11:5 with her head uncovered. Given the contrast with the previous verse, this comment suggests that women in the first century normally worshiped with a head covering. Some scholars think that Paul refers to a particular hairstyle (in Num. 5:18, loosening a woman’s hair is part of the test for an unfaithful wife). See note on v. 15.
the same as if her head were shaven. In v. 6, shaving a woman’s head is compared to having the hair cut short, presumably like a man’s. It appears then that Paul is opposing a practice that tended to obliterate the distinction between the sexes. Possibly, the controversy reflects the idea of some Corinthians that they had achieved perfection and were no longer subject to the normal rules (Introduction: Date and Occasion).