I wanted to thank you for the wonderful study of I Corinthians 11:1-16. I have recently felt the need to study this. I am a new sister in Christ and no one else in my church uses head coverings but I feel that it is what I should be doing. Your explanation was so helpful and, even though I was convinced enough before I found your site, I didn't have the explanation for the 16th verse that I needed. In the past, a sister who has been doing studies with me used this verse to explain that if we have a problem with it then we just don't have to do it. It didn't seem right to me but other Bible interpretations weren't helping me either. I, too, felt that it couldn't mean that if he spent so many verses explaining why it should be done. These verses (1-16) so clearly overcome any of our human reasoning and I feel badly that it took me so long to study it for myself. Yesterday I ordered some head coverings but I have a question you may be able to help me with. I know that verse 5 speaks about coverings for when we pray. I know that throughout the day I pray about things that come to mind at the moment. It seems that I should either wear one all the time or carry one with me. What do you think?
Most of them seem to say that the covering is only worn for worship, however, one of them seems to say the opposite:
While a person may pray quietly to God, prophecy required the prophet to speak out. But a woman isn't allowed to do that during worship services. In addition, the proofs Paul offers for this rule are not one based solely on the worship service. Therefore we conclude that that I Corinthians 11:1-16 is not limited solely to the worship service.
Am I missing something? I really want to do what is right.
Thank you for your time and I love your web site.
Prayer can take place in many places, not just in worship. Just as during the first century, prophecy wasn't restricted to only the worship service. Since I Corinthians 14:34ff states that women cannot speak during the worship to say a woman must wear a covering only during worship when prophesying would not make sense. A woman is not allowed to prophesy during worship. For this reason, we conclude that I Corinthians 11:1-16 applies to all aspects of life where either pray or prophecy takes place.
Of course, prophecy has ended (I Corinthians 13:8-10), but prayer continues. So this rule would apply any time prayer is being offered, whether in the worship service or elsewhere. I know women who have decided that it is easier to just wear a covering all day. But most whom I know either keep a covering handy or will use something handy nearby when they don't have access to a covering, such as a napkin from the dinner table.