in the New Testament dispensation!"

Regarding the artificial covering of I Corinthians 11, Mark said
a "skull cap" that clung to the head, covered the top and the back of
the head, "but DID NOT hang down from the head" is consistent with
katakalupto. In view of katakalupto (to cover and hang down) used in a
climate of obvious intended definition (I Cor. 11), I cannot imagine Paul's
covered prophetess simply having on a "skull cap" that covered the top and
back of the head but did not hang down.

I have shared with you that it is Mark who believes the covering is binding
on all women today. Yet, Mark does not even follow the passage. He ignores
the subjects, what they were doing, where they were doing it, and the
circumstance that precipitated the covering, headship subjection. Mark also
ignores the basic requirements of the covering (katakalupto), to cover the
head and hang down.

Please see post two

Re: I Corinthians 11: 1-16
Thu, 13 Mar 2003 12:32:24 -0700
"Don Martin" <>

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

Regarding when Mark believes all women today are to have on their head
covering, we noticed the following:

If Mark's understanding of universal binding nature of the covering were
correct, I suppose that it would be wise to issue an authentic
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.

The following is typical of Mark's reasoning:

Don wrote:
I rather took Paul's own use of "prophet" and "prophesy" in
the vocabulary of I Corinthians and showed that the terms
never meant uninspired teaching. Mark, as I recall, never
touched this argument and fact. Mark is a very zealous
student, but in the matter of word study and argument
(linguistics), he lacks discipline and direction. Also, we
must appreciate that Paul presents the covering in I
Corinthians 11 very carefully, as a matter that was bound on
these prophetesses. What I mean by this is in a setting of
qualification and requirement, words seem to be mostly used
with their basic meaning understood.

Mark here:
I pointed out (but Don missed it) that it was the ~SAME Holy
Spirit and the SAME Apostle Paul~ who wrote the book of I
Corinthians WHO WROTE the book of Titus (all New Testament
uses Don <g>).from whence I showed him, wherein PAUL (in the
Greek and English <g>) wrote concerning a "prophet" (Paul's
and the Holy Spirit's choice of using a form of the word
propheteuo there, brother Don) who was UNinspired who was a
TRUE prophet!

Don comments:

Mark fails to grasp the thrust of my argument. Just because "prophet" is
used in Titus 1: 12 regarding one who was viewed as a prophet, Mark jumps to
the conclusion that the rare "accommodative use" of "prophet" in Titus 1: 12
provides him with the liberty of taking terms that have the ordinary meaning
of speaking by the impetus of the Holy Spirit and reduce the teaching to
uninspired and only natural teaching. Hence, based on such, I have accused
Mark of word gymnastics.

Mark has accused me of being inconsistent relative to the statement made by
the veil during the first century. The veil, many scholars say the kalumma,
veil, is implied by katakalupto, seems to have totally reversed
its meaning from the time of Genesis 38: 14, 15 (viewed as attire of harlot)
to the time of Paul's writing to the Corinthians, at least in regards to the
audience and recipients of I Corinthians. Even during the time of I
Corinthians 11, there may have been different cultural interpretations of
the veil, but the immediate extant culture inferred in I Corinthians 11 must
have viewed the covering as indicative of headship awareness.

Consider the statement found in the International Standard Bible

"...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:

One thing we know for sure, in the milieu and culture of I Corinthians 11,
the covering was emblematic of headship subjection (vs. 4-10). Any where
there were prophetesses and prophets doing the same thing and in the same
circumstances, the veil would have been required for the prophetesses and
forbidden for the prophets, providing the associated culture so defined and
viewed the covering (cf. vs. 16). As I have said many times:

(1). We do not have prophetesses and prophets today doing what they were
doing in I Corinthians 11 (I Cor. 13: 10).

(2). The head covering has no meaning and place in American culture.

Some, it appears, cannot appreciate the truths that are stated and adduced
to show the appropriateness of the covering. I say this in the sense that
they see the universal nature of these truths and they thus conclude the
universal and binding nature of the covering. To substantiate the propriety
of the covering in the circumstance of Corinth, Paul mentioned the woman
being shorn, the subjugation of angels, even though greater than man, and
the fact of the woman's natural covering, her hair (vs. 5, 6; 10; 15). In
the case of the prophet being uncovered, Paul also presented numerous
universal truths. For instance, the prophet was not to cover his head in
the discussed circumstances because he is the image and glory of God, the
woman is of the man, and the woman was created for the man (vs. 7; 8; 9).
However, just because the arguments and truths used to establish the
propriety of the covering are generally true does not necessarily mean that
the propriety being discussed, the matter of the covering, is also
universally true. As seen, the covering matters pertained to the "praying
or prophesying" prophets and prophetesses when the covering meant headship
subjugation. It would not have been proper to have bound the covering on
prophetesses during the culture and time of Genesis 38: 14, 15 (making the
wearer appear as a prostitute).

Please see post three, my final post in this exchange.

Re: I Corinthians 11: 1-16
Thu, 13 Mar 2003 12:33:41 -0700
"Don Martin" <>

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

My final question number three:

Is it necessary for "praying or prophesying" women today to
have their head covered in order to be saved and enjoy the
fellowship of faithful brethren, and are those who do not
bind the covering today false teachers?

This question is asked to probe and establish Mark's exact application
position. There is no doubt that in the text in which the covering is bound
on praying or prophesying women, it is a matter of salvation and fellowship.
How can one conclude anything else in view of verses 4-16. To violate the
head covering meant headship was being rejected, the woman brought
shame on herself, elevation above angels, performing uncomely acts, going
against principles of nature, and rejecting the teaching of God (vs. 4, 5;
6; 10; 13; 14; 16). Such serious matters would certainly involve salvation
and would constitute a fellowship issue. For the prophetess to pray or
prophesy uncovered would be the same as to be "shaven" (I Cor. 11: 5).
Paul continued, "...For if the woman be not covered, let her also be
shorn..." (vs. 6). Hence, Paul considers the uncovered prophetess a
shame and perhaps equates her to the temple prostitute.

Since Mark has been the one binding the covering, you would expect Mark to
immediately answer my question number three that having the head covering,
in the case of all women, is necessary to being saved, enjoy the fellowship
of faithful brethren, and that those who do not bind the covering on
all women today are indeed false teachers. I know that if I held Mark's
view, I certainly would answer question three in the matter just mentioned.
How could I answer it differently and be consistent? Since Mark has not
been linear in his teaching (Mark has exhibited what I call zig zag
reasoning), I expected Mark not to be consistent in his answer for
question three. Let us see how he has answered question three:

First, Mark states:

Mark here:
The above question has three parts. Don knows how to ask
questions, doesn't he? No problem brother Don.

Don comments:

Question three is a compound question that is designed to
extract in a precise way Mark's application and consequences
of binding the covering on all women today.

Mark reasonably breaks down question three:

Part ONE is concerning
whether or not the covering is essential unto salvation.
Part TWO is whether or not such is to be made a test of
fellowship and Part THREE has to do with the question of the
use of the terminology "false teachers" toward those who
disagree on this subject with what we understand the truth
to be.

Mark then remarks:

If I didn't know Don better, I would say that he is so weak
in his position that he is like the Baptist preacher in
debate that has to get on the emotionally charged subject of
the person who has a limb fall on them on the way to being
baptized and wants to know if the person will be lost
eternally in hell!

Don answers:

Mark, question three is designed to test you to see how much you really
believe what you are teaching. Paul bound the covering on prophetesses and
he certainly taught that the covering was imperative to salvation,
fellowship, and teaching the truth.

Regarding "part one," Mark wrote:

As brother Robert Turner has been quoted (famously now <G>,
probably on another subject matter) to have said, "I won't
get into whittling on God's end of the stick." God is the
final judge of who is saved and who is lost eternally.
Mark continues:

To honor Don's question to the degree that I believe it has
merit I will say this: The covering instruction is a matter
of faith, not opinion, for it is a Bible subject that
contains instruction for all living in this dispensation (I
Corinthians 11:1-16). This instruction is part of the
commandments of the Lord (I Corinthians 4:17) that Paul
would teach everywhere in every church (I Corinthians
11:16). Paul would have brethren (men and women/anthropos)
be taught this and communicate this to others (per 2 Tim.
2:2). This topic is involving an "action" so it must be
that such is either: scriptural or unscriptural. If
scriptural: it must be either mandatory or optional. If
unscriptural, such is clearly forbidden.... I leave
that judgment up to God, brother Don.

Don comments:

Would Mark say the same thing regarding baptism?

Regarding "part two," Mark states:

I do not withdraw fellowship from those who do not teach
and/or practice the same as I on the head covering issue.

Don comments:

It appears that Mark does not consider the covering equal to such matters as
fornication, and adultery. Yet, Paul obviously did (I Cor. 11: 5, 6).

Mark continued:

Brethren can dwell together in love and continue to study
matters like the covering over which there is honest
disagreement in teaching and practice.

Don reflects:

Since Paul definitely did place the covering in the setting of salvation,
fellowship, and true teaching, how can Mark say what he does? Can brethren
"dwell together in love..." regarding fornication and adultery? Mark, you
have strongly argued that the covering is necessary and now you want to
wiggle out of the necessary consequences.

Regarding "part three," Mark said:

When someone teaches on a subject, one either teaches the
truth or error on that topic. Such is axiomatic. We need to
be concerned about what is God's truth on this and other
Bible subjects. Do I consider Don Martin, for example,
(since we disagree on this particular subject) to be a
"false teacher"? I want to answer this question as honestly
and yet as lovingly as I can. Please give attention to the
full answer herein <g>. I don't call brother Don a false
teacher! On this subject, however, I believe with all my
heart that Don teaches falsely....

Don comments:

I appreciate Mark's stands and efforts in a number of areas, however, Mark
and I are diametrically opposed on the covering issue. Since I advocate a
practice that would render women tantamount to prostitutes, according to
Mark, how can Mark write so benignly of me? If I taught the
non-essentiality of baptism, would Mark say the same thing of me? (Mk. 16:

Mark asks me a fair question:

Don, do you call me a "false teacher" given
our discussion on this topic?

Don answers:

Let me see if I can answer this in 21 words or less: Mark, if you teach
that all women today must be covered to be saved, then, yes, you are a false

Regarding any prophetess at Corinth who refused to wear the
covering, she would have been rebellious and could not have expected to have
been saved and fellowshipped (I Cor. 11: 4-16).

You are binding where you have no right and are "fallen from grace" (cp.
Gal. 5: 1-4). Mark, I think a lot of you but I must tell you the truth
(Gal. 4: 16).

Mark, as I bring my part in this discussion to a close, if you are going to
use I Corinthians 11: 3-16 to bind the covering on all women today, you must
also accept all the attendant teaching along with the consequences of
rejecting it. I have found it a pleasure to engage in this exchange with
you, but, Mark, you have not been consistent. I want to now mention another
related matter that I deem of great importance.

All with whom I have had contact who believe and teach that the covering is
binding on all women today when it comes down to practical application, back
off and argue for fellowship in diversity. I submit that the covering issue
today is one source of the fostering and spread of the crippling unity in
diversity doctrine that is sweeping through churches of Christ. If one can
bind the covering today without any consequent salvation, fellowship, and
teacher status consequences, why not make allowances for other subjects and

Mark, I do not bind the covering on all women because the covering is not
bound BEFORE I Corinthians 11, it is not bound on all women IN the text, and
the covering is never bound AFTER I Corinthians 11 (see I Tim. 2: 9). The
covering is only bound in the special circumstances of prophets and
prophetesses who were doing the same thing and obviously in the same
circumstances (I Cor. 11: 3-16). In this case and among people who viewed
the covering as emblematic of headship subjection, Paul bound the
covering on prophetesses and restricted it in the case of prophets. To
bind the covering on all women today is to present an anachronism (the
elements are out-of-date...). I do not doubt the zeal of Mark and his
sincerity. I do hope that Mark will consider his many inconsistencies
and re-study I Corinthians 11. Mark, we need men such as you to stand
for truth, but we do not need matters being bound on all women that were
not even bound on all the women at Corinth, just the prophetesses or
"praying or prophesying" women.

Mark, I again thank you for the cordial and fair way you have conducted
yourself in this exchange. I imagine that you are frustrated and perhaps a
little angry with me at this time. However, it is my prayer that you will
calmly review your positions all the way to the climax as seen in your
answers to question three and seriously reconsider binding the covering
today. Any way that I can be of future assistance, please call on me. I
also want to again thank each of you who followed this exchange.

Don Martin

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(from MARS-List Digest 3993, March 13, 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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