A Widespread, False Assertion about Corinthian Prostitutes and Paul’s Teaching about Head Coverings

April 18, 2015

Have you ever heard that Paul taught the Corinthians that it was shameful for women to cut their hair short or shave their heads because that was what the prostitutes in Corinth did? Pastor Minnick recently pointed out that Gordon Fee, who is a highly devoted egalitarian, wrote in his standard commentary on First Corinthians that there is zero historical evidence for that idea!

Here is what Fee has written about this very widespread false explanation for why Paul wrote what he did:

“It was commonly suggested that short hair or a shaved head was the mark of Corinthian prostitutes . . . But there is no contemporary evidence to support this view (it seems to be a case of one scholar’s guess becoming a second scholar’s footnote and a third scholar’s assumption).”1

The apostle Paul did not teach what he did in 1 Corinthians 11:5-6 because Corinthian prostitutes cut their hair short or shaved their heads. For a superb treatment of why Paul did teach what he did about head coverings and much more, I encourage you to listen closely to this recent message by Pastor Minnick: Harmonizing 1 Timothy 2 and 1 Corinthians 14.2


1 Gordon D. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians in NICNT, 511

2 For clear biblical evidence that shows that Paul is speaking about an external head covering, see my post Haman, Head Coverings, and First Corinthians 11:1-16.

Rajesh

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  1. Covering the Web: June 19/15 | The Head Covering Movement - June 19, 2015

    […] A Widespread, False Assertion about Corinthian Prostitutes and Paul’s Teaching about Head Covering… (A People For His Name) “Have you ever heard that Paul taught the Corinthians that it was shameful for women to cut their hair short or shave their heads because that was what the prostitutes in Corinth did?” […]