Shredded Bibles: NIV and Head Covering

Last week I wrote about shredded Bibles that are missing vital truths of Scripture. God showed me something about head covering that relates to the “shredded Bibles”.

I wrote about long hair not being the covering of 1 Cor. 11 in “Is the Headcovering for Today”, but there’s another aspect to address. The NIV has corrupted the last two verses of the headcovering passage (1 Cor. 11:2-16) in a way that confuses the matter:

1 Cor. 11:14-16 (KJV) Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?  15  But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.  16  But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.

1 Cor. 11:14-16 (NIV) Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him,  15  but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering.  16  If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice–nor do the churches of God.

Notice several basic changes here: the KJV says “her hair is given her for a covering” while the NIV says “long hair is given to her as a covering”. Big difference, isn’t it? Which is correct? There are two Greek words here. The one translated “long hair” in verses 14 and the first part of 15 is Strong’s #2863, and means “to wear tresses of hair: – have long hair” (Strong’s Greek Dictionary). The word translated “hair” in the second part of verse 15–“for her hair is given her for a covering”—is Strong’s #2864, which means “the hair of the head (locks, as ornamental, and thus differing from G2359, which properly denotes merely the scalp): – hair.” (Strong’s Greek Dictionary) It is the Greek word from which #2863 (“long hair”) is derived. So we can conclude that God said “long hair” when He meant “long hair” and “hair” when He only was talking about hair.

Why the change? It lines up with the erroneous footnote in the NIV that twists the Scriptures to make them say that long hair is the covering.

Next, note the difference in verse 16: “we have no such custom” versus “we have no other practice” (NIV). The word “such” is Strong’s #5108, and means “truly this, that is, of this sort (to denote character or individuality): – like, such (an one).” (Strong’s Greek Dictionary) So we see that “such”—not “other”—is the correct translation.

Why is this important? Read the last part of verse 15 with verse 16 in the NIV: “For long hair is given to her as a covering.  16  If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice–nor do the churches of God.” In other words—if anyone disagrees that long hair is not the covering in verses 5-6, we have no other practice than long hair being the covering. On the other hand, if we use the KJV reading, we could say that if someone wants to be contentious and claim that long hair is the covering spoken of in verses 5-6, “we have no such custom”. Do you see the difference?

The last point is the translation “the nature of things” in verse 14. Perhaps I’m splitting hairs, but it seems to me that there is a difference. The word translated “nature” here seems to have the context of the way things naturally are when we look at its translation in other places. For example, it is also in Romans 1:26: “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature”. In other words, the natural way that women work and the way they were created.

The difference between “nature” and “the nature of things” is this: “nature” indicates that God has planted inside of us a natural understanding that men are to have short hair and women long hair. “The nature of things”, on the other hand, is more subjective, like pointing out that men who have long hair are usually the less savory members of society.

We need a Bible that will tell us the truth, not twist it to fit the translators’ bent.


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2 Replies to “Shredded Bibles: NIV and Head Covering”

  1. We really are enjoying reading all of these truths that you are sharing!! We follow the bible and have given up many family members and friends due to divorce and remarriage. God has been good to us and given us many brothers and sisters in Christ. You should read Jeff Barths book on the headcovering. It makes a lot more sense to us than any we have ever read!! God bless you for your efforts in getting the truth out there and keep going onward and upward!!

  2. I would say “I respectfully disagree” with your conclusion of the head covering, but that might imply opinion rather than truth. Let the Spirit lead, scripture cannot be interpreted 2 different ways and be accepted in God’s eyes. I admit this to be a universal topic of debate, but I would rather like it to be an opportunity to sharpen ourselves in God’s word.

    First off I will say I use KJV solely, and in no way would I consider any other version above KJV. I will also say that it is true no translation can perfectly depict the purest intent better than the original text, as Greek and Hebrew strongly differ from English in particular, but in my studies KJV is the truest version to the original.

    I believe 1 Corinthians 11:1-15 is simply talking about the headship of God, Christ, man and woman, and in no way is an extra-biblical (if I may so call it) garment headpiece meant to be inserted into this passage. Man is known to add to God’s Word, and this is seen through history. Faith and works are a classic example. Works don’t save, rather they are a bi-product, and as such Faith cannot exist without, however the thief on the cross obviously had no works to show yet belief in Christ was enough.

    Much of what I have to say won’t be new to you as I have read, however sometimes stances on topics can reach a prideful level and thus cloud the Spirit’s true leading. No one has the bible 100% figured out. I believe everything is there for us to have it 100% correct, however no one single person has perfect understanding.

    I will start from the beginning. The verses that a garment-covering believer will tend to lean on are as I have experienced vs 3-6, where they will claim as you have that you cannot cut off hair that is not there when referencing the shaving off of the hair, and also that it is only required when praying and prophesying. Might I bring to light that no where does God (Paul is the messenger however God is the author) say the covering should ever come off for a woman. Should you not always be prepared to-at the very least- pray? What about when evangelizing? I find it interesting that it seems this covering is never intended to come off. Hair is a natural, God-given HEAD covering. Notice how it never mentions the need to cover the HAIR. However God finishes the passage through Paul by solidly, clearly stating that the hair was given to a woman as a covering. By the way- Paul mentions long hair in verse 15 in the same thought, so to think that after the colon the use of the word hair without the adjective is referring to short hair, or simply doesn’t refer to her long hair is just silly. It is still referencing a woman’s long hair. Plain and simple.

    When it talks in vs 4 and 7 about a man not covering his head, this would be referring to the long hair which naturally covers the entire head as God has intended by nature. There is a fine line where the head and neck meet. If your hair can’t cover your head, it cannot be considered a HEAD covering. Think about it-a woman can let her hair down and completely cover her entire head, where a man-if he were to cut his hair *short enough* should not be able to cover his head. Are we as men not allowed to pray with winter hats on? Is a jewish man wearing his cap shaming himself by covering his head? What was Moses referring to in Lev 10:6 where he calls for Aaron not to uncover his head after the sin of the 2 people? (Aaron had a commitment as did Samson and a vow with the Lord, as Nazarites do where he was fulfilling the vow by not cutting his HAIR). What other conclusion do we make of that verse? Was Aaron shaming himself with a garment-covering? No!

    I noticed how in your other article found here: – that you claim verse 15 does not say that long hair was given to a woman for a covering. Your exact words! Pardon me, but how blind to the scripture do you have to be? God is not changing the theme of the passage suddenly in that last verse, but rather solidifying through Paul that in fact a woman’s long hair is given her for a covering! Nature tells us! That should be end of discussion! End of topic. Case closed! No external means necessary, no additional man made pieces of fabric needed to cover God’s hand crafted work of absolute amazing brilliance. God created Adam and Eve and everything was VERY good. When Adam and Eve sinned, God clearly gave instruction when they needed to COVER their naked bodies that a sacrifice was to be made of an animal, and that was the only thing that would be considered acceptable. He gave clear detailed (as detailed as needed to be) instruction of how to cover themselves. Why is there no mention of or at least an example of a type of cloth that is needed to be acceptable, or length. Should it be see-through? Does it need to cover the face as well- as a veil often did? How small can it be? Or rather how large should it be? Can it be coloured? (I’m Canadian) How do you PIN it up? (this brings more controversy over the use of fancy stylings and ways to secure the garment covering). These unnecessary questions are gone when we understand that God has supplied for a woman everything she needs for a covering from birth. When should you start wearing a covering? Well as nature would tell you, its when your hair is long enough to cover your head. I also like what you did, which I will also do, where you substitute “long hair” into the passage-of the KJV of course (I have no need for the NIV here… or anywhere else for that matter)- it works! You can’t deny that it is completely acceptable to substitute long hair for covering anywhere in that passage, or BIBLE for that matter. You can word anything in a way that sounds wrong if you try hard enough, but I’m not interested in man’s word anyways. What does the bible say? “But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered (short hair) dishonoreth her head (notice how “head” is always used, never hair here): for that is even all one as if she were shaven. (no different in God’s eyes as if she were bald or sheared very close to the head) 6 For if the woman be not covered (have short hair), let her also be shorn (bald): but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn (bald) or shaven (again bald or close to it), let her be covered” (have long hair-and may i add: as God hath given it to her for a covering). Lets continue for a little longer with this substitution method…

    Verse 4: “Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered (having long hair), dishonoreth his head.” Again it works! May God’s word not return void! How awesome! I think we can also say that dishonor and shame go hand in hand. It fits with verse 14 where its a shame for a man to have long hair. Now can we do the same and substitute “garment-covering” for “hair” in verse 15? No! That’s silly. 15 “But if a woman have long hair(garment covering), it is a glory to her: for her hair (garment covering) is given her for a covering.” No, no, no, and again no! Now you’re ADDING a layer that God never intended. And HAD He intended it, He would have clearly said so, and omitted verse 15 which seems to contradict your garment-covering argument.

    I am also familiar with the Greek and Hebrew translations for this portion of text, and I cannot see how that serves your stance any justice. For the record I will go into it, just to cover the bases, as unnecessary as it is. Katakalupto: first definition you give directly translated to english is to cover up. Okay, that makes sense. It’s a verb. Okay, a woman can tie her hair up as well, and the action of letting her hair down would serve that justice. That makes sense. Peribolaion: noun. Covering thrown around. Mantle, veil. Really for this one you can take what you will, the hair fits that description and in respect to the head that it belongs to especially as seen in context. No argument here, and I trust you can see that. At the end of the day (or passage- literally) you cannot really get lost in translation in regards to verse 15. There is nothing to get lost. Hair is hair, woman is woman. When God says “given her” He literally means He gave her that hair as a covering. I mean, how many different ways do you need to say that? You’re not just splitting hairs with your nature statement, you’re beating a dead horse.

    God’s word truly cannot be interpreted 2 different ways, and although this is not a salvation issue, I believe there is a false teaching going on, innocent as it seems. As some believe adding works is the finishing touch in salvation, I believe we have somehow adopted this ideology that we need to add this garment-head covering in order to fulfill the headship of Christ, when in essence God is simply defining and re-establishing the divinity of what He created.

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