A Review of Brother Warnocks Reply
Leo B. Plyler
West Chester, Ohio
In this issue you find an article by brother Warnock, "A Reply to Brother Plyler's Review." Before observing this article I want to express thanks for the opportunity to discuss this subject by this media. We trust good will continue to come by this study as by the previous one.
I shall notice what brother Warnock said but we will also state what the Apostle Paul said. He began with a good question, asking, "Must a woman have something on her head in the public assembly of the church?" It would have been a good study had a diligent effort been made to answer that good question by the scriptures. There is no truth expounded by complaining about one's "letter" being "weighty and strong; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account," (2 Cor. 10:10) as some said of Paul.
First our brother states that I failed completely and totally to show four things. Is this his way of avoiding four questions I asked him? Notice them, brother Warnock did not. 1. Does he bind the Lord's Supper on Christians and baptism on aliens? 2. Is the subjection of woman to man and man to Christ binding today? 3. If the order of subjection is binding today, who loosed the badge, sign or symbol of subjection? 4. If the length of hair is relative, why isn't the size of the covering also? Instead of answering them he, though obligated as the one affirming, turns and says Brother Plyler failed as he did not do certain things. We will now answer him.
He says that I failed to show that, a "public assembly of the whole church is in 1 Cor. 11:1-16."- At any rate he surely knows he did not show it to be otherwise. I did cite many commentaries and translations showing that they understood it to be the public assembly. He also cites some commentaries then, says, "that neither commentaries nor parenthetical translations settle anything . . ." which is true and he did not produce the text to prove anything.
In his first article (Feb, 66) he said, "what Paul says in regard to the women being veiled is not applicable when the whole church comes together." He asserted that but produced no proof in his neither first nor last article to prove it. The only thing he could cite is what he says proves nothing. If the worship assembly is not what is meant, how could he object to a man having his head covered while in the worship assembly? He said, "The text says that a woman is to be veiled when praying or prophesying." That is right - the Bible says so. He again asserts, "The public assembly of the church is not in the text." If however, praying or prophesying is done in the public assembly, (and it is), it is in the text. Further he said, she "is to be veiled when praying or prophesying." That is what I am affirming.
But again, he says in view of I Cor. 14 that I Cor. 11:1-16 speaks of something other than the worship assembly. Grosheide is quoted who applies I Cor. 11:1-16 to "praying and prophesying (of women) in public rather than in the meeting of the congregation." According to this a woman could teach any number of women or men in the meeting house or elsewhere so long as it is not the worship assembly or "meetings of the congregation." Thus, that conclusion that a woman is to be silent in the church (I Cor. 14), but could or can pray and prophesy in "public," finds him running head on with I Tim. 2:12 who forbids women to teach or usurp authority over men. So instead of harmonizing the eleventh and fourteenth chapters of 1 Cor. he blunders by allowing women to pray and prophesy in "public."
I am asked to harmonize 1 Cor. 14:34 with 1 Cor. 11:1-16. -First, women are not forbidden to pray by I Cor. 14:34. Every Christian is to pray and in the assembly every time a brother leads prayer. Don't you teach every member to sing, give, commune and pray? What then is the difficulty here? If the prophesying means "teach," this each is to do in his or her place. If it means "foretell," such has ceased but we still pray. Does our brother have the word "hat" on his mind that keeps him from seeing this? McKnight, Barnes, Clark, Henry, Johnson, Jamieson-Fauset-Brown and Lipscomb all affirm that this applied to the worship assembly. Were they blind to I Cor. 14?
Second, he said, "I failed to show that all women in I Cor. 11 are obligated to wear a veil." Thus he asks, "Where do you get from the chapter brother Plyler that every woman was to wear a veil?" I get that from brother Paul, just as cited by brother Warnock, who said, "But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoreth her head . . ." Brother, Warnock, brother Paul said "EVERY WOMAN." Every Christian is to pray and every woman is to be covered while man is to be uncovered. Does that leave out any Christian woman? That is verse 5 of that chapter brother Warnock.
Third, brother Warnock seems to be so obsessed with the word "hat" that he wants to tag me with the word. Brethren, do not be unfair to men or disgraceful toward the scriptures by speaking in derision saying, "hat chapter ... .. hat question" or he is a "hat man." For some reason our brother arbitrarily uses the word and builds a case around it. Why not speak as the scriptures do and say what they say? Or is the word "hat" a playground to run around on? There are other coverings women wear and I know of no one who limits the covering to a "hat."
A STRANGE THING: It is strange that brother Warnock maintains no covering is necessary (he says "hat"), but spends a third of his time arguing about the size of what he says is not necessary? If all has been accomplished but learning the size of the covering, we are making progress, and then if we will read a copy of the New Testament we surely can find the answer. Or must we turn to something other than the N. T. to learn the will of God? If we must, to what and to whom shall we go; Christ has the words of eternal life.
Now as our brother is charitable, and contends that women do not wear a covering that hangs down sufficiently, let him tell us the size it must be or how far such must hang down! He has not yet, but will you not do so? Be specific since you maintain it is definite. The Holy Spirit was exact in stating the age of a widow indeed, 60 years old. Now will you state the inches the covering must hang down? The Holy Spirit did not state the size of the piece of bread we are to eat (I Con 11: 2 6) and I do not believe anyone needs brother Warnock or me to tell them the size. He speaks of "congregations that bind" but I have never seen anyone bind the size of the covering as he has done.
Our brother talks about the word "something" in Goodspeed's translation saying that it "takes in a lot of territory." Yes, if taken out of context it does. If one says get me something to drink, he does not include rocks, trees and shoes but only that which is drinkable. Goodspeed said, "That is why she ought to wear upon her head something to symbolize her subjection . . ." thus qualifying the "something" to that which symbolizes subjection. Having said, "That neither commentaries nor parenthetical translations settle anything," he quotes R. L. Whiteside and what others thought about him, and then says, "The preceding information should leave no doubt as to what the Apostle Paul meant concerning the woman's covering." Do~ the commentaries brother Warnock -quotes settle things? If he was including the Lexicons when he said there should be no doubt, it may well be true, for Thayer, Berry, Harper, Vine and Young said it means "cover," "wear a veil," "veil," cover fully," "cover up," and "cover oneself," whereas only Robertson and Robinson mention "hanging down." However, unless one is going to specify a certain length which the covering must hang down, which the Holy Spirit did not do, this does not suggest anything other than a covering.
Now noting his "hangs down" argument, it is clear that he contends the covering of 1 Cor. 11 is something other and more than a. "hat" for he makes no exception. We must accept what the Bible says (which is what the lexicons say) and "let her be covered," but we cannot bind the length to the ears, shoulders or waist. Surely whatever amounts to a covering on man will on woman also. Therefore if there is no "hat" that will qualify as a covering on woman, neither will it on man. (Katakalupto applies to man, vs. 7, as well as to woman, vs. 6.)
Katakalupto according to Thayer, Harper, Berry, Vine and Young means to "cover." This is the way the translations read, so we ask, are they mistranslations? Must we know Greek and the customs of nations 2,000 years ago to understand the New Testament? We want to notice Katakalupto again and see what it means. First, I talked to two Greek grammarians (One at the University of Cincinnati and the other at the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati) about this word. The man at the Hebrew College is "Professor of Bible and Hellenistic literature" and is a Hebrew grammarian as well as Greek. He said that Katakalupto means hanging down in the sense that "the wife covers the pot when cooking jelly." (Both men said it means "cover.") Second, we want to notice Num. 22:5, (There are other passages in the 0. T.) wherein the Hebrew word for cover is "Kasah." In the Greek translation of the O. T. (Septuagint) the word is "Katekalupse" which is the past tense of Katakalupto. The passage says concerning the Israelites, "they cover the face of the earth . . . Now according to brother Warnock the Israelites were "hanging down" from the face of the earth. No, the passage and the word simply mean "cover."
I submit here also what W. E. Vine in his Expository Dictionary says on "Unveiled" --"AKATAKALUPTOS, uncovered (a negative, katakalupto, to cover), is used in I Cor. 11:5, 13, RV 'Unveiled' with reference to the injunction forbidding women to be unveiled in a church gathering." (Notice he said in a church gathering.")"Whatever the character of the covering it is to be on her as a sign of authority" (v. 10), RV the meaning of which is indicated in v. 3 in the matter of headship, and the reasons for which are given in w. 7-9, and in the phrase "because of the angels," intimating their witness of Christ. The injunctions were neither Jewish, which required men to be veiled in prayer, nor Greek, by which men nor women were alike unveiled. The Apostles' instructions were "the commandment of the Lord" (14: 37) and were for all the churches (vv. 33, 34)." Brother Warnock, you made mention of Vine. How about what he said here?
Now with all that has been said concerning the size of the covering, if we were now agreed on the size, brother Warnock would not accept it as applicable today even if every sister wore one that sweeps the ground. He teaches the covering is useless, thinking that it passed either with miracles or custom --- he does not seem to know which.
Perhaps we should not be surprised that he says he does not "understand why bareheaded women aren't withdrawn from in the congregations that bind something artificial" What does lie mean by "bind"? FORCE OR TEACH? I know of no congregation that forces; the reader can decide who is "charitable." Then he needs to study his Bible more before he teaches on withdrawing. You might begin with two good articles in this magazine (Nov. and Dec., 1966 issues). People are not to be withdrawn from because they do not know the truth or because you are not sure of a text. Does he teach and practice withdrawing from those who do not agree with him on smoking, marriage, carnal warfare, and eating the Lord's Supper at night?
I certainly did not say he represented a drunk, rather that "his application and supposed contradiction" reminded me of two drunks. Concerning his motives and getting meetings, you can check the article I wrote (July 66) if you have any question. I said nothing concerning his getting meetings I spoke of Plyler's getting meetings. He does not get what I write any more accurately than he does what Paul said. If my pointing out his error was "poor taste" and "beneath the dignity of brethren in Christ," what of his doing what I pointed out? So many "kind" things were suggested about me that I have gone back several times to see if I really was so "nice."
STRONG LANGUAGE: We are told that those who teach "that women are to come into the assembly with hats on their heads or something other than a veil," are in the "position of altering, substituting and perverting what the Bible says." (ALTERING SUBSTITUTING - PERVERTING). But he says, "I know preachers who bold brother Plyler's position, yet are well received among brethren everywhere." Bro. Warnock, do you really know brethren who alter, substitute and pervert the Bible that are "well received among brethren everywhere?" I did not know our brethren had become so corrupt! Really charitable aren't you.
Now suppose Plyler did fail as brother Warnock said, does that prove what he affirms to be true? Did the Holy Spirit fail when He said, 1. "Every man praying or prophesying with his head covered dishonoreth . . .'" 2. "But every woman praying or prophesying with her head uncovered dishonoreth her head;" 3. "Let her be covered." 4. "For this cause ought the woman to have a sign of authority on her h4ead," 5. "Is it comely that a woman pray to God uncovered?" Did the Holy Spirit fail to show what man and woman must do and when?
The word "covering" in vs. 15 (speaking of the hair) is translated from PERIBOLAION which "lit. denotes something thrown around" (W. E. Vine). Will brother Warnock press for this meaning and contend that a woman must wrap her hair around her head for it to be a covering? (Thayer uses the word "wrapper"). Though the word may mean "wrap," surely this is not an exclusive meaning for Harper says on I Cor. 11:15, "a covering" (P. 318).
Mention is made of difference on "the covering" but let me point out that those who do not consider it necessary to wear such, are divided as to why it is, not necessary; whether there is one or two coverings, whether law or custom law to Corinth only, to all Christians but ceased with miracles or applied to something other than the worship assembly. There is no more reason for one position to hinder a brotherly relationship than for another. "We are 'brethren," therefore let us act and behave as brethren. Let us desire truth and unity of the Spirit, be kind one toward another and not even think - let alone suggest - withdrawing from a member who is trying to learn and do right even though we may not agree as yet. Let us pray for wisdom to speak and write only those things which are good for edifying and not destroying. May God help us to understand.
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XI: 8, pp. 10-13