The Bible says in 1 Corithians 11:10 "for this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head."  Why does it say that a woman should have a cover on  her head because of the angels?


You should know that 1 Corintians 11:10 is considered by many one of the three or four most difficult passages in the New Testament to interpret.  Many explanations have been given.  It is difficult to say for sure what is the absolutely correct interpretation of this verse.  Some interpret this passage to be saying that, literally, women ought to have a head covering when they pray.  It is worth bearing in mind that in fact the Greek mentions a veil, not a hat.  Relatively few take the position today that Paul is commanding all women in all times to wear a veil while praying.
The subject of the passage is submission.  Go back to 11:3 to see that this is the subject.  The Father is the head of the Son is the head of man is the head of woman.  Therefor, women ought to have a particularly respectful and submissive attitude when they pray.  This seems to be the point.  Having said in 11:10 that women ought to be in a particularly submissive attitude in prayer, Paul continues in 11:11 to say that men and women are ultimately equal to one another.  So, I do not believe this passage implies women must have a veil on their heads when they pray, but that they ought to recognize their submission to their husbands when they pray.
The part about the angels is difficult to understand. One explanation is that if women are not in submission, this causes temptation for the angels to reject their submissive position.  In other words, of Christians do not accept the position given to them by God then the angels may be more tempted to rebel. 
John Oakes, PhD

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