I have recently completed writing a book in which I attempt to see whether a structural analysis of 1 Cor. 11:2-16 can help us understand what Paul is teaching in this passage – in particular about the topic of women’s headcoverings when praying or prophesying in church.
I believe, as a result of this analysis together with other considerations, that Paul does indeed teach that women should wear a headcovering at these times, and moreover that his arguments are, in essence, theological and transcultural, and that they therefore still apply today, in contrast to a number of other interpretations of the passage that have been proposed in recent times. Whilst broadly supporting the traditional view, I nevertheless found myself, as a result of the analysis, unable to defend some traditional concomitant understandings of the passage – in particular the view that Paul is teaching here that the woman’s headcovering is a symbol of male authority. The passage nevertheless supports male headship – a thoroughly biblical idea!
The various chapters of the book can be accessed (in pdf format) by clicking on the links below. As always, I look forward to comments and corrections!
Categories: Chiastic and Other Structures, Corinthians, New Testament Exegesis, Uncategorized
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