Should women worship God with uncovered heads?

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“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” (1 Corinthians 11:6).

Anciently women did not go abroad with uncovered heads, therefore, it was regarded as a disgrace to a woman and to her husband if she should appear publicly without a veil, especially in the capacity of a leader of worship. For a woman at Corinth to take public part in the services of the church with her head uncovered would give the impression that she acted shamelessly and immodestly, without the adorning of shame-facedness and sobriety (1 Tim. 2:9). Paul reasoned that by thus discarding the veil, a recognized emblem of her sex and position, she shows a lack of respect for husband, father, the female sex in general, and Christ.

It was also customary for Jewish, Greek, and Roman males to wear short hair at that time. Among the Israelites it was looked upon as disgraceful for a man to have long hair, with the exception of one who had taken a vow as a Nazirite.

Short hair was sometimes the mark of a woman of poor repute, thus a Corinthian woman who took a part in the public services of the church with her head uncovered might be regarded as having put herself on the same level as a low, perhaps lewd, woman.

if a woman wanted to act like a man, she ought, in order to be consistent, to cut her hair after the fashion of men. But such a course would be regarded as disgraceful. Therefore, Paul said she should be properly veiled. Today, in worship, the underlying principle should be “whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31) respecting the customs of society and culture.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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