In both cases, under the Jewish priestly arrangement and under the Christian arrangement, the head covering served as a sign of submission. But there was double reason for the women serving in the Christian congregation to have a head covering. They thus pictured the subjection of the congregation to Christ, and, additionally, by wearing a head covering they acknowledged the headship of the male in God’s arrangement.—1 Cor. 11:8, 9; Eph. 5:21-24.
● What does the Bible mean when it speaks of Christians’ ‘greeting one another with a holy kiss’?—L. L., Canada.
In the conclusions to four of his letters, the apostle Paul encouraged Christians in the first century to “greet one another with a holy kiss.” (Rom. 16:16; 1 Cor. 16:20; 2 Cor. 13:12; 1 Thess. 5:26) And in a similar vein, the apostle Peter urged: “Greet one another with a kiss of love.” (1 Pet. 5:14) Though the Bible does not provide details about this practice among first-century Christians, a brief look at the custom of kissing among the Hebrews sheds some light on the matter.
In Biblical times affection, respect or peace was often shown by kissing on the cheek, forehead, lips or hand. This could be done without any romantic or erotic overtones. There are Bible examples of male relatives kissing, and of kisses between male and female relatives. (Gen. 29:11, 13; Ex. 18:7) Also, kissing was a gesture of affection between men who were very good friends. (2 Sam. 19:39; Acts 20:37) These tokens of friendship and affection might seem unusual to persons who have been trained to be more reserved with their feelings. But to those people it was no more unusual than is a hearty handshake between close friends today.
So Paul and Peter were not establishing any new Christian custom or solemn religious rite. Rather, they were drawing upon a form of greeting that was already common in their day. Among Christians this would not be a mere formalism, but would truly reflect the brotherhood and spiritual oneness of those united by true worship. When fellow Christians greeted “one another with a holy kiss” there would be no improper familiarity or scandal, but a demonstration of chaste, godly affection. This same close, warm and chaste spiritual affection and brotherhood is cultivated among true Christians today, even though local customary greetings usually take some other form.—John 13:34, 35.
Happiness! Perfect health! Justice! Peace! Those words seem to have little meaning in a world frayed with tension, sickness, injustice and war. But to those who understand Bible prophecy these words have real meaning. They describe conditions that will soon fill the earth under the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. (Rev. 20:6) Jehovah’s witnesses have made this hope their own and thus may be said to be on a joyful march to mankind’s millennium. They want to help others to learn about the prophecies that will encourage them to join in this joyful march to mankind’s millennium. To that end, they urge everyone to read the Bible. During the month of June they will be calling at the homes of as many persons as possible to offer them a fine, modern-English Bible, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, along with a Bible-study aid booklet, for just $1.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES?
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“WATCHTOWER” STUDIES FOR THE WEEKS
July 7: A Heavenly Priesthood—God’s Provision for Life Seekers. Page 364. Songs to Be Used: 64, 48.
July 14: Regulations for the Heavenly Priesthood. Page 371. Songs to Be Used: 61, 13.