Paul says: "But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the ecclesias of God" ( v. 16), therefore the matter of hats should be left to individual judgment without attempting to establish a uniform ecclesial practice.
- The A.V. translation of this verse has contributed to the problem. "We have no such custom" is inconsistent with the context. Is it reasonable that the Apostle, after setting out the relationship between God, His Son, man and woman, the divine design in creation and the angels, would conclude on such a casual, "take it or leave it" basis?
- Other translations harmonize with the context and re move the ambiguity as to the meaning of the Apostle's words:
- ---- "If anyone is disposed to be contentious, we recognize no other practice, nor do the ecclesias of God" ( R.S.V.).
- ---- "Now if anyone is disposed to be argumentative and contentious about this, we hold to and recognize no other custom (in worship) than this, nor do the ecclesias of God generally." ( Amplified New Testament) .
- ---- "If anyone presumes to raise objections on this point - well, I acknowledge no other mode of worship, neither do the ecclesias of God" ( Moffatt's, (10) 'The Bible: A New Translation') .
- The word "contentious" means "a lover of strife". (11) It is fruitless to attempt to persuade a lover of dispute by reasoning. The only recourse is to argue on the basis of authority. The argumentative must know that only one practice was recognized among the ecclesias ---- that the sisters come to the assembly with covered heads. In addition, this ecclesial practice had the full support of the other apostles.(12)
10. See also Weymouth's The New Testament in Modern Speech: the N.E.B.; The Twentieth Century New Testament ( 1902 l.
11. Greek: "philoneikos", "fond of strife, i.e. disputatious" (Stg).
12. The "we" in verse 16 may relate to Paul's travel companions but more likely to the other apostles (see 1 Cor. 9:5; 2 Cor. 12:18, 19; 1 Cor. 4:9-13).