I Corinthians 11:4 Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head.
The first thing that should be noted here is that Paul is not saying that men should not wear anything on their heads while in prayer or prophesying.
Uh, no that is clearly what he is saying.
Nope couldn’t be.
Paul is a Jew, taught the Scriptures from a young age, he knows that the priests wear turbans while in prayer in the Holy Temple. He also knows of the religious garment of a prayer shawl…he probably wore one himself. So He can’t be saying that men shouldn’t cover their heads. What could he be saying? I have heard that the men of Corinth were wearing veils like feminine head coverings. I have heard that the men had long hair and wore it like a female. I don’t know if any of those are true, but I do know that whatever Paul was telling them did not go against Torah or against the prayer traditions.
What I’m thinking at this point is I may never know what that “something” is that is on his head.
I Corinthians 11:5 But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved.
This verse is not as difficult to understand and yet, “Your hair is your covering.” is a common misinterpretation of this verse. But lets replace hair with the word cover and write it up again.
But every woman who has her hair cut short while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is the one and the same as the woman who has her hair cut short.
Now that doesn’t make any sense does it…A woman who has short hair is just like a woman who has short hair? Paul is clearly comparing a woman who has short hair to a woman who has her head uncovered.
The next misinterpretation we can deal with is that “her head uncovered” means a woman with long hair who has let it down. So lets go to the Greek. Is it hair or head? let down or uncovered?
The word in the Greek for head, kephale, we have seen before it means head, literally or figuratively. since we see Paul comparing a woman with shaven hair and a woman with a covered head we can tell by the context this means a literal head as opposed to her husband or Messiah. Just to drive the point home this word is translated every time it shows up as head, not hair.
I can’t imagine how one could let own their head, but let’s look at that Greek as well. The word is akatakalyptos, it means uncovered or unveiled. It is only used twice in the New Testament here in verse five and in verse 13.
So we can see in this verse that a woman should not pray with her head uncovered or with her hair cut short.