Wednesday, June 2

Scratching my head

Ok, sometimes I'm reading along in the bible and I hit a section that really throws me, like 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, which features such notable lessons as:
Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head--it is just as though her head were shaved. If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head.
Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? (NIV)

Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head ... (NASB)

Now the basic message of this section is showing respect during worship, but getting into hair length seems to be a little strange. Its certainly not something that we spend much time studying when we study the church in Corinth. Even The Message which is a pretty modern translation, struggles through this. After focusing on acting honorable in the first half, it ends with:
Don't you agree there is something naturally powerful in the symbolism--a woman, her beautiful hair reminiscent of angels, praying in adoration; a man, his head bared in reverence, praying in submission? I hope you're not going to be argumentative about this. All God's churches see it this way; I don't want you standing out as an exception.
This is where I get hammered for not studying history: historical context. Still it does seem like we ignore more than a few passages in the New Testament as we seek to put on the full armor of God.

biblical interpretation steps


Post a Comment

<< Home