Bible study: Should women cover their heads in the churches?

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Read1 Corinthian 11 vs. 1-15

1 Corinthian 11 vs. 15But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering.

1.     This is one of the contentious doctrines of churches

2.     The orthodox churches insist their women should cover their head with scarf or headtie during church service, prayer or worship in seeming obedience to these scriptures.

3.     However, most of the Pentecostal churches do not make this a rule that their female worshippers to wear headtie or hat, to cover the head.

4.     The position of the scripture on this thorny issue is simple, plain, and clear, but has been misunderstood and misinterpreted. We key scriptures are 1 Corinthian 11 vs. 1-15. All the verses should be carefully studied line, by line.

5.     There are two interpretations of ‘head covering’ in these passages.

6.     The first tendency is to define ‘head covering’ to mean wearing a scarf, beret, hat or headtie by women. See 1 Corinthian 11 vs.5- But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

7.     The second definition is to define head covering by women in the church to mean having  hair on their head rather than being completely shaven.1 Corinthian 11 vs. 15But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering.

8.     So does ‘head covering’ mean wearing headtie or does it mean having hair on the head?

9.     I strongly believe 1 Corinthian 11 vs. 15 is the key verse to understand the biblical position on this issue

10.  It is clear from 1 Corinthian 11 vs. 15 that  as long as a woman has hair on her head, the bible accepts that her head is covered,.

11.  Head covering’ or ‘covering of head’therefore means having hair on the head rather than putting of scarf or headtie. Please note that 1 Corinthian 11 vs. 15 is the last verse that summarizes Apostle Paul argument from 1 Corinthian 11 vs. 1-14. Also refer to 1 Corinthian 11 vs. 6 which describes ‘hair covering’ as having hair on the head instead of shaving your head hair.For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

12.  In simple words, what the Bible is saying in the words of Apostle Paul is that women should not worship, pray or attend church service with their hair completely shaven. The head hair has been given to them to beautify them and glorify them before men (their husbands)

13.  As such, it does not matter whether a woman put on scarf or head tie or beret in the presence of God. The hair rather than the head tie is what constitute a covering for her head

14.  What matters is that women should not or are expected to be in the presence of God with their head hair completely shaven.

15.  The covering that the Bible means is the hair, Not the headtie

16.  As long a woman has hair on her head during church service, worship or while praying, her head has been covered by the standard of these scriptures.

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2 thoughts on “Bible study: Should women cover their heads in the churches?

    Bereket Kelile said:
    February 7, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    I appreciate you addressing the issue and I think you do it in a sober, serious, but also loving way. I have to disagree that the covering is referring to a woman’s hair because it creates problems in understanding the text.

    After re-reading the passage I would say that verse 6 most explicitly shows that the covering is not the hair. Paul says that a woman who is uncovered might as well shave her head bald. If the covering is her hair then this statement makes no sense.

    I think that it’s fair to assume that when Paul talks about a head covering he means the same thing when he talks of men and women in this chapter. Paul commands men to be uncovered but he doesn’t say they must shave their heads bald. If hair is the covering then the men would be violating the commandment.

    The last thing I’d mention is similar to Paul’s final reason for the command: that this is the custom of all the church. The last 2,000 years of church history has shown that believers clearly understood the head covering to mean something the woman wears on her head. I’m not aware that there’s ever been any dispute prior to our recent times.

    Well, I hope that helps. And, I hope you’ll check out my blog as well, “The Road To Emmaus”:


    Authentic.G said:
    April 16, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    Wemen should cover their head while worship dont misinterprete the bible


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