Bible Study on 1Cor.11
After observing the protocol for the laws guiding biblical interpretation, which includes finding out the history surrounding a particular scripture, and answering some very salient questions such as: who is the writer, who the writing is directed to, what was the circumstances around the scripture in question, what questions were being answered, in what age and time was the scripture written, the original language communicating the exact mind of the writer, etc. All this questions are normally asked to ascertain the aim and goal of the writer, to find out what is the stem, and what are the branches of the writing; and to help us apply it contextually to our own time and age, and present circumstance we find ourselves in.In the context of 1 Cor. 11:1-16, verse 3 is the stem of the holy writ, and because the aim was clearly stated there. Apostle Paul, i dealing with the problem of head-covering, took the headship of God, the headship of Christ, and the headship of man as the strong ground for his instruction. His reprehension concerning head-covering wasn’t based on any religious practice or human custom, but on the headship (authority) in God’s governmental administration and order. Such a strong base leaves no ground for argument over the matter of head-covering.
That Christ in His mediatorial character and glorified humanity is the head of mankind, and He is both Lord and Sovereign. The order of ranking and position is that Christ is the centre, with the Father above, and mankind below Him; and in the family the man is first and the woman second. He reminds them that the subordination of persons in the Church ought to be kept: that Christ, as Mediator, is inferior in rank to God the Father, though the are all equal and the same in nature and essence in the godhead, but is the Head and Lord of all men, as Creator and Redeemer; so the man is the head and lord of the woman, though they are both equal and of the same essence and nature in Christ. As Christ as, Mediator, acts in subordination to the Father, so must the woman act in subordination to the man.
He laid the foundation for his reprehension and reprimand by asserting the superiority of the man in rank and authority over the woman. That, the man has a superiority and headship given to him and ordained by God, and the woman should recognize it by being in subjection to it, and not assume or usurp the man’s place. This is the situation and position God’s governmental structure has placed her;and for no reason, she should have a mind suited for her rank, accepting it as God’s divine ordination and order, and not do anything that resembles or look like an affection of changing places. Never should it be, not even when under inspiration or pretending to be. It is very glaring that the goal of 1 Cor. 11:1-16 is to establish God’s existing administration and governmental order, which is: the ranking position and structure of authority in the home, which extends to the public, especially in the church, and shouldn’t be altered for any reason whatsoever; not even because of the liberty we now have in Christ, which didn’t abolish this order (Gal. 3:28)! Noting that, the corporate gathering isn’t just an issue of our essence and nature in Christ, but even more of our propriety, orderliness and decency in worship as we touch God’s throne and administration. Therefore, Paul’s emphasis wasn’t about veils, hats and scarfs, but his goal is for men and women to recognize and align to the authority structure set by God Himself. It shows that, men should treat their wives well by loving them, and not allowing however to usurp their authority; by so doing, acknowledge they are under the headship of Christ. Women also, should respect and submit to their husbands, first, at home, and then in public; which signifies that, any woman refusing to be veiled in veiled in the Corinth church was a reflection of her attitude is at home. Notice also, that, no amount of veil on a woman’s head can make her submit to her husband to be covered, and a woman being unveiled today in church is not synonymous to being rebellious to her husband at home or not being covered by him. Rebellion is a thing of the heart, and not of a dress or physical covering of any part of the body; likewise, submissiveness isn’t in clothings and coverings, but entirely a posture of the heart.
Verse 4-6 instructs that, since the man has the headship and not the woman, he should keep his physical head manifested, unconsealed, uncovered when he touches the throne of God’s administration and government by praying to God or speaking for Him (prophesying). Otherwise, he dishonours or shame his Head (Christ); because a veil upon a man then, is a sign of him being subjected to a woman (wife), it will rob him of his dignity and would be against God’s ordinance for him. It is when the man’s authority is undermined because he is subjected to the woman, because she usurped his place of his authority which is crossing the bounds of God’s positional structure for the home; it is not about man who puts on a veil or hat literally, or to remove at hat or covering in church. Also in verse 5, the apostle insists that, since woman is under the headship of man, she should keep her head covered, not exposed, when she touches the divine administration by praying to God or speaking for Him. Otherwise, she disgraces or shames her head-husband, it is as if her head was shaved or shorn (empty without any covering); because she denies the divine governmental ordination set up by God, when she exposes her head while touching God’s authority. It literally means that, women need to understand the subject of spiritual authority by submitting to their own husband first at home, before they can now come to the corporate assembly with a delegated authority that warrants them performing any function at all. Teaching (which could be prophecy too) was viewed as a duty and business of a superior, and it was essential to certify a woman properly covered by her husband at home, before she can have a public ministry. Deborah was first the wife of Lapidoth before being a prophetess in Israel; a woman may excel in her carrier or business without this principle, but not in the ministry. Therefore, a woman not covered by her husband from home, performing public ministry disgraces and dishonours her head; by implication dishonours Christ and God the Father, whose throne she is ministering to, and from spiritually.
The divine order of God’s governmental administration and structure can never be altered or modified in any generation, however, the culture that signifies in a given generation change in other generation.
The guiding principle is what and how decency and sobriety is viewed in a any generation. God’s message never changes but methods do!