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Bible Commentaries

International Critical Commentary NT

1 Corinthians 11

Verses 1-99

11:1. The division of the chapters is unfortunate. This verse clearly belongs to what precedes. He has just stated his own principle of action, and he begs them to follow it, because it is Christ’s: Hinc apparet, quam ineptae sint capitum sectiones (Calv.). There is no connexion with what follows.

μιμηταί μου γίνεσθε. ‘Become imitators of me.’ Excepting Hebrews 6:12, μιμητής is in N.T. peculiar to Paul (4:16; Ephesians 5:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:6, 1 Thessalonians 2:14): not found in LXX. Everywhere it is joined with γίνεσθαι, which indicates moral effort; ‘Strive to behave as I do.’ Everywhere the more definite ‘imitator’ (RV.) is to be preferred to ‘follower’ (AV.): ‘Be ye followers of me’ is doubly defective. Cf. ὥσπερ καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ἒργων οἱ διδάσκαλοι τούς μαθητὰς μιμητὰς ἐαυτῶν�

καθὼς κἀγὼ Χριστοῦ. This addition dispels the idea that it is in any spirit of arrogance that he asks them to imitate him; once more he is only asking them to do what he does himself, to follow the example of one whom they recognized as their teacher: nihil praescribit aliis quod non prior observaverit; deinde se et alios ad Christum, tanquam unicum recte agendi exemplar revocat (Calv.). It is as an example of self-sacrifice that he takes Christ as his model; the whole context shows this. And it is commonly this aspect of Christ’s life that is regarded, when He is put before us in N.T. as an example: Romans 15:2, Romans 15:3; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Ephesians 5:2; Philippians 2:4, Philippians 2:5. “The details of His life are not generally imitable, our calling and circumstances being so different from His. Indeed, the question, ‘What would Jesus do?’ may be actually misleading” (Goudge). The wiser question is, ‘Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?’ It is seldom that St Paul mentions any of the details of our Lord’s life on earth, and it is therefore unlikely that he is thinking of anything but the subject in hand—sacrificing one’s own rights and pleasures for the good of others. Nevertheless, the knowledge which St Paul displays of details is sufficient to show that he knew a great deal more than he mentions, and exaggerated statements have been made respecting his supposed ignorance. See Knowling, The Testimony of St Paul to Christ, Lect. x.; Jacquier, Histoire des Livres du NT., II. 22-24; The Fifth Gospel, pp. 75, 195 f. On the supposed difference between the teaching of Christ and that of St Paul see Kaftan, Jesus und Paulus, Tübingen 1906, esp. pp. 24, 32, 58; Walther, Paulf Christentum Jesu Evangelium, Leipzig, 1908, esp. pp. 25-30; Jälicher, Paulus and Jesus, Tübingen, 1907, esp. pp. 35 f.


11:2-14:40. DISORDERS IN CONNEXION WITH PUBLIC WORSHIP AND THE MANIFESTATION OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS

This constitutes the third* main division of the Epistle, and it contains three clearly marked sections; respecting (1) the Veiling of Women, 9:2-16; (2) Disorders connected with the Lord’s Supper, 11:17-34; (3) Spiritual Gifts, especially Prophesying and Tongues, 12:1-14:40. At the outset there is a possible reference to the Corinthians’ letter to the Apostle; but the sections deal with evils which had come to his knowledge in other ways.

11:2-16. The Veiling of Women in Public Worship

Although in respect of religion men and women are on an equality, yet the Gospel does not overthrow the natural ordinance, which is really of Divine appointment, that woman is subject to man. To disavow this subjection before the congregation must cause grave scandal; and such shamelessness is condemned by nature, by authority, and by general custom.

2 Now, as to another question, I do commend you for remembering me, as you assure me you do, in all things, and for loyally holding to the traditions just as I transmitted them to you. 3 But I should like you to grasp, what has not previously been mentioned, that of every man, whether married or unmarried, Christ is the head, while a woman’s head is her husband, and Christ’s head is God. 4 Every man, whether married or unmarried, who has any covering on his head when he publicly prays to God or expounds the will of God, thereby dishonours his head: 5 whereas every woman, whether married or unmarried, who has her head uncovered when she publicly prays to God or expounds the will of God, thereby dishonours her head; for she is then not one whit the better than the wanton whose head is shaven. 6 A woman who persists in being unveiled like a man should go the whole length of cutting her hair short like a man. But seeing that it is a mark of infamy for a woman to have her hair cut off or shorn, let her wear a veil. 7 And man has no right to cover his head; he is by constitution the image of God and reflects God’s glory: whereas the woman reflects man’s glory.

8 Man was created first; he does not owe his origin to woman, but woman owes hers to him; 9 and, what is more, she was made for his sake, and not he for Heb_10 For this reason she ought, by covering her head, publicly to acknowledge her subjection. Even if she does not shrink from scandalizing men, she might surely fear to be an offence to angels.


11 Nevertheless, this dependence of the woman has its limits: in the Lord neither sex has any exclusive privileges, but each has an equal share. 12 For as, at the first, the woman came into being from the man, so, ever since then, the man has come into being by means of the woman; and, like everything else, both are from God.

13 Use your own powers of discernment. Is it decent that a woman should have her head uncovered when she publicly offers prayer to God? 14 Surely even nature itself teaches you that for a man to wear his hair long is degrading to him; 15 whereas this is a glory to a woman, because her long hair is God’s gift to her, to serve her as a covering. 10 Yet, if any one is so contentious as to dispute this conclusion, it will suffice to say that both Christian authority and Christian usage are against him.

2. Ἐπαινῶ δὲ ὑμᾶς. ‘Now I do praise you that in all things ye remember me and hold fast the delivered instructions exactly as I delivered them to you.’ The verse is introductory to the whole of this division of the letter which treats of public worship. With his usual tact and generosity, the Apostle, before finding fault, mentions things which he can heartily and honestly praise.* The δέ marks the transition to a new topic, and perhaps from topics which the Corinthians had mentioned in their letter to others which he selects for himself. Ἐπαινῶ looks forward to οὐκ ἐπαινῶ which is coming (v. 17): here he can praise, in some other matters he cannot. He may be referring to his own letter (v. 9); ‘Now, it is quite true that I praise you.’ Or he may be referring to their letter, ‘Now, I do praise you that, as you tell me, in all things you remember me’; comp. 8:1. Primasius, in any case, gives the right key; Quid erat, quod subito laudat quos ante vituperavit? Ubi legis auctoritatem non habet, blandimentis provocat ad rationem. The translation, ‘that ye remember everything of mine,’ is possible but not probable: μέμνημαι c. acc. is fairly common in classical Greek, but is not found in N.T. Both πάντα and καθὼς παρέδωκα ὑμῖν are emphatic: their remembrance of him was unfailing, and they observed with loyal precision what he had told them—by word of mouth or in the lost letter. Neither παραδίδωμι (in this sense) nor παράδοσις (Galatians 1:14; Colossians 2:8; 2 Thessalonians 2:15, 2 Thessalonians 3:6) are common in the Pauline Epp. It is possible that in some of these passages, as in v. 23 and 15:3, we have an allusion to some rudimentary creed which was given to missionaries and catechists† comp. 2 Thessalonians 2:5. There had been a Jewish παράδοσις of monstrous growth, and it had done much harm (Matthew 15:6; Mark 7:8; Galatians 1:14). There is now a Christian παράδοσις to supersede it, and it was from the first regarded as precious (1 Timothy 6:20; 2 Timothy 1:14). See Mayor, St Jude and 2 Peter, pp. 23, 61; A. E. Burn, Intr. to the Creeds, ch. ii. This παράδοσις contained the leading facts of the Gospel and the teaching of Christ and the Apostles. As yet there were no written Gospels for St Paul to appeal to, although there may have been written collections of the Sayings of our Lord. For κατέχετε cf. 15:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; Hebrews 10:23; Luke 8:15; and see Milligan, Thessalonians, p. 155. There may be a reference to v. 1; in this they are imitating him; or a reference to their own letter.


The ‘brethren’ in AV., following D E F G K L, Latt., is an interpolation: א A B C P Copt. Arm. Aeth. omit.

3. θέλω δὲ ὑμᾶς εἰδέναι. ‘But I would have you know’ something not previously mentioned, but of more importance than they supposed, because of the principles involved. In Colossians 2:1 we have the same formula, but more often οὐ θέλω ὑμᾶς�2 Corinthians 1:8; Romans 1:13, Romans 11:25), which is always accompanied by the affectionate address,�

παντὸς�Ephesians 1:22, Ephesians 4:15, Ephesians 5:23, comp. Judges 11:11; 2 Samuel 22:44. God is supreme in reference to the Messiah as having sent Him. This was a favourite Arian text; it is in harmony with 15:24-28, and, like that passage, it implies more than the inferiority of Christ’s human nature; John 6:57. See Ellicott, 1 Corinthians, pp. 64, 65; H. St J. Thackeray, St Paul and Contemporary Jewish Thought, p. 49; Godet, ad loc.

4. προσευχόμενος ἢ προφητεύων κατὰ κεφαλῆς ἔχων. ‘When he prays or prophesies having (a veil) down over his head.’ The participles are temporal and give the circumstances of the case. With κατὰ κεφ. ἔκων comp. λυπούμενος κατὰ κεφ. of Haman (Esther 6:12), Vulg. operto capite; here velato capite. The ‘prophesying’ means public teaching, admonishing or comforting; delivering God’s message to the congregation (13:9, 14:1, 3, 24, 31, 39). Such conduct ‘dishonours his head’ because covering it is a usage which symbolizes subjection to some visible superior, and in common worship the man has none those who are visibly present are either his equals or his inferiors. There is no reason for supposing that men at Corinth had been making this mistake in the congregation. The conduct which would be improper for men is mentioned in order to give point to the censure on women, who in this matter had been acting as men. It is doubtful whether the Jews used the tallith or veil in prayer as early as this. We need not suppose that the Apostle is advocating the Greek practice of praying bare-headed in opposition to Jewish custom: he is arguing on independent Christian principles. Tertullian’s protest to the heathen (Apol. 30), that the Christians pray with head uncovered, because they have nothing to be ashamed of, is not quite in point here.


If in ‘dishonoureth his head’ (not ‘Head’) there is any allusion to Christ (v. 3), it is only indirect. The head, as the symbol of Christ, must be treated with reverence; so also the body (6:19), as the temple of the Spirit. And there may be a hint that, in covering his head in public worship, the man would be acknowledging some head other than Christ. See Edwards and Ellicott; also Art. ‘Schleier’ in Kraus, Real-Ency. d. christ. Alt. 11. p. 735.

5. ‘Praying or prophesying’ must be understood in the same way in both verses: it is arbitrary to say that the man is supposed to be taking the lead in full public worship, but the woman in mission services or family prayers. Was a woman to be veiled at family prayers? Yet in public worship women were not to speak at all (14:34; 1 Timothy 2:12). Very possibly the women had urged that, if the Spirit moved them to speak, they must speak; and how could they speak if their faces were veiled? In that extreme case, which perhaps would never occur, the Apostle says that they must speak veiled. They must not outrage propriety by coming to public worship unveiled because of the bare possibility that the Spirit may compel them to speak.* Comp. Philip’s daughters (Acts 21:9), and the quotation from Joel (Acts 2:18). In neither men nor women must prophesying be interpreted as speaking with Tongues. The latter was addressed to God and was unintelligible to most hearers; prophesying was addressed to the congregation. The women perhaps argued that distinctions of sex were done away in Christ (Galatians 3:28), and that it was not seemly that a mark of servitude should be worn in Christian worship; or they may have asked why considerations about the head should lead to women being veiled and men not. And perhaps they expected that the Apostle who preached against the bondage of the Law would be in favour of the emancipation of women. See De Wette, ad loc.


The unveiled woman dishonours her head, because that is the part in which the indecency is manifested. Also by claiming equality with the other sex she disgraces the head of her own sex; she is a bare-faced woman, ‘for she is one and the same thing (neut. Mass, Gr. § B1. 2) with the woman that is shaven,’ either as a disgrace for some scandalous offence, or out of bravado. Aristoph. Thesm. 838; Tac. Germ. 19; and other illustrations in Wetst. The Apostle has married women chiefly in view. In Corinth anything questionable in Christian wives was specially dangerous, and the Gospel had difficulties enough to contend against without shocking people by breaches of usage. Christianity does not cancel the natural ordinances of life; and it is by the original ordinance of God that the husband has control of the wife. Only here and v. 13 does�

7. The connexion between ὀφείλει (v. 10) and οὐκ ὀφείλει here must be marked: the woman is morally bound, the man is not morally bound, to veil his head. But ‘not bound to’ may be an understatement for ‘bound not to’; comp. Acts 17:29: St Paul can hardly mean that the man may please himself, while the woman may not—magis liber est viro habitus capitis quam mulieri (Beng.); for he has just said that the man puts his head to shame by covering it, as a woman puts her head to shame by not doing so. Sicut vir professione libertatis caput suum honorat, ita mulier, subjectionis (Calvin). The man ought not to wear a covering, ‘since he is by original constitution (ὑπάρχων) God’s image and glory,’ reflecting the Creator’s will and power, ‘while the wife is her husband’s glory.’ This she is as a matter of fact (ἐστίν, not ὑπάρχει). See Abbott, The Son of Man, p. 674. She also was made κατʼ εἰκόνα Θεοῦ, for in Genesis 1:26 ἄνθρωπον includes both sexes, but this fact is omitted here, because it is the relation of woman to man, not of woman to God, that is under consideration; and, as she has a superior, she does not so well represent Him who has no superior. Moreover, it is the son, rather than the wife, who is the εἰκών of the man. Comp. 1 Timothy 2:13.

8, 9. Parenthetical, to confirm the statement that the woman is man’s glory by an appeal to both initial (ἐκ) and final (διά c. acc.) causes. Woman was created out of man, and moreover (καὶ γάρ) for man, not vice versa. The articles in v. 9, τὴν γυναῖκα … τὸν ἄνδρα, may mean the woman and the man in Genesis 2:18-22, Eve and Adam. For καὶ γάρ see Blass, § 78. 6.

10. διὰ τοῦτο. Because* man is a reflexion of the divine glory, while woman is only a reflexion of that reflexion, “therefore the woman (generic) is morally bound to have [the mark of his] authority upon her head.” The passage is unique, no satisfactory parallel having been found. There is no real doubt as to the meaning, which is clear from the context. The difficulty is to see why the Apostle has expressed himself in this extraordinary manner. That ‘authority’ (ἐξουσία) is put for ‘sign of authority’ is not difficult; but why does St Paul say ‘authority’ when he means ‘subjection’? The man has the symbol of authority, no veil on his head; the woman has the symbol of subjection, a veil on her head. For ἐξουσία we should expect ὑποταγή (1 Timothy 2:11, 1 Timothy 3:4, of the subjection of women), or ὕπειξις (Plut. 2. 751D of the subjection of women; comp. ὑπείκειν, Hebrews 13:17), or ὑπακοή (Romans 5:19, Romans 6:16, Romans 16:19). Is it likely that St Paul would say the exact opposite of what he means? The words put in square brackets can scarcely be the true explanation. For conjectural emendations of ἐξουσίαν (all worthless) see Stanley, ad loc. p. 184.

In Revelation 11:6, ἐξουσίαν ἔχουσιν ἐπὶ τῶν ὑδάτων means ‘have control over the waters’, 14:18, ἔχων ἐξουσίαν ἐπὶ τοῦ πυρός, ‘having control over fire’, 20:6, ἐπὶ τούτων ὁ δεύτερος θάνατος οὐκ ἔχει ἐξουσίαν. ‘over these the second death has no control.’ Comp. Romans 9:21; 1 Corinthians 7:37; the LXX of Daniel 3:30 (97). Can the meaning here be, ‘ought to have control over her head’, so as not to expose it to indignity? If she unveils it, every one has control over it and can gaze at her so as to put her out of countenance. Her face is no longer under her own control.

Ramsay (The Cities of St Paul, pp. 202 ff.) scouts the common explanation that the ‘authority’ which the woman wears on her head is the authority to which she is subject, “a preposterous idea which a Greek scholar would laugh at any where except in the N.T.” Following Thomson (The Land and the Book, p. 31) he explains thus. “In Oriental lands the veil is the power and the honour and dignity of the woman. With the veil on her head she can go anywhere in security and profound respect. She is not seen; it is a mark of thoroughly bad manners to observe a veiled woman in the street. She is alone. The rest of the people around are non-existent to her, as she is to them. She is supreme in the crowd. … But without the veil the woman is a thing of nought, whom any one may insult. … A woman’s authority and dignity vanish along with the all-covering veil that she discards. That is the Oriental view, which Paul learned at Tarsus.” In his preface (vi.) Ramsay adds; “In the Hebrew marriage ceremony, as it is celebrated in modern Palestine, I am informed that the husband snatches off the bride’s veil and throws it on his own shoulder, as a sign that he has assumed authority over her” Was Rebekah’s veiling herself a sign of subjection? Genesis 24:65. See Glover, The Conflict of Religions in the Roman World, p. 154.

διὰ τοὺς�Matthew 13:49, Matthew 13:25:31; Luke 16:22; Hebrews 1:4, Hebrews 1:5, etc.). And the suggestion that the Apostle is hinting that unveiled women might be a temptation to angels (Genesis 6:1, Genesis 6:2) is somewhat childish It is to be supposed that a veil hides a human face from angels, or that public worship would be the only occasion when an unveiled woman might lead angels into temptation? It is a mistake to quote the Testament of the XII. Patriarchs (Reuben v. 6), or the Book of Jubilees (iv. 15, 22), or Theodotus (Frag. 44; C.R. Gregory, Enleit. in d. N.T. P. 151), in illustration of this passage. The meaning is plain. If a woman thinks lightly of shocking men, she must remember that she will also be shocking the angels, who of course are present at public worship. Compare 4:9, and ἐναντίον�Psalms 138:1), and ‘O ye angels of the Lord, Bless ye the Lord’ (Song of the Three Children, 37). Ancient liturgies often bear witness to this belief, as does our own,; “Therefore with Angels and Archangels” etc., Chrysostom says, “knowest thou not that thou standest in the midst of the angels? with them thou singest, with them thou chantest, and dost thou stand laughing?” See Luke 15:7, Luke 15:10, Luke 15:12:8, Luke 15:9.

One other suggestion is worth considering, viz. that διὰ τ.�Isaiah 6:2); a woman, when worshipping in the presence of her direct and visible superior (man), should do the same.


Conjectural emendations (all worthless) are quoted by Stanley: see also Expositor, 1st series, xi. p. 20. “None of the known emendations can possibly be right; and the intrinsic and obvious difficulty is itself enough to set aside the suggestion that the whole verse is an interpolation” (WH. App. p. 116).

11. πλήν. Limitation. Although by original constitution woman is dependent on man, yet he has no right to look down on her. In the Christian sphere each is dependent on the other, and both are dependent on God (8:6; Romans 11:36); and it is only in the Christian sphere that woman’s rights are duly respected. Each sex is incomplete without the other.

ἐν Κυρίῳ. There can be no separation between man and woman when both are members of Christ. Cf. for ἐν Κυρίῳ 1 Thessalonians 4:1; 1Th_2 Thess, 3:4; Galatians 5:10; Ephesians 4:17.


א A B C D* D3 E F G H P, RV. have οὔτε γυνὴ χ.�

12. This mutual dependence of the sexes is shown by the fact that, although originally woman sprang from man, yet ever since then it is through woman that man comes into existence: if he is her initial cause (ἐκ), she is his instrumental cause (διά c. gen). But (another reason why man must not be contemptuous) the whole universe—man and woman and their whole environment—owes its origin to God. Cf. 15:27; Ephesians 5:23; and see Basil, De Spiritu, v. 12, xviii. 46.


13. In conclusion he asks two questions, the second of which clinches the first. He appeals to their general sense of propriety, as sense which is in harmony with the teaching of φύσις and is doubtlness inspired by φύσις. Their ideas of what is πρέπον are in the best sense natural. It should be noted that both in AV. and RV. the second question is brought to a close too soon. The note of interrogation should be placed after ‘it is a glory to her,’ as in the Vulgate, Luther, Tyndale, and Coverdale. Beza and others make three questions, breaking up the second into two.

ἐν ὑμῖν αὐτῖς κρίνατε. In their own inner judgment (6:2), cannot they decide (10:15)? ‘Is it becoming that a woman should pray to god unveiled?’ Usually προσεύχομαι has no case after it, but here τῷ Θεῷ is added to emphasize the principle that when she is addressing God she ought not to be asserting her equality with men or trying to draw the attention of men: comp. Matthew 6:6. For πρέπον see Westcott on Hebrews 2:10.

14. A further argument, supporting the previous one. Instinctively they must feel the impropriety; and then external nature confirms the instinctive feeling. Even if the internal feeling should not arise, does not even nature by itself show that, while doubtless man, being short-haired, is by Divine order unveiled, woman, being long-haired, is by Divine order veiled? Naturae debet respondere voluntas (Beng.).* While fanaticism defies nature, Christianity respects and refines it; and whatever shocks the common feelings of mankind is not likely to be right. At this period, civilized men, whether Jews, Greeks, or Romans, wore their hair short. ‘Long hair is a permanent endowment (δέδοται) of woman, to serve as an enveloping mantle’ (Hebrews 1:12 from Ps. 101:27; Judges 8:26; Ezekiel 16:13, Ezekiel 16:27:7; Isaiah 59:17). Note the emphasis on�


16. This is best taken as concluding the subject of the veil; it makes a clumsy opening to the next subject. ‘But if any one seemeth to be (or is minded to be)† contentious, we have no such custom, not yet the Churches of God’. There are people who are so fond of disputing that they will contest the clearest conclusions, and the Corinthians were fond of disputation. But the Apostle will not encourage them. If such should question the dictates of decorum and of nature in this matter, they may be told that the teachers have no such usage as permitting women to be unveiled,—a thing unheard of in Christian congregations. It is possible that ἡμεῖς means only himself, but he probably means that he knows of no Apostle who allows this.†

Throughout the section he appeals to principles. The wearing or not wearing a veil may seem to be a small matter. Everything depends upon what the wearing or not wearing implies, and what kind of sanction the one practice or the other can claim. He does not use δεῖ about the matter; there is no intrinsic necessity (v. 19): but he does use both ὀφείλει (7, 10) and πρέπον ἐστί (13); for there is both moral obligation and natural fitness. His final appeal—to the practice of all congregations—would be of special weight in democratic Corinth. For αἱ ἐκκλησίαι τοῦ Θεοῦ comp. 2 Thessalonians 1:4. See Hort, The Christian Ecclesia, pp. 108, 117, 120. There is no need to conjecture that v. 16 is an interpolation, or that συνήθεια refers to contentiousness. Would St Paul think it necessary to say that Apostles have no habit of contentiousness? For Greek and Roman customs respecting the hair and veils, see Smith, Dict. of Ant. Artt. ‘Coma,’, ‘Flammeum’ ‘Vestales.’. The cases in which males, both Greek and Roman, wore long hair do not interfere with the argument.* Such cases were either exceptional or temporary; and they were temporary because nature taught men otherwise. For men to wear their hair long, and for women to wear it short, for men to veil their heads in public assemblies, and for women not to do so, were alike attempts to obliterate natural distinctions of sex. In the Catacombs the men are represented with short hair.


11:17-34. Disorders Connected with the Lord’s Supper

There are abuses of a grave kind in your public worship; a chronic state of dissension, and gross selfishness and excess in your love feasts and celebrations of the Lord’s Supper. This profanation brings grievous judgments on you. Avert the judgments by putting a stop to the profanation.

17 Now, in giving you this charge about the veiling of women, I do not commend you that your religious gatherings do you more harm than good. 18 First of all, when you meet as a Christian congregation, you are split into sets:—so I am told, and to some extent I am afraid that it is true. 19 Indeed, party divisions among you can hardly be avoided if men of proved worth are not to be lost in the crowd.

20 Well then, as to your religious gatherings: it cannot be said that it is the Lord’s Supper that you eat. 21 For everybody’s first thought is to be beforehand in getting his own supper; and so, while the poor man who brings nothing cannot get enough even to eat, the rich man who brings abundance takes a great deal too much even to drink. 22 Surely you do not mean that you have no homes in which you can satisfy hunger and thirst? Or do you think that you need have no reverence for God’s congregation; or that because a man is poor you may treat him with contempt? What am I to say to you? Do you expect me to commend you? In this matter that is impossible.

23 Quite impossible; for I know that you know better. I myself received from the Lord that which in turn I transmitted to you, namely, that the Lord Jesus, in the night in which He was being delivered up, took bread: 24 and when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, ‘This is My Body, which is for you. This do ye, in remembrance of Me’. 25 In like manner also the cup, after supper was over, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in virtue of My Blood. This do ye, as often as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me.’

26 Yes, He gave this command; for as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, it is the death of the Lord that you are proclaiming,—nothing less than that,—until His return. 27 It follows, therefore, that whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in a way that dishonours Him, shall be held responsible for profaning the Body and Blood of the Lord. 28 But, in order to avoid this profanation, let a man scrutinize his own spiritual condition and his motives; then, and not till then, let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks is thereby eating and drinking a sentence on himself, if he fails to recognize the sanctity of the Body. 30 The proof of this is within your own experience; for it is because people fail to recognize this sanctity that so many of you are sick and ill, while not a few have died. 31 But if we recognized our own condition and motives, we should escape this sentence. 32 Yet, when we are thus sentenced, we are being chastened by the Lord, to save us from being involved in the final condemnation of the world.

33 So then, my brothers, at your religious gatherings for a common meal, wait until all are ready. 34 If any one is too hungry to wait, let him stay at home and eat; so that your gatherings may not have these fatal results. All the other matters in which you need instruction I will regulate whenever I come.



The shocking desecration of the Lord’s Supper by the disorders which St Paul here censures was, no doubt, the primary reason why he is so severe in his condemnation of the conduct of those Corinthians who profaned it by their selfish misbehaviour, but it was not the only reason for distress and indignation. “In the whole range of history there is no more striking contrast than that of the Apostolic Churches with the heathenism round them. They had shortcomings enough, it is true, and divisions and scandals not a few, for even apostolic times were no golden age of purity and primitive simplicity. Yet we can see that their fulness of life, and hope, and promise for the future was a new power in the world. Within their own limits they had solved almost by the way the social problem which baffled Rome, and baffles Europe still. They had lifted woman to her rightful place, restored the dignity of labour, abolished beggary, and drawn the sting of slavery. The secret of the revolution is that the selfishness of race and class was forgotten in the Supper of the Lord, and a new basis for society found in love of the visible image of God in men for whom Christ died” (Gwatkin, Early Church History, p. 73). The Corinthian offenders were reviving the selfishness of class, were treating with contumely the image of God visible in their fellowmen, and were thus bringing into serious peril the best results of this blessed revolution. The Apostle does not hesitate to declare (vv. 30-32) that this evil work of theirs is bringing upon them the manifest judgments of God.

It is worth noting that he appeals to what ‘the Lord Jesus’ did at the Supper, not to what ‘Jesus’ did. There is no basis for the hypothesis that St Paul did not regard Jesus as the Son of God until after His Resurrection, comp. v. 4, 5. See Introduction, § ‘Doctrine.’

17. τοῦτο δὲ παραγγέλλων οὐκ ἐπαινῶ. The reading is somewhat doubtful (see below), as also is the meaning of τοῦτο. If τοῦτο refers to the charge which he gives respecting the Love-feasts (28-34), then the interval between this preface and the words which it anticipates is awkwardly prolonged. It is not impossible that τοῦτο refers to the charge about women wearing veils.* The connexion between the two subjects is close, both being concerned with proper behaviour at public worship. ‘Now in giving you this charge I do not praise [you], that your religious gatherings do you harm instead of good’. It is an understatement, purposely made in contrast to v. 2, that he does not praise them. He censures them severely. What was intended for their wealth they had made an occasion of falling. These gatherings, instead of quickening their spiritual life, had led to grievous misconduct and consequent suffering. For εἰς, of result, comp. Colossians 3:10.


The evidence for παραγγέλλων οὐκ ἐπαινῶ is somewhat stronger than for παραγγέλλω οὐκ ἐπαινῶν. B is neutral with παραγγέλλων οὐκ ἐπαινῶν, and D with παραγγέλλω οὐκ ἐπαινῶ: Vulg. praecipio non landans. There is no ύμᾶς in the Greek; but neither AV. nor RV. put ‘you’ in italics.

Both the Attic κρεῖττον (7:9) and the un-Attic κρεῖσσον (here and 7:38) are well attested: τὸ ἧσσον here only; comp. 2 Corinthians 12:15. It is possible that both κρεῖσσον and ἧσσον were pronounced in a similar way (kreesson heesson); if so, we have a play upon sound.

18. ‘For, to begin with.’ The Apostle hastens to justify his refusal to give praise. The πρῶτον μέν has no δεύτερον δέ or ἔπειτα δέ afterwards, and possibly there is no antithesis; but some find it in the section about spiritual gifts (12:1 f.): cf. Romans 1:8, Romans 1:3:2, Romans 1:10:1, Romans 1:11:13; 2 Corinthians 12:12: Blass, Gr. § 77. 12.

ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ. ‘In assembly,’ i.e. in a gathering of the members of the Corinthian Church. “This use is at once classical and a return to the original force of qāhāl” (Hort, The Chr. Eccles. p. 118): 14:19, 28, 35; comp. 3 John 1:6 and ἐν συναγωγῇ, John 6:59, John 18:20. ‘Church’ in the sense of a building for public worship cannot be meant; there were no such buildings.

ἀκούω σχίσματα ἐν ὑμῖν ὑπάρχειν ‘I continually hear (pres.) that dissensions among you prevail’ (not simply εἶναι): these splits are the rule. In the Love-feasts they seem to have been chiefly social, between rich and poor. Possibly what St James condemns (2:1-4) took place; the wealthy got the best places at the tables. Yet neither σχίσματα (see on 1:10) nor αἱρέσεις are separations from the Church, but dissensions within it. Wherever people deliberately choose (αἱρεῖν) their own line independently of authority, there is αἵρεσις: Galatians 5:20.


μέρος τι πιστεύω. The Apostle has the love which ‘hopeth all things’ (13:7), and he will not believe that all that he hears to their discredit is true; miti sermone utitur (Beng.).

The reading ἐν τῇ ἐκκλ. (Tr., ‘in the Church’ AV.) is found only in a few cursives. There is no reason for suspecting that ἐν ἐκκλ. (all uncials) is an interpolation.

μέρος τι is the accusative of the extent to which the action applies: comp. πάντα πᾶσιν�

19. δεῖ γὰρ καὶ αἱρέσεις. Comp. Matthew 18:7. In the nature of things, if there are splits of any kind, these are sure to settle down into parties,—factions with self-chosen views. Human nature being what it is, and Corinthian love of faction being so great, if a division once became chronic, it was certain to be intensified. But here perhaps there is not much difference between σχίσματα and αἱρέσεις. Justin M. (Try. 35) mixes the words ἔσονται σχίσματα καὶ αἱρ. with Matthew 24:5, Matthew 24:11, Matthew 24:24, Matthew 24:7:15, and attributes them to our Lord. Comp. Clem. Hom. xvi. 21, and see Resch, p. 100. For αἵρεσις comp. Acts 5:17, Acts 15:5, Acts 26:5, etc.

ἵνα [καὶ] οἱ δόκιμοι φανεροὶ γένωνται. Divine Providence turns this evil tendency to good account: it is the means of causing the trusty and true to become recognizable. Either by coming to the front in the interests of unity, or by keeping aloof from all divisions, the more stable characters will become manifest: 2 Thessalonians 2:11, 2 Thessalonians 2:12. To have religious zeal. without becoming a religious partizan, is a great proof of true devotion. contrast�

D F G Latt. omit ἐν ὑμῖν before εἷναι. B D, Latt, insert καί before οἱ δόκιμοι: א A C E F G K L P, Syrr . omit. The δόκιμοι ar those who have been ‘accepted’ after being tested like metals or stones (Genesis 23:16); hence ‘proved’ and ‘approved’ (Romans 16:10; 2 Corinthians 10:18, 2 Corinthians 13:7). See Origen, Con. Cels. iii. 13, Philocalia xvi. 2. Quite needlessly, some suspect that ἵνα … ἐν ὑμῖν is an interpolation.

20. Συνερχομένων οὖν ὑμῶν ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτό. ‘When therefore you come together to one place’ (Acts 1:15, Acts 2:1.Acts 2:44; Acts 2:44, Acts 3:1), ‘when you are assembled ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ, i.e. for a religious purpose.’ Or ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτό might (less probably) mean ‘for the same object.’ The place is not yet a building set apart. In any case, ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτό emphasizes the contrast between the external union and the internal dissension. Compare 7:5, 14:23.

οὐκ ἔστιν κυριακὸν δεῖπνον φαλεῖν. The adjective is emphatic by position: ‘there is no eating a Lord’s supper.’ A supper they may eat, but it is not the Lord’s: οὐκ ἔστιν, ‘there is no such thing,’ for such conduct as theirs excludes it. Hence οὐκ ἔστιν may be rendered ‘it is not possible,’ non licet (Ecclus. 14:16); but this is not necessary. At first, the Eucharist proper seems to have followed the Agape or Love-feast, being a continuation of it. Later the Eucharist preceded and was transferred from evening to morning. Here, κυριακὸν δεῖπνον probably includes both, the whole re-enactment of the Last Supper including the Eucharist. Placuit Spiritui Sancto ut in honorem tanti sacraments in os Christians prius Dominicum corpus intraret quam exteri cibi (Aug. Ep. cxviii. 6, 7, ad Januar.). See Hastings, DB. III. P. 157; Smith, D. Chr. Ant. 1. P. 40; Ency. bibl ii. 1424. We cannot be sure from the use of κυριακόν instead of τοῦ κυρίου that the name κυριακὸν δεῖπνον was already in use. The expression must have had a beginning, and this may be the first use of it. Inscriptions and papyri show that, as early as a.d. 68, κυριακός was in use in the sense of ‘pertaining to the Emperor,’ ‘imperial’ (Deissmann, New Light on the N.T. p. 82, Bible Studies, p. 217, Light, p. 361). The word δεῖπνον occurs only here and Revelation 19:9, Revelation 19:17, outside the Gospels; in LXX, only in Daniel and 4 Macc.


21. ἕκαστος γὰρ τὸ ἴδιον δεῖπνον προλαμβάνει ‘For each one takes before the rest (instead of with them) his own supper’: he anticipates the partaking in common, and thus destroys the whole meaning and beauty of the ordinance. It was thus not even a κοινὸν δεῖπνον, much less κυριακόν. The ἐν τῷ φαγεῖν is not an otiose addition: it is a mere eating, which he might just as well or better have done elsewhere and elsewhen.*

καὶ ὃς μὲν πεινᾷ. ‘The consequence is that one man cannot even satisfy his hunger, while another even drinks to excess.’ These are probably respectively the rich and the poor. The poor brought little or nothing to the common meal, and got little or nothing from the rich, who brought plenty; while some of the rich, out of their abundant supplies, became drunk. There is a sharp antithesis between deficiency in necessary food and excess in superfluous drink. There is no need to water down the usual meaning of μεθύειν (Matthew 24:49; John 2:10; Acts 2:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:7). Even in a heathen ἔρανος such selfish and disgusting behaviour would have been considered shameful, as the directions given by Socrates show; they are very similar to those of St Paul (Xen. Mem. III. iv. 1). Certainly such meetings must have been ‘for the worse’; hungry poor meeting intoxicated rich, at what was supposed to be a supper of the Lord! In these gatherings the religious element was far more important than the social; but the Corinthians had destroyed both. For this late use of the relative, ὃς μὲν … ὃς δὲ … comp. Romans 9:21; 2 Timothy 2:20; Matthew 21:35, Matthew 22:5, Matthew 25:15. Coincidence is implied.

For προλαμβάνει (א B C D E F G K L P) A and some cursives have προσλαμβάνει, the active of which does not occur in the N.T., except as a variant here and Acts 27:34.

22. μὴ γὰρ οἰκίας οὐκ ἔχετε. ‘for surely you do not mean that you have not got houses to eat and to drink in!’ Comp. μὴ οὐκ ἔχομεν (9:4, 5, 6), and εἰς τὸ … ἐσθίειν (8:10); and see Abbott, Johannine Grammar, 2702 b. ‘Well, then, if that is not true (and of course it is not), there is only one alternative,’ which is introduced by ἤ. ‘Ye despise the congregation that is assembled for the worship of God, and ye put the poor to shame.’ They treated a religious meal as if it were a licentious entertainment, and therein exposed the poverty of those who were in need. There can be little doubt that, as οἱ ἔχοντες = ‘the rich,’ οἱ μὴ ἔχοντες = ‘the poor,’. Here it might mean ‘those who have not houses for meals’ (Alford); so also Wiclif, ‘han noon’; but this is very improbable. The τοῦ Θεοῦ is added with solemnity (v. 16, 10:32) to give emphasis to the profanity. The addition is frequent in the two earliest groups of the Pauline Epistles (Hort, The Chr. Eccles. pp. 103, 108, 117): καταφρονεῖτε, as Romans 2:4; Matthew 18:10; καταισχύνετε, as Romans 5:5. The majority of the Corinthian Christians would be poor.*


τί εἴπω ὑμῖν; ἐπαινέσω ὑμᾶς; Deliberative subjunctives: ‘What am I to say to you? Am I to praise you?’ The ἐν τούτῳ may be taken with what precedes (AV., RV.), or with what follows (Tisch., WH., Ell.). The latter seems to be better, as limiting the censure to this particular, and also as preparing for what follows.

23. ἐγὼ γὰρ παρέλαβον�Galatians 1:12; 1 Thessalonians 2:13, 1 Thessalonians 2:4:1; etc.). The ἐγώ balances ὑμῖν: the Apostle received and transmitted to them this very thing, so that both know exactly what took place. He was a sure link in a chain which reached from the Lord Himself to them. They did not receive it from the Lord, but they received it from one who had so received it, and therefore they have no excuse. This is one of the παραδόσεις which they professed to be holding fast (v. 2). See Ramsay, Exp. Times, April 1910; Jülicher, Paulus u. Jesus, p.30.

It is urged that in a matter of such moment a direct revelation to the Apostle is not incredible. On the other hand, why assume a supernatural communication when a natural one was ready at hand? It would be easy for St Paul to learn everything from some of the Twelve. But what is important is, not the mode of the communication, but the source. In some way or other St Paul received this from Christ, and its authenticity cannot be gainsaid; but his adding�1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; 1 Corinthians 15:1, 1 Corinthians 15:3): see Lightfoot on Galatians 1:1, Galatians 1:13. It certainly does not point to anything written: St Paul does not say that he had read what he delivered to them. See Knowling, The Testimony of St Paul to Christ, pp. 275 f. Zahn and Schmiedel are here agreed that St Paul is appealing to historical tradition. See also Camb. Bibl. Ess. pp. 336 f.; Mansfield College Essays, pp. 48 f.


ὄ καὶ παρέδωκα ὑμῖν. ‘Which I also delivered to you.’ He transmitted to them the very thing which he had received from the Lord, so that they were well aware of what ought to have made these disorders impossible. This would be St Paul’s own reply to the assertion that he, and not Jesus, is the founder of Christianity.

ἐν τῇ νυκτὶ ᾗ παρεδίδετο. ‘In the night in which He was being delivered up.’ St Paul mentions the sad solemnity of the occasion in contrast to the irreverent revelry of the Corinthians. Neither AV. nor RV. keeps the same translations for παραδίδωμι in this verse, nor marks the imperfect. The delivery to His enemies had already begun and was going on at the very time when the Lord instituted the Eucharist. Moreover, to translate ‘was betrayed’ confines the meaning to the action of Judas; whereas the Father’s surrender of the Son is included, and perhaps is chiefly meant, and the Son’s self-sacrifice may also be included (E. A. Abbott, Paradosis, §§ 1155, 1202, 1417). It is plain that St Paul assumes that his readers are acquainted with the details of the Passion; and the precision with which he writes here and 15:3-8 is evidence that “he is drawing from a well-furnished store” (Sanday, DCG. 11. p. 888). He himself is well acquainted with the chief facts in the life of Christ (A. T. Robertson, Epochs in the Life of St Paul, p. 89; Fletcher, The Conversion of St Paul, pp. 55 f.).

ἒλαβεν ἄρτον. ‘Took a loaf,’ one of the thin cakes of bread used for the Paschal meal. It was perhaps more like our biscuit or oatcake than ordinary loaves. Hastings, DCG. 1. pp. 230 f.

24. εὐχαριστήσας ἒκλασεν. All four accounts of the Institution have ἒκλασεν here, a detail of Divinely-appointed ritual. Luke also has εὐχαριστήσας, for which Mark and Matthew substitute εὐλογήσας. The two words doubtless refer to the same utterance of Christ, in which He gave thanks and blessed God, and both contain the significant εὖ: comp. εὐαγγέλιον, εὐδοκία, and see T. S. Evans ad loc. Mark has these features, which are omitted here; ‘as they were eating,’ ‘Take ye,’ ‘they all drank of it,’ ‘which is shed for many.’ For the third of these Matthew substitutes ‘Drink ye all of it’; he has the other three. Luke has none of them. Mark, Matthew, and Luke have εὐχαριστήσας, of the cup also, and here ὡσαύτως covers it. The three, moreover, give, what is omitted here, ‘I say to you I will in no wise drink of the fruit of the vine until’ … ‘the Kingdom.’ The details which are common to all four accounts are (1) the taking bread, (2) the giving thanks, (3) the breaking, (4) the words, ‘This is My Body,’ (5) the cup; and, if the disputed passage in Luke be retained, (6) the words ‘blood’ and ‘covenant.’ The disputed passage is almost verbatim as vv. 24, 25 here, from τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν … αἵματι.

Of the four accounts of the Institution this is the earliest that has come down to us, and the words of our Lord which are contained in it are the earliest record of any of His utterances; for this Epistle was written before any of the Gospels. It is, however, possible that Mark used a document in giving his account, and this document might be earlier than this Epistle.

Τοῦτό μου ἐστὶν τὸ σῶμα τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν. All carnal ideas respecting these much-discussed words are excluded by the fact that the Institution took place before the Passion. Our Lord’s human Body was present, and His Blood was not yet shed. What is certain is that those who rightly receive the consecrated bread and wine in the Eucharist receive spiritually the Body and the Blood of Christ. How this takes place is beyond our comprehension, and it is vain to claim knowledge which cannot be possessed, or to attempt to explain what cannot be explained. “If there is a point on which the witness of Scripture, of the purest ecclesiastical tradition, and of our own Church, is more express and uniform than another, it is the peculiar and transcendent quality of the blessing which this Sacrament both represents and exhibits, and consequently of the Presence by which that blessing is conferred. How this Presence differs from that of which we are assured by our Lord’s promise, where two or three are gathered together in His name—whether only in degree or in kind—it is beyond the power of human language to define and of human thought to conceive. It is a subject fit, not for curious speculation, but for the exercise of pious meditation and devotional feeling; and it is one in which there is a certainty that the highest flight of contemplation will always fall short of the Divine reality” (Bishop Thirlwall, Charges, vol. i. p. 278; see also pp. 245, 246). “I could not consent to make our Church answerable for a dogma committing those who hold it to the belief that, in the institution of the Supper, that which our Lord held in His hand, and gave to His disciples, was nothing less than His own Person, Body, Soul, and Godhead” (Ibid. vol. ii. P. 251; see also the appendix on Transubstantiation, pp. 281 f.). The notes of Ellicott and Evans ad loc., with Gould on Mark 14:22; Westcott on Joh_6 and 18; Gore, Dissertations, pp. 230 f.; Hastings, DB. iii. pp. 148 f., with the bibliography there given, may be consulted. Excellent remarks and summaries of doctrine will be found in Beet, A Manual of Theology, pp. 380-96. Happily, no theory of the manner of Christ’s Presence in the Eucharist is necessary for the fruitful reception of it, and to have this demonstrated would not make us better Christians, any more than a knowledge of the chemical properties of bread makes us better able to digest it. Stanley, Christian Institutions, ch. vi.

τοῦτο ποιεῖτε εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν�Numbers 10:10; Psalms 38:1, Psalms 70:1). This implies that hereafter He is to be absent from sight. The words are not in Mark or Matthew, nor in Luke, except in the disputed verses. Therefore the command to continue the celebration of the Lord’s Supper rests upon the testimony of St Paul. This, however, does not for a moment imply that he was the first to repeat the celebration, or the first to teach Christians to do so. This passage plainly implies that repeated celebrations were already a firmly established practice. The authority of St Paul was quite inadequate to this immense result. Nothing less than the authority of Christ would have sufficed to produce it. See Knowling, pp. 279 f.

The proposal to give to τοῦτο ποιεῖτε the meaning ‘sacrifice this’ must be abandoned. As the Romanist commentator Estius says, it is plane praeter mentem Scripturae.* So also Westcott; “I have not the least doubt that τοῦτο ποιεῖτε can mean only do this act (including the whole action of hands and lips), and not sacrifice this; and that the Latin also can have only the same rendering” (in a letter quoted in his Life, II. p. 353): and Bachmann, τοῦτο geht auf die ganze Handlung, wie sie durch das Tun Jesu und seiner Jünger dargestellt ist: and Herveius; ‘Hoc facite,’ id est, corpus meum accipite et manducate per successionem temporis usque in finem saeculi, in memoriam passionis meae. See Ellicott and Goudge ad loc.; Expositor, 3rd series, 7:441; T. K. Abbott, Essays on the Original Texts of O. and N.T. p. 110; A Reply to Mr. Supple’s and other Criticisms; and notes on Luke 22:19 in the Int. Crit. Com. p. 497.


Edwards translates τὴν ἐμὴν�

Λάβετε, φάγετε (C3 K L P, Syrr. Aeth.) are an interpolation from Matthew 26:26; א A B C* D E F G, Lat-Vet. Aegyptt. Arm. omit. After τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν, א3 C3 E F G K L P insert κλώμενον D* inserts θρυπτόμενον, Vulg. (quod … tradetur) and some other versions have a rendering which implies διδόμενον. א* A B C* 17 and other witnesses omit. The interpolation of any of these words weakens the neruosa sententia (Beng.), τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμων, which means ‘for your salvation’ (Mark 10:45). AV. inserts ‘Take, eat,’ and ‘broken’; RV. gives the latter a place in the margin.

25. ὡσαύτως τὸ ποτήριον. He acted with the cup as with the bread: He took it, gave thanks, and administered it to the disciples. ‘The cup’ means ‘the usual cup,’ the wellknown one (10:16). The addition of μετὰ τὸ δειπνῆσαι shows that the bread was distributed during the meal, ἐσθιόντων αὐτῶν (Mark 14:22): but it was after supper was over, postquam caenatum est (Aug.), not postquam coenavit (Vulg.), that the cup was administered. Perhaps the Apostle is pointing out that the cup, against which they had so grievously offended by intoxication, was no part of the meal, but a solemn addition to it. But we must not translate, ‘the after-supper cup,’ which would require τὸ μετὰ τὸ δ. ποτήριον. Thomas Aquinas would give a meaning to the fact that the bread was distributed during the meal, while the cup was not administered till the meal was over. The one represents the Incarnation, which took place while the observances of the Law still had force; but the other represents the Passion, which put an end to the observances of the Law. And Cornelius à Lapide regards Christ’s taking the cup into His hands as a token of His voluntarily taking death for us. Such thoughts are admissible, if it is not maintained that they are the meaning which is intended in Scripture*.

Τοῦτο τὸ ποτήριον ἡ καινὴ διαθήκη ἐστὶν ἐν τῷ ἐμῷ αἵματι. Hic calix novum testamentum est in meo sanguine. The position of ἐστίν is against combining ἐν τῷ ἐμῷ αἵματι with ἡ καινὴ διαθήκη. Rather, ‘This cup is the new covenant, and it is so in virtue of My Blood.’ ‘In My Blood’ is an expansion or explanation of the ‘is,’ and is equivalent to an adverb such as ‘mystically.’ The cup represents that which it contains, and the wine which it contains represents the Blood which seals the covenant. The Atonement is implied, without which doctrine the Lord’s Supper is scarcely intelligible. Only St Paul (and Luke?) has the καινή. The covenant is ‘fresh’ as distinct from the former covenant which is now obsolete. It is καινή in its contents, in the blessings which it secures, viz. forgiveness and grace: and τῷ ἐμῷ αἵμ. is in contrast to the blood with which the old covenant was confirmed (Exodus 24:8). See Jeremiah 31:31, the only place in O.T. in which διαθήκη καινή occurs. The choice of διαθήκη, rather than συνθήκη, which is the common word for covenant, is no doubt deliberate, for συνθήκη might imply that the parties to the covenant contracted on equal terms. Between God and man that is impossible. When He enters into a contract He disposes everything, as a man disposes of his property by will: hence διαθήκη often means a testament or will. In the LXX συνθήκη is freq.; in the N.T. it does not occur. Westcott, Hebrews, p. 299. On the meaning of ‘blood,’ ‘which is the life,’ in connexion with Christ’s Sacrifice, see Westcott, Hebrews, pp. 293 f.; Epp. of St john, pp. 34 f.; Sanday and Headlam, Romans, pp. 89, 91.


τοῦτο ποιεῖτε κ.τ.λ. St Paul alone has these words of the cup. In the disputed passage in Luke they are wanting.

ὁσάκις ἐὰν πίνητε. This makes the command very comprehensive; quotiescunque: comp. ὁσάκις ἐὰν θελήσωσιν (Revelation 11:6). Every time that they partake of the sacramental cup (τοῦτο τὸ ποτήριον), they are to do as He has done in remembrance of Him. He does not merely give permission; He commands. It is perverse to interpret this as a general command, referring to all meals at which anything is drunk. What precedes and follows limits the meaning to ‘the cup of blessing.’ The Lord commands that the Supper be often repeated, and His Apostle charges those who repeat it to keep in view Him who instituted it, and who died to give life to them. In liturgies these words are transferred to Christ; ‘ye proclaim My death till I come.’


With regard to the Lord’s presence in Holy Communion, Bishop Westcott wrote to the Archbishop of York, 8th Oct. 1900; “The circumstances of the Institution are, we may say, spiritually reproduced. The Lord Himself offers His Body given and His Blood shed. But these gifts are not either separately (as the Council of Trent) or in combination Himself … I shrink with my whole nature from speaking of such a mystery, but it seems to me to be vital to guard against the thought of the Presence of the Lord ‘in or under the forms of bread and wine.’ From this the greatest practical errors follow” (Life and Letters of B. F. Westcott, II. p. 351).

It is very remarkable that “the words of institution” differ widely in the four accounts. There is substantial agreement in meaning; but the only clause in which all four agree is ‘This is My Body’; and even here there is a difference of order between Τοῦτό μου ἐστὶν τὸ σῶμα (1 Cor.) and Τοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ σῶμά μου (Mark, Matt., Luke). It is quite clear that in all four accounts these words are words of administration, not of consecration. This is specially manifest in Mark, where they are preceded by ‘Take ye’ (Λάβετε), and in Matt., where they are preceded by ‘Take, eat’ (Λάβετε, φάγετε). The same may be said of ‘This is My Blood’ (Mark, Matt.): they are words of administration, not of consecration. The consecration has preceded, and would seem to be included in εὐχαριστήσας or εὐλογήσας. “All liturgies of every type agree in bearing witness to the fact that the original form of consecration was a thanksgiving”; and the form of words in which our Lord gave thanks has not been preserved. In the Eastern liturgies “the words of institution were not recited as of themselves effecting the consecration, but rather as the authority in obedience to which the rite is performed” (W. C. Bishop, Ch. Quart. Rev., July 1908, pp. 387-92). In the main lines of Eucharistic teaching in the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries, “The moment of consecration is associated with the invocation of God the Word (Serapion, 1), or with the invocation of God the Holy Ghost (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Cat. xxi:3), or with the Invocation of the Holy Trinity (Ibid. xix:7),* or with the recital of the words recorded to have been used by our Lord at the institution (Pseudo-Ambrose, De Sacr. 4:21-23)” (Darwell Stone, Ch. Quart. Rev. Oct. 1908, p. 36). Cyril of Jerusalem quotes St Paul as saying (v. 25), “And having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, Take, drink, this is My Blood,” which is wide of St Paul’s words, and agrees exactly with none of the other accounts (Cat. xxi:1). It would thus appear that we know the eact words of institution only very imperfectly, and the exact words of consecration not at all. Again, just as we do not know the manner of our Lord’s Presence in the rite as a whole, so we do not know “the supreme moment of consecration.” It is lawful to believe that we should not be in a better position for making a good use of this mystery if all these things were known.*

26. ὁσάκις γὰρ ἐὰν ἐσθίητε. In Apost. Const. 8:12, 16 these words are put into Christ’s mouth, with the change, “My death, till I come.” The γάρ introduces the Apostle’s explanation of the Lord’s command to continue making this commemorative act. Or possibly γάρ refers to the whole passage (23-25); “Such being the original Institution, it follows that as often as ye eat,” etc. To make the γάρ co-ordinate with the γάρ of v. 23, as giving an additional reason for οὐκ ἐπαινῶ, is very forced. St Paul gives no directions as to how frequently the Lord’s Supper is to be celebrated, but he implies that it is to be done frequently, in order to keep the remembrance of the Lord fresh. We may conjecture that at Corinth celebrations had been frequent, and that it was familiarity with them that had led to their being so dishonoured. By ‘this bread’ (τὸν ἄρτον τοῦτον) would seem to be meant bread used in the manner prescribed by Christ (vv. 23, 24).

The τοῦτο with τὀ ποτήριον (‘this cup,’ AV.) is manifest interpolation: א* A B C* D* F G, Latt. Arm. omit. Note the chiasmus between ἐσθίητε and πίνητε, but the change of order seems to have no significance. What is significant is the addition of καὶ τὸ ποτήριον πίυητε, which can heardly be reconciled with the practice of denying the cup to the laity.

τὸν θάνατον τοῦ Κυρίου καταγγέλλετε. ‘Ye proclaim (‘shew’ is inadequate) continually (pres. indic.) the death of the Lord.’ The Eucharist is an acted sermon, an acted proclamation of the death which it commemorates;† but it is possible that there is reference to some expression of belief in the atoning death of Christ as being a usual element in the service. The verb is indicative, not imperative.

ἄχρι οὗ ἔλθῃ. The Eucharist looks backwards to the Crucifixion and forwards to the Return: hoc mysterium duo tempora extrema conjungit (Beng.). But at the Second Advent Eucharists will come to an end, for the commemoration of the absent ceases when the absent returns. “No further need of symbols of the Body, when the Body itself appears” (Theodoret). Then instead of their drinking in memory of Him, He will drink with them in His Kingdom (Matthew 26:29).


The ἃν between ἃχπι or ἓχρις οὗ and ἔλθῃ is not likely be genuine: א* A B C D* F and Fathers omit. If it were genuine, it would indicate that the Coming is uncertain, and this can hardly be the Apostle’s meaning. How near the Coming may be is not here in question; but Eucharists must continue till then.

27. ὥστε … ἔνοχος ἔσται. ‘Consequently … he will be guilty.’ Seeing that partaking of the bread and of the cup is a proclaiming of the Lord’s death, partaking unworthily must be a grievous sin. No definition of ‘unworthily’ is given; but the expression covers all that is incompatible with the intention of Christ in instituting the rite. It is quite certain that selfish and greedy irreverence is incompatible. But what follows shows that not only external behaviour but an inward attitude of soul is included. There must be brotherly love towards all and sure faith in Christ. Weinel fails to notice this (p. 259).

ἢ πίνῃ. As the cup followed the bread at a considerable interval, it was possible to receive one unworthily without receiving the other at all. In either case the whole sacrament was profaned. It is on the use of ἤ here, and not καί, that an argument is based for communion to one kind only; and it is the only one that can be found in Scripture. But the argument is baseless. Because profaning one element involves profaning both, it does not follow that receiving one element worthily is the same as worthily receiving both.* It is eating this bread and drinking the cup that proclaims the death of the Lord (v. 26): we have no right to assume that eating without drinking, or vice versa, will suffice. The whole passage, especially vv. 22, 26, 28, 29, may be called proof that we are to eat and drink. And see Blass, § 77. 11 on the quasi-copulative sense which ἤ has in such sentences: vel (Vulg.), aut (Calvin).

τὸ ποτήριον τοῦ Κυρίου. The cup which has reference to the Lord and brings us into communion with Him, as the ‘cup of demons’ (ποτήριον δαιμονίων) brings the partakers into communion with them (10:21): comp. κυριακὸν δεῖπνον (v. 20). Nowhere else in N.T. does�

The use of ἔνοχος is varied: c. gen. of the offence (Mark 3:29), of that which is violated (here and James 2:10), and of the penalty (Mark 14:64; Hebrews 2:15); c. dat. of that which is violated (Deuteronomy 19:10), and of the tribunal (Matthew 5:21, Matthew 5:22).


After τὸν ἄρτον, K L P, Vulg. AV. add τοῦτον: א A B C D E F G, Lat.-Vet. RV. omit. For ἤ before πίνῃ A, Aegypt. Aeth. AV. read καί, a manifest correction. After�

28. δοκιμαζέτω δὲ ἄνθρωπος ἑαυτόν. ‘But (in order to avoid all this profanity) let a man (4:1; Galatians 6:1) prove himself’ (1 Thessalonians 5:21; Galatians 6:4). Let him see whether he is in a proper state of mind for commemorating and proclaiming the death of the Lord. The emphasis is on δοκιμαζέτω. It is assumed that the result of the testing will either directly or indirectly be satisfactory. This is sometimes implied in δοκιμάζειν as distinct from πειράζειν: Lightfoot on 1 Thessalonians 5:21; Trench, Syn. § lxxiv. The man will either find that he is already in a right condition to receive, or he will take the necessary means to become so. Nothing is said here either for or against employing the help of a minister, as in private confession: but δοκιμαζέτω ἑαυτόν shows that the individual Christian can do it for himself, and perhaps implies that this is the normal condition of things.* Those who are unskilful in testing themselves may reasonably seek help; and confession, whether public or private, is help supplied by the Church to those who need it. But when the right condition has been reached, by whatever means, then and not till then (οὕτως) let him come and partake.


ἐκ τοῦ ἄρτου … ἐκ τοῦ ποτηρίου. The prepositions seem to imply that there are other communicants (10:17); but the change of construction in 9:7 renders this doubtful. Evans interprets the ἐκ of “the mystical effects of the bread eaten.”

29. It is impossible to reproduce in English the play upon words which is manifest in these verses (29-34), in which changes are rung upon κρίμα and κρίνω with its compounds: Blass, Gr. § 82. 4. Such things are very common in 2 Cor. (1:13, 3:2, 4:8, 6:10, 10:6, 12, 12:4). The exact meaning of this verse is uncertain. Either (1) ‘For the (mere) eater and drinker,’ who turns the Supper into an ordinary meal; or, (2) ‘For he who eats and drinks (unworthily, or without testing himself).’ There is not much difference between these two, and in either case μὴ διακρίνων must mean ‘because he does not rightly judge,’ or ‘without rightly judging.’ Or else, (3) ‘He who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he does not rightly judge.’ In any case κρίμα is a neutral word, ‘judgment’ or ‘sentence,’ not ‘condemnation,’ still less ‘damnation.’ The context implies that the judgment is adverse and penal (v. 30); but it also implies that the punishments are temporal, not eternal. These temporal chastisements are sent to save offenders from eternal condemnation. For κρίμα, not κρίοσις, comp. Romans 3:8, Romans 3:5:16; Galatians 5:10; and see Thayer’s Grimm.


It seems to be safe to assume that διακρίνω has the same meaning in vv. 29 and 31. In that case ‘discern’ or ‘discriminate’ (RV. and marg.) can hardly be right, for this meaning makes poor sense in v. 31. ‘Judge rightly’ makes good sense in both places. Of course one who forms a right judgment will discern and discriminate (in this case, will distinguish the Body from ordinary food), but ‘distinguish’ is not the primary idea. Chrysostom paraphrases, μὴ ἐννοῶν, ὡς χρή τὸ μέγεθος τῶν προκειμένων, μὴ λογιζόμενος. It is not likely that, because the bread symbolizes the many grains of Christian souls united in one Church, τὸ σῶμα here means the body of Christians;*. still less that it means ‘the substance’ which is veiled in the bread, as some Lutherans interpret.

The addition of�

Editors differ as to the accent of κρίμα In classical Greek κρῖμα is right, but in this later Greek the earlier witnesses for accents give κρίμα. Much the same difference is found with regard to στύλος which Tisch. accents στῦλος. See Lightfoot on Galatians 2:9, Galatians 5:10.


On the insoluble as to what it is that the wicked receive in the Lord’s Supper, see E. H. Browne and E. C. S. Gibson on article xxix; the correspondence between Keble and Pusey at the end of vol. 3. of The Life of Pusey; and J. B Mozley, Lectures and other Theological papers, P. 205. “ If he receive unworthy, he vrily rejects the Body and Blood of Christ” (Khomiakoff, Essay on the Church, in Birkbeck. Russia and the English P.207). Some problems respecting the Eucharist are the result of theories (which may be erroneous) respecting the manner of christ’s Presence in the Eucharist: if the theory is relinquished, the diffcuilty disappears. It is clear from vv. 28, 29. which have καί and not between ἐσθ. and πιν., that communion in both kinds ws usual, and there is no mention of special ministers who distributed the bread and the wine. But these abuses might suggests the employment of ministers.

30. διὰ τοῦτο. He proceeds to prove the truth of κρίμα ἑαυτῷ ἐσθίει καὶ πίνει from the Corinthians’ own experiences. It is because of their irreverence at the Lord’s Supper that many among them have been chastised with sickness, and some even with death. To interpret this of spiritual weakness and deadness is inadequate; and no ancient commentator thus explains the words. Their spiritual deadness produced the irreverence, and for this irreverence God chastised them with bodily suffering. Had spiritual maladies been meant, we should probably have had ἐν πνεύματι, or ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν. Perhaps at this time there was much sickness in the Church of Corinth, and St Paul points out the cause of it. We need not assume that he had received a special revelation on the subject. It is possible that the excess in drinking may have led in some cases to illness. Both�Mark 6:5, Mark 6:13; Matthew 14:14), and it is not clear which is the stronger word of the two: infirmi et imbecilles (Vulg.); but�2 Chronicles 32:24) is perhaps more than�Romans 15:23 the reading is some what doubtful. See Swete on Mark 10:46.

κοιμῶνται. ‘Are sleeping’ (in death), dormiunt, rather than ‘are falling asleep,’ obdormiunt: here and elsewhere the Vulg. has dormio. The word was welcomed by Christians as harmonizing with the belief in a resurrection, but it was previously used by Jews and heathen without any such belief. Test. of 12. Patr. Joseph 20:4, ἐοιμήθη ὕπνῳ καλῷ, where some texts read ἐκ. ὕπνον αἰώνιον: comp. ὅπως καρωθῶσιν καὶ ὑπνώσωσιν ὕπνον αἰώνιον, and ὑπνώσουσιν ὕπνον αἰώνιον καὶ μὴ ἐξεγερθῶσιν (Jeremiah 51:39, Jeremiah 51:57);* Book of Jubilees 23:1; Tum consanguineus Leti Sopor (Virg. Aen. 6. 278. See Milligan on 1 Thessalonians 4:13). Calvin points out that these consequences of profanation must be regarded as admonitions: neque enim frustra nos affligit Deus, quia malis nostris non delectatur; argumentum copiosum et amplum. He also seems to regard solitary masses as a repetition of the offence in v. 21; ut unus seorsum epulam suam habeat, abolita communicatione.

31. εἰ δὲ ἐαυτοὺς διεκρίνομεν. ‘But if we made a practice (imperf.) of rightly judging ourselves’: ἑαυτούς is emphatic, and ἑαυτοὺς διεκρ. is stronger than the middle. The reference is to v. 28. ‘If we habitually tested ourselves, and reached a right estimate, we should not receive judgment’ (such as these sicknesses and deaths). For the construction comp. John 5:46, John 5:8:19, John 5:42, John 5:15:19, John 5:18:36; and for ἑαυτούς with the 1st pers. Acts 23:14; 1 John 1:8. In using the 1st pers. the Apostle softens the admonition by including himself. What follows is much less stern than what precedes. He is anxious to close gently.


εἰ δέ (א* A B D E F G, Vulg, Aeth. Goth. RV.) is certainly to be preferred to εἰ γάρ (א 3 C K L P, Syrr. Aegyptt. AV.).

32. κρινόμενοι δέ. ‘But when we do receive judgment (as is actually the case by these sicknesses), we are being chastened by the Lord, in order that we may not receive judgment of condemnation (be judged to death) with the world.’ These temporal sufferings are indeed punishments for sin, but their purpose is disciplinary and educational (1 Timothy 1:20), to induce us to amend our ways and escape the sentence which will be pronounced on rebels at the last day. The κόσμος here is, not God’s well-ordered creature, but His enemy, as commonly in St John. ‘I beseech therefore those who read this book, that they be not discouraged because of the calamities, but account that these punishments were not for the destruction, but for the chastening of our race’ (2 Mac. 6:12). For παιδευόμεθα (as implying moral training as distinct from mere teaching), see Westcott on Hebrews 12:7; Trench, Syn. § xxxii.; Milligan, Grk. Papyri, p. 94.*


33. ὥστε,�

ἀλλήλους ἐκδέχεσθε. ‘Wait for one another,’ invicem expectate (Vulg.). This is the usual meaning of the verb in the N.T. (16:2; Hebrews 10:13, Hebrews 10:11:10; Acts 17:16; James 5:7). The meaning ‘receive ye one another’ (common in the LXX and in class. Grk.) is less suitable: for this he would perhaps have used προσλαμβάνεσθαι (Romans 14:1, Romans 15:7). The waiting would prevent the greedy προλαμβάμειν (21): and Chrysostom points out the delicacy of the expression. It is the rich who are to wait for the poor; but neither rich nor poor are mentioned.

34. The mere satisfying of hunger should be done ἐν οἴκῳ (14:35), not ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ (v. 18). Comp. κατʼ οἶκον (Acts 2:46, Acts 5:42). The abrupt conclusion is similar to the conclusion of the discussion about women wearing veils (v. 16). He is not going to argue the matter any further; the difference between the Supper and ordinary meals must be clearly marked: that is final.


The δέ after εἰ, —εἰ δέ τις (א 3 D3 E K L P, Syrr. AV.) is a manifest interpolation (א* A B C D* F G,Latt. RV. omit). The asyndeton makes an abrupt conclusion.

τὰ δὲ λοιπά. One may guess for ever, and without result, as to what things the Apostle was going to set in order, just as one may guess for ever as to what directions our Lord gave to the Apostles respecting Church order during the forty days. Here ‘all the other matters’ possibly refers to matters about which the Corinthians had asked, and probably to matters connected with the Love-feasts and the Eucharist. The use of διατάξομαι (7:17, 9:14, 16:1; Titus 1:5) suggests that these had reference to externals, εὐταξία, rather than to the inner meaning of the rite. But the evidence is slight, and does not carry us far.

ὡς ἂν ἔλθω. ‘Whensoever I shall have come,’ or ‘according as I come.’ The ἄν makes both event and time uncertain. Comp. ὡς ἂν πορεύωμαι εἰς τὴν Σπανίαν (Romans 15:24); ὡς ἂν�Philippians 2:23). J. H. Moulton, 1. p. 167. Meanwhile there seems to be no overseer or body of elders to act for him.


ADDITIONAL NOTE ON 11:17-34

This passage throws considerable light upon the manner of celebrating the Lord’s Supper in St Paul’s day. On the negative side we have important evidence. As J.A. Beet in loc. points out very incisively, the Apostle says nothing about ‘consecration’ by a ‘priest’; and, had there been anything of the kind, would he not have said, ‘Wait for the consecration,’ rather than ‘Wait for one another’ (v. 33)? Beet points out further (Manual of Theology, p. 388) that private members were able to appropriate beforehand the food designed for the communion, which implies that they were not in the habit of receiving the bread and wine from the church officers. And St Paul does not tell them that they must not help themselves to the bread and wine, although this would have effectually put a stop to the abuses in question; which shows that he did not look upon reception of the elements as essential to the validity of the rite. From this we infer with certainty that, when Christ ordained the Supper, He did not direct, and that, when 1 Corinthians was written, the Apostles had not directed, that the sacred rite should be administered by the church officers and them alone. Nor have we in the N.T. any evidence that the Apostles afterwards gave this direction. What we have is evidence that a body of church officers was being developed: and it is reasonable to suppose that, when a distinction had been made between laity and clergy, the duty of celebrating the Lord’s Supper would very soon be reserved for the clergy.

On the positive side we may assume from τοῦτο ποιεῖτε that the Christian Supper was closely modelled, in all essentials, on what Christ did at the Paschal Supper. This carries with it—

(α) The Blessing and Breaking of Bread and the Blessing of a Cup, as then by Christ, so later by a presiding person.

(β) The Meal itself, originally meant, like the Passover, to be a genuine meal, for satisfying hunger and thirst.

But (v. 22) St Paul began a change which tended to make the meal connected with the Lord’s Supper a mere ceremony. The genuine meal, for satisfying hunger, is to be taken at home, and the Lord’s Supper is not to be used for that purpose by all communicants as a matter of course, although the poor are to have an opportunity of satisfying their appetites. This change naturally tended to the goal which was ultimately reached, viz., the complete separation of the Eucharist from the Supper, which became a mere ‘Agape.’ The contributions of food brought by the worshippers survived in later times as the First Oblation, the Εὐλογίαι. See Diet. of Chr. Ant. Artt. ‘Agape,’ ‘Eulogia,’ ‘Eucharist’; Kraus, Real-Enc. D. christ. Alt. 1. Artt. ‘Eucharistie,’ ‘Eulogien’ Hastings, DB. and DCG. Artt. ‘Lord’s Supper,’ ‘Communion.’









* The fourth, if the Introduction (1:1-9) he counted.

* Atto of Vercelli seems to be mistaken in saying, Haec nempe verba per ironiam dicta sunt. So also Herveius; Per ironiam incipit loqui. His verbis plus illos tangit, quart si manifeste, increparet eos. Quasi diceret; Ves obliti estis mei, et traditiones meas non tenetis, sed volo ut ista quae subjungo, sciatis. There is no sarcasm. Cf. 1:4-9.

† See Basil De Spir. xxix. 71. The μέμνησθε rather implies a considerable time since he had been at Corinth. It may have been over two years.

D D (Sixth century.) Codex Clarmontanus; now at Paris. A Graeco-Latin MS. 14:13 διο͂ ὁ λαλῶν-22 σημεῖον ἐστίν is supplied by a later but ancient hand. Many subsequent hands (sixth to ninth centuries) have corrected the MS. (See Gregory, Prolegomena , pp. 418-422).

E E (Ninth century). At Petrograd. A copy of D, and unimportant

F F (Late ninth century). Codex Augiensis (from Reichenau); now at Trin. Coll. Cambr. Probably a copy of G in any case, secondary to G, from which it very rarely varies (see Gregory, p. 429).

G G (Late ninth century). Codex Boernerianus; at Dresden. Interlined with the Latin (in minluscules). Lacks 1 Corinthians 3:8-16, 1 Corinthians 6:7-14 (F).


K K (Ninth century). Codex S. Synod. xcviii. Lacks 1:1-6:13 ταύτην καί: 8:7 τινὲς δὲ—8:11�

† Herveius interprets ἡμεῖς as ‘we Jews.’ Post rationes ponit auctoritatem, at contentiosos vincat, quia neque Judaismus hoc habuit, nec Ecclesia Dei, ostendens quia neque Mayses neque Salvator sic tradidit. Atto has the same idea. ‘Nos’ propter Judaeos, ‘Ecclesia’ dicit propter gentes. Quapropter, si hanc consuetudinem hebetis, non solum non Christi, sed nec Moysi discipulos fore monstratis. Nowhere else in N.T. or LXX is φιλόνεικος found , excepling Ezekiel 3:7, where all Israrel are said to be such.


* Hom, ll. ii. 472, 542; Hdt. i. 82, v. 72; Aristoph. Eq. 580. Cf. our Cavaliers

* There is similar doubt as to the scope of the τοῦτο in 7:6, and the αὔτη in 9:3. HIere the doubt is considerable. The παραγγ. about veiling was prefaced by praise (v. 2) : and τοῦτο δέ may introduce another παραγγ. where praise is impossible; ‘In giving this charge I have no praise to give.’

* Comp. “And no prophet that orders a table in the spirit eats of it himself: but if he does, he is false probhet” (Didache 11:9). This calling for a Love-feast in astate of ecetacy (ἐν πνεύματι) is a curious possiblity, which had probably been ecperienced. Only a false prophet would do this in order to get food for himself.

* Rutherford translates; ‘Or do you think that you need stand on no ceremony with the Church of God; that because men are poor you may affront them?’

* Hoc facite, id est accipite et date (Card. I Iugo de Sto. Caro, d. 1263); Mandat fieri quod ipse fecit, scilicet accipere panem, gratias agere, frangere, consecrare, sumere, ac dare (Card. Thomas de Vio, Caietanus, d. 1534).

17 17. (Ev. 33, Act_13. Ninth century.) At Paris (Nat. Gr. 14). See Westcott and Hort., Introd. §§ 211, 212.


* On the other hand, “the crude suggestion of Professor P. Gardner (The Origin of the Lord’s Supper, 1893), that St Paul borrowed the idea of the Eucharist from the Eleusinian Mysteries, which he may have learned about at Corinth,” is not admissible. The theory ignores the evidence of the Mark-tradition, and involves misapprehension of the Eleusinian Mysteries. See E. L. Hicks, Studia Biblica, iv:12. Ramsay thinks that the interval between the bread and the cup “was occupied with instruction in the meaning of the symbolism” (Exp. Times, March 1910.)

* To this may be added the still earlier testimony of Origen; see on 7:5.

* See art. Abendmahl in Schiele, Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, in which the doubtful points in the history of the institution are clearly stated; also Plummer, S. Matthew, pp. 361 f.; Dobschütz, Probleme d. Ap. Zeitalters, p. 73; Hastings, DB. iii. p. 146, DCG. ii. p. 66.

† Comp. Cyprian (De zelo et livore, 17); De sacramento crucis et cibum sumis et potum.

* To break one commandment is to break the whole Law, but to keep one command is not to keep the whole Law. See Abbott, Johannine Grammar, 2759 f., and comp. ἤ in Romans 1:21.


* Chrysostom insists on this; “He does not order one man to test another, but each man himself; thus making the court a private one and the verdict without witnesses.” Unicuique committitur suimet judicium (Cajetan).

* Stanely storngly contends for this meanings; it was “ the communityand fellowship one with another which the Corinthian Christians were so slow to discern” and he appeals to 12:12, 13, 20, 27; Romans 12:4, Romans 12:5; Ephesians 2:16, Ephesians 2:3:6, Ephesians 2:4:12, Ephesians 2:16; Colossians 1:18, Colossians 2:19, Colossians 3:15 (Christian Institutions, P. 3). In any case we may compare the striking saying of Ignatius (Rom_7, Trall. 8), that “the Blood of Jesus Christ islove.”


S S (Same date.) Codex Athous Laurae. Contains 1:1-5:8, 13:8 εἴτε δὲ προφ-24.

* With αἰώνιος. here comp. κοιμήσατο χάλκεον ὕπνον (Hom. Il 11:241); ferreus urget somnus (Virg. Aen. 10:745), Perpetuns sopor urget (Hor. Od. 1:24:5). These illnesses and deaths would be all the more remarkable in a Church which had a χάρισμα ἰαμάτων (12:9).

* “The Apostle did not say κολαζόμεθα nor τιμωρούμεα, but παιδευόμεθα. For his purpose is to admonish, not to condermn; to heal to requite; to correct, not to punish” (Chrys.).

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Driver, S.A., Plummer, A.A., Briggs, C.A. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11". International Critical Commentary NT. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/icc/1-corinthians-11.html. 1896-1924.