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Wednesday, October 4th, 2023
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26
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1 Corinthians 11

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1

1) "Be ye followers of me." (minetai mou ginesthe) "Be ye or become ye imitators of me." Paul pointed the Corinthian brethren, not so much to the personal, historical walk of Christ, as to His unselfish care, love, and concern for all, which motivated Him, 2 Corinthians 8:9; Philippians 2:5-11.

2) "Even as I also am of Christ." (kathos kago christou) "Even as I also am of Christ." Paul affirmed that it was an all consuming interest in others, after the pattern of Christ’s care for others, that motivated him in his ministry. Ephesians 5:2; Galatians 6:2.

Verse 2

1) "Now I praise you, brethren." (epaino de

humas) "But I praise or commend you (brethren)." Paul turns momentarily from correction of wrongs, criticism, and instructions of the brethren to praise and commendation; a good leadership principal it is to commend and praise men for every effort they make to do right, even if in their trying they sometimes do wrong.

2) "That ye remember me in all things." (hoti panta mou memnesthe) "Because ye have remembered me in all things." Or they said they had tried to remember his instructions and follow them in all matters, as he tried always to follow Christ, 2 Corinthians 12:10.

3) "And keep the ordinances." (kai tas paradoseis katechete) "Also the traditions (ordinances) hold ye fast." The term "ordinances" is often translated traditions" in the New Testament, meaning something repeatedly practiced. There may be good traditions as well as bad traditions, 2 Thessalonians 2:15. Such may refer to facts, doctrines, or practice of observing baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

4) "As I delivered them to you." (kathos paredoka humin) "Just as I delivered them to you." Included in the term ordinances or traditions, which Paul had delivered to the Corinth brethren, which they were to keep orderly, was the Lord’s Supper, 1 Corinthians 11:23. He thus required of them that as he had followed Christ in delivering the order, method, motive, and procedure of administering the Lord’s Supper, so should they keep it, 1 Corinthians 11:1; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.

Verse 3

1) "But I would have you know." (thelo de humas eidenai) "Moreover I wish (earnestly) you all to recognize or perceive." In addition to Paul’s desire that the Corinth brethren hold fast those doctrines and practices which he delivered to them, he had an earnest care that they also comprehend the following.

2) "That the head of every man is Christ." (hoti pantis andros he kephale christou estin) "That the head of every man is Christ." The term "head" refers to Jesus Christ as the source of authority for every man’s actions - Each child of God, each man is first responsible to Him, Colossians 3:17; Philippians 3:9-11.

3) "And the head of the woman is the man." (kephale de gunaikos ho aner) "And (the) head of a woman the man (is)." The man (husband) is declared to be the head of a woman (in the sense of one who is his wife). Ephesians 5:22-23; Colossians 1:18; 1 Peter 3:1; 1 Peter 3:5. She is to be subject to him in matters relating to this life, Genesis 3:16.

4) "And the head of Christ is God." (kepale de tou christou ho theos) "Moreover the head of Christ is God." God is over all. He is head of all, even Jesus Christ, who came to do His Father’s will, not to please Himself; John 4:34. So should every husband and every wife, each in positions of divine order, as comprehended or declared by Paul.

Verse 4

1) "Every man praying or prophesying." (pas aner proseuchomenos he propheteuon) "Every or each man praying or prophesying." (As an habit or custom) - (Gk. aner) Means a mature male person.

2) "Having his head covered." (kata kepales echon) "Having or holding anything down over (his) head." The covered head was a symbol of weakness, surrender, or obeisance to one of higher rank. He must not be veiled, but she must; at least by wearing an hair or veil covering that would distinguish her from man.

3) "Dishonoreth his head." (kataischunei ten kaphalen autou) "Shames Dishonoreth, humiliates, or degrades the head of him," or his responsible position in rank of his authority. The three leaderships described in 1 Corinthians 11:8-15 are 1) God, 2) Christ, and 3) man, constitute the Trinitarian hierarchy of order in relationship in nature.

Verse 5

1) "But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth." (pasa de guna proseuchomene he propheteuousa) "But every woman (deliberately), or of her own accord praying or prophesying."

2) ’With her head uncovered dishonoreth her head." (akatakalupto te kephale) ’With her head unveiled," or "uncovered." (Gk. ten kaphalen autes kataischunei) "Shames the head of her," or brings shame or reproach upon her husband. She thereby disavows marital obligations of subjection to him in all things, publicly uncovers herself, as a slave woman or prostitute, Ephesians 5:22-24; Ephesians 5:33.

3) "For that is even all one as if she were shaven." (en gar estin kai to auto te ekouremene) "For it is the same thing (as) with the woman who has been shaven." It was a custom that 1) slave women had their heads shaved as acknowledged property for their masters use and 2) the public prostitute shaved her head as an available symbol to any who desired her body for sex hire.

Verse 6

1) "For if the woman be not covered." (ei gar ou katakalupetai gune) "For if a woman is not veiled or covered of her own accord." The uncovered or shaven or shorn head of a woman praying, witnessing, or claiming to be the wife of a Christian husband, showed disrespect for both God and her husband, Paul asserted.

2) "Let her also be shorn." (kai keirasthai) "Let her even be shorn." She is a free moral agent, let her act as a base woman, of her own accord; if she is domineering, but she will be judged for such both by the world and the Lord, Ecclesiastes 11:9.

3) "But if it be a shame." (ei de aischron) "But if it be shameful," and it is, for no woman should, as a Christian, be slave, sex property, or a public prostitute to men of the world.

4) "For a woman to be shorn or shaven." (gunaiki to keirasthai he kourastho) "For a woman to be shorn or shaven of her own choice."

5) "Let her be covered." (katakaluptestho) "Let her become veiled or covered." The idea is that each woman praying or witnessing for Christ should recognize and respect customs that affect ones’ personal influence. The Christian woman was therefore exhorted by Paul to veil or cover her head, avoid the shorn or shaven head that might characterize her, make her appear as a base woman, or in rebellion against her husband.

Verse 7

1) "For a man indeed ought not to cover his head." (aner mangar ouk opheilei katakaluptesthai) "For certainly a man ought not to let be covered the head." (of him).

2) "Forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God." (eikon kai doksa theou huparchon) "Inasmuch as he is the image and glory of God." He is to glorify God in all that he is and all that he does, 1 Corinthians 10:31; Genesis 1:26-27.

3) "But the woman is the glory of the man (he gune de doksa andros estin) "But the woman exists as the glory of man." The woman is the help meet, the partner, to cleave in subjection to her own husband, to both aid her husband in and herself glorify God. Genesis 3:16-17; 1 Peter 3:16.

Verse 8

1) "For the man is not of the woman." (ou gar estin aner ek gunaikos) "For the man is not of (source) the woman." Primacy of man in creation is here reasserted - man was a direct creation of God.

2) "But the woman of the man." (alla gune eks andros) "But woman (is) of a man." While woman bears the image of God, she came into being out of the first Adam’s side, and is thereby said to be, have her origin of being, in and of man.

Verse 9

1) "Neither was the man created for the woman." (kai gar ouk ektisthe aner dia ten gunaika) "For indeed man was not created because of the woman." Man was not fashioned out of the pre-created woman or for the woman taken in "rib-form" from his side.

2) "But the woman for the man." (alla gune dia ton andra) "But woman because of the man (was created)." The woman was fashioned, formed out of man, brought to him, to fill his need of an helpmeet, to be a cleaver unto and in subjection to him. This is God’s order and any other order is out of order in personal and family life and order of service to God, Genesis 3:16; Colossians 3:18; Titus 2:5.

Verse 10

1) "For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head." (dia touto opheilei he gune eksousia echein eip tes kephales) "Because of this (she was created for subjection to the man) the woman ought to actively have or hold authority on the head." (or the veil or covering, denoting her subjection to her man). Not her slave or prostitute availability to any man.

2) "Because of the angels." (dia tous angelous) "Because of the angels." Woman’s obedient place of personal, family order, and worship service is observed and assisted by angelic helpers, whom none of God’s children should offend. Both woman and her angelic helpers are auxiliary helpers to man, in God’s order for each in the universe, Hebrews 1:14; These are perhaps things which "angels desire to look into." 1 Peter 1:12.

Verse 11

1) "Nevertheless, neither is the man without the woman." (plen oute gune choris andros) "Nevertheless neither a woman (wife) apart from a man (husband)." The woman or wife is subordinate to, but not inferior to man, the husband. The sexes alike are necessary to the Christian order in society and if man is the foundation, the woman is the channel, of the Christian order of society.

2) "Neither the woman without the man, in the Lord." (oute aner choris gunaikos en kurio) "Nor a man (husband) apart from a woman (wife) in (the) Lord." As one in matrimony, husband and wife, each supplementing the sex defect or need in the other, each alike owes reverent obedience to God in following God’s appointed place and conduct for them in marriage, Ephesians 5:20-25.

Verse 12

1) "For as the woman is of the man." (hosper gar he guna ek tou andros) "For just as the woman is of the man," in order of coming out of, from him. The begettal of all since Eve have the sperm of life from man, as Adam, the first man had life from God.

2) "Even so is the man also by the woman." (houtos kai ho aner dia tes gunaikos) "Thus even the man exists through the instrumentality of the woman." She is the instrument, channel, or stream through which human procreation flows. While man is the initial cause, woman is the instrumental cause of man’s being.

3) "But all things of God." (ta de panta ek tou theou) But man is the relative initial cause of life only, for God is the absolute source or cause of all life, as relates to origin, sustenance, and continuity. Acts 17:28.

Verse 13

1) "Judge in yourselves." (en humin autois krinate) "Judge ye among yourselves." Draw conclusions of your own.

2) "Is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?" (prepon estin gunaika akatakalupton to theo proseuchesthai) "is it becoming or fitting (for) a woman to pray to God (of her own accord) unveiled?" Is it proper for a woman to approach God, as a prostitute approaches a man for sexual favors, or as a slave-woman offers herself shorn or shaven to her worldly master for sexual favors? (The rhetorical conclusion is - - - NO.)

Verse 14

1) "Doth not even nature itself teach you." (oude he phusis aute didaskei humas) "Nature herself teaches you, does she not?" Paul uses rhetoric affirmation to lead the Corinthians to recognize that men and women were by nature very different in their hair covering.

2) "That if a man have long hair." (hoti aner men ean koma) "That a man with, if he wears his hair long." If he have or hold on to long, unshorn hair, as Absalom did, 2 Samuel 14:26; 2 Samuel 18:9-15.

3) "It is a shame unto him?" (atimia auto estin) "it is a dishonor to him." It discredits his manhood and is a symbol of effeminacy, if not suggestive also of sodomy and moral rebellion and perversion against man’s identity and order in nature, 1 Corinthians 6:9.

While the holy vow of the Nazarite was upon a man he was pledged not to cut his hair, but for a man without the vow of the Nazarite to let his hair grow like a Shetland pony was a social and moral disgrace, hindered the influence of a Christian, Paul suggested.

Verse 15

1) "But if a woman have long hair." (gune de ean koma) "But if a woman wears her hair long." The terms "long" and "short" and "how long" and "how short" the hair of the man and the woman is to be is not specified, except that there is and should be a distinguishable difference.

2) "it is a glory to her." (doksa aute estin) "It is a glory to her." The woman’s "long hair," longer comparatively than a man’s is a crown and ensign of glory and beauty to her.

3) "For her hair is given her for a covering." (hoti he kome anti peribolaiou dedotai aute) "Because the long hair, instead of a veil, has been given to her," (Gk. phusis, by nature), 1 Corinthians 11:14. Not as a substitute for a veil, but as a covering by nature to distinguish her always, whether with or without a veil, from a man.

Verse 16

1) "But if any man seem to be contentious." (ei de tis dokei philoneikos einai) "But if anyone seems, thinks, or presumes to be contentious" - Paul conceded the possibility and probability that the worldly minded among both men and women might tend toward contention against nature’s teaching on this matter.

2) "We have no such custom." (hemeis toi auten sunetheian ouk echomen) "We have or hold no such custom." Paul and his missionary companions held or required no compliance of any specific hair-length for men and women among the people they served.

3) "Neither the churches of God." (oude hai ekklesias tou theou) "Neither (do) the churches of God." What is more, the churches, taught by Paul and his missionary companions, set up no compulsory rules for hair length among men and women. So long as customs did not break some command or conflict with some principle of Christ, Paul admonished, but did not order Christians regarding personal conduct and influence, 1 Corinthians 9:22-23.

Verse 17

1) "Now in this that I declare unto you." (touto de paraggellon) "Now in this charging." The charge he is about to bring against them regarding irregularities at the Lord’s Supper.

2) I praise you not." (ouk epaino) I do not praise you." He praised them for "keeping the ordinances," 1 Corinthians 11:2, but then turned to charge them with and rebuke them for careless irregularities at the Lord’s table. 1 Corinthians 11:3-16 dealt with a custom of hair length, before Paul returned to this ordinance.,

3) "That ye come together." (hoti sunerchesthe) "Because ye come together" (of your own accord) - a voluntary, yet agreed gathering of the church, indicated by the deponent of the verbiage.

4) "Not for the better, but for the worse." (ouk eis to kreisson alla eis to hesson) "Not for or with reference to the better, but for or with reference to the worse." This indicates that the purpose or motive of the gathering for the Lord’s supper was a bad motive or purpose, in error.

Verse 18

1) "For first of all." (proton men gar) "For indeed firstly." The first in order of charges - The first in rank of wrong in connection with keeping the ordinances as he had delivered them was: 1 Corinthians 11:2.

2) "When ye come together in the church." (sunerchomenon humon en ekklesia) "When you (all) come together in church (capacity).

3) "I hear that there are divisions among you." (akouo schismata en humin huparchein) "I hear there exist divisions or schisms among you." Apparently the reports of divisions and schisms in the Corinth church had reached Paul from numerous sources, in addition to that from the house of Cloe, 1 Corinthians 1:10-11.

4) "And I partly believe it." (kai meros ti pisteuo) "And some part (partly) I believe it." Paul does not accept all reports of activities of the Corinth members as creditable reports, but he does assert the "so much smoke, some fire" premise of necessary inference. Paul had also received from Stepanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus help and a report from the Corinth church, as a basis for this letter, 1 Corinthians 16:17.

Verse 19

1) "For there must be also heresies among you." (dei gar kai haireseis en humin) "For indeed there seem to be sects among you." The term heresy or sect refers to a major error in doctrinal teaching or practice. A plurality of persons who adamantly embrace and espouse, support or advocate, an erroneous moral or doctrinal concept is termed a sect, or heretical group.

2) "That they which are approved." (hina [kai] hoi dokimoi) "in order that also the ones approved." (The members who are standing for truth and right in the midst of these conditions).

3) "May be made manifest among you." (phaneroi genontai en humin) "May become manifest (or recognized) among you." Some were right and some were wrong among the divided Corinth church over the purpose and motive of the observance of the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper. This was Paul’s premise. Some were loyal and some were disloyal in the manner of the Supper of the Lord.

Verse 20

1) "When ye come together therefore in one place"(sunerchomenon oun humin) "When therefore you all come together upon a place." This indicates that there was mutual agreement for a church assembly, as to time and physical locality. The Lord’s Supper should never be observed, mixed with a common meal.

2) "This is not to eat the Lord’s supper." (ouk estin kuriakon deipnon phagein) "It is not of the Lord a supper to eat." The idea is that eating and devouring food for a livelihood meal is not to be a part of the church worship or ordinance observance. Christian social fellowship and eating should not be mixed with the worship of the church, in any manner connected with the ordinance of the Lord’s supper.

Verse 21

1) "For in eating." (to phagein) "(For) in eating." - (that you are reported to be practicing).

2) "Everyone taketh before other his own supper." (hekastor gar to idion deipnon prolambanei) "Each one his own supper takes along or takes before." (to the locality, at the time agreed by the assembly). The poor and the wealthy were contrasted at such social feasts so as to embarrass the poor, because of his little food, preceding the Lord’s supper.

3) "And one is hungry." (kai hos peina) "And one hungers." These brethren seem to have attempted to adopt the meditative philosophy of each other’s "doing his own thing" while reclining and eating at a meeting called for, observing the ordinance of the Lord’s supper.

4) "And another is drunken." (hos de methuei) "While another is drunk." In these matters Paul had proceeded to charge the brethren with wrong, "praise them not" – 1 Corinthians 11:17. The reprimand then continues for their wrong motive or purpose in this meeting.

Verse 22

1) "What? Have ye not houses to eat and to drink in?" (me gar oikias ouk echete eis to esthiein kai pinein) "Have, hold, or possess ye not houses with reference to eat and to drink?" This is a rhetoric question, indicating an affirmative answer.

2) "Or despise ye the church of God." (he tes ekklesias tou theou kataphaoneite) "Or the church of God despise ye or take ye lightly, frivolously?"

3) "And shame them that have not?" (kai kataischumete tous me echontas?) "And do you shame the ones not having (done the same thing)?" Have you criticized those, tried to embarrass or humiliate those, who will not bring their common meal to the hour and place of worship?

4) ’What shall I say to you?" (ti eipo humin) "What may I say to you?" To embarrass the poor, those who have little or have not food, preceding the Lord’s Supper, was a revolting thing.

5) "Shall I praise you in this?" (epaineso humas) "Shall I praise you?" Paul rhetorically asserts, "I shouldn’t praise you in such conduct, should I? The humble is to be exalted, not the proud glutton; See James 4:6; James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:5-6.

6) "I praise you not." (en touto ouk epaino) "In this (thing, behavior, or conduct) I praise not." Contrast 1 Corinthians 11:2; 1 Corinthians 11:17.

Verse 23

1) "For I have received of the Lord." (ego gar paralabon apo tou kuriou) "For I took or received (intimately, alongside of) from the Lord." This instruction regarding the Lord’s Supper was not merely second-hand, received from others, Galatians 1:11-12; Galatians 1:16; Ephesians 3:3-5.

2) "That which also I delivered unto you." (ho kai paredoka humin) "What also I delivered over or gave to your trust." The matter of the Lord’s Supper had been personally explained, given over, or committed to the Corinth church by Paul while he had formerly been with them.

3) "That the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread." (hoti ho kurios iesous en te nukti he paredidoto elaben arton) "That the Lord Jesus in the very night He was betrayed took bread." The scripture is clear, specific regarding the night-time and which night he took bread for this ordinance-establishing event.

Verse 24

1) "And when he had given thanks, he brake it." (kai eucharistesas eklasen kai eipen) "And having given thanks brake (it) and said." The order or procedure for administering the Lord’s Supper, Paul received from the Lord ’ which was: 1) He took the bread, 2) He gave thanks, and 3) "Having given thanks" he broke it, after which 4) he explained its symbolic meaning as he said: (This orderly sequence is verified in Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:23-25.

2) "This is my body, which is broken for you." (touto mou estin to soma to huper humon) "This (broken bread) is my body (broken) on behalf of you." After which procedure he gave the memorial law, in step 5) as follows:

3) "This do in remembrance of me." (touto poieite eis ten emen anamnesen) "Do ye this’ with reference to, or in my remembrance." As the Passover was a symbolic memorial of Israel’s release from Egyptian bondage, so the breaking of bread is a divine symbolic ordinance, given by our Lord, to be observed by His church in remembrance of His broken body or mutilated, torn body. Exodus 12:40-51; Matthew 26:26-30; Luke 22:19-20. The Lord’s Supper is memorial - not procurative in nature.

Verse 25

1) "After the same manner also he took the cup." (hosautos kai to poterion) "Similarly (or after the same order or procedure) also the cup." The term "cup" is used to refer to the container of the "fruit of the vine," Mark 14:25; Luke 22:18.

2) “When he had supped, saying,” (meta to deipnesai) "When or after he supped." The order is exact; he drank of the cup, symbolizing the very imminent shedding of His blood, Matthew 20:22-23; Isaiah 53:10-11.

3) "This cup is the new testament in my blood." "This cup is the new covenant in my blood." The cup symbolizes, in its contents, the shed blood of Jesus Christ, effective to bring salvation to every person who believes, Ephesians 1:7; Romans 3:24-25; 2 Corinthians 5:21.

4) "This do ye, as oft as ye drink it." (touto poiete hosakis pinete) "Do ye this (in this order, procedure) as often as ye drink (it)" - the fruit of the vine.

5) "in remembrance of me." (eis ten emen anamnesin) "With reference to, regarding, relating to my memory, or in remembrance of me." - not as a means, instrument, media, or agency of saving grace.

Verse 26

1) "For as often as ye eat this bread." (hosakis gar ean estiete ton arton touton) "For as often as" - the frequency is indefinite, but generally considered to be no less frequent than the specified annual observance of the Passover. "Ye (you all, the church assembled) eat this bread."

2) "And drink this cup." (kai to poterion pinete) "And the (of the) cup y e drink." What Paul had received in both order or procedural and doctrinal content, regarding the Lord’s Supper, was in harmony with the accounts of the Gospel writers.

3) "Ye do shew the Lord’s death, till he come." (ton thanaton tou kuriou katangellete shri ou elthe) "The death of the Lord ye (you all) do shew, declare, or pictorially display until He comes." It is an evil notion and doctrinal error that an earthly priest may say "hoc es corpus meum" (this is my body) or "hoc es haima meum," (this is my blood) and thereby secure the change of the Lord’s Supper elements into the literal blood and body of Jesus Christ, by which the partakers may receive or acquire saving grace or saving efficacy. Breaking and partaking of the bread and the taking and partaking of the cup are to be in devout memory, sacred remembrance, of the mangled body and shed blood of Jesus Christ both for the individual sinner and the church, Acts 20:28.

Verse 27

1) "Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this bread." (hoste hos an esthie ton arton) "So whoever eats the bread." - The bread of the Lord’s Supper - the mutilated, broken bread.

2) "And drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily." (he pine to poterion tou kuriou anaksios) "Or drinks the cup (substance of the fruit of the vine) of the Lord unworthily." Meaning with the wrong motive or for the wrong purpose, as those who, 1 Corinthians 11:20-22, had made it a social feast.

3) "Shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord." (enochos estai tou somatos kai tou haimatos tou kuriou) "Guilty will be (held) of the body and of the blood of the Lord." To eat the elements of the Lord’s Supper in a social festive manner, as many at Corinth had done, was to act unworthily. It was as if one spat on or desecrated the flag of his country or mocked or tore the queen’s portrait.

Verse 28

1) "But let a man examine himself." (dokimazeto de anthropos heauton) "But let a man probe his own motives or purposes," in partaking of the elements of the Lord’s Supper,

2) "And so let him eat of that bread." (kai horitos ek tou artou esthieto) "And thus out of the bread let him eat." In addition to being a member of the congregation that sets the Lord’s table, before one eats, as a member, he should probe the motive, or purpose of his partaking of the broken bread. Is he doing it in solemn remembrance of Jesus Christ?

3) "And drink of that cup." (kai ek tou poteriou pineto) "And out of the substance of the cup let him drink." After Paul had warned the Corinthians against partaking of the Lord’s Supper in an atmosphere of social glutting and drinking, a wrong motive and purpose, he instructed that each person, of the Corinth church, should solemnly examine himself, that he might eat and drink "worthily," "in remembrance of Him." None in himself is worthy to partake of the supper, but each church member may take it worthily - in the right manner and for the right purpose - in memory of Him.

Verse 29

1) "For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily." (ho gar esthion kai pinon) "For the one eating and continuing to drink (unworthily)." To eat and to drink unworthily, with the wrong motive.

2) "Eateth and drinketh damnation to himself." (krima heauto esthiei kai pinei) "Eats and drinks judgement to himself" - the kind of judgement described as chastisement, 1 Corinthians 11:32. The Lord will chasten His children who stubbornly refuse to obey the order of His commands, Psalms 89:30; Psalms 89:32; Hebrews 12:6; Hebrews 12:11.

3) "Not discerning the Lord’s body." (me diakrinon to so soma) "Not discerning (discriminately considering) the body (of the Lord)" - In partaking of the elements, "in remembrance or as a memorial of Him."

Verse 30

1) "For this cause." (dia touto) "On account of this" - because many of the Corinthian brethren had taken the Lord’s Supper unworthily or desecrated its very nature.

2) "Many are weak-and sickly among you." (en humin polloi asheneis kai arrostois) "Many are weak and feeble among you" - or "many among you, because of this, have lost their health."

3) "And many sleep." (kai koimontai hikanoi) "And a number (among you) sleep." This speaks of the sleep of death. To desecrate God’s Word or ways sometimes brings the sleep of death upon the willful disobedient as Moses, Ananias, and Sapphira, Deuteronomy 32:48-52; Acts 5:1-10.

Verse 31

1) "For if we would judge ourselves." (ei de heautous diekrinomenon) "But if we discerned ourselves" - if we proved our own motives and purposes.

2) "We should not be judged." (ouk an ekrinometha) "We should not (then) be judged." Hasty, impulsive actions are so often products of carnal, covetous, self-will without regards to divine revelation. To examine one’s self often helps to avoid offense to God, 2 Corinthians 13:5; 1 John 3:20.

Verse 32

1) "But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord." (krinomenoi de hupo tou kuriou paideuometha) "But being judged by means of the Lord we are chastened." Chastisement from God is designed to produce good fruit to replace bad fruit in the lives of God’s children, Hebrews 12:5-6; Hebrews 12:10-11.

2) "That we should not be condemned with the world." (hina me sun to kosmo katarkrithomen) "in order that men might not be judged with the world." The world’s judgement is hell and the works of the flesh, are to be burned, 1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 3:12-15.


Thank God for the chastening presence of Christ. Better the eye of fire than the averted face. Better the sharp sword than His holding His peace as He did with Caiaphas and Herod.

- Alexander MacLaren


The whole of life and experience goes to show, that right or wrong doing, whether as to the physical or spiritual nature, is sure in the end to meet its appropriate reward or punishment. - Penalties may be delayed, but they are sure to come.

- H.W. Beecher

The object of punishment is three-fold: for just retribution; for the protection of society; for the reformation of the offender.

Verse 33

1) "Wherefore, my brethren." (hoste adelpoi mou) "So my brothers." This refers to the original charge, 1 Corinthians 11:17, that the brethren had come together for the worse, festive social feasting, 1 Corinthians 11:20-22, and their solemn duty to personal examination, or self-probing of their motives, 1 Corinthians 11:28, that they might not be judged, chastened, 1 Corinthians 11:32.

2) ’When ye come together to eat." (sunerchomenoi eis to phagein) "When you all come together by your own agreement with regards to eat." Social eating, reclining, and nibbling are inappropriate for church members to engage in, preceding the Lord’s Supper.

3) "Tarry one for another." (allelous ekdechesthe) "Await ye (on)-one another." Even if hungry, members are to defer eating and drinking to satisfy hunger, until a social hour, not satisfy it in gluttony in a solemn church assembly hour.

Verse 34

1) "And if any man hunger, let him eat at home." (ei tis peina en oiko esthieto) "if anyone should hunger, let him eat at home." The home is God’s ordained place for one to partake of physical necessities of life, not the church, 1 Corinthians 11:22.

2) "That ye come not together unto condemnation." (hina me eis krima sunerchesthe) "in order that ye come not together unto judgement or chastisement." To avoid future chastisement of weakness, feebleness, and even death, Paul charged the Corinthian brethren to restrict their coming together to eat, to the Lord’s Supper, 1 Corinthians 11:30.

3) "And the rest will I set in order when I come." (ta de loipa hos an eltho diatasomai) "And the remaining matters (about which they had made inquiry) I will arrange, set in order, or help straighten out whenever I come." Such matters are generally considered to have been matters of custom and traditions, made issues by some as the long and short hair matter had, 1 Corinthians 16:13-14. The setting of elders in the church may also have been anticipated.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/1-corinthians-11.html. 1985.
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