The New Testament has several verses that address the topic of the veiling of women. The most relevant material on women’s veiling in Christianity can be found in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. All quotations are from the King James Bible.
1 Corinthians 11, verses 2-16:
Woman’s hair and covering in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians
It is important to consider what Paul says here about woman’s hair and how he distinguishes carefully the status of women’s hair from men’s.
- Paul emphasizes the fact that women need to cover their hair when praying or teaching: “every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head” (1 Corin. 11:5)
- Paul also points out that if the woman does not cover her hair, she should shave it. However, since it is shameful to have it shaved here, it is better to cover it: “if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered” (1 Corin. 11:6)
- In addition, Paul recommends that women keep their hair long because long hair serves as a type of covering: “But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.” (1 Corin. 11:15)