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Why Head Coverings? Reason #2: Angels

Biblical Case for Head Coverings

“Paul’s admonition for women to wear a head covering ‘because of the angels’ removes any doubt that this teaching is universal and timeless.” – K.P. Yohannan (Founder, Gospel for Asia) 1) K.P. Yohannan – Head Coverings (2011, Believers Church Publications) Page 24

When it comes to verses that Christians admit they don’t understand, 1 Corinthians 11:10 tops most of our lists.

Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. (1 Cor 11:10 NASB)

The Apostle Paul just told us that we’re to practice head coverings because of the angels. So no matter what this verse means in its fullness, what we know we have is one of Paul’s reasons. This point can’t be stressed highly enough. We don’t seek to understand what this verse means and if we do “get it”, it will become a reason. Rather, because it is a reason we therefore seek to understand it. The difficulty to us is that Paul says this in passing without explaining what he meant. A likely reason for this is that the church in Corinth understood what Paul meant, therefore an explanation would be unnecessary. In his letter to the Thessalonians, he said that he had explained details about Christ’s Second Coming to them when he was with them (2 Thess 2:5). This too may be one of those doctrines that was articulated while in their presence.

Since this is a very short and vague verse, there’s no way we can know with absolute certainty what it means. However, there are many Scriptures about angels that I believe shed light on this passage. Through examining them we’re going to end up with two possible conclusions to explain this verse. Both conclusions could be right as they don’t contradict each other, but it may be only one that Paul had meant.

For Their Benefit

The purpose for head coverings is to provide a visual symbol to the gathered church. If angels are a reason why we obey this command, it presupposes that they must be watching us worship. Nothing else would make sense. So, one understanding of why we practice head coverings is so that we may rightly symbolize the created order to all present; both visible and invisible.

so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. (Eph 3:10 ESV)

These rulers and authorities are the angels of God (Col 1:16, 1 Pet 3:22). We see from this passage that what our Lord is doing through the church, shows to them how incredibly wise He is. Peter describes the angels as “longing to look” into what God is doing (1 Pet 1:12). They’re captivated by what God is doing and want to see more of it. I believe this is a desire that God would take pleasure in fulfilling. Allowing them to watch us worship could be one way of fulfilling that desire.

I love thinking about what the angels must be thinking, since they have such a unique perspective. The angels were the very first of God’s creation. We know they’ve seen all of history unfold as God told Job that the angels rejoiced watching Him make the world (Job 38:4-7).

They’ve spent their entire lives in the presence of a Holy and perfect God. They watched Him create a perfect world where there was no sin, death or suffering. Those concepts were unknown to them. Then one of their own, Satan, sins. God puts him and the angels who follow him out of His presence forever (Jude 6). No opportunities for repentance and no one to intercede of their behalf. The angels know that sin has a high cost.

Then as a repeat, the first couple God created also sins. However, there’s a twist in this storyline. God kills an animal in their place and promises them a redeemer. He then sets apart a group of these sinful humans to display His love and affection on. It culminates in God Himself entering the world in human flesh. He lives a perfect life and then lays it down as an unblemished sacrifice. The Father slaughters Him, the Lamb of God, so that ill-deserving children of the devil can be totally forgiven and adopted into His family. What a story! No wonder the angels long to look into this.

So now put yourself in their shoes as they watch the gathered people of God worship.

They see enemies of God now worshiping because they’re forgiven and redeemed. They see Jews and Gentiles worshiping together as members of one another in unity. They see males and females worshiping together as equals. On top of all that through head coverings our women show all present that their position as a woman is also redeemed. No longer are they at war usurping and longing for the mans position of authority (Gen 3:16). Instead they’re content in the role God ordained for them in Genesis 2.

The men likewise through their bare heads communicate that they will exercise authority in their respective roles. However, no longer will it be through domineering (Gen 3:16) or being passive like the first Adam. Their position as a man is also redeemed.

The angels with their jaws dropped must cry out as they watch this, “behold the manifold wisdom of God!”

Let’s not forget that as sinless beings they would be much more sensitive to sin. If we’re dishonorable & disgraceful from a human perspective (1 Cor 11:4-6), how must we look to angels if we disobey this command? If we don’t pray and prophesy as God said to, the only thing we may be symbolizing to them is the role distortion of Genesis 3!

For Our Benefit

Until now we’ve only looked at head coverings being a symbol for the angels benefit. That is to show them a picture of the created order from Genesis. However, it’s just as probable that this reason is for our benefit. The Scriptures not only portray angels as directly involved with our prayers (Rev 8:3-4). They also state that angels tell God whether or not we’re obeying. This understanding doesn’t have to contradict the first conclusion as there can be multiple reasons for why we practice this for the angels.

Let me show you something. On judgment day we have to give an account for everything that we’ve said (Matt 12:36) or done (1 Cor 3:13). So there must be a record being kept. Also there are verses that speak of ways our prayers are hindered such as neglecting the poor (Prov 21:13) and being a bad husband (1 Pet 3:7). Those are sins that must be observed, recorded and reported. Although it’s possible that God knows these events solely through his omniscience, I think Jesus teaches something else.

See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven. (Matt 18:10)

When a child is sinned against, God doesn’t just say “I know about it”. He says their angel comes before Him. The implication is that the angel would be reporting to God what had happened.

Let’s look at another verse.

I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism.” (1 Tim 5:21 ESV)

As Paul left Timothy with commands, he reminded him that what was ordered was done “in the presence of the elect angels”. It’s as if he was saying “the angels are witnesses of what I’ve commanded you and they’ll be watching.” Having this type of awareness that we’re being watched and held accountable is a great motive for our maximum effort and obedience. That is what I mean when I say this second reason is for our benefit. This understanding was also held by the “Prince of Preachers” Charles Spurgeon who said:

“The reason why our sisters appear in the House of God with their heads covered is ‘because of the angels.’ The apostle says that a woman is to have a covering upon her head because of the angels, since the angels are present in the assembly and they mark every act of indecorum, and therefore everything is to be conducted with decency and order in the presence of the angelic spirits.” 2) Charles Spurgeon – Spurgeon’s Sermons on Angels, (Kregel Academic, 1996), page 98.


So in summary, if God is primarily concerned with the angels benefit, then this reason means one or two things. It would be an appeal to not offend the angels by our disobedience or a command to accurately show them a picture of the created order. If on the other hand God is primarily concerned with our benefit, then this is a warning as a means of accountability. God would be graciously reminding us that the angels are watching us worship and bringing our prayers before Him (Rev 8:3-4). They will let Him know if we’re obeying this command or not.

Even if I’ve totally missed it on my explanation, the reason is still clear: we’re to obey “because of the angels”. A child can hypothesize why their dad asked them to do such-and-such a command, but the main point shouldn’t be missed. Despite the reason, both the command and the person who wants obedience is very clear.


 K.P. Yohannan – Head Coverings (2011, Believers Church Publications) Page 24
 Charles Spurgeon – Spurgeon’s Sermons on Angels, (Kregel Academic, 1996), page 98.

Jeremy Gardiner

Jeremy is the founder of the Head Covering Movement and the author of Head Covering: A Forgotten Christian Practice for Modern Times. He is a member of Fellowship Baptist Church and a student at Moody Bible Institute. He lives in Alberta, Canada with his wife and five young children. Jeremy is also the founder and operator of Gospel eBooks, a popular website that provides alerts for free and discounted Christian e-books.

Latest posts by Jeremy Gardiner (see all)

  • clarinetlaj

    GReat job!

  • Diana Johnston

    Absolutely! Whatever “because of the angels” means, there is one thing that is quite clear – angels aren’t “cultural”! It’s so odd how teachers gloss over that fact when teaching. “Um, um, um… that was just a cultural things, so let’s move on quickly.” But again, if “because of the angels” applied to the churches of old, it surely applies to us as well. Great article.

    • closetatheist

      The concept of angels is, in fact, VERY cultural. They are not mentioned in the original text of the OT but were an invention of the Greeks which were picked up by the early Christian church. The word for angel is only specifically used in the NT. Where it appears in the OT the actual Hebrew word used was “messenger” not angel. The word’s presence in the English version of the OT is a clear example of translators interpreting scripture instead of translating it.

      • Normal Education

        Actually, the Greek word “angel” (angelos) means “messenger” too. It acquired the special meaning, “a divine messenger”, in the New Testament. Or are you aware of any previous Greek usages with this sense?

        • closetatheist

          You’re right, I guess a more accurate way of explaining my point is that the word angelos didn’t acquire its current meaning until the time when the Greeks got a hold of the Bible, which was during the time of the NT. Either way, the word for messenger used in the OT did not denote the type of being that we currently associate with the word “angel”

  • Thank you so much! I once started to read a book on the subject of headcoverings, which I found to be very confusing, especially in this matter of “because of the angels.” But you’ve made it clear that we are to obey because of the angels, whether for our benefit, or theirs!

  • Jonathan Page

    Thanks for your explanation, however I believe “become of the angels” has a more spiritual and simple meaning. The apostle Paul is making a defense for the covering is surrounded by the creation order (God-Man-Woman). Hence, because of the angel is surrounded by the heavenly order(God-the Son-angels). The point may be because angels have their respective place under Christ ( Hebrews 2:1-8) women and men also should their respective places under Christ. Angels are in God’s presence always yet they do not share in the same glory as the Godhead. So I believe like their is a nature order there is also a heavenly order. This is seen also in the Revelation when John goes forth to bow before an angel and is rebuked for his actions (Rev. 22:8-9). Angels, who by God’s order and authority work, have a place even though they are in God’s presence. I think there is confusion about this text because of many errors in thinking by religious groups ie. Jehovah’s witnesses and Mormons.

  • loricaliforni

    This is very interesting – and definitely compelling scripture – but I just keep wondering if this is a “works” thing, like the prayer shawls and other “things” you see popping up in the emergent church movement. Or – because this is a quote from Paul, who made it clear that it is grace, not works that saves us – is this something altogether different? I will be praying on this and will continue to read here. This is definitely something to consider.

    • Thanks @loricaliforni:disqus , please allow me to clarify. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (John 14:15 ESV) and James said if we don’t have works, our faith is dead (James 2:17). The error comes in when we look to our works/obedience as a reason for our salvation or continued right-standing with God. We definitely don’t advocate that. Our salvation is gift apart from anything we’ve done.

      • loricaliforni

        Thank you for clarifying your thoughts on this. I will definitely continue reading and praying on this. It had a ring of truth for me – if that makes sense – when I first started reading the website.

        • Kimberly Neely

          In my understanding, obedience (whether to this, or communion, baptism, giving money) is not about how God views us (we are redeemed in His sight by Christ’s work) but how we see God, submit to His lordship, and are made more usable by His Spirit. If done with humility, through the leading of His Spirit, obedience produces growth in us, and fruit, Lord willing.

  • closetatheist

    So this must mean that the angels think that all the Muslim women who cover their heads are really being good Christians? What a confusing existence for them.
    I’m absolutely baffled that someone can take the nonsensical phrase “because of the angels,” admit that they have really no idea what it means, and then somehow string enough unsupported ideas together to think that they have made a strong argument for a practice that was prevalent in a time period when women were heavily oppressed and viewed as little more that property.

    • Koreafornian

      Where do you think the Muslims got it from? They got it from the Jewish and Christian woman before them. Christian women were covering their heads for over 1800 years w/out controversy. The Angels not only watch our worship, they also listen to it and would know the difference between the prayers of Muslim women and the prayers of Christian women.

      • closetatheist

        so then you concede that the angels really do not use head coverings to recognize true Christians…that his point is utter bullsh!t?
        Also, similar customs can develop in separate cultures independently of each other, the didn’t necessary “get” the custom from someone else. However, what all of the “head covering cultures” do seem to have in common is the expectation that women be submissive, subservient, and without the right to teach and often to learn. Men in these cultures are believed to have the right to dominate the women around them.

        • Koreafornian

          The Muslim tradition of head covering did NOT develop independently of Jewish and Christian culture. Any Muslim will tell you that they inherited the custom of women covering their heads from the Jews and Christians.

          We don’t know exactly how God clothes the Angels/Messengers but Scripture gives us some clues:

          Ezekiel 28:13 describes an Angelic being, most likely Lucifer aka Satan in his pre-sin state in this manner, “You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created.”

          We also read God’s instructions to Moses about design for the Ark of the Covenant this way. Ex. 25:17-21 says, “And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy shall tree make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat seating their wings,and their faces shall look to one another; towards the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark shall be the testimony that I give them.”

          In Isaiah 6:1-2 we read that when angels enter God’s presence, they cover their splendor and glory so that only God’s glory shines. When women come to worship with other believers, we aren’t supposed to be there to glorify ourselves, but Christ. We cover our glory so only the glory of Christ is preeminent, just as the Angels cover their glory when they approach God’s throne because God’s glory should be preeminent.

          Women in their head coverings are NOT imitating the dress code of the Angels but are actually imitating the function of the Angels. There are Angels in heaven who carry the duty of praising Him and covering the source of their glory and when women cover their hair in church, they are covering their glory, too.

          • closetatheist

            If you knew anything about the culture in which the Bible was written you’d know that its far more likely that the head covering rule was given out to women because people generally believed that angels were capable of being seduced by women. Thus, when women came to the Temple, the place where angels chilled, they were not to tempt the fallible beings into either seducing the women or being seduced themselves (didn’t wanna repeat the Nephilim debacle). This baloney you’ve made up by sampling random portions of scripture is simply unsubstantiated.

          • Koreafornian

            1 Cor. 11 doesn’t mention Nephilim. That is your conjecture. Paul also never mentions Corinthian culture, prostitution or Roman culture as a reason for women to wear a headcovering. Both of your positions are unsubstantiated.

        • Mark

          Wherever the Bible has had moral influence in society, human rights of all types have had freedom to flourish. Weak troll dude.

          • closetatheist

            History must be very confusing for you if you believe that the Bible has only been responsible for the advancement of morality and freedom. I mean, there’s the ”big” things like witch trials, torture of dissenters, and the inquisition. Plus, the Israelites supposedly slaughtered entire nations of men, women, and children, inspiring subsequent generations of Bible thumpers to feel justified in doing the same; genocide is clearly not an advancement of human rights. Plus, there’s whole chapters condoning the owning of other humans, which, I think, isn’t exactly allowing ”freedom to flourish.”
            Then there’s “littler” things like Biblically based restrictions on what you can eat, wear, or who one can be friends with or marry. The Bible has inspired censorship, (probably of many of the ideas that you believe today) quarreling among families, and the suppression of new thoughts about everything from theology to what the surface of the moon may look like. I don’t even have time to go into the many specific restrictions placed on women. Or how about incredibly harsh punishments, often to be enacted on a victim nonetheless, which range from stoning, to cutting off a hand, to ostracizing. Not to mention, Yahweh polices people for mere thought crimes. Yeah, sounds like epitome of humanitarian ideals to me.

          • Amy Unruh

            I think it is clear that you are taking quite a lot out of context. Let’s just take a few examples here. People act of their own free will, so anyone “inspired” to commit genocide not commanded by the Lord is acting on their own and “inspired” by Satan, not God. They are also breaking one of the ten commandments. God commanding the Israelites to kill entire people groups used to really bother me. It still kinda does, but one of the things pointed out is that they were corrupting those around them, committing many evils (these are the kinds of people that sacrificed babies to idols) and most likely many of them carried sexually transmitted diseases (as many of their sins were sexual in nature). God is not willing that any should perish, so the decision for Him to take a life is not an easy one. We should never try to put ourselves in God’s shoes.
            Let’s address your idea that the Bible inspires censorship. Now, in your eyes that is a bad thing, but in the eyes of someone influenced negatively to turn from God for a time by something as simple as a book, especially when their life took many heartbreaking and negative turns, censorship can be seen as a good thing. Let’s use the example of a child. Would you or do you censor the things your child reads and watches? This is the idea behind censorship. We are God’s children, and He knows the kinds of things that can lead us astray and cause us to be hurt and to hurt others.
            As far as censoring theology and what the moon looks like, I’ve never heard anything of the sort. You might want to provide some examples.
            Show me where God condones owning others and we’ll see if you have your context right. Please remember that the Bible is full of history of people doing wrong, and just because it was done in the Bible, it does not mean that God condoned it. All of the ills done to women in the Bible were done by men who had strayed from the Word of the Lord. Lest you think women had no power whatsoever, take a look at Deborah, Lois, Priscilla; Mary, the mother of Jesus; and Mary Magdalene. If you do not understand why I list these women, you don’t know your Bible well enough to criticize and condemn and entire faith based on your understanding.
            Let’s look at not being able to eat or drink certain things. While we are at it, let’s look at being commanded not to weave wool and linen together, just to really look at those ridiculous Bible commandments.
            Recent studies shows the idea of clean and unclean animals was far more than spiritual. Every single animal reported in the Bible as unclean was tested against human blood. Each one showed toxic to human blood. Whereas clean animals were not toxic to human blood.
            And linen and wool. Besides one perhaps wearing faster than the other or shrinking while another does not, thus making the garment not last longer, wool and linen are the only two fabrics that have been scientifically shown to have healing properties. Both measure at 5000, while the human body is 100. 100 is the frequency of organic cotton. Rayon is 15, the same as a diseased human body. Polyester is 50. Conventional cotton is 75. Everything under a 100 is draining to the human body. However, the frequencies of wool and linen move in opposite directions, thus canceling each other out. So, perhaps you can see why God would command that these two be separate.
            And mandates on who you can befriend or marry? Please tell me you would have no problem with your child being friends with a bunch of people who are swingers and want to video her having sex with all of them and put it up on the internet? Because I don’t buy it. Those restrictions are for our own good, to keep us away from bad influences. As far as marrying, the same thing applies. These people can pull you away from the Lord and get you into things that would be very hurtful.
            I had a friend befriend the wrong kind of people. Before she returned to the Lord, she’d broken her covenant promise of waiting until marriage for intimacy, broken her engagement, contracted a sexual disease, had gotten into one abusive relationship (a guy who put her in the hospital for months. He almost killed her. He also drained her bank account and ruined her credit) and one abusive marriage (he also beat her up pretty badly) and was fired from her job, maligned in the newspaper, and had a police investigation, all because of some questionable photos with she and her “friends” on Facebook and because some kids violated her privacy and got into private pictures on her phone and sent them to friends.
            Now she is following the Lord again and is in a wonderful marriage, has the child she dreamed of for so long, and is doing very well.
            Never, never, never take lightly the things that God commands.

        • Amy Unruh

          Actually, women had more power than most people think. And it’s pretty clear that there is a lot of different ideas when it comes to head covering, but let’s remember one thing … women covered until quite recently in history. Women’s long hair was given her for a glory. Because of the angels? I believe it was because the angels covered their glory in the presence of the Lord. So we also should, if we have long hair. There’s a teacher of the Torah who believes that the phrase about men not covering is a mistranslation. He believes, based on the Greek, that men were not to wear a woman’s headcovering, otherwise why would the priests have been commanded to wear headcoverings? Also, long hair was apparently not a disgrace. It was the plaiting and decoration of hair. That makes sense to me. After all, Nazarites were forbidden to cut their hair. How could it have then been a disgrace? Man is the glory of God, so it would make sense that he too should cover his glory in the presence of the Lord.

  • Amy Bowman

    I am hoping to lend some clarity to the “because of angels” phrase. The fallen angels/nephilim procreated with women because they were awed by their beauty, hair, etc. Unfortunately sola scriptura/evangelical teachings seem to have missed this and only focus on the Corinthians passage.

    • Vueiy

      When I read that phrase, that was exactly what popped into my mind. My husband pointed out that it most likely was a matter of authority and a visual showing of that, but I think it might be both.

    • Isaac

      Just like every other Head Covering Movement in history, once women start putting an extra covering on their head they become super spiritual and start teaching men. It’s so interesting how many wife disobey their husband by putting on a covering, when they say it’s a symbol of submission. What’s more important the symbol or the act.

      • Koreafornian

        If Scripture clearly teaches that a wife is to wear a head-covering in the congregation but her husband forbids it, than the woman is to obey God and not her husband. A wife is to submit to her husband, only so far as he is submitting to Christ. If a husband is telling his wife to disobey Christ, then she is not being a good wife to go along in her husband’s disobedience.

        • Isaac

          so then which is more important to obey

          Efe 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto YOUR OWN HUSBANDS, as unto the Lord.

          Efe 5:23 For the HUSBAND IS THE HEAD OF THE WIFE, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

          Efe 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to THEIR OWN HUSANDS in every thing.

          Wives are very specifically told to be submitted to their own husbands. It doesn’t say women be submitted to men. imagine the confusion which man would you believe, which man would you obey. You can’t obey them all.

          Co 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

          1Co 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.

          1Co 14:35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

          Isn’t that interesting the WORD OF GOD says let them ask their husband at home. It doesn’t say let them ask their pastor after service. Do we believe the bible or not. So if the pastor says you women need to put on an extra covering over the one God made, and your husband says no I believe your hair is your covering. what do you do? the scripture is clear on this matter. So now we’re left with a dilemma, IF(AND IT’S A BIG IF) God is asking women to put on an extra covering and he’s also asking women to ask their husbands if they have questions and are to submit to their own husbands. You can’t possibly obey both which do you obey. When the Isrealites were given the LAW they could not keep all the laws, keeping the law of circumcision 1 out 7 times meant breaking the law of the Sabbath. What were they required to do, they couldn’t keep both so they needed to discern which was the more important law. Now judge for yourselves which of these NT commandments to obey, which is mentioned more often by more writers with more clarity.

          • Isaac

            Col 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

            Now the word of God also says “as it fit in the Lord”

            Now we need to understand what is fit in the Lord. If your husband asks you to have an abortion, don’t obey him that’s murder. If he asks you to do something that would harm your children or put them in danger (I’m not talking about an earned discipline) don’t obey him “love your children”. But can anyone honestly say that you should disobey your husband by putting on a symbol of submission (let him/her that has ears to hear, hear how foolish and contradictory that sounds).

            1Ti 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

            1Ti 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

            1Ti 2:13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

            1Ti 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

            So women when your husband doesn’t agree with you or your pastor on this one get out your bible show him the verses, teach him what they really mean and put him in his place. Just ignore what Paul tells Timothy to teach the women, He was probably getting older, maybe alseimers was kicking in by now. Or strengthen your marriage by telling your husband, “You and I are one and I’ll stand by my man, I’ll pray that God gives you wisdom on this matter, and what ever you decide I will receive it as from the Lord.

            Women if you disagree with your husband who’s deceived.

            Tit 2:4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

            Tit 2:5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

            So if your husband asks you not to wear a covering, don’t blaspheme the WORD OF GOD.

            1Pe 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;

            1Pe 3:2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

            1Pe 3:3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

            1Pe 3:4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

            1Pe 3:5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

            1Pe 3:6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

            Even if you have an unbelieving husband, how can you win him? Oh I know by standing your ground, upholding the truth, not compromising, by telling him I obey GOD not man,or by proving your obedience to him by disobeying him. that’ll win him!! atleast if we would lean on our own understanding, or we could trust that God knows better and win him by obeying 1Peter3:1-6.

          • Lord willing we’ll tackle this question in our next article on Wednesday. Writing it now.

          • Koreafornian

            By your logic, Isaac, if my husband said, “Honey we’re short on money and I need you to prostitute yourself to make income for our household” than I must obey my husband rather than obey God’s word which says that a woman should never commit adultery. God never puts the husband authority above the authority of His own Torah. EVER!

          • Isaac

            that’s NOT EVEN WORTHY OF A RESPONSE.

          • Koreafornian

            I’m just taking your train of thought to its logical conclusion because you seem to want to pick and choose which parts of the Bible are “fit in the Lord” and therefore applicable on all people and which ones husbands can abrogate on a whim.

          • David Pendleton

            So, what I’m picking up by your comparison here, is that if a husband asks his wife to not wear a piece of fabric on her head that would be the SAME THING (or at least similar in your mind) as a husband asking his wife to prostitute herself to make income for the household? Is that what you are saying?

          • Kimberly Neely

            I cover, and my husband agrees with it, but if he did not agree, I would not wear it without his consent. I would petition him about it, however, especially for worship. There are times when he likes me to go without the covering (date nights, for example), and I comply with his request.

          • Isaac

            God bless you, Glorify God and stand by your man.

          • AngellwasHere

            …and hence, the problem with legality. God looks on the heart. If you feel led to wear a covering, wear it. If not, you’re not wrong. That’s my take. “The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them” (Romans 14:3, NIV).

          • Hi @GodsRichGirl:disqus, in the following article we asked the question, is head covering Christian liberty? We did that by examining Romans 14 (which you just quoted). We laid out 5 reasons why it can’t be classified as that. For your consideration: http://www.headcoveringmovement.com/articles/is-head-covering-christian-liberty-or-a-command

      • Carlos

        if i understood your comment right… ive personally never seen or heard of what you have just described in your comment… my question is, how is disobeying what God says more important then what we define as being more important. Obeying God is an ACT and also submitting is an ACT, i believe both ACTS go together

      • Mike in Manila

        Isaac: First off, my wife has worn a head covering since her youth (not just for worship but all the time except in bed) so this does not seem like a new movement at all to me. I grew up in a church where women wore head coverings and so did my wife. We have been missionaries with an interdenominational mission here in the Philippines for the past 15 years. None of our coworkers or converts wear coverings. Before coming here we attended churches where no one except my wife wore a prayer veiling. Though we are convinced the head covering is Biblical, neither I nor my wife has ever taught or even tried to convince anyone that they should adopt this practice. Even with our own daughters we have opted to let the Holy Spirit use the Word of God to bring conviction. Neither of our daughters has decided to wear a covering … yet. All this to say I have never seen wearing a head covering as something only “super spiritual” women do. And I have never seen this at all as a step toward women teaching men. I was wondering if you could present some examples from history where this has been the case? The history in my church denomination would be exactly the opposite. And even if that were true it would not be adequate grounds for saying this should not be practiced. I also don’t know of any wives who disobey their husbands by putting on a covering. Why would a husband disallow his wife to do something she had a conviction to do? That doesn’t sound like the kind of thing a loving husband would do. Looking at these verses, certainly a husband could see that a woman may understand them to be literal and something she should practice. Why would he forbid her from following what she sincerely believed she should do? Could he have a Biblical conviction that wearing a head covering was sinful? And yet he would ask her to do something she believed for herself was sinful? I would say a man who asks his wife to go against what she considers a Biblical mandate is not listening to and loving his wife as he should be. You can choose to focus on the wife’s disobedience to her husband but I think maybe you should also examine the husband’s love for his wife and respect for her Faith.

    • Melissa Bishop

      Yes because of nephilim but also angels are not omniscient. A head covering shows a woman’s authority to good, and bad, angels for the purpose of ministering or defense.

  • Melissa Bishop

    I think it is interesting that in one sentence you write;’there’s no way we can know with absolute certainty what it means.’ And then in the next paragraph you make an absolute statement. ‘Nothing else would make sense.’ Then you go on to give more than one reason. Some consistency is necessary here. Either there is one or more explanation, or there is not.

    Some articles I have read see the part of, ‘because of the angels’ to mean that since angels are not omniscient, a head covering is a sing of authority the woman has, and to whom she belongs. A sign to fallen angels to leave her alone and not harass her, a sign of her authority over them, and a sign to the angels of God that she is to be ministered to and she has authority to direct the angels of God in their ministry to those around them by assigning them as needed. To the angels, the head covering is a crown of authority on the woman’s head. It is a powerful tool for her to use in spiritual warfare as well as for worship.

    • “Nothing else would makes sense” is a statement directed at the angels “watching us worship”.
      “there’s no way we can know with absolute certainty” is a statement regarding the reason we’re to do it “because of the angels”.

      • Isaac

        Brother I know by now you’re probably trying to ignore me, that’s fine aslong as you don’t ignore GOD. But again your using so many different translations to prove your points. the word of God never says “SYMBOL OF AUTHORITY” it says

        1Co 11:10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.


        From G1832 (in the sense of ability); privilege, that is, (subjectively) force, capacity, competency, freedom, or (objectively) mastery (concretely magistrate, superhuman, potentate, token of control), delegated influence: – authority, jurisdiction, liberty, power, right, strength.
        The word Power comes from one Greek word that is translated in the King James Bible–authority, jurisdiction, liberty, power, right, and strength.
        the Greek word is used 103 times in the NT and it’s always translated into one word, so where did the translators get the right to translate this one “symbol of authority”.

      • zoecarlos

        May I share an experience regarding authority by women having their head covered. In a L.A.christian book store was a women speaking on a phone with much anointing and she had a napkin on her head. I asked her;”why the head covering?” and she said” us sisters tried to cast out demons and the demons would not obey us and we asked the demon””why do you not obey us”” and the demon said,””because you have no authority”” and so us sisters prayed and we asked God, why we have no authority and God said because you do not cover your head” and with anointing she said” now when we pray to cast out demons they obey us”. I a man have experiences casting out demons in Jesus name and they obey and come out. People even scream and say”their tearing me up inside” and then the demon/s come out and there is peace inside the person. God Bless You

  • This is a very clear explanation that really speaks to my heart—thank you for taking the time to write it!

  • Tony M.

    HaHa..sorry, but I still don’t think we have a correct answer to the question about head coverings. Not sure this will go over well with many women today if told they had to wear such things, However, not quite as bad as asking men to be circumcised 🙂

    • Vueiy

      How is either one bad?

      • Tony M.

        Do I need to explain the circumcision part ? I don’t see many women today wearing head coverings in church. Not bad, just not practiced. By the way…cute baby!!

        • Vueiy

          Thank you (in reference to my baby)! If by the circumcision, you meant being circumcised to show you’re a believer (when previously you were not circumcised), then I think I get it.

          I myself wear a head covering whenever praying or prophesying (haven’t done any of the latter, though, lol), and a friend of mine has recently started doing the same. I agree that most women don’t and probably won’t do it, but at the same time, I don’t think there’s a scriptural way out of it (like “my hair is my ‘covering'” etc.).

          • Tony M.

            LoL…I was referring to the pain of being circumcised at an older age as opposed to shortly after birth.

          • Kimberly Neely

            I believe the prophesying mentioned is simply speaking the Lord’s mind, whether in teaching, discussing scriptures, etc. Prophesying isn’t limited to telling the future, or revealing new truths. So I’m sure you have done the latter. 🙂

        • Joanie

          Interesting that head coverings of various kinds (hats, veils, chaplets, scarfs) were almost universally worn to church by women everywhere until the late 1960″s early 1970″s. I was brought up in eastern Orthodox and Catholic churches- no female ever came to church with their heads covered. I recall being given a kleenex to put on my head when I forgot to bring a covering! Photos of churches from the 1920″s-40″s- a sea of hats. Not just in the western world, either. churches around the globe.

          Think back to what belched out of hell during the late 1960″s? drugs, sex, rock-and-roll (I am a baby boomer and reveled in it all). Rebellion. Crazy immorality. The ‘freedom’ to do whatever. In the churches that freedom led to uncovering of heads by women and men wearing ball caps and scarfs/bandanas even on the platform of church.

          Just a parallel observation.

  • Mrs. W

    I believe there is good evidence that the phrase “because of the angels” is actually referring to the elders/pastors who minister within the congregation. The greek word translated as “angel” in this text literally means “messenger”. This same word for messenger is also translated as angels in Revelation 2.

    I find it compelling that Christ is speaking directly to the “angels” of the church in the Rev 2 passage. The natural reading of the verses leads to an understanding that Jesus is speaking to particular pastors/elders of real local churches. The Lord praises these elders but also rebukes them, holding them accountable for the spiritual condition of their congregations. He even goes so far as to say that if they fail to repent, Christ will “remove their lampstand” from them – i.e., Jesus as the Chief Shepherd will withdraw these churches from the leadership of the under-shepherds. To say that the messengers in Rev 2 refer to angelic beings presents many problems and does not harmonize with the rest of the Bible. For example, there is no salvation for fallen angelic beings taught in scripture and no verse that teaches that good angels can now rebel. They were given a one-time choice at the same time that Lucifer fell amd the fallen angels were cast out permanently. Both fallen and unfallen angels are now eternally sealed in that state. Therefore, if the messengers in Rev 2 is angelic beings, how can they be confronted for sinning and then commanded to repent? That does not seem to fit with the rest of what scripture clearly teaches about angels.

    I completely understand that Ephesians teaches that angels are intently observing what Christ is doing in the church and we should consider that our salvation is a matter of great interest to them, resulting in praise to the glory of the grace of God. However, the overall context is very clear in Eph that Paul is speaking about angelic creatures – there are several indications that he is not simply talking about messengers. There is nothing in the context of 1 Cor 11 or Rev 2 that would lead to an understanding of angelic beings – especially when the context fits with the more general use of the word messenger.

    I believe the scripture teaches from the Rev 2 passage and the 1 Cor 11 passage, that the head-covering is an outward sign to the pastors/elders in a local assembly communicating that the woman involved in “praying/prophesying” is operating under the headship/authority of her husband in doing so.

    • Mike in Manila

      I can sort of see your point that angelos might not be referring to supernatural beings but how do you make the jump from messenger to elder? Is it translated anywhere else that way?

  • Hugo

    Jeremy Gardiner, I utterly agree, but I have a dilemma. I think Rev. 8:3-4 is not talking about us. According to I Thessalonians 4, we are already with Christ by the time Rev. 4-5 is taking place. If that is correct, then Rev. 5:8 and 8:3-4 are not referring to us, but to the Tribulation saints. On the other hand, if the angels do present OUR (Today’s Christian’s) prayers, wouldn’t that be in conflict with the fact that we pray to the Father in the name of the Son (John 4:14)? (Considering that Jesus presents our prayer to God as our High Priest) I would really like to know what you think about this.

  • Bishop Samuel Sagoe-Nkansah

    This theological discourse on head covering like all others before has a major flaw. Despite the fact that, it is authentically apostolic its relevance does not extend to the larger Judeo-Christian culture. According to the Apostle Paul, a word cannot be established until it is supported by two or three witnesses. For this reason, we cannot find female head covering both within the Old and New Testament within the context of spiritual worship. The question though is; why will the apostle instruct the Church along these lines when the generic Church culture does not indicate support for such a theological position?

    • “According to the Apostle Paul, a word cannot be established until it is supported by two or three witnesses.”

      Samuel, the context of that passage is the need for there to be multiple witnesses in “charging” someone with sin, not establishing a “word” of Scripture. It’s helpful to read that passage in it’s immediate context (2 Corinthians 12:21-13:2). It’s also in line with what Paul taught in 1 Tim 5:19 (“Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses.”)

      Here’s an article we wrote that dealt with this argument in more depth (see the heading “Only Mentioned Once”: http://www.headcoveringmovement.com/articles/is-head-covering-majoring-in-the-minors-is-it-a-distraction

  • Stephen.J.Morgan

    I’m with Mellisa Bishop. I’ve also seen the head covering relating to when the fallen angels, the ‘watchers’ took themselves women. 2 Peter 2:4 (ESV) For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgement; also Jude 6. Maybe they could only take the women who where not covered hence protected. I know scripture says these angels have been bound in chains, but could this also be part of the warning “because of the angels” meaning the fallen ones?

  • Angela Rays

    I had been reading about the angels that fell from heaven to be with human women. It says in the book of Enoch that they lusted after the women and that they liked their long hair. I wonder if this is also the purpose the Paul is wanting woman to cover their heads during prayer and worship. Perhaps not to tempt or attract the angels as well as show their reverence to God and His desired order. Paul speaks of prophesy and prayer and worship time having the head covered. Personally I have learned something about this in my own life. God called me to write a book on prophesies, dreams and messages He gave me for America and other nations. But every time I began, I prayed just before writing and surrendered all my thoughts to God, even so, I met with many a spiritual fight such as tornados, forests fires, a tree falling toward me, floods, family troubles, neighbors, you name it, the battle ensued. God then led me to buy a Jewish Tallit from Israel, He told me to wear this prayer shawl over my head while I am praying and writing. I did not understand this at the time but I did obey Him. The first time I did the sun broke through the trees and shone directly onto my pen and the paper I was writing on!! I know this was a sign that God was pleased with me. I later found that it showed the devil and spiritual forces in the heavenlies that I belonged to God and that I am covered and protected and that these forces cannot stop me from my calling! Soon afterward I saw God hold back the storms from me and intruders chased away from my home area, etc and there was peace. His work was finally able to be carried out in my life. The prayer shawl has no power in it , it is the symbol and visibility to the spiritual world that God desired with my particular calling. I don’t think Paul meant that women always have to cover their head, just only during prayers and prophesying and worship and of course any time God would want. In my case, my writing is prophetic.

    • Delighty Ebenezer

      You are exactly right Angela
      Angels did fall for beauty of women as per Genisis 6
      1corinthians11:15 states hair as beauty of women
      Angels don’t have redemption if they sin
      So in order to cover up beauty of women and to avoid it tempting angels women are to cover their head during worship or cut their hair short
      Worship time is when Angels walk around busy completing their duty

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