The glory of God and the denial or blurring of gender identity in public worship

This paper asserts that there are inexcusable variations in many English translations of the Greek text of 1 Corinthians 11:1-16. The paper highlights inconsistencies in translating the same term and also adding words not found in Greek texts. It is claimed these changes have blurred the original intent of the passage and given rise to questionable applications.

Adding to the text as in 1 Corinthians 11:10 is highlighted by comparing different ancient and modern translations. Examples of inconsistencies in the translation of woman – gynaikos or gynē; man – aner, or andros; and head – kephalē; will be drawn from a range of versions and commentaries.

The paper advocates First Corinthians 11:1-16 must be read and understood against the church members’ pre-conversion culture, life styles and behaviour It is acknowledged that the problem addressed in 1 Corinthians 11:1-16 involves both genders. By stringing together what is addressed to men and what is addressed to women we get a clear picture of what the passage is teaching about both genders.

Paper shows there is concern for the glory of God in worship, physical head coverings, the interdependence of men and women, headship of God, Christ, Man, Woman, and the problem of blurring male or female gender identity – androgym.

The paper stresses it is important we discern the principles that underlie what God is saying to us, how this applies to us personally and collectively as a church.

Dr Keith H Graham

Paper proposal for the 75th Annual Meeting Evangelical Theological Society,
14th-16th November, 2023 to be held at San Antonio, TX USA.

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