WOMEN AND THE ISSUE OF HEAD COVERING IN 1 CORINTHIANS 112 – 16 IMPLICATIONS FOR CHURCHES IN AROCHUKWU
The issue of female Christians covering their heads during worship has been a controversial thing. During the time of Paul, the controversy was there, and the Apostle handled it. Thereafter the matter was laid to rest until the middle of twentieth century when women in the West began the move for “women emancipation”. Since then, both Biblical scholars and preachers have been divided on the issue. While some insist on the practice of head covering, others condemn it, insisting that it is either a cultural issue or that the real covering is a woman’s hair. The interest and purpose of this work was to restore order and unity in the Body of Christ by discovering what head covering was all about, and the most appropriate way to apply it in this modern time. The method applied in achieving the purpose of this work was textual criticism in addition to a critical review of related materials in this field of study. Major findings made revealed that the practice of head covering in the Church by women is not cultural, and that a woman’s hair is not the veil Paul advocates for in 1 Corinthians 11:3-16. Instead, Paul is basing his argument on nature and on the universal practice of the Church, making the practice timeless. rFindings also unveiled that Paul is not just asking women to cover their heads, but, rather, to take a subordinate position to their male counterparts, symbolized by the use of veil. And in order to achieve Paul’s aim on this issue in Arochukwu, the cultural practices in the land that emphasize the subordinate position of women should be embraced and encouraged.