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Mark Minnick on 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 (Sermon Series)

Head Covering Sermons

Preacher: Mark Minnick | Sermons: 8 | Year preached: March-June 2015  | Church: Mount Calvary Baptist Church

Dr. Mark Minnick

After completing an M.A. in Bible from Bob Jones University in May 1977, Mark was burdened to continue his education. While continuing to pastor a small church in North Carolina, he began pursuing a doctoral degree. During this time, he accepted a call from Mount Calvary Baptist Church (Greenville, SC) to serve as a part-time associate pastor along with then-Pastor Jesse Boyd, a man with 40 years of pastoral ministry experience whose influence on Mark had already been formative. Soon he began teaching full-time at BJU, eventually teaching both Bible and Homiletics on the undergraduate and graduate levels. After three additional years, he completed a PhD in New Testament Interpretation in 1983 with a dissertation on “The Matthean Genealogy and Birth Account of Jesus Christ.”

For the next five years, he taught full-time and faithfully assisted Pastor Boyd as one “who poured water on the hands of Elijah” (2 Kings 3:11). In May 1989, Pastor Boyd handed over to Mark the reins of the ministry of Mount Calvary Baptist Church. At this point, he greatly reduced his University teaching role and became the first full-time pastor in the church’s 27-year history.

Since that time, God has expanded Mark’s ministry and provided even broader opportunities of service for him. He and his wife, Linda, have raised three girls, two of whom are now married. Mark is not only a pastor to his congregation. He regularly visits international mission fields to aid and encourage missionaries, serves on the boards of Gospel Fellowship Association Missions and the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship, and serves as a member of The Committee on the Bible’s Text and Translation.

Mount Calvary Baptist Church
The Choir at Mount Calvary Baptist Church (where Mark serves as Pastor).

It’s difficult to put into words how grateful we are that Pastor Mark Minnick preached through this section of Scripture. He goes through this passage slowly and with great exegetical care. It truly is one of our favorite sermon series on this passage. It is a must hear series and I’m sure after you listen you’ll want to pass it on to others too.

Part 1 - The Church's Tradition of Headcovering and UncoveringDOWNLOADMarch 15/15
Part 2 - The Disgracing of Spiritual HeadshipDOWNLOADMarch 22/15
Part 3 - Harmonizing I Timothy 2 & I Corinthians 14DOWNLOADApril 12, 2015
Part 4 - Why Signify Headship Symbolically?DOWNLOADApril 19, 2015
Part 5 - Because of the AngelsDOWNLOADApril 26, 2015
Part 6 - Acknowledgements and Personal EvaluationDOWNLOADMay 24, 2015
Part 7 - Questions And ContentionsDOWNLOADMay 31, 2015
Part 8 - Questions and Answers About HeadcoveringsDOWNLOADJune 14, 2015

>>> As an alternative to downloading them individually, you can also get them all together as a ZIP file.



I’ve had the chance over the last couple of days to listen to these sermons (I know! I just have a job that doesn’t always require my full attention). I agree, they are very good. I especially like the graciousness Mark Minnick displayed toward those he disagreed with – though, as always, those he disagrees with might disagree 🙂

I particularly liked the way he dealt with the angels in verse 10. That is certainly the interpretation that I prefer – It is very true that angels are involved in the church and it makes my heart sing – but I’m not convinced that his interpretation is completely correct. The last two verses he appeals to, i.e. Eph 3:10 and 1 Cor 4:9, read far less like elect angels and far more like fallen angels (see especially the other two references in Ephesians to rule(rs) and authority(ies) in 1:21 and 6:12. See also 1 Cor 15:24). And the way 1 Cor 11:10 is phrased lends itself to a closer relationship to vv8-9 than he brings out. In other words, I still think there is a lot to be said for an interpretation that at least includes fallen angels.

But this isn’t really the place to hash that out. If you take anything away from this comment, let it be that this is a good series of sermons to listen to.

Kathy B Mast

I’ve listened to several of his sermons, and really appreciate his thoroughness. However, his emphasis that it is only for church services bothers me.
Since wearing our veils is such a beautiful testimony to a culture that is constantly blurring the lines between men and women, it seems that to only wear it for church services is sort of like hiding our light “under the bushel”. Why not speak the beautiful message more clearly and ‘loudly’ by wearing it ALL the time in public, and welcome the questions as a wonderful opportunity to speak of God’s order of headship and the beauty of submission!?! It IS counter-cultural, and can only be a witness for God’s teachings if it is seen!
Thanks for your work of encouraging women to follow God’s Word!

Joyce Ruhl

have yet to listen to this series… it’ll happen tho! But I’m sharing this is an observation for what it’s worth. To me (maybe my upbringing?) there’s something about a woman in the type of hats I see in the choir pict that looks ‘casual and dressed down’ to me. Sorry – it was the first thing I noticed. I get not doing fancy hats… (I’m not for that either as we’re simply creating a new ‘glory’). But why can’t we wear simple scarves? Or something less ‘outdoor winter fun’ looking in a church service? Something that looks ‘holy’ for a holy experience makes sense. May I plead that we not be afraid to be counter-cultural w/ our head coverings? And while I don’t believe it should be in just the church meeting we practice this teaching – it’s a good place to start! thanks to Mark for his faithfulness to the Word.

Jamie Carter

I would have preferred to have had gone through these one at a time, once each week – so that way I had an opportunity to go through each one and respond to it as well as think through them. I’ve been listening to them off and on, but there seems to be no end of noise and distraction. I will say that it sounds typical of the denomination in terms of style and emphasis. I guess I wonder if it still applies. Does the Holy Spirit want male headship and female submission to be the norm until the end of the world? That’s what it sounds like he’s saying.

Jeremy Gardiner

Much more crucial than the symbol, and you know how we feel about the symbol 🙂

Jamie Carter

So the former question holds true then – because gender is more crucial than the symbol, then male headship necessitates female submission.

Jeremy Gardiner

Yes. We believe both are Scriptural. See Ephesians 5:22 and Colossians 3:18.

Jamie Carter

Odd. I would expect with so much power and authority being given to young men, they would line up the churches aisles to tell all the young christian women what to do – but in every church I’ve been to, the women of all ages always outnumber the men. Why do you think they’re declining the offer to run the show?

Jeremy Gardiner

Young men don’t have an authority over young women. If she’s unmarried her father would be the chief authority figure in her life. If she’s married, her husband. We don’t believe all women must submit to all men, rather that all women are under male authority.

Jamie Carter

I’ve listened through three sermons and he consistently refers to male headship, not husband headship. Are you saying that male headship is a misnomer?

Jamie Carter

He says that this passage doesn’t differentiate between married people and single people. True enough, but it also doesn’t specify just married people or single people too. But buy pointing to the woman and the man at creation – doesn’t that suggest marriage between them? Does the passage really suggest that a single woman should wear a symbol of the authority of her father over her? By pointing to creation, there’s no parallel for that. There’s no stories about the authority Adam has over his daughters while they are unmarried. One point of view I’ve come across is that phrase ‘symbol of authority’ or ‘ power over’ actually means ‘she has the right (power / authority) over her own head to wear / not wear whatever she wants.’

Amy Unruh

But if she wore nothing, there would be no symbol of authority.

Jamie Carter

“symbol of” was actually added to the verse to make it clearer. Looking at Biblegateway.com the versions translate it to:

to have a power on/over her head – 6

have a covering/veil on her head – 5

have authority over/on her head – 4

have authority over her own head – 3

she is under authority – 5

a sign of her authority – 1

to have a symbol/sign of authority on her head – 14

to be having authority on her head – 3

she is under someone’s authority – 2

she is under her husband’s authority – 1

of man’s authority – 2

a veil of authority over her head – 1

shows she respects man – 1

to have [a token of] authority upon the head – 1

** Message paraphase, OJB doesn’t fit clearly into these categories

Most of the modern translations went with symbol/sign of authority, while most of the oldest translation chose power/authority on/over. There’s still the question of whose authority it is – hers? her husbands? man’s? So the better question is: if it doesn’t mean ‘symbol’ then what ought it to look like?

I like this translation: Por eso, la mujer debe ejercer control sobre su cabeza, para respeto a los ángeles. (Therefore, the woman should exercise control over her head, out of respect for the angels.) It just goes to show that a lot can be lost in translation from one language to the next and one millennium to another.

Jamie Carter

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Is it not the same sense used in this verse?

Jamie Carter

It looks good on paper, but in practice it gets confused. In youth groups, so long as the students were in middle school, the girls could lead the prayer. As soon as they were all in high school, the girls were forbidden from doing so. As future fathers, the boys were expected to ‘step up’ and as future mothers, the girls were instructed to ‘step down’. Such was the case in two of my former churches. Assuming God instructs a father to never marry off his daughter, what does that authority look like as she ages? When he dies, who is her authority?

Antonio & Jessica Roldan

So far, I’ve listened to the first five portions of this series, and I plan to finish it up between today and tomorrow. This lecture series is wonderful! I have enjoyed every second! It is the most thorough treatment of this passage in sermon form that I’ve yet heard. Thank you, Mr. Gardiner, for publishing this series on your site!
I agree with Pastor Mark Minnick when he points out that if we depend upon the commentaries for an accurate understanding of the 1 Cor. 11:1-16 passage we will soon be lost. One man says this, another man says that, and on and on it goes… What finally convinced me to cover my head was–the BIBLE. As in the time of the reformation, we must have as our motto SOLA SCRIPTURA. Scripture alone. So, the commentators can have their opinions and can say whatever they want. They may be highly educated men, and very respectable in character–BUT, they are, after all, just men. I find that the 1 Cor. 11:1-16 text is actually very straightforward and clear. There’s no need to go into all the complexities of “the culture of their day,” when it really comes down to it, because God gives His reasons plainly (though it is helpful to broaden our understanding of the historical context, certainly). I think we need to clear our vision of all our preconceptions and misconceptions, and then come back to this passage, and look at it with fresh eyes.
My motto for life is: WE MUST NOT INTERPRET THE BIBLE BASED UPON OUR EXPERIENCES, BUT WE MUST INTERPRET OUR EXPERIENCES BASED UPON THE BIBLE. Too many times, people will say, “But what about this situation, and what about that situation?” as if citing these “problematic” scenarios will disprove what the Bile clearly teaches, yet not seeing how they are applying a faulty hermeneutic: they are starting with experience, and then applying that to their understanding of what the Bible means, when instead, they should start with what the Bible clearly says, and use THAT to understand those situations. It is dangerous to start with experience in order to prove or disprove the Bible. How many cults and pseudo “Christian” sects do you know of that use this type of reasoning? Where has it lead them? Right, down a slippery slope which ends in chaos.
I love listening to sermons like these, NOT because I base my beliefs and practices upon them, BUT because they CONFIRM what I already know to be true from the Bible itself.


Jeremy Gardiner

Wonderful Jessica. So glad to hear you’re enjoying it 🙂 That’s encouraging.

Judith Batchelor

Really enjoyed this series. Not culture, but the creation order, nature and Angels, does Paul appeal to.

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