The Don Martin - Mark J. Ward Discussion on
I Corinthians 11:1-16
Martin's Fifth Article
This is the next Don Martin writes under the Subject line: Re:I Corinthians 11:1-16...
Re: I Corinthians 11: 1-16
Fri, 24 Jan 2003 16:14:45 -0700
"Don Martin" <email@example.com>
Don Martin to Mark Ward and the list:
QUESTION 3: Don, in light of your view on the "every man and "every
woman" of verses 4, 5 in our text really being limited to only inspired
prophets and prophetesses, do you also teach and believe that when Paul
taught, "For a MAN indeed ought not to cover HIS (italicized in KJV)
head, forasmuch as HE is the image and glory of God: but the WOMAN is
the glory of the MAN."
In the beginning of our exchange, I invited Mark to pick five of the hardest
questions he could to asked me about the text of I Corinthians 11: 1-16.
Thus far, three of these questions are focusing on who the people were that
were addressed in the text. Mark believes the teaching relative to the
covering applies to all saved women then and now, I do not. I have
maintained the simple Bible study rule of observing "to whom it was spoken."
Before I expand, allow me to directly answer Mark's good question.
The particular man (aner) of verse seven is the man under consideration, the
praying or prophesying man (the prophet). Again, please allow me to
stress: there are certain universal truths being enunciated in the text,
beginning in verse three. For instance, the matter of headship. It is also
a universal truth that man "is the image and glory of God," all men.
However, the particular man here being viewed and to whom these universal
truths are being applied is the praying or prophesying man and his
circumstances. In the circumstances being reviewed, he ought not (opheilo,
moral obligation) cover (katakalupto) his head. The reason for the
prohibition was in view of his activity and proximity to his female
counter-part, the prophetess and, particularly, the meaning of the head
covering to the people in that contemporary culture. If the prophet
appeared with a head covering, such would emblematically state that he was
in subjugation to the woman doing the same (if she were uncovered), the
praying or prophesying woman. I suppose that if they both appeared with a
head covering, equality in headship would have been the thinking of the
It is apparent that Mark is hung up on this matter. Mark sees all men and
all women being discussed in the mentioned circumstance of the text.
Therefore, any pointed out contextual or subject limitation creates a
problem for Mark.
Mark continues regarding I Corinthians 11: 7:
...that the true sense of the verse would be, "For a INSPIRED ONLY
PROPHET indeed ought not to cover THE INSPIRED ONLY PROPHET'S
(italicized <g>) head forasmuch as THE INSPIRED ONLY PROPHET is the
image and glory of God: but the INSPIRED ONLY PROPHETESS is the glory of
the INSPIRED ONLY PROPHET"?
It is evident that there are a number of general truths, I reiterate, being
stated in the process of dealing with the specific situation of the text
(see vs. 8, 9, 11, 12). Again, though, the man and the woman under
consideration in the specific set of circumstances, is the man and the woman
of the text, the praying or prophesying man or woman. I can understand
Mark's pressure to have all men and women in the exact circumstances of the
text. However, Paul did not put all men and all women then or now in the
I am NOT trying to make fun of Don's position. I am trying to get him to
address another verse in the text....
No problem, Mark. Apply all the pressure you possibly can, test my
position, you are doing a good job.
Thanks again to Don and all the readers, the compliments on this
discussion, and especially to Don for being so straightforward in his
presentation and kind to me. It is a pleasure to engage him in this
study. Thanks Don!
Mark, the feeling is reciprocal.
Mark says in closing his post:
I do want to interject (to be expanded later) that I believe Don has
given answers to my questions so far (numbers 1 & 2) and told us WHY he
believes WHAT he believes and even (in part) HOW he got there. But,
after I counter with questions and alternative positions and views, Don
repeats (in my estimation) his original argument again instead of
showing wherein my counter argument is invalid or weak (in his
Don's final comments in this responsive post:
Mark, you are asking the questions and I am attempting to answer them. I do
not move around a lot in my dialectic activities. I establish what I
believe to be the foundational position and I build on it. In the case of
the men and women of I Corinthians 11: 3-16, they were praying or
prophesying men or women, prophets and prophetesses. They were doing the
same thing, in the same way, and in the same circumstances. Hence, in view
of the head covering, it was vastly important that they not violate the
principles of headship in their activities (vs. 3). In view of this and the
meaning of the head covering to the people of that culture, the praying or
prophesying woman was to be covered and the praying or prophesying man was
to be uncovered. The whole issue is just this simple. Please listen
carefully to what I am about to say: The reason the head covering does not
apply to all women today is this:
(1). The head covering did not apply to all saved women of the first
century (only the praying or prophesying women).
(2). The head covering does not have the meaning in our society as it did
to the people at Corinth.
(3). We do not have praying (miraculous and public) or prophesying
(miraculous and public) women today (I Cor. 13: 8-10).
Mark, may I kindly say that every argument you make is refuted by the
foregoing fundamental truths. You and I agree, I am confident, on a lot of
the particulars of the text, but you have the wrong subjects when you take
Paul's specific teaching about the covering and apply it to all women then
and today. This is the essential difference between your view and mine.
Thanks again for the good job you continue to do.
(from MARS-List 3833, January 24, 2003)
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[Editors 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 firstname.lastname@example.org]
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