The Don Martin - Mark J. Ward Discussion on

I Corinthians 11:1-16

Martin's Eighth Article

This is the next Don Martin writes under the Subject line: Re:I Corinthians 11:1-16...Subject:
Re: I Corinthians 11: 1-16
Sat, 1 Feb 2003 18:09:06 -0700
"Don Martin" <>

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

Mark wrote:

I am enjoying the discussion and study with my friend and brother, Don
Martin, on certain aspects of the teaching of I Corinthians 11:1-16.

Don responds:

Mark, I also continue to appreciate the amicability characteristic of your
posts and, I trust, mine. I am a firm believer in the belief that two can
disagree, but do so in a affable manner. My only less than excellent
appraisal is the pace of the exchange and the repetition. I shall
only offer a few brief comments to your two posts today. If I understand
you, you plan on having more posts before you pose question five.
Trying to keep the length of my reply posts to a minimal is
very challenging. These are my only areas of "complaint."

Mark wrote:

Don "begs the question" here (in
that he assumes the thing that is yet unproven: namely, that "praying",
"pray", and "prophesying" in this text are miraculous ONLY). In reality,
praying, for example, would have to ~start out as being inspired and
uninspired~ for either of us to be "reducing" its definition, Don.
Regarding these actions being "inspired/miraculous ONLY", such is NOT
axiomatic, tho' Don asserts such. Don, how can we KNOW and BE SURE???

Don comments:

Mark, I have to the point of redundancy, said why I believe the "praying or
prophesying" in the setting of I Corinthians 11: 3-16 are inspired: Because
of the common meaning of prophesying and since prayer can be miraculous, in
view of the context, and the association with prophesying, both were
miraculous acts performed by praying or prophesying women and men at
Corinth; hence prophetesses and prophets (I Cor. 14: 15).

Mark continued:

Actually, it is Don (who would probably admit to it on "praying", at least)
who ~reduces~ the meaning
of "praying or prophesying" to INSPIRED ONLY and possibly to ONLY THOSE
LEADING??? (Since he believes the "normal, ordinary" meaning of praying
is UNinspired.)

Don answers:

When Mark reads the text under review, he sees all men and women at Corinth
(the church) praying or prophesying. When I consider the text, I see
certain women and certain men who were instructing the church praying or
prophesying (cp. I Cor. 12; 14). I thought that I had be clear in this
matter. I also see this happening in a public capacity; hence, the reason
for the competitiveness and headship concerns. I have said many times
that the teaching regarding the head covering only applied to those who
were praying or prophesying and not to the whole church. I am not sure as
to why Mark is unclear as to where I stand regarding this matter.

Mark wrote:

Don has not told us why it would be more important for a woman who was
INSPIRED who was praying to be covered (given the God-given reasons in
the text) than for an UNINSPIRED woman who prays.

Don remarks:

Again, I have addressed this particular matter to the point of tautology
and, perhaps, redundancy. These women and men were both doing
the same thing, in the same way, and in the same circumstances; hence,
the need for a visible "sign or authority" on the head of the prophetess
(I Cor. 11: 10). The coving was chosen as a visible sign because of its
endemic meaning to those people in that particular culture.

Mark states:

Don again asserts and assumes concerning that which is not taught in the
inspired record. First, Don assumes that "praying or prophesying" is
INSPIRED ONLY action and now, I THINK we are supposed to accept it is
LIMITED to PUBLIC ONLY settings and to those LEADING ONLY????

Don replies:

This is my stated position.

Mark asks:

Don again teaches "it is apparent"...that the "praying" is also inspired
and public...Don, do you mean LEADING IN PRAYER ONLY??? (as opposed to
praying with another who leads the prayer).

Don's answer:


Marks again asks:

Don, when you say "public",
do you mean in "assembly only" settings of the local church? If so, how
do you KNOW this is the case and how can we BE SURE such is the case?
Why wouldn't the instruction INCLUDE "outside church assembly" praying
or prophesying (i.e. public OR private) given Paul's God-given reasons
FOR the women to be covered when praying? Are you ~reducing~ again here,
brother Don?

Don answers:

I understand the action resident in I Corinthians 11, 12, and 14 to
especially be public or assembly action.

Mark states, first quoting me:

Why does Mark persist in wanting to remove "praying" from the syntax and
context of I Corinthians 11 and separately consider it?

Mark responds kindly, with love:
Don, the "syntax" HAS the word "or" in the text. It ALSO has "every man"
and "every woman"

Don comments:

We have been over and over the matter of "or" versus "and" in I Corinthians
11: 4, 5. I see no reason to repeat at this time.

Mark asks:

I am not sure, but THINK that you don't even believe that the "inspired
prophetesses" had to cover their heads when praying with men who LED the
prayers? Is this accurate, Don? Do you ONLY believe that the inspired
ladies had to COVER when they were LEADING either: the praying OR the

Don comments:

Mark, you are correct in your understanding of what I have repeatedly said.

Marks again states:

(emp mine, mjw) praying or prophesying, having his head covered,
dishonoureth his head. 5 But EVERY WOMAN (emp mine, mjw) that prayeth or
prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is
even all one as if she were shaven.").

Don reflects:

"Every woman" (pasa gune) and "every man" (pas aner) is the "praying or
prophesying" woman or man (I Cor. 11: 4, 5). "Every woman" and "every man"
does not denote women and men universally, but every "praying or
prophesying" woman and man. I cannot be plainer in my language.

Mark reasons, first quoting me regarding why I do not believe the Lord's
Supper of Acts 20: 7 is inapplicable today:

There is no teaching BEFORE Acts 20: 7, AFTER Acts 20: 7, or IN Acts 20:
7 to limit the observance of the Lord's Supper to those who possessed a
spiritual, supernatural gift. The fact that Paul was present and
partook of the supper does not limit the partaking to only the
miraculously endowed or require that such a person be present so that
others can partake. Mark's example has backfired on him.

Please read carefully below, as we will use ~Don's argumentation above~
and substitute the particulars for our study with regards to the
coverings of I Cor. 11....

There is no teaching BEFORE I Corinthians 11:1-16, AFTER I Corinthians
11:1-16, or IN I Corinthians 11:1-16 to limit the "every woman" and
"every man" to those who possessed a spiritual, supernatural gift.

See how easy that was, Don?

Don comments:

I think I missed something here. The subjects of I Corinthians 11: 3-16
were praying or prophesying women and men and the coving apparently had a
special meaning to them. Mark cannot find all men and all women that make
up the church at Corinth in the text. Also, my friend Mark cannot present
the covering as having the same meaning in our culture. The subjects of
Acts 20: 7 (the church) were "usual," while the subjects of I Corinthians
11: 3-16 are "unusual." To apply the coving to all Christians, Mark must
provide the "usual" setting and teaching. Mark cannot do this. As I have
repeatedly said, there is not a scintilla of teaching BEFORE, AFTER or even
IN I Corinthians 11 that binds the covering or "veil" on all women. Again,
Mark's argument back fires on him.

Mark made a good statement (sounds like my line):

But, he did NOT CHANGE what their respective (Jewish/Greek) cultural
meanings would be AT TIMES OTHER THAN "praying or prophesying"
(for he was NOT regulating them at those times), but rather, Paul gave us
God's Will for this dispensation to "every man" and "every woman" at
TIMES OF praying or prophesying!

Don affirms:

This is precisely my position: Every praying or prophesying women must be
covered. Since we do not have miraculous gifts and activities today in the
church and in view of the covering not meaning to us what it did to them,
the teaching of universally binding the covering today is shown to be an

Please consider post two.

Re: I Corinthians 11: 1-16
Sat, 1 Feb 2003 18:10:11 -0700
"Don Martin" <>

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

Mark stated:

We have shown earlier in our discussions why it can't be "axiomatic"
(and again in this post) that prayer was inspired ONLY in I Cor. 11.

Also, I have NOT argued that "prophesying" DOES NOT include inspired
speech. I have argued and shown proof, very early in my writings, Don
(Thayer's "D" definition " teach..." which is NOT exclusively
inspired), that prophesying should INCLUDE inspired or uninspired
teaching. I also referred to the biblical use of the word "prophet" in
Titus 1:12, wherein Paul (the same writer of I Corinthians, BTW) chose
to use the word by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Don agrees that this
takes place in the inspired record, but calls this an unusual use of the
word prophet <g>. Don had written previously in this discussion: "...The
idea, though, is that they claimed to be prophets, but in reality they
were false prophets (cp. Tit. 1:12). Such a use of "prophet" does not
negate the normal and common meaning." (from MARS-List Digest 3816,
January 20, 2003).

Don answers:

Mark, it is interesting how your and my minds work (not adversely reflecting
on either). I have repeatedly affirmed that the usual and common meaning of
prophesy is the act of speaking through divine impetus. This is the
understood meaning, unless there is something in the verse or context to
indicated differently, such as in Titus 1: 12. I have shown that in all
the occurrences of "prophesying" in the vernacular of I Corinthians,
"prophesying" is always used regarding inspiration. Praying could be
inspired in the first century (I Cor. 14: 15). Since prayer is used in
association with prophesying in a remote context pertaining to special
miraculous gifts, I understand the mentioned "praying" to be inspired.
However, since you must bind the covering on all women for all time, you
must force the rare exceptional and accommodative use of "prophet"
(viewed as a prophet, Tit. 1: 12) on "prophesying" in our text and make
the "praying" natural in order to have it today. It must also be
appreciated that even in such verses as Titus 1: 12, you do not have
proof that "prophet" is used simply of an uninspired teacher. I believe
"prophet" was used of those who claimed to be and were viewed
as "inspired teachers." Hence, the perceived miraculous remains

Mark then provides lengthy quotations from several authors regarding
"prophet." Let me insert again what I have said:

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 and I agree, I believe, regarding Acts 20: 7 being binding on ALL
Christians today. Why do we agree? Again, there is not anything in the
matter of the church at Troas partaking of the Lord's Supper on the Lord's
Day to make the example endemic or limited to a special set of unusual
circumstances or people (cp. Acts 2: 42). However, the women and men under
consideration in I Corinthians 11: 3-16 were unusual, they were "praying or
prophesying" women and men. The women were especially unusual as they were
prophetesses (a woman who prophesies is a prophetess, compare with Anna, Lk.
2: 36-38). I again say that all prophetesses today would be required to be
"veiled," providing the covering meant to us what it meant to those people
in I Corinthians 11. Mark and those who bind the covering today are guilty
of not paying attention to "those to whom it was spoken" and "the milieu or
backdrop in which it was spoken."

In closing, Mark said:

I will continue to discuss this good Bible topic in other posts this
weekend with my brother Don Martin and the listers, Lord willing,
including my response to Don's reply to my question #4 <g>, before going
to Question #5.

Don concludes this post:

Mark, I am not sure if you are using this medium simply as an exchange with
me or if you are also seeking to inundate the reader with as much
information as to your view that you can. I am fearful that we have become
bogged down and are engaging in redundancy.

I plan on briefly addressing your last post today in the morning, Lord

Don Martin

Check out our Web sites:
Ask a question and receive a Bible answer
Simply click on the URL to visit these sites. You may print out
the material for teaching purposes, see the copyright
provision on the home page of Bible Truths.

(from MARS-List 3858, February 1, 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]

Email the Editor at