John Bengel Commentary - 1 Corinthians 11:5 - 11:5

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John Bengel Commentary - 1 Corinthians 11:5 - 11:5


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1Co 11:5. Πᾶσα δὲ γυνὴ, but every woman) δὲ, but, forms an epitasis [emphatic augmentation or addition]. In this whole passage the woman, especially the woman of Corinth, is principally admonished.-προσευχομένη ἢ προφητεύουσα, praying or prophesying) Therefore women are not altogether excluded from these duties; at least the Corinthian women did that, which, so far as it may be lawful, Paul at ch. 14. [34, 35] puts off, namely, to some suitable occasion distinct from the more solemn assembly.-ἀκατακαλύπτῳ, uncovered) nature demands a covering, but how far the forehead with the face, and the hinder part of the head, should be covered, is a matter left to the customs of the people. It is probable, that Jesus and His disciples had their heads covered according to the customs of the Israelites; whence the rule is not universal, and not more ancient than Paul. And there was παράδοσις, an ordinance, not a rule strictly so called, but a custom [institutum] eine Verordnung. A question arises here, what is to be thought concerning wigs? First, they do not seem to be considered as περιβόλαιον, or covering for the head, for they are an imitation of the hair, and where that is too thin, they supply the defect, and in the present day are sometimes quite necessary for the sake of health, and they no more veil the face, than every man’s own hair: and even if women were accustomed to wear wigs, they would not be considered as thereby sufficiently covered. Therefore the head of a man is scarcely more dishonoured by them, while he prays, than while he does not pray. The wig, however, especially one too long and bushy and having little resemblance to the natural hair, is in reality an adventitious thing, and originates in pride or at least in effeminacy either voluntary, or arising from a false necessity:-it was not so from the beginning, and it will not be so always. Paul, if we could now consult him, would, I believe, not compel those, who wear wigs to cast them off entirely; but he would teach those, at least, who have not begun to wear them, for ever to unlearn [avoid] them, as a thing unbecoming men, especially men engaging in prayer.-ἔστι, is) Such a woman does not differ from one, that has been shaved.