In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul instructs women that they are to wear a head covering when “praying or prophesying”. The Greek word behind “woman” is “gynē” and it can be translated as “woman” or “wife” depending on the context. While almost all English versions of the Bible 1) Examples include the NIV, NASB, KJV, NKJV, HCSB and NET versions translate gynē as “woman” in verses 2-16, the popular ESV version 2) The RSV also advocates this view by translating 1 Cor 11:3 as ‘the head of a woman is her husband' differs by translating some of the references as “wife”. This has led many to wonder if head covering is only applicable for those that are married. Behind the ESV’s translation decision, is an assumption that a woman wearing a head covering was a 1st century Roman symbol of being a matron (respectable married woman). It is our objective in this article to prove that Paul’s teaching on head covering is for all men and women, regardless of their marital status. Read more
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