1 Corinthians 11:6 seems to deal in some way with a head covering.

For if a wife will not cover her head... (ESV)

εἰ γὰρ οὐ κατακαλύπτεται γυνή... (SBL)

The word used for "cover" in this case is κατακαλύπτεται. I am trying to understand the definition of this word through the use of its roots. What does this word mean in the Greek, and is it correctly translated here?

  • 1
    I'm not sure what the extra content adds aside from confusion. This makes the question unclear and appears to be much content that belongs in an answer rather than in the question. Also, see this post as there is much ill-informed speculation in this "question".
    – Dan
    Apr 13, 2016 at 5:39
  • the original question simply asked about the meaning of a specific word, which is clear. This is not clear. You are blocking your own road to understanding.
    – Dan
    Apr 13, 2016 at 11:57
  • 2
    The new question makes no sense - obviously in the textus receptus' division of the words, yes kata is a prefix, because it's attached to the front of the word. If you're asking whether the textus receptus is justified in making this division, you'll need to rephrase.
    – Steve Taylor
    Apr 14, 2016 at 11:26
  • 2
    I rolled this back to the question that made sense and was already answered. Please refrain from substantially changing questions after they have been (well) answered.
    – Susan
    Apr 15, 2016 at 4:53

2 Answers 2


The clause cited in the question does not contain the word "head," this is (properly) inferred in most major English translations from the surrounding context.

The word κατακαλύπτω, simply meaning to "cover" or "veil",1 can reasonably be broken into two roots: κατά + καλύπτω.

καλύπτω means "to cause to be covered in some physical way, cover someone (up)" or "to cause someth[ing] not to be known, hide, conceal, keep secret."2 Combined with the pronoun κατά, which in this usage indicates a "marker of extension or orientation in space or specific area..., of location that is relatively lower, down from someth[ing]."3, which in this instance is the object being covered, i.e. the head, this word clearly indicates that something is covered up or completely covered down from a specified object/location.

Even so, etymology is not the best indicator of the meaning of a word in a given context (although in this case it doesn't matter much).4 What is more important is how the word was used by contemporary writers in the context in which the word was written, and the word was used in extrabiblical literature during the same time period as Paul's writings to refer to young women's head coverings,5 and had also been used in the Septuagint in reference to covering (and uncovering) young women.6

Given the use of the word in Biblical and extrabiblical literature, the translation in the ESV is accurate.

1 William Arndt, Frederick W. Danker, and Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 517.

2 Ibid., 505.

3 Ibid., 511.

4 As an example, the word 'robot' comes from a Czech word meaning 'forced labor', referring to slavery. Clearly we don't mean that when we use the word today, which is why etymology is not always indicative nor even helpful for determining meaning in context.

5 Hermas, Visions, IV, ii, 1; Ps.-Dicaearchus, p. 144 ln. 16ff F. of the Theban women; and the word is also used in Josephus' Antiquities 7, 254 to refer to a king 'covering himself.'

6 The word refers to the facial covering of a prostitute (specifically, a woman pretending to be a prostitute) in Genesis 38:15 in the LXX. This word is also used in the Apocryphal work of Susanna, v. 32 in the Theodotion.

  • The phrase does not mean "brings down concealment" in context here. Using an interlinear or concordance is no substitute to learning the original languages. As for the rest, that would be off topic here unless asked individually (this is not a Christian site - we study the texts in their original historical, linguistic, and literary contexts).
    – Dan
    Dec 26, 2015 at 0:59
  • "Roots", or etymology, is not an accurate indicator of meaning in context. Take the word "butterfly" as an example. It is not an airborne dairy product, as its etymology might suggest. Etymology has little to no correlation to the meaning of a word in a specific context (in any language).
    – Dan
    Dec 26, 2015 at 1:02
  • See this article for more information
    – Dan
    Dec 26, 2015 at 13:30

To cover, to remain concealed, or against the covering

The answer is none of the above. I spent eight years figuring this and here is how the conclusion came.

It starts when 11 gets translated as

3 But I want y'all to realize because of every man the Template is the leading concern but the leading concern of the wife is the husband but the leading concern of the Template is Aloha.

4 Every man asking or planning down concerns of the Template has shamed himself.

5 But every woman asking or planning not exposing the husband's concerns, shames herself; for it's one and the same as if she shaved her hair off.

6 Indeed if the wife buzzes off her hair by not exposing the husband's concerns, and if disgraceful women shave or buzz their hair, expose the husband's concerns.

7 Indeed man truly ought not expose the head icon and glory of Allah as under-authority but the glory of man is his woman.

8 For it is not man from out of wife, but woman from out of man,

9 and indeed man was not created through the wife but woman through the man.

10 Through this, out of possibleness, ought through the messages keep upon the woman's head.

11 However, neither woman separate from man, neither man separate from woman in Aloha.

12 Just as indeed in this way the woman from out of the man, and the man through the woman, but everything from out of Aloha.

13 In them y'all judge: Is it proper wife exposing not the concerns of the husband for the Aloha when asking?


Down-Covering is the other way of saying "expose". If grouping the concept "not and exposing" it results with "cover" hence why many of the translations translate it as cover. However if maintaining it uncontracted we can gain the positive perspective translating it this way:

5 But every woman asking or planning exposing the husband's concerns, glorifies herself; for it's one and the same as if she grew long hair.


The husband sees the child needing new shoes, and mentions it to the wife. The wife suggests "How bout going to the store and getting shoes?" The husband thinks of the wife "I'm lucky she's mine!!!!!" and thinks of her the entire time he travels and gets the shoes.

  • Very difficult answer to grasp Apr 16, 2020 at 21:38

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