The Don Martin - Mark J. Ward Discussion on

I Corinthians 11:1-16

Ward's 14th

This is the next article Mark J. Ward writes under the Subject line: Re:I Corinthians 11:1-16...

Re: I Corinthians 11:1-16
Sat, 15 Feb 2003 22:51:33 -0500
"Mark J. Ward" <>

Mark J. Ward, here to Don Martin and the list:

(post one of two)

I appreciate Don's attitude that prevails his post, however
he continually fails to see that he has taken the
"prophesying" in the text of I Corinthians 11 and elevated
it FIRST in his hermenuetical ~process~ and based theories
from that, some of them unwarranted by the text and other
teaching of the New Testament! I am not mad at Don and I
continue to exercise patience Don-ward (thanks Don, for your
patience me-ward, Don, I think its now growing, instead of
getting thinner <g>). This is a good discussion and I
believe is hitting on the key elements of difference between
the "spiritual gifts view" of I Corinthians 11:1-16 and the
view that holds that God requires all women today to wear
artificial coverings (and men to NOT have anything on their
head) whenever and wherever the might "pray or prophesy".

Let us look to at least four things in these two posts:

(1) the assumptions/leaps that Don continues to ask us to
make if we are to agree with him,
(2) a parallel illustration that might help in this
discussion, and
(3) the foot washing reference that Don made...and
(4) his Anna the prophetess argument (implying that she
exercised dominion/authority over men in the Old Testament
as indicative of God's approval??? of prophetesses
exercising authority/dominion over men in the New Testament
with God's blessings). Don, if I overlook something you
believe is of note, please call it to my attention, for I am
working to shorten the posts <g>.

1. "Every woman" doesn't even include every woman at the
church of God at Corinth?
2. "Praying" and "pray" in the text doesn't mean, nor
include, normal uninspired praying?
3. Women were leading prayers and preaching by inspiration
in the assembly in the church of God at Corinth with God's
4. When, in Don's theory, inspired women prayed in the
assembly of the local church, the other women in the
assembly were praying, but not in the sense that the lady
who was LEADING the praying was praying, and therefore did
not have to be covered, and the men in the assembly were
praying, but not in the sense that the lady who was LEADING
the praying was praying, and therefore did not have to be
5. The true sense of "every man" in the text is really
"every inspired ONLY prophet"?
6. The true sense of "every woman" in the text is really
"every inspired ONLY prophetess"?
7. Paul's teaching was relative to a custom that existed in
the societal norm of the day that meant something to all the
Jews and Greeks who attended the church of God at Corinth?
8. There was competition between the prophetesses and the
prophets and the use of the covering by women was a way of
setting this straight?
9. Whatever the men were doing, the women were doing the
same thing in the same circumstance?
10. There was a "headship" question at Corinth?
11. We should believe Cavender's strong presumptive

(2) Don had written (in part):
...However, praying AND prophesying were the two
characteristic acts performed by these special, Spirit led
people. I have taken the full context or milieu combined
with "praying" being associated with "prophesying" and I
have suggested that the "praying" being mentioned was itself
also miraculously produced or prompted by the Spirit. I
have said this especially in view of apparent Spirit led
prayer being mentioned in the full context (I Cor. 14: 15).

The chief difference between Mark and me is that I simply
take the subjects for what they were: "praying or prophesying" men and
women. The "prophesying" definitely makes them prophets and
prophetesses. Since we do not have prophetesses today and in view of the special
meaning of the covering to those people, the teaching relative to the
covering or veil is inapplicable today. Mark has the burden of taking the
prophetess (prophesying woman) out of the context of I Corinthians 11
and require every woman today to be veiled.

Mark here:
SINCE one can be "praying" without prophesying, I DENY that
the "every man" and "every woman" to whom Paul wrote in I
Cor. 11 HAD TO BE a "prophet or prophetess".

I have asked Don before why he gives so much EMPHASIS to
"prophesying" in the text, since it is SEPARATED FROM
"praying". I even noted that "praying" came FIRST in the
text. But Don reasons, as found above and elsewhere in this
good discussion, that since "prophesying" is FOUND IN THE
TEXT, that made the "every man" and "every woman" PROPHETS
and PROPHETESSES. I deny it has to be so! Please consider
new material in effort to teach what I have been trying to
make clear all along.


Here is an example of two actions (biking, hiking) which I
will try to parallel to (praying,prophesying) in I Cor. 11.
I will use an illustration of a High School at Corinth
(which will be parallel to the church of God at Corinth).
Note that there are boy and girl athletes (we will parallel
them to men and women). Further, we will note that the
particular boys and girls being spoken to are in the CORINTH
High School and others are in other High Schools in the
county school system (OTHER HIGH SCHOOLS = other churches of
Christ). Further, in this pretend illustration, there are
some hikers who are "gifted hikers", in that they possess a
miraculous gift of hiking! (This "gifted hiker" parallels
those who had the miraculous gift of prophecy. The bikers
are comparable to those who "pray" in I Cor. 11). Note that
there are also other students, who are NOT NECESSARILY
BIKERS or HIKERS who have the miraculous gift of tongues,
who are able to speak in another language without ever
having studied that language. The campus of the High School
has a speaker system that the superientendent of schools
uses (who will be parallel to Paul <g>) will be heard by ALL
High School Students at Corinth High (similar to both the
uninspired men and women AND inspired women and men getting
the instruction from Paul in I Corinthians 11). Consider the
following sentences, their implications and meaning and
compare that to what our good brother Don has done in I
Corinthians 11. Now, I would hope that such reasonably
parallels the church of God at Corinth when Paul wrote I
Corinthians 11. Please read on:

1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
2 Now I praise you, children, that ye remember me in all
things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
3 But I would have you know, that the head of every boy is
Christ; and the head of the girl is the boy; and the head of Christ
is God.
4 Every boy biking or hiking, having his head covered,
will get a 5 day suspension.
5 But every girl that biketh or hiketh with her head
uncovered will get a 5 day suspension: for that is even all
one as if she were shaven.
6 For if the girl be not covered, let her also be shorn: but
if it be a shame for a girl to be shorn or shaven, let her be
7 For a boy indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as
he is the image and glory of God: but the girl is the glory of the
8 For the boy is not of the girl; but the girl of the boy.
9 Neither was the boy created for the girl; but the girl for
the boy.
10 For this cause ought the girl to have power on her head
because of the angels.
11 Nevertheless neither is the boy without the girl, neither
the girl without the boy, in the Lord.
12 For as the girl is of the boy, even so is the boy also by
the girl; but all things of God.
13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a girl bike unto
God uncovered?
14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a boy
have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
15 But if a girl have long hair, it is a glory to her: for
her hair is given her for a covering.
16 But if anyone seem to be contentious, we have no such
custom, neither the schools of this county.

1. Now, I contend that "every boy" and "every girl" while
engaging in either biking or hiking would be "every boy" and
"every girl" at Corinth High. Further, I contend that it
would mean that such would be applicable EITHER: when biking
(with or without the miraculous gift of tongues accompanying
the biking) OR, when hiking (with or without the miraculous
gift of hiking being exercised). In addition, I contend that
"the followers OR the leaders" would have to obey this
instruction, since even if while HIKING, for example, the
group of hikers were being LED by a "gifted hiker", it would
still be true that ALL in the group were HIKING (they're
engaging in the same hiking that the gifted person is) and
thus be subject to the instruction of the superintendent!
Not too hard is it? Now, please read Don's positional take
on this.

2. Don's position would ELEVATE the HIKING (parallel to
"prophesying" which is second in order and separated from
biking by the word "or") and LIMIT IT (hiking) EXCLUSIVELY
to those who were the "gifted hikers" (Don's assumptive
"prophets/prophetesses ONLY position), and FURTHER LIMIT IT
to when they were "hiking only while using the miraculous
WHILE LEADING ONLY theory). Don would even contend to the
superintendent, on behalf of non-gifted athletes, that the
boys and girls who were NOT gifted could do the very
opposite of the instruction given by the superintendent
while they were "biking or hiking" with one who was
exercising a miraculous gift (i.e. the same event/instance
of biking or hiking)! And, Don would also contend that even
those who were "gifted" did NOT have to obey the instruction
if they were NOT LEADING "biking or hiking" BUT WERE MERELY
FOLLOWING! Would the super believe Don's position and excuse
the boys and girls from the 5 day suspension??? I don't
think so, dear Don and readers.

Not only that, but Don's position would have us believe that
the super was talking about "HIKERS who bike or hike" (this
parallels his ~prophets/prophetesses who pray or prophesy~).
Wonder why it wasn't "BIKERS who bike or hike"? Oh, that
would have Don looking at the definitions of "praying" first
and reasoning FROM praying TOWARDS prophesying....rather
than what he chose to do which was consider defiintions of
"prophesying" first and reason FROM that TOWARDS praying.
Hmmm, wonder why we don't do that in other "lists" of two or
more words. Wonder why we just don't look at the defintions
of each word and consider the "audience" that is being
written to? Don really overlooks the uninspired men and
women of COrinth in his "exclusive" approach to this text,
in my estimation.

[Why are we supposed to take this hermenutical process? Don
says cause its the right way to go about understanding the
Bible. Don accuses me of not properly paying attention to
those to whom Paul wrote. I think it is just the opposite. I
believe and teach that "every man" was "every man" to whom
Paul wrote that was able to engage in "praying OR
prophesying"! See the point dear readers and Don?]

3. Consider: if you were a boy or girl who was not "gifted"
at the Corinth High School, that was going to bike or hike,
would you believe that the super's instruction did NOT apply
to you? Is such necessarily implied? Not on your life! And,
what if you were not "gifted" and you WERE in a leading
position on a biking event (parallel to LEADING a prayer
before others without exercising a miraculous gift) you
think that since you were not "gifted" that you could do the
opposite of the instruction with the approval of the super?
Not on your life!

Oh, lest I forget <g>, you know that we are supposed to
believe that there was "competition" between the gifted boy
hikers and the gifted girl hikers in the above illustration.
We are supposed to get that from the instruction given!
Also, we are to "know" that there was either a problem or a
potential problem at Corinth high school concerning the
"headship" question from reading the text! (Now, I KNOW
there is ALWAYS a POTENTIAL PROBLEM on any subject! That
proves NOTHING, brother Don. You have gone from contending
for a "problem" which is NOT in the text, to now advocating
that there was at least a potential problem??? We are making
more progress.)

Please take time to consider Don's present position and the
illustration above. See if I have misrepresented him in any
way. Hope this helps, brother Don. I appreciate so much your
continued patience with me in this study and the patience of
the readers of this good forum for discussion and Bible

(continued in next post)

In Christian love,
Mark J. Ward
The Religious Instructor
The Golden Isles church of Christ

(From MARS-List Digest 3904, February 15, 2003

Re: I Corinthians 11:1-16
Sat, 15 Feb 2003 22:52:57 -0500
"Mark J. Ward" <>

Mark J. Ward, here continuing to Don Martin and the list,

(post two of two)

Mark here:
In trying to point out the incorrectness of brother Don
Martin's "spiritual gifts theory" concerning his application
of I Cor. 11, as not being applicable today, I have tried to
point out that people could be "praying" and not necessarily
be "prophesying"...yet Don says that the "every man" is
really "every inspired only prophet" and "every woman" is
"every inspired only prophetess"! This leaves off the
"praying OR" part in properly starting off with the proper
sense of the text! (which Don assumes is only Spirit led

I had written:
Even IF, brother Don, "praying or prophesying" were telling
the type of woman (as opposed to when), since we still have
praying today, and since there is the little word "or"
between the two words, we STILL have "praying or
prophesying" women today.

Don replied:
Mark, I have repeatedly addressed this matter. What the
prophets were doing, the prophetesses were doing. In view
of the at least danger of violating headship (I Cor. 11: 3),
Paul enjoined the artificial covering in the case of the
prophetess. I again repeat that the fact that they were
doing the exact same thing created the special concern for
headship. Uninspired women anterior and subsequent to I
Corinthians 11 were not and are not in the same predicament
and danger, regarding headship.

Mark here:
Don you should not deny that headship can be a potential
problem among inspired men and women AND uninspired men and
women. Look at today's situation! Women preachers

(3) Don wrote:
Also, if Mark referred to the "foot washing" of John 13: 14,
I missed it. I pointed out that the act of foot washing
literally viewed was indigenous to the lifestyle of the
oriental and has no literal application to the occidental.
Culture and practice sometimes act as a major factor in
determining present day application.

Mark here:
Draw the "parallel" in your mind between "foot washing" and
the coverings of I Corinthians 11, brother Don and I will
deal with it. I see no argument so far, in this regard. Are
you saying that ~since foot washing meant the SAME THING to
the Jews and the Greeks at Corinth, and since foot washing
was indigenous to the lifestyle of the first century person
living in Corinth, for example, in New Testament written
times...that such is not applicable to "Americans" today AND
ON THAT BASIS the covering meant the SAME THING to the Jews
and the Greeks at Corinth, and since covering the head was
indigenous to the lifestyle of the first century person
living in Corinth, that such is not applicable to
"Americans" today??? Don, has already admitted that he is
unsure if the Jews and Greeks shared the same "cultural
view" of head coverings in the day I Corinthians 11 was
written! Make your parallel and argument Don. I will try to
understand it, then try to deal with it. Thanks.

But all the while, dear readers and Don, please don't forget
that God's reasons for the covering of heads at times of
"praying or prophesying" are NOT inclusive of "culture or
custom". Paul noted that headship, because of the angels,
because of the order of creation, because it was God's
desire that there would be a distinction between man and
woman at these times, etc. were the inspired reasons given
for women to cover their heads while praying and NOT DUE TO
the "societal norms" (plural) <g> of the day.

Mark had written:
Don ALSO asserts that "headship" was a "question" at
Corinth. There is also NO SCRIPTURE to prove this brother

Don answered (in part):
...In the totality of my posts, I have stated that headship
was either already a serious problem in the circumstances of
I Corinthians 11: 3-16 or it was, for sure, potentially a
problem. Anytime certain men and women were doing precisely
the same thing, "praying or prophesying," headship would be
a delicate matter.

Mark here:
I think we have shown the problem with Don's faulty
reasoning on this point with our illustration in the earlier
post (immediately above: one of two). Don has NOT proven
that the men/women were doing precisely the same thing in
the SAME CIRCUMSTANCE, but I do agree that they were BOTH
"praying or prophesying" in accordance with God's
instruction and the limitations placed on the sexes!
Headship ~might be a delicate matter~ WITHOUT miraculous
gifts present (as we see today, for sure! <g>), so such an
argument does nothing to support Don's "inspired ONLY"
portion of his assumptions that there was any "competition"
or "problem". Stay with what is revealed, and we don't get
the assumptions listed in the first part of the posting
today (listed in the very first part of post one above).

(1). Those who had the gift of prophecy (both men and
women), were to edify the church with their gift (I Cor. 14:
3, 5, 12, 23, 24, 26-31).

(2). The church at Corinth was comprised of both male and
female members (I Cor. 14: 34, 35; 11: 4, 5).

(3). Hence, both prophets and prophetesses were publicly
used to teach the church and foretell by the impetus of the
Holy Spirit.

Mark here:
Don, I want to know in premise #1 above what you mean by
"edify the church". Edify IN THE CHURCH can be DIFFERENT
than EDIFY THE CHURCH: that is, a woman can edify the church
you are contending that ~women with spiritual gifts~ are
included in the passages that might be "assembly only"
instruction in I Cor. 14 concerning prophecy ~to the church~
(not merely: EDIFY THE CHURCH) that correct?

I can't impress upon Don and the readers enough how much I
DO APPRECIATE Don's trying to reason from ~scripture~, even
in using syllogistic reasoning (which is fine, so long as it
is sound) in so doing. This is much better than holding up
"Cavender" as a champion from Don's file on katakalupto, for
example! I also want to insert here, that I APPLAUD Don for
refraining from appealing to Cavender in his last post! Don
actually stayed with trying to have a Bible discussion based
on Scripture (and we know that both Mark and Don are
uninspired, as well <G>).

Don's syllogism fails in at least ONE AREA, maybe more. Don
assumes in either premise number one and/or (for sure) in
his conclusion...that women with the gift of prophecy HAD TO
DO SUCH by taking a LEADING ROLE exercising dominion over
men in the CHURCH. This is incorrect, as other New Testament
passages do NOT allow women to exercise dominion over men
anywhere at anytime.

Please pay particular attention to the ~jump in the
argument~ that is unwarranted: the part that asserts, that
doesn't necessarily follow, for the women to HAVE TO LEAD
(usurp authority over men) in order to edify the church! The
gift of prophecy was used IN and OUT of assemblies of local
churches. But, women were to exercise the gift of prophecy
within their God-given roles and not usurp authority over
the men. Further, note that women and men TODAY are to edify
one another (See Rom. 14:19)... But, that doesn't mean that
the women (uninspired today) CAN LEAD an adult mixed
assembly of the church and exercise dominion over men!

Don tried to answer the above (in part) with:
... It appears that Mark does not realize the difference
between leading and following (cp. I Cor. 14: 16). (Please see post

Mark here:
Is the problem:

a. the difference in leading and following only? (Where does
I Cor 11 teach LEADING ONLY is under consideration?)
b. difference in inspired and uninspired actions only?
(Where does I Cor 11 teach INSPIRED ONLY action is under
c. BOTH? (Where does I Cor 11 teach that LEADING ONLY
INSPIRED ONLY ACTION is under consideration?)

I have no problem with women LEADING women in song! The
problem enters when women want to LEAD MEN! Women can teach,
by inspiration or as uninspired teachers and even teach men,
without exercising dominion over them. Women can LEAD
teaching and exercise dominion over other women and
children. No problem with agreeing to these examples of
women leading. But, Don has no scripture to permit a woman
to usurp authority over man anywhere at anytime with regards
to exercising a spiritual gift or leading without a
miraculous gift! He assumes too much and asks us to believe
it! I say this as kindly yet as pointedly as I know how.

(4) Concerning Anna the prophetess...
Don's position argues that Anna the prophetess exercised
dominion and usurped authority over men in the temple and
that you cannot LIMIT the "all" of the passage given.

Don had written:
Let me be simple and brief and just take the case of Anna.

"36: And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of
Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and
had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
37: And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years,
which departed not from the temple, but served God with
fastings and prayers night and day. 38: And she coming in
that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake
of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem"
(Lk. 2).

Don continued:
...."Don, do you really believe Anna publicly prophesied and
taught in the temple to both men and women?" I sure do.
Why would I not? This is what we read in Luke 2: 36-38.
There is no way one can limit "all" (pasin). Anna taught
and prophesied (she was a prophetess) to all, men and women
alike. It is untenable to think of "all" as women only or
women and children only. Anna spake of him to all them that
looked for redemption in Jerusalem." Anna was a prophetess
and she prophesied in the temple, publicly and to mixed
audiences. This was her job as a prophetess.

Mark here:
Don, I AGREE that Anna was a prophetess, I AGREE that she
did what the passage ~SAYS she did~ (and could even teach
men in the temple area), but I DISAGREE with your
conclusions. Notice:

Mark denies:
1. Anna taught in a MIXED assembly in such a way as to LEAD
the teaching over men in the temple,
2. Anna exercised dominion or authority over men in the
temple area at any place at anytime with God's blessings.
3. Anna LED the teaching over men in MIXED audiences even
away from the temple with God's approval.
4. That it was the job of prophetesses to teach publicly to
mixed audiences in the sense of exercising
dominion/authority over men in those audiences.

Now, concerning your statement that we can't LIMIT the "all"
in the passage above: The word "all" in Luke 2:38 is a FORM
of the Greek word numbered by STRONG as #3956. A form of
this word is ALSO used in I Cor. 6:12 "ALL things are
lawful, but ALL things are not expedient". The word CAN BE
LIMITED, brother both of these passages, for
example. Please read on.

Is "fornication lawful" since Paul wrote ~ALL~ THINGS ARE
LAWFUL, in I Cor. 6:12? Certainly not! The "all" in that
passage is QUALIFIED. Did "ALL" them that looked for
redemption in Jerusalem (meaning ~EVERY SINGLE SOLITARY
INDIVIDUAL IN JERUSALEM~ ...that's a ~without qualification~
"all", Don) get taught by Anna? Certainly not! I believe
that even Don will "qualify" the "all" in the aforementioned
texts somewhat. Will you Don? (We just may disagree on the
extent of the limitation.) Please tell us if you will.

PLEASE NOTE: EVEN IF Anna taught a ~without qualification
"ALL"~ (meaning every single solitary individual in the city
of Jerusalem seeking redemption, rather than an accomodative
use of the word "all") it doesn't NECESSARILY IMPLY she
~exercised dominion over men~ in so doing, OR had to teach
over (LEAD) a mixed assembly in the temple! Women can teach
men in their (i.e. women's) proper role, and Don and I agree
that such occurs today with UNinspired women. Why can't he
see that such could happen with the inspired women while
spiritual gifts were being exercised? So, I could grant for
the sake of argumentation ONLY, that Anna taught every
single solitary individual who sought redemption in
Jerusalem (men and women) in the temple (we know "the
temple" includes the temple areas like the courts and places
near the gates, not just "auditoriums" like we have today
<g>...and still be looking for the passage that would DEMAND
us believe that Anna was exercising dominion/authority over
men while prophesying! The text does NOT demand such a

I want to thank Don for trying to stay with the text in his
last post and for the care he is beginning to take, of late
in my estimation, in this discussion concerning some of the
things he writes and advocates. Readers must pay special
attention to the subtle changes that I am noting that when
Don is pressed on his position, he clarifies and backs up a
little. Such is good as we are to be careful with wild
statements and bare assertions and try to not believe
anything unless it is specifically stated in the text, or an
unavoidable conclusion properly derived from the Bible. I
look forward to reading Don's next.

I am to be away in Artesia, New Mexico and will possibly be
away from the computer for long periods of time (18th-28th
of Feb). I may or may not be able to get to "personal email"
without getting to a public library (after 5pm time to
close???)...I apologize but this could not be helped. I am
really looking forward to the continuation of this study
wherein Don asks 5 questions of me on this chapter and we
ask each other 5 more each on I COr. 14:34,35. This may be
my last post til March, Lord willing, on this subject <g> .

In Christian love,
Mark J. Ward
The Religious Instructor
The Golden Isles church of Christ

(From MARS-List Digest 3904, February 15, 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