The Don Martin - Mark J. Ward Discussion on

I Corinthians 11:1-16

Ward's Fourth 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
Thu, 23 Jan 2003 01:59:59 -0500
"Mark J. Ward" <>

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

My sincere thanks to Don for his demeanor in this good Bible discussion.
Let's continue to try to reach agreement by showing weaknesses (my
understanding) wherein Don argues and assumes, but fails to prove his
point. As previously noted, Don is doing as good as any man can in
promoting the "spiritual gifts view" of I Cor. 11:1-16. I write to press
points, but not to alienate Don or the readership.

While I am formulating Question 3, let's look at another aspect of what
I believe is improper interpretation and argumentation by my good
friend, Don Martin. Please read carefully (no offense intended).

Don had written:
A certain class of men and women were being addressed in the church at
Corinth. They were praying and prophesying women and men.

Mark here:
Don continues to assert that Paul leaves off addressing "every man" and
"the (meaning every) woman" in the context at verse 3's end and begins
(with verses 4,5) to address an exclusive/special group of men and women
(i.e. inspired ONLY prophets and prophetesses). Don reasons using the
sentence structure that is NOT in the inspired record (see above) as he
writes, "They were praying and prophesying women and men."

At first blush, this rearranging of the words in the sentence structure
seems harmless. (After all, don't they mean the same thing<g>??? Not
necessarily.) Read on, please. But, Don develops a line of argumentation
from the meaning derived from this ~uninspired sentence structure~ that
takes him far, far away, in my estimation, from the true meaning of
"every woman" and "every man" of verses 4 & 5. Don, in my estimation,
unneccesarily takes the instruction AWAY (improperly, I might add) from
UNinspired men and UNinspired women (who are really included in "every
man" and "every woman" in verses 4,5!

Don and I disagree on I Cor. 11:1-16. If Don were to properly understand
the instruction, IMHO, he would KNOW that God addresses "every man" and
"every woman" in the gospel age who "prays" OR "prophesies", and such IS
applicable today. Let's continue to study together. This (I Cor 11) is
the passage (inspired) in God's Book, Don, where such is taught. Let's
keep studying (Don't be looking in I Tim 2, brethren, its not there

I hope the following detailed study of participles will be of some help
along this line of what I believe MAY BE near the heart of brother Don's
improper launching pad for some of his incorrect understanding. I hope
this will be of benefit. Please note the following, from brother Windell
Wiser's tract that reviews Cavendar's tract, "The Woman and Her

"Bro. Cavender really sums up everything under what he calls "Basic
Errors Of This Position". According to him the first basic error is
we do not understand the subjects. He says, "The truth is that certain
men and certain women in the early churches were 'praying or
prophesying', and the instructions pertained to them. The instructions
did not apply to all men and women in the churches then, and apply to
none now, for we have no such men or women in the churches."(P. 4). Then
on page 5 he says, "The subjects doing the 'praying or prophesying' were
inspired people." On page 11 he says, "These emphasized phrases limit
Paul's instructions to certain men and certain women in the church. All
men and women are not included!" Again on page 11 he says, "Where is the
church NOW that has a 'praying or prophesying' man or woman in its
membership? Yet every advocate of 'covering-wearing' now will twist this
sentence structure to try to make it apply to all men and all women in
the churches now." Now let's notice what he says in the above
quotations. The truth is that Bro. Cavender misunderstands the subjects.
He thinks the prayers were all inspired prayers. The truth of the matter
is Bro. Cavender did not prove any of the prayers were given directly by
God. He did not prove they were and he cannot prove they were. We will
notice this more in
detail later in our tract. Prayer here, as is always the case, is no
more inspired than your prayers and mine. These instructions in I Cor.
11:4, 5 are thus given to every women who prays OR prophesies; and to
every man who prays OR prophesies. They are not given to every man and
every woman in the world. They are, however, given to every man and
every woman who prays OR prophesies. Bro. Cavender would have it read
"every woman who prays AND prophesies".

In fact, on page 4 he expresses it "Prays and/or prophesies". Also
on page 11 he says, "Praying AND prophesying" a number of times. But no
matter how much he wants it to read "pray AND prophesy", it will
continue to read "pray OR prophesy". Therefore, it is possible for a
woman or man to pray without prophesying and possible to prophesy
without praying. But in either case, a woman is to be covered when she
does either and a man is to be uncovered when he does either. Regardless
of what "prophesy" means, both men and women still pray. Men ought not
to cover their head when they pray and women should cover their head
when they pray.


Bro. Cavender made quite an argument on what he called the "praying
or prophesying" woman. He says not "all" women are under consideration,
but only the "praying or prophesying" women.

Sometimes he would use the expression "praying and prophesying
women". Now let us consider these participles. The words "praying" and
"prophesying" are participles. Participles are verbal adjectives and as
such partake both of the nature of a verb and an adjective and may stand
in two positions. It can be found in what is called the attributive
position, or it can be found in what is called the predicate position.
This may be illustrated in the following manner:

In the expression -ho agathos logos- (the good word) you have the
adjective "good" or "agathos" in the attributive position. Another way
of saying the same thing would be: ho logos ho agathos-the word, namely
the good one. You will notice in both of these cases, the article (ho)
immediately precedes the adjective, and this is the way that you know
for sure that it is in the attributive position, that is, the article
immediately precedes the adjective. If the article does not immediately
precede the adjective, then the adjective stands in what is called the
predicate position. Now since participles are adjectives the same set of
rules will apply. Notice the following illustrations:

ho apostolos legon tauta blepel ton kurion. "The apostle" saying
these things sees the Lord. (Note that there is no article immediately
preceding the participle "legon"). Or for a second example: ho apostolos
ho legon tauta blepei ton kurion. The apostle, the one saying these
things, sees the Lord. (Note the article "ho" immediately precedes the
participle (legon). In the first sentence you have the participle in the
predicate position, because the article "ho" (does not immediately
precede the participle "legon"). In the second sentence you have the
participle in the attributive position because the article "ho" does
immediately precede the participle "legon". In commenting on this kind
of construction Machen says, "the participle, being in the predicate,
not in the attributive position, goes only somewhat loosely with ho
apostolos (though it agrees with it), and really modifies also the verb
blepei-that is, it tells when the action denoted by blepei takes place."

He goes on to point out that when the participle is in the
attributive position it tells what apostle is

being spoken of (page 107).

In the text of I Cor. 11:4-5 the participles are not in the
attributive position, but in the predicate position. Now observe as we
quote the greek text: "pas aner proseuchomenos e propheteuon kata
kephales echon kataischunai ten kephalen auto. pasa de gune
proseuchomene e propheteuousa akatakalupto te kephale kataisehune ten
kephalen autos;...." You will notice that there is NO article "ho"
before the participles for "praying" or "prophesying". This means that
the participles are not in the attributive position but they are in the
predicate position. In this case, it is not telling what man shames his
head, but it is telling when the man shames his head.

This is what is sometimes described a "circumstantial participle"
because it describes the circumstances under which the action described
by the participle takes place. In 1 Cor. 11:4-5 the "circumstances"
under which "shame" takes place is "when praying or prophesying". No
doubt that is why some translations say: "Every man while praying or
prophesying" or "every man if he prays" etc. The word "while" is used as
Machen says to "tell when the action denoted by the verb takes place".

Therefore, it is not telling what kind of woman, or what class of
woman, but it is telling when the man and when the woman shames the
head, and Machen says, it goes more with the verb than it does with the

Furthermore, in Winer's Grammar (Winer-Moulton, page 138) he says,
"Pas with the participle-which is not in itself equivalent-deserves
special notice. Pas orgidzomenos means every one being angry (if, or
when he is angry), comp. l c xi. 4; but pas ho orgidzom., Mt. 5:22, is
every angry man, =pas hostis orgidzetai." Bro. Cavender kept saying
"every praying or prophesying man.." But Winer says that is not so.
Before it would be "every praying or prophesying man", you would need
the article "ho" before the participle. This you do not have.

Also some commentators, for example, Robertson and Plummer in the
ICC series refer, to the participial use in 1 Cor. 11:4-5 as "temporal"
ppl. that is again a "circumstantial" participle telling the time when
the "shame" takes place. Bro. Cavender is wrong when he applies this
passage only to a certain group of women whom, he says did both the
praying and prophesying, and that a woman could not do one without the

Mark here again:
Also, now please consider the following (especially the 2 sentence
comparison below) by brother Hiram O. Hutto, from his tract "Command or
Custom" along this same line:

"OBJECTION NO. 3: The passage did not require ALL women to cover their
heads THEN, only those who were inspired (pray or prophesy), and it does
not require ANY woman to cover her head now, for none are inspired
today— and that is what the word prophesy means. The passage is limited
to inspired people.

ANSWER: The passage does include all women and all men, for it says,
"every man . . . every woman". Also, the passage does not say pray AND
prophesy, but pray OR prophesy, that is, a person who does either one,
not a person who does both. Look at this comparison:

1. Every person riding in or driving a car with seat-belt unbuckled
breaketh the law.

2. Every woman praying or prophesying with head uncovered
dishonoreth her head.

Sentence 1 applies to a person even if he is unable to drive. He
need not be able to do both. If he does either one, he must be buckled.

Sentence 2 applies to a woman (and conversely to a man) who prays
even if she is unable to prophesy. If she does either one, she must be
covered. And surely ALL WOMEN and ALL MEN prayed whether they were
inspired or not. If women did not pray because they did not lead the
prayers, then no man prayed unless he led the prayer. No; all prayed,
both men and women, inspired or uninspired, leaders and followers. If
all do not pray, we should quit saying "Let US ALL pray". Furthermore,
if the passage had no application to uninspired persons, then a man at
Corinth could have preached (uninspired) and prayed (uninspired) with
his head covered! And the women could have attended bareheaded, just as
long as they did not pray or prophesy! Who believes that?

INSPIRED PRAYERS: Sometimes it is claimed that since praying and
prophesying are here mentioned together, then both of them must be
inspired because prophecy was. No so. In Rom. 12:6-8 prophecy is
mentioned in connection with "giving, ruling, exhorting, and ministry".
Are we to conclude that all these were in-


spired just because prophecy may have been? Inspired giving? Inspired

Certainly not. There are other passages where prophesy is mentioned
in the same verse with other acts that are clearly uninspired; e.g. Amos
7:12 "go. . . into. . . Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy.". Was
this an inspired "bread-eating"? Surely not. Just because the two are
mentioned together does not mean that both are inspired or uninspired.

1 Cor. 14:13-17 is often cited as an example of inspired prayer, but
in that passage was not the prayer content furnished by the man doing
the praying ("my spirit prayeth" vs. 14), and only the "tongue" provided
by God, so that this passage would not speak of an inspired prayer, but
of an example of God furnishing the tongue in which to pray?
Even so, it could be granted that "inspired praying" might take
place, and it still would not mean that inspired praying is what is
discussed in 1 Cor. 11. There is not one word or hint in 1 Cor. 11 about
inspired prayers or praying in the Spirit! It says "pray" but says
nothing about "inspired praying". It says "every man praying. . . Every
woman praying". It includes all people who pray, and praying was not
limited then to inspired people. Since both men and women still pray
today (though only one man leads in the assembly) the passage applies to
both today.

and still not mean the passage does not apply today as he has just been
shown, for praying is mentioned, too. But is it true that prophecy
always means inspired speech. No doubt it does practically every time it
is used in the Bible. However, there are some places that make me
reluctant to say it always means inspired speech (I Kgs. 18:29; Jer.
23:21; Is 30:10, and Titus 1:12 to mention a few.). Also there are
scholars who do not define prophesy as always meaning inspired speech
(See Lenski on I1 Cor. 12:10; Willis Beecher in the Prophets and the
Promise, page 103, Pulpit Commentary Vol. 6 page 399.). [For a thorough
treatment of this question write fora free copy of Windell Wiser’s
booklet, "A Reply To Bill Cavender’s "THE


WOMAN AND HER COVERING", Rt 2, Box 417, Athens, AL 35611]. Remember,
even if prophesy always means inspired speech, it is clear that prayer
is not so limited, and the passage deals with men and women who may do
either. So the passage is not limited to inspired people."
Mark concludes:

Please give due consideration to the above quotes/references/arguments.
The men involved (Cavendar, Wiser, & Hutto, as well as Don Martin <g>)
have given considerable prayer, study and thought (not to mention
research time) to this matter. I will leave this good material for Don
and the list to digest <g> and will try to have question 3 ready in a
day or two, if not before, Lord willing.

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

(from MARS-List 3825, January 23, 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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