Paul started the letter to the Corinthians by sharing the importance of knowing that they are c!alled by God to be holy and blameless.

T!his is important to remember as he is dealing with the problems that the church is dealing with.

  1. Don’t forget who you are and become disqualified in your race
  2. We are in a corporate pursuit of Jesus as a church and we want to make Him known to theworld.
  3. Paul is now going to give instructions on how to worship God in this corporate pursuit andabuses that are taking place in three areas
    1. Head Coverings
    2. Lord’s Table
    3. The Exercise of Spiritual gifts.
  4. In the middle of this section he is going to give us a message on the supremacy of love.
  5. To understand these next few chapters, we have to remember that we are dealing withabuses and confusion on how they are conducting their services

1!. The Women’s Veil Vs 2 – 6

We have to put these verses in context of what Paul is addressing. Some churches have put women under bondage from reading these verses and that is not the intent. Paul is addressing some customs in the church and in some places, we don’t know what the problem is that he feels he needs to address. REMEMBER PAUL IS ANSWERING QUESTIONS THAT WERE S!ENT IN A LETTER TO HIM.

  1. Paul praises them for keeping the “traditions” Vs 2
    1. He is just building on what has already been taught.
    2. EXAMPLE: We stand during worship, we fold our hands and close our eyes when wepray. These are traditions not mentioned specifically in the Bible.
    3. Paul is now going to deal with how they are not keeping the traditions.
      1. We don’t know exactly what these traditions are
      2. It may be that only a few people are not keeping the traditions.
      3. There are other issues that Paul will deal with when he visits them again. (See Vs34)
  2. BUT… Vs 3a
    1. He is saying somethings are not as you have stated
    2. I just praised you, but…here comes the correction
  3. Christ is the head of every believing man 3b
    1. It is proper to insert “believing” because he is dealing with how they pray and prophesy so they must be believers.
    2. the man is the head of the woman 3c
      1. the tense of the word “the” goes back to creation.
      2. This is talking about Adam being the source of Eve’s life
      3. We see this emphasized in Verse 12
    3. God is the head of Christ 3d
      1. In the incarnation
      2. God is behind everything (See 12c)
  4. Paul deals with the man Vs 4

1. He dishonors his head (Christ)


  1. We don’t know what kind of covering he is talking about.
  2. We do know that it is probably some “external cloth covering”

5. The woman brings shame on her “head” if she prays or prophesies “with an uncovered

head” 5a

  1. IMPORTANT: again we do not know what the covering is. Paul has been talking aboutthe separation from pagan worship and it may involve something that has to do with what they do in their temples. It may also be addressing how they dress for worship as he is talking about worship. Remember, Paul is dealing with Romans, Greeks, and Jews that are gathering together. You would have to assume that dress is different in these people groups. He is also dealing with rich and poor as we will see when we get to the end of the chapter dealing with how they take communion.
  2. IMPORTANT NUMBER TWO: It is dealing with women prophesying in the church service. It is giving instruction on how they are to do it. This throws doubt into what the verse means that women should be quiet in church.
  3. To pray or prophesy uncovered makes her “One and the same thing with her that is shaven 5b
  1. By not covering herself when she prays, when is bringing shame on her head.
  2. There is an obvious shame for her to have a shaved head in this culture.
  3. We don’t know what practice they were abusing here.
  4. To apply the context to our culture would be a stretch.
2!. Paul’s reference to Creation 7 – 12
  1. A very direct statement “For man is indeed…head 7a
    1. Verse 7 reinforces verse 4
    2. Paul is concerned with man’s relationship to God.
    3. SeeGenesis1:26-28and2:18-24!
    4. God made man from dust
      1. He made woman from man
      2. Through direct creation man is God’s image and glory
    5. The emphasis is man and woman’s relationship to each other and God.
    6. Paul omits how we bring dishonor by not covering his head. IF IT WAS IMPORTANT INHOW WE WORSHIP, HE WOULD HAVE GIVEN US MORE DETAIL. GOD WOULD


  2. So if a woman disregards the distinction between sexes she brings shame on the manwhose glory she is intended to be. 7b
    1. Men can walk around with glory because of the wise choice they made in a wife.
    2. The way they are conducting services is bringing shame to that glory.1. Again he is giving instructions on how they should pray and prophesy so the shame is not that they are speaking

      2. We don’t know what they are doing to bring dishonor.

  3. Again woman is man’s glory 8, 91. Man is the source of her life.
    2. She gets her life from man and she carries around the glory as to how she is treated.

    1. This is NOT teaching subordination as much as it is emphasizing necessity. She is the companion that is suitable for man and together they form one flesh “humanity”

2. We get into problems when we lose this distinction.! 4. Not a lot of explanation here Vs 10


  1. We do know that we will judge angels someday
    1. so exercise your authority in these insignificant matters
    2. We already speak their language when we speak in tongues.
    3. Angels are observing your actions.
  2. Authority was a word the Corinthians used freely to show they had authority to act free.
    1. Not so much imposed dominion but moral obligation
    2. We are dependent on each other.
    3. Vs 11, 12 show …
      1. Man came from God
      2. Woman came from man
      3. Now man comes from woman
      4. God is behind it all and all life springs from him.
3. Paul’s Appeal to a Sense of Propriety Vs 13 – 16

1. Paul returns to argument in verses 4 – 6 Judge for yourself Vs 13a

  1. Is it right for a woman to pray to God in public
    1. We are now out of the church service and in church
    2. She is an active participant int he worship service
    3. We are resuming the thought of verse 5
  2. The reinforcement of the argument
    1. We are dealing with contemporary customs.
    2. There are situations where believers did not cut their hair
      1. Nazarite Vow Numbers 6: 5
      2. Paul in Acts 18
      3. Archeology shows that Roman culture of short hair was the custom of the day
  3. Opposite for women Vs 15
    1. what is dishonor for one is honor for another
    2. Honor is not in long hair. It is a sign of a covenant like the Nazarite vow.
    3. The emphasis is not the hair, but the distinction between the sexes.
    4. There is honor when the sexes are distinct and recognize who they are in theirpursuit of God.
  4. There are argumentative people in the Corinthians church
    1. See3:18,8:2,14:37
    2. They will argue about what I have said.
    3. He is saying while this is important for some Corinthians, it is not to be church law ordecorum.
    4. We are mixing Romans, Greeks and Jews, but the important part is recognize whoyou are in Christ.