Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 17, 1952
NUMBER 49, PAGE 2,3b

Hats Or Hair

John T. Lewis

In the Gospel Guardian February 7, 1952, February 14, and February 21, 1952, brother W. S. Thompson, of Sylacauga, Alabama, had three articles under the above heading. His articles are the most ignorant, ludicrous, blasphemous, and contemptuous burlesque ever written on the sacred writings, especially on 1 Cor. 11:3-16. Of course brother Thompson, in his naive egotism, thought he was blasting "some preachers and teachers in colleges," who teach what Paul taught in 1 Cor. 11:3-16.

In his three articles, brother Thompson used such elegant phrases as "the hatters," "the exponents of the HATS THEORY," and "the proponents of the Hat Theory" thirty-one times, and applied them to every translator and every commentator that ever commented upon 1 Cor. 11:3-16.

Brother Thompson says: "Appeal is made by the advocates of the HAT THEORY to the modern translations of the Bible, which use the terms UNVEILED and VEILED, as though the term VEIL denotes more than the term COVER." The American Standard Version uses the terms "unveiled," and "veiled." I consider it the best translation that we have, and it is not so modern. But I will quote verses 4-6, from "New Testament In Modern Speech" by Weymouth. "A man who wears a veil when praying or prophesying dishonors his head; but a woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for it is exactly to same as if she had her hair cut short. If a woman will not wear a veil, let her also cut off her hair. But since it is a dishonor to a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her wear a veil." The translators of the New Testament thought that Paul was teaching, in verses 5, 6, that a woman should have both an artificial covering (the veil) on her head, and her natural covering (the hair), when she comes to worship God, and if she was going to flout God by leaving off the artificial covering she had as well cut off her natural covering also.

Of course the translators of the Bible, ancient and modern, were intellectual morons compared to the profound learning of brother W. S. Thompson of Sylacauga, Alabama, because he knows that Paul was teaching that one covering was all a woman needed, when she was worshipping God, and either her natural or the artificial covering would do. Thus he makes no difference, in the appearance of man and woman, when they assemble to worship God, and in their appearance in every day life. But listen to the words of this ORACLE from Sylacauga. "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. Anyone can see this. But the advocates of the HATS insist that ALL WOMEN SHOULD WEAR HATS IN CHURCH."

Adam Clarke commenting on verse 6, says: "If she will not wear a veil in the public assemblies, let her be shorn — let her carry a public badge of infamy: but if it be a shame — if to be shorn or shaven would appear, as it must, a badge of infamy, then let her be covered — let her by all means wear a veil." Of course Adam Clarke was just a "moron" among the medieval "HATTERS," because he insisted that all women should wear an artificial covering on their heads in church, or "in the public assemblies."

We quote from Macknight: "Farther, the (different mental and bodily accomplishments of man and woman, show that in public assemblies for worship, man ought not to be veiled, nor the woman unveiled, verse 7 — The subjection of woman to man, appears even from the man's being first made, and from the woman being made for the man, verses 8, 9 — For which reason, the woman ought to have a veil on her head in the church, as a mark of her subjection." Of course Macknight was just another moron, of an inferior intellect among the medieval "HATTERS." If you want the truth on 1 Cor. 11:3-16, page the Sylacauga ORACLE. He would "dispute" with "Michael the archangel" on that scripture. But I am sure that "Michael the archangel" knows what all translators and commentators knew and taught, that, "If a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering"; but they also knew, and taught, that in worship, she should have also an artificial covering, as a "sign of authority on her head, because of the angels?

Any man that would argue that Paul, in verse 15, contradicted everything he said in verses 3-13, has no respect for the intelligence, nor the inspiration of Paul, and that is exactly brother W. S. Thompson's contention in this matter, and when the editor of the Gospel Guardian, said: "We believe brother Thompson has given the true teaching on the passage" I am sure that made brother Thompson "strut in his dreams. However, brother Tant says: "We recognize that able and scholarly brethren hold a different position." Yes, every commentator known to me, "able," "scholarly," or otherwise, "hold a different position." I appreciate brother Tant giving them credit of being "able" and "scholarly," while brother Thompson stigmatizes them as "the hatters," "the exponents of the HATS THEORY," "the proponents of the HAT Theory," "morons; 'etc.

Macknight translated verse 16 as follows: "Now if the false teacher resolves to be contentious, and maintains that it is allowable for women to pray and teach publicly in the church unveiled, we in Judea have no such custom, neither any of the churches of God." That is exactly what the sage of Sylacauga "maintains." Macknight's translation was made in 1806, and when he said: "If the false teacher resolves to be contentious, etc., no one could accuse him of being personal, because he wrote about a hundred years before brother W. S. Thompson was born; but men were not as pertly witty then as brother Thompson thinks he is.

In "Life and Epistles of Saint Paul," page 386, Conybeare and Howson, said: "He (Paul) also forbids women (even though some of them might be prophetesses, Acts 21:9), to speak in the public assembly; and desires that they should appear veiled, as became the modesty of their sex."

Alexander Campbell said: "The apostle carries his ideas of decency to the minutia of a brother's uncovered head, and of a sister's veil; therefore, may we not infer that even the dress of Christians in the public assembly is either decent or indecent, according to the standard of Christian simplicity and decorum?" Millennial Harbinger, Extra, 1840, page 508 "The standard of Christian simplicity and decorum" must come from Jerusalem, and not from Sylacauga, Alabama. I have written a tract on "Covered and Uncovered Heads In Worship," and I would be glad if brother Tant would have brother Thompson review it in the Gospel Guardian. I would be glad for him to use his Greek nouns and verbs, and his English parallels on the facts set forth in the tract. Shall we have the review?