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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
1 Corinthians 11

 

 

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Verse 1

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

Rather belonging to 1 Corinthians 10:1-33.

Followers - Greek, 'imitators.'

Of Christ - who "pleased not Himself" (Romans 15:3), but gave Himself for us, laying aside His divine glory, and dying as man (Ephesians 5:2; Philippians 2:4-5). Follow Christ first, and earthly teachers only so far as they follow Christ.


Verse 2

Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

Here the chapter ought to begin.

Ye remember me in all things - in your general practice, though in particular instances ye fail.

Ordinances [ paradoseis (Greek #3862)] - 'traditions;' i:e., apostolic directions by word or in writing (1 Corinthians 11:23; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:15). The reference here is to ceremonies; for in 1 Corinthians 11:23, as to the Lord's supper, which is more than a ceremony, he says not merely, "I delivered unto you," but also, "I have received of the Lord;" here only, "I delivered them to you." Romanists argue hence for oral traditions. The difficulty is to know what is a genuine apostolic tradition intended for all ages. Any that can be proved to be such ought to be observed; any that cannot, ought to be rejected (Revelation 22:18). Those preserved in the written Word alone can be proved to be such.


Verse 3

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

The Corinthian women, on the ground of the abolition of distinction of sex in Christ, claimed equality with men, and, overstepping propriety, came forward to pray and prophesy without the customary head-covering. The Gospel did raise women from the degradation in which they had been sunk, especially in the East. Yet, while on a level with males as to the offer of, and standing in, grace (Galatians 3:28), their subjection in point of order, modesty, and seemliness is to be maintained. Paul reproves here their unseemliness as to dress; in 1 Corinthians 14:34, as to public speaking. He grounds his reproof on woman's subjection in the order of creation.

The head - an appropriate expression when he is about to treat of woman's head-dress.

Of every man is Christ (Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18).

Of the woman is the man (1 Corinthians 11:8; Genesis 3:16).

Head of Christ is God. By Christ's voluntary subordination to the Father He was exalted; so the woman finds in voluntary subjection to the man her truest freedom (John 14:28; 1 Corinthians 3:23; Philippians 2:8). 'Since the head is of the same essence as the body, and God is the head of the Son, the Son must be of the same essence as the Father' (S. Chrysostom) (Luke 3:22; Luke 3:38). 'The woman is of the essence of the man, not made by him; so the Son is not made by the Father, but of the Father's essence' (Theodoret, t. 3:, p. 171).


Verse 4

Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.

Praying - in public (1 Corinthians 11:17).

Prophesying - preaching in the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:10).

Having - i:e., if he were to have-a supposed case, to illustrate the impropriety in the woman's case. The Greek custom was for men in worship to be uncovered; the Jews wore the Tallith, or veil, to show reverence and their sense of unworthiness in God's presence (Isaiah 6:2), excepting where (as in Corinth) the Greek custom prevailed. But this passage shows wearing the Tallith was introduced after apostolic times. The pagan covered themselves in sacrificing, not to be distracted by outward objects.

Dishonoureth his head - not "Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:3); but as "head" means before in this verse, He dlshonours his head (the principal member), he divests himself of his divinely-appointed dignity by wearing a covering-a mark of subjection, making him look downward instead of upwards to his spiritual Head, Christ. Why, then, ought not man to wear the covering in token of his subjection to Christ, as the woman wears it in token of her subjection to man? Because Christ is not seen, the man is, and visibly represents God (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:7).


Verse 5

But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

Woman that prayeth or prophesieth. This instance of women speaking in public worship is extraordinary, and justified only by the miraculous gifts which such women possessed as their credentials. So Anna the prophetess and Priscilla (cf. Acts 2:18). The ordinary rule to them is silence in public (1 Corinthians 14:34-35; 1 Timothy 2:11-12). Mental receptivity and activity at home are most accordant with woman's destiny. This passage does not necessarily sanction women speaking in public, even though possessing gifts; but simply records what took place at Corinth, reserving the censure until 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. Even those 'prophesying' women were to exercise their gift rather in other times and places than the public congregation.

Dishonoureth her head. In putting away the veil, she puts away the badge of her subjection to man (which is her true 'honour'), and of her connection with Christ, man's Head. Moreover, the head-covering was the emblem of maiden modesty before man (Genesis 24:65), and chastity (Genesis 20:16). By it unlawful excitement in assemblies is avoided, women not attracting attention. Scripture sanctions not the emancipation of woman from subjection: modesty is her true ornament. Man rules; woman ministers: the respective dress should accord. To uncover the head indicated withdrawal from the husband's power; whence a suspected wife had her head uncovered by the priest (Numbers 5:18).

All one as if ... shaven. As woman's hair is given by nature as her covering (1 Corinthians 11:15), to cut it off like a man would be palpably indecorous; therefore, to put away the head-covering like a man would be similarly indecorous. It is natural to her to have long hair for her covering: she ought, therefore, to add the other head-covering, to show that she does of her own will that which nature teaches she ought to do, in token of her subjection to man.


Verse 6

For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

A woman would not like to be "shorn," or, what is worse, "shaven;" but if she chooses to be unveiled in front, let her be so also behind - i:e., "shorn."

A shame - unbecoming (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:13-15). Thus the shaving of nuns is "a shame."


Verses 7-9

For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.

Argument from man's more immediate relation to God, and the woman's to man.

Man ... image and glory of God - being created in God's "image" first, and directly; the woman subsequently, and indirectly, through man's mediation. Man is representative of God's "glory" (this ideal being realized fully in the Son of man, Psalms 8:4-5 : cf. 2 Corinthians 8:23). Man is both the "image" ( tselem (Hebrew #6754)), and made in the "likeness" [ homoioosis (Greek #3669), demuth], of God (cf. James 3:9). "Image" [ eikoon (Greek #1504)] alone is applied to the Son of God (Colossians 1:15 : cf. Hebrews 1:3, "express image" [ charakteer (Greek #5481)], the impress). The Divine Son is not merely 'like' God, He IS God of God, 'of one substance (essence) with the Father' (Nicene Creed).

Woman is the glory of the man - not also 'the image of the man.' The woman is created in the image of God as well as the man (Genesis 1:26-27). But as the moon in relation to the sun (Genesis 37:9), so woman shines not so much with light direct from God as with light derived from Prayer of Manasseh 1:-1 :e., in her order in creation-though in grace she comes into direct communion with God. Even here much of her knowledge is immediately given her through man, on whom she is dependent. Ministry to man, whom she elevates in his more responsible position, is her "glory." She is more passive: he active.

Verse 8. Is ... of - takes her being from ('out of'). Woman was originally "taken out of man" (cf. Genesis 2:23). The woman was made by God mediately through man, who was, as it were, a veil between her and God, and therefore should wear the head-covering in public, in acknowledgment of this subordination. The man, being made mediately by God as His glory, has no veil between himself and God.

Verse 9. Neither - rather, 'For also.' Another argument: the immediate object of woman's creation. 'The man was not created for the sake of [ dia (Greek #1223), with accusative] the woman, but the woman for the sake of the man' (Genesis 2:18; Genesis 2:21-22), as his "help meet." Just as the Church is made for Christ: yet in both the natural and the spiritual creations the bride, while made for the bridegroom, in fulfilling that end attains her own true "glory," and brings "shame" and 'dishonour' on herself by departure from it (1 Corinthians 11:4; 1 Corinthians 11:6).


Verse 10

For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.

Power on her head - the kerchief: French, 'couvre-chef,' head-covering, emblem of "power on her head:" the sign of her being under man, exercising delegated authority. Paul had before his mind the root-connection between the Hebrew terms for 'veil' (Radid) and subjection (Radad).

Because of the angels - who, like the cherubim in the temple, are present at Christian assemblies (cf. Psalms 138:1, note), and delight in the orderly subordination of the several worshippers in their respective places-the outward demeanour and dress indicating that inward humility which is most pleasing to their common Lord (Ecclesiastes 5:6; 1 Corinthians 4:9; Ephesians 3:10). Chrysostom, 'Thou standest with angels; thou singest, thou hymnest with them, yet dost thou stand laughing?' Bengel, 'As the angels are related to God, so the woman is to man. God's face is uncovered; angels in His presence are veiled (Isaiah 6:2). Man's face is uncovered; woman in his presence is to be veiled. For her not to be so would, by its indecorousness, offend the angels (Matthew 18:10; Matthew 18:31). She, by her weakness, specially needs their ministry: she ought to be the more careful not to offend them.'


Verse 11

Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.

The one needs the other in sexual relations; and in respect to Christ ("in the Lord"), the man and the woman together (for neither can be dispensed with) realize the ideal of redeemed humanity represented by the Bride, the Church. Christ alone combined the perfections of man and of woman also. He is the Representative Man, having at once man's masculine power and woman's ministering grace.


Verse 12

For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.

As woman was formed out of man, even so is man born by means of woman; but all things (including both man and woman) are from God as their source (Romans 11:36; 2 Corinthians 5:18). They depend each on the other, and both on Him.


Verse 13

Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?

Appeal to their own sense of decorum. Appeal to their own sense of decorum.

A woman pray unto God. By rejecting the emblem of subjection (the head-covering), she passes at one leap, in praying publicly, beyond both man and angels (Bengel).


Verse 14

Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?

The fact that "nature" has provided woman, and not man, with long hair, proves that man was designed to be uncovered, and woman covered. The Nazarite wore long hair lawfully, as part of a vow sanctioned by God (Numbers 6:5 : cf. 2 Samuel 14:26, and Acts 18:18). "Nature" is God's will impressed on creation; when He is recognized, Nature's teachings are auxiliary to Revelation.


Verse 15

But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

Her hair ... for a covering - her long hair shows she ought to cover her head as much as possible. The will ought to accord with nature.


Verse 16

But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.

A summary by appeal to the universal custom of the churches.

If any man seem - `thinks' (fit) [ dokei (Greek #1380)] (Matthew 3:9); if any man chooses (still, after all my arguments) to be contentious; if any thinks himself right in being so. A reproof of the Corinthians' self-sufficiency and disputatiousness (1 Corinthians 1:20).

We - apostles; or, we of the Jewish nation. Jewish women veiled themselves in public, according to Tertullian. The former explanation is best, as the Jews are not referred to in the context; but he often refers to himself and his fellow-apostles. "We-us" (1 Corinthians 4:9-10; 1 Corinthians 10:5-6).

No such custom - as that of women praying uncovered. Not 'that of being contentious.' The Greek No such custom - as that of women praying uncovered. Not 'that of being contentious.' The Greek [ suneetheian (Greek #4914)] implies a usage rather than a mental habit (John 18:39). The usage of true "churches" (plural: not 'the Church,' as an abstract entity, but "the churches," as many independent witnesses) of God (the churches which God recognizes) is a valid argument as to external rites, especially negatively-e.g., such rites were not received among them, therefore ought not to be admitted among us; but in doctrine or essentials the argument is not valid (1 Corinthians 7:17; 1 Corinthians 14:33).

Neither - nor yet. Catholic usage is not an infallible test of truth, but a general test of decency.


Verse 17

Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.

In this - which follows.

I declare - rather, 'I enjoin,' as the Greek [ parangelloo (Greek #3853)] is always used. A B C f, Vulgate, read 'this I enjoin (you), not praising (you). 'Aleph (') G g support the Received Text.

That - in that you, etc. Here he qualifies his praise (1 Corinthians 11:2). 'I said I praised you for keeping the ordinances delivered to you; BUT (so the Greek for "now") I must authoritatively enjoin you on a matter in which I praise you not-namely, as to the Lord's supper (1 Corinthians 11:23; 1 Corinthians 14:37).

Not for the better - not so as to progress to what is better.

For the worse - so as to retrograde to what is worse. Holy ordinances, if they do not improve, positively injure. The result of 'coming together' in a carnal spirit must be "condemnation" (1 Corinthians 11:34).


Verse 18

For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.

First of all. Instead of secondly, follows "therefore," 1 Corinthians 11:20. The "divisions" (Greek, schisms) of opinion (1 Corinthians 1:10) were the PRIMARY evil, causing, at the Lord's supper, their eating apart from brethren (1 Corinthians 11:21) - a secondary evil.

In the church - not the place of worship; for Isidore of Pelusium denies that there were such places set apart for worship in the apostles' times ('Ep.' 246, 2); but 'in the congregation' met for worship, where especially love, order, and harmony should prevail. The very ordinance instituted for uniting believers was made an occasion of "divisions."

Partly - he excepts the innocent. 'I am loath to believe all I hear; but some I am forced to believe, while my love is unaffected by it.'


Verse 19

For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

Heresies - not merely 'schisms,' "divisions" (1 Corinthians 11:18), which are 'recent dissensions through differences of opinion' (Augustine), but also "heresies" - i:e., 'schisms become inveterate:' 'sects' (Greek, Acts 5:17; Acts 15:5). At present there were dissensions at the love feasts; but Paul, remembering Jesus' words (Matthew 18:7; Matthew 24:10; Matthew 24:12; Luke 17:1), foresees "there must be (come) also" matured secessions of separatists. The "must be" arises not from fatalistic necessity, but from sin necessarily bearing its natural fruits, which he foresees. These are overruled by Providence to the probation of character of both godly and ungodly professors, and to the discipline of the former for glory. There may be schism without secession (1 Corinthians 12:21; 1 Corinthians 12:25; John 7:43). "Heresies" had not yet its technical sense, referring to doctrinal errors: its means confirmed schisms. Augustine's rule is a golden one: 'In doubtful questions, liberty; in essentials, unity; in all things, charity.'

That ... approved may be made manifest - through the disapproved (reprobates) becoming manifested (Luke 2:35; 1 John 2:19).


Verse 20

When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

When ... therefore - resuming the thread of discourse (1 Corinthians 11:18).

This is not to. It is not possible to eat a true Lord's supper where UNITY exists not (1 Corinthians 10:17); where each is greedily intent on "HIS OWN SUPPER," and some are excluded altogether, not having been waited for (1 Corinthians 11:33); where some are "drunken," others "hungry" (1 Corinthians 11:21). The love-feast preceded the Lord's supper (as eating the Passover came before the Lord's supper at the first institution of the latter). They ate and drank together earthly, then heavenly food, in token of their unity for time and eternity. It was a club-feast, where each brought his portion, and the rich extra portions for the poor. From it the bread and wine were taken for the Eucharist. It was at it that the excesses took place which made a true celebration of the Lord's supper, during or after it, with due discernment of its solemnity, out of the question. Hence, the love feasts were afterward disjoined from the Lord's supper, and in the fourth century forbidden by a council.


Verse 21

For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.

One taketh before other - the rich "before" the poor, who had no supper of their own. Instead of 'tarrying for one another' (1 Corinthians 11:33; 1 Corinthians 12:21; 1 Corinthians 12:25).

His own supper (Philippians 3:19). "The Lord's supper," the spiritual feast, never enters his thoughts.

Drunken. The one has more than is good for him; the other less.


Verse 22

What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.

What! - Greek, For. It is disgraceful to act so, "for," etc.

Houses (1 Corinthians 11:34) - "at home." There satisfy your appetite; not in the house of God.

Despise ye the church - the congregation mostly composed of the poor, whom "GOD hath chosen," however ye despise them (James 2:5).

Of God - the true honour of "the Church."

Shame them that have not - namely, houses to eat and drink in: who, therefore ought to have received at the love-feasts from their wealthier brethren (Nehemiah 8:10).

I praise you not - resuming 1 Corinthians 11:17.


Verse 23

For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: He shows the unworthiness of such conduct from the dignity of the holy supper.

I - emphatic in the Greek. It is not my own, but the Lord's institution.

Received of the Lord - by immediate revelation from the risen Saviour (Galatians 1:12 : cf. Acts 22:17-18; 2 Corinthians 12:1-4). [ apo (Greek #575), here, instead of para (Greek #3844) (commonly used for immediate revelation), is to discriminate between Christ's personal appearance (Acts 9:1-43) and His revelation by His Spirit.] The renewal of the institution, by special revelation to Paul, enhances its solemnity. The similarity between Luke's and Paul's account of it implies that the former drew his information from the apostle, whose companion in travel he was. The undesigned coincidence is a proof of genuineness.

Night - the time for the Passover (Exodus 12:6): the time for the Lord's supper is not fixed.

Betrayed. With the traitor at the table, and though about to receive such injury from man, He gave this last gift, a pledge of His amazing love to man.


Verse 24

And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

Brake. The breaking of the bread involves its distribution, and reproves the Corinthians at the love feast: "every one taketh before other his own supper."

My body, which is broken for you - "given" (Luke 22:19) for [ huper (Greek #5228)] you (in your behalf), and "broken," to be distributed among you. 'Aleph (') A B omit "broken," leaving it to be supplied from "brake." C Delta G support "broken." The Memphitic and Thebaic versions read from Luke, "given." The literal "body" cannot be meant; for Christ was still sensibly present among his disciples. They could only have understood Him analogically. As the bread is to your bodily health, so my body is to the believing communicant's spiritual health. "Take, eat," are not in 'Aleph (') A B C Delta G: Amiatine, Vulgate, has them.


Verse 25

After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

When he had supped - Greek, 'after the eating of supper;' namely, the Passover preceding the Lord's supper. So you Corinthians ought to separate common meals from the Lord's supper. The new testaments - or "covenant." The cup is the parchment-deed on which my new covenant, or last will, is written and sealed, making over to you all blessings here and hereafter.

In my blood - ratified by MY blood (Hebrews 9:12).

As oft as , [ hosakis (Greek #3740) ean (Greek #1437)] - as many times soever; for it is an ordinance often to be partaken of.

In remembrance of me. Luke expresses this; Matthew and Mark understand it; Paul twice records it. The sacrifices brought sins continually to remembrance (Hebrews 10:1; Hebrews 10:3). The Lord's supper brings to our remembrance Christ's sacrifice once for all for the full and final remission of sins. Not 'do this for a memorial of me,' as if it were a memorial sacrifice, which would be mneemosunon (Greek #3422) (Acts 10:4) or hupomneesin-a reminding the Father of His Son's sacrifice. Nay, it is for our remembrance of it, not to remind Him.


Verse 26

For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.

For - in proof that the Lord's supper is "in remembrance" of Him.

Show - announce publicly [ katangellete (Greek #2605)]; not dramatically represent, but 'publicly profess each of you, the Lord died FOR ME' Wahl). Paul means, not literal presence, but vivid personal appropriation by faith of Christ crucified in the Lord's supper (Ephesians 5:30 : cf. Genesis 2:23): realizing that we ourselves are "members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones," 'our sinful bodies made clan by His body (once for all offered), and our souls washed through His most precious blood' ('Church of England Prayer Book'). "Show," or 'announce,' applies to new things (cf. Exodus 13:8). So the Lord's death, and all the saving blessings resulting from it, ought always to be fresh in our memory (cf. in heaven, Revelation 5:6). That the Lord's supper is in remembrance of Him, implies that He is bodily absent, though spiritually present; for we cannot 'commemorate' one absent. Our not only showing the Lord's death, but eating and drinking the pledges of it, could only be understood by the Jews, accustomed to feasts af ter propitiatory sacrifices, as implying our personal appropriation of the benefits of that death.

Till he come - when there shall be no longer need of symbols, the body itself being manifested. The Greek [no, an (Greek #302), before elthee (Greek #2064)] expresses the certainty of His coming. Rome teaches that we eat Christ present corporally "until He come" corporally!-a contradiction in terms. The showbread, literally, bread of the presence, was in the sanctuary, but not in the Holiest place (Hebrews 9:1-8); so the Lord's super shall be superseded in heaven, the antitype to the Holiest place, by Christ's own bodily presence: then the wine shall be drunk "anew" in the Father's kingdom by Christ and His people together, of which heavenly banquet the Lord's supper is a spiritual foretaste (Matthew 26:29; Revelation 19:9). Meantime, as the showbread was placed anew every Sabbath on the table before the Lord (Leviticus 24:5-8), so the Lord's death was shown (announced afresh) at the Lord's table the first day of every week in the primitive Church. We are now "priests unto God" in the dispensation of Christ's spiritual presence, antitypical of the HOLY PLACE: the perfect dispensation to come when Christ shall come is antitypical to the HOLIEST PLACE. Christ our High Priest alone in the flesh as yet has entered the Heavenly Holiest (Hebrews 9:6-7; Hebrews 12:24); at his coming, believers too shall enter (Revelation 7:15; Revelation 21:22). The super joins the consummations of the Old and New dispensations. The first and second comings are two phase of one coming; whence the expression is not 'return,' but "come" (cf., however, John 14:3).


Verse 27

Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

Eat ... and drink. So A Delta (Lachmann versus Tischendorf) read. But 'Aleph (') B C G f g, Vulgate, and Cyprian, read 'or.' Romanists quote this in favour of communion in one kind. This does not follow. Paul says, Whosoever behaves unworthily, either in eating the bread or in drinking the cup, is guilty of the body and blood of Christ. Impropriety in only one vitiates communion in both. Therefore, in the end of the verse, he says, "body AND blood." Any who takes the bread without the wine, or the wine without the bread, "unworthily" communicates: so 'is guilty of Christ's body and blood,' for he disobeys Christ's command to receive both. If we do not receive the sacramental symbol of the Lord's death worthily, we share the guilt of that death (cf. Hebrews 6:6). Unworthiness in the person ought not to exclude any, but unworthily communicating: however unworthy we be, if we penitently believe in Christ's meritorious death for us, we worthily communicate. The 'unworthiness' primarily meant here is that of unlovingness to brethren in the very ordinance which seals love to them as well as to our common Saviour.


Verse 28

But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

But - so much the more; as the guilt of unworthily receiving is so great.

Examine , [ dokimazetoo (Greek #1381)] - prove, test his own state of mind as to Christ's death, and his capability of "discerning the Lord's body" (1 Corinthians 11:29; 1 Corinthians 11:31). Not auricular confession to a priest, but self-examination, is necessary.

So - after due self-examination.

Of ... of [ ek (Greek #1537)]. In 1 Corinthians 11:27, where the receiving was unworthily, it was, 'eat this bread, drink this cup' without "of:" the "of" here implies due circumspection.

Let him eat. His self-examination is not in order that he may stay away, but that he may eat - i:e., communists.


Verse 29

For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

Damnation - a stumblingblock to many as to communicating. Translate, 'judgment.' The judgment described (1 Corinthians 11:30-32) is temporal. If this failed to reform, then, and not until then, eternal judgment would ensue.

Not discerning - not discriminatingly judging: not distinguishing in judgment [ diakrinoon (Greek #1252)], (the sin and its punishment are, by the cognate words, marked as corresponding) from common food, the sacramental pledges of the Lord's body. 'Aleph (') A B omit "Lord's" (see 1 Corinthians 11:27). C Delta G f g, Vulgate, have it. Omitting also "unworthily," with 'Aleph (') A B, translate, 'He that eateth and drinketh, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, IF he discern not THE body' (Hebrews 10:29). C Delta G f g, Vulgate, read "unworthily." The Church is "the body of Christ" (1 Corinthians 12:27): the Lord's body is His once for all sacrificed body, discerned by the soul in faithful receiving; not present in the elements themselves.


Verse 30

For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

Weak and sickly. The "weak" [ astheneis (Greek #772)] have naturally no strength; the "sickly" [ arroostoi (Greek #732)] have lost their strength by disease.

Sleep - in death: not a violent death; but the result of sickness, the Lord's chastening for the individual's salvation, the mind being brought to a right state on the sick-bed (1 Corinthians 11:32).


Verse 31

For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

If we would judge ourselves. 'Aleph (') A B Delta G f g, Vulgate, read 'But,' not 'For' (which C has). Translate 'if we discriminatingly judged (the same Greek as "discerning," 1 Corinthians 11:29) ourselves, we should not have been judged' [ ouk (Greek #3756) an (Greek #302) ekrinometha (Greek #2919)] - i:e., we should have escaped our present judgments (Job 34:31). In order to 'discriminatingly judge the Lord's body,' we need to 'discriminatingly judge ourselves.' A prescient warning against priestly absolution after auricular confession, as the necessary preliminary to the Lord's supper.


Verse 32

But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

Chastened (Revelation 3:19).

With the world - who, being bastards, are without chastening (Hebrews 12:8).


Verse 33

Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.

Tarry one for another - in contrast to 1 Corinthians 11:21. Not, 'give a share to one another,' for all the viands brought were common property; therefore, they should "tarry" until all met to partake of the common feast of fellowship (Theophylact).


Verse 34

And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.

If any man hunger - so as not to be able to 'tarry for others,' let him satisfy beforehand his hunger at home (1 Corinthians 11:22).

The rest - `the other questions you asked me as to the Lords supper.' Not other questions in general; for he subsequently sets in order other general questions.

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-corinthians-11.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 15th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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