Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 14, 1952
NUMBER 40, PAGE 14-15

Hats Or Hair -- No. 2

W. S. Thompson, Sylacauga, Alabama

Nature Of The Covering

Because many are so confused further means of ascertaining the nature of the covering will here be given. I wish to do this in three steps: (1) By the direct affirmation of verse 15; (2) By showing the method or manner in which the covering is removed; (3) By showing the conditions of the woman whose covering is removed.

(1) Verse 15—"But if a woman have LONG HAIR it is a glory to her: FOR HER HAIR IS GIVEN HER FOR A COVERING." Irrespective of whatever may be contended regarding other coverings, one thing that cannot be denied is, that HER HAIR IS GIVEN HER FOR A COVERING. The woman that has her hair has her covering; or else, her hair doesn't do for her what the apostle Paul says it is given her to do. Again, it matters not what other coverings she may put on, her hair is still her covering. Neither does it matter what other coverings she may pull off, her hair is still her covering. When she has her hair, she has her glory, FOR IT IS GIVEN HER FOR A COVERING. I wonder, in what other way one might think of a woman's hair being a glory to her, if it is not in that it is her covering? By the same means a man's hair (long hair) is a shame to him, in that it covers his head. Or, will LONG HAIR do more for a man than LONG HAIR will for a woman?

Regardless of what any one may contend about other coverings, all will admit that the HAIR IS A COVERING. It was given her for that expressed purpose. To deny that the HAIR IS A COVERING is to do so at the peril of opposing the plain and emphatic statement of the apostle Paul. The very best that can be done by the "hatters" in this respect is to admit this and try to find occasion for the artificial covering in some other part of these scriptures.

(2) In order to show the import of the writings here, it is well to note something regarding the nature of VERBS. As all who are students of the English language can see, the only NOUN used in these verses under consideration that can possibly apply to the object, agency or article to be used in covering the head is the HAIR. IF there is another NOUN used, what is it?

Since the HAIR is the only object, agency or article named, it is certain that no other be shown by SCRIPTURAL NAME. The best then that can be done, is to INFER, as the exponents of the hat theory strive to do, that the NATURE OF THE COVERING is implied in the VERB, "COVERED." This is absolutely faulty and shows very poor logic by any who so contend.

VERBS only denote ACTION, CONDITION or STATE OF BEING. Simple verbs never denote OBJECT, AGENCY OR ARTICLES used in the action or things that are acted upon. These may be IMPLIED on the basis of past experiences, and then they VARY as the experiences of the addresser or the addressee may differ. Note these examples:

a. The word PLOWED neither denotes the thing that is plowed nor the manner in which the action is wrought. Well, suppose the OBJECT is named, "THE SOIL," still no hint as to the manner of the action, unless it be by inference or suggestion on the basis of past experiences and then these suggestions may vary as much as the experiences of those concerned. To one it might suggest cultivating the soil with a tractor and gang discs; to another turning the soil with a Georgia-stock. If the object is not named, the word PLOWED might well suggest to the carpenter the act of furrowing or condition of a piece of FURROWED WOOD.

b. Let us next analyze the word COVERED. The word by itself can neither denote the THING covered nor the nature of the COVERING. But suppose we name the thing, WOMAN; still no hint as to WHAT she is covered with, except by some additional description of STATE or CONDITION of the woman. The verb COVERED could as easily denote TAR, FEATHERS, DIRT, GREASE or anything else as it does CLOTHING. But suppose the ARTICLE, OR OBJECT, OR AGENT is named; then there is absolutely no room for dissent as to what the covering is. Let us see again, suppose another verb is used in connection with the verb COVERED, "SHEAR," now here is where the past experiences come in. If one were to use the two words, SHEAR, COVERING, no one would conceive of the covering as being TAR, the right word here would be SCRAPE. Dirt and grease are not SHEARED off persons. The verb here would, according to experiences, be wash.

Now, let us make the application, if a woman be UNCOVERED, what part of the woman? The HEAD. With what is she UNCOVERED? Some other VERB or ADVERB must describe it. What is it? LET HER BE SHORN. Now, according to YOUR past experiences, what do you conceive of as being SHORN OFF A WOMAN'S HEAD? Is it her HAT or her HAIR?

When we speak of a thing being UNCOVERED we merely state or denote the condition of the thing. This may be because it has either never had a covering, or has had the covering removed. If some one should report to you that a neighbor's house was unroofed (UNCOVERED) by a storm, it would certainly not suggest to you the nature of the substance removed, unless you knew the house and what it was covered with. You might imagine that it was plank, straw, tile, tin, or even a glass roof; until the type of covering is stipulated; then your imaginations and speculations would be gone. Suppose he should tell you that the house was covered with redwood shingles, the term UNCOVERED is now no longer generic, but is specific. To you the term UNCOVERED no longer denotes the removal of just any kind of covering; it now denotes specifically the removal of REDWOOD SHINGLE covering.

The same is true with respect to a woman's covering. When it is reported that a woman is UNCOVERED it merely denotes the condition of the woman. But when the COVERING is stipulated, ("her hair is given her for a covering"), then the term UNCOVERED no longer denotes just any kind of covering. But denotes the condition of a woman where the covering (material) that has been stipulated has been removed. If it be stipulated that she was or is covered with a plastic hood, then UNCOVERED would mean the plastic hood removed. If it be stipulated that "her hair is given her for a covering," then UNCOVERED must mean her hair has been removed. The term uncovered simply states a condition until the nature of the covering is specified; then it denotes the absence of the covering named or specified. Surely any one can see that.

c. Let us now observe the word VEILED. What does it tell about the object that is to be veiled or the materials to be used in the act of veiling? Suppose we name the part, THE HEAD: Still nothing about the agency or materials to use. But when we use the word UNVEILED and connect with it the word SHORN or SHAVEN, and apply all these terms to the woman, whose experience would suggest to him that some artificial covering was the thing used in the VEILING or UNVEILING?

(3) The CONDITION of an object is the prime determiner of the agencies, or articles, or materials under consideration in the use of VERBS. The word UNCOVERED without some other modifier would never suggest the article or agency REMOVED. But when the word SHORN or SHAVEN is used to describe the conditions of the UNCOVERED WOMAN, there is no doubt about the nature of the thing that has been removed.

IF IT BE A SHAME FOR A WOMAN TO BE SHORN OR SHAVEN, can any one fail to see the condition of the woman? For example—in the use of the terms SHORN or SHAVEN, past experiences would associate the idea of removing the HAIR, and never, without some modifier, suggest articles of clothing or headdress.

Now, if her head be shorn or shaven, or for other reasons her hair does not cover her head, she needs to COVER HER HEAD. But this would apply only to those whose heads were exposed. Any one can see this. But the advocates of the HATS insist that ALL WOMEN SHOULD WEAR HATS IN CHURCH.

Condition Of Heads

The apostle Paul specifically states the conditions that are to characterize the heads of men and women in prayer. He gives the reason for these prevailing characteristics. They are: The man is to be UNCOVERED. The reason: He is the image of God. The woman is to be COVERED. The reason: She is the glory of man. (V. 7)

Seeing then, that the condition of the heads of the man and the woman are to be exactly opposite one of the other, we could well understand that whatever, whether hat, (Long Hair) or both, would be too much for a man. He ought to UNCOVER his head. If he could do this simply by removing his hat—well and good. But, if on removing his hat, his head is still covered (LONG HAIR), he must remove that also. The woman ought to have her head COVERED. Whatever will cover it is enough. Paul says her hair was given her FOR A COVERING. Will any one deny that Paul knew what he was doing when he wrote this? Her head is covered. Just as the man's head is covered when he has long hair. That is all she needs. But if she be SHORN or SHAVEN, she needs to COVER her head. Now, some one may ask, brother Thompson, have you not already ruled out all other coverings? If the only other covering is the hair, does it not exclude all other coverings? The answers aren't both NO. I said that HAIR WAS THE ONLY NOUN used in the passage that referred to the kind of covering. Then with what should she be covered? I answer: That since Paul has not told us, then we are left to our own judgment in the matter. But it should surely be something of sufficient quality, size and proportions that will CONCEAL; COVER the EXPOSED PART OF THE HEAD. God knows that the STYLE of HATS worn by the women of this and previous generations ARE NEITHER COVERINGS NOR VEILS. Yet we have SMART PREACHERS going about asserting that A WOMAN MUST HAVE SOMETHING ON HER HEAD IF IT BE NO BIGGER THAN A HALF-DOLLAR. Talk is cheap. But where is the AUTHORITY? Any one with the intellect of a moron would know that I have the same right and the same authority to demand that a woman must be covered with BURLAP FOUR YARDS LONG AND THREE YARDS WIDE, as they have to make such a statement.

A Woman Ought To Have Her Head Covered.


MAN with LONG HAIR plus a HAT (ordinary man's hat) equals COVERED.

WOMAN with LONG HAIR plus HAT (ordinary style) equals COVERED.

If man removes his hat (LONG HAIR REMAINS) still COVERED. Does not nature itself teach you this? It is a shame. Cut it off.

If woman removes her hat (LONG HAIR REMAINS) still COVERED. Does not nature teach you this? It is her glory, her COVERING.