"THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS" Chapter Eleven OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To observe important regulations relative to the headship, or line of authority, given by God 2) To notice the purpose of the Lord's Supper and the manner in which it is to be observed SUMMARY Having spent three chapters discussing the issue of eating things sacrificed to idols, Paul now quickly covers two separate matters in this one chapter. The first pertains to matters relative to the headship, or God's line of authority (2-16). Beginning in verse 17 and continuing through chapter 14, Paul covers issues affecting their assemblies as a church, the first being the manner in which they abused the observance of the Lord's Supper (17-34). OUTLINE I. THE HEADSHIP (2-16) A. INTRODUCTORY REMARKS (2-5a) 1. Commendation for having kept the apostolic traditions delivered to them (2) 2. A reminder concerning the proper line of authority (3) 3. Concerning praying and prophesying (4-5a) a. Every man who does so with head covered dishonors his head (Christ) b. Every woman who does so with head uncovered dishonors her head (man) B. EXPLANATORY COMMENTS (5b-16) 1. A woman praying or prophesying uncovered is just as bad as if her head were shaved (5a) a. If a woman is not covered, let her be shorn (6a) b. If to be shorn or shaved is shameful, let her be covered (6b) 2. It is proper for a man not to cover his head (7-9) a. Man is the image and glory of God, while woman is the glory of man (7) b. Man did not come from woman, nor was created for woman, but vice versa (8-9) 3. It is appropriate for a woman to have a sign of authority on her head, because of angels (10) 4. This is not to say that man is independent of woman (11-12) a. Especially in the Lord (11) b. For as the woman is from the man, so the man is through the woman (12a) c. And all things are from God (12b) 5. Judge this matter for yourselves (13-15) a. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with uncovered head? (13) b. Does not even nature teach you? (14-15) 1) That long hair on a man is a dishonor to him? (14) 2) That long hair on a woman is a glory to her, and provides a covering? (15) 6. But if anyone is contentious about this matter... (16) a. We have no such custom (practice; referring either to the practice of being contentious or the practice of a man being covered and a woman being uncovered while praying or prophesying; or, possibly, the meaning is, "we have no other practice," (NAS; NIV)) meaning the inspired apostles recognized no other rules regarding the headship than the ones Paul gave here b. Nor do the churches of God; the rule is universal in application among God's people, not just at Corinth II. CONCERNING THE LORD'S SUPPER (17-34) A. THE CONDUCT AT CORINTH IN REGARDS TO THE LORD'S SUPPER (17-22) 1. He cannot praise them for their conduct in their assemblies (17-19) a. Their coming together is not for the better, but for the worse (17) b. He has heard of their divisions, of which the only good thing that could be said is that it does show who is really approved among them (18-19) 2. Especially in regards to the Lord's Supper (20-22) a. Their divisiveness made it impossible to eat properly, and led to severe abuses (20-21) b. They despised the church and shamed the poor, for which Paul could not praise them (22) B. THE INSTITUTION AND PROPER OBSERVANCE OF THE LORD'S SUPPER (23-34) 1. The institution as received by Paul directly from the Lord (23-25) 2. Properly observed, it is a proclamation of the Lord's death (26) 3. Properly observed, it is accompanied by self-examination (27-32) a. Which enables us to observe it without bringing judgment to ourselves (27-29) b. Otherwise, we will be judged and chastened by the Lord, that we might not be condemned with the world (30-32) 4. Concluding instructions (33-34) a. When you come together to eat the Supper, wait for one another (33) b. If you are hungry, eat at home (34a) c. Paul will have more to say when he comes to Corinth (34b)
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER Move your mouse pointer underneath each question to see the answer.
1) List the main points of this chapter. 2) For what does Paul commend the church in Corinth? (2) 3) What is the proper order of authority? (3) 4) Does this chapter give women the authority to teach in a church assembly? (cf. 1 Cor. 14:34-35) 5) What is the covering for the woman? (15) 6) How do we know these regulations regarding the covering were not temporary, or only limited to the customs at Corinth? 7) How did Paul feel about eating common meals in the assemblies? (22, 34) 8) Are we expected to keep the pattern Paul delivered for the Lord's Supper, which he received from the Lord, just as he delivered it? (2, 23) 9) Does the pattern for the Lord's Supper include more than one loaf or more than one cup? (23b-25) 10) What spiritual significance does Jesus give to the cup? (25) 11) What is the purpose of the Lord's Supper? (24-26) 12) How should one observe the Lord's Supper? (27-29) 13) How can we avoid the judgment of God? (31) 14) What is God's purpose in judging His children? (32) 15) What is an important factor in observing the Lord's Supper? (33; Acts 20:7) 16) Based on the answer to the previous question, is it scriptural for a congregation to observe the Lord's Supper separately at different times (such as in the practice of night communion)?