Head coverings, or veils?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by FollowingHim, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. lutherangirl

    lutherangirl Well-Known Member Female


    I think you should discuss this will the gentleman who operates this website http://www.headcoveringmovement.com/ I don't remember if he brings ups the veiling of the face? I might have missed it if he did.
    julieb likes this.
  2. windblown

    windblown Well-Known Member Female

    Sorry, just throwing it out there..crossed my mind is all..not making a statement on it one way or another. :)

    @lutherangirl, I looked and looked on the HCMwebsite and found verrrry little. And especially after being schooled by Samuel in the 2 words for covering argument, I'm not sure I want to rely on Jeremy Gardiner for my theology anymore. ;)
  3. FollowingHim

    FollowingHim Administrator Staff Member Male

    I'm talking about covering the entire head including the face, keep that in mind. If a man has his face uncovered, he's uncovered, no need to shave the top of his head. If a woman is going to pray with her face uncovered she may as well have her head shaved too. This makes perfect sense to me. I am not sure why you're finding it confusing.

    Where it does get a little odd is with beards. If a man is to keep his face uncovered, so his entire head isn't covered, and he's not supposed to have long hair because then it could cover his entire head including his face - what about a beard? Isn't a beard a face covering? But clearly a man isn't being required to shave his face, obviously making that mandatory would clash with various other scriptures. And on consideration, looking at the bearded photo of myself on the left, a beard doesn't really cover that much of the face.

    Also, based on that photo, it would be impossible for me to grow enough hair to veil my face with, my head is permanently uncovered whether this is talking about the top of the head or the face. So regardless of the conclusion on hair, I'm in a good position! :)
  4. ZecAustin

    ZecAustin Esteemed Member Male

    No sir, if you're talking about having the whole head covered you are also talking about having the whole head uncovered. Half and half is for coffee not theology.
  5. FollowingHim

    FollowingHim Administrator Staff Member Male

    No, you have quite misunderstood me @ZecAustin. I'm not talking about uncovering the whole head. Please forget what you think I'm saying and let me explain again.

    The word "kata" appears to mean to completely cover. Taken literally, a man is not to completely cover his head.
    If there was food on the table that I did not want flies to get on, and I asked you to "completely cover" the food:
    - If you didn't put a cover on any part of it, it would not be "completely covered".
    - If you only put a cover over half of it, it still would not be "completely covered", the flies would still get in.
    - Only if you put a cover over the entire table is it "completely covered".
    If we were beekeepers, and I told you to put on your beekeeping suit so that it "completely covered" you, while you only put on the clothes and hat but did not put the face veil over, would you be "completely covered"? Or would you be partly uncovered and get stung? How much of the beekeeping suit do you need to put on to be "completely covered"?

    I am proposing that if the issue is about "completely covering" the head, then that includes a face veil. In fact, the veil may be the area of primary concern, because it's all about displaying or hiding someone who is the "image" of God, and the "image" may well refer first and foremost to the face. In this case:
    - A man with nothing on his head is not "completely covered", he's ok.
    - A man wearing a kippah or a tallit is also not "completely covered", you can still see his face, you can recognise who he is, he's also ok.
    - A man completely covering his head in a hat and veil, or with long hair falling over his face so his face cannot be seen, is "completely covered". You can't recognise him, he could be anyone. He is in the image of God, but that image is no longer displayed. This man is disobeying Paul's instructions.

    Now please re-read the thread, I think you have misunderstood me from the start and this is getting in the way of us discussing the issue, we've been talking at cross-purposes instead of discussing whether the interpretation I am suggesting here is actually scriptural.
  6. lutherangirl

    lutherangirl Well-Known Member Female

    @lutherangirl, I looked and looked on the HCMwebsite and found verrrry little. And especially after being schooled by Samuel in the 2 words for covering argument, I'm not sure I want to rely on Jeremy Gardiner for my theology anymore. ;)[/QUOTE]

    I just think it would be a great exchange between Jeremy and Samuel. I wonder if Jeremy would agree with Samuel's research regarding the veil?
    windblown likes this.
  7. windblown

    windblown Well-Known Member Female

    @lutherangirl Lol, there's no way he'd agree! But it would be interesting for sure.:D
    lutherangirl likes this.
  8. FollowingHim

    FollowingHim Administrator Staff Member Male

    I could get in contact with him sometime, it's a good suggestion. Could just point him to this thread and horrify him about what website it's on... :)

    Here's an interesting quote from Clement of Alexandria, "The Paedagogus (The Instructor)", around 200AD:
    Verifyveritas76 likes this.
  9. ZecAustin

    ZecAustin Esteemed Member Male

    I'm afraid I understand you quite well. That's what's worrying me. Your claim that a man's head is uncovered as long as his face is uncovered might hold up if you didn't then claim that women are covered as long as they're looking at the ground, which doesn't' cover their face. It certainly leaves their forehead exposed if nothing else. If being uncovered for a man means that some portion of the entirety of his head is visible then it stands to reason that for a woman to be covered then no portion of her head can be uncovered. No woman's hair covers the entirety of her head.

    Let's play this little game though. How much of a man's face has to be exposed to be considered uncovered? Does he just need eye slits? What if he adds a mouth hole to breathe through? Maybe he does just have to be recognizable. Does that mean he can wear more of a veil around family members because they can recognize him more easily? What if he's robbing a bank with pantyhose pulled over his head? Can he pray for deliverance during the ensuing gun fight? His face is visible but covered with the added complication that he's unrecognizable. I'm so confused. Where in scripture can we look for these clearly stated guidelines so that we may live in submission to God and not risk letting man's tradition become a stumbling block?

    If anyone tried to apply these tactics to marriage Law we would be coming unglued to condemn them. This isn't how God communicates. He doesn't appear to say one thing, that men should not cover their heads while they pray and that women should, when He means something completely different, that it's fine for men to have something on their heads when they pray and women don't need anything.

    II Peter 3:15-16 is very clear, there is great peril in Paul's writings. We've seen it here on this forum where a very strong and extremely intelligent and eloquent brother publicly renounced his faith and denied Christ after years of trying to minimize and explain away Paul's teachings that didn't line up with Talmudic and rabbinical traditions.

    I'm really frustrated with you on this issue because you're usually so logical and consistent. I have never seen you perform intellectual gymnastics to get around scripture before. I know I'm being very confrontational but your word is very respected and given a lot of weight, and rightly so, but with that comes a responsibility and I don't think this argument lives up to the very high bar you normally set in this regard.
  10. FollowingHim

    FollowingHim Administrator Staff Member Male

    Thankyou for pointing this out. I do not intend to come across like this. If I lack consistency here it is primarily due to the fact that I have not come to a final opinion on this issue myself, hence my presentation of various things I have come across in my studies, some being contradictory. I saw something interesting and decided to share it to get the thoughts of others. I don't intend to push a particular line of reasoning if it disagrees with scripture - but I am trying to explain in detail where my reasoning is coming from, in order to ensure that others can point out where I may have erred.
    I am not making any claims. I am making suggestions. I am not trying to rationalise Paul with the Talmud - I am very aware of the individual you speak of and that particular trap. However I strongly believe in the consistency of scripture, the more I study the more agreement I find rather than disagreement. I am trying to find the common ground between the requirement for the priests of the Mosaic covenant to wear things on their heads, and Paul's words instructing the "holy priesthood" of believers of the New covenant. And, on looking into that, I found that the word "cover" does not necessarily mean what we have always thought it means, a line of reasoning I felt interesting enough to raise for discussion.
    I'm not going to play that game because it's unprofitable. I could equally argue from the perspective of covering = hat "what if a motorcyclist is flying towards a tree, can he pray for salvation before dying or does he have to remove his helmet first?". Same "game", different perspective, equally unprofitable. We're not going to find a scriptural answer through sarcasm. Let's focus on the scripture instead.
    You are correct. God does not say one thing and mean the opposite. The plain meaning is generally the correct one.
    We do need to understand what the word "cover" actually means. It does appear to mean "completely cover" both head and face, that isn't just something I have made up but is the consistent statement of multiple reliable concordances and other sources. And that does cause me to pause to think "what is the plain meaning of the original Greek text?". Because I do agree with you, if we simply understand the plain meaning we're sorted. But the plain meaning of the Greek may not be the same as what we've always taken the English to mean.
    If "cover" does mean "completely cover the head", then my suggestion that a man may be able to wear something on his head that does not completely cover it is not at all contradictory to the plain words of Paul. It is obviously prudent to interpret this conservatively, and not wear anything on your head - but, if I am going to be as accurate as possible, I cannot see the Jewish kippah etc explicitly condemned as they do not appear to technically meet the full definition of "cover" in these verses. I don't intend to use them myself, but can't be confident that their use is condemned for others.
    On the other hand, you are correct that this probably does mean a woman should at least wear something on her head. If I were to come to the conclusion that nothing were required I would be going against Paul's plain words. And, based on the definition of "cover", that something may be supposed to be more extensive than we are usually comfortable with. Her hair does have a role, again I am certain that the statement that her hair is given to her for a covering does have a very plain meaning, that her hair does have a practical covering purpose, I believe to deny this is to ignore Paul's words and claim the truth is the opposite to what he says. However this role may possibly be only as a back-up option if she is caught with nothing else.
    The idea that the woman's covering may be more extensive than we generally take it to be bothers me as much as it will bother you, hence my continued investigations to find different ancient perspectives on the topic. However they all seem to be reinforcing this suggestion.
    I have not finished studying this nor come to a conclusion yet.
    aineo likes this.
  11. windblown

    windblown Well-Known Member Female

    How do you interpret the "for this reason she should have authority on her head" with many translations adding a "symbol of" before authority for clarity's sake? You can't literally have authority on your head. It is metaphorical, no? It is an outward symbol of submission to her husband. This is a big reason why we don't make it an issue of exactly what type of covering is worn.
    FollowingHim, aineo and ZecAustin like this.
  12. ZecAustin

    ZecAustin Esteemed Member Male

    This is all I needed to hear. Thank you. I am sorry if the sarcasm came across as a serious argument. I know that is not the way to approach scripture.

    You are completely correct that a woman's hair is significant and that the issue for some reason is troublesome. It's just a little convoluted. Especially when you start throwing heavenly messengers in there.

    It makes the most sense when I read it in the American Conservative Version but I fully admit that when you read the whole passage you can start getting as many questions as answers.

    So let me humble myself before you and say that if I stepped over the line it was from a place of respect. I believe your words will have a strong impact on people, as well they should.

    Thank you for your measured and thoughtful response. It was a perfect example of why you have the place of respect here that you do.
  13. Verifyveritas76

    Verifyveritas76 Moderator Staff Member Male

    Something i found very interesting. 1 Kings 19:13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?
    And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown downthine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seekmy life, to take it away.

    BTW. This is the same mantle that was shortly thereafter used to call Elisha and later on to give Elisha a double portion. Coincidence?
    windblown likes this.
  14. FollowingHim

    FollowingHim Administrator Staff Member Male

    That is very interesting. The Hebrew is quite clear that he did wrap his head up, completely covering himself with his mantle. This would have been the outer garment his fringes were attached to, what is now symbolised in the modern tallit. But he isn't using it as a tallit, rather he's completely wrapping up his face - presumably so he would not see YHWH. This parallels with Exodus 33:18-23, where Moses did not see YHWH's face, because he could not do so and live. However, in Elijah's case, he is taking the initiative to cover his own face to avoid this. We aren't told if what Elijah did was correct, but he wasn't criticised for it. His behaviour is strange in that it seems to contradict everything else mentioned above. Thanks for pointing it out.
    windblown likes this.
  15. steve

    steve Esteemed Member Male

    We don't know that Moses actually wore a veil.
    He was dealing with a problem, his face glowed.
    The "covering" for his face could just as easily been some form of makeup to mute the glow. I suggested this to someone and their response was "Of course, after all he was raised in Egypt!"
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  16. windblown

    windblown Well-Known Member Female

    Covering the face makes perfect sense to me in the OT. But the veil was torn with Jesus' death, and we now have direct access to God. Isn't it interesting that it was Moses and Elijah at Jesus' transfiguration when His face also glowed?

    I just perused Matthew yesterday looking for clues. A couple of interesting notes. Mt.6:17 Jesus' teaching on fasting says to "anoint thy head and wash thy face." This makes me think bare head as well as face...? 23:5 He calls out the scribes and Pharisees for making "broad their phylacteries." (a covering of the forehead?) And in the garden of Gethsemane, He prays face on the ground. (26:39)

    Whenever I read the word cover/covering in scripture I perk up and take note. It is one of the most fascinating biblical subjects to me, second to women's roles, that is. So many layers of meaning...
  17. FollowingHim

    FollowingHim Administrator Staff Member Male

    Exactly! Here we're only discussing one little symbol of something far more profound - the covering of protection, love and leadership a husband gives his wife, and that Christ gives the church. It's very easy to get distracted into debating what the symbol should be, and in so doing miss the reality. Like debating what Christian slogan bumper sticker to put on your car instead of having Christian conversation inside the car.
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  18. Verifyveritas76

    Verifyveritas76 Moderator Staff Member Male

    What is even more interesting is that in Hebrew culture, Moses and Elijah are the two friends of the Bridegroom responsible for getting everything ready for the wedding. Not sure if that has any meaning but it seems like these two are the only ones on Horeb covering their faces or having them covered before God.
  19. julieb

    julieb Women's Ministry Staff Member Female

    Thank you to everyone who participated in this thread. I found it very interesting and thought provoking.
  20. IshChayil

    IshChayil Esteemed Member Male

    Yes, this was what I wanted to mention. Paul is addressing the Pagan custom of covering their head with a veil before going to worship their idol.
    I think I read this in David Stern's commentary.