[Page 133]ABSTRACT: The Apostle Paul’s theological explanation for female veil wearing (1 Corinthians 11:2–13) highlights the woman’s head covering as an expression of female empowerment or “authority/exousia.” It appears that the Corinthian saints struggled with this tradition, as Paul preceded the discussion with, “but I would have you know/thelõ de” (1 Corinthians 11:3). Rather than merely restating the dress code for certain prayers, Paul laid out the doctrinal background underlying the imagery. He began with the order of creation from the Garden of Eden. God was the “kephale,” meaning source or origin of Christ, who was the source of man, who was the source of woman. Paul taught that God’s glory (referring to man) should pray unveiled, and by the same token, humanity’s glory (referring to woman) should address God with her head covered (1 Corinthians 11:7). The early church interpreted the relationship between Adam and Eve typologically. The Edenic couple typified Christ and his Church — the Bridegroom and Bride. In this typological scenario, Eve (or the Church) worked through the mediator Adam (or Christ). In either a symbolic or literal interpretation, Paul described this empowering veil as a sign of unique female authority to pray and prophesy (1 Corinthians 11:5). By covering her head, female saints received “power on her head” and could interact with angels (1 Corinthians 11:10). Paul concluded by emphasizing that men and women are completely interdependent — woman was created from man, while man is born of woman (1 Corinthians 11:11–12). In this regard we see an equal status between men and women in their relationship with the Lord. Their relationship focuses on their union with each other and God.
Western [Page 134]cultures often associate veiled women with subjugation and misogyny.1 However, we find scriptural sources that communicate positive empowerment about veils as well (1 Corinthians 11:10; Exodus 34:33– 35; Genesis 24:65). One of those examples, 1 Corinthians 11:2–13, empowers a woman to pray and prophesy with her head covered. While women’s veils in ancient societies were worn as a symbol of modesty, subservience, fashion, or marital status, we find early Christian women donning veils for prayers to be connected to prophecy, as a symbol of their authority and humility before God.
Cultural Background for Veiling Women
By way of background, for “a Roman woman, ‘to get married’ and ‘to veil oneself’ were exactly the same word. … The veil was the flag of female virtue, status, and security.”2 Avant-garde Roman women of the first century were “more keen on showing off [their] elaborate hair-style than on constantly wearing an old-fashioned veil.”3 Ancient coins of aristocracy feature royal women wearing head coverings for a social or fashion statement.4
The veil also had religious significance for those who worshiped the Egyptian goddess of Night. The cult instructed women to anoint and cover their heads with a light piece of linen fabric while praying.5 In other circles, a Pharisaic Jewish woman veiled herself from head to foot whenever she left her home as a symbol of modesty and female subservience.6 In Middle Assyrian law, a wife claimed the right to wear a veil in public to differentiate her standing from a concubine or slave.7 Her veil was a sign of prominence and authorized her actions and inheritance as a legal wife.8 In contrast, the Christian practice of women [Page 136]veiling for prayers, as described in 1 Corinthians 11, differed from the cultural usage of the day.9
Paul among the Corinthians
Paul wrote to a culturally mixed audience of Christian converts in an attempt to redirect their understanding about women praying and prophesying while veiled.10 On his second apostolic mission he established a branch of Christianity in Corinth and stayed for eighteen months (Acts 18:1–11).11 Yet, after his departure, the infant church struggled to understand the apostle’s teachings (1 Corinthians 1:11; 5:9; 7:1; and 16:10–11). The letter insinuates that the saints struggled with inexperienced membership and conflicting backgrounds. This is not surprising in light of the fact that Corinth had a reputation for wealth, worldliness, and immorality. The city’s unique geography allowed it to control the neck of land between mainland Greece and the Peloponnesus, making it a double port city.12 As such, it seemed to have a double portion of promiscuity.13 Paul’s letter attempts to realign several false moral and religious traditions.14
1 Corinthians 11:2–13
In 1 Corinthians, Paul boldly corrects the saints on many issues — one of which is the need for a woman to cover her head during certain prayers (1 Corinthians 11:2–13). He teaches the Corinthian women that they could participate in the sacred experience of speaking by divine inspiration, [Page 137]with their veils signifying their authority to do so (1 Corinthians 11:5,10, NRSV). Yet many biblical scholars find these verses a jumbled mess or a discussion of hairstyles and dress.15 With this as a disclaimer (see note), I do not. I draw on restored scripture and teachings to help decipher the early saints’ practice of covering a woman’s head during particular prayers.16 I find these verses point to an exalted role of women.
Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. (1 Corinthians 11:2)
Paul opens the subject by commending the Corinthian saints for keeping the “ordinances” (KJV) or “traditions” (NRSV), he taught them. The word “ordinances” carries significant meaning for Latter-day Saints, but the Greek word “paradosis” has a broader definition that includes “handing over, delivery, hence teaching committed to a pupil … transmission, handing down, hence that which is received.”17 Here it is a noun and modern English translations use “directions” (DBT), “traditions” (RSV, ESV, NASV), or “teachings” (NIV). In the Greek Old Testament (LXX), in use at the time of the late Second Temple, paradosis also describes the teachings that were handed down orally.18
[Page 138]For our discussion on 1 Corinthians 11, it is especially helpful to see how Paul uses the term “paradosis” in this epistle — both as a noun and verb.19 Just a few verses following Paul’s council to women veiling in prayer, he uses paradosis again, “I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you” (1 Corinthians 11:23).20 The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament explains, “The essential point for Paul is that it has been handed down (1 Corinthians 15:3) and that it derives from the Lord (11:23).”21 Whatever type of teachings Paul refers to with “paradosis,” he passed down the practice of women praying with a veil.
But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 11:3)
The first phrase of verse 3, “but I would have you know,” or “I want you to understand,” suggests that the saints had, at least partially, misunderstood Paul’s previous instructions to “keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you” (1 Corinthians 11:2–3). Paul uses the next phrase four times in this letter, “but I would /thelõ de” (1 Corinthians 7:32; 10:20; 14:5). Interestingly, each time he uses it to correct a misconception. In chapter 11, he explains why women should cover their heads while praying and why men did not (1 Corinthians 11:4–11). His tone sounds as if the saints of Corinth had a problem with following this specific teaching.
Paul wants to correct this misunderstanding, but rather than merely restate the dress code, he explains the important doctrinal background that underlines the veil imagery. He explains the series of relationships [Page 139]established from the order of creation: God-Christ-man-woman. Paul reviews that God is the head of Christ, who is the head of man, who is the head of woman. The word “head/kephale” has multiple meanings in both Greek and English and most often refers to: 1) the physical head or body and 2) figuratively, the origin or source.22 According to the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, the word “head/kephale” used by Paul in 1 Corinthians 11 deals with the relationship of man and woman “at the very foundations of their creaturehood.”23 Whether or not we understand, or agree with Paul, it appears that he sees God the Father as the source, starting point, or origin of Christ (John 20:17),24 who was the “origin” of man (John 1:3), and man, via his side-rib, the “origin” of his partner, woman (Genesis 2:22).25 By the end of his argument, this linear connection loops around into a circle with woman becoming a co-creator with God (1 Corinthians 11:12).
[Page 140]This chain of interlocking relationships links humanity with their creators and becomes the foundation of Paul’s instruction here.26 Three times in ten verses he uses different words to describe the genders intertwining origins — the woman, Eve, originates from the man, Adam, and a man-child comes from woman (1 Corinthians 11:3, 8, 12, NASB). Both genders are connected to their creators. Looking at Paul’s defense as a whole, he discusses a symbiotic connection in which men and women have mutual responsibility for one another.
This bears highlighting, as Paul does not make a case for male superiority.27 In the same section, he speaks of woman as privileged with authority and indispensable to men and vice versa (1 Corinthians 11:10–12). Outside of these verses, we find “head/kephale,” used forty nine times in the New Testament to describe either a physical head or the Savior.28 While some interpret this verse to say men are to rule over women, I do not find evidence for that in the Pauline epistles at large, nor specifically in the context of 1 Corinthians 11. Whenever Paul refers to a “ruler” he uses other words — for example, “rulers/archon (Romans 13:3), “rule/preside/proistemi” (1 Timothy 3:5; 5:17), “rule/govern/brabeuo” (Colossians 3:15), and “rule/leader/hegeomai” (Hebrews 13:7, 17, 24) — not kephale.29 Part of the transforming teachings that the [Page 141]Lord restored denounced unrighteous dominion and superiority of any kind (Matthew 19:16; Mark 10:17, etc.).30 Paul’s verses on veiling women encourage a positive interrelationship between man, women and God; they do not promote gender supremacy.
Paul does not intend this lineup to sound demeaning, as he explains in verses 10 and 12. His analogy applies specifically to the order of creation. In the ancient world, ideas that linked someone with deity were honorable and empowering. The New Testament does not suggest that women needed a detour or middleman to communicate with God. Both men and women pray directly to God the Father (Luke 11:1–2; Acts 1:14; 16:13; Romans 8:26; etc.), both men and women had access to the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:1–11), and both build the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 12:12–31). Paul describes men and women as team players, not as competing individuals lined up in order of importance (1 Corinthians 12:7). There are a few odd verses that contradict this.31 Yet the majority of the New Testament — including the Pauline epistles — encourage women to pray, serve, teach and witness.32
Paul’s orderly line-up does not disrupt the other scriptural admonition for men and women to work side by side as companions, “help meet[s],” “counterpart[s]” (Genesis 2:18, KJV, YLT), or “yokefellow[s]” (Philippians 4:3). By working in the same direction with God, men and women assist in building God’s kingdom on earth. Whether this team effort is described as an alignment from the order of creation or as working side-by-side, the result is the same. Christ, Peter, and Paul taught that husbands and wives need to work toward the same goal to become joint heirs (John 17:21–23; 1 Peter 3:7; Romans 8:17). In 1 Corinthians 11, [Page 142]Paul advocates mutually supportive relationships (11:11), but first he describes the order of creation as a linear link to God to explain why women cover their heads during special prayers.
Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. (1 Corinthians 11:4)
In the context of verse 4, Paul states that men who cover their head dishonor their “head” or God.33 He uses the dual meaning for head: “Every man praying or prophesying, having his head [physically] covered, dishonoureth his head [figuratively].” In keeping with the creation narrative, Paul’s injunction follows the reasoning that man was created in the image and glory of God, so when man communes with God, he should not cover himself but acknowledge that affiliation (Genesis 1:27). By covering his head, a man would cover the image of God, thereby figuratively denying the power and dignity the Creator bestowed on him at creation. In other words, if man covers his head, he dishonors his origin. To do otherwise was to devalue his Christian beliefs. However problematic male head covering may have been, it appears the bigger issue was that women were not covering their heads, as this becomes the subject for the next five verses.
But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. (1 Corinthians 11:5)
The first phrase in verse five clarifies an enormous breakthrough in worship for Christian women. Paul explicitly declares that women prayed and prophesied in early Christian public worship. Paul’s example of women praying and prophesying may refer to private, personal experiences, but the larger context suggests they were part of a special congregational experience with both men and women. It corresponds with Joel 2:28, where the Spirit pours out the gift of prophecy on both men and women as “your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.”
This Christian practice marked a dramatic departure from Paul’s previous Pharisaic traditions,34 where female Jews’ religious experiences [Page 143]were sharply curtailed — from pilgrimages to synagogue worship.35 More applicable to Corinth, in Greco-Roman religious traditions, women usually worshiped with other women. When both genders joined in Greco-Roman fertility cults, women acted as prostitutes.36
Paul’s choice of wording for “prophesy/propheteuo/to speak forth under inspiration” may refer to women giving sermons or a testimony as well (Revelation 19:10). In either case, it represents enormous liberation as the whole idea of women participating in the public worship services was limited at the time.37 Jewish men dominated the public world and confined women’s worship primarily to their homes.38 Outside of her home, the [Page 144]Pharisees preferred women unseen and unheard.39 Paul’s statement is an enormous step forward for women in communal worship.40
In verses 5 and 6, Paul states that women should cover their heads during special prayers or prophesying — unlike men. However, his argument seems exactly the opposite for women. When a woman covers “her head/kephale” (physically), she showed honor and respect to “her origin/kephale” (husband, Christ, and God). To rephrase Paul’s words, a man honors his relationship to God by uncovering his head, while a woman honors her ultimate head, God, by veiling her head.41 Paul explains this dichotomy in verse 7, but first in verse 6, he expresses his opinion that a woman’s head without a covering is as disgraceful as shaving her head.42
For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. (1 Corinthians 11:7)
[Page 145]In verse 7, Paul references both creation stories from Genesis chapters 1 and 2.43 Modern revelation teaches of a spiritual creation before the physical creation, which may help clarify the dichotomy between the two Genesis accounts (D&C 29:32; Moses 3:5). Genesis 1:26–27 describes both male and female created “in the image of God,” and both are given dominion over the earth. Genesis 2:20–22 describes Adam naming all the animals, unable to find one equal or complementary companion for himself, until God takes part of his rib cage to create a “partner” (New English Bible), or “his one before” (Genesis 2:20, Transparent English Bible).44
Paul references both of these creation stories, yet he does not follow our Genesis wording.45 Instead, Paul changes the first creation account from plural to singular with only man representing the “glory of God.”
|Genesis 1:27||1 Corinthians 11:7|
|God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.||he is the image and glory of God|
It appears that Paul wants to accentuate woman as the “glory of man,” as something different from the “glory of God” (1 Corinthians 11:7) — which causes this reader to ask why? Some limit the discussion to gender-distinctive clothing, but I see Paul exploring the theology behind human interactions with God.
Within the context of this chapter, letter, and New Testament at large, we can safely assume Paul does not mean that God created woman solely to glorify men, nor that man could use woman for his glory in a manipulative or disrespectful manner. Although Josephus and many contemporaries of Paul disagreed, Paul repeatedly states that woman is not inferior to man [Page 146](1 Corinthians 11:7, 11).46 Understanding what Paul means by “the woman is the glory of man” (1 Corinthians 11:7), is vital to understanding why Paul thinks a woman should cover her head during special prayers.
Narrowing in on the “glory of God,” Moses understood that God’s work and glory is “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). Without the union of man and woman in procreation, God’s work and glory cannot be eternally achieved. The union is a glorious thing and it produces more glory. Nevertheless, in the hierarchy of God, the glory of humanity should not overshadow the glory of God. As children are born to a woman, she represents the “glory of man[kind]” and veils her head out of respect to her ultimate head, God.
Paul describes woman as a symbol of human potential as she facilitates human reproduction and glory. Paul teaches that during this time when men and women commune with God through prayer and prophecy, the man takes on a vicarious role to represent the “image and glory of God,” while a woman represents the image and glory of supplicating humanity (1 Corinthians 11:7). Man does not cover because he acts in the image of God. Woman, on the other hand represents humanity, so she reverently and symbolically covers humanity’s glory when she stands in the presence of God.47 This interpretation is consistent with the scriptures that describe woman or bride as a symbol of God’s people or the church.48
For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.
Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. (1 Corinthians 11:8–9)
[Page 147]According to Genesis 2:18–23, woman’s arrival in Eden fulfilled the need for man’s “counterpart” (YLT) or “authority corresponding to him” (ISV) or “a helper suitable for him” (nsb) or “help meet” (KJV). Significantly, God did not provide Adam immediately with a wife but waited for him to name “all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field” (Genesis 2:20). It is as if God waited to introduce this important creation until Adam recognized his own inability as a single man, “but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.” Once Adam recognized his need, he received a co-partner or equal, not a subordinate or servant.
In this sense, woman is “the glory of man” because she allows humanity to achieve their potential and glory. God created females to carry and grow embryos. This does not mean women are valued only if they can produce offspring. Nor does it mean that most women bear children. However, it is why Adam named his wife “Life” or “Living,” translated as “Eve/Chavvah.” With this unique potential to bring forth life, woman reflects the work of Christ himself. Just as Christ labored to create sons and daughters of God, so God designed a woman’s body to create mortal sons and daughters. But woman cannot do this alone. The physical creation of each human requires the work of woman and man working together as God planned.
Through the spousal relationship, a woman and a man became a mutually supporting entity. This may be misunderstood with many influential translations of Genesis 3:16, when Eve is told, “Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” (KJV). But there are other valid translations that speak of a joint responsibility “and he will rule with you” [Page 148](TEB) or “he will govern with you”.49 Adam was no dictator.50 The partnership is more important than either of the single entities. Only as a unified entity can either person experience lasting glory. God created Adam and Eve so a glorious union could potentially be formed.
Allegorical View. Paul’s words about the order of creation have also been interpreted allegorically. We see Paul using an allegorical view in this same epistle, when he refers to Jesus as the “last Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:45).51 Early Christian writers built on this theme: “Eve is a type of the church as Adam is a type of Christ. As Eve was made out of a part of Adam, so the church is part of the Lord Jesus. The church is called His bride as Eve was Adam’s bride.”52 Typologically, Adam and Jesus are [Page 149]wounded in the side to bring forth the life of Eve and the Church respectively. As Adam’s wounded side produced mankind, so Christ’s wounds provide the way for mankind to return to God the Father. Christ as the second Adam and as the Savior champions fallen humanity. Eve represents all those born of women, who become the Church and join Adam/Christ in a covenantal relationship. Furthermore, “Adam and Eve were commanded to be one, and, in like manner, Christ and His Church are to be one.”53 In this allegorical scenario, the Church (or Eve) works through the mediator Christ (or Adam) to become unified as the scriptural Bridegroom and Bride (Revelation 18:23; Isaiah 61:10; Joel 2:16. etc.).
Restored Perspective. Stepping outside the Pauline text for a moment, we can find insights from the restoration that shed light on this perspective.54 Elder Bruce Hafen explains, “The concept of interdependent, equal partners is well-grounded in the doctrine of the restored gospel.”55 From the restored perspective, sealing of eternal partners may happen on either side of the veil. Men and women continue to progress and can be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise to fulfill their eternal potential (D&C 132:18–19). However, without this sealing of companions, their work of procreation and eternal glory cannot be achieved (D&C 132:17). It is the inter-reliance of the couple, unified to do God’s work, that allows them to develop into a glorified state. This is when they join in “the patriarchal priesthood,” meaning, “the priesthood shared by husbands and wives who are sealed.”56 The restoration also provides hope for those not sealed in ideal relationships. Whether due to death, living single, or an unhappy marriage, all can hope for celestial relationships in the world to come.57 I think Paul refers to this glorious potential union in these verses (11:8–9).
For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. (1 Corinthians 11:10)
[Page 150]In verse 10, Paul emphasizes that the veil identifies a woman’s power and authority to act in that “ordinance” (11:2). Women become agents of authority or “power/exousia” during that time of prayer and prophecy. The KJV translates the word exousia in this case as “power,” and the RSV as “veil.” The NIV comes closest to the original Greek with “authority.” 1 Corinthians repeatedly addresses the topic of authority — specifically the need to respect authority and who has the authority.58 Here Paul returns to the subject again and focuses on women’s authority to act in church worship. Clarifying even further, the Young’s Literal Translation (YLT) reads, “because of this the woman ought to have a token of authority upon the head, because of the messengers.”59
Paul returns to the creation theme referring to angels in the last phrase of verse 10. Angels protect the creative order of Eden.60 Not only do angels guard the “the way of the tree of life” (Moses 4:31), but here angels also have a connection to woman with “authority” or “a veil on her head” (1 Corinthians 11:10, NIV, RSV). Paul teaches that women need this sign of authority “because of the angels.”61 Covered with “authority/ exousia,” it is possible that during worshipful prayer, the veil signaled the messenger angels to provide the woman with the word of God to prophesy or testify. `Or perhaps, when the woman wore her [Page 151]emblem of authority, it signaled to the angels that the mouthpiece was now ready to receive divine instruction.62
Angels fill many assignments as “aggelos/messengers” of God. Here Paul’s angels have some connection to praying veiled women and power or authority. Imparting the same gospel, though removed by a dispensation from Paul, Brigham Young notes that one of the roles of angels is to guard the entrance to heaven. Sentinel angels receive “signs and tokens” from both women and men to return to the presence of God.63 President John Taylor references these teachings of Paul as he addresses women on similar truths about guardian angels and gender:
Thou hast obeyed the truth, and thy guardian angel ministers unto thee and watches over thee. Thou hast chosen him you loved in the spirit world to be thy companion. Now, crowns, thrones, exaltations, and dominions are in reserve for thee in the eternal worlds …. Thou wilt be permitted to pass by the Gods and angels who guard the gates, and onward, upward to thy exaltation in a celestial world among the Gods, to be a priestess queen upon thy Heavenly Father’s throne, and a glory to thy husband and offspring, to bear the souls of men, to people other worlds (as thou didst bear their tabernacles in mortality) while eternity goes and eternity comes; and if you will receive it, lady, this is eternal life. And herein is the saying of the Apostle Paul fulfilled, that the man is not without the woman, neither is the woman without the man, in the Lord; that man is the head of the woman, and the glory of the man is the woman. Hence, thine origin, the object of thy ultimate destiny. If faithful, lady, the cup is within thy reach; drink then the heavenly draught and live.64
In keeping with the ideas of John Taylor and Brigham Young, Joseph Smith’s translation of this verse suggests similar thoughts.
[Page 152]Joseph Smith makes only one change to 1 Corinthians 11 in his inspired version.65 He changed the word “power” in verse 10, to “covering.” In Joseph Smith’s mind, a woman was “to have a covering on her head because of the angels.”66 In this context, when female saints covered their heads with veils to pray and prophesy, they functioned with divinely acknowledged power. It becomes a sign of obedience and an exercise of faith which opens the door to the ministry of angels (Moroni 7:29–33, 37).
Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. (1 Corinthians 11:11–12)
Paul ends his explanation by stressing the complete interdependence of men and women — woman was created from man, while man is born of woman. Paul’s description encompasses the Edenic creation and birth process. In this unique role, each mother opens the veil to mortality, just as Jesus opened the veil of immortality. A woman’s womb symbolizes a veil of life as spirit children pass from heaven to earth through her. In this task, woman acts as a veil.
Verses 11 and 12 focus on the underlying theology of the reciprocal union that occurs between a husband and wife. With two references to God’s interaction with the couple, “in the Lord … all things of God,” Paul intimates a covenantal relationship with God (also see D&C 132:15). Through this trio of unity, we understand the mutuality of eternal marriage.67 Paul’s promotion of marital interdependence is consistent with [Page 153]statements made earlier in the same epistle (1 Corinthians 7:2–3, 12–14).68 The interrelationship of genders speaks to the worth of women as equals to men. I see Paul’s request for a woman to wear a veil during prayer as having nothing to do with gender inequality and everything to do with her relationships and authority to participate in Christian worship.
Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? (1 Corinthians 11:13)
In this new Christian order, Paul teaches the primitive saints that it is comely or proper for women to pray and prophesy or testify. Her veil witnesses to her authority to act in that proper manner. The word “comely/prepo” also means “fitting, to stand out, to be conspicuous, eminent, becoming, seemly, or fit.” Paul concludes this subject by reminding the Corinthian saints, who had been disposed to contentions in the past (see 1 Corinthians 11:16), that they were not a law unto themselves on this matter. He calls for a unity of the faith among all the churches of God — even in the practice of women wearing veils when praying and prophesying. He asks the saints to take responsibility for themselves and judge if a veil worn during certain prayers could signify the order of creation with divine relationships between God and mortals.
In conclusion, within Paul’s list of corrections to the Corinthian saints (“I want you to understand,” 1 Corinthian 11:3), he addresses the issue of women wearing veils during group prayers and prophesying in early Christianity (11:2). His counsel acknowledges Christian women’s participation in public worship. His instructions capture the order of creation — a fortifying link between women, men, Christ, and God — that endowed humanity with God’s power. The woman’s head covering represents her authority or “power on her head” in the presence of angels (11:10). Essentially, Paul asks whether it is “not better to pray and prophesy with humility before God and with a sign of her authority?” For Paul, the sanction derived from the creation allows God’s glory (referring to man) to pray unveiled; and by the same token, humanity’s glory (referring to woman) should humbly commune with God veiled. As he explains [Page 154]these principles, he recognizes and encourages unity between men and women in their covenant relationship with God.
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