Veil Or Hair Covering? – Does Praying or Prophesying Have Any Real Significance?

Some contend I Cor 11:2-16 only requires the long hair as a covering on a woman. But I suggest that if that were so, the three phrases like “praying or prophesying” found in verse 4, 5 and 13 would have no real significance. Because the passage would teach the same thing if those phrases were left out (not there).

To illustrate my point, would the New Testament law on divorce and remarriage be any different if the phrases “saving for the cause of fornication” in Matt 5:32 and “except it be for fornication” in Matt 19:9 were not there? Sure it would; if it weren’t for these phrases, there would be no exception to God’s no divorce law. The two phrases are very important.

Likewise the “praying or prophesying” phrases are there in I Cor 11, and their obvious significance is to tell us when a woman must be covered and when man must not be covered. And that fact rules out the view that the long hair is the only covering required by the text, because the woman’s long hair covering is worn all the time.

Conclusion: The three “prayeth or prophesieth” type phrases in I Cor 11 are very important. They were put there by God for a reason. Their presence proves a temporary artificial covering is also required by the passage in addition to the permanent long hair covering.


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