1 Corinthians 11
Keep traditions about head covering for men and women 1
Heads covered and uncovered 4
Traditions based on differences between men and women 8
Argument and heresies to be avoided in church assemblies 17
Institution and process for the Lord's Supper 23
Abuse of the ceremony 27

.1 ¶ Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
 2  Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
 3  But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
  2 - Ordinances From paradoseis Basically "giving over of information"; sometimes translated "traditions." According to Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, the word in this verse means "the particular injunctions of Paul's instruction." Thus our KJV is a good translation.
  3 - But I would have you know They still have a problem v13. This new concept he is about to explain involves a misunderstanding or an expansion of what he has said. Looking at the end of the previous chapter we discover he has counseled the Corinthian church to avoid offending either Jews or Greeks 1co1032. Here he takes ethnic cultural expectations and develops a theological principle of relationships.
  3 - The head of every man is Christ, and ... This clear statement is a problem for those who feel that women should be able to fill any role a man can. "Head," kephale, is a metaphor Paul uses elsewhere ep0122, ep0523. The head governs the body. If the word "source" could be used instead of "head" the verse would give more license to women. It is not so used in Greek literature according to a study by Wayne Grudem (Trinity Journal 1985, p.40). And kephale translates the Hebrew ros in the Septuagint. Ros clearly denotes authority so Paul's Greek-speaking readers would not have understood it as "source."
  3 - Head of the woman The KJV is not accurate here. The text says, "head of a woman" drawing our attention to the marriage relationship. Family relationships were established in Eden and lived out in the patriarchal system where the father was the priest of the family. This is still God's plan, as I see it. Many a brave mother has carried her burden and the father's burden as well. God understands.
.4  Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
.5  But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
 6  For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
 7  For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
  4 - His head covered Literally, "down over his head." No mention is made of a hat. It is possible that reference is to having long hair which is specifically mentioned in other verses; or, by comparison with the next verse, either long hair or another covering. For the concept of a covering consider 2co0312-18. Thus the man who covers his head or face is denying his direct access to Christ.
  4 - His head Christ v3 above.
  5 - Woman that prayeth or propesieth Notice that the point here is not whether she should pray in church or speak to the believers for the Lord. It is how she is covered. Also, if praying in church were wrong for women it seems that God would not have honored Hannah's prayer at the temple 1sa0109ff.
  5 - Every woman ... uncovered dishonoureth her head This is clear when we realize that God has appointed the husband and man to be priest of the family and of His people. By her uncovered head a woman would deny the male role of headship, particularly in spiritual leadership 1ti0211ff.
  7 - Woman is the glory of the man Explained in the verses which follow.
.8  For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.
 9  Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
 10  For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.
 11  Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
 12  For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.
  8 - Woman of the man Eve was from a rib of Adam ge0221ff.
  9 - Woman for the man ge0218.
  10 - Power [or authority] because of the angels From the situation described in the preceding two verses it may appear that women are servants of men (which is not the case). The meaning of this verse isn't very clear. Perhaps Paul is reminding us that the angels minister to all of us he0114.
  11 - Nevertheless neither is man without the woman While there is a hierarchical relationship, men and women need each other. And, as Paul says elsewhere, they are equally entitled to the full promises of God ga0326ff.
  12 - Man by the woman Without women, no men would be born.
.13  Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?
.14  Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
 15  But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
 16  But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.
  13 - Judge in yourselves Here we see the cultural aspect. Paul seems to say, You know by experience: it just looks bad for a woman to pray with short hair or no scarf. It might not look as bad to some of us as it did to his readers, although I think we could relate a little better to the next two verses.
  16 - But if any man ... no such custom Paul seems to say, If you still want to argue, just remember that women without head coverings just do not pray that way in any of the churches.
   It is certainly not my purpose to minimize the force of the inspired word. I would just say, Let's not generalize from local situations we do not entirely understand. At the same time we want to recognize general principles.
.17 ¶ Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.
 18  For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
  17 - Praise you not Could assembly at a "Christian" meeting be wrong? It was for the church at Corinth. They were coming together "for the worse" because of bad attitudes. Sometimes the unholy spirit is present in meetings. For example, Jesus didn't "slay people in the spirit." This is not to say that people who attend Pentecostal meetings are all evil. They may love the Lord. They are just misguided. See 2ti0107.
 19  For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
 20  When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.
 21  For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.
 22  What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.
  19 - Heresies The word, transliterated from the Greek, originally meant "choices." The picture is of people with different ideas and different opinions about how important some things were. In fact, varying opinions can be discussed making the church stronger. It may also weaken the church if some want their opinion to prevail and begin to lead a rebellion. lu0234, 1jo0218.
  20 - Come ... not to eat the Lord's supper They came for that purpose but the irreverent attitude was making it a meal that the Lord could not bless.
.23 ¶ For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
 24  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
.25  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
.26  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.
   23  - Received of the Lord The Lord could have shown Paul about the supper but it seems more likely that the first part of this verse belongs to the previous topic.
   24 - He brake it Something for us to remember along with the meaning of the fruit of the vine.
   25 - New testament or "new covenant." Its newness was because the first covenant had been broken. The new covenant is an Old Testament concept je3133. We find a type of the Lord's Supper in ex2409-11.
  25 - In my blood Could the "cup" have been fermented? Not according to the warning in v21. One could argue that he could drink and not get drunk. But even a little alcohol in the blood begins to affect the brain. And here it represents the blood of Christ! See on 1ti0303. The fermentation of yeast (leaven) represents sin. Implied in ex1215. Passover bread was to be without leaven de1603.
  26 - Shew the Lord's death till he come Jesus taught us to look for His return in the clouds ac0109, jn1401 but today theology has evolved and instead people are taught that they will see Christ as soon as they die or that a "rapture" comes first re0107b.
.27  Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
 28  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
 29  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
 30  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
Passages linked to often have more than one verse.
  27 - And Should be "or."
  27 - Unworthily None are worthy of the grace of Christ. It is a free gift. This unworthiness is in a slightly different sense. It is being unprepared to participate for not having accepted the life-changing grace. Paul mentions problems the believers were having above beginning at v17.
  28 - Examine Before participating a person should spend some time in heart preparation. This would not need to be at the church. The service of foot washing softens hearts. For reflecting the image of Jesus, see 2co1305, ga0604.
  30 - For this cause Apparently sickness caused by gluttony (eating too much an food that is too rich) in general. This is clearer considering that the word "unworthy" in v29 is not in some manuscripts.
 31  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
 32  But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
 33  Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.
 34  And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.
  31 - Not be judged From diakrino, meaning "to discern." If we search for our own spiritual strength and make needed changes, we may avoid condemnation.
  33 - Tarry Perhaps being reverent or listening to the needs and prayers of others especially those who may be lonely or burdened.
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