Headwear - Women’s

In approaching this subject we must seek to avoid any tendency to read Scripture in such a way as to make it appear to fit in with current thought in the Western world. We must not be time servers (defined as persons who serve or meanly suit their opinions to the times or those in authority for the time). The object today of making teaching conform to public opinion may be to get people to come to Church. It may well not work, as people can often see through that sort of thing, as one said to me “I think the Church of England is a wishy washy Church” - a Church that dilutes the truth. Others talk of trendy bishops - bishops that follow current trends in the world, rather than presenting the truth as it is in Scripture. It is what one thinks of as toadying to public opinion. Generally today in the Western world the idea that women should wear a head covering is taboo. Moslems are nearer the truth in this matter though they often fall into error in the opposite direction; sometimes covering their whole bodies.

The specific passage of Scripture that deals with headwear in the New Testament is

1 Corinthians 11:2-16. This passage also deals with men’s headwear - see separate article as to this and also as to hair: men’s and women’s.

The specific statement as to women is: “But every woman praying or prophesying with her head uncovered puts her own head to shame”. Note that this specifically refers to praying or prophesying: nothing about being covered when in assembly. In practice any covering of the head today at all is usually when persons are in Church, that is, when in a Church building for a service or suchlike function. However, if 1 Corinthians 14:34/35 is followed women do not speak in assembly, so that they are not praying (speaking to God) or prophesying (speaking to men for God) there ! It may be argued that they may pray inaudibly, which is true. However they may do that anywhere, and if that argument is accepted they must be covered everywhere ! Normally prayer in Scripture is vocal, though we do get Hannah praying in her heart, though even then her praying was public as Eli observed it

(1 Samuel 1:12/13). Elsewhere we get whispered prayer spoken of (Isaiah 26:16). The point of a covering is to hide oneself so as not to draw attention to oneself. As the following verse in 1 Corinthians 11 goes on to