Historical Head Covering: Linus
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Historical Head Covering: Linus
This is possibly the first mention of head covering outside the Bible. Possibly. Maybe.
Linus and his blanket
The Linus in the GIF is not the Linus we're talking about, but he could be carrying a head covering for Lucy, don't you think?¬†ūüôā

Linus (identified as the Linus in 2 Timothy 4:21) was close to the Apostle Peter. Tradition says he took over as a leader of the church when Peter was crucified. In The Book of the Popes, he is named as the second Pope, even though there were no official Popes at that time.

Here is the relevant quote:
He, [Linus] by direction of the blessed Peter, decreed that a woman must veil her head to come into the church.'
http://chris-ross.net/Library/Liber%20Pontificalis.pdf The book of the popes (Liber pontificalis) p6

This is possibly the first mention of head coverings outside of the Bible. It is found in the mouth of Linus.
I say it is possibly the first, because many think Linus did not actually say this.
There is a huge amount of uncertainty about the authorship. If we err on the side of caution, this part of the book was compiled in the 5th or 6th century at the latest.
Therefore, either Linus said this somewhere around 100AD, or someone else put the words in his mouth, maybe somewhere into the 500s.
Is the where there?
This quote speaks seems to speak about the where of covering for women - the church - and suggests that she must actively put it on to come into the church. However...
  • What does coming "into the church" mean? Is that the form of the phrase in its original language? Does it mean coming into the church meeting, or entering the church body by becoming a Christian?
  • If this was from Linus himself, what form did the church take in Linus' time? Did people say, "come into the church" to talk about coming to a church meeting? (Perhaps. See 1 Cor 14:23 & 24) Were there church buildings then?
  • If the quote is from a time closer to the 5th or 6th century AD, the phrase, "come into the church" would fit with church buildings.
What else does it tell us?
What else does it tell us?
What else does it tell us?
  • It links the tradition to the Apostle Peter.
  • It says Linus¬†decreed¬†this. Did women still rebel against this tradition then?
Sad to say, without more information the only thing we can be somewhat confident about is that the head covering tradition was a church doctrine somewhere from 100AD to 599AD.
If you have the time and means to find out more, I'd love it if you shared it with us!


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