Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Geneva Bible

This is 1 Corinthians 11:1 - 16 from the Geneva Bible. It is pretty straightforward, with nothing much added.

"Be ye followers of me, even as I am of Christ.
2 Now brethren, I commend you, that ye remember all my things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
3 But I will that ye know, that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the woman’s head, and God is Christ’s head.
4 Every man praying or prophesying having anything on his head, dishonoreth his head.
5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth bareheaded, dishonoreth her head, for it is even one very thing, as though she were shaven.
6 Therefore if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: and if it be shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
7 For a man ought not to cover his head, for as much as he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of the man.
8 For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man.
9 For the man was not created for the woman’s sake; but the woman for the man’s sake.
10 Therefore ought the woman to have power on her head, because of the Angels.
11 Nevertheless, neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man in the Lord.
12 For as the woman is of the man, so is the man also by the woman; but all things are of God.
13 Judge in yourselves, Is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?
14 Doeth not nature itself teach you, that if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a praise unto her, for her hair is given her for a covering. 16 But if any man lust to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the Churches of God."

And here are some of the original notes from the Geneva Bible.

verse 8
He proveth the inequality of the woman, by that which the man is the matter whereof woman was first made.

verse 10
(9) The conclusion: Women must be covered, to shew by this external sign their subjection.
(c) A covering which is a token of subjection.
(*) Something to cover her head in sign of subjection.
(10) What this meaneth, I do not yet understand.
(♣) To whom they also shew their dissolution, and not only to Christ.

verse 11
A digression which the Apostle useth, that which he spake of the superiority of men, and lower degree of women in consideration of the policy of the Church, should be so taken as though there were no measure of this inequality. Therefore he teacheth that men have in such sort the preeminence, that God made them not alone, but women also. And woman was so made of man, that men also are born by the means of women, and this ought to put them in mind to observe the degree of every sex in such sort, that mutual conjunction may be cherished.
(d) By the Lord.
(*) Who is author and maintainer of their mutual conjunction.
(♣) For as God made the woman of man, so now is man multiplied by the woman.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Sorry, I didn't proof read my first posting, please disregard it. I have rewritten it below:

Suzanne, having been in the Plymouth Brethren Assemblies myself and knowing you have too, how do you interpret the whole women's headcovering teaching? The PB were militant about it. I even remember years ago that a brother got up to speak and made all of the women who didn't have headcoverings on, go to the back of the room and take one of a box and put one on (they were little round doylies). Talk about embarassing!

Over the years, after leaving the PB, I have come to the conclusion that it has to be the conviction of the woman if she wants to wear one, yet I also see that verse 15 somewhat negates the entire concept of an external headcovering (i.e. via the woman's natural hair).

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts.


Suzanne McCarthy said...

Hi Michael,

I have done my best but I don't have any unique insights. I do remember once a preacher recounting as a cause for rejoicing that a certain assembly overseas had a box of square silk scarves by the door and the women took one as they entered. (This all seems a little distant from the Biblical context.) However, this was taken as a sign of conviction and earnestness and true conversion.