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Keys to First CorinthiansRevisiting the Major Issues$
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Jerome Murphy-O'Connor

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199564156

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199564156.001.0001

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Sex and Logic in 1 Corinthians 11:2–16

Sex and Logic in 1 Corinthians 11:2–16

(p.142) 10 Sex and Logic in 1 Corinthians 11:2–16
Keys to First Corinthians

Jerome Murphy‐O'connor

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that 1 Cor 11: 2–16 has nothing to do with the veiling of women. The man is criticized for letting his hair grow long, because it was the overt sign of the active male homosexual. The woman, on the contrary, is blamed simply for not dressing her hair in the conventional manner. If she will not be feminine, she might as well go the whole way and appear ‘manish’ by cutting off her hair. Lesbians were known by their short hair. The point of Paul's argument from creation in Gen 2 is that, if God intended no difference between male and female, he would have created them in the same way. The difference between the sexes, in consequence, is important. Since Jews deduced the inferiority of women from Gan 2, Paul affirms their full equality by pointing out that the chronological primacy of man in creation is negated for contemporary man by the simple fact that he has a mother.

Keywords:   1 Cor 11: 2–16, veil, hair, hairstyle, homosexual, lesbian, sexual difference, Gen 2, equality, position of women, mother

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