Source: Augustine – Letter 245. Translated by J.G. Cunningham. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. 1.Edited by Philip Schaff. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co.,1887.)
[Note: This is a response to pages 78-81 in Roman Wives, Roman Widows (Eerdmans, 2003) by Bruce Winter. The content appears under the heading “The Significance of the Veil in Marriage.” For part one of our response which deals with pages 81-83 (The Significance of the Removal of the Veil in Public) please click here.]
In Roman Wives, Roman Widows, Bruce Winter seeks to make a case that a woman wearing a veil communicated that she was married, faithful and modest. He begins his case by linking the veil to marriage through various historical sources. He mentions that Plutarch believed that “‘veiling the bride’, was in effect, the marriage ceremony” 1) Bruce Winter – Roman Wives, Roman Widows (Eerdmans, 2003) Page 78
and that “other writers in the early Empire confirm that the bride’s veil was an essential part of her apparel.”2) Ibid
Winter, by pointing out this evidence, seeks to convince the reader that the headcovering women were removing in 1 Corinthians 11 was their “marriage veil.” By taking it off they were identifying themselves as independent and immodest women.
The Connection between “Marriage” and the “Veil”
It would be helpful for us to now take a look at the original writings that Winter puts forth to support the connection between marriage and the veil. He references the writings of Plutarch, Juvenal and Tacitus. Read more
↑ Bruce Winter – Roman Wives, Roman Widows (Eerdmans, 2003) Page 78
1) Please introduce yourself and the church you pastor.
My name is Robin Bassam and I was born in London, England. I was saved in 1970 at the age of 25 in an Evangelical Free Church. In 1974 I received a call from the Lord to serve Him in Norway. I came to Norway in 1983 and served the Lord in Northern Norway for many years. Seven years ago we started Trondheim International Church, which is an English speaking non-denominational church. We started with about 12 friends and we have grown to between 35 and 40 Christian believers. Our church has members from England, Norway, Canada, Romania, the Ukraine, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Ghana and the Philippines.
2) Tell us how you came to believe that head covering is a timeless symbol for today.
I was saved in an Evangelical Free Church which was a Reformed Calvinist Church. The Pastor believed in Head Covering and about half the ladies wore a Head Covering (mainly hats). The first four or five churches I pastored had a number of ladies who covered their heads. Since then none of the churches I have pastored practiced Head Coverings. At Elim Bible College (a Pentecostal Bible College in England) I was involved in a debate on Head Covering from 1 Corinthians 11 where I found myself defending Head Covering. It was not a subject that gripped me but I found myself defending not Head Covering itself, but the right for a lady to choose to cover her head if she desires. Afterwards a number of ladies (not men) thanked me for defending their right to cover their heads if they chose to. I gradually came to see that 1 Corinthians 11 is very clear in its teaching. Any new convert reading it would take it as a timeless command of God for ladies to cover their heads in all public worship meetings. Read more