No Such Custom

1Corinthians 11:12-16 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Does not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God. 

‘Is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Does not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?’ Middle Eastern men did not wear their hair long.

‘Covering’ [Greek: peribolaion] something thrown around anyone (Heb. 1:12). The long hair of a woman is given her for a mantle, veil, or covering. That is, long hair can be used as a veil if she insists on her new freedom of deliverance from old customs of always wearing a veil. Please note that this was only discussed with the congregation because of their customs and the issues it created and not because of something that God has commanded us to uphold today.

‘But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.’ It appears that some Corinthian women claimed for their sex equality with the men on the basis that there is no difference in benefits in Christ (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:11). They overstepped their authority in coming forward to pray and prophesy unveiled. This is what the apostle disapproves of in 1Corinthians 11:1-16. He sums up his argument here by stating that if any man sets himself up as a defender of such new freedom for women, then a woman may pray or prophesy with an uncovered head and a man may have long hair if each one wants to bear the reproach and shame of such action. Paul makes it plain that there is no set law or custom governing such in the congregations of God.

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