Who does not cherish heritage or tradition passed on through generations?

The subject matter here is about “women’s veiling”.

Assumedly, practice of women’s veiling past tests through changes in the Middle Ages. Some traditions were stopped or canceled but this veiling tradition was carried on.

Mennonite Confession of Faith 1963 mentions the women's veiling but the 1995 edition does not. Because the practice was a Greek/Roman cultural issue it was interpreted as if Paul said: Don't appear on the streets without ‘veil’ looking like a prostitute!"

This understanding is also accepted by Mennonite Church USA.

Dr. Metzger said: “Christianity was born in Galilee but raised in the Roman field”.

This is a very interesting statement in that we all think Christian traditions were only carried on by Early Roman Churches not passing on Roman cultures.

(Dr. Metzger, kindly and graciously, wrote the foreword to my first book, “Bible Versions in Focus”).

You will learn how the Roman priestess’ Vestal Virgins practice of head covering got transferred as Christian, Nun, tradition by bishop of Milan, Ambrose.

I started to write this book with two purposes. The first is about women’s veiling and second is about Clement of Alexandria. But you do not see anything about Clement in this book, because I decided to publish a separate book title, “Clement of Alexandria, Tools for Stromata and Excerpta ex Theodoto.”

In the process, I was curious how philosophy affected Roman thought and how Roman history and religious background affected Roman Christianity.

            Secondary, check Paul’s epistle, First Corinthians Chapter Eleven.

Dr. Metzger mentioned in his book, Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament,

“The presumed meaning of the difficult ‘power’ in this passage is given by the explanatory gloss ‘a veil’.” He listed several names, Valentinians, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Jerome and Augustine. Dr. Metzger did not share with me the books that have the information. That is something I have to find for myself but all the pages involved have been listed in this book so they will be available for you to view.

It seemed to be, Valentinus started that change. It went from the word ‘power’ to ‘veil’.

Irenaeus recorded what Valentinus said and Tertullian followed. Tertullian did not approve Valentinian but Tertullian used Valentinian’s change. Here is what Tertullian said about Valentinian:

"Valentinus had expected to become a bishop, because he was an able man both in genius and eloquence. Being indignant, however, that another obtained the dignity by reason of a claim which confessor ship had given him, he broke with the church of the true faith. Just like those (restless) spirits which, when roused by ambition, are usually inflamed with the desire of revenge, he applied himself with all his might to exterminate the truth; and finding the clue of a certain old opinion, he marked out a path for himself with the subtlety of a serpent."[1]

Basically, from Early Roman Church to 16th century, the pulpit speaker reads from the Latin Vulgate, women have to have a veil on their head. Who is to doubt that statement by hearing it more than a thousand years over and over?

You might ask, if some of the reformers could read Greek and Hebrew, why could they not spot any problem?  Actually, there were not many full texts available, and besides that, they could only establish the idea of the words ‘power’ and ‘veil’ were interchangeable.

Reformer like Martin Luther died 1546 A.D. The printing machine was developed, and printed the first version of Latin Vulgate in 1590 A.D. In this text, word ‘veil’ was used in First Corinthians 11:10. So, most reformers were reading this verse with ‘women to have veil.’ There was no reason to ask differently.

But on second printing in 1592 A.D., there were many changes made. One of them was to change the word from ‘veil’ to ‘power.’ It’s unknown if there was any alarm.

You might notice Paul’s drastic action before writing the First Epistle to the Corinthians. Because of his vow at the Cenchrea, Paul shaved his head.

We can contrast what head covering meant for the Romans and Jews or God in this book to the vow from the book of Numbers chapter 6.

Verse 5:           "cherishing the long hair of the head”

Verse 7:           "because the vow of God is upon him on his head”

Verse 19:         "he has shaved off his holy hair” (actually “vow” instead of  “hair,” in the original language)

Paul said in his epistle first Corinthians 11:10:

            “The woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head.”

From Numbers, we understand that the “sign of authority” meant not the veil, but the long hair. Could that also be the meaning Paul is conveying in verse 10 of First Corinthians? The statement sounds like Numbers 6:7:

            "because the vow of God is upon him on his head”

Paul may be answering to Corinthians about the women’s “vow.”

[1] Tertullian, Against Valentinians, Chap. 4