Puritan Board Junior
Thank you for reminding me of this. Schreiner has a very thorough treatment of the passage available http://www.sbts.edu/documents/tschreiner/RBMW_5.pdf.Piper/Grudems's Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Ch 5 ( Thomas Schreiner) pages 126-137, long exegesis on 1 Cor 11 with Greek.
Schreiner does think that the covering is a physical shawl. However, his arguments against the hair position are not, in my opinion, very strong. Also, I question some of his linguistic methodology in deciding between a face veil and a back shawl. However, he is an excellent scholar and the treatment is very valuable.
Concerning the preposition, Schreiner reaches his conclusion after having rejected hair as the covering for other reasons. That's fine. I am inclined to agree with him. The context is determinative. However, substitution is one of the primary meanings of that preposition and it (I think) makes sense in the context. People who think that αντι signifies substitution are well within the bounds of the preposition and can argue a good case.
Notice that Schreiner readily concedes that this is an extremely difficult passage. He is committed to doing the best exegesis he can, as am I. The point that I intended to make with my post is that different views on this passage have arisen from a careful study of the Greek text, not through ignorance or prejudice.
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According to the hair position, the flow of thought would run something like this. "If you will keep your hair uncovered (hanging out loose in an unkempt and socially shocking fashion), then why not do something really shocking and shave it! But if it's shameful to have your head shaved, keep your hair decently and in order."Again... if it's hair he's talking about, why does he recommend shearing short hair rather than allowing it to grow back?
In other words, it is not long hair vs. short hair, as the debate is sometimes framed. I myself probably lean toward the physical covering view, but the hair view is not without its merits.