The Don Martin - Mark J. Ward Discussion on

I Corinthians 11:1-16

Martin's Sixth Article

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

Re: I Corinthians 11: 1-16
Sat, 25 Jan 2003 18:56:06 -0700
"Don Martin" <>

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

Mark has now posted in response to my answering his question three.
Mark is not sure as to my answer. I can understand Mark's difficulty
because I have the same difficulty with others on occasion, sometime with
myself. I did think, though, that I answered Mark's good question.
Here again is Mark's question three and following that, part of the answer
that I provided:

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."

Don answers:

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
Corinthian people.

Mark desires clarification:

Don, I think this is a YES (particular to each time those nouns and
pronouns are used in verse 7), but I don't want to put forth a
comprehensive email (possibly tomorrow or Monday) and miss your intent
here on this answer (especially on the prophetess only vice every woman
in the last phrase in verse 7 specifically). I am NOT asking if there
are any other verses in the Bible that might teach that "the woman is
the glory of the man" right now...I am asking about verse 7...if the
true meaning (according to your belief) is that THAT verse is teaching
"...but the inspired only prophetess is the glory of the inspired
only prophet."

Don comments:

Mark, I answered your question as clearly as I am capable. Yes, "for a man"
of I Corinthians 11: 7 (gar men aner) is man in general but in particular,
the praying or prophesying man under consideration in the context. The "but
the woman" (de he gune) is the woman in general but, in the expression (in
view of the context), would be the praying or prophesying woman in
particular (as with the man). Both what is said of the man and woman in
particular (in the context of I Corinthians 11) is true in general (the
image and glory part), but is also true in the circumstances to which Paul
is applying these timeless and universal truths. I see no impetus for
saying that "...being in the image and glory" and "...the glory of man" are
indigenous to the praying or prophesying man or woman. I know some do make
this mistake.

Again, though, Mark and the readers, Paul is taking a universal truths and
applying them to the exact circumstances being addressed to further show why
the prophet should not be covered and, conversely, the prophetess should
wear a head covering.

Mark is doing what he must do to maintain and defend his position that all
"praying and prophesying women" today must be covered. He must try, some
how, to show that the teaching of the covering applies today and he is
attempting this by arguing that since man is "in the image and glory of God"
today and since woman "is the glory of the man" today, the covering teaching
must be binding today. I have said that Paul is taking a universal truth
(cp. Gen. 1: 26) and specifically applying it to an unusual and exceptional
situation, praying or prophesying women (I Cor. 11: 3-16). Paul is
addressing this situation especially in light of the meaning of the covering
in that culture.

Mark, I guess my answer is, "yes," with qualification. I wish I could
reduce my answer down to simply, "yes" but I must qualify my, "yes." Mark,
I understand what you are doing: You are attempting to position me. I have
no problem with this, but I am telling you what my position is. I agree
with you in that I know I Corinthians 11: 3-16 is sometimes said to contain
no applicable teaching today. This is wrong and tragic. There are many
germane truths in the text. However, these germane and cogent truths are
being applied to, again, I repeat, an exceptional situation regarding what
these men and women were doing and the way in which they were doing it. We
must distinguish between the two and not bind the exceptional on women today
by using an emblem of subjugation (the "veil") that is meaningless in our

As I close this post, please carefully consider, there is no resident
teaching in the Bible binding the covering on all women BEFORE I Corinthians
11and no teaching AFTER I Corinthians 11 that binds the covering on all
women. In fact, there is not even any teaching IN I Corinthians 11: 3-16
that bound the covering on all women in the church at Corinth.

Mark, as much as I eagerly look forward to your posts, I know you have a
work load. I do appreciate all the time and effort you are sacrificing to
have this exchange. I also thank you for your interest in me and others and
for trying to teach us what you evidently believe to be a neglected truth
today, all women wearing the head covering. Mark, one more thing, you did
mention someone doing some sentence diagramming. It goes without saying
that this is your option, however, I think it will be pointless. I have
basically agreed with your grammar arguments thus far, but I have not agreed
with your applications. I anticipate the same with any diagramming. It
will all come back to some universal truths being applied to a specific and
exceptional circumstance and an unusual command being issued for this
special situation, the covering.

(from MARS-List 3838, January 25, 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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