Friday, March 1, 2013
Because of the angels
Just this note to the late apostle Paul: Thank you for writing this verse to your old friends in Corinth, “For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.” It has made me smile for two days.
Turns out the old scholastic theologians, Aquinas and his cronies, should have been asking about the dancefloors sitting atop the shoulders and necks of their wives and daughters. Forget about the pinheads. Angels and angels sitting, pirouetting, leaping, reading, sipping, sighing, smiling on the tops of girl’s heads.
My favorite commentary on this verse is from Albert Barnes’ comprehensive notes on the Bible: “There is scarcely any passage in the Scriptures which has more exercised the ingenuity of commentators than this verse. . . . After all the explanations which have been given of it, I confess, I do not understand it.” Or maybe this briefer one from the 1557 Geneva Bible (Will Shakespeare’s Bible, you know?), annotations by Laurence Tomson, who was himself compiling generations of commentary: “What this means, I do not yet understand.”
Well, I understand it well enough. I sent my wife and daughter on a plane to Arizona today, and well, I miss them, angels, power, and all.