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Bible Commentaries

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
1 Corinthians 11

 

 

Other Authors
Introduction

CHAPTER 11

1 Corinthians 11:2. ἀδελφοί] is wanting in A B C א, min(1732) Copt. Sahid. Aeth. Arm. Athan. Cyr. Bas. Chrys. Deleted by Lachm. and Rückert. A natural addition at the beginning of a new section. Comp 1 Corinthians 10:1, 1 Corinthians 12:1, where not a single authority omits it. Had it been in the original text here, there was no inducement to leave it out. It is otherwise in 1 Corinthians 15:31, Romans 15:15.—1 Corinthians 11:5. ἑαυτῆς] αὐτῆς (Lachm.) occurs in A C D* F G L א, min(1734) Chrys. Theodoret, al(1735) This is such a preponderance of evidence against the Recept(1736) (preferred by Tisch. on the authority of B E K Or.), that we must suppose the latter to be an exegetical change for the sake of clearness.—1 Corinthians 11:7. γυνή] A B D* F G א, 73, 118, Dial. Isid. Theodoret read γυνή, which is adopted by Lachm. Rück. Tisch. Rightly; the article was omitted as in the verse before and after.—1 Corinthians 11:11. Elz. has the two clauses in inverted order (which Rinck defends), but there is decisive evidence against it. To put the man first seemed more natural.—1 Corinthians 11:14. ] is wanting in witnesses of decisive authority; deleted by Lach. Rück. Tisch. Added to mark the question.

αὐτὴ φύσις] A B C D H א, min(1737) Damasc. have φύσις αὐτή (so Lachm. and Tisch.); F G Arm. Tert. simply φύσις. In the absence of grounds of an internal kind, the weight of evidence on the side of φ. αὐτή should make it be preferred.—1 Corinthians 11:17. παραγγέλλων ἐπαινῶ] Lachm. Rück. Tisch. read παραγγέλλων ἐπαινῶν, on the authority of A B C* F G min(1738) Syr(1739) utr. Arr. Aeth. Arm. Vulg. Clar. Börn. Ambrosiast. Aug. Pel. Bede. This is a preponderance of evidence—all the more that D*, with its reading of παραγγέλλω, οὐκ ἐπαινῶ, must here remain out of account. Then, too, 1 Corinthians 11:2 compared with 1 Corinthians 11:22 made οὐκ ἐπαινῶ come most naturally to the copyist; so that altogether we must give the preference to Lachmann’s reading, which is, besides, the more difficult of the two (against Reiche, who defends the Recept(1740)).—1 Corinthians 11:21. προλα΄βάνει] A, 46, al(1741) have προσλα΄β. So Rückert. But this is plainly an alteration, because the πρό, prae, was not understood.—1 Corinthians 11:22. ἐπαινέσω] So also Lachm. on the margin (but with ἐπαινῶ in the text) and Tisch., following A C D E K L א, all min(1742), several vss(1743) Chrys. Theodoret. The present crept in from its occurrence before and after.—1 Corinthians 11:24. After εἶπε Elz. has λάβετε, φάγετε; but in the face of decisive evidence. Taken from Matthew 26:26.

κλώ΄ενον] omitted in A B C* א*, 17, 67**, Ath. Cyr. Fulg. In D* we have θρυπτό΄ενον; in Copt. Sahid. Arm. Vulg. al(1744), διδόμενον. Justly suspected by Griesb., and deleted by Lachm. Rück. Tisch. Mere supplements.—1 Corinthians 11:26. The τοῦτο which stands after ποτήριον in Elz. is condemned by decisive evidence. So, too, the τοῦτον, which Elz. has after ἄρτον in 1 Corinthians 11:27, is a later addition.—1 Corinthians 11:29. ἀναξίως does not occur in A B C א*, 17, Sahid. Aeth.; nor does τοῦ κυρίου (after σῶμα) in these and some other witnesses. Lachm. and Tisch. delete them both; and both are glosses. What reason was there for omitting them if in the original?—1 Corinthians 11:31. There is a great preponderance of evidence in favour of δέ instead of γάρ. The latter is an explanatory alteration.—1 Corinthians 11:34. εἰ] Elz. has εἰ δέ; but there is conclusive evidence for rejecting it.

CONTENTS.—(1) How requisite it is that women cover their heads in the public assemblies for the worship of God,(1745), 1 Corinthians 11:2-16. (2) Regarding the abuses of the Agapae, and the right way of celebrating them, 1 Corinthians 11:17-34.


Verse 1

1 Corinthians 11:1 belongs still to the preceding section.

Become imitators of me. Become so, Paul writes, for there was as yet a sad lack of practical evidence of this imitation; see also 1 Corinthians 10:32 (comp Kühner, a(1747) Xen. Anab. i. 7. 4).

κἀγώ] as I also have become an imitator, namely, of Christ. Comp on Matthew 15:3. Christ as the highest pattern of the spirit described in 1 Corinthians 10:33. Comp Philippians 2:4 ff.; Romans 15:3; Ephesians 5:2; Matthew 20:28.


Verse 2

1 Corinthians 11:2. Conciliatory preamble to the sharp correction which follows.

δέ] is simply the autem leading on to a new subject; hence we are not to seek any set purpose in the similarity of sound between μιμηταί and μέμνησθε.

πάντα] because you are in all respects mindful of me. Rückert’s explanation: “you think on everything that comes from me” (1 Corinthians 16:14), is needlessly far-fetched, seeing that μέμνημαι with the accusative, very frequent in Greek writers, does not occur in the N. T., and the absolute πάντα is common enough (1 Corinthians 9:25, 1 Corinthians 10:32).

καὶ καθὼς κ. τ. λ(1750)] and because you hold fast the traditions in the way in which I delivered them to you. This is the practical result of what was stated in the foregoing clause. παραδόσεις might refer to doctrine as well as to usages and discipline (comp Galatians 1:14; Colossians 2:8; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; Plato, Legg. vii. p. 803 A Polyb. xi. 8. 2); but the tenor of the following context shows that Paul means here directions of the latter sort, which he had given to the Corinthians orally (and also perhaps in his lost letter, v. 2). He had, at the foundation of the church and afterwards, made various external regulations, and rejoices that, on the whole, they had not set these aside, but were holding them fast in accordance with his directions ( κατέχετε, comp 1 Corinthians 15:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; Hebrews 3:6; Hebrews 10:23). As to the connection of παρέδωκα παραδόσεις, see Winer, p. 210 [E. T. 281].


Verse 3

1 Corinthians 11:3. “After this general acknowledgment, however, I have still to bid you lay to heart the following particular point.” And now, first of all, the principle of the succeeding admonition. Respecting θέλωεἰδέναι, comp on 1 Corinthians 10:1; Colossians 2:1.

παντὸς ἀνδρ.] note the prominent position of the word, as also the article before κεφ.: of every man the Head. That what is meant, however, is every Christian man, is self-evident from this first clause; consequently, Paul is not thinking of the general order of creation (Hofmann), according to which Christ is the head of all things (Colossians 1:16 f., 1 Corinthians 2:10), but of the organization of Christian fellowship, as it is based upon the work of redemption. Comp Ephesians 5:21 ff.

κεφαλή, from which we are not (with Hofmann) to dissociate the conception of an organized whole (this would suit in none of the passages where the word occurs, Colossians 2:10 included), designates in all the three cases here the proximate, immediate Head, which is to be specially noted in the second instance, for Christ as head of the church (Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:22; Ephesians 4:15) is also head of the woman (comp Ephesians 5:22 f.). The relation indicated by κεφ. is that of organic subordination, even in the last clause: He to whom Christ is subordinate is God (comp 1 Corinthians 3:23, 1 Corinthians 15:28, 1 Corinthians 8:6; Colossians 1:15; Romans 9:5; and see Kahnis, Dogm. III. p. 208 ff.), where the dogmatic explanation resorted to, that Christ in His human nature only is meant (Theodoret, Estius, Calovius, al(1757)), is un-Pauline. Neither, again, is His voluntary subjection referred to (Billroth), but—which is exactly what the argument demands, and what the two first clauses give us—the objective and, notwithstanding His essential equality with God (Philippians 2:6), necessary subordination of the Son to the Father in the divine economy of redemption.(1758) Much polemic discussion as to the misuse of this passage by the Arians and others may be found in Chrysostom, Theodoret, and Theophylact.

Galatians 3:28, indeed, shows that the distinction of the sexes is done away in Christ (in the spiritual sphere of the Christian life); but this ideal equality of sex as little does away with the empirical subordination in marriage as with differences of rank in other earthly relations, e.g. of masters and servants.

κεφ. δὲ χ. θεός] The gradation of ranks rises up to the supreme Head over all, who is the Head of the man also, mediately, through Christ. This makes it all the more obvious that, on the one hand, the man who prays or speaks as a prophet before God in the assembly ought not to have his head covered, see 1 Corinthians 11:7; but that, on the other hand, the relation of the women under discussion is all the more widely to be distinguished from that of the men.


Verse 4

1 Corinthians 11:4. First inference from the aforesaid gradation of rank.

This inference is a plea of privilege for the men, which was but to prepare the way for the censure next to be passed upon the women. Had Paul meant to correct the men because they had prayed or preached as prophets at Corinth with their heads covered (Chrysostom and many of the older commentators; see against this view, Bengel, and especially Storr, Opusc. II. p. 283), he would have gone into the matter more in detail, as he does in what follows respecting the women.

προσευχ.] of praying aloud in the public assemblies. For that Paul is giving instructions for the sphere of church-life, not for family worship (Hofmann), is quite clear from the προφητεύειν added here and in 1 Corinthians 11:5, which does not suit the idea of the private devotions of a husband and wife, like the σχολάζειν τῇ προσευχῇ in 1 Corinthians 7:5, but always means the public use for general edification of the χάρισμα referred to, namely, that of apocalyptic utterance (Acts 2:17 f., Acts 19:6, Acts 21:9; 1 Corinthians 13, 14; Matthew 7:22). Moreover, 1 Corinthians 11:5 f. and 10 presuppose publicity; as indeed à priori we might assume that Paul would not have prescribed so earnestly a specific costume for the head with a view only to the family edification of a man and his wife. It was precisely in the necessity of avoiding public occasion of offence that such precepts could alone find ground enough to justify them; they were not designed by the liberal-minded apostle to infringe upon the freedom of a woman’s dress at home. How can any one believe that he meant that when a wife desired, in the retirement of her own house, to pray with her husband (and how often in a moment might an occasion for doing so arise!), she must on no account satisfy this religious craving without first of all putting on her περιβόλαιον, and that, if she failed to do so, she stamped herself as a harlot (1 Corinthians 11:5 f.)!

To take προσευχ. as equivalent to γλώσσαις λαλεῖν (Baur) is not justified by 1 Corinthians 14:13, although speaking with tongues may have occurred in connection with public prayer by women.

προφητ.] See on 1 Corinthians 12:10. The force of the participles is: Every man, when he prays or speaks as a prophet, while he has, etc.

κατὰ κεφ. ἔχων] sc(1759) τί. See Fritzsche, Conject. I. p. 36. Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 127 [E. T. 146]. Having (something) down from the head, i.e. with a head-covering. The Jewish men prayed with the head covered, nay, even with a veil (Tallith) before the face. See Lightfoot, Horae, p. 210 f. Michaelis, Anm. p. 244 f. Hellenic usage again required that the head should be bare on sacred occasions (Grotius on 1 Corinthians 11:2; Hermann, gottesd. Alterth. § 36. 18 f.), while the Romans veiled themselves at sacrifices (Serv. a(1760) Aen. iii. 407; Dougt. Anal. II. p. 116). The Hellenic usage had naturally become the prevalent one in the Hellenic churches, and had also commended itself to the discriminating eye of the apostle of the Gentiles as so entirely in accordance with the divinely appointed position of the man (1 Corinthians 11:3), that for the man to cover his head seemed to him to cast dishonour on that position.

καταισχ. τὴν κεφ. αὐτοῦ] So, with the spiritus lenis, αὐτοῦ should be written, from the standpoint of the speaker, consequently without any reflex reference (his own head), which the context does not suggest. The emphasis of the predicate lies rather on καταισχύνει, as also in 1 Corinthians 11:5. Every man, when he prays, etc., dishonours his head. In what respect he does so, 1 Corinthians 11:3 has already clearly indicated, namely (and this meets Baur’s objection to the apostle’s argument, that the duty of being veiled should attach to the man also from his dependence, 1 Corinthians 11:3), inasmuch as he cannot represent any submission to human authority by a veil on his head without thereby sacrificing its dignity. His head ought to show to all (and its being uncovered is the sign of this) that no man, but, on the contrary, Christ, and through Him God Himself, is Head (Lord) of the man. We are to understand, therefore, τὴν κεφαλὴν αὐτοῦ quite simply like κατὰ κεφαλῆς, of the bodily head (Erasmus, Beza, Grotius, Estius, Bengel, Flatt, Ewald, Neander); not, with Oecumenius, Theophylact (doubtful), Calvin, Calovius, and others, including Heydenreich, Rückert, de Wette, Osiander, Maier, Hofmann, of Christ, which is not required by 1 Corinthians 11:3, and is positively forbidden by 1 Corinthians 11:5-6; 1 Corinthians 11:14, which take for granted also, as respects the man, the similar conception of the κεφαλή, namely, in the literal sense. This holds also against the double sense which Wolf, Billroth, and Olshausen assume the passage to bear, understanding it to refer to the literal head and to Christ as well.


Verse 5

1 Corinthians 11:5. A second inference of an opposite kind from 1 Corinthians 11:3, namely, with respect to the women.

Prayer and prophetic utterances in meetings on the part of the women are assumed here as allowed. In 1 Corinthians 14:34, on the contrary, silence is imposed upon them; comp also 1 Timothy 2:12, where they are forbidden to teach. This seeming contradiction between the passages disappears, however, if we take into account that in chap. 14 it is the public assembly of the congregation, the whole ἐκκλησία, that is spoken of (1 Corinthians 11:4-5; 1 Corinthians 11:12; 1 Corinthians 11:16; 1 Corinthians 11:19; 1 Corinthians 11:23; 1 Corinthians 11:26 ff., 1 Corinthians 11:33). There is no sign of such being the case in the passage before us. What the apostle therefore has in his eye here, where he does not forbid the προσεύχεσθαι προφητεύειν of the women, and at the same time cannot mean family worship simply (see on 1 Corinthians 11:4), must be smaller meetings for devotion in the congregation, more limited circles assembled for worship, such as fall under the category of a church in the house (1 Corinthians 16:19; Romans 16:5; Colossians 4:15; Philemon 1:2). Since the subject here discussed, as we may infer from its peculiar character, must have been brought under the notice of the apostle for his decision by the Corinthians themselves in their letter, his readers would understand both what kind of meetings were meant as those in which women might pray and speak as prophetesses, and also that the instruction now given was not abrogated again by the “taceat mulier in ecclesia.” The latter would, however, be the case, and the teaching of this passage would be aimless and groundless, if Paul were here only postponing for a little the prohibition in 1 Corinthians 14:34, in order, first of all, provisionally to censure and correct a mere external abuse in connection with a thing which was yet to be treated as wholly unallowable (against my own former view). It is perfectly arbitrary to say, with Grotius, that in 1 Corinthians 14:34 we must understand as an exception to the rule: “nisi speciale Dei mandatum habeant.”

ἀκατακαλύπτῳ] Polyb. xv. 27. 2. As to the dative, see Winer, p. 203 [E. T. 271].

τὴν κεφαλ. αὐτῆς]—see the critical remarks—is, like τ. κεφ. αὐτοῦ in 1 Corinthians 11:4, to be understood of the literal head. A woman when praying was to honour her head by having a sign upon it of the authority of her husband, which was done by having it covered; otherwise she dishonoured her head by dressing not like a married wife, from whose head-dress one can see that her husband is her head (lord), but like a loose woman, with whose shorn head the uncovered one is on a par.

ἓν γάρ ἐστι κ. τ. λ(1762)] for she is nothing else, nothing better, than she who is shorn. As the long tresses of the head were counted a womanly adornment among Jews and Gentiles, so the hair shorn off was a sign either of mourning (Deuteronomy 21:12; Homer, Od. iv. 198, xxiv. 46; Eurip. Or. 458; Hermann, Privatalterth. § xxxix. 28) or of shamelessness (Elsner, Obss. p. 113), and was even the penalty of an adulteress (Wetstein in loc(1763)). What Paul means to say then is: a woman praying with uncovered head stands in the eye of public opinion, guided as it is by appearances, on just the same level with her who has the shorn hair of a courtesan.

ἓν κ. τὸ αὐτό] emphatic: unum idemque. See instances in Kypke, II. p. 220. The subject to this is πᾶσα γυνὴ κ. τ. λ(1764), not the appearing uncovered, so that strictly it ought to have been τῷ ἐξυρῆσθαι (Billroth). And the neuter is used, because the subject is regarded as a general conception. Comp 1 Corinthians 3:8. Respecting the dative, see Kühner, II. p. 244; Krüger, § xlviii. 14. 9.

The form ξυράω has less authority in Attic writers than ξυρέω. See Lobeck, a(1766) Phryn. p. 205.

REMARK.

The evil, which Paul here rebukes with such sharpness and decision, must have broken out after the apostle had left Corinth; had he been present, he would not have allowed it to emerge. It arose probably from an unseemly extension of the principle of Christian liberty, occasioned by the fact of women partaking in the special gifts of the Spirit, 1 Corinthians 11:4, and doubtless under the influence of the greater laxity of Hellenic ideas about female dress. The letter from the Corinthians, when referring to the way in which the apostle’s instructions were acted upon at Corinth (1 Corinthians 11:2), must have contained an inquiry put to him upon this particular point (comp on 1 Corinthians 11:5). The fact that Paul makes no allusion to virgins here proves that they were not involved in the wrong practice, although Tertullian (de virginib. veland.) unwarrantably applies our passage to them also.


Verse 6

1 Corinthians 11:6 gives the ground of ἕν ἐστι κ. τ. λ(1768), 1 Corinthians 11:5. That ground is, that the step from not being covered to being shorn is only what consistency demands, while the dishonour again implied in being shorn requires that the woman should be covered; consequently, to be uncovered lies by no means midway between being shorn and being covered as a thing indifferent, but falls under the same moral category as being shorn. For when a woman puts on no covering, when she has once become so shameless, then she should have herself shorn too (in addition). A demand for logical consistency (Winer, p. 292 [E. T. 391]) serving only to make them feel the absurdity of this unseemly emancipation from restraint in public prayer and speaking (for 1 Corinthians 11:5 shows that these rules cannot be general ones, against Hofmann). To understand it simply as a permission, does not suit the conclusion; comp on the contrary κατακαλυπτέσθω.

τὸ κείρ ξυρᾶσθαι] “Plus est radi ( ξυρ.) quam tonderi,” Grotius. Comp Valckenaer. ξυρ. means to shave, with the razor ( ξυρόν). The two words occur together in Micah 1:16, LXX. Note the absence of any repetition of the article in connection with the double description of the one unseemly thing.


Verses 7-9

1 Corinthians 11:7-9. γάρ] introduces the grounding of the κατακαλυπτέσθω, consequently a second ground for the proposition under discussion (the first being 1 Corinthians 11:3-6). The argument sets out again (comp 1 Corinthians 11:3) e contrario.

οὐκ ὀφείλει] does not mean: he is not bound, which, as 1 Corinthians 11:3 shows, would not be enough; but: he ought not, etc., in contrast to the woman who ought (1 Corinthians 11:5; 1 Corinthians 11:10). Comp 2 Corinthians 12:14.

εἰκὼν κ. δόξα κ. τ. λ(1773)] The obligation to pray, etc., with the head covered would be inconsistent with this high dignity, because to cover the head is a sign of submission to human power, 1 Corinthians 11:10. A man as such ( ἀνήρ) is the image of God (Genesis 1:26 f.), inasmuch as he, being Adam’s representative, has dominion over the earth. Other elements of what constitutes the image of God are not, according to the context, taken into account here, nor are the ecclesiastical definitions of it. He is also the glory of God, inasmuch as, being the image of God, he, in his appearance as man, practically represents on earth in a human way the majesty of God as a ruler. Rückert, following older interpreters (given in Wolf), holds that δόξα is meant here as the rendering of דְּמוּת, Genesis 1:26; as also the LXX., in Numbers 12:8, Psalms 17:15, translates תְּמוּנָה by δόξα. But had Paul wished to convey the meaning of דְּמוּת, a passage so important and so familiar as Genesis 1:26 would certainly have suggested to him the word used there by the LXX., ὁμοίωσις. δόξα corresponds simply to the Hebrew כבוד.

Paul describes only the man as being the image and δόξα of God; for he has in his eye the relation of marriage, in which rule is conferred on the man alone. The woman accordingly has, in harmony with the whole connection of the passage, to appear simply as δόξα ἀνδρός, inasmuch, namely, as her whole wedded dignity, the high position of being spouse of the man, proceeds from the man and is held in obedience to him; so that the woman does not carry an independent glory of her own, an ἰδία δόξα, but the majesty of the man reflects itself in her, passing over to her mediately and, as it were, by derivation. Grotius compares her happily to the moon as “lumen minus sole.” This exposition of δόξα ἀνδρός is the only one which suits the context, and corresponds in conception to the preceding δόξα θεοῦ, without at the same time anticipating what is next said in 1 Corinthians 11:8-9. The conception of the δόξα, which is θεοῦ in case of the man and ἀνδρός in that of the woman, is determined by the idea of the ordo conjugalis, not by that of humanity (Hofmann) originally realized in the man but passing thence into a derivative realization in the woman.

Paul omits εἰκών in the woman’s case, not because he refused to recognise the divine image in her (except in an immediate sense), but because he felt rightly that, in view of the distinction of sex, the word would be unsuitable (comp de Wette), and would also convey too much, considering the subordinate position of the woman in marriage.—1 Corinthians 11:8. For there is not such a thing as man from woman, etc., but the relation of the two as respects being is the converse.—1 Corinthians 11:9. The γάρ here is subordinate to that in 1 Corinthians 11:8 : “for there was not created a man for the woman’s sake, but conversely.” This is the concrete historical establishment, from the narrative of their creation, of the relation between the two sexes, which had been generally stated in 1 Corinthians 11:8; in giving it, Paul, with Genesis 2:18 in his view, does not bring in ἐκ again, but διά, which, however, considering how familiar the history was, throws no doubt upon the genuineness of the ἐκ. In καὶ γάρ the καί (which has the force of even indeed, Hartung, I. p. 135) belongs to οὐκ ἐκτίσθη. The present genetic relation of the two sexes, 1 Corinthians 11:8, began as early as the creation of the first pair.


Verse 10

1 Corinthians 11:10. διὰ τοῦτο] namely, because the relation of the woman to the man is such as has been indicated in 1 Corinthians 11:7-9.

ἐξουσίαν ἔχειν ἐπὶ τῆς κεφ.] to have a power, i.e. the sign of a power (to wit, as the context shows, of her husband’s power, under which she stands), upon her head; by which the apostle means a covering for the head.(1775) So Chrysostom,(1776) Theodoret, Oecumenius, Theophylact, with the majority both of ancient and modern commentators, including van Hengel, Annot. p. 175 ff.; Lücke in the Stud. u. Krit. 1828, p. 571 f., Billroth, Rückert, Olshausen, de Wette, Osiander, Ewald, Neander, Maier, Weiss, Vilmar in the Stud. u. Krit. 1864, p. 465 f.; comp Düsterdieck in the Shud. u. Krit. 1863, p. 707 ff. Just as in Diodor. Sic. i. 47, in the phrase ἔχουσαν τρεῖς βασιλείας ἐπὶ τῆς κεφ., the context shows beyond a doubt that βασ. means symbols of one’s own power (diadems), so here the connection justifies the use of ἐξουσία to denote the sign of another’s power; the phrase thus simply having its proper reference brought out, and by no means being twisted into an opposite meaning, as Hofmann objects. Comp also the ornaments of the Egyptian priests, which, as being symbols of truth, bore the name of ἀλήθεια, Diod. Sic. i. 48. 77; Ael. V. H. xiv. 34. Schleusner explains ἐξουσ. as a token of the honour (of the married women over the single). But both the context (1 Corinthians 11:9) and the literal meaning of ἐξουσία are against this. Bengel and Schrader make it a sign of authority to speak in public. But the whole connection points to the authority of the husband over the wife. There is not a word in the whole passage about the potestas orandi, etc., nor of its being granted by the husband (Schrader). Hagenbach’s view (Stud. u. Krit. 1828, p. 401) is also contrary to the context, seeing that we have previously διὰ τὸν ἄνδρα; he understands ἐξουσία as a mark of descent. Paul, he holds, formed the word upon the analogy of παρουσία κ. τ. λ(1779),—a view that does not even leave to the term its lexical meaning, which was surely familiar enough to the apostle and his readers. Other expositors make ἐξουσία directly to signify a veil (Michaelis, Schulz), to establish which they have appealed in the most arbitrary way to the help of Hebrew words (Cappellus, Clericus, Hammond, Semler, Ernesti). Hitzig again, in the theol. Jahrb. 1854, p. 129 ff., gives out the term to be a Jewish-Greek one, derived from ἐξ ἴσου; because the veil had, he maintains, two overhanging halves which balanced each other in front and behind. But what is fatal to every attempt of this kind is that ἐξουσία, power, is so very familiar a word, and suits perfectly well here in this its ordinary sense, while, as the name of a veil, it would be entirely without trace and without analogy in Greek. As for the derivation from ἐξ ἴσου, that is simply an etymological impossibility. Other interpreters still assume that ἐξουσ. means here not a sign of power, but power itself. So, in various preposterous ways, earlier commentators cited by Wolf; and so more recently Kypke and Pott. The former puts a comma after ἐξουσία, and explains the clause: “propterea mulier potestati obnoxia est, ita ut velamen (comp 1 Corinthians 11:4) in capite habeat.” But the sense of ὀφείλειν τι would rather have required ὑπακοήν in place of ἐξουσίαν. Pott again (in the Götting. Weihnachtsprogr. 1831, p. 22 ff.) renders it: “mulierem oportet servare jus seu potestatem in caput suum, sc(1781) eo, quod illud velo obtegat.” Not inconsistent with linguistic usage (Revelation 11:6; Revelation 20:6; Revelation 14:18; comp Luke 19:17), but all the more so with the context, since what 1 Corinthians 11:9 states is just that the woman has no power at all over herself, and for that very reason ought to wear a veil. Hofmann, too, rejects the symbolical explanation of ἐξουσία, and finds the metaphorical element simply in the local import of the phrase ἐπὶ κεφαλῆς (comparing it with such passages as Acts 18:6, where, however, the idea is wholly different in kind). He makes the thought to be: the woman must have a power upon or over her head, because she must be subject to such a power. In that case what would be meant would be her husband’s power, which she must have over her. But the question in hand was not at all about anything so general and self-evident as that, but about the veiling, which she was bound to observe. The conjectural interpretations which have been attempted are so far-fetched as not to deserve further mention. We may add that there is no evidence in antiquity for the symbolism which Paul here connects with the veiling of the women in assemblies (the hints which Baur founds upon in the theol. Jahrb. 1852, p. 571 ff., are too remote). We have the more reason, therefore, to agree with Lücke in ascribing it to the ingenious apostle himself, however old the custom itself—that married women should wear veils in public—was in Hebrew usage (Ewald, Alterth. p. 269 f.).

διὰ τοὺς ἀγγέλους] which Baur uncritically holds to be a gloss—a view to which Neander also was inclined—is not a formula obsecrandi (Heydenreich, who, with Vorstius, Hammond, Bengel, and Zachariae, strangely assumes a reference to Isaiah 6:2), but a clause adding to the inner ground ( διὰ τοῦτο) an outward one: “for the sake of the angels,” in order to avoid exciting disapproval among them. τοὺς ἀγγέλους αἰδέσθητι, Chrysostom. Erasmus puts it well in his Paraphrase: “Quodsi mulier eo venit impudentiae, ut testes hominum oculos non vereatur, saltem ob angelos testes, qui vestris conventibus intersunt, caput operiat.” That the holy angels are present at assemblies for worship, is an idea which Paul had retained from Judaism (LXX. Psalms 138:1; Tobit 12:12 f.; Buxtorf, Synag. 15, p. 306; Grotius in loc(1783); Eisenmenger, entdeckt. Judenth. II. p. 393), and made an element in his Christian conception,(1784) in accordance with the ministering destination ascribed to them in Hebrews 1:14, but without any of the Jewish elaborations. It must remain a very doubtful point whether he had guardian angels (Acts 12:15; Matthew 18:10) specially in view (Jerome, August. de Trin. xii. 7; Theodoret, comp Theophylact), seeing that he nowhere says anything definite about them. Other expositors make the reference to be to the bad angels, who would be incited to wantonness by the unveiled women (Tert. c. Marc. v. 8; de virg. vel. 7, al(1786)),(1787) or might incite the men to it (Schoettgen, Zeltner, Mosheim), or might do harm to the uncovered women (Wetstein, Semler). Others, again, understand it to mean pious men (Clem. Alex.), or the Christian prophets (Beza), or those presiding in the congregation (Ambrosiaster), or those deputed to bring about betrothals (Lightfoot), or unfriendly spies (Heumann, Alethius, Schulz, Morus, Storr, Stolz, Rosenmüller, Flatt, Schrader)—all mere attempts at explanation, which are sufficiently disposed of by the single fact that ἄγγελοι, when standing absolutely in the N. T., always denotes good angels alone. See on 1 Corinthians 4:9. The correct exposition is given also by Düsterdieck, l.c(1788), who shows well the fine trait of apostolic mysticism in διὰ τοὺς ἀγγέλους.


Verse 11

1 Corinthians 11:11. Paul’s teaching from 1 Corinthians 11:7 onward might possibly be misinterpreted by the men, so as to lead them to despise the women, and by the women so as to underrate their own position. Hence the caveat which now follows ( ἐπάγει τὴν διόρθωσιν, Chrys.) against the possible dislocation of the Christian relation of the two sexes: nevertheless, neither is the woman without the man, nor the man without the woman in Christ, i.e. nevertheless there subsists such a relation between the two in the sphere of the Christian life ( ἐν κυρίῳ), that neither does the woman stand severed from the man, i.e. independent of, and without bond of fellowship with, him, nor vice versâ. They are united as Christian spouses (comp 1 Corinthians 11:3) in mutual dependence, each belonging to the other and supplying what the other lacks; neither of the parties being a separate independent person. The ἐν κυρίῳ thus assigns to the relation here expressed the distinctive sphere, in which it subsists. Out of Christ, in a profane marriage of this world, the case would be different. Were we, with Storr, Heydenreich, Rückert, Hofmann, to take ἐν κυρίῳ as predicative definition: “neither does the woman stand in connection with Christ without the man, nor vice versâ,” this would resolve itself either into the meaning given by Grotius: “Dominus neque viros exclusis feminis, neque feminas exclusis viris redemit;” or into Hofmann’s interpretation, that in a Christian marriage the relation to the Lord is a common one, shared in by the two parties alike. But both of these ideas are far too obvious, general, and commonplace to suit the context. Olshausen (comp Beza) renders it, “by the arrangement of God.” But ἐν κυρίῳ is the statedly used term for Christ; the reference to the divine arrangement comes in afterwards in 1 Corinthians 11:12.


Verse 12

1 Corinthians 11:12. For, were this not the case, the Christian system would be clearly at variance with the divine arrangement in nature. This against Rückert, who accuses 1 Corinthians 11:12 of lending no probative support to 1 Corinthians 11:11.

γυνὴ ἐκ τοῦ ἀνδρ.] sc(1791) ἐστι, namely, in respect of origination at first. Comp 1 Corinthians 11:8.

ἀνὴρ διὰ τῆς γυν.] in respect of origination now. ἐκ denotes the direct origination in the way known to all his readers from the history of woman’s creation in Genesis 2:21 f.; διά again the mediate origin by birth, all men being γεννητοὶ γυναικῶν, Matthew 11:11; Galatians 4:4. Paul might have repeated the ἐκ in the second clause also (Matthew 1:16; Galatians 4:4), but he wished to mark the difference between the first and the continued creation. And in order to bring out the sacred character of the moral obligation involved in this genetic relation of mutual dependence, he adds: τὰ δὲ πάντα ἐκ τ. θεοῦ: now all this, that we have been treating of (“vir, mulier et alterius utrius mutua ab altero dependentia,” Bengel), is from God, proceeding from and ordered by Him. As regards this ἐκ, comp 2 Corinthians 5:18; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Romans 11:36.


Verses 13-15

1 Corinthians 11:13-15. By way of appendix to the discussion, the apostle refers his readers—as regards especially the praying of the women, which had given rise to debate—to the voice of nature herself. He asks them: Is it seemly,—judge within yourselves concerning it,—is it seemly that a woman should offer up prayers uncovered? Does not nature herself even ( οὐδέ) teach you the opposite?

ἐν ὑμῖν αὐτοῖς] without any influence from without; comp 1 Corinthians 10:15.

τῷ θεῷ] superfluous in itself, but added for the sake of emphasis, in order to impress upon them the more deeply the unseemliness of the uncovered state in which the woman comes forward to deal with the Most High in prayer.

Regarding the different constructions with πρέπον ἐστι, see Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 239 [E. T. 278].

The φύσις is the natural relation of the judgment and feeling to the matter in question,—the native, inborn sense and perception of what is seemly. This instinctive consciousness of propriety had been, as respected the point in hand, established by custom and had become φύσις. Comp Chrysostom. The manifold discussions, to little purpose, by the old commentators regarding the meaning of φύσις, may be seen in Poole’s Synopsis, and in Wolf. It is here, as often in Greek writers (comp also Romans 2:14), the contrast to education, law, art, and the like. It cannot in this passage mean, as Hofmann would have it, the arrangement of things in conformity with their creation—that is to say, the arrangement of nature in the objective sense (so, frequently in the classics), for the assertion that this teaches all that is expressed by the ὅτι ἀνὴρ κ. τ. λ(1797) would go much too far and be unwarranted. Were we, again, to assume that ὅτι does not depend at all on διδάσκει, but gives the ground for the question, so that διδάσκει would require its contents to be supplied out of the first half of the verse, how awkwardly would Paul have expressed himself, and how liable must he have been to misapprehension, in putting ὅτι instead of conveying his meaning with clearness and precision by γάρ! And even apart from this objection as to the form of expression, we cannot surely suppose that the apostle would find in a fact of aesthetic custom (1 Corinthians 11:14-15)—that is to say, a something in its own nature accidental, and subsisting as an actual fact only for the man accustomed to it—the confirmation of what the order of things in conformity with their creation teaches.

αὐτή] independently of all other instruction.

Upon the matter itself ( κόμην δὲ ἔχειν καὶ εὔκομον εἶναι γυναικώτερόν ἐστι, Eustath. a(1798) Il. iii. p. 288), see Perizonius, a(1799) Ael. V. H. ix. 4; Wetstein in loc(1800) In ancient times, among the Hellenes, the luxuriant, carefully-tended hair of the head was the mark of a free man (see generally, Hermann, Privatalterth. § xxiii. 13 ff.). Comp also 2 Samuel 14:25 f. In the church, both by councils and popes, the κομοτροφεῖν was repeatedly and strictly forbidden to the clergy.(1802) See Decretal. lib. iii. tit. i. cap. 4. 5. 7.

ὅτι κόμη ἀντὶ περιβ. δέδ.] Ground for long hair being an ornament to a woman: because it is given to her instead of a veil, to take its place, to be, as it were, a natural veil. This again implies that to wear a veil, as in the case in hand, is a decorous thing. For if the κόμη is an honour for a woman because it is given to her in place of a veil, then the veil itself too must be an honour to her, and to lay it aside in prayer a disgrace. “Naturae debet respondere voluntas,” Bengel. περιβόλαιον, something thrown round one, a covering in general (see the Lexicons, and Schleusner, Thes. IV. p. 289), has here a special reference to the veil ( καλύπτρα, κάλυμμα) spoken of in the context.


Verse 16

1 Corinthians 11:16. The apostle has done with the subject; but one word more of warning now against all controversy about it.

δοκεῖ] Vulg.: “si quis autem videtur contentiosus esse.” This would imply that sort of forbearing courtesy in the δοκεῖ, according to which one “videri aliquid esse, quam vere esse dicere maluit,” Fritzsche, a(1803) Matth. p. 129. Comp Frotscher, a(1805) Xen. Hier. p. 92. Sturz, Lex. Xen. I. p. 757 f. So de Wette and Winer, p. 570 [E. T. 766]. But one can see no reason for Paul’s choosing any such special delicacy of phrase. If, again, we understand the words to mean: if any one likes to be, or has pleasure in being, contentious (Luther, Grotius, Rückert), that is to confound the expression with the construction δοκεῖ μοι.(1806) The simplest explanation, and, at the same time, quite literally faithful, is, as in Matthew 3:9, Philippians 3:4 : if any one is of opinion, if he thinks, or is minded to be, etc.; but to import the notion of permission into the infinitive here, in connection with this rendering (Billroth), would be arbitrary, because without warrant from the text (Kühner, a(1807) Xen. Mem. ii. 1. 1).

ἡμεῖς τοιαύτην κ. τ. λ(1808)] declarative: Let him be told that we, etc. Comp Romans 11:18. See Winer, p. 575 [E. T. 773].

ἡ΄εῖς] I and those who are like-minded with me.

τοιαύτην συνήθ.] such a custom. Interpreters refer this either to the censured practice of the women being unveiled (Theodoret, Erasmus, Grotius, Bengel, Michaelis, Semler, Rosenmüller, Heydenreich, Flatt, Billroth, Olshausen, Ewald, Neander, Maier, Hofmann), or to the custom of contention (Chrysostom, Ambrosiaster, Beza, Calvin, Piscator, Estius, Calovius, and others, including Rückert and de Wette). The latter suits the immediate context, and is required by ἡμεῖς; hence we cannot, with Theophylact and Osiander, leave it an open question which of the two references should be preferred. The οὐδὲ αἱ ἐκκλ. τ. θεοῦ is not against this view; for what is asserted is not that all individual members were free from the love of strife, but only that the churches as a whole were so. These last are distinguished by οὐδὲ αἱ ἐκκλ. τ. θεοῦ from the individuals implied in ἡμεῖς. Neither does the expression συνήθεια throw any difficulty in the way of our interpretation; on the contrary, occurring as it does in this short concluding sentence of deprecation, it lends to it a certain point against the readers, some of whom seem to have allowed this vice of contentiousness to grow with them into a habit; it was their miserable custom!

The abnormal position of isolation, into which their controversial tendencies would bring them, should surely suffice to prevent their indulging them!


Verse 17

1 Corinthians 11:17. Transition to the censure which follows. Now this (what I have written up to this point about the veiling of the women) I enjoin,(1810) while I do not praise (i.e. while I join with my injunction the censure), that ye, etc. The “litotes” οὐκ ἐπαινῶν glances back upon 1 Corinthians 11:2. Lachmann’s view, according to which the new section begins at 1 Corinthians 11:16, so that φιλόνεικος would relate to the σχίσματα in 1 Corinthians 11:18, has this against it, that παραγγέλλω always means praecipio in the N. T. (1 Corinthians 7:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:11; 2 Thessalonians 3:4; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; 2 Thessalonians 3:10; 2 Thessalonians 3:12, al(1811)), not I announce, and that no injunction is expressed in 1 Corinthians 11:16. Moreover, we should desiderate some conclusion to the foregoing section, and, as such, considering especially that the matter in question was such a purely external one, 1 Corinthians 11:16 comes in with peculiar appropriateness. Other expositors, such as Lyra, Erasmus, Piscator, Grotius, Calovius, Hammond, Bengel, Rückert, also Ewald and Hofmann (comp his Schriftbeweis, II. 2, p. 235 f.), refer τοῦτο, after the example of the Greek Fathers, to what follows, inasmuch, namely, as the exposition now to begin ends in a command, and shows the reason why the church deserves no praise in this aspect of its church-life. Paul has already in his mind, according to these interpreters, the directions which he is about to give, but lays a foundation for them first of all by censuring the disorders which had crept in. Upon that view, however, the τοῦτο παραγγ. would come in much too soon; and we must suppose the apostle, at the very beginning of an important section, so little master of his own course of thought, as himself to throw his readers into confusion by leaving them without anything at all answering to the τοῦτο παραγγ.

ὅτι οὐκ εἰς τὸ κρεῖττον κ. τ. λ(1813)] does not give the reason of his not praising, but—seeing there is no ὑμᾶς with ἐπαιν., as in 1 Corinthians 11:2—states what it is that he cannot praise. Your coming together is of such a kind that not the melius but the pejus arises out of it as its result; that it becomes worse instead of better with you (with your Christian condition). Theophylact and Billroth make τὸ κρεῖττ. and τὸ ἧττον refer to the assemblies themselves: “that you hold your assemblies in such a way that they become worse instead of better.” A tame idea!


Verse 18-19

1 Corinthians 11:18-19. πρῶτον μὲν γάρ] The second point is found by most expositors in 1 Corinthians 11:20 (so Billroth, Rückert, Olshausen, de Wette, Ewald, Maier, Winer, p. 536 [E. T. 721]). In that case Paul first of all censures here generally the divisions which appeared in their assemblies, and then in 1 Corinthians 11:20 links on by οὖν the abuse of the Lord’s Supper as a consequence of those divisions. But this view has against it the fact that he follows up 1 Corinthians 11:18 neither by censure nor correction of what was amiss, which he would not have omitted to do, considering the importance of the matter in question, if he had regarded 1 Corinthians 11:18 as touching upon a distinct point from that in 1 Corinthians 11:20-21. Moreover, in 1 Corinthians 11:22, ἐπαινέσω ὑμᾶς; ἐν τούτῳ οὐκ ἐπαινῶ, which has reference to the οὐκ ἐπαινῶν of 1 Corinthians 11:17, proves that in his mind 1 Corinthians 11:18-22 formed not two rebukes, but one. This serves, too, by way of reply to Hofmann, who insists on taking πρῶτον, in spite of the μέν that follows it, not as firstly, but as before all things, above all. The true view, on the contrary, is (comp also Baur in the theol. Jahrbücher, 1852, p. 558; Räbiger, p. 135; Osiander), that οὖν in 1 Corinthians 11:20 does not introduce a second point of reprehension, but takes up again the first point, which had been begun in 1 Corinthians 11:18 and interrupted by καὶ ΄έρος τι κ. τ. λ(1815) (see on 1 Corinthians 8:4),—an interpretation which is strongly supported by the repetition of the same words συνερχομ. ὑμῶν. In using the term σχίσματα,(1816) Paul has already in his mind the separations at the love-feasts (not the party-divisions of 1 Corinthians 1:12, Theodoret, and many others), but is kept for a time from explaining himself more fully by the digression which follows, and does so only in 1 Corinthians 11:20. Still, however, the question remains: Where is the second point, which πρῶτον leads us to expect? It commences in 1 Corinthians 12:1. Paul censures two kinds of evils in connection with their assemblies—(1) the degeneration of the Agapae (1 Corinthians 11:18-34), and (2) the misapplication of the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:1 ff.). The πρῶτον μέν is left out of account while he pursues the first point, and instead of following it up with an ἔπειτα δέ, after completing his discussion, he passes on in 1 Corinthians 12:1 with the continuative δέ to the second subject, making no further reference to that πρῶτον ΄ὲν γάρ in 1 Corinthians 11:18. How common it is in classic writers also to find the πρῶτον followed by no ἔπειτα, or anything of the kind, but another turn given to the sentence, may be seen in Maetzner, a(1817) Antiph. p. 191; Bremi, a(1818) Lys. I. p. 31. Comp on Acts 1:1, and on Romans 1:8; Romans 3:2.

ἐν ἐκκλ.] in a church-meeting. This is conceived of as a local sphere (comp Bengel: “vergit ad significationem loci”), in which the συνέρχεσθαι takes place by the arrival of members; as we also say: “in einer Gesellschaft zusammenkommen.” Comp Winer, p. 386 [E. T. 515]. Although the apostle might have written εἰς ἐκκλησίαν (Lucian, Jov. Trag. 6), yet we must neither take ἐν in the sense of εἰς (Vulgate, Rückert, Schrader), nor impute to the word ἐκκλ. the meaning: place of assembly (Grotius, Wolf, Heydenreich), nor understand it adverbially, as with abstract terms: congregationally (Hofmann).

There should be no comma after ἐκκλ.; for συνέρχ. κ. τ. λ(1822) connects itself in meaning not with ἀκούω, but with σχίσματα κ. τ. λ(1823)

ἀκούω] in the sense of ἀκήκοα, denoting continuance. See Ast, a(1824) Plat. Leg. p. 9 f.; Bernhardy, p. 370; Kühner, a(1825) Xen. Mem. iii. 5. 26.

΄έρος τι] for a part, partly, Thuc. i. 23. 3, ii. 64. 2, iv. 30.1; Isocr. p. 426 D. He cannot bring himself to believe all that he has heard of the divisions at their assemblies. A delicate way of showing the better opinion that he still has of his readers, not a reference to the uncertainty of the source whence the news reached him (Hofmann).

δεῖ] according to God’s decree. It is the “necessitas consequentiae” (Melanchthon); for the ἵνα which follows indicates, according to the apostle’s teleological view (comp Matthew 18:7), the end ordained by God, namely, that the tried, those, who have not suffered themselves to be carried away by party-agitation, should become manifest.

καὶ αἱρέσεις] It cannot be proved (although Rückert, Neander, Hofmann, and others hold) that αἱρέσεις is something worse(1827) than σχίσ΄ατα (and that καί must mean even), as Pelagius, Estius, and Calovius would take it; for καί may be simply also (among other evils also), and in Galatians 5:20—where, moreover, σχίσματα does not come in at all

Paul does not intend to construct an exact climax, but merely to heap together kindred things. Now, seeing that our Epistle says nothing of absolute party-separations, but always shows us merely party-divisions subsisting along with outward unity, one cannot well make out wherein the worseness of the αἱρέσεις consisted; for to hold, with Rückert, that εἶναι means to ensue, and points to the future (as Hofmann too maintains), is a perfectly groundless assumption. The αἱρέσεις were there, were not merely coming; it will not do to confound εἶναι with γίνεσθαι or ἐλθεῖν (Matthew 18:7; Luke 17:1), a mistake into which J. Müller also falls, l.c(1828) We must therefore, with Chrysostom, Grotius, Olshausen, al(1829), regard αἱρέσεις as another form of designation for the same thing (the σχίσ΄ατα). It does not mean heresies in the sense of false doctrine (2 Peter 2:1), as Calvin, Calovius, and others maintain; neither does it refer simply to the separations in keeping the Agapae (Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Theophylact); but—as is clear from the nature of the sentence as assigning a more general reason for what had been said—to factious divisions in the church generally(1830) (according as there existed tendencies and views at variance with each other and destructive of harmony). Comp on Galatians 5:20.


Verse 20

1 Corinthians 11:20. οὖν] resuming after the parenthesis; see on 1 Corinthians 11:18.

ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτό] to the same place. See on Acts 1:15.

οὐκ ἔστι κυριακ. δεῖπν. φαγ.] there does not take place an eating of a Lord’s Supper, i.e. one cannot eat a Lord’s Supper in that way; it is morally impossible, since things go on in such fashion as 1 Corinthians 11:21 thereupon specifies by way of proof. We have here the very common and familiar use of ἔστι with the infinitive, in the sense of: it is possible, one can, as in Hebrews 9:5. So e.g. the passages from Plato given by Ast, Lex. I. p. 622; Hom. Il. xxi. 193, al(1832); Thuc. viii. 53; Soph. Phil. 69; Aesch. Pers. 414; Polyb. i. 12. 9, v. 98. 4. It occurs in the classics also for the most part with the negative. See generally, Valckenaer on Eurip. Hippol. 1326. Beza, Estius, Zachariae, de Wette, Ewald, Maier, Winer, al(1833), render it otherwise, as if there were a τοῦτο in the text: this is not, etc. And even if there were such a τοῦτο, it would have nothing here to connect itself with.

κυριακὸν δεῖπνον] a meal belonging to the Lord, consecrated to Christ; comp 1 Corinthians 11:27; 1 Corinthians 10:21. The name was given to the love-feasts (Agapae, Jude 1:12), at which the Christians ate and drank together what they severally brought with them, and with which was conjoined the Lord’s Supper properly so called (1 Corinthians 10:16; 1 Corinthians 10:21; comp on Acts 2:42), so that the bread was distributed and partaken of during the meal and the cup after it, according to the precedent of the original institution. Comp Tertullian, Apol. 30. Chrysostom, indeed, and Pelagius held that the Lord’s Supper came first; but this is contrary to the model of the first institution, came into vogue only at a later date, and rests purely upon the ascetic idea that it was unbefitting to take the Eucharist after other food. To understand here, as Hofmann does, not the whole meal, but merely the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, which was conjoined with it, is not in keeping with the phrase δεῖπνον, the precise scope of which is determined by the meal so originally instituted (John 13:2) to which it points.


Verse 21

1 Corinthians 11:21. προλαμβάνει] takes beforehand his own meal (as contrasted with κυριακ. δεῖπν., comp Chrysostom: τὸ γὰρ κυριακὸν ἰδιωτικὸν ποιοῦσιν). Instead of waiting (1 Corinthians 11:33) till a general distribution be made and others thus obtain a share (comp Xen. Mem. iii. 14. 1), and till by this means the meal assume the form of a κυριακὸν δεῖπνον, he seizes at once for himself alone upon the portion which he brought with him, and holds therewith his own private meal in place of the Lord’s Supper. The expression is not “in the highest degree surprising,” as Rückert calls it; but it is very descriptive of the existing state of matters. Grotius (comp de Wette) is wrong in supposing that the rich ate first, and left what remained for the poorer members. This runs counter to the ἕκαστος, which must mean every one who brought anything with him. Of course, when the rich acted in the way here described, the poor also had to eat whatever they might have brought with them by themselves; and if they had nothing, then this abuse of the Lord’s Supper sent them empty away, hungry and put to shame (1 Corinthians 11:22; 1 Corinthians 11:33).

ἐν τῷ φαγεῖν] not ad manducandum (Vulg.), but in the eating, at the holding of the meal.

πεινᾷ] because, that is to say, he had nothing, or but little, to bring with him, so that he remained unsatisfied, receiving nothing from the stores of the wealthier members.

΄εθύει] is drunken, not giving the exact opposite of πεινᾷ, but making the picture all the fuller and more vivid, because πεινᾷ and ΄εθύει lead the reader in both cases to imagine for himself the other extreme corresponding to the one specified. We must not weaken the natural force of μεθ., as Grotius does, to “plus satis bibit.” See on John 2:20. Paul paints the scene in strong colours; but who would be warranted in saying that the reality fell at all short of the description?


Verse 22

1 Corinthians 11:22. In a lively succession of questions the apostle shows how unsuitable and unworthy this procedure of theirs was.

μὴ γὰρ οἰκίας κ. τ. λ(1840)] γάρ has inferential force; see on Matthew 27:23; John 9:30; Acts 19:35; and Winer, p. 416 [E. T. 559]; Kühner, a(1841) Xen. Mem. i. 3. 10 : you surely are not without houses? The sense of astonishment (Hartung, Partikell. I. p. 478) is conveyed by the question, not by the γάρ.

τῆς ἐκκλησίαςἔχοντας] a second counter question, which divides itself into two parts:(1842) or, again, is it the case with you that you are persons whose business it is (1) generally to despise the church of God (which you show by your not counting its members worthy to eat and drink on a common footing with you), and (2) to cause the poor to be put to shame? The latter could not but feel themselves slighted, if they were not thought worthy of having a share in what the wealthier had provided. The main emphasis in the first clause is upon τῆς ἐκκλ. τ. θεοῦ ( θεοῦ, “dignitas ecclesiae,” Bengel, comp 1 Corinthians 11:16); in the second, upon καταισχύνετε.

Respecting οὐκ ἔχειν, not to have, to be poor, see Wetstein on 2 Corinthians 8:13; comp οἱ ἔχοντες, divites, in Ast, a(1845) Plat. Legg. v. p. 172; Bornemann, a(1846) Anab. vi. 6. 38. Here, however, we have μή with the participle and article, because the class is referred to (Baeumlein, Partik. p. 296).

τί ὑμῖν εἴπω κ. τ. λ(1847)] what shall I say to you? Shall I give you praise? On this point I praise not. If we keep 1 Corinthians 11:17 in view, to connect ἐν τούτῳ with ἐπαινῶ gives a more suitable emphasis for the words than to link them with the preceding clause (Lachmann, Hofmann, with various codices and versions). On other points he has already praised them, 1 Corinthians 11:2. The apostle’s deliberative and ceremonious mode of expressing himself, and the result that he arrives at, could not but make the readers themselves feel how much they deserved the reverse of praise in this matter.


Verse 23

1 Corinthians 11:23. Ground of the ἐν τούτῳ οὐκ ἐπαινῶ. For I, for my part, have received the following instructions from Christ touching the institution of the Lord’s Supper,(1848) which I also delivered to you. How should it be possible then that your disorder should meet with praise, so far as I am concerned, at variance as it is with the knowledge of the matter obtained by me from Christ and communicated to you?

ἀπὸ τοῦ κυρίου] Had Paul written παρὰ τ. κ., this would have denoted that he had received the instructions directly from Christ (Galatians 1:12; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:1; 2 Timothy 3:14; Acts 10:22; John 6:45; John 8:40; John 10:18); ἀπὸ τ. κ., on the other hand, means forth from the Lord, from the Lord’s side as the source, so that the preposition taken by itself leaves the question open whether the relation referred to be an indirect (so generally, including Galatians 3:2; Colossians 3:24) or a direct one (as in Colossians 1:7; 1 John 1:5; 3 John 1:7). And Hofmann does not go further than this indefinite relation, holding the only idea expressed hero to be that of origin from the Lord; comp also his Schriftbew. II. 2, p. 211. But seeing that, if what Paul had in view had been an immediate reception, it would have been natural for him, and of some importance for his argument, to express this distinctly by using παρά, while yet in point of fact he uses only ἀπό, we are warranted in assuming that he means a reception, which issued indeed from Christ as originator, but reached him only mediately through another channel. This applies against Calovius, Bengel, Flatt, and others, including Heydenreich, Olshausen, de Wette (assuming a confirmation by special revelation of what he had learned from report), Osiander, who all find here a direct communication from Christ. The argument of Schulz and de Wette, however, against this latter view, on the ground of the word παρέλαβ. being in itself inappropriate, will not hold, especially when we view it as correlative to παρέδωκα; comp 1 Corinthians 15:3.

The question now remains: Does Paul, in asserting that his account of the institution proceeded from the Lord, mean to say simply that he received what follows by a tradition descending from Christ,(1851) or by a revelation issuing from Christ? The latter alternative, which Rückert also adopts (Abendm. p. 194 f.), is not to be rejected on the ground of the following narrative being something with which all were familiar. For it is quite possible that it was wholly unknown to the apostle at the time of his conversion; and even apart from that, it was so important for his apostolic vocation that he should have a sure and accurate knowledge of these facts, and to receive it by way of special revelation was so completely in harmony with Paul’s peculiar position as an apostle, since he had not personally been a witness of the first Lord’s Supper, that there is nothing to forbid our assuming that he received his account of the institution of this ordinance, like his gospel generally, in the way of authentic revelation from Christ. As to the form of mediate communication through which Christ had caused these facts to reach Paul, not appearing to him for this purpose Himself, we must leave that point undecided, since very various kinds of media for divine revelations are possible and are historically attested. It may have been by an utterance of the Spirit, by an angel appearing to him, by seeing and hearing in an ecstatic state. Only the contents of the revelation—from its essential connection with the gospel, and, in fact, with its fundamental doctrine of the work of reconciliation—exclude, according to Galatians 1:1; Galatians 1:12; Galatians 1:15, the possibility of human intervention as regards the apostle in the matter; so that we should not be justified in supposing that the revelation reached him through some man (such as Ananias) commissioned to convey it to him by the Lord. As to the view that we have here a mere tradition, on the other hand, recounted by Paul as originating with Christ, the apostle himself decides against it both by his use of the singular (comp 1 Corinthians 15:3), and also by the significant prominence given to the ἐγώ, whereby he puts forward with the whole strength of conscious apostolic authority the communication made to himself, to him personally, by the Lord, over-against the abuse, contrasting with it, of the Holy Supper among the Corinthians. Had he meant simply to say: “I know it through a tradition proceeding from Christ,” then his ἐγώ would have been on the same level with every other, and the emphatic prominence which he gives to the ἐγώ, as well as the sing. παρέλαβον, would be quite unsuitable, because without any specific historical basis; he would in that case have written: παρελάβο΄εν γὰρ ἀπὸ τοῦ κυρίου. We have certainly therefore in this passage not merely the oldest account of the Lord’s Supper, but even “an authentic explanation given by the risen Christ regarding His sacrament” (Olshausen); not one directly from His lips indeed, but conveyed through some medium of revelation, the precise form of which it is impossible for us now to determine, whereby we have a guarantee for the essential contents of the narrative independently of the Gospels, although not necessarily an absolute ultimate authority establishing the literal form of the words of institution (even in opposition to Matthew and Mark), since a revelation of the history, nature, and meaning of the institution might be given even without any verbal communication of the words spoken in connection with it.

καὶ παρέδ.] which I (not only received, but) also delivered to you. Conversely in 1 Corinthians 15:3. Instances of παραλαμβ. and παραδοῦναι, in the sense of discere and tradere, may be seen in Kypke.

ὅτι] that, as in 1 Corinthians 15:3, not for, as Luther and Hofmann render it. The latter translation would leave untold what Paul had received and delivered, in spite of the importance of the matter in question; and it derives no support from the repetition of the subject, κύριος, since that, with the addition of the sacred name ἰησοῦς, gives a solemn emphasis to the statement. It is the full doctrine of the Lord’s Supper, which they owe to him, that he is now setting before his readers.

ἐν τῇ νυκτὶ παρεδίδοτο (imperfectum adumbrativum, see Kühner, II. p. 73): in the night in which His betrayal was going on (hence not the aorist). It is a deeply solemn and arresting thought, contrasted with the frivolity displayed among the Corinthians at the Agapae. The preposition is not repeated before the relative. Comp Xen. Anab. v. 7. 17, Mem. ii. 1. 32, with Kühner thereon; Plato, Phaed. p. 76 D, with Heindorf and Stallbaum in loc(1854)

ἄρτον] bread (a cake of bread), which lay on the table.

REMARK.

The agreement which prevails between Paul’s account of the Supper and that of Luke, is not to be explained by a dependence of Paul upon Luke (Grotius, comp also Beza), but conversely. See on Luke 22:20, remark.


Verse 24

1 Corinthians 11:24. τοῦτό μου ἐστὶ τὸ σῶμα] This is my body (the body of me). The emphasis lies not on the enclitic μου, but on τὸ σῶμα. See, further, on Matthew 26:26, and see Keim (in the Jahrb. für Deutsch. Theol. 1859, p. 73), as against Ströbel (in Rudelbach’s Zeitschr. 1854, pp. 598, 602 ff.), who would have τοῦτο not to refer to the broken bread at all, but to point forward to what is to be designated by the predicate. This τοῦτο can mean nothing else whatever but: this broken bread here, which again necessitates our taking ἐστί as the copula of the symbolic “being.”

Otherwise the identity of the subject and predicate here expressed would be, alike for the speaker and the hearers, an impossible conception; the body of the Lord was still alive, and His death, which answered to the breaking of the bread, was yet in the future. When we come, therefore, to define ἐστί more precisely in connection with that first celebration of the Supper, it is to be taken as “being” in the sense of proleptic symbolism; and thereby the very possibility of the Lutheran synecdoche (upon which even Mehring falls back, in the Luther. Zeitschrift, 1867, p. 82) is done away.

τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν] κλώμενον is spurious. We must supply simply ὄν: which is for your behoof, namely, by its being broken (slain(1856)). Christ’s body was not, indeed, literally broken (John 19:33), but in His violent death our Lord sees that accomplished in His body which He had just done with the bread. This is the point of what He beholds in the broken bread looked upon by Him with such direct creative vividness of regard; but in truth the simple τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν is more in keeping with the deep emotion of the moment than any attempt to expound in a more detailed way the symbolism which both presents and interprets itself in the breaking of bread; and Matthew and Mark have not even this “for you.”

τοῦτο ποιεῖτε] to wit, what I now do; not merely the breaking of the bread joined with a thanksgiving prayer, but also—as the action itself became the silent commentary on this τοῦτο—the distribution and eating of the bread; comp 1 Corinthians 11:26.

εἰς τ. ἐ΄. ἀνά΄ν.] in remembrance of me, presupposes His absence in body for the future; see on Luke 22:19. We may add that these words also do not occur in Matthew and Mark, whose simple τοῦτό ἐστι τ. σῶμά μου carries with it a presumption of its being the original, unexpanded by any later explanation or reflection. Generally speaking, a like preference must be accorded to the narratives of the Supper by Matthew and Mark (and between those two, again, to that of Mark) over those of Paul and Luke.


Verse 25

1 Corinthians 11:25. ὡσαύτ. κ. τ. ποτ.] sc(1858) ἔλαβε καὶ εὐχαριστήσας ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς (this last is to be taken from ἔκλασε), 1 Corinthians 11:23-24.

τὸ ποτήρ.] the cup which stood before Him. It was the cup which closed the meal, although there is no ground to connect ΄ετὰ τὸ δειπν. here with to τὸ ποτήρ., as Pott does.

ἐστίν] in the position which it has here, is decisive against our connecting ἐν τῷ ἐ΄ῷ αἵ΄. with κ. διαθ., as most interpreters do (Erasmus, Beza, Calvin, and many others, including de Wette, Rodatz, Maier, Hofmann), although Luther (in the gr. Bek.) rightly rejects that connection. What Christ says is, that the cup is the new covenant in virtue of His blood, which, namely, is in the cup. For in the wine of the cup the Lord sees nothing else than His blood which was about to be shed. This vividly concrete, direct, but symbolical mode of view at that solemn moment stands out in the sharpest contrast with the strife of the churches on the subject (for the rest, see on Luke 22:19 f.). Christ’s blood became, by its being poured forth, the ἱλαστήριον,(1859) whereby the new covenant(1860) was founded (Romans 3:24 f., 1 Corinthians 5:3), the covenant of grace, in which were established, on man’s side, faith in Christ,—not, as in the old covenant, the fulfilling of the law,—and on God’s side forgiveness by the way of grace, justification, sanctification, and bestowal of eternal Messianic salvation. Comp 2 Corinthians 3:6. And the Lord looks upon the cup as this covenant, because He sees in the wine of the cup His covenant-sealing blood. The cup therefore, in this deeply vivid symbolism of view is, as that which contains the covenant-blood, to Him the covenant.

τοῦτο ποιεῖτε] to be taken so as to harmonize with 1 Corinthians 11:24. Hofmann is wrong in thinking that Paul lays such special emphasis on this statement of the purpose of the Supper, because it appeared incompatible with the Corinthian mode of observing it. The apostle has no intention whatever here of laying emphasis either on one thing or another; he wishes only to report, in their simple objectivity, the sacred words in which the original institution was couched. What he desires to lay stress upon as against the Corinthians, comes in afterwards in 1 Corinthians 11:26 ff.

ὁσάκις ἂν πίν.] peculiar to this account of the ordinance: as often as ever (quotiescunque, see Kühner, II. p. 94; comp Bengel) ye drink it; the context supplies τοῦτο τὸ ποτήρ. as the object of. πίν., without its having to be represented by a pronoun ( αὐτό). See Krüger, § 60. 7; Kühner, a(1863) Xen. Mem. i. 3. 4. The will of Jesus, according to this, is that every time, when they drink the concluding cup at the meal of communion, they should, in remembrance of Him, do with it as has now been done. Hofmann would make the words mean: as often as ye are together at a מִשְׁתֶּה. But how can that be conveyed by the simple πίνητε? And it was certainly not a drinking meal, but a regular δεῖπνον (1 Corinthians 11:25).

Note, further, as to the ἄν, that it is placed after ὁσάκις, “quia in hac voce maximum sententiae pondus positum est,” Kühner, a(1864) Xen. Mem. i. 1. 16.


Verse 26

1 Corinthians 11:26. Not still words of Christ (Ewald),(1865) in citing which Paul glides involuntarily into the form into which they had by this time become moulded in the church; for against this view there is (1) the unsuitableness in itself of such a ὓστερον πρότερον in the expression (especially after 1 Corinthians 11:23); (2) the fact of the words being linked to the preceding by γάρ, which is less in keeping with the tone and direct form of the words of institution, but, on the other hand, naturally marks the apostle himself again beginning to speak; and (3) the fact that Luke has nothing of a similar kind in his account of the Supper. The common view is the right one, that Paul proceeds here in his own person. But what he gives is neither a further reason assigned for οὐκ ἐπαινῶ in 1 Corinthians 11:22 (so Hofmann, in connection with his incorrect interpretation of ὅτι in 1 Corinthians 11:23), nor is it an experimental elucidation of the last words of 1 Corinthians 11:25 (the ordinary view), for the contents of 1 Corinthians 11:26 stand rather in the logical relation of consequence to the foregoing narrative of institution. No; γάρ is to be taken here (comp on 1 Corinthians 11:22) in its inferential sense, and made to refer to the whole preceding account of the origin of the Supper. We may paraphrase thus: Such, then, being the facts of the original institution, it comes to pass that as often as ye, etc.

τὸν ἄρτον τοῦτον] the bread prescribed according to this appointment of Christ; τὸ ποτήριον: the cup now spoken of, the eucharistic cup.

καταγγέλλετε] ye proclaim the Lord’s death, i.e. ye declare solemnly in connection with this ordinance, that Christ has died for you. This καταγγέλλειν cannot without arbitrariness be taken as merely a declaring by action (so commonly); it can only be taken as actually oral.(1867) How it took place, we do not know. The Peschito (the Vulgate has annuntiabitis) rightly took καταγγ. as indicative (so also Theophylact, Beza, Bengel, de Wette, Osiander, Kahnis, Neander, Maier, Rückert in his Abendm. p. 211, Hofmann), which Grotius and others ought not to have changed into annuntiare debetis; for the proclamation in question was an essential thing which took place at the Supper, and therefore an admonition to it would have been inappropriate. Even in the case of unworthy participation the καταγγέλλειν referred to was not omitted; the admonition, therefore, could only have respect to the worthiness of the participation, with which that καταγγέλλειν was connected; and, in point of fact, such an admonition follows accordingly in 1 Corinthians 11:27 f. We must reject therefore the view commonly taken by other interpreters (and necessarily adopted by Ewald in accordance with his view of the verse as given above), namely, that καταγγ. is imperative. See, besides, Rodatz in Lücke and Wieseler’s Vierteljahrschr. I. 3, p. 351.

ἄχρις οὖ ἔλθῃ] until He shall have come; for the apostle was convinced that the Parousia was close at hand, and therefore future generations could not have been present to his mind in writing thus; but to apply his words to them is historically necessary and right.

ἄχρις stands without ἄν (see instances in Lobeck, a(1868) Phryn. p. 15 f.), because the arrival of the Parousia is conceived as absolutely certain, not as conditioned by any contingencies which might possibly delay it (Hermann, part. ἄν, p. 109 ff.). In Galatians 4:19 also, Paul, in the earnestness of his love, conceives the result as equally certain (against Rückert’s objection). After the Parousia the Lord Himself is again there. Theodoret: μετὰ γὰρ δὴ τὴν αὐτοῦ παρουσίαν οὐκέτι χρεία τῶν συμβόλων τοῦ σώματος, αὐτοῦ φαινομένου τοῦ σώματος· διὰ τοῦτο εἶπεν· ἄχρις οὗ ἂν ἔλθῃ. To eat with Him will then be a new thing (Matthew 26:29); but until then the proclamation here spoken of is not to be silenced. How that thought was fitted to keep constantly before their minds the solemn responsibility of an unworthy participation in the Supper (see 1 Corinthians 11:27)! In this way Paul links to the καταγγέλλειν of the communicants the fear and trembling of the Maran atha, 1 Corinthians 16:22.


Verse 27

1 Corinthians 11:27. From that καταγγέλλειν κ. τ. λ(1869) it follows how great is the sin of participating unworthily. This reference of the ὥστε is sufficiently pointed and appropriate not to require us to go back further (to all that has been said from 1 Corinthians 11:20 onwards), as Rückert would have us do.

πίνῃ] does not stand for καί (Pott and older expositors);(1870) but the meaning is: a man may partake of the one or the other unworthily, he is alike guilty; neither in the case of the bread nor of the wine should there be an unworthy participation. We must remember that the two elements were not partaken of in immediate succession, but the bread during the meal and the wine after it, so that the case was quite a possible one that the bread might be partaken of in a worthy, and the cup in an unworthy frame of spirit, and vice versâ. Comp also Hofmann. The guilt, however, of the one or the other unworthy participation was the same, and was alike complete; hence is not repeated in the apodosis. Roman Catholics (see Estius and Cornelius a Lapide) find in this a support for their “communio sub una.” See Calovius in opposition to this.

τοῦ κυρίου] as κυριακόν in 1 Corinthians 11:20; 1 Corinthians 10:21.

ἀναξίως] in an unworthy manner, i.e. in a way morally out of keeping with the nature (1 Corinthians 10:16) and design of the ordinance (1 Corinthians 11:24 f.). Paul does not define it more closely; hence, and because an unworthy participation may, in the concrete, occur in many different ways, the widely differing definitions of interpreters,(1872) which are, however, quite out of place here. For the apostle leaves it to his readers to rank for themselves their particular way of communicating under the general ἀναξίως, and not till 1 Corinthians 11:29 does he himself characterize the special form of unworthy participation which prevailed among them by γὰρ ἐσθίων κ. πίνων. See on the verse.

ἔνοχος ἔσται κ. τ. λ(1873)] ἔνοχος with the dative and genitive (see Matthiae, p. 850) expresses the liability of guilt (see Bleek on Hebrews 2:15): he shall be—from the moment he does so—under guilt to the body and blood of Christ, i.e. crimini et poenae corporis et sanguinis Christi violati obnoxius erit (comp James 2:10, and the classical ἔνοχος νόμοις, Plat. Legg. ix. p. 869 B E); inasmuch, namely, as the proclamation of the Lord’s death at the participation in the bread and the cup presupposes a moral condition which must be in keeping with this most sacred act of commemoration; and if the condition of the communicant be of an opposite kind, then the holy body and blood, into communion with which we enter through such participation, can only be abused and profaned. Comp 1 Corinthians 11:29, μὴ διακρίνων κ. τ. λ(1876) The often repeated interpretation: “par facit, quasi Christum trucidaret” (Grotius, following Chrysostom and Theophylact), appears once more in Ewald; but it neither corresponds sufficiently with the words themselves (for had Paul meant that, he would have said distinctly and suitably: ἔνοχος ἔσται τοῦ θανάτου τοῦ κυρ.), nor with the parallel thought in 1 Corinthians 11:29. This holds, too, against Ebrard’s view (Dogma v. Abendm. I. p. 126); each man by his sins has a share in causing the death of Jesus; if now he communicates unworthily, not only do his other sins remain unforgiven, but there is added this fresh guilt besides, of having part in nailing Christ to the cross (which, with every other sin, is forgiven to the man who communicates worthily). But that would be surely no new guilt, but the continuance of the old; and in this sense Kahnis explains it, Dogmat. I. p. 620. But to bring out this meaning, the apostle, if he was not to leave his words open to misunderstanding (comp John 3:36; John 9:41), must have written not ἔνοχ. ἔσται, but ἔνοχ. ΄ένει or ΄ενεῖ. Olshausen again, with older expositors, thinks that our passage implies a powerful argument against all Zwinglian theories of a merely commemorative ordinance. This, however, is too hasty and uncertain an inference; because the profanation of an acknowledged symbol, especially if it be one recognised in the religious consciousness of the church (suppose, e.g., a crucifix), does injury to the object itself represented by the symbol. Hofmann is not justified in disputing this. Comp Oecolampadius, Piscator, and Scultetus, who adduce, as an analogous case, an injury done to the king’s seal or picture.(1879) Rückert, on the other hand, is wrong in supposing that we have here a proof that the bread and wine are only symbols.(1880) For, even granting that they are really the body and blood of Christ, there was ground enough for the apostle’s warning in the fact that his readers seemed to be forgetting this relationship. Our conclusion therefore is, that this passage in itself proves neither the one theory nor the other, as even Hofmann now acknowledges, although he goes on to infer from 1 Corinthians 11:29 that Christ’s real body and blood are partaken of in the Sacrament. See, however, on 1 Corinthians 11:29, and comp on 1 Corinthians 10:15 f.


Verse 28

1 Corinthians 11:28. δέ] carrying onward: “now, in order not to incur this guilt, let a man examine himself, etc.;” let him search into his frame of mind and moral condition ( τὴν διάνοιαν ἑαντοῦ, Theodore of Mopsuestia) to see whether he will not partake unworthily;(1882) comp διακρίνειν, 1 Corinthians 11:31.

καὶ οὓτως] and so, after he has examined himself, and in that case. See on Romans 11:26. Every reader, not addicted to hairsplitting, would understand here of course that this did not apply to a case in which the result of the self-examination was to make the man feel himself unworthy. There was no need, therefore, for Flatt and Rückert (following Lightfoot, Semler, Schulz) to take δοκιμάζ. as meaning to make qualified, which it never does, not even in Galatians 6:4; 2 Corinthians 13:5; 1 Thessalonians 2:4.

ἄνθρωπος] as 1 Corinthians 4:1.


Verse 29

1 Corinthians 11:29. Since ἀναξίως is spurious (see the critical remarks), ἐσθίων κ. πίνων might be understood absolutely: the eater and drinker, who turns the Supper, as was actually done at Corinth, 1 Corinthians 11:22; 1 Corinthians 11:34, into a banquet and carousal. This was the view I held myself formerly, taking μὴ διακρίνων in the sense: because he does not, etc., as in Romans 4:19. But after 1 Corinthians 11:28, whose ἐσθίειν κ. πίνειν finds expression here again, it is simpler and most in accordance with the text to render: “He who eats and drinks (the bread and the cup), eats and drinks a judgment to himself, if he does not, etc.,” so that in this way μὴ διακρίνων κ. τ. λ(1884) conditions the predicate, and is not a modal definition of the subject. The apostle might have written simply κρῖμα γὰρ ἑαυτῷ ἐσθίει κ. πίνει, μὴ διακρ. τ. σ.; but the circumstantial description of the subject of the sentence for the second time by γὰρ ἐσθίων κ. πίνων carries a certain solemnity with it, making one feel the risk incurred by going on to eat and drink.

κρῖμα ἑαυτῷ κ. τ. λ(1885)] a concrete expression (comp 2 Corinthians 2:16) of the thought: he draws down judicial sentence upon himself by his eating and drinking. The power to effect this turns on the ἔνοχος ἔσται κ. τ. λ(1887), 1 Corinthians 11:27; and therefore nothing is decided here against the symbolical interpretation of the words of institution. That the κρῖμα is a penal one, is implied in the context (Romans 2:2; Romans 3:8; Romans 13:2; Galatians 5:10). The absence of the article, again, denotes not eternal condemnation, but penal judgment in general without any limiting definition. From 1 Corinthians 11:30-31 we see that Paul was thinking, in the first place, of temporal judgments as the penalty of unworthy communicating, and that such judgments appeared to him as chastisements employed by God to avert from the offender eternal condemnation. With respect to the dativus incommodi ἑαντῷ, comp Romans 13:2.

μὴ διακρίνων τὸ σῶμα] if he does not form a judgment upon (so διακρ., Vulgate, Chrysostom, Theophylact, Bengel, de Wette, Weiss) the body, i.e. the body, κατʼ ἐξοχήν, the sacred body, into communion with which he enters by partaking of the Supper, and respecting which, therefore, he ought to form a judgment of the most careful kind, such as may bring him into full and deep consciousness of its sacredness and saving significance (on διακρ., comp 1 Corinthians 14:29; Matthew 16:3). Comp Chrysostom: μὴ ἐξετάζων, μὴ ἐννοῶν, ὡς χρὴ, τὸ μέγεθος τῶν προκειμένων, μὴ λογιζόμενος τὸν ὄγκον τῆς δωρεᾶς. Usually (so too Ewald, Kahnis, Hofmann) commentators have taken διακρ. in the sense of to distinguish (1 Corinthians 4:7), and have rendered accordingly: if he (or, following the reading which puts ἀναξίως after πίνων: because he) does not distinguish the body of Christ from common food.(1891) Hofmann, again, seeing that we have not τοῦ κυρίου along with τὸ σῶμα, holds it more correct to render: if he does not distinguish the body, which he who eats this bread partakes of, from the mere bread itself. Both these ways of explaining the word, which come in substance to the same thing, proceed upon the supposition either that the body of Christ is that with which we enter into fellowship by partaking of the symbol (which is the true view), or that it is partaken of “in, with, and under” the bread (Lutheran doctrine), or by means of the transubstantiation of the bread (Roman Catholic doctrine). But in 1 Corinthians 11:31, where διεκρίνομεν is taken up again from our passage, the word means to judge, not to distinguish, and we must therefore keep to that meaning(1892) here also.

It was needless to add καὶ τὸ αἶμα to τὸ σῶ΄α because the σῶ΄α is regarded as that which had suffered death by the shedding of its blood; comp 1 Corinthians 11:26, also 1 Corinthians 10:17. The twofoldness of the elements has its significance to thought only in the equal symbolism of the two; apart from that symbolism, reference to it would be inappropriate, since, objectively, they cannot be separated.


Verse 30

1 Corinthians 11:30. Proof of that κρῖμα ἑαυτῷπίνει from the present experience of the Corinthians themselves.

Paul knew that there were at this time many cases of sickness, and not a few of death ( κοιμῶνται), among them; and he saw in this a divine chastisement for their unworthy use of the Lord’s Supper. The explanation which refers this to moral weakness and deadness (Valckenaer, Morus, Krause, Eichhorn) is not to be rejected (as by Rückert) on the ground that this moral sickness and deadness must have been represented as the cause of the unworthy participation (for, from the Pauline standpoint, they might quite as well be regarded as its consequence, see Romans 1:24 ff.). But it is to be set aside, because such a sense must have been suggested by the context, whereas there is not the remotest hint of it, either by itself or in connection with the physical interpretation (Olshausen).

κοιμῶνται] dormiunt, i.e. are dead. Comp., regarding this euphemistic allusion, what is said on 1 Corinthians 15:18. Elsewhere in the N. T. we find the perfect or aorist. But comp Lachmann’s reading in 1 Thessalonians 4:13.

It is impossible to establish a definite distinction of idea between ἀσθενεῖς and ἄῤῥωστοι. Grotius and Bengel hold the latter to mean more than the former; Wetstein and Tittmann again (Synon. p. 76) differ from them in this. Both words denote want of strength from sickness.


Verse 31-32

1 Corinthians 11:31-32. If, on the other hand, we judged ourselves (submitted our own condition to moral criticism; parallel to δοκιμάζειν ἑαυτόν, 1 Corinthians 11:28), then should we not receive any judgment (judgment of condemnation, 1 Corinthians 11:29); but when we do receive a judgment (in point of fact, by temporal sufferings), we are chastened (punished in a disciplinary way) by the Lord (by God), in order that we may not be condemned (namely, at the last judgment) with the world (along with the anti-Christian part of mankind). Note the oxymoron: διεκρ. κριν. κατακριθ., answering significantly to the mutual relation of κρῖμα and διακρίνων in 1 Corinthians 11:29. In both passages we have the same sort of pointed alliteration, corresponding to their internal connection (which is plainly enough marked by the διὰ τοῦτο, 1 Corinthians 11:30, and δέ, 1 Corinthians 11:31, although Hofmann denies it).

As to the divine chastisement, which lies within the sphere of the divine redemptive agency (Hebrews 12:6; Titus 2:12; also 1 Timothy 1:20; 2 Timothy 2:25), comp J. Müller, v. d. Sünde, I. p. 339 f., ed. 5.

The use of the first person gives to the sentence the gentler form of a general statement, not referring merely to the state of things at Corinth, but of universal application.


Verse 33

1 Corinthians 11:33. Conclusion from this proposition, general in its tenor, for the conduct of the readers at the love-feast, when they came together to keep it ( εἰς τὸ φαγεῖν, not belonging to ἀλλ. ἐνδέχ.).

ἀδελφοί μου] “perterrefactos rursum hac blanda compellatione solatur,” Grotius.

ἀλλήλ. ἐκδέχεσθε] wait for one another (“invicem exspectate,” Vulg.), 1 Corinthians 16:11, so that no one ἴδιον δεῖπνον προλαμβάνει. This closing admonition corresponds to the censure, with which the section began in 1 Corinthians 11:21, and there is therefore no need for departing from this rendering, which is adopted by Luther, Erasmus, and the majority of commentators. Theophylact: δεικνύων, ὅτι κοινά εἰσι τὰ ἐκεῖσε εἰσφερόμενα, καὶ δεῖ ἀναμένειν τὴν κοινὴν συνέλευσιν. Others translate: Receive ye one another, namely, convivio, as a contrast to despising the other guests, and keeping them from sharing in what you yourselves have to give. So Pott, Rückert, Olshausen, Ewald, Hofmann, following Mosheim, Michaelis, Morus, Schulz, Rosenmüller. But in the N. T. ἐκδέχεσθαι (1 Corinthians 16:11) means always exspectare (comp Soph. Phil. 123; Polyb. xx. 4. 5, iii. 45. 6; Apollod. i. 9. 27; also in Plutarch, al(1897)), although in classical writers, as well as in the LXX. and Apocrypha, the meaning excipere is far more frequent. The latter sense Paul would have expressed by the simple δέχεσθαι, or by προσλα΄βάνεσθαι (Romans 14:1).


Verse 34

1 Corinthians 11:34. To satisfy hunger, is a thing to be done at home. The Agapae should not be used as meals for such material purposes; they have a higher significance. Comp 1 Corinthians 11:22. Others take it: “If any one has such keen hunger that he cannot wait for the distribution, let him rather take a previous meal at home” (Billroth; comp Erasmus, Paraph). But how much of this is arbitrarily imported into the text!

τὰ δὲ λοιπά] What has not yet been regulated in this section, 1 Corinthians 11:17-34. The reference is to matters connected with the love-feasts; not indeed of a doctrinal kind, but, as the word διατάσσεσθαι is enough of itself to show, pertaining to outward order and arrangements, 1 Corinthians 7:17, 1 Corinthians 9:14, 1 Corinthians 16:1; Galatians 3:19; Titus 1:5. A passage taken advantage of by Roman Catholics in support of their doctrine of tradition. And, no doubt, it does serve to establish in general the possibility of the existence of apostolic traditions; but in each particular case in which such traditions are asserted, the burden of bringing forward the proof lies always upon those who make the assertion, and it can never be produced.

ὡς ἄν] whensoever I shall have come; in the temporal sense = simulatque. See on Philippians 2:23, and Hartung, II. p. 289.

 


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Bibliography Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:4". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/1-corinthians-11.html. 1832.

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Wednesday, November 13th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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