Chapter 2

The Woman and the Angels of 1 Corinthians 11:10

For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.

By Steve Santini

February, 2016

 

 

Jesus often taught using parables, metaphors and similes. Paul also made use of this figurative rhetorical custom. Some of these figurative sections of scripture have been mistakenly interpreted in a literal fashion. The result of this literal interpretation, in this case, is the perception of a skewed relationship between men and women in the church. However if we dig deeper into Paul’s figurative meanings we find something much different.

The following passage of the Apostle Paul’s writings has been vigorously debated during more recent decades due to the question concerning women in the clergy.

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.

But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.

For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.

Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.

Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.

For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.

1 Corinthians 11:1-10

In the Pauline world there were a variety of customs that required married women to have their heads covered and widows to have uncovered shaved heads. These customs still exist in areas of India where the head covering dupatta is a symbol of a woman’s marriage and accompanying social status based on her husband’s family name. On the other hand, widows in those communities must have their heads uncovered and shaved.

Theologians write that the tenth verse in this passage is one of the most difficult verses in scripture. It, and the passage in which it appears, did not become difficult until after the deaths of the apostle Paul and his closest followers in the first century. Since that time those who have written about this passage have responded to it as if it were to be applied literally.1 How could this be? Six verses later the Apostle Paul wrote that the church had no such custom regarding the issues of head coverings and shorn hair.

But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God. 1 Corinthians 11:16  

If these customs were not practically applicable in the church why then did Paul include this passage in his writings? He included it as a figurative comparison.

Jesus used the comparative figures of speech defined as parables, metaphors and similes to teach his apostles and disciples. In each, things seen are used as comparative representations of spiritual truths that are unseen or obscure. The parable of the sower compared sown seed to the word of God and the sprouting seed in various types of soil to the various responses of individuals who heard the word of God.  When Jesus said, “the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who made a marriage for his son,” he was using a simile that compared the making of a marriage to the unseen kingdom of heaven. When Jesus broke the bread in two and said this is my body he was using a metaphor that compared the cultural and compositional aspects of the broken bread to the unseen elements of his engendered spiritual body.

In his letter to the Romans, the apostle Paul employed marriage, widowhood and remarriage with husband ship as a metaphorical comparison to explain the change of faithfulness to the Old Testament Law unto the New Testament law of faith.

For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 

So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. 

Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. Romans 7:2-4  

In the fifth chapter of his letter to the saints and faithful in Christ Jesus in Ephesus, Paul wrote a passage that begins with a literally functional, subjective relationship of women to men in marriage that then he shifts to the relationship of metaphorical men and women. After that he compares the relationship of the metaphorical men and women to the natural relationship between men and women in marriage

There is no doubt that Paul was comparing figurative men and women to literal husbands and wives in this passage. It may not be apparent in the English translations; however it is clear in the ancient Greek language texts.

22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the abore of the body.

24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 

26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 

27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 

29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 

30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 

31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 

32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 

33 Nevertheless, let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.  Ephesians 5:22-33

Of the many comparative Greek words employed in this passage the pivotal comparative word for understanding the entire passage is the one beginning verse twenty-eight. The English word translated So beginning verse twenty-eight of this Ephesian passage is the Greek adverb ou[twj. This word is a strong correlative comparison, comparing that which precedes to that which follows.2 What then precedes this comparative word and what follows?

The first two verses of this passage refer to the observable relationship between married men and their wives. The twenty-fourth verse begins with alla, the strongest of the Greek contrasting conjunctions. The use of alla shows that what comes next is different. What comes next after the alla translated as Therefore is what precedes in the comparison pivoting on the ou[twj  beginning verse twenty-eight.

Within the context of these four verses beginning with the Therefore are several additional markers that differentiate its subject from the husbands and wives of the opening two verses of the passage and the compared subject of the closing verses. For example, if the husbands and wives of the first two verses were the same as the husbands and wives of the next four verses Paul would appear to be unnecessarily repetitive because when he wrote, “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing he was basically repeating what he wrote before the Therefore in the preceding first verse of the passage.

A more notable additional marker is the fact that in this four verse section from verse twenty-four to verse twenty-seven the their own modifying husbands and your modifying wives do not appear in the large majority of texts used to compile the Received Greek Text. In the contexts before and after this four verse section these type of possessives do appear in all the texts.3

The Greek word aner translated husbands in this four verse section is more often translated men in scripture. Likewise the Greek word gune translated wives in this section is more often translated as women.4 Since the possessives their own and your do not appear in most of the Greek texts the translation of this section would lend itself more so to the usage of the words men and women.

24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the women be to men in every thing.

25 Men, love women, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 

26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 

27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 

This translation would then provide a correlative relationship of this section with the introductory passage of first Corinthians, chapter five where the singulars of aner and gune are translated as man and woman.

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 1 Corinthians 11:3

In the Ephesian passage the word following the four verses from the twenty-fourth to the twenty-seventh is the passage’s pivotal comparative word So explaining that what has preceded is to be compared to what follows.

What follows is the physical unity of men and women in marriage with a comparison to the members of Lord’s one body.

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 

29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 

30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 

31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 

Paul makes this clear by using the Greek word a;nqrwpoj, emphasizing the physical man, in the thirty-first verse rather than the aner used previously emphasizing the societal man.

In the next verse Paul provides a summary conclusion for the entire passage.

32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 

The mysteries of God are yet unseen so they must be portrayed in comparative terms that can be seen as Jesus did when he said, “the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who made a marriage for his son.” Here in Ephesians, chapter five the non-literal or figurative men and women of verses twenty four through twenty seven are being compared to literal husbands and wives in verses twenty-eight through thirty-one.

Who then are these figurative men and women of this great mystery?

That question is answered by Paul’s salutation in his Ephesian letter and the following context of the letter. The salutation identifies the saints and the faithful in Christ Jesus as the two groups to whom the letter is addressed.5

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: Ephesians 1:1

In the context of the letter, Paul presents an alternating rhetorical interplay that differentiates between the saints and the faithful in Christ Jesus. Then in the fifth chapter he unites the two like a husband and wife. This alternation between the two representations is first noticed when the subject changes from the first person plural we to the second person plural you in the first chapter.

That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Ephesians 1:12-13

Then in the second chapter the subject changes back from the you addressed to the we originally addressed.

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 

Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Ephesians 2:2-3    

This interchange continues, at varying paces, through the letter.

In the second chapter, at another point of change, Paul specifies that it is the faithful of the Gentiles who he is addressing.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. 

Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; Ephesians 2:10-11

Why was he addressing only the Gentile faithful? Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus was written from Rome after his gospel in finality had been cast aside by even that city’s Jewish leaders thereby prompting him to turn entirely to the Gentiles. (Acts 28:17-31)

According to the Old Testament prophets Israel was considered as those souls being figuratively prepared for betrothal and marriage to the forthcoming Messiah. In scripture soul is feminine as designated by the word’s gender and the culture. David, himself, identified his soul specifically as feminine when he wrote: “My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.” (Psalm 34:2) Jesus carried this feminine figure forward when he told the disciples that if anyone asked why they were taking the ass and its colt tell that “daughter of Sion” that the Lord had need of them. (Mat. 21:5, Zec. 9:9).

Like his letter to the church in Rome where he wrote that Gentiles of faith were grafted into the prophetic root of Israel where Jews of unbelief were broken off, Paul makes the same point with different words in the next verse of Ephesians chapter two.

Romans:

For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: 

If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. 

For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? 

For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. 

And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them abored of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Romans 11:13-17

Ephesians:

That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 

But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.  Ephesians 2:12-13  

On the day of Pentecost the betrothal agreement was sealed for those of faith from femininely figured Israel by the gift from the Holy Spirit. About ten years later after Israel, as an entire nation, rejected the agreement and its confirming gift from the Holy Spirit, the promise of eventual wholeness in consummate union like a marriage at the coming of the Lord with all his saints was extended and accepted by Gentiles of faith. (Acts 10ff)

(Some, who ignore that Paul was no longer addressing Israel, write that the two groups being addressed in Ephesians are the Jews and Gentiles based on the following scripture.

For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Ephesians 2:14

In their cursory reading of the verse they identify the “middle” wall of partition as the outer wall of the temple beyond which no Gentile could pass without incurring the death penalty. However, the middle wall was not this outer wall. It was the middle of three walls that came before the innermost wall separating the court of the men from the court of the priests. This middle wall, being used metaphorically here, was the wall separating the court of women from the court of the men.

So, the figurative women of Ephesians chapter five, verses twenty-four through twenty-seven are the femininely figured, Gentile, faithful in Christ Jesus who have been grafted into the prophetic promises originally made only to femininely figured Israel.

Who then are the figurative men of these verses?

In the Eastern extended wedding ceremonies the groom had at his beck and call a cadre of selected male relatives to perform some important traditional customs. As the actual wedding feast approached these male relatives accompanied the groom when he was paraded through town announcing his upcoming marriage. Another pre feast custom required that the bride express coyness. She did this by going to hide in a female relative’s home. It was then necessary for the groom’s male relatives to locate and retrieve the bride. The female relatives of the bride feigned physical resistance until they were overcome and the bride was returned to her family’s home. The traditional extended wedding feast began on a night when the groom and his male relatives paraded in a torch lit procession of singers and dancers circling town and when the bride, accompanied by her female relations, came to meet them as they entered town.6 The leader of this cadre of male relatives of the groom is the biblical termed friend of the bridegroom. That according to scriptural definition would be the angelic forerunner, John the Baptist-the captain of an angelic band beneath the banner of the Lord.7 (Luke 7:24, 27, Stephen’s Greek Text)8

In the eleventh chapter of the first Corinthian letter when Paul wrote, “For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels,” he combined that which is figurative with that which is literal. The woman is a collective noun representing the faithful in Christ Jesus while the angels are literal because saints represented figuratively as men and husbands who are the head of the faithful are human souls endowed from conception with a preexistent angel made a spirit.

This Corinthian letter is also addressed to both the saints and the faithful like Paul’s Ephesian letter. However, due to the immaturity of the Corinthian church Paul uses slightly different terms to identify them.

Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with(sun) all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: 1 Corinthians 1:2   

The saints are described as just called and the faithful as merely calling upon because they, in Corinth, were both still carnally minded with rampant schisms as depicted in Paul’s letter to them.

According to some textual critics, the passage from the first verse of the eleventh chapter through the sixteenth verse of Paul’s first Corinthian letter is an introduction to the following context that extends to the end of the fourteenth chapter.9

In the later context in chapter fourteen, three verses present a message that similarly sets in order the subjective relationship of figurative women to figurative men as presented in the introductory verses of chapter eleven.

33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. 

34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. 

35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. 1 Corinthians 14:33-35   

Some current theologians, on one extreme, to placate ignorantly founded, misogynist claims against Paul, now argue that the two passages regarding relations between men and women in the four chapter section in first Corinthians are interpolations added in the second century by a misogynist church.10 Most just hold he middle ground dismissively writing that these customs were applicable then but are not now or they acknowledge that Paul wrote that the churches he founded did not observe the customs of head covering and shorn hair but they are empty in their attempts to explain the reasons Paul did include these customs in his letter to the church at Corinth. On the other extreme, a number respond with reasonable refutation to the claims of interpolative additions but subsequently hold traditionally to the nineteen hundred year literal interpretation that limits the participation of actual women in the church.11 However, when the figurative usages of men and women and the facts of scripture are considered all of these interpretations are erroneous exegeses that diminish the Pauline revelation.

Paul’s Roman letter introduces another counterpoint by providing several verses that identify an actual woman as a saint.

I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also. Romans 16:1-2  

The word becometh in the phrase as becometh saints is avxi,wj. Lexicons define this word as deserved, meet, due, worthy, equivalent to and entitled to. Plainly, when viewed in the scope of saints and faithful in Christ Jesus, Phobe was a saint and was entitled to be received by the church in Rome as a saint. Although in the flesh a woman, from the heavenly perspective of Christ and the encompassing church, she was a figurative man or husband. Paul, himself, when addressing the difference between the physical realm of flesh and the realm of Christ wrote that within the spiritual Christ there is no regard for the physical differences between men and women.(Gal. 3:28) This is in accordance with the words of Jesus who spoke of the ultimate completion of the one body of Christ upon the resurrection of the faithful in Christ Jesus. He said that the children of the resurrection are not given in marriage but are like the angels of God. (Luke 24:34-36) So how could actual women like Phobe be required to keep quiet when those of the same figurative kind were called out to function collectively within the overall church? At this point the fundamental answer seems apparent-women to keep silent in the thirty-fourth verse of chapter fourteen in first Corinthians are the femininely represented faithful in Christ Jesus and not actual women, and the husbands of verse thirty-five are the masculinely represented saints and the home is the smaller fellowships that met regularly in houses.12

There is also a verse in the context of Philippians that indicates actual women were saints. It reads:

And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life. Philippians 4:3   

The Philippian letter was written to “all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons.” The word with joining the saints and the bishops and deacons in the Greek text is sun. Sun is a preposition of association meaning next to or beside. These bishops and deacons with the saints were from the mature faithful in Christ Jesus responsible for the further maturation of souls within the church, both individually and collectively.

The fact that Paul was addressing two groups in his letter appears again by his usage of the Greek word e[teroj  meaning others of a different kind in contrast to the Greek word a;lloj and its various forms meaning others of the same kind. In the fourth verse of the second chapter of Philippians Paul’s usage of e[teroj is contrasted with a form of a;lloj in the previous verse.

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.13 Philippians 2:3-4  

(In a corresponding manner Luke used this word e[teroj to make a distinction between the twelve sent out by Jesus before his transfiguration and the ensuing seventy sent out afterwards. (Luke 10:1))

When Paul writes “And I intreat thee also true yokefellow” in the third verse of Philippians, chapter four he is specifically addressing the bishops and deacons Yokefellow is the Greek word su,zugoj. By the time the New Testament was written this Greek word was used predominately of those united by the bond of marriage.14 So Paul, the saint, as a figurative husband was in a relationship like a marriage with the others identified as bishops and deacons in his salutation to those in Philippi. In his position of a saint Paul asked the bishops and deacons to help those women which labored with him in the gospel. These who labored with him were actual women as implied by the further addition of the actual name Clement.

Evidently, the relationship that Paul had with these women is different that the relationship he had with the bishops and deacons-it was an in kind relationship. Paul as a saint identified the bishops and deacons as being beside the saints by his usage of the Greek preposition sun in the salutation. In this verse regarding the women Paul used the Greek preposition meta to describe his relationship with them. The Greek preposition meta translated also as with implies an in kind relationship and its definition weighs heavily on the side of in the midst of and among rather than beside and accompaniment like the definitions sun.15 The scope of the subject, the context, the syntax and the definition of words all show that these women were saints also who, like Phobe, could not be denied the right to speak in the periodic assemblages of the saints and likewise were figurative husbands to whom the faithful as figurative wives could address questions in the regularity of the smaller home fellowships.

In the second verse of the Corinthian chapter eleven introduction to the section that spans the four chapters of eleven, twelve, thirteen and fourteen Paul, as in Ephesians, used a comparative adverb to remind the Corinthians that the subjects that followed were based on contrasts and similarities between literal and figurative constituents. That comparative adverb is the Greek word is kaqw,j. The Greek word kaqw.j is a prefixed word. The base word is the comparative adverb w.j.. The prefix kaq  is a form of the preposition kata, which means down upon and over.16 Its base w.j. is also the comparative base of the Greek word ou[twj that introduces the comparison in the twenty-seventh verse of Ephesians, chapter five.

 In this second verse kaqw,j modifies the Greek verb pare,dwka translated delivered. According to the Fribergs’ lexicon this verb means an authoritative commitment of something to someone.17 Other lexicons follow suit with similar definitions. The phrase in which this adverb and verb appear should be translated I comparatively delivered to you referring to the ordinances that they were to have kept as a result of his teaching during his prior eighteen months with them.

Paul uses this verb form pare,dwka two more times in Corinthians.

For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 1 Corinthians 11:23           

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 1 Corinthians 15:3   

He also uses the word in his letter to the church in Rome.

But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Romans 6:17   

Jude, a younger brother of Jesus who wrote as the Pauline churches were breaking apart in the latter decades of the first century, also used this word pare,dwka  to define what had been the primary mission of the angelic saints.

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. Jude 1:3   

In this verse the indirect object of this verb translated delivered is the word saints. It is in the Greek dative case. The Greek dative case can either express the location or the means.18 In harmony with the scope of the subject in the Pauline letters, here, the saints are the means by which the faith was once delivered; so this phrase, rather than translated which was once delivered unto the saints should be translated which was once delivered by the saints.

The women in the third verse of the fourth chapter of Philippians labored with Paul in the gospel. What gospel? In his Philippian letter, imprisoned Paul expresses that the furtherance of his gospel of Christ as his major concern. (Phil 1:27) These natural women, as saints responsible for delivering the gospel of Christ, had labored in such with the apostle Paul as the figurative man who is the head of the figurative woman in first Corinthians, eleven and as the figurative men who are the head of the figurative women, as should be translated, in Ephesians, chapter five, verses twenty-four and twenty-five.

Therefore the women to keep silent in the verses one through ten of the eleventh chapter and in verses thirty-two through thirty-four of the fourteenth chapter of first Corinthians cannot refer to actual women and must then be the feminine figurative representations of the faithful in Christ Jesus.

Likewise, in the tenth verse of the eleventh chapter that has also been a quandary to theologians; the woman is a figurative representation of the faithful in Christ Jesus and the angels is a factual expression of the fundamental composition of the saints.

For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.  1 Corinthians 11:10

Hebrews begins with a treatise on the Lord and his angels. In it the Pauline author writes:

But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?

Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? Hebrews 1:13-14  

In his epilogue he reminds readers that these unseen angels made spirits are (by grace) present in certain human souls.

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Hebrews 13:2

The apostle Paul, as a saint, could speak in the language of an angel because he had been endowed with an angel made a spirit.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 1 Corinthians 13:1

One day all the saints will come as the Lord’s holy angels in a manner like Moses and Elijah did with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. They will come to gather together the faithful in Christ Jesus for the coming of the Lord himself for his wedding feast. Luke wrote about the coming of the Lord in the following verse.

For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory,

and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels. Luke 9:26

In the phrase of the holy angels, holy, in the underlying Greek, is the exact word translated as saints over fifty times in Paul’s letters-that is, the masculine gender a[gioj and not its currently applied neuter gender as translated in Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost, or its feminine gender used to describe the church as in Ephesians, chapter five, verse twenty-seven . According to the Greek genitive case, plural number, and attributive position of the masculine a[gioj in this verse, it modifies angels as an adjective of possession and should be translated as saints' angels. 19

The author of Mark expressed this truth a bit more definitively in the Greek of the following verse.

Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. Mark 8:38

In the Greek the King James phraseology that reads with the holy angels reads meta. Tw/n avgge,lwn tw/n a`gi,wn. Notice that there are five words in the Greek phrase and only four in the King James translation. The missing word is the definite article tw/n modifying a`gi,wn  which is the Greek masculine gender, plural word translated holy in the gospels but saints in Paul’s letters. This definite article is a delineator between the angels, tw/n avgge,lwn, and saints.  Meta is the preposition translated with. The rules of Greek grammar specify that the object of the preposition is the closest following, case-required noun to the preposition. In this instance that would be the angels, tw/n avgge,lwn . The saints, tw/n a`gi,wn, in its agreeing genitive case, masculine gender and plural number shows the who of the possession or origin of the angels. In this case the phrase should be translated as with the angels of the saints.20, 21

Scripture declares that the Old Testament Law was administered by angels. Stephen, when confronting the religious leaders of Israel, said:

Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:  Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. Acts 7:52-53

Likewise, the law of faith inherent in Paul’s gospel of Christ is administered by angels. And the figurative woman functions with authority under this covering otherwise she is as a widow uncovered and shorn of her glory.

These saints, endowed with angels made spirits, as figurative husbands of the woman, delivered the word of faith that fulfilled the word of God once and for all over one thousand, nine hundred years ago. Historically, Paul’s gospel of Christ was discounted and decimated after his death and has yet to be revived in glory as prophesied.22 Paul knew this. He wrote of the mystery of iniquity that was already at work during his ministry. He also wrote of the standing away from truth that was to separate that time from the coming of the Lord with all his saints. Peter also wrote of a time period between that day’s sufferings of Christ and the glory to follow. Jesus even spoke of a time when the Father would be shown plainly rather than in figures. Until then, when the saints come as the Lord’s angels these figures of husbands or men for the saints and wives or women for the faithful in Christ Jesus paint a picture of the hope set before us.

 

 

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1 A. Philip Brown II, A Survey of the History of the Interpretation of 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, Aldersgate Forum 2011

2 Joseph H. Thayer, Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, #3896

3 George Ricker Berry, The Interlinear Literal Translation of The Greek New Testament, p. 509

4 James Strong, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Greek #435 & #1135

5 Steve Santini, The Conjunctive Kai of Ephesians 1:1

6 H. Clay Trumbull, Studies in Oriental Social Life, pp. 53-61 See: Representations of Divine Union in the Living Allegory of the Eastern Betrothal and Wedding Feast

7 Third century Origen is considered as the first Christian theologian. In his prologue to his commentary on Song of Songs he distinguishes four persons namely, “the bridegroom with the bride, the young maidens, and the companions of the bridegroom”:and he says that “the angels are the companions of the bridegroom.” Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Whether Angels Receive Dowries

8 Berry, p. 172; In the Greek texts John the Baptist and his closest followers are identified as an angels by the usage of a;ggeloj that is translated 179 times as angels and only 7 times as messenger or messengers-four of those seven mistranslations are applied to John the Baptist or his disciples in the gospels.

9 <1> [11:2-14:40] “This section of the letter is devoted to regulation of conduct at the liturgy. The problems Paul handles have to do with the dress of women in the assembly (1 Cor 11:3-16), improprieties in the celebration of community meals (1 Cor 11:17-34), and the use of charisms or spiritual gifts (1 Cor 12:1-14:40). The statement in 1 Cor 11:2 introduces all of these discussions…,” New American Bible Notes (1Co 11:2)

10 William O. Walker, Interpolations in the Pauline Letters

Bart Erhman, Forgery and Counter-forgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christianity, p. 377

Lamar Cope, “1 Cor 11:2-16: One Step Further,” Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 97, No. 3 (Sep., 1978), pp. 435-443

Christopher Mount, “1 Corinthians 11:3-16: Spirit Possession and Authority in a Non-Pauline Interpolation,” Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 124, No. 2 (Summer, 2005), pp. 313-314

11 Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, “The Non-Pauline Character of 1 Corinthians 11:2-16?”, Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 95, No. 4 (Dec., 1976), pp. 615-621

12 Strong, Greek #3624 oi=koj translated as home in 1 Cor. 14:35 is translated as “house” 110 times and “home” only 4 times

13 Berry, pp. 514-15, The word man is not in the Greek texts.

14 Thayer, #4977

Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, Sir H. S. Jones, A Greek-English Lexicon suzugos

15 Timothy Friberg, Barabra Friberg, & Neva F Miller, A Greek-English Lexicon. Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament, #18234

16 Strong, Greek #2596

17 Friberg, Friberg, & Miller, #20543

18 J. Gresham Machen, New Testament Greek for Beginners, #115

19 J.W. Wenham, , The Elements of New Testament Greek, p. 5, 48

20 Herbert Wye, Smyth, A Greek Grammar for Colleges, GENITIVE OF EXPLANATION (APPOSITIVE GENITIVE) #1322

Machen, #376-379

21 Translators and authors of commentaries are not always objective. They work under the influences of the prevalent theology and the prerogatives of their patrons. Subsequent translators and authors often follow suit by depending on earlier works especially if an earlier publication was well received and/or became popular.

22 Walter Bauer, Orthodoxy & Heresy in Earliest Christianity, Chpt. 8, pp. 213-228

 

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Appendices

The Synonymous Gods, Angels and Saints

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Ephesians 1:4

 

The Saints Shall Judge as Angels

1 Corinthians 6:1-3

Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

Or

Know ye not that because of angels we shall judge? How much more things of this life?

 

 

Chapter 1

The Saints are the Lord’s Holy Angels

September, 2015

 

Chapter 3

The Man and the Covered Woman in 1 Corinthians 11:8-12

The Pauline Analogies

July, 2016

 

 

 

Introduction and Main Index

 

 

 

 

Copyright, 2016, Steve Santini