Saturday, May 06, 2006

1 Cor. 11:13-16

I have been persuaded that a literal examination of this passage is necessary. I am going to do this backwards because then it fits in with Ruud's most recent post. I am mixing in the Greek script so the font may look a little different.

Here are verses 13 to 16 in a literal translation. I will come back to the other verses later. But this should give some idea of the problems. There are no question marks in Greek manuscripts unfortunately.

    13 ἐν ὑμῖν αὐτοῖς κρίνατε πρέπον ἐστὶν γυναῖκα ἀκατακάλυπτον τῷ θεῷ προσεύχεσθαι
    for yourselves judge it is appropriate a woman uncovered to God to pray.

    14 οὐδὲ ἡ φύσις αὐτὴ διδάσκει ὑμᾶς ὅτι ἀνὴρ μὲν ἐὰν κομᾷ ἀτιμία αὐτῷ ἐστιν

    not nature itself teaches us that if man grows hair it is dishonouring to him

    15 γυνὴ δὲ ἐὰν κομᾷ δόξα αὐτῇ ἐστιν ὅτι ἡ κόμη ἀντὶ περιβολαίου δέδοται αὐτῇ
    if a woman grows hair it is a glory to her, that grown hair instead of a covering is given her

    16 εἰ δέ τις δοκεῖ φιλόνεικος εἶναι ἡμεῖς τοιαύτην συνήθειαν οὐκ ἔχομεν οὐδὲ αἱ ἐκκλησίαι τοῦ θεοῦ
    If anyone wants to be argumentative about this we do not have such as we have just discussed a custom neither the assemblies of God.
Now compare this to two different ISV translation. Here is the ISV version A.

    Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? Nature itself teaches you neither that it is disgraceful for a man to have long hair nor that hair is a woman's glory, for hair is given as a substitute for coverings. But if anyone wants to argue about this, we do not have any custom like this, nor do any of God's churches.
Here is ISV version B.
    It is proper for a woman to pray to God without head coverings. Nature in no way teaches on the one hand that if a man has hair it puts him to shame nor does it teach on the other that a woman's hair is her glory. All of this is true because hair is given as a substitute for man-made coverings. (1 Corintians 11:13-15 ISV)
I am not aware of which of these two is the final version of the ISV. However, it is more interesting than the traditional translations of this passage. I am aware that in this presentation it is taken from the context of the entire passage but this at least allows me to see how and why the ISV says what it does.

I hadn't intended such a thorough examination but I think I will have to follow through now, and reexamine the earlier parts of the passage and then the context of the book of 1 Corinthians. What was it all about anyway?

Maybe a few young men will take this opportunity to regrow their ponytails. Not that I would recommend it, but they should have the freedom to do so. Angels, being male, more often than not, shall we say, also enjoyed this freedom, long hair. Surely.

1 comment:

Matthew Celestine said...

I used to have long hair halfway down my back.

God Bless