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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Corinthians 11:3

But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.


Adam Clarke Commentary

The head of every man is Christ - The apostle is speaking particularly of Christianity and its ordinances: Christ is the Head or Author of this religion; and is the creator, preserver, and Lord of every man. The man also is the lord or head of the woman; and the Head or Lord of Christ, as Mediator between God and man, is God the Father. Here is the order - God sends his Son Jesus Christ to redeem man; Christ comes and lays down his life for the world; every man who receives Christianity confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father; and every believing woman will acknowledge, according to Genesis 3:16, that God has placed her in a dependence on and subjection to the man. So far there is no difficulty in this passage.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-corinthians-11.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

But I would have you know - “I invite your attention particularly to the following considerations, in order to form a correct opinion on this subject.” Paul does not at once answer the inquiry, and determine what ought to be done; but he invites their attention to a series of remarks on the subject, which led them to draw the conclusion which he wished to establish. The phrase here is designed to call the attention to the subject, like that used so often in the New Testament, “he that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

That the head … - The word “head,” in the Scriptures, is designed often to denote “master, ruler, chief.” The word ראשׁ ro'shis often thus used in the Old Testament; see Numbers 17:3; Numbers 25:15; Deuteronomy 28:13, Deuteronomy 28:44; Judges 10:18; Judges 11:8, Judges 11:11; 1 Samuel 15:17; 2 Samuel 22:44. In the New Testament the word is used in the sense of Lord, ruler, chief, in Ephesians 1:22; Ephesians 4:15; Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 2:10. Here it means that Christ is the ruler, director, or Lord of the Christian man. This truth was to be regarded in all their feelings and arrangements, and was never to be forgotten. Every Christian should recollect the relation in which he stands to him, as one that is suited to produce the strictest decorum, and a steady sense of subordination.

Of every man - Every Christian. All acknowledge Christ as their Ruler and Master. They are subject to him; and in all proper ways recognize their subordination to him.

And the head of the woman is the man - The sense is, she is subordinate to him, and in all circumstances - in her demeanor, her dress, her conversation, in public and in the family circle - should recognize her subordination to him. The particular thing here referred to is, that if the woman is inspired, and speaks or prays in public, she should by no means lay aside the usual and proper symbols of her subordination. The danger was, that those who were under the influence of inspiration would regard themselves as freed from the necessity of recognising that, and would lay aside the “veil,” the usual and appropriate symbol of their occupying a rank inferior to the man. This was often done in the temples of the pagan deities by the priestesses, and it would appear also that it had been done by Christian females in the churches.

And the head of Christ is God - Christ, as Mediator, has consented to assume a subordinate rank, and to recognize God the Father as superior in office. Hence, he was obedient in all things as a Son; he submitted to the arrangement required in redemption; he always recognized his subordinate rank as Mediator, and always regarded God as the supreme Ruler, even in the matter of redemption. The sense is, that Christ, throughout his entire work, regarded himself as occupying a subordinate station to the Father; and that it was proper from his example to recognize the propriety of rank and station everywhere.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-corinthians-11.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

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.

In the threefold step from woman to man to Christ to God, it may appear surprising that Paul began with the center stop; but there seems to have been a design in this. Paul, who was about to speak of the subordination of woman to her husband, would first speak to man with a reminder that he himself is subordinated to Christ the Lord. In Ephesians 5:22-33, Paul made it abundantly clear that the subjection of wives to their husbands was coupled with the sternest commandments with regard to the husband's duty to the wife.

In the current era, there are those who would set aside the apostolic authority regarding the question of the subordination of the wife to her husband; but the wisdom of the ages and also the word of God concur in teaching the necessity that every organism must have a head; and there cannot be any denial that in God's basic unit of all civilization and all progress, which is the family, the head must be either the man or the woman; and God here commanded man to fulfill that function of being the head of the family. If history has demonstrated anything, it is the truism that a matriarchal society is, by definition, inferior.

The head of Christ is God ... The equality of Christ with the Father is everywhere apparent in Scripture, as Paul himself said in Philippians 2:6; but, even so, the Godhead itself could not function in the project of human redemption without the subordination of the Son "for that purpose." Just so, the subordination of woman to her husband does not set aside the equality of both male and female "in Christ," but it is for the purpose of making the family a viable and successful unit. This verse makes the "headship of the man over the woman parallel to the leadership of God over Christ."[12] Thus the same equality, unity of purpose and unity of will, should exist between a man and his wife as exists between the Father and the Son.

ENDNOTE:

[12] J. W. McGarvey, op. cit., p. 109.


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/1-corinthians-11.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

But I would have you to know,.... Though they were mindful of him, and retained in memory many things he had declared among them, and kept the ordinances as delivered to them; yet there were some things in which they were either ignorant, or at least did not so well advert to, and needed to be put in mind of, and better informed about: and as the apostle was very communicative of his knowledge in every point, he fails not to acquaint them with whatsoever might be instructive to their faith, and a direction to their practice:

that the head of every man is Christ; Christ is the head of every individual human nature, as he is the Creator and Preserver of all men, and the donor of all the gifts of nature to them; of the light of nature, of reason, and of all the rational powers and faculties; he is the head of nature to all men, as he is of grace to his own people: and so he is as the Governor of all the nations of the earth, who whether they will or no are subject to him; and one day every knee shall bow to him, and every tongue confess that he is the Lord of all. Moreover, Christ is the head of every believing man; he is generally said to be the head of the church, and so of every man that is a member of it: he is a common public head, a representative one to all his elect; so he was in election, and in the covenant of grace; so he was in time, in his death, burial, resurrection, and ascension to, and entrance into heaven; and so he is now as an advocate and intercessor there: he is the political head of his people, or an head in such sense, as a king is the head of his nation: he is also an economical head, or in such sense an head as an husband is the head of his wife, and as a parent is the head of his family, and as a master is the head of his servants; for all these relations Christ sustains: yea, he is a natural head, or is that to his church, as an human head is to an human body: he is a true and proper head, is of the same nature with his body, is in union to it, communicates life to it, is superior to it, and more excellent than it. He is a perfect head, nothing is wanting in him; he knows all his people, and is sensible of their wants, and does supply them; his eye of love is always on them; his ears are open to their cries; he has a tongue to speak to them, and for them, which he uses; and he smells a sweet savour in them, in their graces and garments, though they are all his own, and perfumed by himself: there are no vicious humours in this head, flowing from thence to the body to its detriment, as from Adam to his posterity, whose head he was; but in Christ is no sin, nothing but grace, righteousness, and holiness, spring from him. There's no deformity nor deficiency in him; all fulness of grace dwells in him to supply the members of his body; he is an one, and only head, and an ever living and everlasting one.

And the head of the woman is the man, The man is first in order in being, was first formed, and the woman out of him, who was made for him, and not he for the woman, and therefore must be head and chief; as he is also with respect to his superior gifts and excellencies, as strength of body, and endowments of mind, whence the woman is called the weaker vessel; likewise with regard to pre-eminence or government, the man is the head; and as Christ is the head of the church, and the church is subject to him, so the husband is the head of the wife, and she is to be subject to him in everything natural, civil, and religious. Moreover, the man is the head of the woman to provide and care for her, to nourish and cherish her, and to protect and defend her against all insults and injuries.

And the head of Christ is God; that is, the Father, not as to his divine nature, for in respect to that they are one: Christ, as God, is equal to his Father, and is possessed of the same divine perfections with him; nor is his Father the head of him, in that sense; but as to his human nature, which he formed, prepared, anointed, upheld, and glorified; and in which nature Christ exercised grace on him, he hoped in him, he believed and trusted in him, and loved him, and yielded obedience to him; he always did the things that pleased him in life; he prayed to him; he was obedient to him, even unto death, and committed his soul or spirit into his hands: and all this he did as to his superior, considered in the human nature, and also in his office capacity as Mediator, who as such was his servant; and whose service he diligently and faithfully performed, and had the character from him of a righteous one; so that God is the head of Christ, as he is man and Mediator, and as such only.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-corinthians-11.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

2 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 a head of Christ [is] God.

(2) He sets down God, in Christ our mediator, as the end and mark not only of doctrine, but also of ecclesiastical comeliness. Then applying it to the question proposed, touching the comely apparel both of men and women in public assemblies, he declares that the woman is one degree beneath the man by the ordinance of God, and that the man is so subject to Christ, that the glory of God ought to appear in him for the preeminence of the sex.

(a) In that Christ is our mediator.


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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/1-corinthians-11.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

The Corinthian women, on the ground of the abolition of distinction of sexes in Christ, claimed equality with the male sex, and, overstepping the bounds of propriety, came forward to pray and prophesy without the customary head-covering of females. The Gospel, doubtless, 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 the retiring modesty in public which becomes them. He grounds his reproof here on the subjection of woman to man in the order of creation.

the head — an appropriate expression, when he is about to treat of woman‘s appropriate headdress in public.

of every man … Christ — (Ephesians 5:23).

of … woman … man — (1 Corinthians 11:8; Genesis 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:11, 1 Timothy 2:12; 1 Peter 3:1, 1 Peter 3:5, 1 Peter 3:6).

head of Christ is God — (1 Corinthians 3:23; 1 Corinthians 15:27, 1 Corinthians 15:28; Luke 3:22, Luke 3:38; John 14:28; John 20:17; Ephesians 3:9). “Jesus, therefore, must be of the same essence as God: for, since the man is the head of the woman, and since the head is of the same essence as the body, and God is the head of the Son, it follows the Son is of the same essence as the Father” [Chrysostom]. “The woman is of the essence of the man, and not made by the man; so, too, the Son is not made by the Father, but of the essence of the Father” [Theodoret, t. 3, p. 171].


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/1-corinthians-11.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

But I would have you know (τελω δε υμας ειδεναιthelō de humas eidenai). But I wish you to know, censure in contrast to the praise in 1 Corinthians 11:2.

The head of Christ is God (κεπαλη του Χριστου ο τεοςkephalē tou Christou ho theos). Rather, God is the head of Christ, since κεπαληkephalē is anarthrous and predicate.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/1-corinthians-11.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

I would have you know — He does not seem to have given them any order before concerning this.

The head of every man — Particularly every believer.

Is Christ, and the head of Christ is God — Christ, as he is Mediator, acts in all things subordinately to his Father. But we can no more infer that they are not of the same divine nature, because God is said to be the head of Christ, than that man and woman are not of the same human nature, because the man is said to be the head of the woman.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-corinthians-11.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

3.But I would have you know It is an old proverb: “Evil manners beget good laws.” (618) As the rite here treated of had not been previously called in question, Paul had given no enactment respecting it. (619) The error of the Corinthians was the occasion of his showing, what part it was becoming to act in this matter. With the view of proving, that it is an unseemly thing for women to appear in a public assembly with their heads uncovered, and, on the other hand, for men to pray or prophesy with their heads covered, he sets out with noticing the arrangements that are divinely established.

He says, that as Christ is subject to God as his head, so is the man subject to Christ, and the woman to the man We shall afterwards see, how he comes to infer from this, that women ought to have their heads covered. Let us, for the present, take notice of those four gradations which he points out. God, then, occupies the first place: Christ holds the second place. How so? Inasmuch as he has in our flesh made himself subject to the Father, for, apart from this, being of one essence with the Father, he is his equal. Let us, therefore, bear it in mind, that this is spoken of Christ as mediator. He is, I say, inferior to the Father, inasmuch as he assumed our nature, that he might be the first-born among many brethren.

There is somewhat more of difficulty in what follows. Here the man is placed in an intermediate position between Christ and the woman, so that Christ is not the head of the woman. Yet the same Apostle teaches us elsewhere, (Galatians 3:28,) that in Christ there is neither male nor female. Why then does he make a distinction here, which in that passage he does away with? I answer, that the solution of this depends on the connection in which the passages occur. When he says that there is no difference between the man and the woman, he is treating of Christ’s spiritual kingdom, in which individual distinctions (620) are not regarded, or made any account of; for it has nothing to do with the body, and has nothing to do with the outward relationships of mankind, but has to do solely with the mind — on which account he declares that there is no difference, even between bond and free. In the meantime, however, he does not disturb civil order or honorary distinctions, which cannot be dispensed with in ordinary life. Here, on the other hand, he reasons respecting outward propriety and decorum — which is a part of ecclesiastical polity. Hence, as regards spiritual connection in the sight of God, and inwardly in the conscience, Christ is the head of the man and of the woman without any distinction, because, as to that, there is no regard paid to male or female; but as regards external arrangement and political decorum, the man follows Christ and the woman the man, so that they are not upon the same footing, but, on the contrary, this inequality exists. Should any one ask, what connection marriage has with Christ, I answer, that Paul speaks here of that sacred union of pious persons, of which Christ is the officiating priest, (621) and He in whose name it is consecrated.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/1-corinthians-11.html. 1840-57.

Vv. 3. "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is the Christ; and the man is [the] head of the woman; and God [the] head of the Christ."

The δέ is adversative: but; Paul proceeds to a point to which the eulogy he has just passed does not apply.

One is tempted to ask, as he reads the following sentences, why the apostle thinks it necessary to take things on so high a level, and to connect what is apparently so secondary a matter with relations so exalted as those of man with Christ, and of Christ with God. To explain his method, we must bear in mind the pride of the Corinthians, who thought they knew everything, and whom the apostle wishes, no doubt, to teach that they have yet something to learn: "I would have you know." It is likely enough, from 1 Corinthians 11:16, that the ultra-liberals of Corinth spoke with a certain disdain of the ecclesiastical prescriptions left by the apostle, and that in the name of the Spirit some claimed to throw his rules overboard. Paul would give them to understand that everything hangs together in one, both in good and in evil; that unfaithfulness to the Divine order, even in things most external, may involve an assault on the most sublime relations, and that the pious keeping up of proprieties, even in these things, is an element of Christian holiness. Hence he begins with placing this special point in the life of the Church under the light of the two holiest analogies that can be conceived, and in which he shows the revelation of a Divine order. Those who criticise him presumptuously will thus be able to understand whence he derives the rules which he lays down in the Church.

There exist three relations, which together form a sort of hierarchy: lowest in the scale, the purely human relation between man and woman; higher, the Divine-human relation between Christ and man; highest in the scale, the purely Divine relation between God and Christ. The common term whereby Paul characterizes these three relations is κεφαλή (hence our word chief), head. This figurative term includes two ideas: community of life, and inequality within this community. So between the man and the woman: by the bond of marriage there is formed between them the bond of a common life, but in such a way that the one is the strong and directing element, the other the receptive and dependent element. The same is the case in the relation between Christ and the man. Formed by the bond of faith, it also establishes a community of life, in which there are distinguished an active and directing principle, and a receptive and directed factor. An analogous relation appears higher still in the mystery of the Divine essence. By the bond of filiation, there is between Christ and God communiön of Divine life, but such that impulse proceeds from the Father, and that "the Son does nothing but what he sees the Father do" (John 5:19).

The relation between Christ and the man is put first. It is, so to speak, the link of union between the other two, reflecting the sublimity of the one and marking the other with a sacred character, which should secure it from the violence with which it is threatened. The only question is whether, as has been thought by Hofmann, Holsten, etc., the point in question is the natural relation between Christ and man, due to the dignity of the pre-existing Christ as creator (Hofmann), or as the heavenly Man, the prototype of earthly humanity (Holsten),—or whether, as is held by Meyer, Heinrici, etc., Paul means to describe the relation between Christ and men by redemption. The expression: every man, seems to speak in favour of the first sense; and the passages 1 Corinthians 8:6 and 1 Corinthians 10:4 might serve to confirm this meaning. Christ as having been the organ of creation, is the head of every man created in His image, believing or unbelieving. But 1 Corinthians 11:4-5 seem to me to prove that Paul is thinking not of man in general, but of the Christian husband. "Every man..., every woman who prays, who prophesies...," this can only apply to believers. It is from 1 Corinthians 11:7 that Paul passes from the spiritual order to the domain of creation in general. What is true in the first sense, is that every man is ordained to believe in Christ and to take Him for his head, that is to say, to become a Christian husband.

The article is to be remarked with κεφαλή in the first proposition (it is wanting in the other two). This arises, no doubt, from the fact that the man may have many other heads than Christ; the article serves to point out Christ as the only normal head. In the other two relations, this was understood of itself.

This relation belonging to the kingdom of God has for its counterpart in the family the relation between husband and wife. Paul is here thinking chiefly of the natural and social relation, in virtue of which the husband directs and the wife is in a position of subordination. But this natural relation is not abolished by the life of faith; on the contrary, it takes hold of it and sanctifies it. Must we conclude, from the term used by Paul, that the Christian wife has not also Christ for her head, in respect of her eternal personality? By no means; salvation in Christ is the same for the wife as for the husband, and the bond by which she is united to Christ does not differ from that which unites the man to the Lord. The saying: "Ye are branches, I am the vine," applies to the one sex as much as to the other. But from the standpoint of the earthly manifestation and of social position, the woman, even under the gospel economy, preserves her subordinate position. There will come a day when the distinction between the sexes will cease (Luke 20:34-36). But that day does not belong to the terrestrial form of the kingdom of God. As long as the present physical constitution of humanity lasts, the subordinate position of the woman will remain, even in the Christian woman. As the child realizes its communion with the Lord in the form of filial obedience to its parents, the Christian mother realizes her communion with the Lord in the form of subordination to her husband, without her communion being thereby less direct and close than his. The husband is not between her and the Lord; she is subject to him in the Lord; it is in Him that she loves him, and it is by aiding him that she lives for the Lord. If from the social standpoint she is his wife, from the standpoint of redemption she is his sister. Thus are harmonized these two sayings proceeding from the same pen: "In Christ there is neither male nor female," and: "The husband is the head of the wife."

These two relations, that of Christ to the man, and that of the man to his wife, rest on a law which flows from the nature of God Himself. In the oneness of the Divine essence there are found these two poles, the one directive, the other dependent: God and Christ. Paul evidently desires to rise to the highest point, above which we can conceive nothing. Some, like Heinrici, Edwards, etc., think that this expression: the head of Christ, can only apply to the Christ incarnate. But if the relation were thus understood, one of the two essential features would be wanting, indicated by the term head, and which characterize the two preceding relations: community of life and nature. We cannot, therefore, confine this saying to the Lord"s human nature, and we think there is no ground for shrinking from the notion of subordination applied to the Divine being of Christ; see on 1 Corinthians 3:23. This idea of the subordination of Christ, conceived as a pre-existent being (1 Corinthians 8:6, 1 Corinthians 10:4), springs out of the terms Son and Word, by which He is designated, as well as from the very passages where the divinity of Christ is most clearly affirmed (Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:2-3; John 1:1; John 1:18; Revelation 1:1). Holsten thinks that he escapes all difficulty by bringing in here the idea of Christ as the heavenly Man, according to the discovery made by Baur by means of the passage 1 Corinthians 15:45 seq. It is very certain that had it not been found in that passage, nobody would have extracted it from the one we are explaining. For the examination of this conception ascribed to Paul, we shall therefore refer to the passage quoted.

Thus, then, in the apostle"s view, the relation between husband and wife in marriage is a reflection of that which unites Christ and the believer, as this again reproduces the still more sublime relation which exists between God and His manifestation in the person of Christ. Paul certainly could not say more in the Epistle to the Ephesians to express a higher notion of marriage than these words. M. Sabatier, expounding the idea of marriage in the Epistle to the Ephesians, says: "Husband and wife form an indissoluble organic unity." Exactly; but can this "indissoluble unity" be more forcibly expressed than by comparing it, as Paul does in our passage, to the unity of Christ with the believer and of God with Christ? M. Sabatier adds, still expounding the contents of Ephesians: "The one does not reach the fulness of existence without the other." Certainly; but is not this exactly what Paul teaches here in 1 Corinthians 11:11-12 : "The man is not without the woman in the Lord, nor the woman without the man." And on such grounds a progress is alleged as having taken place in Paul"s ideas on marriage, in the interval between the Epistle to the Corinthians and that to the Ephesians!

After recognising, as a principle which controls all community of life, Divine and human, that duality of factors, the one active, the other receptive, which forms the basis of marriage, the apostle passes by an asyndeton to the application which he wishes to make of it to the case in question at Corinth.


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Bibliography
Godet, Frédéric Louis. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". "Frédéric Louis Godet - Commentary on Selected Books". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsc/1-corinthians-11.html.

Scofield's Reference Notes

woman

Cf. Genesis 3:16. The woman's veil, or head-covering, is a symbol of this subordination.


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Bibliography
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on 1 Corinthians 11:3". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/1-corinthians-11.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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.

Ver. 3. The head of the woman is man] Were it not an ill sight to see the shoulders above the head, the woman usurp authority over the man αυθεντειν, 1 Timothy 2:12. A prudent wife commands her husband by obeying, as did Livia.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-corinthians-11.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

1 Corinthians 11:3. And the head of Christ is God When God is said to be the head of Christ, it relates to office constitution; and we can no more infer thence, that they are not partakers of the same divine nature, than that man and woman are not of the same human nature, when the man is said to be the head of the woman: but as there is a difference in order and authority between the man and the woman; so there is between God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ, in that constitution, by which he, in his office capacity, is both head and Lord of all.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/1-corinthians-11.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Here our apostle answers the query, and resolves the case which the Corinthians had put to him, and laid before him, about church-order, and concerning the decent behaviour of men and women in church- assemblies.

And first he reminds them, that a subordination of persons in the church of God ought to be observed and kept: that as Christ, as Mediator, is inferior to God the Father, but is the head and lord of all men, as Creator and Redeemer; so the man is the head of the woman, and as such she must show her subjection unto the man. As Christ, as Mediator, acts in subordination to the Father, so must the woman act in subordination to the man.

The Socinians would wrest this text to confirm them in their blasphemous denial of the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. "Here, say they, the apostle declares that the head of Christ is God. Now the most high God can have no head above him; therefore Christ, who hath an head above him, cannot be the most high God."

The modern and general answer is, that God is here called the head of Christ as Mediator, in which relation he received his kingdom from him, and exercises it for him; and therefore is elsewhere styled the Father's servant, Behold my servant, &c. because he doth all things according to his Father's will, and with a fixed eye to his Father's glory.

But the ancients reply to this objection thus: "That God is said to be the head of Christ, as he is the Father of the Son, and so the cause of him; and as the woman is of the same nature with the man, who is her head, so is Christ of the same nature with God the Father, who is here called his head: The head of Christ is God."


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Bibliography
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/1-corinthians-11.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

3.] “It appears, that the Christian women at Corinth claimed for their sex an equality with the other, taking occasion by the doctrine of Christian freedom and abolition of sexual distinctions in Christ (Galatians 3:28). The gospel unquestionably did much for the emancipation of women, who in the East and among the Ionian Greeks (not among the Dorians and the Romans) were kept in unworthy dependence. Still this was effected in a quiet and gradual manner; whereas in Corinth they seem to have taken up the cause of female independence somewhat too eagerly. The women over-stepped the bounds of their sex, in coming forward to pray and to prophesy in the assembled church with uncovered heads. Both of these the Apostle disapproved,—as well their coming forward to pray and to prophesy, as their removing the veil: here however he blames the latter practice only, and reserves the former till ch. 1 Corinthians 14:34. In order to confine the women to their true limits, he reminds them of their subjection to the man, to whom again he assigns his place in the spiritual order of creation, and traces this precedence up to God Himself.” De Wette.

παντὸς ἀνδρός] ‘of every Christian man’ (as Chrys., al., Meyer, De W.), certainly,—and for such the Apostle was writing: but not only of every Christian man: the Headship of Christ is over all things to His Church, Ephesians 1:22, and thus He is Head of every man. The word κεφαλή in each case means the head next above. This must be borne in mind, for Christ is THE HEAD of the Christian woman, as well as of the Christian man. God is the Head of Christ, not only according to His human Nature: the Son is, in his Sonship, necessarily subordinate to the Father: see ch. 1 Corinthians 3:23, note, and ch. 1 Corinthians 15:28. From χριστός, the order descends first: then, in order to complete the whole, ascends up to God.

Observe that though (Galatians 3:28) the distinction of the sexes is abolished in Christ, as far as the offer of and standing in grace is concerned, yet for practical purposes, and for order and seemliness, it subsists and must be observed.


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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/1-corinthians-11.html. 1863-1878.

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

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.


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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/1-corinthians-11.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

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.


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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/1-corinthians-11.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The abuse which the apostle is reflecting upon in this and the following verses, is women’s praying or prophesying with their heads uncovered, against which the apostle strongly argues. His argument seems to be this: That the woman in religious services ought to behave herself as a person in subjection to her husband, and accordingly to use such a gesture, as, according to the guise and custom of that country, testified such a subjection; to this purpose he tells us in this verse,

that the head of every man is Christ. Christ, considered as God according to his Divine nature, is the Head of all men and women too in the world; but the text seemeth rather to speak of Christ as Mediator: so the apostle tells us, Ephesians 5:23, he is

the Head of the church; and the New Testament often speaks of Christ in that notion, and of believers as his members: in this sense, by every man, we must understand no more than every Christian, every member of the church.

The head of the woman is the man; the man is called the head of the woman, because by God’s ordinance he is to rule over her, Genesis 3:16; he hath an excellency above the woman, and a power over her.

The head of Christ is God; and God is the Head of Christ, not in respect of his essence and Divine nature, but in respect of his office as Mediator; as the man is the head of the woman, not in respect of a different and more excellent essence and nature, (for they are both of the same nature), but in respect of office and place, as God hath set him over the woman. Nor indeed could those who deny the Divine nature of Christ, easily have brought a text more against their own assertion, than this, which rather proveth, that God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ are equal in nature and essence, than different; for surely the head is not of a different, but the same nature and essence with the members. Nor doth Christ’s subjection to his Father at all argue an inequality, or difference from him in nature and essence, more than the subjection of subjects to a prince argue any such thing. The apostle then determines this to be the order which God hath set: God is the Head of Christ; Christ is the Head of his church, and every one that is a member of it; and man is the head of the woman, he to whom the woman ought to be subject. as the church is subject to Christ, and Christ is subject to his Father; and from hence he argues as follows.


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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-corinthians-11.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Head; rightful governor or ruler.

The head of Christ is God; in the work of redemption, Christ, as Mediator, was subject to the Father, and acted in obedience to him. So Christians should be subject to Christ, and the woman to the man. It is the will of God that there should be a difference of condition, and this requires a difference in their appearance.


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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". "Family Bible New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/1-corinthians-11.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

3. θέλω δὲ ὑμᾶς εἰδέναι. According to St Paul’s invariable rule, the question is argued and settled upon the first principles of the Christian Revelation. ‘Order is heaven’s first law.’ And no assembly of Christians is rightly constituted where this principle is put out of sight.

κεφαλή. ‘In the idea of this word dominion is especially expressed. As in the human organization the exercise of dominion over all the members proceeds from the head; so in the family, from man; in the Church, from Christ; in the universe, from God.’ Olshausen.

ὁ Χριστός. See Ephesians 1:22; Ephesians 4:15; Ephesians 5:21-33; Colossians 1:18; Colossians 2:19. As the head directs the body, so ought every member of Christ’s Body to be governed and directed by Christ.

κεφαλὴ δὲ γυναικὸς ὁ ἀνήρ. Cf. Ephesians 5:23. ‘It appears that the Christian women at Corinth claimed for themselves equality with the male sex, to which the doctrine of Christian freedom and the removal of the distinction of sex in Christ (Galatians 3:28) gave occasion. Christianity had indisputably done much for the emancipation of women, who in the East and among the Ionic Greeks (it was otherwise among the Dorians and the Romans) were in a position of unworthy dependence. But this was done in a quiet, not an over-hasty manner. In Corinth, on the contrary, they had apparently taken up the matter in a fashion somewhat too animated. The women overstepped due bounds by coming forward to pray and prophesy in the assemblies with uncovered head.’ De Wette. Such persons are here reminded that according to God’s word (Genesis 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:12-13) woman was designed to be in subjection, both in society and in the family. Of this last, woman’s chief sphere, man was, by God’s ordinance, the head. Yet (see below, 1 Corinthians 11:5) she is on an equality with man in her individual relation to Christ.

κεφαλὴ δὲ τοῦ Χριστοῦ ὁ θεός. The whole universe is one system of orderly gradation from God downwards. Even Christ is no exception to the rule. The Eternal Son derives His Being from the Eternal Father, and in His equality still does not reject subordination. Cf. John 14:28, also ch. 1 Corinthians 3:23, and 1 Corinthians 15:27-28. The Apostle proceeds to shew that nature and revelation alike proclaim the principle, which should therefore find expression in the assemblies of the Christian Church.


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"Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/1-corinthians-11.html. 1896.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

3. Head of every man—Of every Christian, says Grotius. Yet in the redemption Christ has a headship of the race. See notes on Romans 5:12-21. Here, however, as a harmonious ruling and obeyed headship is implied, Grotius’s limitation is correct. Of every man, by Paul addressed, the Head was Christ.

The headship of our Lord over the Christian man is a headship of divine authority, in which, however, when complete and perfect, the authority merges into a blessed spontaneity and concurrence of wills. Such is the apostle’s view of marriage, of which the union of Christ and his Church is the type. A divinely-constituted headship similarly belongs to the husband in the family; but the true idea of the family is a unity of love, in which the command is the expression of the common happiness, and obedience is a loving concurrence of wills. If the realization of the idea is seldom complete, that is true of all sublunary constitutions, arising from the jars of sin.

The man—That to the masculine side of humanity (as of all other living races of beings) belongs the force, the executive endowment, and the consequent headship, is plain to every eye that looks at male and female through all animated nature as they are created. It is shown in every quality of their respective human frames. Size of brain and body; strength of bone, fibre, and nerve; tendencies of instinct, feeling, and will; all proclaim that man should bear the brunt of the battle of life, and, therefore, must plan the campaign and order the particular manoeuvres. To talk of equality here contradicts God and nature. It is one of “the rights of woman,” as it is one of the instincts, to retire to the rear of the fight, and live under the protection of a stronger arm than her own. It is one of her “rights” to lean on that arm for aid, and to look to that head to plan for her well-being.

And to this it is the noblest instinct of man that responds. It is the thought of wife and children, rather than thought of self, that prompts the soldier to the fiercest bravery, or the labourer to his cruelest toil. He can bear any thing; but how subject the tender ones at home to hardship, disgrace, or disgusts. To win for her at home honour, ornament, and happiness, is the crown of his own enjoyments. The whole history of civilization shows that the robust thought and toil are man’s. The pyramids, the temples, the capitoliums, the city walls and towers, the aqueducts and bridges, the railways and telegraphs, are all the products of man’s hand and brain. The battles by him are fought, and by consequence to him belong (save in exceptional instances) the diplomacies, the senates, the cabinets, and the executive chairs. In short, to man belongs, by nature and by God, the national as well as the domestic rule. If in a free government woman should ever possess the right of suffrage, it would be (like her consent or her veto in accepting or rejecting an offered husband) rather the particular right to choose her ruler than a power to rule.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-corinthians-11.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

'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.'

But he is dissatisfied about their attitude towards authority, and especially of that of the women towards the men who are over the church, and possibly at their actual behaviour when prophesying. They were failing to recognise God's order of things revealed at creation. He thus lays down regulations concerning women being 'covered'. As he will make clear this is not just a matter of religious custom. Their very failure is symptomatic of what is wrong in the Corinthian church, the lack of recognition of general authority.

He first establishes the doctrinal position. The Christ is the head of every man, the man is the head of the woman, and the head of Christ is God. The last phrase establishes the basis of what we are talking about. In creation there is a defined order. Over all is the triune God. 'The Christ' came from God, emptying Himself of His Godhood and of His equality within the Godhead (Philippians 2:5-7), and fulfilling the task of redemption allocated to Him as true Man. He made a voluntary submission, and gladly took a subsidiary role. Becoming Man it was as Man that He acknowledged God as His Head, both as 'over Him' and as the source from which He came, so that having accomplished His divine mission He might then return to God and submit all things to Him (1 Corinthians 15:24). Thus Christ voluntarily placed Himself in a position of submission. He Who was the Creator of the world, chose to place Himself in submission to the Godhead, so that the Godhead was the 'Head' of Christ in this regard. That is, God is the One Who is set over Christ in His manhood and mission, and Who is the source from which He came. And Christ deliberately humbled Himself to that end, acknowledging a head over Him in His role.

The mention of this relationship is important both in itself and because it defines the other relationships. Christ was in voluntary and joyous submission to God. He sought only to do what pleased Him. There was no thought of constraint or of being taken advantage of. God did not lord it over Christ. Christ did not resent His position in any way. He had voluntarily become man and a servant and He gladly walked the way of submission that He had chosen. It was submission to love, and in love, not to tyranny.

Then, secondly, Christ is the Head of every man. As appointed by God to His task He is in authority over all men as the King over the Kingly Rule of God, and is the source of their life. All therefore are in submission to Him, and owe all to Him. He is both their ruler and the source of their life, their Head, and as such is the One to whom they should respond in obedience. But He expressed that headship in washing their feet. His whole concern in every moment of His life was for the good of those who were in submission to Him. While He could simply have demanded all, He gave all.

Then, thirdly, we have man as the image of God over creation, and therefore over woman who was created for his benefit, assistance and blessing. Man is head of womankind and lord of creation. His wife should be in responsive submission to him as his 'right hand woman', as Christ was to God, set apart as his main helpmeet in his task, living in voluntary submission following the example of Christ. This is confirmed by the fact that at creation man was the source of her being and had authority over her. She came from his side and is his helpmeet and his first minister, to whom he looks for assistance in fulfilling his own responsibilities before God. The whole line downwards demonstrates that this was not in order to make him a tyrannical despot, for God is not the tyrannical despot of Christ, and Christ is not the tyrannical despot of man. So, in the same way, man is not to be the tyrannical despot of the woman. She contains his life. She produces life, producing both man and woman from her body. The relationship is to be one of love, consideration, co-operation and thoughtfulness. The man is to be concerned for the woman and seeking her highest good. Nevertheless respectful submission remains at the differing levels and was to be seen in the case of man and woman as established at creation.

The use of 'head' (kephale) to depict both lordship and life source was necessary in order to incorporate both ideas. No other word would have achieved the same. Compare Colossians 1:18.

So here we have depicted God’s plan of salvation in its fullness beginning with God Who produced His deputy, the God-man Christ, the great Mediator, Who produced His deputy man and gave man his deputy, woman. These are over all creation and the grades of descent are clear.


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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/1-corinthians-11.html. 2013.

Joseph Beet's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

1 Corinthians 11:3. An important general principle, set up as a platform of approach to the specific matter of § 20.

The head: placed by God above the body but in closest and vital union with it, to direct its action. The same word in Ephesians 1:22; Ephesians 4:15; Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18; Colossians 2:19 suggests that every man refers only to believers, whom alone in 1 Corinthians 11, Paul has in view. For, although the headship of Christ rests originally upon our creation “in Him” and “through Him and for Him,” (Colossians 1:16,) yet only those who believe are vitally joined to Him.

Head of woman: i.e. immediate head. For Christ is Head of the whole Church. Woman is placed by God under the rule and direction of the man. This is most conspicuously true of husband and wife. But since marriage is but a fulfillment of God's purpose in the creation of the sexes, these words are true of the sexes generally.

Head of Christ: even touching his divine nature. For the Eternal Son, though equal (John 16:15) to the Father is yet (John 5:26; John 6:57) derived from and therefore (1 Corinthians 15:28) for ever subject to, Him. Of this eternal subordination, the eternal devotion and the historic obedience of the Son to the Father are an outflow. See under 1 Corinthians 3:23; 1 Corinthians 8:6. Notice that the headship is an objective relationship on which (Ephesians 5:22 f) rests an obligation to obedience.

Before he warns women not to seek to escape, even in the matter of dress, from the subordinate position of their sex, Paul reminds them that order and subordination are a law of the kingdom of God; that the husband is himself under the direction of Christ; and that even within the divine Trinity the Son is, in accordance with the law of His being, obedient to the Father.


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Beet, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". Joseph Beet's Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jbc/1-corinthians-11.html. 1877-90.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

"But" indicates that things were not quite as Paul thought they should be. He began dealing with his subject by reminding the Corinthians again (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:23; 1 Corinthians 8:6) of God"s administrative order. This is the order through which He has chosen to conduct His dealings with humans.

Jesus Christ is the head of every male human being (Gr. aner). Second, the male is the head of woman (Gr. gune). This Greek word for woman is very broad and covers women of any age, virgins, married women, or widows. Paul used it earlier in this epistle of a wife ( 1 Corinthians 7:3-4; 1 Corinthians 7:10-12; 1 Corinthians 7:14; 1 Corinthians 7:16). In this chapter it evidently refers to any woman who was in a dependent relationship to a man such as a wife to a husband or a daughter to a father. Paul probably did not mean every woman universally since he said the male is the head of woman, or a woman, but not the woman. He was evidently not talking about every relationship involving men and women, for example the relationship between men and women in the workplace. Third, God the Father is the head of God the Son. This shows that headship exists even within the Godhead.

The New Testament uses the term "head" (Gr. kephale) to describe headship in two ways. Sometimes it describes origin (source), and other times it describes authority (leader). Some scholars favor one interpretation and others the other. [Note: For helpful studies, see Stephen Bedale, "The Meaning of kephale in the Pauline Epistles," Journal of Theological Studies NS5 (1954):211-15; Paul S. Fiddes, ""Woman"s Head Is Man:" A Doctrinal Reflection upon a Pauline Text," Baptist Quarterly31:8 (October1986):370-83; Wayne Grudem, "Does kephale ("Head") Mean "Source" or "Authority Over" in Greek Literature? A survey of2 ,336 Examples," Trinity Journal6NS (1985):38-59; idem. "The Meaning of kephale: A Response to Recent Studies," Trinity Journal11NS (1990):3-72; and idem, "The Meaning of kephale ("head"): An Evaluation of New Evidence, Real and Alleged," Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society44:1 (March2001):25-65.] Both meanings are true to reality, so it is difficult to decide what Paul meant here.

In favor of the origin view, it is true that Christ created mankind, Eve came from Adam, and Christ came from the Father in the Incarnation to provide redemption. In favor of the authority view, humanity is under Christ"s authority, God created woman under man"s authority, and the Son is under the Father"s authority. The idea of origin is more fundamental than that of authority. Also "head" occurs later in this passage with the idea of source ( 1 Corinthians 11:8; 1 Corinthians 11:12), so origin may be the preferable idea here too. [Note: Barrett, p248.]


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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/1-corinthians-11.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

1 Corinthians 11:3. But (since on this point you may need further direction) I would have you know that the head of every man (‘male’) is Christ. Though this is true universally—for “He hath given Him power over all flesh, “and to be” Head over all things to the Church,” it is of Christians that the apostle is here speaking—in whose case it is used in a higher sense—and more particularly of the male sex.

and the head of the woman (under Christ) is the man, and the head of Christ is God—considered as the Father’s Servant (Isaiah 42:1, Isa 53:13), in which capacity He spake when He said, “I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou hast given me to do” (John 17:4). “Though He was a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered,” and “became obedient even unto death.” It is in this aspect of mutual relation in the work of redemption that “the Head of Christ is God”—with which His proper Personal Divinity is in entire harmony. These general truths are now applied to the case in hand.


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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/1-corinthians-11.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

1 Corinthians 11:3. θέλω δὲ ὑμᾶς εἰδέναι (= οὐ θέλω κ. τ. λ. of 1 Corinthians 10:1; see note): “But I would have you know”—the previous commendation throws into relief the coming censure. The indecorum in question offends against a foundation principle, viz., that of subordination under the Divine government; this the Cor(1598), with all their knowledge, cannot “know,” or they would not have allowed their women to throw off the ἐξουσία ἐπὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς (1 Corinthians 11:10). The violated principle is thus stated: “Of every man the Christ is the head, while the man is head of woman, and God is head of Christ”. As to the wording of this sentence: παντὸς ἀνδρὸς bears emphasis in the 1st clause asserting, like the parl(1599) 2nd clause, a universal truth which holds of the man (vir) as such; the predicate of the 1st clause is distinguished by the def. art(1600),—“Christ is the (proper, essential) head,” etc. (cf. εἰρήνη, Ephesians 2:14, and see Bm(1601), pp. 124 f.); χριστός, in James , 3 rd clauses, means “the Christ” in the wide scope of His offices (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:4, 1 Corinthians 12:12, 1 Corinthians 15:22); for anarthrous κεφαλὴ γυναικός, cf. note on 1 Corinthians 2:5. That Christ is “every man’s” true head is an application of the revealed truth that He is the “one Lord” of created nature (1 Corinthians 8:6; Colossians 1:15 f.), combined with the palpable fact that the ἀνὴρ has no (intervening) lord in creation (cf. 9); he stands forth in worship, amidst his family, with no visible superior, holding headship direct from his Maker, and brought by his manhood into direct responsibility to Him “through whom are all things”. Ed(1602), following Cm(1603) and Mr(1604) (not Hn(1605)), limits this manly subordination to the Christian order of life; “the man is head of the woman in virtue of the marriage union, Christ of the man in virtue of union with Him through faith”: but faith is common to the sexes, on this footing οὐκ ἔνι ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ (Galatians 3:28); on the other hand, in Pauline theology, the law of marriage and the social order are grounded in Christ. Paul’s argument has no force unless the parl(1606) assertions rest on a common basis. The question is one that touches the fundamental proprieties of life (1 Corinthians 11:8-15); and the three headships enumerated belong to the hierarchy of nature.—“The Christ” of the 3rd clause is “the Christ” of the 1st, without distinction made of natures or states; He who is “every man’s head,” the Lord of nature, presents the pattern of loyalty in His perfect obedience to the Father (1 Corinthians 15:28, Galatians 4:4; Hebrews 5:5; Hebrews 5:8, etc.); cf. 1 Corinthians 3:22 f., where with the same δέδὲ a chain of subordinate possession is drawn out, corresponding to this subordination of rule. Submission in office, whether of woman to man or Christ to God, consists with equality of nature.


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Bibliography
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/1-corinthians-11.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

===============================

[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Debet mulier potestatem habere super caput suum, Greek: exousian, but some Greek copies have Greek: peribolaion, cinctorium, velum.

===============================

[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Nec ipsa natura docet vos. I do not find an interrogation in the Latin copies, as it is marked in the Greek, Greek: oude didaskei umas. The rest of the text seems to be better connected, if we read it with an interrogation.


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-corinthians-11.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

1 Corinthians 11:3 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.

"But I would have you know"-"I want you to understand."(NASV); "But there is one matter I want to remind you about." (Tay)

Points to Note:

1. Lenski feels that in reference to the head-covering the Corinthians were in perfect agreement with Paul. This was one "tradition" they were keeping. And that Paul in verses 3-16, simply states the reasons why they should continue in the practice. He believes that the "contentious" ones referred to in .."is the thought that a few contentious voices had been raised in Corinth which either merely questioned the necessity of the women covering their heads or advocated that they leave them uncovered. The congregation and the body of the women in it were not yet disturbed." (p. 430)

2. Others place quite a bit of emphasis on the first word of , "but" (even though the NIV translates this Greek word, "now"). Fee says, "the "but" with which this argument begins suggests that some things are not quite as the Corinthians had portrayed them." (p. 501)

3. Willis feels.."I suggest that some among the women in Corinthians church had decided that they could cast aside all symbols of subjection to men since "there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ." (Galatians 3:28)...From what I can gather, the women must have been in the midst of a small women"s liberation movement there in Corinth..Thus, the primary thrust of this passage pertains to subjection. To persuade the women not to cast aside their symbol of subjection, Paul made six arguments." (p. 354)

In support of the view that some women in Corinth misinterpreted "all one in Christ", the following points could be offered: (1) Another problem/misunderstanding or abuse fits into the overall context of the letter. (2) The basic premise that Paul lays down as he starts this section (), which includes "the man is the head of a woman". (3) The instruction to a certain group of women in 14:34-35.

***While we need to discuss various side issues in this section, especially concerning the covering, I hope we won"t lose sight of the main points in this section.**** McGuiggan reminds us, "In this whole section the wearing of a veil is a secondary issue. It becomes important only because at that time and in that place it was related to a foundational and permanent truth: the subjection of woman to man." (p. 143)***

"that the head of every man is Christ"-

"head"-"Headship stresses leadership, prior authority..It seems clear that the passage is teaching the subordination principle. Men are subordinate to Christ. Women are subordinate to men. Christ is subordinate to his Father. No one is suggesting that the subordination of each one is of exactly the same kind, degree or expression. But surely, we mustn"t go so deep into the text so that when we come out we have nothing whatever to say about it." (McGuiggan p. 146)

"every man"-every man is subject to Christ, whether he recognizes that fact or not. (Ephesians 1:20-22; 1 Corinthians 15:27; Philippians 2:9-11)

"It is entirely contrary to fact that women should seek to be like men on the supposition that men are independent. The men are not at all independent--their head is Christ." (Lenski p.433)

Point to Note:

Recently some have tried to argue that the word "head" means "source" or "origin". While Christ is the source of man (John 1:3; Colossians 1:15), and man could be viewed as the source of woman (1 Corinthians 11:8); it would be false teaching to claim that "God is the source/origin of Christ". For Christ is God (John 1:1), and is thereby eternal.

"When I first heard the argument..that the primary meaning of "head"..is source, my immediate reaction was, "If that be true, then, according to 1 Corinthians 11:3, the Son of God is a created being!" [Note: _ "Man is the "Head" of Woman. Gene Frost. Gospel Anchor. July 1993 p. (203) 3. Brother Frost then cites quite a number of Greek authorities that conclusively prove the point, that the Greek word (kephale"), as a metaphor, is consistently defined by lexicographers as meaning "superior rank, supreme, chief, prominent." His article is quite extensive, see Mark if you want a copy.]

Other passages that would reveal that the mere definition of "source" (a definition stripped of any idea of subordination or subjection) is inadequate for the word "head" are: (Ephesians 1:22 "..gave him to be the "head" over all things to the church."; 4:15; 5:23 "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church.") In the last passage, if the word "head" carries absolutely no hint of "leadership", then the Church is simply the product of Christ, but in no way is it "subject" to Christ. Unwittingly then, the feminist movement among religious women has the bible teaching that the church and Christ are equals. You see, any time you tinker with the relationship between husbands and wives, your going to have to (for consistency sake) tinker with the relationship between Christ and the Church, seeing that Paul himself paralleled them for all time. (Ephesians 5:22-33)

"and the head of the woman is the man"-Christianity didn"t dissolve this fact. Neither did it dissolve subjection and authority in the realms of citizenship (Romans 13:1 ff); employment (Ephesians 6:5-9) or the family (Ephesians 6:1-4).

While a woman is subject to his own husband (Ephesians 5:23). It is also true that in a more general sense, this subjection applies to other man as well. For example, a woman isn"t to teach or exercise authority over a man (1 Timothy 2:12). This truth would apply to single women as well as married, and therefore must also apply to other men besides one"s own husband. And this seems to be the crucial issue at the heart of the covering question.

"There were women..who were dismissing the token of their womanhood (in that society) and denying their place of subjection to men." (McGuiggan p. 145)

Point to Note:

"Headship" doesn"t imply or demand that the one in subjection is necessarily inferior (Christ isn"t inferior to God- John 5:18; John 5:23).

"The principle involves no humiliation, no injustice, no wrong. It recognizes a difference of function and responsibility, but it precludes selfishness, harshness, and unkindness." (Erdman p. 112)

"and the head of Christ is God"-no inferiority implied. "The fact that Jesus is subject to God does not deny the deity of Christ anymore than the fact that women is subject to man denies the humanity of woman." (Willis p. 362) In order to save man, Christ has voluntarily assumed a servants role. (Philippians 2:6-11)


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Bibliography
Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/1-corinthians-11.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

would. App-102.

have you = that you should.

know. App-132. Compare 1 Corinthians 10:1. In the rest of the verse are the Figures of speech Anaphora and Climax. App-6.

man. App-123.

woman. In this clause woman means wife, and man husband. Compare Ephesians 5:23.

God. App-98.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-corinthians-11.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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).


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-corinthians-11.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(3) But I would have you know.—After the general commendation in the previous verse, the reproof for neglecting, or desiring to neglect, his precepts in one particular case, is thus introduced. The subject treated of, viz., the uncovering of their heads by women in assemblies for worship, was of ephemeral moment, and as we all now would regard it, of trivial importance. Every circumstance, however, which could in the least degree cause the principles of Christianity to be perverted or misunderstood by the heathen world was of vital importance in those early days of the Church, and hence we find the Apostle, who most fearlessly taught the principles of Christian liberty, condemning most earnestly every application of those principles which might be detrimental to the best interests of the Christian faith. To feel bound to assert your liberty in every detail of social and political life is to cease to be free—the very liberty becomes a bondage.

The head of every man is Christ.—The Apostle does not merely treat of the outward practice on which his advice has been sought, but proceeds to lay down the principles which are opposed to the principle of that absolute and essential equality, which, found its expression and assertion in the practice of women uncovering their heads in public assemblies.

The allusion here is not to Christ as the Head of the whole human race and of all things (as in Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:16; Colossians 2:10), but as the Head of “the Body,” the Christian Church: and this thought introduces the general argument regarding the practical subordination of woman, by reminding the Corinthians that though there is in the Church a perfect spiritual equality (as taught in Galatians 3:28), yet that it is an equality which is of order and not of disorder—that it is an equality which can only be preserved by remembering that each is not an isolated irresponsible atom, but a part of an organic whole. There is a Head to the Church, therefore it is not a machine composed of various parts, but a body consisting of various members. As there is a subordination of the whole body to Christ, so there is in that body a subordination of woman to man. The last clause, “the Head of Christ is God,” gives (as is St. Paul’s custom, see 1 Corinthians 3:23; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 1 Corinthians 15:25) completeness to the thought. As the Head of the Church—i.e., as the man Christ Jesus—Christ is subordinate to the Father, and, indeed, perhaps the idea is carried farther into the mystery of the divine nature itself, as consisting of three Persons co-eternal and co-equal, yet being designated with an unvarying sequence as “first,” and “second,” and “third.”


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-corinthians-11.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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 head of every
Ephesians 1:22,23; 4:15; 5:23; Philippians 2:10,11; Colossians 1:18; 2:10,19
and the head of the
Genesis 3:16; Ephesians 5:22,24; Colossians 3:18; 1 Timothy 2:11,12; 1 Peter 3:1,5,6
and the head of Christ
3:23; 15:27,28; Isaiah 49:3-6; 52:13; 55:4; 61:1-4; Matthew 28:18; John 3:34-36; 5:20-30; 14:28; 17:2-5; Ephesians 1:20-22; Philippians 2:7-11

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-corinthians-11.html.

Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians

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.

Though the apostle praised the Corinthians for their general obedience to his prescriptions, yet there were many things in which they were deserving of censure. Before mentioning the thing which he intended first to condemn, he states the principle on which that condemnation rested; so that, by assenting to the principle, they could not fail to assent to the conclusion to which it necessarily led. That principle is, that order and subordination pervade the whole universe, and is essential to its being. The head of the man is Christ; the head of woman is the man; the head of Christ is God. If this concatenation be disturbed in any of its parts, ruin must be the result. The head is that on which the body is dependent, and to which it is subordinate. The obvious meaning of this passage is, that the woman is subordinate to the man, the man is subordinate to Christ and Christ is subordinate to God. It is further evident, that this subordination is very different in its nature in the several cases mentioned. The subordination of the woman to the man is something entirely different from that of the man to Christ; and that again is at an infinite degree more complete than the subordination of Christ to God. And still further, as the subordination of the woman to the man is perfectly consistent with their identity as to nature, so is the subordination of Christ to God consistent with his being of the same nature with the Father. There is nothing, therefore, in this passage, at all inconsistent with the true and proper divinity of our blessed Lord. For a brief statement of the scriptural doctrine of the relation of Christ to God, see the comments on 1 Corinthians 3:23. It need here be only further remarked, that the word Christ is the designation, not of the Logos or second person of the Trinity as such, nor of the human nature of Christ as such, but of the Theanthropos, the God-man. It is the incarnate Son of God, who, in the great work of redemption, is said to be subordinate to the Father, whose will he came into the world to do. When Christ is said to be the head of every man, the meaning is of every believer; because it is the relation of Christ to the church, and not to the human family, that it is characteristically expressed by this term. He is the head of that body which is the church, Colossians 1:18. Ephesians 1:22, Ephesians 1:23.


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Bibliography
Hodge, Charles. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hdg/1-corinthians-11.html.

The Bible Study New Testament

Christ is supreme. He is the "one Lord" of created nature (1 Corinthians 8:6), therefore superior to every created thing, including the man (male). The husband is supreme. This is God's decree: "And he will rule over you" (Genesis 3:16). However, notice that both are one in Christ (Galatians 3:28). The order of rank stands: God / Christ / man / woman.


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Bibliography
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". "The Bible Study New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/1-corinthians-11.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

: 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.

God made mankind ( Genesis 1:26-27) and He intended for males and females to have and fulfill specific roles, just as Jesus and the Father have and fulfill specific roles (see the preceding commentary on2b). When men and women come together for worship (i.e. the assembly is mixed), males are to lead the worship ( 1 Timothy 2:11-15). Male leadership is also to be in the home ( Ephesians 5:22-24). These two points are not just New Testament teachings; male leadership is based on the creation ( 1 Timothy 2:13). While males and females are virtually identical (equal) in most other ways, some of which including the following, God has given males the role of leadership in the home and in the church.

Some of the many ways males and females are equal (identical):

Genesis 1:27 (Both are equal in status since both are in God's image).

Proverbs 31:1-31 (Women are equal to men as far as their intelligence and a wise development or use of resources).

Matthew 15:28 (Both are equal in their ability to excel in faith).

Matthew 19:4-5 (Both are equal in the range of human experiences).

Acts 2:17-18 (Both have an equal amount of usefulness in God's kingdom).

Acts 5:14 (Both are equal in their ability to access salvation).

Acts 16:14; Acts 18:1-3 (Both are to be equal in the opportunity to have a career).

Romans 3:23 (Both are equal in their need for salvation).

Romans 16:3-4 (Both are equal in their potential for bravery and or sacrifice).

1 Corinthians 7:4 (Both are equal in their rights for a sexual relationship in marriage).

1 Corinthians 7:16 (Both are equal in their power to convert an unbelieving mate).

1 Corinthians 11:11-12 (Both are equal in their innate self worth).

Galatians 3:28 (Both are equally entitled to all spiritual blessings in Christ).

Ephesians 6:1-2 (Both are equally deserving of receiving respect from their children).

Philippians 4:3 (Both are equal in the "labor of love").

1 Timothy 5:16 (Both are equal in their responsibility to honor parents).

2 Timothy 1:5; Ephesians 6:4 (Both are equal in their responsibility to teach young people).

1 Peter 3:7 (Both are equal partners in the eternal inheritance).

Instead of making Eve from a bone in Adam's foot (an action suggestive of slavery and inferiority), or using part of Adam's head to make Eve (an indication of female superiority), God used one of Adam's ribs (this implies basic equality between the sexes plus male headship). Distinction between roles is not only found with males and females, it is found within the male and female genders. For instance, single men are not qualified to be elders ( 1 Timothy 3:1-2). New converts are not entitled to be elders ( 1 Timothy 3:6). Deacons are to be "proven" before they serve ( 1 Timothy 3:10), and deacons are to be married men with children ( 1 Timothy 3:12). The principles of headship and specific people having explicit roles are a regular part of our world. These things are also found in the church (males have a head-Jesus-and females have a head-males).

Women who want to act like men:

Since the time of Eve, there have been men who wanted to act like women and women who wanted to act like men. One intriguing example of this is found in some early American history. Before women were allowed to vote in the United States, Belva A. Lockwood (October24 , 1830 - May19 , 1917) ran for the U.S. Presidency. Although Lockwood was not part of a major political party, she (and other early female contenders for this position) sought an office that, at this time in history, was specifically associated with males.

A copy of the handbill used in her Presidential bid is on the next page. Permission was given to use this flyer in this book by the gracious curator (Louise D. Pittaway) at the Old Lighthouse Museum in Stonington, CT, but since this author's copy of the handbill was not suitable for reproduction, the following image contains the exact wording from the poster and attempts to match the font type and size as closely as possibly to approximate the original document.

"The lords of creation men we call,

And they think they rule the whole;

But they're much mistaken, after all,

For they're under woman's control!"

Women of Stonington, Arouse! __________________

THROW OFF THE YOKE

OF THE OPPRESSOR MAN.

______________________________________

ON MONDAY EVENING, NOVEMBER5 , 1888 ,

AT8 P. M,

MISS HANNAH LEE,

THE LONG TONGUED ORATOR

Will emit Impassioned Yawps at

BOROUGH HALL!

In advocacy of the election of

BELVA A.LOCKWOOD

TO THE PRESIDENTESSCY OF THE U.S.

BELVA A. LOCKWOOD WILL BE PRESENT.

THE BELVA A. LOCKWOOD QUARTETTE WILL FURNISH DISCORD

At7 o'clock, preceding the address, the Belva A. Lockwood Club will make a Triumphal Parade that will Be Just Too Lovely For Anything. The Route will include the principal streets of the Borough.

After the Address a Grand Banquet will be tendered to the Club at MUSIC HALL.

______________________________________________________

Come One, Come All, and Bring Your Chewing Gum.

What about women and indirect authority?

There have been many cases (and preachers can usually attest to at least one instance) where women did not openly take a leadership role, but they did work indirectly or secretly to lead or direct things. In these cases we must recognize that indirect leadership is still leadership and it is certainly possible for Christian women to violate the information in verses34-35 in this chapter by "working/leading behind the scenes."

When men are mere figureheads for male leadership (i.e. women are setting the policies and making decisions), both males and females are guilty of sin. Males surrender their God-given leadership role and women accept or take what God has not entrusted to them. While we should not be surprised to find this type of activity among the unsaved, it should never be found within Christ's church. Women can and should be an influence for good in their local congregation, just like all other faithful members, but they have no authority to directly or indirectly do things that have been assigned to males. A Christian woman who takes (appropriates) authority from males engages in the same type of sin the Corinthian women committed-a sin Paul strongly rebuked.

Christian women and "perceived leadership":

If a woman is not directly or indirectly leading, may she assume duties that merely make her look like a leader? Is it wrong for a Christian woman to make announcements, read Scripture, or be one of the people that helps distribute the Communion? Some congregations have concluded that a woman cannot preach and pray in a worship assembly where men and women have come together ( 1 Timothy 2:8; 1 Timothy 2:12), but she can do everything else. Some have concluded that "Christian sisters pass Communion trays to those sitting next to them in worship, so they can also help distribute the Communion items to the entire congregation."

As noted in the previous comments, leadership may be direct or indirect. Leadership also falls into the categories of "real or perceived" and we may demonstrate the point in this way. If a person makes a comment while sitting in a Bible class, there is no perception of leadership. If this same person makes the same comments while standing in a pulpit, there could or would be the perception of leadership. Such is also true for other activities in Christian assemblies-activities such as making announcements, publicly reading the Scriptures or standing up with others to pass the Communion (the actions fall into the category of perceived leadership). Stated another way, whoever helps in these kinds of ways leaves the impression that he has some type of leadership role in that worship service. For this reason Christian women should not engage in activities in mixed assemblies that would cause them to directly or indirectly be perceived as leaders. It may be going too far to say that a woman who helps pass the Communion items or make announcements is committing a definite sin, but these kinds of activities are extremely unwise, they set a bad precedent, and they are certainly not "expedient" ( 1 Corinthians 6:12; 1 Corinthians 10:23).

Consequences of rejecting male headship:

When men and women will not fulfill their respective roles, there will be problems. One illustration of this point is found in the opening pages of the Bible. A careful reading of Genesis 3:1-24 shows that Adam was "with" Eve when she sinned ( Genesis 3:6), and Adam failed to fulfill his role as the leader of his family. In Genesis 3:17 we read: "And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree…" Eve assumed a role she was not entitled to, Adam relinquished authority he should have exercised, and the end result was the loss of perfection.

Today, when God's rules about headship, subjection, and the roles for men and women are not followed, families, congregations and nations will face numerous and serious problems. It Isaiah , therefore, imperative for Christians to observe the headship role for males in the home and in the church, even if the society they live in does not (compare Acts 5:29; 2 Timothy 4:2). Paul illustrated this need several times in the next chapter by appealing to the human body. Just as there must be "several parts" in a human body, and each part must carry out its respective task ( 1 Corinthians 12:14-20), so things will not go well in the world if people do not know and fulfill their respective roles.

Resistance to male leadership:

The world and even some religious groups have often opposed what the Bible says regarding the specific roles of men and women. In this author's lifetime there was the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) of the1970's as well as various social experiments to diminish or erase gender differences. The world has tried numerous schemes to undermine or undo God's plan for male leadership in the home and church (including the promotion of "gender neutral toys" for children), but all the world's plans in this regard are earthly, sensual and devilish wisdom ( James 3:15 and compare the commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:18-19). God says the rejection of His plan leads to confusion and evil ( James 3:16) as well as eventual failure (compare Psalm 2:1-4).

When Christians hear nonbelievers say things like: "A woman can do anything a man does and often do it better," "God's plan for women makes them second class citizens," or "Not having female preachers is discriminatory"," they should recall verses like Romans 1:22 ("Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools"). Mixing the role of men and women is a way that may seem "right to man but the end thereof is destruction" ( Proverbs 16:25). Even if a woman could be a better preacher than a Prayer of Manasseh , Christians know that God has assigned this function to males and they must abide by God's will ( John 14:15). Christians also know and teach that women are not second class citizens. An old adage has been proven many, many times: "The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world" (compare 2 Timothy 1:5).

The abuse of male headship:

Some have attempted to dismiss or " Revelation -think" God's plan for male leadership because some women have been verbally or physically abused by men. What needs to be " Revelation -thought" is how men are to treat women. A husband is to "cherish and nurture his wife as his own body ( Ephesians 5:28). He may not deprive her of what she needs for her happiness and well-being ( 1 Corinthians 7:3). He must be understanding, considerate, and respectful of her as a joint heir of life ( 1 Peter 3:7). His love for her is more than physical. It must be the same kind of sacrificial love Christ has for the church" (Baker's Theological Dictionary of the Bible, p327). When husbands treat their wives as the Bible describes ( Ephesians 5:28), their wives will recognize and submit to the loving leadership given by their spouse (compare Ephesians 5:22; 1 Peter 3:1-6).

Can a man rightfully renounce his divine role?

There are those who acknowledge that men have been given leadership in the home and the church, but believe men can renounce these roles (i.e. they can ask women to serve as church leaders or take responsibility for being the head of a home). A simple and complete response to this error is that we cannot give something we do not have. Men have not been invested with the right or authority to turn their leadership roles in the church and home over to women, so it is impossible for them to give these roles to women. Men may ask women to take these roles and women may accept these jobs, but the men who abdicate their leadership roles and the women who try to assume these functions are both guilty of sin. The Bible warns that people can "believe a lie" ( 2 Thessalonians 2:11), and this is precisely what happens when people think God allows men to pass off their leadership roles to women.

Ten Commandments for Husbands:

Hugo McCord, a wonderful preacher this author was privileged to hear several times before his death, once penned the following "Ten commandments for husbands." When husbands behave in this manner, wives will have a strong desire to fulfill their divine role.

1. Thou shalt remember that thy wife is thy partner and not thy property.

2. Thou shalt hold thy wife's love by the same means that thou won it.

3. Thou shalt enter thy house with cheerfulness.

4. Thou shalt not let anyone criticize thy wife and get away with it, neither thy father, nor thy mother, nor thy brothers, nor thy sisters, nor any other relative.

5. Thou shalt not take thy wife for granted.

6. Thou shalt not think thyself are "IT."

7. Thou shalt not praise thy neighbor's wife; praise thine own.

8. Thou shalt not keep any secrets from thy wife; secrets breed suspicion and wreck confidence.

9. Thou shalt not fail to kiss thy wife good-bye every morning.

10. Thou shalt not forget through all the years of thy life that thy wife whom God hath given thee is the queen in your home and in honor takes precedence over thee.


Copyright Statement
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Price, Brad "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3". "Living By Faith: Commentary on Romans". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bpc/1-corinthians-11.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, December 3rd, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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