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1 Corinthians 11

Tweetthis! 11:1 Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.

Women’s Head Coverings

11:2 I praise you 1  because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions just as I passed them on to you. 11:3 But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, 2  and God is the head of Christ. 11:4 Any man who prays or prophesies with his head covered disgraces his head. 11:5 But any woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered disgraces her head, for it is one and the same thing as having a shaved head. 11:6 For if a woman will not cover her head, she should cut off her hair. But if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, she should cover her head. 11:7 For a man should not have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God. But the woman is the glory of the man. 11:8 For man did not come from woman, but woman from man. 11:9 Neither was man created for the sake of woman, but woman for man. 11:10 For this reason a woman should have a symbol of authority 3  on her head, because of the angels. 4  11:11 In any case, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 11:12 For just as woman came from man, so man comes through woman. But all things come from God. 11:13 Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 11:14 Does not nature 5  itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace for him, 11:15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 6  11:16 If anyone intends to quarrel about this, we have no other practice, nor do the churches of God.

The Lord’s Supper

11:17 Now in giving the following instruction I do not praise you, because you come together not for the better but for the worse. 11:18 For in the first place, when you come together as a church I hear there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. 11:19 For there must in fact be divisions among you, so that those of you who are approved may be evident. 7  11:20 Now when you come together at the same place, you are not really eating the Lord’s Supper. 11:21 For when it is time to eat, everyone proceeds with his own supper. One is hungry and another becomes drunk. 11:22 Do you not have houses so that you can eat and drink? Or are you trying to show contempt for the church of God by shaming those who have nothing? What should I say to you? Should I praise you? I will not praise you for this!

11:23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night in which he was betrayed took bread, 11:24 and after he had given thanks he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 11:25 In the same way, he also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, every time you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 11:26 For every time you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

11:27 For this reason, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 11:28 A person should examine himself first, 8  and in this way 9  let him eat the bread and drink of the cup. 11:29 For the one who eats and drinks without careful regard 10  for the body eats and drinks judgment against himself. 11:30 That is why many of you are weak and sick, and quite a few are dead. 11  11:31 But if we examined ourselves, we would not be judged. 11:32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned with the world. 11:33 So then, my brothers and sisters, 12  when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 11:34 If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, so that when you assemble it does not lead to judgment. I will give directions about other matters when I come.

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1 tc The Western and Byzantine texts, as well as one or two Alexandrian mss (D F G Ψ 33 Ï latt sy), combine in reading ἀδελφοί (adelfoi, “brothers”) here, while the Alexandrian witnesses (Ì46 א A B C P 81 630 1175 1739 1881 2464 co) largely lack the address. The addition of ἀδελφοί is apparently a motivated reading, however, for scribes would have naturally wanted to add it to ἐπαινῶ δὲ ὑμᾶς (epainw de Juma", “now I praise you”), especially as this begins a new section. On the other hand, it is difficult to explain how the shorter reading could have arisen from the longer one. Thus, on both internal and external grounds, the shorter reading is strongly preferred.

2 tn Or “the husband is the head of his wife.” The same Greek words translated “man” and “woman” can mean, as determined by context, “husband” and “wife” respectively. Such an approach is followed by NAB, TEV, NRSV, and NLT (with some variations).

3 sn Paul does not use a word specifying what type of “covering” is meant (veil, hat, etc.). The Greek word he uses here (ἐξουσία exousia; translated symbol of authority) could be (1) a figure of speech that may substitute the result (the right to participate in worship) for the appropriate appearance that makes it possible (the covered head). Or (2) it refers to the outward symbol (having the head covered) as representing the inward attitude the woman is to possess (deference to male leadership in the church).

4 sn Paul does not explain this reference to the angels, and its point is not entirely clear. It seems to reflect an awareness that angels are witnesses to church life (cf. Eph 3:10) and would be particularly sensitive to resistance against God’s created order.

5 sn Paul does not mean nature in the sense of “the natural world” or “Mother Nature.” It denotes “the way things are” because of God’s design.

6 sn No word for veil or head covering occurs in vv. 3-14 (see the note on authority in v. 10). That the hair is regarded by Paul as a covering in v. 15 is not necessarily an argument that the hair is the same as the head covering that he is describing in the earlier verses (esp. v. 10). Throughout this unit of material, Paul points out the similarities of long hair with a head covering. But his doing so seems to suggest that the two are not to be identified with each other. Precisely because they are similar they do not appear to be identical (cf. vv. 5, 6, 7, 10, 13). If head covering = long hair, then what does v. 6 mean (“For if a woman will not cover her head, she should cut off her hair”)? This suggests that the covering is not the same as the hair itself.

7 tn Grk “those approved may be evident among you.”

8 tn The word “first” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. It has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

9 tn Grk “in this manner.”

10 tn The word more literally means, “judging between, recognizing, distinguishing.”

11 tn Grk “are asleep.” The verb κοιμάω (koimaw) literally means “sleep,” but it is often used in the Bible as a euphemism for the death of a believer.

12 tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:10.



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