1 Corinthians11:13

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Judge among yourselves; is it proper for a woman to pray to THEOS while unveiled?


Make a determination based on what you already know from your culture; is it fitting for a woman to pray to THE CREATOR AND OWNER OF ALL THINGS without showing proper respect?


Once again Paul is taking the Greek way of showing respect and using it to make his point. The Greek and Hebrew use of a veil was the same except for what was done with the veil during prayer or worship. Thus the issue is not about being veiled or unveiled, it is about men and women both showing proper respect in a way that is recognized in your culture. Does the American culture have clearly identifiable ways that people show respect? We have a few. We take our hats off, we greet people in respectful ways, sometimes we clap, and for prayer we bow our heads and close our eyes (which is different from how ancient Israelites prayed). Notice that all of our expressions of respect are general, not specific. None of them clearly say, without words, “I am under the authority of someone else and I willingly choose to obey that authority.” So our culture has no direct equivalent for the veil that was worn in ancient times. However, I’m sure there were times when a woman of ancient times wore a veil and yet lived a life characterized by disrespect for her husband. The Amish, Mennonites and a few others still wear head-coverings today, but I have known cases in which a woman wearing such a head-covering lived a life that was not characterized by respect for her husband. Since an outward sign is no guarantee about the condition of the heart, and since we have no equivalent signs of respect, we must let our lives say “I willingly choose to live in obedience to the lines of authority set over me.”