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What Did Ambrosiaster Believe About Head Covering?

Head Covering: Church History Profiles

[Series introduction: This post is part of a series that examines what certain leaders in church history believed about head covering. Their arguments, choice of language and conclusions should not be misconstrued as an endorsement from us. The purpose of this series is to faithfully show what they believed about covering rather than only selectively quoting the parts we agree with.]

Ambrosiaster (4th century) is the name given to the anonymous author of the earliest complete Latin commentary on the thirteen epistles of Paul. The commentaries were thought to have been written by Ambrose throughout the Middle Ages, but their authorship was challenged by Erasmus, whose arguments have proved decisive. Writing during the pontificate of Damasus (366-384), he is a witness to Nicene orthodoxy and often offers comments that reflect his knowledge of how the church had changed from the time of the apostles to his own day. His commentaries offer us insight into the thinking of a pre-Reformation church leader.

Though we don’t know the identity of Ambrosiaster, his commentary gives us access into the mind and beliefs of a 4th century Christian theologian. We’re able to see that head covering had adherents and defenders from the early church and we can see how someone from that era understood Paul’s reasoning in the text. Since Ambrosiaster provides a line-by-line commentary of 1 Corinthians 11, we have a more complete picture of how he understood this doctrine.

First we see that Ambrosiaster was a complementarian. He understood that the structure of authority given in 1 Cor 11:3 did not indicate value or worth, but function. He said “Man is greater than she is by cause and order, not by substance”. The woman should not “be upset because of her state of subjection” and the man should not think “that he has some exalted position”. Read more

Covering Testimony: Janelle Trebuna

Head Covering Testimonies
Name: Janelle TrebunaAge: 43Location: La Grange, KYStarted Covering: February 2011

Covering Testimony: Janelle Trebuna

1) Introduce yourself to our readers.

I grew up in church; attending both Methodist and Baptist churches, but didn’t come to faith until I was in my 30’s. I have been married to my High School sweetheart, Todd, for 25 years. We have 3 daughters, ages 22, 17, and 14. One of my greatest passions is prison ministry. I enjoy homeless outreach, as well. The past five years I have been blessed, along with my husband, to spend one Saturday night each month, and two to three weekends a year serving in our four local prisons as part of the Residents Encounter Christ Ministry. I am proclaiming the Gospel, testifying to what God has done in my life, worshiping, celebrating communion, and establishing ongoing friendships with the men and women there. I love to read. I am passionate about the Bible, theology, and encouraging women to go deep and learn all they can about God and His word. I plan to return to college once my husband has completed his degree, and my dream is to graduate from seminary with a degree in counseling, to minister to women; especially those with a history of sexual abuse. My husband and I feel God calling us to serve as overseas missionaries once we retire and our children have left the nest. For the past 4 years, the tug on my heart has been towards India! My greatest desire is to be a women after God’s own heart. Read more

S. Lewis Johnson Quote Image #1

S Lewis Johnson Quote Image #1

Source: S. Lewis Johnson, Covering the Head in Worship (sermon transcription, 2005)

Covering the Web: Feb 21/14

Covering The Web

Shining a spotlight on the head covering discussion happening worldwide.

  • Courage to cover (Becoming A Titus 2 Wife)
    “Once again, I will be the only one that I know of in our church of over 900 that covers there…If I can’t overcome my fear to cover in public worship when God asks me to, then how can He trust me to obey Him in bigger things?
  • Headcovering in Public Worship (Free Presbyterian Church)
    “In the Free Presbyterian Church we believe we should obey God rather than men–or women! That is why we follow the only custom on this matter that God ever established in His church–that men should not engage in public worship with their heads covered, and women should not do so without their heads being covered. To us this is no legal bondage but a joyful gospel testimony to the sole glory of Christ in His church.”
  • Should Christian women wear a headcovering at church? (The Free Press)
    “It would seem strange that Paul goes to these lengths to command the women to wear the headcovering if the external practice is of no importance whatsoever.”
  • Why Christian Women Cover Their Hair. (BibleStudy.net)
    “We have therefore seen a nearly universal practice, women covering their hair in churches, completely effaced over the course of, say, the past 50 years or so. In fact, the practice has gone so unpracticed, that when my own wife wore a covering over her hair in the church we attended almost 30 years ago, she was the ONLY woman in the church so doing.”
Found an interesting link about head covering or biblical manhood/womanhood? Tell us about it here.

Headship and Its Symbols (Sermon)

Rev. William Klock: “Headship and Its Symbols”

Preacher: Rev. William Klock | Sermon Length: 37 min | Year preached: Oct 2009
The Rev’d William Klock is rector of Living Word Reformed Episcopal Church in Courtenay, British Columbia.  He has a Bachelor of Arts in History from Washington State University and a Master of Christian Studies in Old Testament and Biblical Languages from Regent College in Vancouver, B.C.  He has been ministering in the Reformed Episcopal Church since 2001 and in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada before that.  Preaching is one of his great passions, as is instilling a love for the Scriptures in God’s people and their ministers.  He is also a lover of classical, opera, and jazz music; swimming; books and reading; pipe smoking; and his wife, Veronica. William also blogs at “The Anglican Expositor“.
This sermon is EXCELLENT! In just over 35 minutes Rev. Klock gives an expositional overview of 1 Cor 11:2-16 while answering many objections and questions. He says that before preaching this message he was “reading for about 3 months to make sure [he] got the subject right”. When listening to this sermon, that preparedness is clearly evident.  This is biblical preaching at its finest–sound exegesis with pastoral sensitivity. We wholeheartedly commend this sermon to you and encourage you to share it with others.

>>> In addition to streaming this sermon above, you can also download it or read the transcript.

What About Men Like Samson Who Had Long Hair?

Head Covering Objections
The Objection: When Paul said that long hair on a man is disgraceful he must have being speaking about how it was viewed through the eyes of Corinthian culture. He couldn’t have been speaking about all men as those who took the Nazirite vow (like Samson) had long hair and that was approved by God.

Some object to the view that long hair should be worn only by women due to the fact that some men in the Bible had long hair too. Samson, a “Nazirite to God from the womb” (Judg 13:5) is one such example. His mother was told by an Angel of the LORD that “no razor shall come upon his head” (Judg 13:5). So if the Angel of the LORD told Samson’s mother that he was never to cut his hair, how can Paul say long hair on a man is disgraceful (1 Cor 11:14)? It’s a really good question. I believe this tension can be relieved by understanding that if God commands an exception for a specific purpose, it does not nullify the normal natural order. We can safely arrive at this harmonization by seeing God do this other times in the Scriptures. He has many times, for a specific purpose, told his people to do something that He is against. Let’s take a look at two such examples right now. Read more

Covering Testimony: Ashley Brown

Head Covering Testimonies
Name: Ashley BrownAge: 22Location: Long Island, New YorkStarted Covering: September 2013

Covering Testimony: Ashley Brown

1) Introduce yourself to our readers.

I’m 22 years old, born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Long Island.

My hobbies are writing music, playing piano, playing basketball, and doing anything fun. I’m an outgoing person- extremely open and maybe too friendly. I’m the kinda girl who basically knows everybody in the area I’m residing, but my actual friends are few. I really love The Lord so much and I’ve grown to the point where all I want to do is please Him and serve Him.

My family is absolutely awesome! We are a homeschooling family, my mom is super smart and super on fire for The Lord. My step dad is currently the worship leader at our church and he is loving, kind, gentle, and generous. I’m the middle child of seven and my siblings are my best friends.

I’ve always had a heart for missions, so this year I dedicated my time to doing my Father’s business out in China. It’s nothing special, just sharing the Word everywhere I go, leading by example, being set apart from worldly things and being ready to give an answer to all who ask of the faith I have. Nevertheless I know God has moved and changed me the most and I thank Him for that. Read more

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