Chapter Eleven OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To ascertain if Paul's instructions concerning the veil were meant to be applied today, or if he was simply admonishing them to abide by what was a social custom of their day 2) To notice the purpose of the Lord's Supper and the manner in which it is to be observed SUMMARY Having spent three chapters discussing the issue of eating things sacrificed to idols, Paul now quickly covers two separate matters in this one chapter. The first pertains to women praying and prophesying with heads uncovered (2-16). In view of what we are able to glean about the society of Corinth, and from comments made by Paul in this chapter and elsewhere, I believe that the problem Paul addresses is one that was occurring out in public and not in the assembly. Beginning in verse 17 and continuing through chapter 14, Paul covers issues affecting their assemblies as a church, the first being the manner in which they abused the observance of the Lord's Supper (17-34). OUTLINE I. WOMEN PRAYING AND PROPHESYING WITH HEADS UNCOVERED (2-16) A. INTRODUCTORY REMARKS (2-5a) 1. Commendation for having kept the apostolic traditions delivered to them (2) 2. A reminder concerning the proper line of authority (3) 3. Concerning praying and prophesying (4-5a) a. Every man who does so with head covered dishonors his head (Christ) b. Every woman who does so with head uncovered dishonors her head (man) B. EXPLANATORY COMMENTS (5b-16) 1. A woman praying or prophesying uncovered would make her appear as one shorn or shaved (5a) a. If a woman is not covered, let her be shorn (6a) b. If to be shorn or shaved is shameful, let her be covered (6b) 2. It is proper for a man not to cover his head (7-9) a. Man is the image and glory of God, while woman is the glory of man (7) b. Man did not come from woman, nor was created for woman (8-9) 3. It is appropriate for a woman to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of angels (10) 4. This is not to say that man is independent of woman (11-12) a. Especially in the Lord (11) b. For as the woman is from the man, so the man is through the woman (12a) c. And all things are from God (12b) 5. Judge this matter for yourselves (13-15) a. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with uncovered head? (13) b. Does not even nature teach you? (14-15) 1) That long hair on a man is a dishonor to him? (14) 2) That long hair on a woman is a glory to her, and provides a covering? (15) 6. But if anyone is contentious about this matter... (16) a. We have no such custom (i.e., this is not an "apostolic tradition") b. Nor do the churches of God II. CONCERNING THE LORD'S SUPPER (17-34) A. THE CONDUCT AT CORINTH IN REGARDS TO THE LORD'S SUPPER (17-22) 1. He cannot praise them for their conduct in their assemblies (17-19) a. Their coming together is not for the better, but for the worse (17) b. He has heard of their divisions, of which the only good thing that could be said is that it does show who is really approved among them (18-19) 2. Especially in regards to the Lord's Supper (20-22) a. Their divisiveness made it impossible to eat properly, and led to severe abuses (20-21) b. They despised the church and shamed the poor, for which Paul could not praise them (22) B. THE INSTITUTION AND PROPER OBSERVANCE OF THE LORD'S SUPPER (23-34) 1. The institution as received by Paul directly from the Lord (23-25) 2. Properly observed, it is a proclamation of the Lord's death (26) 3. Properly observed, it is accompanied by self-examination (27-32) a. Which enables us to observe it without bringing judgment to ourselves (27-29) b. Otherwise, we will be judged and chastened by the Lord, that we might not be condemned with the world (30-32) 4. Concluding instructions (33-34) a. When you come together to eat the Supper, wait for one another (33) b. If you are hungry, eat at home (34a) c. Paul will have more to say when he comes to Corinth (34b) REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER 1) List the main points of this chapter - Women Praying And Prophesying With Head Uncovered (2-16) - Concerning The Lord's Supper (17-34) 2) For what does Paul commend the church in Corinth? (2) - Remembering him and keeping the traditions as he delivered to them 3) What is the proper order of authority? (3) - God, Christ, Man, Woman 4) What evidence is there that Paul is discussing praying and prophesying out in public, and not in the assembly? - His commendation in verse 2 (they were keeping the apostolic traditions delivered to them) - His question in verse 13 (they would have answered "yes" if they were being asked concerning women in a religious assembly in Corinth; see The Expositors' Greek Testament) - His remarks in verses 17-18 (he at this point begins to address abuses in their assemblies) - His commandments in 14:34-37 (concerning women in the assembly) 5) What evidence is there that Paul is encouraging them to act in harmony with the customs of their day? - His comments in verses 5-6 (arguing on the basis of "IF it is shameful...") - His appeal to propriety in verse 13 ("is it proper...?") - His conclusion in verse 16 (this is not an "apostolic" or "church" custom) 6) How did Paul feel about eating common meals in the assemblies? (22, 34) - He did not approve, and strongly condemned those who did 7) What is the purpose of the Lord's Supper? (24-26) - A memorial in which we proclaim the Lord's death 8) How should one observe the Lord's Supper? (27-29) - In a worthy manner - With self-examination - Discerning the Lord's body 9) How can we avoid the judgement of God? (31) - By judging ourselves 10) What is God's purpose in judging His children? (32) - To chasten, that we not be condemned with the world 11) What appears to be an important element in observing the Lord's Supper? (33; Acts 20:7) - That it be done "together"
[1Co 11:1-34 NASB] 1 Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.
2 Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. 4 Every man who has [something] on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head. 5 But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved. 6 For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head. 7 For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 8 For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; 9 for indeed man was not created for the woman's sake, but woman for the man's sake. 10 Therefore the woman ought to have [a symbol of] authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man [has his birth] through the woman; and all things originate from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God [with her head] uncovered? 14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God.
Conduct at the Lord's supper
17 But in giving this instruction, I do not praise you, because you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you. 20 Therefore when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord's Supper, 21 for in your eating each one takes his own supper first; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this I will not praise you.
Institution of the Lord's supper
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 25 In the same way [He took] the cup also after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink [it,] in remembrance of Me." 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes.
27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. 30 For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. 31 But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world. 33 So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, so that you will not come together for judgment. The remaining matters I will arrange when I come.
A. Instruction concerning women in the worship service
b. Women have two options in their attitude towards their head (authority): rebelliousness that must be won over (as men show towards Christ) or loving submission to an equal (as Christ shows towards the Father)
c. Some consider head to mean nothing more than "source"; but even if that is so, especially in that culture, a "source" had inherent authority; and can we really say that the Father is the "source" of Jesus?
d. What God is looking for from man in His great plan: voluntary submission; this is what Christ expressed, and this is what God looks for from both men and women, but in different ways
f. The veil was a symbol of being under authority and protection in that day
ii. It is a sign of respect for a man to remove his hat; if a man were to preach with a hat on, many people would take that as an act of disrespect. Paul cautions against showing the same kind of disrespect
iii. Like the man who had the "right" to keep his hat on before the royalty of England; and the man who never got any attention in church until he left his hat on during service
i. In Corinth, there were probably certain "spiritual" women, arguing that the new age has already come, and they need not demonstrate with a hairstyle or head covering that they are under anyone's authority
i. So, Paul says, if you will forsake the veil, go all the way--and identify yourself fully with the world!
ii. This principles stands, quite apart from our opinion of it or obedience to it
c. A third reason is the presence of angels in corporate worship
b. "A man who can only rule by stamping his foot had better remain single. But a man who knows how to govern his house by the love of the Lord, through sacrificial submission to the Lord, is the man who is going to make a perfect husband. The woman who cannot submit to an authority like that had better remain single." (Redpath)
ii. If nature has given women long hair as a covering, that in itself points to their need to be covered (according to Corinthian custom) when praying and prophesying
ii. Long hair in itself can be no sin; after all, Paul apparently had long hair for a time in Corinth as a part of a vow (Acts 18:18)
iii. But, the vow would not have meant anything if long hair was the norm; that's what Paul is getting at!
iv. It's better for most preachers to be concerned about the length of their sermons instead of the length of people's hair!
B. Instruction concerning observance of the Lord's Supper
b. Why must there be factions? So that, over time, those who really belong to God would be made evident
c. In that day, at common meals, it was expected that the "upper class" would receive better and more food than the "lower class"; this was being carried over into the church
b. Remember that Jesus was not only executed by a foreign power; He was betrayed by His own
c. The phrase given thanks gives us the word eucharist
d. The focus remembering Jesus; the invitation is to a meal of fellowship, which commemorates His death and the creation of a New Covenant
ii. The elements are best seen as symbols, but not empty symbols--they are the harbingers of the very presence of God
iii. A statue of Hercules is an empty symbol; but the Holy Spirit's coming as a dove is not
f. Proclaim is better as preach; when we take communion, we are preaching a sermon--to God Himself, to the Devil and all his allies, and to the world who watches
ii. But this chastening is not a judge condemning a criminal; it is a father dealing with disobedient children
i. But even this judgment is not to damnation, but towards our salvation