Chrysostom And Epiphanius: Long Hair Prohibited As Covering In 1 Corinthians 11:4, 7 -- By: A. Philip Brown II

Journal: Bulletin for Biblical Research
Volume: BBR 23:3 (NA 2013)
Article: Chrysostom And Epiphanius: Long Hair Prohibited As Covering In 1 Corinthians 11:4, 7
Author: A. Philip Brown II


Chrysostom And Epiphanius:
Long Hair Prohibited As Covering In 1 Corinthians 11:4, 7

A. Philip Brown II

God’s Bible School And College

Recent surveys of extrabiblical Hellenistic literature by Ben Witherington III and Preston Massey claim that κατὰ κεφαλῆς ἔχων in 1 Cor 11:4 necessarily refers to the wearing of a material head covering. This essay argues (1) that these surveys misread the extrabiblical data, (2) that examples of κόμη as the object of ἔχω highlight the viability of taking κόμη as the implied object of ἔχων in 1 Cor 11:4, (3) that two significant church fathers understood the covering to which Paul refers to be or include κόμη, and (4) that data in the context of 1 Cor 11:2-16 better supports understanding κόμη as the covering Paul has in mind.

Key Words: κατὰ κεφαλῆς, κόμη, covering, hair, Epiphanius, Chrysostom

πᾶς ἀνὴρ προσευχόμενος ἢ προφητεύων κατὰ κεφαλῆς ἔχων καταισχύνει τὴν κεφαλὴν αὐτοῦ. . . .

Ἀνὴρ μὲν γὰρ οὐκ ὀφείλει κατακαλύπτεσθαι τὴν κεφαλὴν εἰκὼν καὶ δόξα θεοῦ ὑπάρχων·

1 Corinthians 11:4, 7

A survey of extant church fathers’ interpretations of 1 Cor 11:4 and 7 exposes two significant interpreters, Chrysostom and Epiphanius, who diverged from the standard “the-covering-is-a-veil” consensus into closer alignment with an emerging modern consensus: the covering is hair.1 This

essay critiques two recent surveys of extrabiblical Hellenistic data regarding κατὰ κεφαλῆς ἔχων by Ben Witherington III and Preston Massey2 and explores what is known of Epiphanius’s and Chrysostom’s understanding of 1 Cor 11:4 and 7.

An Anal...
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