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Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
1 Corinthians 11

 

 

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Verse 1

1 Corinthians 11:1. ΄ιμηταί μου, imitators [followers] of me) He adds this verse to the former to show, that we must look to Christ, not to him [the apostle], as our highest example.— χριστοῦ, of Christ) who did not please Himself, Romans 15:3, but gave Himself at all costs for our salvation, Ephesians 5:2.


Verse 2

1 Corinthians 11:2. ἐπαινῶ, I praise) [This verse is the proper commencement of the chapter.—Not. Crit.] Nowhere else does Paul so directly praise any of those, to whom he writes. But here he resolves to write about anything, which does not properly fall under his παραγγελίαν, admonition, to them, 1 Corinthians 11:17; in which, however, if they will follow the reasons, which he has set before them, and comply with the custom of the saints, 1 Corinthians 11:16, which he finally lays down as somewhat stringent, he assures the Corinthians, that they will be worthy of praise, and declares, that they will incur neither Peter’s indignation, nor his.— πάντα) κατὰ πάντα.— μου, me) construed with you remember, or with all things, 1 Corinthians 16:14.— παρέδωκαπαραδόσεις, I delivered—traditions [ordinances]) This is applied to doctrines, whether imparted to them by word of mouth, or by letters, whether they relate to mysteries, or ceremonies, 1 Corinthians 11:23; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:15 : they have a greater relation however to ceremonies. In 1 Corinthians 11:23, he says respecting the Lord’s Supper, that he both received and delivered; but here, he says, that he delivered, he does not say that he had received.


Verse 3

1 Corinthians 11:3. δὲ, but) On this subject Paul seems formerly to have given no commandment, but to have written now for the first time, when he understood that it was necessary. By the expression, I would, he openly professes his sentiments.— ὅτι, that) Even matters of ceremony should be settled according to the principles of morality, so that they may agree with those principles. It may be said, How does one and the same reason in relation to the head (i.e. of Christ, or of the man) require the man to uncover his head, and the woman to cover hers? Ans. Christ is not seen; the man is seen; so the covering of him, who is under Christ is not seen; of her, who is under the man, is seen.— ἀνδρὸς, γυναικὸς, of the man, of the woman) although they do not live in the state of marriage, 1 Corinthians 11:8, and what follows.— κεφαλὴ, the head) This term alludes to the head properly so called, concerning the condition [the appropriate dress] of which he treats in the following verse. The common word, Principal,(90) is akin to this use of the term head. The article must be presently after twice supplied from this clause.— κεφαλὴ χριστοῦ, the head of Christ) 1 Corinthians 3:23, 1 Corinthians 15:28; Luke 3:23; Luke 3:38; John 20:17; Ephesians 3:9, where God is said to have created all things by Christ, therefore He is the head of Christ.— θεος, God) 1 Corinthians 11:12.


Verse 4

1 Corinthians 11:4. προσευχόμενος προφητεύων, praying or prophesying) especially in the church, 1 Corinthians 11:16, and in the assembly [the coming together], 1 Corinthians 11:17.— κατὰ κεφαλῆς, [having a covering] on his head) The state of the head, the principal part, gives dignity to the whole body. [The face is chiefly referred to, when he speaks of a covering.—V. g.]— ἔχων) having, i.e. if he has. The men of Corinth used not to be covered, and in this respect, the women imitated the men. In order to convince the women of their error, Paul speaks conditionally of the man.— τὴν κεφαλὴν αὐτοῦ, his head) properly so called, as just before in this verse; comp. note to 1 Corinthians 11:6. Otherwise, the man praying with his head covered would sin more against Christ, than the woman against the man, with her head uncovered.


Verse 5

1 Corinthians 11:5. πᾶσα δὲ γυνὴ, but every woman) δὲ, but, forms an epitasis [emphatic augmentation or addition]. In this whole passage the woman, especially the woman of Corinth, is principally admonished.— προσευχομένη προφητεύουσα, praying or prophesying) Therefore women are not altogether excluded from these duties; at least the Corinthian women did that, which, so far as it may be lawful, Paul at ch. 14. [34, 35] puts off, namely, to some suitable occasion distinct from the more solemn assembly.— ἀκατακαλύπτῳ, uncovered) nature demands a covering, but how far the forehead with the face, and the hinder part of the head, should be covered, is a matter left to the customs of the people. It is probable, that Jesus and His disciples had their heads covered according to the customs of the Israelites; whence the rule is not universal, and not more ancient than Paul. And there was παράδοσις, an ordinance, not a rule strictly so called, but a custom [institutum] eine Verordnung. A question arises here, what is to be thought concerning wigs? First, they do not seem to be considered as περιβόλαιον, or covering for the head, for they are an imitation of the hair, and where that is too thin, they supply the defect, and in the present day are sometimes quite necessary for the sake of health, and they no more veil the face, than every man’s own hair: and even if women were accustomed to wear wigs, they would not be considered as thereby sufficiently covered. Therefore the head of a man is scarcely more dishonoured by them, while he prays, than while he does not pray. The wig, however, especially one too long and bushy and having little resemblance to the natural hair, is in reality an adventitious thing, and originates in pride or at least in effeminacy either voluntary, or arising from a false necessity:—it was not so from the beginning, and it will not be so always. Paul, if we could now consult him, would, I believe, not compel those, who wear wigs to cast them off entirely; but he would teach those, at least, who have not begun to wear them, for ever to unlearn [avoid] them, as a thing unbecoming men, especially men engaging in prayer.— ἔστι, is) Such a woman does not differ from one, that has been shaved.


Verse 6

1 Corinthians 11:6. κειράσθω, let her be shorn) As the hinder part of the head is by nature in the man and the woman respectively, so in general it is becoming the forehead to be in its mode of dressing: 1 Corinthians 11:14. The imperative here is that of permission, but a permission, which has in it mimesis, or a deduction to something unsuitable.(91) So shaving is unbecoming in nuns.— αἰσχρὸν, a shame) So 1 Corinthians 11:14. The opposite, comely, 1 Corinthians 11:13 : glory, 1 Corinthians 11:15.— τὸ κείρασθαι, ξυρᾶσθαι) the one is more than the other. Micah 1:16, ξύρησαι καὶ κεῖραι. ξυρᾶται, the back part of the head; κείρεται, the forehead. In Mic. already quoted, there follows a gradation in the enlargement of the baldness occasioned by shaving.


Verses 7-10

1 Corinthians 11:7-10. οὐκ ὀφείλει, κ. τ. λ., ought not, etc.) The man has more freedom in regard to his head-dress, especially when he is not engaged in praying or prophesying, than the woman.— κατακαλύπτεσθαι, to cover) verses 7 and 10 have an exact antithesis. Observe, first, he ought not, and she ought: secondly, look at the diagram: The man ought not to be covered; because the man is, A. the image of God, B. and the glory of God: but the woman ought to be covered: C. because she is the glory of the man, D. and on account of the angels. The man, he says, is the image of God; supply, and of Christ from 1 Corinthians 11:3 (see 1 Corinthians 11:8; comp. 1 Corinthians 11:12; ἐκ, of, concerning the man and concerning God; but διὰ, by, concerning the woman): not only on account of his power over the woman itself, but also on account of the causes of that power, viz., because the woman is of the man; but she is of the man, for ( γὰρ, 1 Corinthians 11:9) she was created for the man. But the man is, in a nearer relation, both of God and under God; and so he represents God. Now because man is the image of God, he is at the same time the glory of God; comp. glory, 2 Corinthians 8:23. But the woman is the glory of the man; because the man is the head and lord of the woman. It is not said, the image and glory of the man; but only the glory of the man, as it were suspending the expression. But he proves, that she is the glory of the man, 1 Corinthians 11:8-9, as it were in a parenthesis; from which it may also be gathered, why the man is the image and glory of God. Now since the woman is the glory of the man, she might at the same time be called the image of the man; but Paul compensates for this by another expression, and says, for this cause, namely, because the woman is the glory of the man, she ought to be covered because of the angels; for in the diagram which we have just laid down, D is to A, as C to B. The meaning of this gnome-like sentiment(92) [expressed entirely in the same way in the notes to the Germ. Ver.] should be elicited from the very words that are added; let the woman cover herself because of the angels, i.e. because the angels are also covered. As the angels are to God, so the woman is to the man. The face of God is manifested: whereas the angels are covered, Isaiah 6. The face of the man is manifested, [uncovered]; the woman is covered. Nor is the man on that account exalted above the angels; but he is merely considered so far as he represents God in regard to the woman, which cannot be said of the angels. But the woman ought to be covered especially in praying and prophesying; for it belongs to the man, in preference to the woman, to pray and prophesy; when therefore the woman takes upon her those functions, then some open avowal is most necessary on her part, that woman is still properly and willingly inferior to man. Both the outward dress of the body showing humility in the heart, which the angels cannot penetrate, and the external order delight the angels themselves, who also contemplate the order, and look at the conduct of men in the assembly of the Church, 1 Corinthians 4:9; Ephesians 3:10; comp. Ecclesiastes 5:6, where LXX. have πρὸ προσώπου θεοῦ, before the face of God. The conclusion is drawn from angels to the uncreated Angel, as from the less to the greater. Add Psalms 138:1. But if not covered, the woman offends the angels by what is unbecoming, Matthew 18:10; Matthew 18:31. Moreover the woman ought to be the more careful not to offend the angels on this account, that she requires their protection, somewhat more than the man. She needs it more, on account of her own weakness just as children [minors, inferiors] do: comp. note on Greg. Thaum. Paneg. 160; as also demons lay more snares for the woman, 2 Peter 2:19. The sentence of the law against the man when seduced and overcome is in proportion to the seduction, and the victory gained over him; but the woman was first overcome; or farther, she is more assailed by those extremely limpure spirits, whom the Greeks, on account of their eagerness to obtain victims, call φιλούλους, lovers of destruction. Comp. Matthew 8:31; Matthew 12:43. This great superiority of the man over the woman is qualified in 1 Corinthians 11:11-12, by way of ἐπιθεραπεία [after-softening of a previous unwelcome truth.—Append.], lest the man should exalt himself, or the woman think herself despised. Jac. Faber Stapulensis says, “Man was immediately made by God, the image and likeness of God, for His glory: but the woman mediately through the man, who was as it were a veil placed between her and God; for the medium is viewed as an interposing object, and a veil. To mark this mystery, when a man turns himself to God, which he mostly does in praying or prophesying, he ought to do so with his head uncovered, having, so to speak, no veil between himself and God, offering thus to God the honour of his creation: but the woman with her head covered acknowledges her creation, and, as it becomes her, offers honour to God, in the second place and through the medium of the glory of the glory of God. The woman is mediate and second, and became immediately the glory of the man, and was made for the sake of the man himself.” The same Stapulensis proceeds, “Both man and the angels were immediately created by God, and therefore man should have no covering, as a symbol of this event, when he is turned to God, any more than the angels; but the woman ought to have it, not only on account of the man, but also on account of the angels; for it would be pride, if she made her creation equal to that of the angels, inasmuch as she has this power [the privilege of creation] by means of the man. For what else is this, that a woman has and ought to have power over her head, but that she has this privilege through the mediation of the man, i.e. through the mediation of her head, who is her husband?” The discreet reader will skilfully qualify these remarks by those made by us above.


Verse 8

1 Corinthians 11:8. οὐ γὰρ, for not) As his own wife stood in relation to the first man, so is the whole race of women to the men.— ἐξ ἀνδρὸς, from the man) from the rib of the man.


Verse 10

1 Corinthians 11:10. ὀφείλει, ought) This verb differs from δεῖ, it is necessary: ὀφείλει denotes obligation, δεῖ, necessity. The former is moral, the latter, as it were, physical necessity; as in the German, wir sollen und müssen, we shall and must.— ἐξουσίαν ἔχειν) to have power over the head. From that antithesis between 1 Corinthians 11:7; 1 Corinthians 11:10 [ought—ought not], it is evident that the power is the same as κάλυμμα, a covering: so Genesis 20:16, כסות עינים. LXX, εἰς τιμὴν τοῦ προσώπου σου, for a covering, i.e., for a testimony of undefiled matrimonial chastity. On the contrary, the priest was commanded ἀποκαλύπτειν, to uncover the head of the woman, who had withdrawn from the power of her husband in consequence of adultery, or who was at least suspected of that crime. Numbers 5:18. This passage agrees admirably with both quotations; only ἐξουσία, power, is a more suitable word here than τιμὴ, honour. Nor would it at all have been foreign to the purpose to compare Psalms 60:9, Ephraim is the strength of my head. Paul uses ἐξουσίαν by an elegant metonymy of the sign for the thing signified; or even by a mild metonymy of the relative for the correlative, ὑποταγὴ, subjection, or the like; unless it be rather the sign, by which the woman avows and acknowledges that, although she prays and prophesies, still she is inferior to the man; in short, it is on this condition that the power of praying and prophesying falls to her share, and without that sign it must not be exercised. And this term is therefore more suitable, because it is closely connected with the δόξα, glory, 1 Corinthians 11:15 : and ἐξουσία, power, is also applied to the angels.


Verse 11

1 Corinthians 11:11. ἐν κύριῳ, in the Lord) in Christ, by whom both the man and the woman have been created and redeemed. The difference between the man and the woman, Galatians 3:28, begins now rather to disappear in respect of Christ in this ver., and in respect of God in the following verse, than in respect of the angels. Therefore 1 Corinthians 11:9-12, elegantly correspond with one another in their short clauses.


Verse 12

1 Corinthians 11:12. γυνὴ ἐκ τοῦ) Only here, and at 1 Corinthians 11:10, the articles are added. In 1 Corinthians 11:10, the force of the relative is at 1 Corinthians 11:9, and in 1 Corinthians 11:12 at 1 Corinthians 11:11.— ἐκδιὰ, from [of]—by) The particles differ; presently afterwards ἐκ is also said of God.— πάντα, all things) the man, the woman, and the mutual dependence of either upon the other.


Verse 13

1 Corinthians 11:13. ἐν ὑμῖν αὐτοῖς, in yourselves) without a long explanation.— ἔστι, is it?) a direct interrogation, as 1 Corinthians 6:5.— γυναῖκατῷ θεῷ, a woman—to God) Paul describes the leap, which the woman uncovered takes, passing beyond both the man and angels. An excellent hypotyposis,(93) though short.


Verse 14

1 Corinthians 11:14. οὐδε αὐτὴ) does not even nature itself, from which all learn very easily.— φύσις, nature) and its light concerning what is becoming.— ἐὰν κομᾷ) if he has long hair, like a covering; for he is not commanded to be altogether shorn.— ἀτιμία, disgrace) viz., if he do that without any reason; for sometimes even hair becomes men.—Numbers 6:5; 2 Samuel 14:26; Acts 18:18. The Nazarite, who had hair, however long, ought to retain it.


Verse 15

1 Corinthians 11:15. ἀντὶ περιβολαίου, for a covering) Not but that an artificial covering ought to be added, but because her longer hair is a proof of covering the head as much as possible: the will ought to correspond to nature.—(94) δέδοται, has been given) by nature.

αὐτῇ is read by Lachm. with ABg after δέδοται, and before it, in CH and later Syr. and Vulg. Tisch. omits it with D ( λ)Gfg.—ED.


Verse 16

1 Corinthians 11:16. εἰ δὲ, but if) A curt [abrupt] hint,(95) as at 1 Corinthians 14:37. Paul perceives, that some exceptions may be taken, but he authoritatively represses them.— δοκεῖ φιλόνεικος, seems contentious) A disputer of this sort might think that he was contending rightly; but Paul calls him contentious. This is what he says: If any one wishes to contend, and deems himself right in doing so. In this passage it is rather intended to teach the Corinthians modesty, than to bind all: comp. 2 Corinthians 2:9. For he especially restrains their φυσίωσιν, puffed up spirit: comp. 1 Corinthians 14:34-38.— ἡμεῖς, we) your teachers, of the Hebrew nation.— συνήθειαν, custom) that a woman should not cover her head, especially when she prays.— αἱ ἐκκλησίαι τοῦ θεοῦ, the churches of God) which ought not to be despised, 1 Corinthians 14:36.


Verse 17

1 Corinthians 11:17. τοῦτο) this, which follows.— παραγγέλλω, [Engl. Vers. I declare] I command) in the name of the Lord, 1 Corinthians 11:23; 1 Corinthians 14:37.— οὐκ ἐπαινῶν, not praising) the opposite is, I praise, 1 Corinthians 11:2. The two parts into which this chapter is divided, are closely connected by this antithesis; in the one the Corinthians were regarded as well-disposed, in the other, as committing sin.— εἰς τὸ κρεῖττον, for the better) An assembly of believers ought always to be progressing towards that, which is better.— εἰς τὸ ἥττον, for the worse) and therefore for condemnation, 1 Corinthians 11:34. At first Paul speaks more gently. κρεῖττον, ἥττον, form a paranomasia.(96)


Verse 18

1 Corinthians 11:18. πρῶτον, first) This word, when secondly does not follow, gives the discourse a degree of characteristic ἦθος or feeling.(97) Their assembly, even in the use of the gifts, might be held by the Corinthians for the better, 14.— ἐν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ, in the church) The church here approaches to the signification of the place of meeting. ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ, into one place, [where it is right, that all things should be arranged with a view to harmony.—V. g.]— σχίσματα) divisions, not only in your mental opinions, ch. 1 Corinthians 1:10, but also as to your outward meetings, 1 Corinthians 11:21.— μέρος τι, partly) He excepts the innocent, and uses a mild term.— πιστεύω, I believe) while his love was unaffected by it, ch. 1 Corinthians 13:7.


Verse 19

1 Corinthians 11:19. καὶ αἱρέσεις, also heresies) Schisms and heresies are here applied to one thing; nor is the also intended to make a distinction; but this is its meaning: not only many good things, not merely small stumbling-blocks, 1 Corinthians 8:9, are found among you, but there must be also heresies, or different opinions and schisms, which generally arise out of them. Now there is at once both necessity for these and it is profitable to the godly, where men less approved are mixed up with them. A schism is a mutual separation; heresy is the separation of one party from the unity of the Church, in regard either to faith, or worship.— οἱ δόκιμοι, those approved) Therefore there were at least some such persons among them. A conciliatory ( ἀστεῖος) mode of expression; for what he really meant to say, was, that those less approved should be openly manifested.


Verse 20

1 Corinthians 11:20. συνερχομένων οὖν ὑμῶν, when ye come together therefore) The therefore has the effect of resuming the discourse, 1 Corinthians 11:18.— οὐκ ἔστι φαγεῖν) there is not aught to eat, i.e. it does not fall to you to eat; eating is prevented, viz. because the bread is withdrawn;(98) he therefore pointedly says, to eat. It is an indefinite expression. [Man kommt nicht dazu, wegen Abgang des Brots und Weins, “we come not for that purpose, on account of the want of bread and wine.”—Not. crit.] Sometimes they came in for the privilege of eating the Lord’s Supper itself, 1 Corinthians 11:26. Sometimes, they were excluded, some at least, who came too late, and had not been waited for, 1 Corinthians 11:33. So ἐστὶ with the infinitive, Hebrews 9:5. So not merely on one occasion Chrysostom.—See 1. 2 de Sacerd., p. 388. There is a similar use of the verb γίνεται, Acts 20:16. So אין לשמור, 2 Chronicles 5:11; אין לבוא, Esther 4:2; οὐκ ἔστιν ἆραι, LXX., 1 Chronicles 15:2; οὐκ ἔστι πρός σε ἀντιστῆναι, 2 Chronicles 20:6, and decidedly Genesis 6:21, καὶ ἔσται σοὶ καὶ ἐκείνοις φαγεῖν.— κυριακὸν, the Lord’s) An antithesis to his own, ( ἴδιον) supper, next verse.


Verse 21

1 Corinthians 11:21 ἕκαστος, every one) G. Raphelius says: “It was a custom at Athens, in the age of Socrates, for every one of those, who met at supper, to bring some meat for himself, which they did not set out for general use, but every one usually ate his own.” Then, after he has referred to the testimony of Xenophon, he concludes, “That this very passage of the apostle, is a proof so far of the observance of this custom, even at that time, by the Corinthians, who had become Christians, that when they were about to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, they brought at least bread and wine, if not other meats also, into the church, of which a part was afterwards taken and consecrated for the eucharist. For doubtless Paul calls the first their own supper, 1 Corinthians 11:21, ἴδιον δεῖπνον, namely the meat, which every one had brought from home, and which they fell upon as their right, without waiting for others. Then, οἱ μὴ ἔχοντες, those who have not, 1 Corinthians 11:22, can be understood to be no other than the poorer members, in whose presence, the richer, not without showing contempt for them, intemperately feasted, before the distribution of the elements in the Lord’s Supper, which the poor were present (had come) to enjoy, while no other food besides was prepared for them.”— προλαμβάνει, takes before) when he ought to wait, 1 Corinthians 11:33.— ἐν τῷ φαγεῖν, in eating) Language which relates to the feeding of the body, 1 Corinthians 11:33, etc., from which the Lord’s Supper very widely differs.— καὶ, and) and one indeed (inasmuch as he has not) is hungry (and thirsty): but another (inasmuch as he has, is well filled and) becomes drunken. The one has more than is good for him, the other less.


Verse 22

1 Corinthians 11:22. γὰρ, for) He presses upon them with questionings.— οἰκαίας, houses) 1 Corinthians 11:34.— τῆς ἐκκλησίας, the Church) of which the better part was the poor, James 2:5.— τοῦ θεοῦ, of God) This constitutes the honour of the Church.— καταφρονεῖτε, do you despise) when you do that apart in the church, which you might do at home.— μὴ ἔχοντας, not having) Those, who have, viz. the wealthy; those, who have not, viz. the needy.— οὐκ ἐπαινῶ, I praise you not) ΄είωσις [saying less than is intended], implying: You are very much to be blamed.


Verse 23

1 Corinthians 11:23. ἐγὼ γὰρ παρέλαβον, for I received) by immediate revelation. “We ought therefore with great reverence to approach that most solemn mystery, which the Lord instituted, while He was yet upon the earth, as we are distinctly informed by Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and which He renewed, besides, when He ascended into heaven, by special revelation to the Apostle Paul.”—Jac. Faber Stapulensis.— ἀπὸ τοῦ κυρίου, from the Lord) Jesus Christ.— παρέδωκα, I delivered) in your presence.— κύριος ἰησοῦς, The Lord Jesus) This word Jesus is added with deliberate intention. He had just said from the Lord.— ἐν τῇ νυκτὶ, on the night) Hence it is called the Supper. Comp. Exodus 12:6; although in regard to the paschal lamb, the time of the day was expressly appointed; not so in respect to the Eucharist.— παρεδίδοτο, on which He was betrayed) This is thus brought forward with evident intention; for His being betrayed broke off the conversation of Jesus with his disciples: comp. note at 1 Corinthians 11:26.


Verse 24

1 Corinthians 11:24. ἔκλασε, broke) The very mention of the breaking, involves the distribution, and refutes the Corinthian mode of making it every man his own, 1 Corinthians 11:21.— τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν κλώμενον, which is broken for you) In the gospel by Luke the words are, which is given for you. In the Lord’s Supper, with the bread broken, the body of Christ, which was given unto death for us, is taken and eaten, as real food; although no one would be likely to affirm, that the Lord would have used the breaking of bread, if it had not been the common practice at that period. The passion of Christ is [should be] naturally before the eucharist;(99) hence the institution of the Supper took place immediately before the death of Christ. Therefore the body of Christ is said to be given in respect of the passion considered in itself; to be broken, in respect of the passion fitting the Lord’s body for being eaten: and the expression for you shows that the word given is at the same time indicated, so that it is an abbreviated phrase, with this meaning; which is given for you and broken to you. These remarks indeed refer to the common reading κλώμενον, from the verb ἔκλασε immediately preceding; but the Alexandrian reading had not the participle, as is evident from the fourth book of Cyril against Nestorius;(100) whence others have supplied διδό΄ενον from Luke. My body, which for you, is a nervous sentence, as John 6:51, in the old copies, my flesh for the life of the world.(101)

τὸ ὑπʼ ὑμῶν- is the reading of ABC corrected later. G supports the κλώμενον added in Rec. Text. D corr. later fg add θρυπτόμενον. Memph. and Theb. favour διδόμενον. Vulg. Cypr. 107 have “Quod pro vobis tradetur.”—ED.


Verse 25

1 Corinthians 11:25. ΄ετὰ τὸ δειπνῆσαι, after supper) Therefore you, Corinthians, ought to separate common meals from the Lord’s Supper.— ὁσάκις, as often as) As often as is not a command, but it is implied that we should often eat and drink.— πίνητε, you may drink) this cup, 1 Corinthians 11:26.— εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν ἀνάμνησιν, in remembrance of me) This is presupposed by Matthew and Mark. Luke uses it once, Paul twice, because it is very suitable to his purpose. The old sacrifices were useful in bringing sins to remembrance, Hebrews 10:3; the sacrifice of the body of Christ, accomplished once for all, is revived by the remembrance of forgiveness.


Verse 26

1 Corinthians 11:26. τὸν θάνατον τοῦ κυρίου, the death of the Lord) the death, by which Christ was sacrificed for us [and His blood was separated from His body. Hence he says separately, This is my body; and separately, This is my blood.—V. g.] So also, He is mentioned in the Apocalypse as a lamb, that had been slain.— καταγγέλλετε, ye announce [show]) The Indicative, with the for, is to be referred to the, I have delivered, 1 Corinthians 11:23. He convicts the Corinthians from their own practice, such as it was. New things are announced [shown forth], and the death of the Lord ought always to be new [fresh] in our memory; Exodus 13:8, καὶ ἀναγγελεῖς, and thou shalt show [announce]; referring to the passover; whence the paschal lesson is called הגרה, the annunciation. The Syriac version also has the indicative.— ἄχρις οὗ, until) Paul derives this from the particle ἕως, Matthew 26:29, whatever seems to be lost to us by Christ’s going away, is compensated by the Lord’s Supper as by a kind of equivalent, so that from the time of the Lord’s departure from the sight of believers to His visible and glorious coming, we still have Himself, whom for a time we do not see. What was conspicuous in our Redeemer has passed into the sacraments; Leo the Great, Serm. 2 on the ascension. On this account it is said in remembrance of Me: and of this mode of remembering there was no need, as long as He was in person with His disciples; consequently He did not institute the Supper sooner, but on that night, on which His being betrayed broke off the visible intercourse with Jesus upon the earth; but He instituted it then, lest He should also be forgotten, when no longer seen. It may be asked, why did He not institute the Supper, during the forty days that elapsed between His resurrection and ascension? Ans. 1. Because it chiefly relates to the remembrance of His death. 2. The Sacred Supper is a specimen as it were of communion at the same heavenly banquet with Christ in heaven, but after His resurrection, Christ did not eat and drink with His disciples, but merely ate with them, and only for the purpose of convincing them of His being truly raised from the dead and of His actual presence with them. This remembrance is of the closest and most vivid kind, such as is the remembrance of children towards their parents, of a wife towards her husband, of a brother towards a brother, united with faith, love, desire, hope, joy, obedience, and comprehending the whole of the Christian’s present condition. This relation to Christ is in force from the close of His last feast with His disciples till His coming again, Matthew 26:29. This mystery joins the two closing periods of the two Dispensations, the Old and New.— ἄν) at whatever time His coming may take place.(102) Then it will be drunk new, Matthew 26:29.— ἔλθῃ, come) in glory, 1 Corinthians 4:5. It is not called a return; comp. Acts 1:11, note.

ABCD corrected later, G omit ἂν. Rec. Text has none of the oldest authorities on its side in reading ἂν.—ED.


Verse 27

1 Corinthians 11:27. ὥστε ὃς ἂν ἐσθίῃ τὸν ἄρτον τοῦτον πίνῃ τὸ ποτήριον τοῦ κυρίου ἀναξίως) Some read formerly for καὶ, but καὶ(103) remains, as in what follows, of the body AND blood of the Lord. From the particle Pamelius, writing to Cypria(104) concerning the Lapsed, impugns the necessity of communion in both kinds. The disjunctive particle, if any one thinks that Paul used it, does not, however, separate the bread and the cup; otherwise the cup might as well be taken without the bread, as the bread without the cup. Paul twice demands, both with the bread and with the cup, the remembrance of the Lord Jesus, according to His own words, 1 Corinthians 11:24-25; but in the manner, in which the Lord’s Supper was celebrated among the Corinthians, a man might at the same time both eat this bread and drink the cup, and yet apart [separately] he might eat this bread unworthily or drink this cup unworthily, since the remembrance of the Lord was certainly profaned by any impropriety, though it were only in the case of one of the two elements, 1 Corinthians 11:21. But if any one among the Corinthians even in that time of confusion took the bread without the cup, or the cup without the bread, on that very account he took it unworthily, and became guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.— ἀναξίως unworthily) They do so, not only who are without repentance and faith, but who do not examine themselves. The unworthiness of him, who eats, is one thing, of eating, is another. “Some indeed say, that he excludes, not a person unworthy, but one receiving unworthily, from the sacred ordinance. If then even a worthy person approaching unworthily is kept back, how much more an unworthy person, who cannot worthily partake?”—Pelagius among the works of Jerome.

BCDGfg Vulg., Cypr., read , which may seem to favour the Romish doctrine of communion in one kind being sufficient. A (and according to Lachm., which Tisch. contradicts, A or D) and translator of Orig. read καὶ.—ED.


Verse 28

1 Corinthians 11:28. δοκιμαζέτω, let him prove [examine]) by judging as to himself, and by judging as to [discerning, i.e. distinguishing from common food] the body of the Lord, 1 Corinthians 11:29; 1 Corinthians 11:31.— ἄνθρωπος, a man) any one, 1 Corinthians 4:1, even one that is in himself unworthy.— οὕτως) so at length.— ἐκ τοῦ) The preposition expresses circumspection of mind; but τὸν ἄρτον, τὸ ποτήριον, the bread, the cup, 1 Corinthians 11:27, forms a phrase showing that they had not been duly discerned, by the receivers at Corinth: see the preceding verse.


Verse 29

1 Corinthians 11:29. κρίμα) [without the article, comp. v. 32.—Not. crit.] some judgment, a disease, or the death of the body; see next verse; so that those who do not discern the Lord’s body have to atone for it in their bodies. He does not say to τὸ κατάκριμα, the condemnation.— μἠ διακρίνων, not judging as to [discerning]) Comp. Hebrews 10:29.— τὸ σῶμα, the body) supply, and the blood.— τοῦ κυρίου, of the Lord) An Antonomasia [an appellative instead of the proper name], i.e. Jesus. The Church is not called the body of Jesus, or the body of the Lord; but the body of Christ: The question here then is about the proper body of the Lord Jesus.


Verse 30

1 Corinthians 11:30. διὰ τοῦτο, for this cause) The Corinthians had not observed this cause; but in our day it is proper to attend to it.— ἀσθενεῖς καὶ ἄῤῥωστοι, weak and sickly) weak from slighter distempers; sickly from more serious diseases; comp. Revelation 2:22.— κοιμῶνται, sleep) A word in a middle sense, [ μέσον, midway between good and bad] as distinguished from the state after death. It does not denote here however a dreadful death.


Verse 31

1 Corinthians 11:31. διακρίνομεν, we would judge as to) before the deed.— ἐκκρινόμεθα, we should be judged) after the deed. The simple verb and its compounds are elegantly used; nor is it immediately added by the Lord. But Paul afterwards discloses it to us [who it is from whom the judgment comes], we are chastened by the Lord, Revelation 3:19.


Verse 32

1 Corinthians 11:32. σὺν τῷ κόσμῳ, with the world) The world’s condemnation is therefore certain, being without chastisement.


Verse 33

1 Corinthians 11:33. ʼ ωστε, therefore) The remedy and counsel suitably follow the reproof of vice, and the simpler the better.—’ αδελφοί μον, my brethren) This appellation is suited to the conclusion.

36. (106) Bengel, J. A. (1860). Vol. 3: Gnomon of the New Testament (M. E. Bengel & J. C. F. Steudel, Ed.) (J. Bryce, Trans.) (199–291). Edinburgh: T&T Clark.

 


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Bibliography Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:4". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/1-corinthians-11.html. 1897.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 12th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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