1 cor 11:14

Steven R. Lo Vullo doulos at appleisp.net
Tue Sep 4 18:57:46 EDT 2001

on 9/4/01 10:18 AM, George Athas at gathas at ausisp.com wrote:

> I've recently been tossing up the same suggestions myself. I would perhaps go
> for
> "hair-do" rather than "plumed" (which sounds quite baroque). In the context,
> Paul is at
> pains to keep the distinction between men and women clear. One of the ways
> this is done is
> by the hair-do. "Long hair" doesn't sit right with me since in the Hebrew
> tradition, long
> hair was a sing of avowed devotion to God (Nazirite vow). I think Paul is
> saying that when
> a woman has a hair-do, it accentuates her femininity, but for a man to have a
> similar
> "hair-do" is a disgrace. I find it interesting that Paul doesn't opt for
> literally saying
> "long hair" (TRICES MAKRAI), but opts for the verb KOMAW.


This seems to clash quite loudly with much in the context. For example, Paul
PERIBOLAIOU DEDOTAI [AUTHi]. If we take KOMAW as something like "have a
hair-do," we have to ask ourselves in what sense and by whom a "hair-do" has
been given the woman as a covering.

First, it seems more than a little peculiar to speak of a "hair-do" (hH
KOMH) as having been "given for a covering" (ANTI PERIBOLAIOU DEDOTAI). A
"hair-do," of course, isn't given *for* a covering, since the hair already
covers the head and the "hairdresser" styles what is already there. Much
more natural to take KOMH as "hair."

Then there is the problem of who or what has given the woman the "hair-do"
(DEDOTAI). In vv. 14-15 Paul is arguing from "nature itself" (hH FUSIS AUTH,
v. 14). So it fits the context to conclude that hH KOMH has been given
(DEDOTAI) by nature (figuratively) or by God (cf. the only other occurrences
of DEDOTAI in Matt 13.11; 19.11; Mark 4.11; Luke 8.10). Certainly nature
didn't supply women with a hair-do! But it did supply them with hair. And
though the Corinthian church was quite charismatic, I doubt God was causing
hair-dos to spring up on women during worship! :-) But he did give them
hair. The only other alternative I can think of is that the "hair-do" was
given by the hairdresser, which seems inane.

Steve Lo Vullo
Madison, WI

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