Biblical Archaeology Review 41:5, September/October 2015

Biblical Views: Paul, Jesus and the Rolling Stone

By John Byron

Every now and then I read something in the apostle Paul’s letters that trips me up—where he makes a claim or statement without offering any explanation and then moves on. For instance, while arguing why women should cover their heads during worship, he throws in the line “because of the angels” (1 Corinthians 11:10), but Paul never explains what he means. He just keeps writing and ignores the mental train wreck behind him as readers are left asking: “Wait, what about the angels?” And since nature and scholarship both abhor a vacuum, numerous explanations have been offered as to what Paul might have meant. Alas, we don’t know if any of the proposed solutions is in fact what Paul had in mind since he never tells us.

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