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1 Corinthians 11

11
1follow me in this attitude, my brethren, as I follow the Christ.
Paul's views on woman in the church
2You do remember and mark my words, I know, and you do keep the rules and the instructions which I lay down. I commend you as an obedient flock, and therefore listen now to another rule, a tradition I wish to be observed in our churches. 3Let men be bareheaded at our meetings, but let the women still wear the head-covering, as has always been the custom, and not thinking themselves free, as they begin to do, appear bareheaded like to men. 4-9And why? There is a reason. If a woman is to appear bareheaded like a man, then let her cut her hair, and wear it in the way that men wear theirs. That would be ugly, you say, and I agree. There is then a difference between the man and the woman; and what is our interpretation of it? Mine is this. Man stands for God; but woman stands for man. The head of the man is the type of Christ governing the body, and the head of Christ is God. The man then in every way stands as the type of the divine, the image and likeness of God, and with unveiled head he stands in the presence of God. 10But woman represents the glory of man; and in the presence of the angels of God man's glory should be veiled. A woman's beauty is her modesty. Her long hair is her glory, because it clothes and covers her. 11The male comes first as the representative of God, and the female next as the representative of man. 12In the second chapter of Genesis the difference made between the creation of man and of woman lies, as I interpret it, in these two different types, the one of God, the other of man; 13-15and so I advise you to keep the old custom whereby men wear their hair short, and bare their heads in prayer or preaching, but women wear their hair long, and in praying or in preaching they keep their heads covered. 16I advise you, I say, to keep this rule, but if you intend to argue the point with me — then I declare I am ignorant of any such custom, and the churches of God know it not!
Divisions and abuses at the Lord's table
17Now in this next point I cannot add any commendation to the advice I am going to give you, for the reason that things are far from well, and that you are receiving harm where you ought to get only good. 18It is an excellent thing that you assemble yourselves together that you may get mutual profit thereby, but not if thereby differences and divisions arise amongst you. This I have heard to be the case, and so in a measure I believe it to be; 19because these divisions, it would seem, have a part to play in our faith, whereby the false are separated from the true, and true faith is tried and tested. 20-21Similarly taking food and drink in common, arriving at this meal hungry and thirsty, is no part of our faith. To dine all together is not to eat the supper of the Lord, especially when some are far better provided than others, and there are great differences in the way you fare at this common feast, and excess even and want are found seated at the same table. 22I like not such customs as that. Why not take your meals in the ordinary way at home? To eat and drink in such a way is to hasten the doom that is coming on all flesh — that doom and judgment of the flesh which is seen in the sickness, the ill-health and the death that still is found amongst your numbers. Now through the eternal body and blood of the Christ we are released from that fate and judgment that come upon the flesh. We look forward to the appearance and coming of the eternal Christ, and we show forth that peculiar death of his which overcame death and releases us from it.
The last supper described
23That is what the Lord Jesus meant by his words at that last supper the night on which they took him, when he handed the cup to his disciples, and broke the bread for them. I taught you his words and his action on that occasion, as they were given me by those who were present. 24After taking the bread, he gave thanks, spoke the usual blessing, and handed it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is surrendered on your behalf. In future, when you break bread thus, and give thanks, remember my body, remember me.” 25-26In handing the cup after dinner, he said, “This is the new covenant, sealed in my blood. In future, whenever you take wine thus together, think of this new covenant, remember my blood.”
Its spiritual meaning explained
27Do you then my brethren, when you come together, eating and drinking, with the intention of carrying out his injunction, and recalling his words, do you really discern beneath this semblance and type of bread and wine the eternal body of Christ to which we belong? Do you really celebrate that wondrous death of his, which differed from all other deaths in that it is to be followed by his second coming and eternal presence in the world? 28Examine yourselves on these points, and assemble together in that spirit only. Otherwise you will only eat and drink the doom of all flesh, as it comes upon the whole world. 29But if you discerned that infinite eternal body, if you understood the meaning of Christ's death in the flesh, and what is signified by the shedding of his blood, and the giving up of his mortal life and material body — 30-31then, my brethren, there would not be so much sickness and disease and death in your midst as there still is. 32-33You would not be bound up with the world in the common doom of perishing mortality, but by first judging yourselves, you would then escape the general ruin. 34Such feasts as you observe, where the eating and drinking predominate over the teaching, have little in keeping with the Lord's supper and this can be avoided by eating first at home, and then when you come together, giving place to one another, and taking the bread and wine as it comes to you. There are other details in connection with this matter which I will arrange when I see you.
11
Christian Order
1Imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.
2I praise and appreciate you because you remember me in everything and you firmly hold to the #The following discourse covers appropriate conduct and relationships within the church, as well as within church-related activities.traditions [the substance of my instructions], just as I have passed them on to you. 3But I want you to understand that Christ is the head (authority over) of every man, and man is the head of woman, and God is the head of Christ. 4Every man who prays or #The references to men or women prophesying (here and v 5) indicate that Paul has church meetings in mind, where the speaker is leading the congregation in prayer or addressing them.prophesies with something on his head dishonors his head [and the One who is his head]. 5And every woman who prays or prophesies when she has her #In public, respectable women wore their hair done up in a modest style. In the Greco-Roman-Jewish culture of the time, hair worn down and loose would suggest a woman of questionable morals.head uncovered disgraces her head; for she is one and the same as the #Possibly the mark of an adulteress or prostitute, but likely a sign of disgrace for any number of reasons. In one of Aristophanes’ comedies, for example, head shaving is recommended for a woman whose son is cowardly or otherwise worthless.woman whose head is shaved [in disgrace]. 6If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and #There is little doubt that this would appear disgraceful and embarrassing, but Paul is essentially providing his readers a simple way to determine for themselves if a woman should cover her head while prophesying or leading prayer in church.if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, she should cover her head. 7A man ought not have his head covered [during worship], since he is the image and [reflected] glory of God; but the woman is [the expression of] man’s glory. 8For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; 9for indeed man was not created for the sake of woman, but woman for the sake of man. 10Therefore the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head, #This may be an indication that angels are present at gatherings of believers.for the sake of the angels [so as not to offend them]. 11Nevertheless, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12For as the woman originates from the man, so also man is born through the woman; and all things [whether male or female] originate from God [as their Creator]. 13#This verse acknowledges custom as another, separate argument for a woman’s head covering (v 5).Judge for yourselves; is it proper for a woman to offer prayer to God [publicly] with her head uncovered? 14Does not common sense itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him, 15but if a woman has long hair, it is her ornament and glory? For her long hair is given to her as a covering. 16Now if anyone is inclined to be contentious [about this], we have no other practice [in worship than this], nor do the churches of God [in general].
17But in giving this next instruction, I do not praise you, because when you meet together it is not for the better but for the worse. 18For, in the first place, when you meet together in church, I hear that there are divisions among you; and in part I believe it, 19for [doubtless] there have to be factions among you, so that those who are of approved character may be clearly recognized among you. 20So when you meet together, it is not to eat the #When Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper (or the Lord’s Table), it was the Passover meal with the special rituals and explanations that He introduced (Matt 26:26 ff; Luke 22:15 ff). The description given here indicates that the early church celebrated the Lord’s Supper in similar fashion by having a full meal (the so-called agape “love” feast) that included the special rites with the bread and wine (see v 21).Lord’s Supper, 21for when you eat, each one hurries to get his own supper first [not waiting for others or the poor]. So one goes hungry while another gets drunk. 22What! Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? Or do you show contempt for the church of God and humiliate those [impoverished believers] who have nothing? What will I say to you? Shall I praise you for this? In this I will not praise you!
The Lord’s Supper
23 # Many scholars believe this may be the first written description of the Lord’s Supper since this letter from Paul is dated earlier than any of the Gospels. For I received from the Lord Himself that [instruction] which I passed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is (represents) My body, which is [offered as a sacrifice] for you. Do this in [affectionate] remembrance of Me.” 25In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant [ratified and established] in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in [affectionate] remembrance of Me.” 26For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are [symbolically] proclaiming [the fact of] the Lord’s death until He comes [again].
27So then whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in a way that is unworthy [of Him] will be guilty of [profaning and sinning against] the body and blood of the Lord. 28But a person must [prayerfully] examine himself [and his relationship to Christ], and only when he has done so should he eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29For anyone who eats and drinks [without solemn reverence and heartfelt gratitude for the sacrifice of Christ], eats and drinks a judgment on himself if he does not #I.e. respect Christ’s sacrifice and his fellow believers for whom Christ also died.recognize the body [of Christ]. 30That [careless and unworthy participation] is the reason why many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep [in death]. 31But if we evaluated and judged ourselves honestly [recognizing our shortcomings and correcting our behavior], we would not be judged. 32But when we [fall short and] are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined [by undergoing His correction] so that we will not be condemned [to eternal punishment] along with the world.
33So then, my brothers and sisters, when you come together to eat [the Lord’s Supper], wait for one another [and see to it that no one is left out]. 34If anyone is too hungry [to wait], let him eat at home, so that you will not come together for judgment [on yourselves]. About the remaining matters [of which I was informed], I will take care of them when I come.