01. Hair or head covering, breeches, robes and dresses?

Hair or head covering, breeches, robes, dresses? Greek ‘katakalupto’ = ‘hanging down, completely covers;’ ‘peribolaion’ = ‘cast on or thrown around like a coat.’

“I choose head covering and dresses” – Tina

Hair or head covering, breeches, robes and dresses – Tina’s viewpoint

This Bible study is based on 1 Corinthians 11:3-16, KJV

Is hair the covering?

During a Bible study I stumbled across these Scriptures. I had never read these Scriptures before and I had to find out what was meant by …“if a woman prays with her head uncovered she dishonors her head.”

I began by asking my friends what their interpretations of this Scripture were. I also wrote letters to several popular ministries. “Hair is the covering,” became the consistent reply.

I prayed about this and the more I prayed the less hair is the covering made sense to me. If hair is the covering then why aren’t men shaved bald? I asked myself and others. After all, hair is hair no matter how long it is or who’s head it is on! How can hair be a covering for a woman but not be a covering for a man?

No one could answer these questions with any kind of logic. The unsupported “Hair is the covering” continued to be the response.

When no one I asked to give me logical answers, I decided it was time to turn to the churches who taught about veiling. Men and women are equal in God s eyes, but God is a God of order. That being said this is what I have learned:

“For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered” verse 6.

The word covered in this verse is the word “katakalupto” which means something hanging down which completely covers. The word “also” is a clue that the hair is to be covered.

If hair is the only covering needed, a woman would never be uncovered: Therefore, it would never be necessary for the woman to cut her hair short.

“But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for [her] hair is given her for a covering” verse 15.

The word covering here is “peribolaion” which means “something cast on or thrown around like a coat.” This is a completely different word than in verse 6! This would mean that our hair would be removable:-) It seems to mean that the covering in this verse is a covering that can be put on and taken off. Hair can not be taken off and put on (at least not mine:-)).

“But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God” verse 16.

I am often confronted by it was just a custom in Corinth. My usual response is that Paul was probably addressing the fact that it was not the custom to go uncovered simply because he was just telling woman to be covered. Why would he have addressed the issue of covering in verses 3-15 otherwise?

For me this makes much more sense than the typical “Hair is the covering” response. This is why I choose to cover. Each woman has to decide for herself concerning the issue of covering.

Are breeches or pants proper attire for women?

“And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach: And they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they come in unto the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy [place]; that they bear not iniquity, and die: [it shall be] a statute for ever unto him and his seed after him” Exodus 28:42-43 KJV

I wear dresses 99% of the time because of the Scripture above. Through the ages, dresses are what women have worn.

During the time that men wore robes as well as the women, the men wore the breeches under their robes. Men would often times tie the robe under the girdles exposing the breeches. The women never did this.

Men, over time, discarded the robes but kept the breeches. The women continued to wear robes but over time changed the styles into what we now call dresses.


Next: Lois writes…

Tina came to us about two months after we started our email support group, and she became a leader in the group soon afterward. We appreciate her faithful service a a leader during our early years, 2000-2001. This 2-part Bible Study was written by Tina and Lois during those years.

Scripture taken from King James Version unless otherwise noted