1 Corinthians 11:4
Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head.
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeChrysostomClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBVWSWESTSK
(4) Every man praying or prophesying.—The reference here is to public prayer and teaching (the word “prophesying” is used in its less restricted sense). The Apostle probably does not allude to any case in Corinth where a man had actually taken part in a religious meeting with covered head. The Greek practice was for men to have their heads uncovered when joining in religious ceremonies (Grotius in loc.). To this practice St. Paul would incline, as being the national custom of the country, and as also being typical of the distinction between the sexes which he has just laid down. The Apostle’s teaching on this subject is a remarkable illustration of how completely he had overcome his old Jewish prejudice, and how the whole of his nature had become leavened with the freedom of the gospel—for it was the custom amongst the Jews for the man to pray with covered head, and the face veiled with the Tallith, as an expression of his unworthiness to speak face to face with God. It was a profound insight into human nature which enabled the Apostle to realise how an external symbol would infallibly tend to modify doctrine, and how thus the perpetuating of such a custom in the Christian Church might have hindered the full recognition of the great truth of the personal and direct communication of every individual soul with the Father.

Dishonoureth his head.—He dishonours his own head inasmuch as it is the part of his body from which Christ has taken His title as “Head of the Body,” the Church—and thus he dishonours his Spiritual Head. even Christ.

1 Corinthians 11:4-6. Every man, &c. — Now upon this principle, with a reference to the usages that prevail at this time with you at Corinth, I may properly observe: Every man praying or prophesying — By an immediate influence of the Spirit of God, in a public assembly; having his head covered — With a veil, which is a sign of subjection; dishonoureth his head — Christ, who, having made him the head of the woman, and given him authority over her, is dishonoured when the man renounces that authority by appearing veiled in the presence of the woman, as her inferior. But every woman praying or prophesying — Under an immediate impulse of the Spirit, for then only was a woman suffered to speak in the church; with her head uncovered — Without any veil over her head and face; dishonoureth her head — Disclaims subjection, and reflects dishonour on man, her head; for that is even all one as if she were shaven — It is the same in effect as if she cut her hair short, and wore it in the distinguishing form of the men. In those ages men wore their hair exceeding short, as appears from the ancient statues and pictures. Therefore, if the woman be not covered — If she will throw off the badge of subjection; let her also be shorn — Let her appear with her hair cut off like a man, or like a woman of bad character, such being sometimes punished in that manner: but if it be a shame for a woman — To appear in public shorn or shaven — Especially in a religious assembly; let her be covered — Let her for the same reason keep on her veil.11:2-16 Here begin particulars respecting the public assemblies, ch. 1Co 14. In the abundance of spiritual gifts bestowed on the Corinthians, some abuses had crept in; but as Christ did the will, and sought the honour of God, so the Christian should avow his subjection to Christ, doing his will and seeking his glory. We should, even in our dress and habit, avoid every thing that may dishonour Christ. The woman was made subject to man, because made for his help and comfort. And she should do nothing, in Christian assemblies, which looked like a claim of being equal. She ought to have power, that is, a veil, on her head, because of the angels. Their presence should keep Christians from all that is wrong while in the worship of God. Nevertheless, the man and the woman were made for one another. They were to be mutual comforts and blessings, not one a slave, and the other a tyrant. God has so settled matters, both in the kingdom of providence and that of grace, that the authority and subjection of each party should be for mutual help and benefit. It was the common usage of the churches, for women to appear in public assemblies, and join in public worship, veiled; and it was right that they should do so. The Christian religion sanctions national customs wherever these are not against the great principles of truth and holiness; affected singularities receive no countenance from any thing in the Bible.Every man praying or prophesying - The word "prophesying" here means, evidently, "teaching;" or publicly speaking to the people on the subject of religion; see the note at Acts 2:17. See also the subject considered more at length in the notes on 1 Corinthians 14. Whether these persons who are here said to prophesy were all inspired, or claimed to be inspired, may admit of a question. The simple idea here is, that they spoke in the public assemblies, and professed to be the expounders of the divine will.

Having his head covered - With a veil, or turban, or cap, or whatever else is worn on the head. To remove the hat, the turban, or the covering of the head, is a mark of respect for a superior when in his presence.

Dishonoreth his head - Does dishonor to Christ as his head 1 Corinthians 11:2; that is, he does not, in his presence and in his service, observe the usual and proper custom by which a subordinate station is recognized, and which indicates respect for a superior. In the presence of a prince or a nobleman, it would be considered as a mark of disrespect should the head be covered. So in the presence of Christ, in whose name he ministers, it is a mark of disrespect if the head is covered. This illustration is drawn from the customs of all times and countries by which respect for a superior is indicated by removing the covering from the head. This is one reason why a man should not cover his head in public worship. Another is given in 1 Corinthians 11:7. Other interpretations of the passage may be seen in Bloomfield's Critical Digest.

4. praying—in public (1Co 11:17).

prophesying—preaching in the Spirit (1Co 12:10).

having—that is, if he were to have: a supposed case to illustrate the impropriety in the woman's case. It was the Greek custom (and so that at Corinth) for men in worship to be uncovered; whereas the Jews wore the Talith, or veil, to show reverence before God, and their unworthiness to look on Him (Isa 6:2); however, Maimonides [Mishna] excepts cases where (as in Greece) the custom of the place was different.

dishonoureth his head—not as Alford, "Christ" (1Co 11:3); but literally, as "his head" is used in the beginning of the verse. He dishonoreth his head (the principal part of the body) by wearing a covering or veil, which is a mark of subjection, and which makes him look downwards instead of upwards to his Spiritual Head, Christ, to whom alone he owes subjection. Why, then, ought not man to wear the covering in token of his subjection to Christ, as the woman wears it in token of her subjection to man? "Because Christ is not seen: the man is seen; so the covering of him who is under Christ is not seen; of her who is under the man, is seen" [Bengel]. (Compare 1Co 11:7).

By every man praying or prophesying, some (amongst whom the learned Beza) understand not only he that ministereth in prayer, or in opening and applying the Scriptures, whether from a previous meditation and study of them, or from the extraordinary revelation of the Holy Spirit, which they had in those primitive times; but also all those that were present at those actions. The reason they give is: Because the reason given by the apostle for his assertion, is such as is common to the people, as well as to him that ministereth; and the woman was forbidden to speak in the church, 1 Timothy 2:12. But our learned Bishop Hall assures us, he cannot agree with those of this mind. And indeed it is an unreasonable interpretation; for though those who join with others in prayer may be said to pray, yet those that hear one preaching or expounding Scripture, can in no propriety of speech be said to prophesy. Nor is any such usage of the term to be paralleled, neither are the reasons they bring cogent; for though the reason of the precept may concern the people as well as the minister, yet it doth not follow that the rule or precept must necessarily do so too. And although the woman be forbidden to teach in ordinary cases, yet it did not concern those who were immediately and extraordinarily inspired, according to the prophecy, Joel 2:28, applied, Acts 2:17.

Having his head covered; i.e. with a hat or cap, or such covering of the head as is in use in the country wherein he liveth. It is not to be understood of the natural covering of the head, which is our hair; nor yet of any other covering which is necessary for the preservation of life and health; but such a covering as he might spare, and is ornamental to him according to the fashion of the country.

Dishonoureth his head; either dishonoureth Christ who is his Head, and whom he ought to represent, and doth as it were make the church the head to Christ, which is subject to him, while by covering his head he declares a subjection in his ministration. Or he dishonoureth his own head, (so many interpret it), to wit, he betrayeth his superiority, lesseneth himself as to that power and dignity which God hath clothed him with, by using a posture which is a token of inferiority and subjection. Interpreters rightly agree, that this and the following verses are to be interpreted from the customs of countries; and all that can be concluded from this verse is, that it is the duty of men employed in Divine ministrations, to look to behave themselves as those who are to represent the Lord Jesus Christ, behaving themselves with a just authority and gravity that becometh his ambassadors, which decent gravity is to be judged from the common opinion and account of the country wherein they live. So as all which this text requires of Christian ministers, is authority and gravity, and what are external ludications of it. Our learned Dr. Lightfoot observeth, that the Jewish priests were wont in the worship of God to veil their heads; so that Christian ministers praying or prophesying with their heads covered, Judaized, which he judgeth the reason of the apostle’s assertion. The heathens also, both Romans and Grecians, were wont to minister in their sacred things with their heads covered. Some think this was the reason why the Christians used the contrary gesture; but the apostle’s arguing from the man’s headship, seemeth to import that the reason of this assertion of the apostle was, because in Corinth the uncovered head was a sign of authority. At this day the Mahometans (or Turks) speak to their superiors covered, and so are covered also in their religious performances. The custom with us in these western parts is quite otherwise; the uncovering of the head is a sign or token of subjection: hence ministers pray and preach with their heads uncovered, to denote their subjection to God and Christ: but yet this custom is not uniform, for in France the Reformed ministers preach with their heads covered; as they pray uncovered, to express their reverence and subjection to God, so they preach covered, as representing Christ, the great Teacher, from whom they derive, and whom they represent. Nothing in this is a further rule to Christians, than that it is the duty of ministers, in praying and preaching, to use postures and habits that are not naturally, nor according to the custom of the place where they live, uncomely and irreverent, and so looked upon. It is only the general observation of decency (which cannot by any be created, but ariseth either from nature, or custom, and prescription) which this text of the apostle maketh to be the duty of all Christians; though as to the Corinthians, he particularly required the man’s ministering in sacred things with his head uncovered, either to avoid the habit or posture used by Jews and pagans; or for the showing of his dignity and superiority over the woman, (whom we shall by and by find commanded to pray or prophesy covered), or that he represented Christ who was the Head of the church. The uncovering of the head being with them as much a sign of subjection, as it is with us of superiority and pre-eminence. Every man praying or prophesying,.... This is to be understood of praying and prophesying in public, and not in private; and not to be restrained to the person that is the mouth of the congregation to God in prayer, or who preaches to the people in the name of God; but to be applied to every individual person that attends public worship, that joins in prayer with the minister, and hears the word preached by him, which is meant by prophesying; for not foretelling future events is here meant, but explaining the word of God, the prophecies of the Old Testament, or any part of Scripture, unless singing of psalms should rather be designed, since that is sometimes expressed by prophesying: so in 1 Samuel 10:5 "thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place, with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp before them, and they shall prophesy". The Targum renders it thus, , "and they shall sing praise"; upon which Kimchi observes, that it is as if it was said, their prophecy shall be "songs" and praises to God, spoken by the Holy Ghost. So in 1 Samuel 19:23 it is said of Saul, that he "went on and prophesied". The Targum is, he went on, "and praised". And again, "he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied". Targum, "and praised", or sung praise. Once more, in 1 Chronicles 25:1 it is said of Asaph, and others, that they "should prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals"; which Kimchi explains of Asaph's singing vocally, and of his sons playing upon musical instruments.

Having his head covered; which, it seems, was the custom of some of them so to do in attendance on public worship: this they either did in imitation of the Heathens (r), who worshipped their deities with their heads covered, excepting Saturn and Hercules, whose solemnities were celebrated with heads unveiled, contrary to the prevailing customs and usages in the worship of others; or rather in imitation of the Jews, who used to veil themselves in public worship, through a spirit of bondage unto fear, under which they were, and do to this day; and with whom it is a rule (s), that

"a man might not stand and pray, neither with his girdle on, , nor with his head uncovered; nor with his feet uncovered.''

Accordingly it is said (t) of Nicodemus ben Gorion,

"that he went into the school grieved, and "veiled himself", and stood in prayer;''

and a little after that

"that he went into the sanctuary and "veiled" himself, and stood and prayed;''

though the Targum on Judges 5:2 suggests,

"that the wise men sit in the synagogues, , "with the head uncovered", to teach the people the words of the law;''

and on Judges 5:9 has these words,

"Deborah in prophecy said, I am sent to praise the Scribes of Israel, who when they were in tribulation did not cease from expounding the law; and so it was beautiful for them to sit in the synagogues, "with the head uncovered", and teach the people the words of the law, and bless and confess before the Lord;''

but it seems that a different custom had now prevailed; now from this Gentile or judaizing practice, the apostle would dissuade them by observing, that such an one that uses it, "dishonoureth his head"; meaning either in a figurative, spiritual, and mystical sense, his head Christ, in token of the liberty received from him, and because he is above in heaven, and clear of all sin, the head must be uncovered in public worship; or otherwise the reverse is suggested of him, which is highly to dishonour him, and is the sense many interpreters give into: rather the reason should be, because Christ, the believer's head, appears for him in heaven, opens a way of access for him, gives him audience and acceptance in his person, and through his blood and righteousness; and therefore should appear with open face and head uncovered, as a token of freedom and boldness; otherwise he dishonours his head as if his blood and sacrifice were not effectual, and his intercession not prevalent: but the natural head, taken in a literal sense, is rather meant; and the sense is, that by covering it, it looks as if he was guilty and ashamed, and in subjection; whereas to appear uncovered expresses freedom, boldness, and superiority, like himself, who is the head of the woman; whereas to be covered, as with a woman's veil or hood, is effeminate, unmanly, and dishonourable.

(r) Macrob Saturnal. l. 3. c. 6. Alex. ab. Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 2. c. 14. & 19. & 22. (s) Maimon. Hilch. Tephilla, c. 5. sect. 5. (t) T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 20. 1.

{3} Every {b} man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.

(3) By this he gathers that if men do either pray or preach in public assemblies having their heads covered (which was then a sign of subjection), they robbed themselves of their dignity, against God's ordinance.

(b) It appears, that this was a political law serving only for the circumstance of the time that Paul lived in, by this reason, because in these our days for a man to speak bareheaded in an assembly is a sign of subjection.

1 Corinthians 11:4. First inference from the aforesaid gradation of rank.

This inference is a plea of privilege for the men, which was but to prepare the way for the censure next to be passed upon the women. Had Paul meant to correct the men because they had prayed or preached as prophets at Corinth with their heads covered (Chrysostom and many of the older commentators; see against this view, Bengel, and especially Storr, Opusc. II. p. 283), he would have gone into the matter more in detail, as he does in what follows respecting the women.

προσευχ.] of praying aloud in the public assemblies. For that Paul is giving instructions for the sphere of church-life, not for family worship (Hofmann), is quite clear from the προφητεύειν added here and in 1 Corinthians 11:5, which does not suit the idea of the private devotions of a husband and wife, like the σχολάζειν τῇ προσευχῇ in 1 Corinthians 7:5, but always means the public use for general edification of the χάρισμα referred to, namely, that of apocalyptic utterance (Acts 2:17 f., Acts 19:6, Acts 21:9; 1 Corinthians 13, 14; Matthew 7:22). Moreover, 1 Corinthians 11:5 f. and 10 presuppose publicity; as indeed à priori we might assume that Paul would not have prescribed so earnestly a specific costume for the head with a view only to the family edification of a man and his wife. It was precisely in the necessity of avoiding public occasion of offence that such precepts could alone find ground enough to justify them; they were not designed by the liberal-minded apostle to infringe upon the freedom of a woman’s dress at home. How can any one believe that he meant that when a wife desired, in the retirement of her own house, to pray with her husband (and how often in a moment might an occasion for doing so arise!), she must on no account satisfy this religious craving without first of all putting on her περιβόλαιον, and that, if she failed to do so, she stamped herself as a harlot (1 Corinthians 11:5 f.)!

To take προσευχ. as equivalent to γλώσσαις λαλεῖν (Baur) is not justified by 1 Corinthians 14:13, although speaking with tongues may have occurred in connection with public prayer by women.

προφητ.] See on 1 Corinthians 12:10. The force of the participles is: Every man, when he prays or speaks as a prophet, while he has, etc.

κατὰ κεφ. ἔχων] sc[1759] τί. See Fritzsche, Conject. I. p. 36. Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 127 [E. T. 146]. Having (something) down from the head, i.e. with a head-covering. The Jewish men prayed with the head covered, nay, even with a veil (Tallith) before the face. See Lightfoot, Horae, p. 210 f. Michaelis, Anm. p. 244 f. Hellenic usage again required that the head should be bare on sacred occasions (Grotius on 1 Corinthians 11:2; Hermann, gottesd. Alterth. § 36. 18 f.), while the Romans veiled themselves at sacrifices (Serv. a[1760] Aen. iii. 407; Dougt. Anal. II. p. 116). The Hellenic usage had naturally become the prevalent one in the Hellenic churches, and had also commended itself to the discriminating eye of the apostle of the Gentiles as so entirely in accordance with the divinely appointed position of the man (1 Corinthians 11:3), that for the man to cover his head seemed to him to cast dishonour on that position.

καταισχ. τὴν κεφ. αὐτοῦ] So, with the spiritus lenis, αὐτοῦ should be written, from the standpoint of the speaker, consequently without any reflex reference (his own head), which the context does not suggest. The emphasis of the predicate lies rather on καταισχύνει, as also in 1 Corinthians 11:5. Every man, when he prays, etc., dishonours his head. In what respect he does so, 1 Corinthians 11:3 has already clearly indicated, namely (and this meets Baur’s objection to the apostle’s argument, that the duty of being veiled should attach to the man also from his dependence, 1 Corinthians 11:3), inasmuch as he cannot represent any submission to human authority by a veil on his head without thereby sacrificing its dignity. His head ought to show to all (and its being uncovered is the sign of this) that no man, but, on the contrary, Christ, and through Him God Himself, is Head (Lord) of the man. We are to understand, therefore, τὴν κεφαλὴν αὐτοῦ quite simply like ΚΑΤᾺ ΚΕΦΑΛῆς, of the bodily head (Erasmus, Beza, Grotius, Estius, Bengel, Flatt, Ewald, Neander); not, with Oecumenius, Theophylact (doubtful), Calvin, Calovius, and others, including Heydenreich, Rückert, de Wette, Osiander, Maier, Hofmann, of Christ, which is not required by 1 Corinthians 11:3, and is positively forbidden by 1 Corinthians 11:5-6; 1 Corinthians 11:14, which take for granted also, as respects the man, the similar conception of the κεφαλή, namely, in the literal sense. This holds also against the double sense which Wolf, Billroth, and Olshausen assume the passage to bear, understanding it to refer to the literal head and to Christ as well.

[1759] c. scilicet.

[1760] d refers to the note of the commentator or editor named on the particular passage.1 Corinthians 11:4-5 : the high doctrine just asserted applied to the matter of feminine attire. Since man qua man has no head but Christ, before whom they worship in common, while woman has man to own for her head, he must not and she must be veiled. The regulation is not limited to those of either sex who “pray or prophesy”; but such activity called attention to the apparel, and doubtless it was amongst the more demonstrative women that the impropriety occurred; in the excitement of public speaking the shawl might unconsciously be thrown back. προσευχόμενος κ.τ.λ., “when he (she) prays or prophesies,”—in the act of so doing.—κατὰ κεφαλῆς ἔχων, “wearing down from the head (a veil”: κάλυμμα understood), the practice being for the woman in going out of the house to throw the upper fold or lappet of her robe over her head so as to cover the brow: see Peplos in the Dict., of Antiq. ἀκατακαλ. τ. κεφαλῇ, “with the head uncovered,” dat[1607] of manner, as χάριτι in 1 Corinthians 10:30.—Is it the literal or figurative “head” that is meant as obj[1608] to καταισχύνει? 1 Corinthians 11:3 requires the latter sense, while the sequel suggests the former; Al[1609] and Ed[1610] think both are intended at once. Hf[1611] is probably right in abiding by the reading ἑαυτῆς (see txtl. note); he supposes that the Ap. purposely broke off the parallelism at the end of 1 Corinthians 11:5, thus sharpening his reproof: the man who wears a veil “puts to shame his head”—i.e. Christ, whose lordship he represents (1 Corinthians 11:7); the woman who discards it “puts to shame her own head”—the dishonour done to the dominant sex falls upon herself. That the shame comes home to her is shown by the supporting sentence: ἔν γάρ ἐστιν καὶ τὸ αὐτό (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:8) τῇ ἐξυρημένῃ, “for she is one and the same thing with her that is shaven” (Mr[1612], Ev[1613], Bt[1614], Ed[1615], El[1616]); “It is one and the same thing,” etc. (E.V[1617]), would require τῷ ἐξυρῆσθαι. Amongst Greeks only the hetœrœ, so numerous in Cor[1618], went about unveiled; slave-women wore the shaven head—also a punishment of the adulteress (see Wetstein in loc., and cf. Numbers 5:18); with these the Christian woman who emancipates herself from becoming restraints of dress, is in effect identified. To shave the head is to carry out thoroughly its unveiling, to remove nature’s as well as fashion’s covering (1 Corinthians 11:15).

[1607] dative case.

[1608] grammatical object.

[1609] Alford’s Greek Testament.

[1610] T. C. Edwards’ Commentary on the First Ep. to the Corinthians.

[1611] J. C. K. von Hofmann’s Die heilige Schrift N.T. untersucht, ii. 2 (2te Auflage, 1874).

[1612] Meyer’s Critical and Exegetical Commentary (Eng. Trans.).

[1613] T. S. Evans in Speaker’s Commentary.

[1614] J. A. Beet’s St. Paul’s Epp. to the Corinthians (1882).

[1615] T. C. Edwards’ Commentary on the First Ep. to the Corinthians.

[1616] C. J. Ellicott’s St. Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians.

[1617] English Version.

[1618] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.4. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered] We have two propositions in this and the following verse: the first concerning the man, the second concerning the woman. “It was the custom of the Jews that they prayed not, unless first their head were veiled, and that for this reason; that by this rite they might shew themselves reverent and ashamed before God, and unworthy with an open face to behold Him.”—Lightfoot. He quotes many passages from the Rabbis, of which one from Maimonides may suffice. “Let not the Wise Men, nor the scholars of the Wise Men pray, unless they be covered.” This veil was called the Tallith. Grotius (see Alford in loc.) gives many details about the custom of heathen nations. It appears that the Romans and Germans used to pray veiled, from the same motive as the Jews, while the Greeks were accustomed to perform their sacred rites unveiled (though St Chrysostom asserts the contrary of this). But the Christian custom was not, as Meyer seems to think, due to the Hellenic custom being followed in the Hellenic churches, but is rather to be explained by this passage, and by 1 Corinthians 3:14; 1 Corinthians 3:18. The Christian no longer approaches God weighed down by shame and sin. It is his privilege to gaze undazzled on the glory of God with face unveiled, since he is ‘no longer a servant, but a son, Galatians 4:7. “Capite nudo, quia non erubescimus,” Tertullian, Apology, ch. xxx. “The question here is of a veil, not of a hat.”—De Wette. But the effect of St Paul’s decision has been in the Christian Church to do away with the custom of uncovering the feet and allowing the head to remain covered (Exodus 3:5), which is still in existence among the Jews and Mohammedans. For prophesying, see note on ch. 1 Corinthians 14:1.

dishonoureth his head] Either (1) Christ, ‘the Head of every man,’ by the non-acknowledgment of redemption through Him. Or (2) his own head, as not bearing in mind that his body and spirit had been bought with a price, and were therefore Christ’s, and thus high in the favour of God.1 Corinthians 11:4. Προσευχόμενος ἢ προφητεύων, praying or prophesying) especially in the church, 1 Corinthians 11:16, and in the assembly [the coming together], 1 Corinthians 11:17.—κατὰ κεφαλῆς, [having a covering] on his head) The state of the head, the principal part, gives dignity to the whole body. [The face is chiefly referred to, when he speaks of a covering.—V. g.]—ἔχων) having, i.e. if he has. The men of Corinth used not to be covered, and in this respect, the women imitated the men. In order to convince the women of their error, Paul speaks conditionally of the man.—τὴν κεφαλὴν αὐτοῦ, his head) properly so called, as just before in this verse; comp. note to 1 Corinthians 11:6. Otherwise, the man praying with his head covered would sin more against Christ, than the woman against the man, with her head uncovered.Verse 4. - Prophesying; that is, preaching. Having his head covered. This was a Jewish custom. The Jewish worshipper in praying always covers his head with his tallith. The Jew (like Orientals generally) uncovered his feet because the place on which he stood was holy ground; but he covered his head by way of humility, even as the angels veil their faces with their wings. AEneas is said by Servius to have introduced this custom into Italy. On the other hand, the Greek custom was to pray with the head uncovered. St. Paul - as some discrepancy of custom seems to have arisen - decided in favour of the Greek custom, on the high ground that Christ, by his incarnation, became man, and therefore the Christian, who is" in Christ," may stand with unveiled head in the presence of his Father. Dishonoureth his head. He dishonoureth his own head, which is as it were a sharer in the glory of Christ, who is Head of the whole Church. "We pray," says Tertullian, "with bare heads because we blush not." The Christian, being no longer a slave, but a son (Galatians 4:7), may claim his part in the glory of the eternal Son. The head was covered in mourning (2 Samuel 15:30; Jeremiah 14:13), and the worship of the Christian is joyous. Having his head covered (κατὰ κεφαλῆς ἔχων)

Lit., having something hanging down from his head. Referring to the tallith, a four-cornered shawl having fringes consisting of eight threads, each knotted five times, and worn over the head in prayer. It was placed upon the worshipper's head at his entrance into the synagogue. The Romans, like the Jews, prayed with the head veiled. So Aeneas: "And our heads are shrouded before the altar with a Phrygian vestment" (Virgil, "Aeneid," iii., 545). The Greeks remained bareheaded during prayer or sacrifice, as indeed they did in their ordinary outdoor life. The Grecian usage, which had become prevalent in the Grecian churches, seems to have commended itself to Paul as more becoming the superior position of the man.

1 Corinthians 11:4 Interlinear
1 Corinthians 11:4 Parallel Texts

1 Corinthians 11:4 NIV
1 Corinthians 11:4 NLT
1 Corinthians 11:4 ESV
1 Corinthians 11:4 NASB
1 Corinthians 11:4 KJV

1 Corinthians 11:4 Bible Apps
1 Corinthians 11:4 Parallel
1 Corinthians 11:4 Biblia Paralela
1 Corinthians 11:4 Chinese Bible
1 Corinthians 11:4 French Bible
1 Corinthians 11:4 German Bible

Bible Hub

1 Corinthians 11:3
Top of Page
Top of Page