Unfinished Introductions

Order of Contents

Headcovering Notes
Local Church Membership is Not Necessary to Partake of the Sacraments
Christ’s Merit



Head-Covering Notes


Defend that v. 4 dishonorable, in the context, is less shameful than shame in v. 14, c.f. vv. 5-6, contra persons who equate v. 4 and v. 14, such as Payne.

Payne:  “Each of these specific affirmations is a good reason for a wife to show respect to her husband: man is the image and glory of God (7b), woman is the glory of man (7c), woman’s source was from man (8), and woman was created to fulfill man (9).”

Payne on shaving for adultery:  “if she is convicted, of cutting off her hair. The entire tractate Sota of the Tosefta, Mishna, Babylonian Talmud, and Jerusalem Talmud is devoted to this issue. This custom is paralleled in non-Jewish customs cited by Tacitus (a.d. 98), Germania, 19; Aristophanes 3, 204-07; and Dio Chrysostom (a.d. 100), Discourses, 64.2-3.”

Payne:  “Women in Greek culture typically participated in worship without a veil or shawl.”  Put this on v. 13

For “source” arguments, see Payne, yet if so, need not exclude sense of authority, and the civil custom of women covering did not mean source but authority.

Show how ambiguity in ‘head’ can refer to both for a woman: one’s own head and their husband

Man: his own head, and as Matthew Henry.

Apply 1 Cor. to today, do things decently.


“Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, Richard Hays, and Gordon Fee, who all argued that the text is discussing long hair, not veiling” Massey

“Grecian pottery provides abundant information concerning elegant hair styles and an absence of head-coverings among the Greeks from a very early period.”  James B. Hurley, Man & Woman in 1 Corinthians: Some Exegetical Studies in Pauline Theology & Ethics (Ph.D. dissertation, Cambridge, 1973), 44.

Payne, ‘Critique of Massey’, 14.

“Jews referred to Gentile women as though they typically wore no veil.” Payne, ‘Critique of Massey’, 15, citing Num. Rab. 9 on 5:18; Hermann L. Strack & Paul Billerbeck, Kommentar zum Neuen Testament aus Talmud und Midrasch (6 vols.; München: Beck, 1922-1961) 3:429.

Pictures:  John B. Payne cites R. Hurschmann, ‘Hairstyle’ in Brill’s New
Pauly: Encyclopaedia of the Ancient World (Brill, 2005), 5.1099-103; D. R. Edwards, “Dress & Ornamentation,” Anchor Bible Dictionary 2:237

“It was not the normal custom for women in Greek and Roman cultures to be veiled; thus, it is hard to see how their being unveiled in worship could be regarded as controversial or shameful. For women to have loose hair in public, however, was conventionally seen as shameful…” R. B. Hays, First Corinthians (John Knox, 1997), 185-86.

“It was acceptable for women to go unveiled in public (Thompson 1998: 112; MacMullen 1980: 208-18).” Anchor Bible Dictionary (1992) 237.

Why were some women not covering?  Why were some men covering?

Second, difference between natural and positive worship, both are worship by Rutherford’s definition.

The circumstances of head-coverings are partly physical and partly moral per Ruth, p. 2, explain, p. 4 “clothed with their own seasonable conveniences”

Demonstrate that it is positive by its nature, and from the text, it is a sign of authority.  Sign of authority.

they have natural positive aspects, but these are warranted in Scripture, natural positives when they are necessary for decency and order, and to prevent scandal.  quote Rutherford, p. 95.

Divine Right, p. 87:  “and undenyably the lewish dayes, the High Priests garment, and many things of that kinde, were Divine or Religious performances, things, or adjuncts of Divine Worship, but so, as they are not meer∣ly adjuncts of Worship, but also worship; for the High Priests E∣phod was not only a civil ornament, nor was it a meer Physicall or naturall means to •ence off the injuries of sun, and Heaven, we do not think that the Lord in all, or any place of the Old or New Testament setteth down any Laws concerning garments simply, as they do fence off cold or heat, that belongeth to art, only he speaketh of garments as contrary to gravity, as signes of vanity and lightnesse, Isa. 3:16, etc. Zeph. 1:8. 1 Pet. 3. 3, 4. And of garments as Religious observances, of which sort was the attire and garments of the Priests and High-priests in their service, in which consideration the religious times, holy places, and Mosaical garments were Divine Worship, by which God was immediatly honored, but not adjuncts only, or actions; but Religious things or performances.”

The hats of men and the veils of women meant different things (this difference in the culture explains it, which otherwise makes tons of confusion), see Weemes, gives clearest explanation.

Rutherford, p. 192, Headcoverings “was either: 1. Miraculous. 2. Customable. 3. Occasionall; or 4. Morall.”  It was customable, but occasional

p. 193 “Occasionall, properly is that which hath a reason, not from* the nature of the thing it self, but from such occasionall occurrences of Providence, as God will not alter, and its that which hath no morall nor sacred conveniency with the nature of worship, but hath only a conveniency for such a time and place, as Christs preaching in a ship, when he is at the sea side, and a multitude are to hear him, the ship hath no agreement with the nature of preaching, more then an house hath, time, place, and persons are clearly such as agreed with that supper, as first, not as a sacred worship, and therefore were meerly occasionall, and so not imitable, and though Christ might have altered them, yet had they been occasionall, and they have no sacred conveniency with [worship as worship] this Supper, as this Supper; and if Christ [Paul] had altered these for mere will, upon no reasons that concerneth all Suppers, they had not been occasionall, but positive points of worship, and so had obliged us;”

Biblicism: the material thing is binding or not.  This is metaphysical and is much deeper, not this false alternative.  We do share in the same specie, or kind of worship, in some respect, as the Corinthians, insofar as we also partake of the same decency that they did (which alone is binding; and decency can never be defined as always including a given material object or not), yet not in the same particular, material object in worship.  They reason: there are some reasons for the material object in worship, therefore the material object is necessary for worship; doesn’t follow.  See Rutherford on fellowship in visible church.

Why Headcoverings cannot be from pure nature:

Because it is something positive beyond nature, namely putting something on one’s head, and while nature teaches that there is a God, and that He ought to be worshipped, and for our soul to fear, love Him, etc., yet it does not teach the positive, acceptable way of worshipping Him, which must come from his own special revealed will. See Gillespie that nature can only arise to nature, and not above nature, to positive things, or how one is to worship God. WCF 21.1

Headcoverings was not universal to the law of nations, therefore not taught by pure nature. Where did anyone practice headcoverings, only in public worship, except by understanding this from reading 1 Cor. 11? How is the practice written in the consciences of all men?

“Yet we attest the searcher of all hearts, that we have never been convinced in ourselves, by such a principle of nature, no not after diligent search and enquiry.” p. 202

Nature taken more than one way, between pure nature and secondary laws of nature, Rutherford, as founded on natural principles, but no more makes the secondary and positive part absolutely necessary with no variation

If by pure nature, then Adam and Eve, then every society, etc.

Palmer and Cawdrey on light of nature being unclear, that is why it is more likely meant of society.

‘Nature’ is taken for custom in Rom. 11, explain about grafting contrary to the custom of Israel in Dt.

Context in 1 Cor., largely about such church ordinances of order, which are situational, explain issue of Supper in second half of chapter being permanent because elsewhere in the Word it is clear it is theological and permanent, yet there is not such for coverings.

 And with other natural civil reasons in the syllogism, and the same universal natural and spiritual reasons, a different conclusion in our culture follows, per Rutherford, Divine Right, pp. 89-90, on the Jews converting and changing headcoverings

It certainly is not a sacrament or a means of grace.  A precept or ordinance is neither, and may come from the apostles, but not from them simply if a means of grace (needs a divine institution, and that to all believers, universally); no promise of saving or federal grace attached to come through them.  Nor is it a sign of the Covenant of Grace, or any grace.  If headcoverings are from nature in some regard, then they are common to nature, and unbelievers and civil society, and are not exclusive to the Church, and hence not a federal sign.

What remains moral?  Bucanus: the genus or kind of decency commanded to all, the special form of the rite is human and variable

Compare and contrast regulated sacramental circumstances, sitting, table, common cup with head-coverings.  The sacramental things were laudable customs based on decency and reason, and hence were moral, or had the will of Jesus for their choice, and by this positive regulation, and other spiritual restrictions, not common to the liberty of such practices civilly, were moral.

Yet Head-coverings were a laudable custom, based on decency and reason, yet all that was occasional from the societal circumstances, and as nothing peculiar was restricted about the head-coverings, but they were used exactly as they were civilly, so there was nothing positive about them, and hence they are not moral and regulated of themselves, but only bear their own natural weight, which must change with societies.

Objection, but if it is indifferent then the church has the authority, over indifferent things, to ordain it as a good and profitable custom as it shows humility.  Answer:

Same as wearing socially honorable clothes in worship, to give natural honor (as we ought, give honor to whom honor is due) to the Lord, and yet this will dramatically be different, the clothes, in India, Japan, Antarctica, etc.  No shirt, no shoes, no service, buddy.  And this does not make the clothes you where to public worship distinctly religious, or holy, or something unique to worship that is not done in society.

Give the same parallel to psalters, or projectors and their screens, they bear only their natural function and weight, do not become specifically religious, and are not made or appointed holy because of it.

To require headcoverings as religious on persons, when has no positive religious appt of God, is to have no other warrant for this worship but the will of man, and thus the person is being required to believe and do such simply because they said it, and therefore it is right, which is to require blind faith and obedience.

And for a creature to impose something positively religious on another is for the creature to dominate as God and oppress the other creature.

For a creature to make up a moral or religious positive, is to detract from the perfection of the Word in all morals and moral and religious positives, and this is forbidden, Rutherford citation

Circumstances of worship and order and decency, equal to civil and religious actions, such as headcoverings, have no holiness in themselves, but they can detract from the holiness of the worship with a loss of dignity and majesty, Ames p. 285

Though headcoverings are addressed in 1 Cor. 11 because of the incident of scandal, yet circumstances are not specially commanded in the Scriptures because they are part of man’s common sense.  Ames 285







Local Church Membership is Not Necessary to Partake of the Sacraments

History of

That Ministers can give the Sacraments to those outside of their congregations, from the nature of their office, Eph. 4 etc.

That they can give sacraments to those outside of their proper jurisdictions

That their responsibility in preventing scandal in this matter is limited

If the Pastor by his office’s nature, the end of his pastoral acts terminates on the visible Church as such, then Christians of the visible Church, so qualified to the sacrament, receive it in that capacity, if there is no further restriction.  The restriction is of the gathered Church, but never of a particular local church.  The unity is with the body, but the body is not defined simply as a particular local church only, could be regional or presbyterial, etc. that is those within a the vicinity, to all Christians.


Lord’s Supper

Old Testament Circumcision, Gen. 17

Old Testament Passover & Communion Meals

Example of Apostles baptizing

That this was not due to their extraordinary office, but of their ordinary functions, prove

That this was not due simply to extraordinary circumstances of an unconstituted Church area, but even in regular circumstances.

No instance of barring non-particular-church-members from Baptism or Supper in NT (or Bible)

No clear evidence, or warrant, that Corinth was a particular congregation, but was a presbytery with persons under it, and yet had the Supper

No clear instance of local Church eldership in the NT, per Gillespie, but rather by inference as an ideal

Ministers partake of the Supper, but are not members of a local congregation (but of the presbytery), and the Supper may be held in the presbytery.

1 Cor. 3:20-21

Nicodemus, “Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?” (Jn. 7:51)

They are either culpable or not-culpable


Live too far away to be a regular member, but visit on ocassion

In between memberships, as had to leave previous congregation and not to stay a member

Looking for one to join

Skeptical of joining that particular congregation due to the elders, but demand to partake of the sacrament

If culpable:

Ignorant of church membership

Don’t believe in Church membership, or full Church membership

Not disciplinable till second time, after they know, they might not know, no one told them, etc.

Have they had a trial?

Not guilty until proven innocent, but innocent until proven guilty

If they are in fault, is such worthy of debarring from the Table, or lesser-excommunication?

Grounds of Sacrament: partaking of the spiritual promise (and nothing else), prove

Sacrament, power of order, more foundational and more intrisically worship than an eldership and church membership.

Sacrament a positive good, more foundational than barring, a disciplinary action, a secondary and consequent principle

Verbal warnings by minister are sufficient when further oversight is not possible in providence

Administration of benefits and food is wider than that which is able to be disciplined.

Better to feed with some scandal, than to not feed the innocent, with no scandal.

Deal with the issue that the minister can bar the scandalous, per WLC.

The 7,000 believers remaining, unknown to Elijah, in the hills of Northern Israel, were they capable of partaking in the three yearly communion feasts at the Temple in Jerusalem?  According to Scripture, yes, as Scripture gives no requirements for local synagogue membership or being under local elders, are a member of a local synagogue assembly, but only that they be circumcised Israelites, not unclean, etc.

Though the sacraments are a power and function of the church political, i.e. of pastors, yet they are given for the visible Church to seal the promises of salvation to the visible church and not the political church (see Rutherford’s distinctions on the visible church).  Explain why, and why not vice versa.

Argument from pastors exercising other pastoral acts over Christians not under a congregation, such as preaching.  There is a Christian fellowship and authority and subjection in this.  And the pastor does not know if that Christian is scandalous or not.  Objection: but the unbelievers hear the Word.  Because this is the nature of the preaching of the Word, but not so with the Supper, which is only to those outwardly in the Covenant of Grace.

In congregational prayer there is a pastoral authority being exercised and a Christian fellowship in it, prove from Scripture, and Christians of no other congregation are included in this.  Practice of the Church of Scotland to escort the excommunicated out at congregational prayers, though they heard, and ought to hear the preached Word.  And yet pastors do not know if Christians of no congregation are scandalous, and yet they partake of the visible Christian fellowship of congregational prayers.  If one may do this with prayer, then so may one do it for visible Christians with the Supper.  If one ought not to do it for the Supper, then one ought not to allow such persons to remain for congregational prayers.

Find the practice of the Church of Scotland, Pardovan, etc.



Christ’s Merit

The Reformation

A primary

No real practical matter, as He did in fact attain it, whatever the cause or grounds of it be.

All the scripture passage are arguably ambiguous

Vain curiosity, yet makes one plummet the depths of theological principles.

The strength of one side, is the seeming worthiness of his human action.  However, the other side reminds us that Christ was God to begin with, to whom all things are owed.  Searching the depth of this makes the answer much less obvious.

Some see Christ judging the world as a fruit flowing out of his work and atonement, something merited, therefore they understand a general aspect to his atonement, in paying for their sins, as the way in which He earned the right to be their Judge as Mediator.  Yet He also judges angels, yet paid for no sins of angels.

Most of the No’s were early, CoR later, focus on the promise of the Father to Christ, if admit of the CoR how can one deny merited in an improper sense by fulfilling the terms, and so it owed to Him (voluntarily entered into) by Covenant, to be graciously rewarded.  Not strictly merited by creatureliness, nature or the innateness of the work (argue against Moek), nor a scheer consequence of gracious blessing, but by Covenant, for the good of his people to be at the right hand of God (which cannot be merited in anyway by a creature’s actions), and a revelation of his right by nature and free love from Father.

Creature cannot make God owe anything, because a servant (Owen).  Doesn’t matter if an act of God via Jesus, as acts of God cannot indebt God to be rewarded, except by a gracious condescension of his will, by CoR.  Though his actions are innately good, and perfectly so.

Despite hypostatic union giving infinite value, yet it gives infinite value to all his actions, post exaltation for which there is no reward, and the reward, in fact, is finite.

If less was given Him, in circumstances or otherwise, would it impugne God’s justice?  Not by nature, but yes by Covenant as agreed.

Was it aimed at by Christ for Christ?  For the Church to save in love, for the ultimate glory of God, and for the good of Christ as human?  His Person need it not, but it is a lawful and necessary good duty of the creature to seek its own good in some way, as a subordinate motive.

Conclusion: both and, by his person being owed all, and human nature meriting by way of covenant.