1.1 Background of the Study Head covering for women in the church today is a controversial issue attracting distinct opinions and is avoided by many Christians in the society and in pubic worship. Some have wondered if the head covering Paul writes about in I Corinthians 11:5-6 and 13 refers to women wearing hats or having long hair to church. Although the use of head covering in pubic worship is controversial and unpopular, there are some important reasons why it needs to be considered. One obvious reason is that Paul devotes a chapter in an epistle to this topic, hence argument in favour of the practice of head covering. If the practice is to be ignored or avoided today, the church must have clear exegetical reasons for it. Brain (2003) observes that “As Christians, our utmost allegiance is not to the status quo or the spirit of the age, but to our Lord Jesus and his infallible word.” For Bruce (1983) as Christians, the position of whether or not women should wear a head covering in church is of such low priority that it should not be discussed at al or that is really does not matter. It is true that the practice is not one of the central doctrines of Christianity, and to neglect weightier matters of Scripture while arguing on this position can only bring on us the woe which Jesus pronounces against the Scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23:23. Bruce however observes further that Jesus concludes that saying with the phrase: “without neglecting the others In this regard Safran (2014) observes that the practice of Christian modesty, in clothing and long hair, for women is commanded in Holy Scripture, I Timothy 2:9 and I Corinthians 11:15. The practice of Christian hair covering is commanded in Holy Scripture, if it’s wrong to not wear a head covering for “praying and prophesying”, then it is wrong to not wear a head covering. The meaning of what is considered modesty in dressing has divided Christians into groups. First, 1 Corinthians 11:5-6 is a major scripture at the center of this controversy. The verse has been used over the years, to evaluate what is modest for Christian women or not regarding head covering. To some the uncovering of the head by women is a sin, while it isa “no win” situation by people that do not want to offend people of diverse opinions on the topic. They argue that Christians must be sensitive to the cultures in which they live. They should not needlessly flout local customs unless there is some moral lesson to do so (Holman, 2003). The actual meaning of the text as well as obedience to it seems to cause disagreement in The Apostolic Church, Ndot. It is therefore the focus of this study to examine the meaning of the text and the implications it has on The Apostolic Church, Ndot.
1.2 Statement of the Problem The problem that this study aims to address is to examine the implications of head covering in I Corinthians 11:5-6 on the women in The Apostolic Church Ndot. This study is important because the interpretation and appropriate application of I Corinthians 11:5-6 have divided churches and scholars into groups.The first group argues that in Paul’s era women did not wear head coverings; rather, Paul was talking about long hair as a covering (vs. 15). The second group posits that Paul was referring only to when women lead in public prayers. While, the third group asserts that Paul was talking about women wearing head coverings during any kind of prayer, but that head covering was a cultural item of that time and thus are not required of Christian women in contemporary society. First Corinthians 11:5-6 is one of the most important passages for many Christians most especially members and clergymen in The Apostolic Church, Ndot, yet it is one of the most difficult passages to understand. The Apostolic Church members see women who do not cover their heads during worship as being disobedient to the tradition of the church and being immodest. Hence, condemnation, pity, suspicion and abound whenever women are seeing not wearing or covering their heads. Therefore, it is pertinent to ask: What is the original intended meaning of the text? What is the teaching of The Apostolic Church regarding the text? What is the attitude of the members of The Apostolic Church, Ndot to the passage? What does obedience/disobedience to the practice imply for the members of the Church in question? This study sets out to find answers to these and other related questions. Purpose of the Study The aim of this study is to explore the implications of head covering in 1 Corinthians 11:5-6 on the women in The Apostolic Church, Ndot. The following objectives are therefore set out: To investigate the original intended meaning of the text. To find out how the members of The Apostolic Church understand the text. To investigate the teaching of The Apostolic Church regarding the passage. To explore the attitude of the members of The Apostolic Church Ndotto the passage. To examine the implications of obeying or disobeying the passage on the members of The Apostolic Church, Ndot. To analyze the implication of the text to the contemporary church. 1.4 Significance of the Study It is hoped that the findings of this research if read by the church in Ndot, will help them to understand the actual meaning and implication of the passage. Also, it will expand the horizon of clergymen on the meaning of the passage. Furthermore, the study will add to the existing literature in religious studies in Nigeria.