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The Head-Covering

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Text: 1 Cor. 11:2-16

Thesis: To stress the eternal principal of subordination and the need to be respectful in our dress.


(1)   Thomas Schreiner calls this text “one of the most difficult and controversial passages in the Bible” (p. 124).

(2)   In this study, we will examine this text in order to ascertain its relevance for us today.


I.                   First, let us look at the text in its original context:

A.    Apparently, some women had stopped wearing the veil (possibly believing that their Christian freedom made the veil optional).

B.     The veil was a symbol of subjection and the lack of a veil was associated with shame and reproach.

C.     Therefore, Paul will argue for the necessity of a woman’s being veiled because:

1.      God’s order of subordination must always be observed.

2.      One should be sure to leave the right impression with others.

3.      The angels teach us to be submissive.

4.      Men should look like men and women should look like women.

5.      There should be consistency within the Lord’s church.

II.                Now, let us look at the text in our contemporary context:

A.    Today, in the US, the veil does not symbolize what it did in Corinth in the first century.  Therefore, the veil is optional for us.

B.     However, the principal of subordination is eternal and still must be respected.

C.     Other lessons:

1.      Be aware of the impression that you are conveying to others.

2.      Dress appropriately.


-          Let us be people who always respect God’s design and order.

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