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  • ROBERTSON'S NT WORD STUDIES
    & BIBLE COMMENTARY - 1 CORINTHIANS 11

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    11:1 {Imitators of me} (mimetai mou). In the principle of considerate love as so clearly shown in chapters #1Co 8-10 and in so far as (kaqws) Paul is himself an imitator of Christ. The preacher is a leader and is bound to set an example or pattern (tupos) for others (#Tit 2:7). this verse clearly belongs to the preceding chapter and not to chapter 11.

    11:2 {Hold fast the traditions} (tas paradoseis katecete). Hold down as in #15:2. paradosis (tradition) from paradidwmi (paredwka, first aorist active indicative) is an old word and merely something handed on from one to another. The thing handed on may be bad as in #Mt 15:2f. (which see) and contrary to the will of God (#Mr 7:8f.) or it may be wholly good as here. There is a constant conflict between the new and the old in science, medicine, law, theology. The obscurantist rejects all the new and holds to the old both true and untrue. New truth must rest upon old truth and is in harmony with it.

    11:3 {But I would have you know} (qelw de humas eidenai). But I wish you to know, censure in contrast to the praise in verse #2. {The head of Christ is God} (kefale tou cristou ho qeos). Rather, God is the head of Christ, since kefale is anarthrous and predicate.

    11:4 {Having his head covered} (kata kefales ecwn). Literally, having a veil (kalumma understood) down from the head (kefales ablative after kata as with kata in #Mr 5:13; Ac 27:14). It is not certain whether the Jews at this time used the _tallith_, "a four-corned shawl having fringes consisting of eight threads, each knotted five times" (Vincent) as they did later. Virgil (_Aeneid_ iii., 545) says: "And our heads are shrouded before the altar with a Phrygian vestment." The Greeks (both men and women) remained bareheaded in public prayer and this usage Paul commends for the men.

    11:5 {With her head unveiled} (akatakaluptwi tei kefalei). Associative instrumental case of manner and the predicative adjective (compound adjective and feminine form same as masculine), "with the head unveiled." Probably some of the women had violated this custom. "Amongst Greeks only the hetairai, so numerous in Corinth, went about unveiled; slave-women wore the shaven head--also a punishment of the adulteress" (Findlay). Cf. #Nu 5:18. {One and the same thing as if she were shaven} (hen kai to auto tei exuremenei). Literally, "One and the same thing with the one shaven" (associative instrumental case again, Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 530). Perfect passive articular participle of the verb xuraw, later form for the old xurew. It is public praying and prophesying that the Apostle here has in mind. He does not here condemn the act, but the breach of custom which would bring reproach. A woman convicted of adultery had her hair shorn (#Isa 7:20). The Justinian code prescribed shaving the head for an adulteress whom the husband refused to receive after two years. Paul does not tell Corinthian Christian women to put themselves on a level with courtesans.

    11:6 {Let her also be shorn} (kai keirasqw). Aorist middle imperative of keirw, to shear (as sheep). Let her cut her hair close. A single act by the woman. {If it is a shame} (ei de aiscron). Condition of first class assumed to be true. aiscron is old adjective from aiscos, bareness, disgrace. Clearly Paul uses such strong language because of the effect on a woman's reputation in Corinth by such conduct that proclaimed her a lewd woman. Social custom varied in the world qen as now, but there was no alternative in Corinth. {To be shorn or shaven} (to keirasqai kai xurasqai). Articular infinitives subject of copula estin understood, keirasqai first aorist middle, xurasqai present middle. Note change in tense. {Let her be veiled} (katakaluptesqw). Present middle imperative of old compound kata-kaluptw, here alone in N.T. Let her cover up herself with the veil (down, kata, the Greek says, the veil hanging down from the head).

    11:7 {The image and glory of God} (eikwn kai doxa qeou). Anarthrous substantives, but definite. Reference to #Ge 1:28; 2:26 whereby man is made directly in the image (eikwn) of God. It is the moral likeness of God, not any bodily resemblance. Ellicott notes that man is the glory (doxa) of God as the crown of creation and as endowed with sovereignty like God himself. {The glory of the man} (doxa andros). Anarthrous also, man's glory. In #Ge 2:26 the LXX has anqrwpos (Greek word for both male and female), not aner (male) as here. But the woman (gune) was formed from the man (aner) and this priority of the male (verse #8) gives a certain superiority to the male. On the other hand, it is equally logical to argue that woman is the crown and climax of all creation, being the last.

    11:9 {For the woman} (dia ten gunaika). Because of (dia with accusative case) the woman. The record in genesis gives the man (aner) as the origin (ek) of the woman and the reason for (dia) the creation (ektisqe, first aorist passive of ktizw, old verb to found, to create, to form) of woman.

    11:10 {Ought} (ofeilei). Moral obligation therefore (dia touto, rests on woman in the matter of dress that does not (ouk ofeilei in verse #7) rest on the man. {To have a sign of authority} (exousian ecein). He means semeion exousias (symbol of authority) by exousian, but it is the sign of authority of the man over the woman. The veil on the woman's head is the symbol of the authority that the man with the uncovered head has over her. It is, as we see it, more a sign of subjection (hypotages, #1Ti 2:10) than of authority (exousias). {Because of the angels} (dia tous aggelous). this startling phrase has caused all kinds of conjecture which may be dismissed. It is not preachers that Paul has in mind, nor evil angels who could be tempted (#Ge 6:1f.), but angels present in worship (cf. #1Co 4:9; Ps 138:1) who would be shocked at the conduct of the women since the angels themselves veil their faces before Jehovah (#Isa 6:2).

    11:11 {However} (plen). this adversative clause limits the preceding statement. Each sex is incomplete without (cwris, apart from, with the ablative case) the other. {In the Lord} (en kuriwi). In the sphere of the Lord, where Paul finds the solution of all problems.

    11:12 {Of} (ek) {--by} (dia). Ever since the first creation man has come into existence by means of (dia with genitive) the woman. The glory and dignity of motherhood. Cf. _The Fine Art of Motherhood_ by Ella Broadus Robertson.

    11:13 {Is it seemly?} (prepon estin;). Periphrastic present indicative rather than prepei. See on »Mt 3:15. Paul appeals to the sense of propriety among the Corinthians.

    11:14 {Nature itself} (he fusis aute). He reenforces the appeal to custom by the appeal to nature in a question that expects the affirmative answer (oude). fusis, from old verb fuw, to produce, like our word nature (Latin _natura_), is difficult to define. Here it means native sense of propriety (cf. #Ro 2:14) in addition to mere custom, but one that rests on the objective difference in the constitution of things.

    11:15 {Have long hair} (komai). Present active subjunctive of komaw (from kome, hair), old verb, same contraction (-aei=ai) as the indicative (aei = ai), but subjunctive here with ean in third class condition. Long hair is a glory to a woman and a disgrace to a man (as we still feel). The long-haired man! There is a papyrus example of a priest accused of letting his hair grow long and of wearing woollen garments. {For a covering} (anti peribolaiou). Old word from periballw to fling around, as a mantle (#Heb 1:12) or a covering or veil as here. It is not in the place of a veil, but answering to (anti, in the sense of anti in #Joh 1:16), as a permanent endowment (dedotai, perfect passive indicative).

    11:16 {Contentious} (filoneikos). Old adjective (filos, neikos), fond of strife. Only here in N.T. If he only existed in this instance, the disputatious brother. {Custom} (suneqeian). Old word from suneqes (sun, eqos), like Latin _consuetudo_, intercourse, intimacy. In N.T. only here and #8:7 which see. "In the sculptures of the catacombs the women have a close-fitting head-dress, while the men have the hair short" (Vincent).

    11:17 { this } (touto). Probably the preceding one about the head-dress of women, and transition to what follows. {I praise you not} (ouk epainw). In contrast to the praise in #11:2. {For the better} (eis to kreisson). Neuter articular comparative of kratus, but used as comparative of kalos, good. Attic form kreitton. {For the worse} (eis to hesson). Old comparative from heka, softly, used as comparative of kakos, bad. In N.T. only here and #2Co 12:15.

    11:18 {First of all} (prwton men). There is no antithesis (deuteron de, secondly, or epeita de, in the next place) expressed. this is the primary reason for Paul's condemnation and the only one given. {When ye come together in the church} (sunercomenwn hemwn en ekklesiai). Genitive absolute. Here ekklesia has the literal meaning of assembly. {Divisions} (scismata). Accusative of general reference with the infinitive huparcein in indirect discourse. Old word for cleft, rent, from scizw. Example in papyri for splinter of wood. See on #1:10. Not yet formal cleavages into two or more organizations, but partisan divisions that showed in the love-feasts and at the Lord's Supper. {Partly} (meros ti). Accusative of extent (to some part) like panta in #10:33. He could have said ek merous as in #13:9. The rumours of strife were so constant (I keep on hearing, akouw).

    11:19 {Must be} (dei einai). Since moral conditions are so bad among you (cf. chapters 1 to 6). Cf. #Mt 18:7. {Heresies} (haireseis). The schisms naturally become {factions} or {parties}. Cf. strifes (erides) in #1:11. See on »Ac 15:5 for haireseis, a choosing, taking sides, holding views of one party, heresy (our word). "Heresy is theoretical schism, schism practical heresy." Cf. #Tit 3:10; 2Pe 2:1. In Paul only here and #Ga 5:20. {That} (hina). God's purpose in these factions makes {the proved ones} (hoi dokimoi) become {manifest} (faneroi). "These haireseis are a magnet attracting unsound and unsettled minds" (Findlay). It has always been so. Instance so-called Christian Science, Russellism, New Thought, etc., today.

    11:20 {To eat the Lord's Supper} (kuriakon deipnon fagein). kuriakos, adjective from kurios, belonging to or pertaining to the Lord, is not just a biblical or ecclesiastical word, for it is found in the inscriptions and papyri in the sense of imperial (Deissmann, _Light from the Ancient East_, p. 358), as imperial finance, imperial treasury. It is possible that here the term applies both to the agape or Love-feast (a sort of church supper or club supper held in connection with, before or after, the Lord's Supper) and the Eucharist or Lord's Supper. deipnon, so common in the Gospels, only here in Paul. The selfish conduct of the Corinthians made it impossible to eat a Lord's Supper at all.

    11:21 {Taketh before} (prolambanei). Before others. Old verb to take before others. It was conduct like this that led to the complete separation between the Love-feast and the Lord's Supper. It was not even a common meal together (koinon deipnon), not to say a Lord's deipnon. It was a mere {grab-game}. { this one is hungry} (hos de peinai). Demonstrative hos. Nothing is left for him at the love-feast. {Another is drunken} (hos de mequei). Such disgusting conduct was considered shameful in heathen club suppers. "Hungry poor meeting intoxicated rich, at what was supposed to be a supper of the Lord" (Robertson and Plummer). On mequw, to be drunk, see on »Mt 24:49; Ac 2:15.

    11:22 {What? Have ye not houses?} (me gar oikias ouk ecete;) The double negative (me--ouk) in the single question is like the idiom in #9:4f. which see. me expects a negative answer while ouk negatives the verb ecete. "For do you fail to have houses?" Paul is not approving gluttony and drunkenness but only expressing horror at their sacrilege (despising, kataphroneite) of the church of God. {That have not} (tous me econtas). Not those without houses, but those who have nothing, "the have-nots" (Findlay) like #2Co 8:12, in contrast with hoi econtes "the haves" (the men of property). {What shall I say to you?} (ti eipw humin;) Deliberative subjunctive that well expresses Paul's bewilderment.

    11:23 {For I received of the Lord} (ego gar parelabon apo tou kuriou). Direct claim to revelation from the Lord Jesus on the origin of the Lord's Supper. Luke's account (#Lu 22:17-20) is almost identical with this one. He could easily have read I Corinthians before he wrote his Gospel. See #15:3 for use of both parelabon and paredwka. Note para in both verbs. Paul received the account from (para--apo) the Lord and passed it on from himself to them, a true paradosis (tradition) as in #11:2. {He was betrayed} (paredideto). Imperfect passive indicative (irregular form for paredidoto, Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 340). Same verb as paredwka (first aorist active indicative just used for "I delivered").

    11:24 {When he had given thanks} (eucaristesas). First aorist active participle of eucaristew from which word our word Eucharist comes, common late verb (see on »1:14). {Which is for you} (to huper humwn). klwmenon (broken) of the Textus Receptus (King James Version) is clearly not genuine. Luke (#Lu 22:19) has didomenon (given) which is the real idea here. As a matter of fact the body of Jesus was not broken (#Joh 19:36). The bread was broken, but not the body of Jesus. {In remembrance of me} (eis ten emen anamnesin). The objective use of the possessive pronoun emen. Not my remembrance of you, but your remembrance of me. anamnesis, from anamimneskw, to remind or to recall, is an old word, but only here in N.T. save #Lu 22:19 which see.

    11:25 {After supper} (meta to deipnesai). meta and the articular aorist active infinitive, "after the dining" (or the supping) as in #Lu 22:20. {The new covenant} (he kaine diaqeke). For diaqeke see on »Mt 26:28. For kainos see on »Lu 5:38; 22:20. The position of estin before en twi haimati (in my blood) makes it a secondary or additional predicate and not to be taken just with diaqeke (covenant or will). {As oft as ye drink it} (hosakis an pinete). Usual construction for general temporal clause of repetition (an and the present subjunctive with hosakis). So in verse #26.

    11:26 {Till he come} (acri hou elqei). Common idiom (with or without an) with the aorist subjunctive for future time (Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 975). In #Lu 22:18 we have hews hou elqei. The Lord's Supper is the great preacher (kataggellete) of the death of Christ till his second coming (#Mt 26:29).

    11:27 {Unworthily} (anaxiws). Old adverb, only here in N.T., not genuine in verse #29. Paul defines his meaning in verse #29f. He does not say or imply that we ourselves must be "worthy" (axioi) to partake of the Lord's Supper. No one would ever partake on those terms. Many pious souls have abstained from observing the ordinance through false exegesis here. {Shall be guilty} (enocos estai). Shall be held guilty as in #Mt 5:21f. which see. Shall be guilty of a crime committed against the body and blood of the Lord by such sacrilege (cf. #Heb 6:6; 10:29).

    11:28 {Let a man prove himself} (dokimazetw anqrwpos heauton). Test himself as he would a piece of metal to see if genuine. Such examination of one's motives would have made impossible the disgraceful scenes in verses #20ff.

    11:29 {If he discern not the body} (me diakrinwn to swma). So-called conditional use of the participle, "not judging the body." Thus he eats and drinks judgment (krima) on himself. The verb dia-krinw is an old and common word, our {dis-cri-minate}, to distinguish. Eating the bread and drinking the wine as symbols of the Lord's body and blood in death probes one's heart to the very depths.

    11:30 {And not a few sleep} (kai koimwntai hikanoi). Sufficient number (hikanoi) are already asleep in death because of their desecration of the Lord's table. Paul evidently had knowledge of specific instances. A few would be too many.

    11:31 {But if we discerned ourselves} (ei de heautous diekrinomen). this condition of the second class, determined as unfulfilled, assumes that they had not been judging themselves discriminatingly, else they would not be judged (ekrinomeqa). Note distinction in the two verbs.

    11:32 {Ye are chastened of the Lord} (hupo tou kuriou paideuomeqa). On this sense of paideuw, from pais, child, to train a child (#Ac 7:22), to discipline with words (#2Ti 2:25), to chastise with scourges see on »Lu 23:16 (#Heb 12:7), and so by afflictions as here (#Heb 12:6). hupo tou kuriou can be construed with krinomenoi instead of with paideuomeqa. {With the world} (sun twi kosmwi). Along with the world. Afflictions are meant to separate us from the doom of the wicked world. Final use of hina me here with katakriqwmen (first aorist passive subjunctive).

    11:33 {Wait one for another} (allelous ekdecesqe). As in #Joh 5:3; Ac 17:16. That is common courtesy. Wait in turn. Vulgate has _invicem expectate_.

    11:34 {At home} (en oikwi). If so hungry as all that (verse #22). {The rest} (ta loipa). He has found much fault with this church, but he has not told all. {I will set in order} (diataxomai). Not even Timothy and Titus can do it all. {Whensoever I come} (hws an elqw). Common idiom for temporal clause of future time (conjunction like hws with an and aorist subjunctive elth").

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