ST Paul

Can someone explain to me this small excerpt From 1 Corinthians? I am reading through St Paul and this passage puzzles me.

1 Corinthians 11:2-16
2 Now I praise you, brethren, that in all things you are mindful of me: and keep my ordinances as I have delivered them to you.
3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
4 Every man praying or prophesying with his head covered, disgraceth his head.
5 But every woman praying or prophesying with her head not covered, disgraceth her head: for it is all one as if she were shaven.
6 For if a woman be not covered, let her be shorn. But if it be a shame to a woman to be shorn or made bald, let her cover her head.
7 The man indeed ought not to cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of the man.
8 For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man.
9 For the man was not created for the woman, but the woman for the man.
10 Therefore ought the woman to have a power over her head, because of the angels.
11 But yet neither is the man without the woman, nor the woman without the man, in the Lord.
12 For as the woman is of the man, so also is the man by the woman: but all things of God.
13 You yourselves judge: doth it become a woman, to pray unto God uncovered?
14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that a man indeed, if he nourish his hair, it is a shame unto him?
15 But if a woman nourish her hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering.
16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor the church of God.

What in particular are you puzzled by?

I’m with Marty1818, could you be a little more specific?

Maybe you are confused about the term ‘covering’- what it is referencing, yeah?

also maybe look at the context in whole… why St. Paul was saying was saying what he was saying.

The covering

Paul’s instruction of proper head covering comes from the customs of the day. Women were instructed to have their heads covered while men were not. This was a matter of discipline rather than doctrine so it was subject to change.

From the Haydock Commentary:

Ver. 2. I praise you. That is, a great many of you. (Witham)

Ver. 3. The head of the woman is the man, &c. To have the head covered at public meetings, is, according to St. Paul, a mark of subjection: The man was created to be head over the woman, who was made subject to the man, being made of him, of his rib, and the woman made for him, not he for the woman. The man in a special manner, is the image of God, not only by his immortal soul, in which sense also the woman was made to God’s image, and likeness, but inasmuch as God gave him a power over all creatures, and so he is called, the glory of God. For these reasons, as well as from a received custom, St. Paul tells every woman, that in prayer or prophesying in public meetings, she must have her head veiled, and covered in testimony of her subjection to man, her head, otherwise she dishonours herself, and her head. This is what he tells her, (ver. 10.) that she ought to have a power over her head,[1] that is, to have a veil or covering, as a mark of man’s power over her: and because of the angels, that is, out of a respect to the angels there present. Some understand the priests and ministers of God, called angels, particularly in the Apocalypse. St. Paul adds, that nature[2] having given to women long hair, designed it to be as a natural veil. In fine, he appeals to them, to be judges, whether it be not unbecoming in women to pray without a veil. But he will have men to be uncovered, and not to bear such a mark of subjection, as a veil is, by which a man would dishonour his head, that is, himself, and Christ, who is his head, and who appointed him, when he created him, to be head over the woman. He looks upon it as a dishonour and a disgrace for men to nourish their hair, as women should do. He also calls God the head of Christ, that is, of Christ, as man. Lest he should seem to lessen the condition of women more than necessary, he adds, that the propagation of mankind now depends on the woman, as well as on the man, seeing every man is by the woman. (Witham)

Ver. 4. Praying or prophesying. By prophesying, in this place is meant, reading publicly in the Church, or singing, or explaining some part of the Scripture. To have the head covered, or uncovered, is in itself a thing very indifferent. Amongst the Greeks it was the custom always to sacrifice to their idols with heads uncovered; amongst the Romans, the opposite was the fashion, and among the Jews, as well formerly as at present, they always appear in their synagogues with heads covered. (Calmet)

Ver. 10. A power: That is, a veil or covering, as a sign that she is under the power of her husband: and this, the apostle adds, because of the angels, who are present in the assemblies of the faithful. (Challoner)

Ver. 16. If any man seem to be contentious about this matter, or any other, we have no such custom, nor hath the Church; that is, says St. Chrysostom, to have such quarrels and divisions. Or, as others understand it, we have no such custom for women to be in the Church uncovered. (Witham)

Cultural custom–was seen as polite.

Doesn’t it just mean when a woman is praying or prophesying she should have her head covered?

Some women do cover their head in church for this reason, and some churches teach this (eg some Mennonites, etc).

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