The Don Martin - Mark J. Ward Discussion on

I Corinthians 11:1-16

Martin's Second Article

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

Re: I Corinthians 11: 1-16
Tue, 21 Jan 2003 22:02:08 -0700
"Don Martin" <>

Don Martin to Mark Ward and the list (comments and question two):

Mark has graciously responded to my answer to his first question relative to
the meaning of "praying" and "pray" in the text of I Cor. 11:1-16. Mark
also submitted question two for me to answer. I shall as briefly as I can
touch on a few areas of Mark's good post and then address question two.

Mark wrote:

Please notice that Don reasons from the word "prophesying" in I Cor. 11
toward the word "praying" (in determining the meaning of PRAYING), even
though praying is:

(1) first in order in the verse, and
(2) separated by the word "OR" from "prophesying" in the text.

Don comments:

Mark makes as good of argument that can be made and asks a good question.
Paul wrote: "Every man praying or prophesying...But every woman that
prayeth or prophesieth...." (pas Anna proseuchomenos he propheteuon....pasa
de gune proseuchomene he propheteuousa....). (I Cor. 11: 4, 5.)

Prayer has a normal meaning that does not necessarily include miraculous
impetus, I freely grant this. As we look at verses such as, "pray without
ceasing," we do not associate the supernatural (I Thes. 5: 17). Prophecy,
to the converse, has the ordinary meaning of speaking forth by divine
assistance, as seen in my first post. Words must be considered in their
syntax and context. Since "praying" is used in the setting (connection) of
"prophesying" (same verses), I conclude that the praying is also miraculous,
especially in view of the general and extended context. I also say this in
view of "pray" having the potential of miraculous impetus (I Cor. 14: 15).
This is the reason I first considered "prophesying" and the context anterior
to making a definitional judgement about the "praying" under consideration
in I Corinthians 11: 4, 5. The prophesying in the text was not just
natural, uninspired teaching and the praying in the setting was not natural
or unassisted praying, I submit. These were special men and women; they
were in fact: prophets and prophetesses (their function so classifies

My friend Mark said:

Don connects where the Holy Spirit separates.

Don comments:

Mark is absolutely correct in saying that the Holy Spirit separated praying
from prophesying. He did this by the use of "or" (he). I do not intend to
go into detail about the technical use of "or" (he) as opposed to "and"
(kai). I think a simple and uncomplicated answer is that the Spirit is
syntactically saying that the prophet or prophetess is praying or he/she is
prophesying, not simultaneously praying and (kai) prophesying. Please
notice that I did not say that Paul coupled praying and prophesying.
Without getting meticulously painstakingly particular, Paul is addressing
the matter of praying and prophesying involving prophets and
prophetesses and how they were to do what they were doing in the
circumstances. The point is, nevertheless, both praying and prophesying
are under consideration together in the same circumstances as opposed
to praying and prophesying being reviewed in different, isolated settings.
What Paul says about praying is also applicable to prophesying
(I Cor. 11: 6-16).

Mark reasoned:

Also, I don't think brother Don believes in either "inspired/miraculous
eating" in Amos 7:12 or "inspired/miraculous giving" in Romans
12: 6-8 (even tho they are in close proximity, my words not Don's, to
inspired activity in the context). Please note:

(1) Amos 7:12, "12 Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee
thee away into the land of Judah, and there EAT bread, AND PROPHESY there:"

(2) Rom 12: 6-8, " 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace
that is given to us, whether PROPHECY, let us PROPHESY according to the
proportion of faith; 7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he
that teacheth, on teaching; 8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that
GIVETH, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he
that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness."

Don reflects:

Pertaining to Amos 7: 12, even though "eat bread" and "prophesy" are
associated, I have no reason to believe they are of the same type (both
inspired) because I never read of eating bread being an inspired act. All
that is being said is, live and prophecy in the land of Judah, the eating
and prophesying also do not even have necessary reference to the same time,
circumstances, and conditions.

As to Romans 12: 6-8, I do believe all the specific acts that are separated
by "or" (eite) do share the same commonality of being "inspired." I say
this based on the language, "Having then gifts...." (Rom. 12: 6, see vs.
3). I understand the miraculous to have been present, put another way.

Mark said:

I am not contending for "reducing" prophesying to ordinary and
uninspired teaching ONLY...I am saying let ALL prophesying and ALL
praying be INCLUDED. Do you exclude Thayer's "d" definition of the word
used for "prophesying" in I Cor. 11, " teach..." (pg. 553)? Why
EXCLUDE definitions when you can allow ALL praying and ALL prophesying
to be included in Paul's instruction?

Don comments:

Mark, I do not include natural praying and any exceptional use of
"prophesying" (false prophesying) into the text of I Coronations 11: 3-16
because the text is special and unusual. To inject the usual into the
unusual is not allowed and presents contradictions and inharmony. The
opposite would also be true, to force the unusual into a normal
circumstance. What these prophetesses were doing at Corinth was not
usual for women in general. Since their actions were unusual, unusual
stipulations were forthcoming. These prophetesses (praying and
prophesying women) were to be covered.

Mark reasoned:

Titus 1:12 is an example of a prophet (here's a use of the word, not a
pseudo/false prophet) that spoke truth, but was uninspired. "12 One of
themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are always
liars, evil beasts, slow bellies."

Don comments:

Mark and the list, I understand that the one to whom reference was made as
being a prophet is simply accommodatively called by Paul. He functioned as
a prophet (was thought to have spoken the utterances of the gods) and was
known as a prophet among the Cretians. This "different" use of "prophet"
does not mean one can so define prophet in all occurrences and make the
exceptional the norm. As we have seen:

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.

Mark's second question:

Question 2. Don, do you presently believe that prophetesses
were prophesying or praying (miraculous ONLY in both cases) in the
church assembly at Corinth with God's blessings and were the ONLY women
being instructed to be covered (meaning that non-prophetesses did NOT
have to cover their heads when praying with either a prophet or a

Don answers:

Mark, the simple answer is, yes. The prophetesses (the praying or
prophesying women) were the women being addressed in I Corinthians 11: 3-16.
Paul addressed the assembly in general in I Timothy 2, but he said nothing
about a covering for the women. He did not mention a covering for the head,
even though he did discuss the proper attire for the assembly (I Tim. 2: 8,
9). He did not discuss the covering, even though he did focus on the fact
that woman is not to, "...usurp authority over the man..." (I Tim. 2: 12).
If the covering had been meant to have been universally bound on all women
in the assembly, I Timothy 2 would have been the place to have expected to
have observed such teaching, but there is not even a hint of such. The
teaching pertaining to the artificial covering of I Corinthians 11: 3-16 was
special: these were special women, doing special and unusual things along
with certain special men, praying or prophesying.

I thank Mark for his fine and exemplary manner and for the good job he is
doing. I look forward to his response and question three. I also encourage
you to consider Mark's reply to this post.

(from MARS-List 3820, January 21, 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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