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.