The Don Martin - Mark J. Ward Discussion on

I Corinthians 11:1-16

Ward's Third Article

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
Wed, 22 Jan 2003 23:27:30 -0500
"Mark J. Ward" <>

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

I appreciate Don Martin being so consistent in the position which he
holds on I Corinthians 11:1-16, however we disagree in several areas
which I will put before the readership now. (Don, as I never want to
misrepresent another's position, please correct me if/wherein I err.

1. Don and I AGREE that in I Cor. 11:3 the "every man" that Christ is
head really ~every man~...But, Don and I DISAGREE on who the
"every man" is in verse 4:

- Mark believes that the "every man" in verse 4 is the same as the
"every man" in verse 3 of the context.
- Don believes that "every man" in verse 4 is NOT the same as "every
man" in verse 3 of the context. Don believes that "every man" in verse 4
= "every prophet" (i.e. inspired prophets ONLY, at that) making the
sense of the verse, "Every inspired only prophet praying or prophesying,
having his head covered, dishonoureth his head."

2. Don and I AGREE on the meaning of "the woman" in verse 3 being ~every
woman~ (i.e. not just wives or prophetesses, for example)....But, Don
and I DISAGREE on who the "every woman" is in verse 5:

- Mark believes that the "every woman" in verse 5 is the same as the
"the woman" in verse 3 of the context.
- Don believes that "every woman" in verse 5 = "every prophetess" (i.e.
inspired prophetesses ONLY, at that) making the sense of the verse, "But
every inspired only prophetess that prayeth or prophesieth with her head

In addition, Don assumes that "praying" and "pray" in chapter 11 are
"miraculous only" (exclusive). I believe ALL praying is covered (whether
one prayed while exercising a miraculous gift like tongues, or simply an
uninspired prayer/which would be an inclusive view). These are at the
root of our differences, in my estimation, in the positions we presently
both understand to be God's Truth. We both are not correct; therefore
the need for testing and study (given in these good posts).

Please notice that Don wrote (in part):
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 them).

Mark notes:
God, through Paul says, "Every man praying or..." and "But every woman
that prayeth or..." and yet Don has said these were "special men and
women...". This is an assumption that Don submits for us to believe as
God's truth. We need ~proof~ that this is the case. This is not a
"necessary" or "unavoidable" conclusion that the passage forces us to
take (since there ~could be~ uninspired praying, for example, in the
assembly at Corinth with inspired prophets present in the audience).

Don also wrote:
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:

Mark writes:
While it is true that what Paul wrote about every man/every woman
covering/uncovering their heads at times of praying was also applicable
at times of does NOT follow that if "prophesying" is
miraculous only, by definition and use here, that "praying" has to be as
well! Revelation does NOT indicate what Don asserts is exclusive in this
text! Even Don has admitted that the Holy Spirit separated "praying"
from "prophesying" by use of the inspired word "OR"! [Don wrote, "Mark
is absolutely correct in saying that the Holy Spirit separated praying
from prophesying. He did this by the use of "or" (he)."]

So, is it ~impossible~ that in the assembly at Corinth, where I agree
some men had the gift of prophecy, for example, that normal, uninspired
praying could occur? Not on your life! Now, I want to give Don credit
for being as consistent as possible with his position...for his answer
to my question #2 shows that he is doing his best to be consistent ....

Where is the injustice to the text in determining, "Every man praying
(whether uninspired OR with a gift of the Spirit) or prophesying
(whether uninspired OR with a gift of the Spirit) with his head covered,
dishonoureth his head."? Please read on.

Don wrote:
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 prophetess)?

Don answers:
Mark, the simple answer is, yes. The prophetesses (the praying or
prophesying women) were the women being addressed in I Corinthians 11:

Mark replies with love:
Don, let's be clear here <g>: You are contending that inspired women
preachers (prophetesses) were preaching/teaching/prophesying in the
assembly at the church of God at Corinth and were the only ones being
addressed in chapter 11 and verse 5? Could you elaborate on how you get
~that~ out of the inspired record of I Cor. 11? Thanks.

I contend that "every woman" was being addressed at the church of God at
Corinth per verses 1-5ff. By excluding the uninspired women (and
uninspired men) from this instruction, Don is forced to admit (and he is
to be commended for his consistency in the view which he presently
holds) that when an inspired man prayed at Corinth that some men could
be covered and some women could be uncovered without shame or dishonor!

See the strain Don's position has forced with regards to the brethren at
Corinth who have no spiritual (miraculous) gifts? Don assumes something
is going on in the church of God at Corinth that "revelation" does not
necessarily or specifically teach us; and, he places it exclusively in
the text of I Cor 11 (wait...maybe there's more to come in our study on
I Cor. 14:34,35 regarding Don's present view??? that "prophet's wives"
couldn't speak in the assembly of the Corinthian church, but that
prophetesses could/did and that unmarried ladies could with God's
approval???)! Don assumes too much in this case, in my humble
estimation. Don, how do you KNOW that "praying" is ONLY miraculous?
***Do you take the position that ONLY miraculous praying took place in
the church of God at Corinth, Don? *** Such is NOT a necessary
conclusion, my good brother.

I contend they (uninspired men/women) were included the group to whom
Paul wrote in verse 1, "Be YE followers of me, even as I also am of
Christ." They (uninspired men/women) were included in the group to whom
Paul wrote in verse 2, "Now I praise YOU, BRETHREN, that YE remember me
in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to YOU."
They (uninspired men/women) were included in the group to whom Paul
wrote in verse 3, "But I would have YOU know, that the head of every man
is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ
is God." And, they (uninspired men/women) were included in the group to
whom Paul wrote in verses 4,5, "Every man praying or prophesying, having
his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every women that prayeth or
prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is
even all one as if she were shaven." If not, why not? (See the point?)

Then Don continued:
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.

Mark here:
There is a phrase called "special pleading" in argumentation and
debate/discussion. Is Don's argumentation guilty of such in this case?
(NOTE: if ~deliberate intention~ is inherent in special pleading, please
let me emphasize that I am NOT railing against Don on this...just trying
to use a term that would cause all of us to take note to see if such
were the case with the I Tim 2 argumentation). Since I Cor. 4:17;
Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 20:26-28; 2 Tim. 2:2, all teach that Paul would
teach the same thing to all brethren (and hold back nothing that was
profitable, teaching the whole counsel of God), there is no mandate for
"covering" instruction (much less MDR instruction, Lord's Supper
instruction, giving instruction,etc) be found specifically within First
or Second Timothy! Don't you think Paul and others taught Timothy that
which constituted "the whole counsel of God" (i.e. truths not
specifically written in I & II Timothy)??? God only has to teach
something ~once~ in the "canon" of the New Testament for it to be valid.
I Cor. 11:1-16 is enough. This does not help Don's position (the absence
of covering instruction in I Tim 2). (We can discuss, however, whether
the instruction in the chapter is LIMITED to assembly ONLY in other
posts, if you like <g>).

NOTE:There was much inspired teaching, not specifically recorded in our
New Testaments, that took place at different times and places to folks
in various locations (whether in or out of church assembly settings);
but, nothing they were taught is such that we don't have it taught (at
least once <g>) somewhere in our written copies of the New Testament in
any matter that pertains to "life and godliness" (John 16:13; Jas. 1:25;
2:12; 2 Peter 1:3). Agree?

Don then taught:
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.

Mark here:
Don assumes much more than God's revelation gives us here! Don, please
make sure I am NOT misunderstanding you (not being funny or
disrespectful here at ALL) are contending that inspired women
preachers (prophetesses) were prophesying in the assemblies at the
church of God at Corinth and were the only ones being addressed in
chapter 11 and verse 5?

Let's note that Don (in his last reply) agreed that eating bread (in the
same setting) with prophesy in Amos 7:12 did NOT have to be "inspired".
He admits in this that when two things are in close proximity to each
other in a text, and one is miraculous, that doesn't ~necessarily mean~
the other is miraculous. Don has already told us that the normal meaning
of praying is uninspired. Also, note the consistency of Don (again to be
commended) in Romans 12 wherein I THINK he admits to believing in
"inspired giving". Is that right, Don (OR, is the word "or" in Gk and
Eng. ~not there~ regarding giving??? specifically, and you dodged/didn't
answer the question?)?

I did not ask if the miraculous was present in the verses....I asked if
you believed in "inspired giving" in that verse? (Sorry, but you weren't
clear to me in your answer and I never want to misrepresent you, Don).
Since uninspired praying CAN OCCUR in an assembly wherein miraculous
gifts are present and used (like tongues and the interpretation of
tongues used in the same assembly wherein later uninspired prayer takes
place) we know that it is possible that "praying" and "pray" in I Cor.
11 could take on (or simply include <g>) the normal ordinary meaning and
thus be uninspired praying...which would totally negate/disassemble
Don's present position.

Don and the readers of this list...Please watch this "special
women...with certain special men" argumentation. Let's take it out for a
test drive on Acts 20:7 and the ~special assembly~ there. An "inspired
apostle named Paul" was in that assembly on the first day of the week
(that's special) and the Lord's Supper was observed. But, according to
Don's reasoning (not charging Don with believing this now folks), we
can't put the NORMAL or ordinary meaning on Lord's Supper and apply it
to our assemblies today since we don't have inspired apostles living
among us. According to Don's reasoning (not charging Don with believing
this now folks) we can't apply this to us today since this only was an
approved example of/for "saints in an assembly that contained an
inspired apostle"! See the problem here? We could, in theory, rule out
most all of the New Testament as applicable to us today with some of
this reasoning (more later on this, Lord willing, when we discuss
anachronisms <g>).

Many of the assemblies in the New Testament had folks with miraculous
gifts of the Holy Spirit in them. Are we to EXCLUDE, therefore, all
teaching that includes them in it as being applicable for us today?
Certainly not! I don't believe Don will be that consistent (no offense
Don, trying to press a point here).

Please reconsider the argumentation and leaps that Don's path takes to
get to the conclusions he does about:

FROM: "every man" in verse 3 being every man....
And the text reading, "every man praying OR prophesying..." in verse

- "Every man" = "every inspired ONLY prophet"???
- "Every woman" = "every inspired ONLY prophetess"???
- "praying" = "miraculous praying ONLY" ???
- I Tim. 2 not mentioning a thing about the covering being significant
??? and such helping to prove that the instruction regarding the
covering was not universal for all saints living in this gospel

Thanks to all for reading, please give Don's reply your full attention.
May God continue to bless us in all our studies and efforts to achieve
unity in areas of disagreement. My love and admiration for Don
continues...and I especially commend him for his good spirit in this
discussion and in his attempts to be consistent with his most unusual

Question follow <g> in a later post -

Thanks again to brother Don and his good demeanor throughout this
discussion. I have tried to press points in this discussion and be
clear, but please do not mistake that for any ugliness or disrepectful
conduct toward my good brother Don Martin.

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

(from MARS-List 3824, January 22, 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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