1 Corinthians 11

1 Corinthians 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16


1Cor 11:1

Μιμηταί μου γίνεσθε, καθὼς κἀγὼ Χριστοῦ.


1Cor 11:2

Ἐπαινῶ δὲ ὑμᾶς ὅτι πάντα μου μέμνησθε, καὶ καθὼς παρέδωκα ὑμῖν, τὰς παραδόσεις κατέχετε.


1Cor 11:3

Θέλω δὲ ὑμᾶς εἰδέναι ὅτι παντὸς ἀνδρὸς ἡ κεφαλὴ ὁ Χριστός ἐστιν, κεφαλὴ δὲ γυναικὸς ὁ ἀνήρ, κεφαλὴ δὲ τοῦ Χριστοῦ ὁ Θεός.

1Cor 11:4 Πᾶς ἀνὴρ προσευχόμενος ἢ προφητεύων, κατὰ κεφαλῆς ἔχων, καταισχύνει τὴν κεφαλὴν αὐτοῦ.

1Cor 11:5 πᾶσα δὲ γυνὴ προσευχομένη ἢ προφητεύουσα, ἀκατακαλύπτῳ τῇ κεφαλῇ, καταισχύνει τὴν κεφαλὴν αὐτῆς· ἓν γάρ ἐστιν, καὶ τὸ αὐτὸ, τῇ ἐξυρημένῃ.

1Cor 11:6 εἰ γὰρ οὐ κατακαλύπτεται γυνή, καὶ κειράσθω. εἰ δὲ αἰσχρὸν γυναικὶ τὸ κείρασθαι ἢ ξυρᾶσθαι, κατακαλυπτέσθω.

1Cor 11:7 Ἀνὴρ μὲν γὰρ οὐκ ὀφείλει κατακαλύπτεσθαι τὴν κεφαλήν, εἰκὼν καὶ δόξα Θεοῦ ὑπάρχων· ἡ γυνὴ δὲ, δόξα ἀνδρός ἐστιν.

1Cor 11:8 οὐ γάρ ἐστιν ἀνὴρ ἐκ γυναικός, ἀλλὰ γυνὴ ἐξ ἀνδρός.

1Cor 11:9 καὶ γὰρ οὐκ ἐκτίσθη ἀνὴρ διὰ τὴν γυναῖκα, ἀλλὰ γυνὴ διὰ τὸν ἄνδρα.

1Cor 11:10 διὰ τοῦτο, ὀφείλει ἡ γυνὴ ἐξουσίαν ἔχειν ἐπὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς, διὰ τοὺς ἀγγέλους.

1Cor 11:11 Πλὴν, οὔτε γυνὴ χωρὶς ἀνδρὸς, οὔτε ἀνὴρ χωρὶς γυναικὸς, ἐν Κυρίῳ.

1Cor 11:12 ὥσπερ γὰρ ἡ γυνὴ ἐκ τοῦ ἀνδρός, οὕτως καὶ ὁ ἀνὴρ διὰ τῆς γυναικός· τὰ δὲ πάντα ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ.

1Cor 11:13 Ἐν ὑμῖν αὐτοῖς κρίνατε· πρέπον ἐστὶν γυναῖκα ἀκατακάλυπτον, τῷ Θεῷ προσεύχεσθαι;

1Cor 11:14 οὐδὲ ἡ φύσις αὐτὴ διδάσκει ὑμᾶς ὅτι ἀνὴρ μὲν, ἐὰν κομᾷ, ἀτιμία αὐτῷ ἐστιν·

1Cor 11:15 γυνὴ δὲ ἐὰν κομᾷ, δόξα αὐτῇ ἐστιν; ὅτι ἡ κόμη ἀντὶ περιβολαίου δέδοται αὐτῇ.

1Cor 11:16 Εἰ δέ τις δοκεῖ φιλόνεικος εἶναι, ἡμεῖς τοιαύτην συνήθειαν οὐκ ἔχομεν, οὐδὲ αἱ ἐκκλησίαι τοῦ Θεοῦ.


1Cor 11:17

Τοῦτο δὲ παραγγέλλων, οὐκ ἐπαινῶ, ὅτι οὐκ εἰς τὸ κρεῖσσον, ἀλλὰ εἰς τὸ ἧσσον, συνέρχεσθε.

Now in instructing, I do not praise because not for the better but for the worse, you gather.

Paraphrase:  Let me know proceed to the next matter which I would like you to consider.  Unfortunately, here too, I cannot praise you since I have heard that your gathering is not for the edification of God’s people but rather for their hurt.

Comments:

 


1Cor 11:18

πρῶτον μὲν, γὰρ συνερχομένων ὑμῶν ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ, ἀκούω σχίσματα ἐν ὑμῖν ὑπάρχειν, καὶ μέρος τι πιστεύω.

For first, when you gather in church, I hear of schisms existing among you and partly I believe some [of these].

Paraphrase:  The problem is this.  I am told that there is a great deal of pride in one’s social status among you; and that as a result, there are divisions and feuds. (1Cor 1:11)  Now such behavior is so diametrically opposed to the faith we hold, that I can hardly believe these reports to be true.  Is it possible that the same people who claim to be disciples of the One who taught us “Blessed are the poor…” are also proud of their wealth and influence in society?

Comments:

συνερχομένων ὑμῶν = genitive absolute

 


1Cor 11:19

δεῖ γὰρ καὶ αἱρέσεις ἐν ὑμῖν εἶναι, ἵνα καὶ οἱ δόκιμοι, φανεροὶ γένωνται ἐν ὑμῖν.

For it is necessary even factions to be among you in order that even the approved persons might be manifest among you.

Paraphrase:  The rise of such factions is also part of God’s good plan.  These errors and the parties that gather around them serve the purpose of weeding out the nominal Christians from the churches.  Christians that are indwelt by the Spirit of God learn not to get caught up in such a party-spirit; but instead, are ruled by love and a measure of tolerance of towards the different opinions which Christians form about the various issues of life.  Now when errors arise and people begin to form into factions and parties, the true children of God become clear because they do not fall in with these activists but instead stick close to the word of God and refuse to get swept up in party fervor.

Comments:

A similar thought expressed in 1 John 2:19; James 1:3; 1Peter 1:6-7.

 


1Cor 11:20

Συνερχομένων οὖν ὑμῶν ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ, οὐκ ἔστιν κυριακὸν δεῖπνον φαγεῖν.

Therefore, when you gather together to a place, it is not for the purpose of eating the Lord’s Supper.

Paraphrase:  Here’s the problem.  The church chooses someone’s house for a celebration of the Lord’s Supper; but truth be told, you aren’t really interested in the real purpose of the sacrament.  You’ve got something else entirely on your mind.    

Comments:

φαγεῖν is giving the purpose for the Συνερχομένων. §366.

 


1Cor 11:21

ἕκαστος γὰρ τὸ ἴδιον δεῖπνον προλαμβάνει ἐν τῷ φαγεῖν· καὶ ὃς μὲν πεινᾷ, ὃς δὲ μεθύει.

For each one brings his own supper to eat, and some are hungry but others are drunk.

Paraphrase:  Each person prepares some food beforehand; then, when they arrive they sit down to eat it themselves or perhaps they share it with those whose favor they want to secure.  The point is, that they do not wait for everyone to arrive.  They just dive into their food without even a thought for the real purpose of the meal.  When the poorer folk finally do arrive having labored all day, there is nothing left for them to eat.  They stand around hungry while others are stuffed to the gills and some are staggering about drunk!  Is this a love feast!?  Is this the Lord’s supper?  Would Jesus sit at this meal and eat with you?

Comments:

The historical background appears to be this.  The Christians would meet at someone’s house to fellowship over a meal (Acts 2:46) and to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. The sacrament would be preceded by a common meal in which each person brought food and then shared it with everyone else much as we do today at our potluck dinners.  Then at the close of this “love feast”, the Lord’s Supper would be administered as Jesus gave instruction at the Last Supper.  Obviously, the idea was that all distinctions between rich and poor, educated and uneducated, slave and free, etc would vanish, and the church would unite in a visible act of love and fellowship with everyone participating on equal ground before God as sinners saved by the one sacrifice of Christ on the cross.  Even the name a “love feast” (Jude 12) testified to the purpose of the meal.  In Corinth, however, the love feast had devolved into something completely contrary to the original purpose.  The rich came with their food and ate it themselves not waiting for the poorer brothers who probably would have arrived later being required to work longer hours.  When the poor arrived who had little food to bring, they found the nothing left for them, and the more wealthy members had eaten themselves nearly sick.  Neander writes that the Corinthians may have reverted to a more Greek tradition:

But in the Corinthian church, where those differences [socio-economic distinctions] were so strongly marked, this could not be attained. There existed among the Greeks an ancient custom of holding entertainments at which each one brought his food with him, and consumed it alone. The Agapæ [love feasts] in the Corinthian church were conducted on the plan of this ancient custom, although the peculiar object of the institution was so different; consequently, the distinction of rich and poor was rendered peculiarly prominent, and the rich sometimes indulged in excesses which desecrated the character of these meetings.   source

 


1Cor 11:22

μὴ γὰρ οἰκίας οὐκ ἔχετε εἰς τὸ ἐσθίειν καὶ πίνειν; ἢ τῆς ἐκκλησίας τοῦ Θεοῦ καταφρονεῖτε καὶ καταισχύνετε τοὺς μὴ ἔχοντας; τί εἴπω ὑμῖν; ἐπαινέσω ὑμᾶς ἐν τούτῳ; οὐκ ἐπαινῶ!

For do you not have houses for eating and drinking? or the church of God do you despise? and do you dishonor those not having.  What do I say to you?  Shall I praise you in this?  I do not praise!

Paraphrase:  If you want to have your own feast, do it in your own houses.  Don’t come to the love feasts and make clear that you hold a good part of the church in contempt.  Don’t shame those who are not as well off as you.  I am disgusted by this behavior.  It flies in the face of everything our Savior taught us.  Do you think I am going to look the other way when I see this?  On the contrary, I am calling it out right here and now;  this is an abomination!

Comments:

My assumption here is that καταφρονεω takes its object in the genitive case.

 


1Cor 11:23

Ἐγὼ γὰρ παρέλαβον ἀπὸ τοῦ Κυρίου ὃ καὶ παρέδωκα ὑμῖν, ὅτι ὁ Κύριος Ἰησοῦς ἐν τῇ νυκτὶ ᾗ παρεδίδετο, ἔλαβεν ἄρτον,

For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you that the Lord Jesus on the night in which he was betrayed, took bread

Paraphrase:  Let me tell you what Jesus taught us on these matters since I received it directly from him. (Gal 1:12)  On the night He was betrayed by Judas, He took bread 

Comments:

 


1Cor 11:24

καὶ εὐχαριστήσας, ἔκλασεν καὶ εἶπεν, Τοῦτό μού ἐστιν τὸ σῶμα, τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν· τοῦτο ποιεῖτε εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν ἀνάμνησιν.

and giving thanks, He broke and said, “This is My body for you; do this, for My remembrance. 

Paraphrase:  and in prayer, gave thanks to God for giving it.  Then He broke the bread visibly in the presence of all His disciples and said, “This bread represents My body, and My breaking it represents My death, and My death is the great sin-offering (Lev 4) which removes the guilt of everyone who comes under this offering.  Now take this bread and eat it which shows that you also desire to come under the saving power of this sin-offering as the only way to be forgiven and reconciled to God again.  Furthermore, by eating this bread, you make a visible proclamation that you take your stand on this sin-offering and that you desire to make a public display of this before all the world.

Comments:

 


1Cor 11:25

ὡσαύτως καὶ τὸ ποτήριον, μετὰ τὸ δειπνῆσαι, λέγων, Τοῦτο τὸ ποτήριον ἡ καινὴ διαθήκη ἐστὶν ἐν τῷ ἐμῷ αἵματι· τοῦτο ποιεῖτε, ὁσάκις ἐὰν πίνητε, εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν ἀνάμνησιν.

Likewise, even the cup after He ate, saying, “this cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this as often when you might drink for My remembrance.

Paraphrase:  After He had distributed the bread, He did the same thing with the cup.  “This cup represents a new covenant,” He announced. “Recall that the old covenant was ratified and confirmed by blood. (Exodus 24:8)  Now I am bringing in and establishing a new covenant and it too will be ratified by blood, by My own blood.  Take this cup and drink the wine it contains, and thereby show that you also are entering into and participating in this new covenant.  Just as you did with the bread, your drinking of this cup shows to the world that you take your stand on this covenant and that your eating and drinking is a remembering of the sacrifice I made for you.

Comments:

μετὰ τὸ δειπνῆσαι = temporal infinitive

Note the figure for ποτήριον; see here.

 


1Cor 11:26

ὁσάκις γὰρ ἐὰν ἐσθίητε τὸν ἄρτον τοῦτον, καὶ τὸ ποτήριον πίνητε, τὸν θάνατον τοῦ Κυρίου καταγγέλλετε ἄχρι οὗ ἔλθῃ.

For as often as you might eat this bread and drink this cup, the death of the Lord you proclaim until what [time] He might come.

Paraphrase:  For whenever you celebrate the Lord’s Supper in this way, you make a public proclamation that our salvation is based entirely on Jesus’ death alone.  This proclamation is made every time we participate in the Lord’s Supper and will continue until our Savior returns and establishes His kingdom in perfect righteousness.

Comments:

This hymn certainly captures the idea here:

1 Jesus, your blood and righteousness
my beauty are, my glorious dress;
mid flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
with joy shall I lift up my head.

2 Bold shall I stand in that great day;
who can a word against me say?
Fully absolved through these I am
from sin and fear, from guilt and shame.

3 Lord, I believe your precious blood,
which at the very throne of God
pleads for the captives’ liberty,
was also shed in love for me.

4 Lord, I believe, were sinners more
than sands upon the ocean shore,
you have for all a ransom paid,
for all a full atonement made.

5 When from the dust of death I rise
to claim my mansion in the skies,
this then shall be all my only plea:
Jesus has lived and died for me.

6 Jesus, be worshiped endlessly!
Your boundless mercy has for me,
for me and all your hands have made,
an everlasting ransom paid.   –von Zinzendorf

The ἄχρι οὗ ἔλθῃ shows that the Lord’s Supper has an end-time significance.  Martensen writes:

That the Holy Scripture also puts the Supper in connection with the last things is clear not only from the words of the apostle, “Ye do (that is by means of this solemnity) show the Lord’s death till He come (1Cor 11:26) but also from the words of the Lord Himself “I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (Matt 26:29) for however these words may in detail be expounded, they at any rate make known that the Supper is a fact-prophecy a pre-representation and anticipation of that union with the Lord which shall one day take place in the kingdom of bliss and not only of union with the Lord but also of the deep communion of love and life which in that blessed kingdom will bind believers to each other. For by means of the Supper, believers are fused into one body since they all as the apostle says become partakers of the same bread. (1Cor 10:17)   source

 


1Cor 11:27

Ὥστε ὃς ἂν ἐσθίῃ τὸν ἄρτον ἢ πίνῃ τὸ ποτήριον τοῦ Κυρίου ἀναξίως, ἔνοχος ἔσται τοῦ σώματος καὶ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ Κυρίου.

So that whoever might eat the bread or drink the cup of the Lord unworthily, he shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 

Paraphrase:  Now the obvious conclusion of all this is that any of you who participate in the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy manner which certainly includes the way I described above, are guilty of profaning the symbols of Christ’s death; and therefore, of profaning Christ Himself.  Celebrating the Lord’s Supper in this way, is a treading under your feet the blood of the Son of God by which you were sanctified. (Heb 10:29)

Comments:

 


1Cor 11:28

δοκιμαζέτω δὲ ἄνθρωπος ἑαυτόν, καὶ οὕτως ἐκ τοῦ ἄρτου ἐσθιέτω, καὶ ἐκ τοῦ ποτηρίου πινέτω.

But let a man test himself and in this manner let him eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 

Paraphrase:  Dear brothers and sisters, if you want to celebrate the Lord’s Supper in a God-honoring way, then you must lay aside all this foolishness.  Humble yourselves under God’s hand, repent of your pride, and put yourself to the test.  Are you willing to acknowledge that all God’s people stand before him as sinners saved by His grace?  That none of us have anything that we can set before God as any reason why He should favor us?  That we all stand before God only on the basis of the finished work of Jesus?  When we own these facts, then we are ready to step forward and partake of the sacrament.  This is how God intends for us to take these symbols of His dying love for us.  

Comments:

 


1Cor 11:29

ὁ γὰρ ἐσθίων καὶ πίνων κρίμα ἑαυτῷ, ἐσθίει καὶ πίνει μὴ διακρίνων τὸ σῶμα.

For the one eating and drinking judgment to himself, eats and drinks not discerning the body.

Paraphrase:  Now the one who eats and drinks unworthily does not understand what the death of Christ actually accomplished.  Such people continue to give place to class distinctions in your assemblies and even in the holy sacrament of the remembrance of the death of Christ.  Here too, they insist on pride of place and having the best portions.  When Christ died on the cross, however, class distinctions played no role whatsoever.  He died for rich and poor, slave and free, male and female; by His death, we are all made one body in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)  So why would we bring such nonsense into our assemblies when Christ death put an end to it all?  That’s why I say that those who celebrate the Lord’s Supper in this way simply don’t understand the significance of Christ’s broken body.

Comments:

There is some disagreement on how to understand σῶμα here.  Does it refer to the broken body of Christ as represented by the broken bread and the poured out wine as given in v27?  or does it refer to the body of Christ as in 1Cor 10:17?  I’ve adopted here the previous of these.

 


1Cor 11:30

διὰ τοῦτο, ἐν ὑμῖν πολλοὶ ἀσθενεῖς καὶ ἄρρωστοι, καὶ κοιμῶνται ἱκανοί.

On account of this, many among you are weak and sick and many sleep.

Paraphrase:  Because of this disrespect of the Lord’s body and blood, God has punished some of you with weakness, sickness, and some even with death.  This is a serious thing; you must abandon such behavior and celebrate the sacrament with due regard for its real meaning and significance.

Comments:

 


1Cor 11:31

Εἰ δὲ ἑαυτοὺς διεκρίνομεν, οὐκ ἂν ἐκρινόμεθα.

but if we judge ourselves, we will not be judged.

Paraphrase:  But if each time the sacrament is observed, we engaged in real, honest, and sincere self-examination, then we would not be found guilty in this respect.  Our celebration of the sacrament would be “of a sweet savor unto Jehovah.” (Lev 1:9)

Comments:

Notice the ἂν here which makes this a second class condition.  The idea here is that they are not doing self-examination properly.

 


1Cor 11:32

κρινόμενοι δὲ ὑπὸ τοῦ Κυρίου, παιδευόμεθα, ἵνα μὴ σὺν τῷ κόσμῳ κατακριθῶμεν.

but being judged by the Lord, we are disciplined in order that not with the world we might be condemned.

Paraphrase:  I am sure these are not pleasant words for you, but I trust they are helpful.  The discipline we give our children is also not pleasant, but it is so necessary.  Please understand, my dear brothers and sisters, that this discipline from the Lord is not designed for your destruction.  On the contrary, our Savior and King, Jesus Christ uses this discipline to rescue us from the condemnation that is coming on the world.  We would go down with the world into hell unless He corrected us and placed on the right path.  

Comments:

 


1Cor 11:33

Ὥστε, ἀδελφοί μου, συνερχόμενοι εἰς τὸ φαγεῖν, ἀλλήλους ἐκδέχεσθε.

so then, my brothers, when you are gathering to eat, wait for one another.

Paraphrase:  Let me wrap this up.  Every time you celebrate the Lord’s Supper, be sure to wait until everyone is present before you begin.  Don’t jockey for the best spots in the house; don’t try to curry favor with the rich and influential people; don’t avoid and marginalize the poor and less privileged.  On the contrary, wait until everyone is present and then share everything you’ve brought with everyone else.  Be sure that no one goes without.  Let your remembering of what Jesus did on the cross for us, erase every thought of class distinction and let everyone treat everyone else with Christian respect and charity.  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves. (Phil 2:3)

Comments:

 


1Cor 11:34

εἴ τις πεινᾷ, ἐν οἴκῳ ἐσθιέτω, ἵνα μὴ εἰς κρίμα συνέρχησθε. Τὰ δὲ λοιπὰ, ὡς ἂν ἔλθω, διατάξομαι.

If anyone is hungry, let him eat in the house in order that you don’t gather for judgment.  Now the rest, when I come, I will  instruct.

Paraphrase:  If anyone is really desiring a good meal and wants to eat choice food, by all means let him or her do so but let them do it in their own home.  The Lord’s Supper is not the place for such a feast, and God will hold those guilty who profane His sacred meal by such eating.  Now whatever other questions you might have about this, hold on to them until I come.  Then I will have more time to answer all your questions and to set things in order.  Let everyone do as much as in him lies to live in peace with all men. (Rom 12:18)

Comments: