1 Corinthians11:7

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Indeed, a man is morally obliged not to cover the head, being a replica

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and a manifestation of the splendor

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of THEOS; the woman, however, enhances the honor of a man.

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You are right in believing that a man is morally obligated to show the proper respect while in worship because he is a replica and a manifestation of the splendor of THE CREATOR AND OWNER OF ALL THINGS; however, the sign of respect that should be given by the woman should be different from that of the man, for she enhances the honor of the man.



This word can be rendered “image, mirror-like representation, statue, resemblance, or replica.” It assumes there is an original that this is a copy of.


This word is usually rendered as “glory,” but it also means “praise, honor, or the manifestation of splendor,” and several other things that are similar. It comes from a root meaning “opinion” about the substance or essence of a person or thing and is used only when the opinion being expressed is a positive one. Thayer describes it as that which “evokes good opinion.” Is this statement saying that the man helps increase people’s good opinion about God, or is the man himself a manifestation of God’s splendor? Because of its use alongside the word “replica,” I think its intent here is that man is a manifestation of God’s splendor.


The way I have rendered this word when used of the woman is different than when it is used of the man. She is not “a manifestation of the splendor of” man because man has no splendor and deserves no “good opinion” on his own; all that he has comes from God. Thus it seems more fitting that this time the emphasis is simply on the fact that she “enhances the honor” of the main man in her life.


The man and the woman are expected to show respect in different ways because the object (recipient) of their respect is different. It is not that a woman does not honor God; it is saying that one of the ways a woman honors God is by staying within the God-ordained lines of authority which designate the man as the representative of his family before God (a heavy responsibility), thus her honoring of God flows through her husband.

What Paul has said here is once again the Greek way of doing things, not the Hebrew way. Rather than try to change how they show respect in their culture, Paul was willing to set aside his own upbringing and say, “Yes, keep showing respect to God while in worship. The way you show respect is not as important as the fact that you are doing so.” The Greek and Hebrew expressions of honor were different because they were focused on a different aspect of honoring God. The Greek thinking emphasized the fact that a man did not want to diminish his reflection of who God is so he uncovered his head; the Hebrew thinking was focused on honoring God by showing humility, so he covered his head. Both of them were acceptable to God but neither one by itself could fully express all the aspects of honoring God.

This does not mean that a woman has no “good opinion,” i.e. esteem or splendor, for she does. But what she has in this regard is like that of the man, in that it has come from God; she cannot take credit for it. Because this passage is largely about lines of authority, it is not Paul’s purpose to describe the ways in which the woman has splendor or the way she “shines.”