1 Corinthians 11
1Co:11:1: Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
1Co:11:2: Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
1Co: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.
1Co:11:4: Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
1Co:11:5: But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
1Co:11:6: For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
1Co:11:7: For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
1Co:11:8: For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.
1Co:11:9: Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
1Co:11:10: For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.
1Co:11:11: Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
1Co:11:12: For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.
1Co:11:13: Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?
1Co:11:14: Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
1Co:11:15: But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
1Co:11:16: But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.
1Co:11:17: Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.
1Co:11:18: For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
1Co:11:19: For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
1Co:11:20: When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.
1Co:11:21: For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.
1Co:11:22: What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.
1Co:11:23: For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
1Co:11:24: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
1Co:11:25: After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
1Co:11:26: For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
1Co:11:27: Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
1Co:11:28: But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
1Co:11:29: For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
1Co:11:30: For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
1Co:11:31: For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
1Co:11:32: But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
1Co:11:33: Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.
1Co:11:34: And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.
In this chapter, the apostle Paul is continuing his sermon to the brethren of the city-state of Corinth. He explains the hierarchy and order of who is “in charge” in God’s church saying that: “the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” This outlines God’s church authority chain that is to be followed by every man and woman here on earth and also that Jesus himself is subject unto his Father.
Paul tells us that it is dishonorable for a woman to pray with her head uncovered and for a man to pray with his head covered. A woman is under the “power” of her husband and the head covering is a sign of this power to the angels and to God. He reminds us also that the man is for the woman and to honor her at all times in this manner, not unlike the woman who is honoring him. Man is made in the image of God and long hair to a man, is a disgrace. Long hair for a woman is her glory.
Paul tells the Corinthian Christians not to be contentious or argumentative, and not to enter into argument over these concepts. A large problem in Corinth at the time was that there were divisions among the brethren there, about certain concepts of Christianity. Surprisingly, Paul says that there must remain heresy among the Corinthians so that eventually, those who are “approved” by God become known.
Paul admonishes the Corinthians for taking the communion selfishly, only to satisfy themselves when they come together in worship meals when their focus should be on God and each other and not themselves. He reminds them that every time that they eat and drink the communion it is in honor of Jesus and our Lord, and should be done with sharing and reverence and not selfishness. When we eat in honor of our Lord, we are taking his body and blood and this is to be respected and revered. If any man eat and drink “unworthily” or selfishly, he brings dishonor and even damnation to himself. For this reason, many fall sick and even die.
Paul is telling us to judge ourselves, to stop and think if we are eating and drinking selfishly when in worship meals, or if we are giving proper respect, honor, and reverence to our Lord who gave his body and blood as a symbol of his new covenant to us. Paul even points out that the weak and sick among them would be healed if they were following God’s word and law more closely and respectfully. He finishes by saying that if any man comes to the worship meal and table for the purposes of satisfying his hunger first and not for God’s honor, let him stay home and eat alone.