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1 Corinthians 11

1 Be (*) ye followers of me, even as I am of Christ.


(*) 2 Thessalonians 3:9 .


 2  (1) Now brethren, I commend you, that ye remember (*) all my things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.


(1) The fifth treatise of this epistle concerning the right ordering of public assemblies containing three points, to wit, of the comely apparel of men and women, of the order of the Lord's Supper, and of the right use of spiritual gifts. But going about to reprehend certain things, he beginneth notwithstanding with a general praise of them, calling those particular laws of comeliness and honesty, which belong to the ecclesiastical policy, traditions; which afterward they called Cannons.

(*) Or, in all things remember me.


 3  (2) But I will that ye know, that Christ is the (*) head of every man, and the man is the womanís head, and God is (a) Christís head.


(2) He setteth down God, in Christ our mediator, for the end and mark not only of doctrine, but also of ecclesiastical comeliness. Then applying it to the question proposed, touching the comely apparel both of men and women in public assemblies, he declareth that the woman is one degree beneath the man by the ordinance of God, and that the man is so subject to Christ, that the glory of God ought to appear in him for the preeminence of the sex.

(*) Ephesians 5:23 .
(a) In that, which Christ is our mediator.


 4  (3) Every (b) man (*) praying or (♣) prophesying having anything on his head, (♠) dishonoreth his head.


(3) Hereof he gathereth that if men do either pray or preach in public assemblies having their heads covered (which was then a sign of subjection), they did as it were spoil themselves of their dignity, against God's ordinance.
(b) It appeareth that this was a politic law serving only for the circumstances of the time that Paul lived in, by this reason, because in these our days for a man to speak bareheaded in an assembly is a sign of subjection.

(*) This is a referred to common prayer and preaching; for although one speak, yet the action is common, so that the whole Church may be said to pray or preach.

(♣) Or, preaching.

(♠) This tradition was observed according to the time and place that all things might be done in comeliness and to edification.


 5  (4) But every woman that prayeth or (*) prophesieth bareheaded, dishonoreth her head, (5) for it is even one very thing, as though she were shaven.


(4) And in like sort he concludeth, that women which shew themselves in public and ecclesiastical assemblies without the sign and token of their subjection, that is to say, uncovered, shame themselves.

(*) Read 1 Corinthians 14:34 .
(5) The first argument taken from the common sense of man, for so much as nature teacheth women, that it is dishonest for them to come abroad bareheaded, seeing that she hath given them thick and long hair which they do so diligently trim and deck, that they can in no way abide to have it shaven.


 6 Therefore if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn; and if it be shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.


 7  (6) For a man ought not to cover his head, for as much as he is the (*) (♣) image and glory of God; but the woman is the (♠) glory of the man.


(6) The taking away of an objection: Have not men also hair given them? I grant, saith the Apostle, but there is another matter in it. For man was made to this end and purpose, that the glory of God should appear in his rule and authority. But the woman was made, that by profession of her obedience, she might more honor her husband.

(*) Genesis 1:26; Genesis 5:1; Genesis 9:6; Colossians 3:3-10 .

(♣) The image of Godís glory, in whom his majesty and power shine concerning his authority.

(♠) Or receiveth her glory, in commendation of man, and therefore is subject.


 8  (7) For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man.


(7) He proveth the inequality of the woman, by that which the man is the matter whereof woman was first made.


 9  (*) (8) For the man was not created for the womanís sake; but the woman for the manís sake.


(*) Genesis 2:22 .

(8) Secondly, by that, which the woman was made for man, and not the man for the woman's sake.   


 10  (9) Therefore ought the woman to have (c) (*) power on her head, because of the (10) (♣) Angels.


(9) The conclusion: Women must be covered, to shew by this external sign their subjection.
(c) A covering which is a token of subjection.

(*) Something to cover her head in sign of subjection.
(10) What this meaneth, I do not yet understand.

(♣) To whom they also shew their dissolution, and not only to Christ.


 11  (11) Nevertheless, neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man (d) in the (*) (♣) Lord.


(11) A digression which the Apostle useth, that which he spake of the superiority of men, and lower degree of women in consideration of the policy of the Church, should be so taken as though there were no measure of this inequality. Therefore he teacheth that men have in such sort the preeminence, that God made them not alone, but women also. And woman was so made of man, that men also are born by the means of women, and this ought to put them in mind to observe the degree of every sex in such sort, that mutual conjunction may be cherished.
(d) By the Lord.

(*) Who is author and maintainer of their mutual conjunction.

(♣) For as God made the woman of man, so now is man multiplied by the woman.


 12 For as the woman is of the man, so is the man also by the woman; but all things are of God.


 13  (12) Judge in yourselves, Is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?


(12) He urgeth the argument taken from the common sense of nature.


 14 Doeth not nature itself teach you, that if a man have long (*) hair, it is a shame unto him?


(*) As woman used to wear.


 15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a praise unto her, for her hair is (*) given her for a (e) covering.


(*) For God hath given to woman longer hair than unto man, to the end she should truss it up about her head, whereby she declareth that she must cover her head.

(e) To be a covering for her, and such a covering as should procure another.


 16  (13) But if any man lust to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the Churches of God.


(13) Against such as are stubbornly contentious we have to oppose this, that the Churches of God are not contentious.


 17  ∂ (14) Now in this that I declare, I praise you not, that ye come together, not with profit, but with hurt.


(14) He passeth now to the next treatise concerning the right administration of the Lord's Supper. And the Apostle useth this sharper preface that the Corinthians might understand, that whereas they observed generally the Apostle's commandments, yet they foully neglected them in a matter of greatest importance.


 18  (15) For first of all, when ye come together in the Church, I hear that there are dissentions among you; and I believe it to be true (*) in some part.


(15) To celebrate the Lord's Supper aright, it is requisite that there is not only consent of doctrine, but also of affections, that it be not profaned.

(*) Not that all were so, but the most part.


 19  (16) For there must be (*) heresies even among you, that they which are (f) approved among you, might be known.


(16) Although that schisms and heresies proceed from the devil, are evil, and yet they come not by chance, nor without cause, and they turn to the profit of the elect.

(*) Godís Church is not only subject to dissension as touching orders and manners, but also to heresies as touching doctrine.
(f) Whom experience hath taught to be of sound Religion and godliness.


 20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is (g) not to eat the Lordís Supper.


(g) This is an usual kind of speech, whereby the Apostle denieth that flatly, which many did not well.


 21 For every man when they should eat, taketh his own supper (h) afore, and one is hungry, and another is drunken.


(h) Eateth his meat and tarrieth not till others come.


 22  (17) Have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? 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.


(17) The Apostle thinketh it good to take away the love feasts, for their abuse, although they had been a long time, and with commendation used in Churches, and were appointed and instituted by the Apostles.


 23  (18) For I have received of the (*) Lord that which I also have delivered unto you, to wit, That the Lord Jesus in the night when he was betrayed, took bread;


(18) We must take a true form of keeping the Lord's Supper, out of the institution of it, the parts whereof are these: touching the Pastors, to shew forth the Lord's death by preaching his word, to bless the bread and the wine by calling upon the name of God, and together with prayers to declare the institution thereof, and finally to deliver the bread broken to be eaten, and the cup received to be drunk with thanksgiving. And touching the flock, that every man examine himself, that is to say, to prove both his knowledge, and also faith and repentance; to shew forth the Lord's death, that is, in true faith to yield unto his word and institution; and last of all, to take the bread at the Minister's hand, and to eat it, and to drink the wine, and give God thanks. This was Paul's and the Apostles' manner of ministering.

(*) Who ought only to bear authority in the Church.


 24  (*) And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat; this is my body, which is (i) (♣) broken for you; this do ye in remembrance of me.


(*) Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:21; Luke 22:19 .

(i) This word (Broken) noteth out unto us Christ his manner of death, for although his legs were not broken, as the thieves legs were, yet was his body very sore tormented, and torn, and bruised.

(♣) Signifying the manner of his death when his body should, as it were, be torn and broken with most grievous torments (albeit not as the thighs of the thieves were) the which thing the breaking of the bread, as a figure, doeth most likely represent.


 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 as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.


 26 For as often as ye shall eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye shew the Lordís death till he come.


 27  (19) Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink the cup of the Lord (k) (*) unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.


(19) Whosoever contemn the holy Sacraments, that is, use them not aright, are guilty not of the bread and wine, but of the thing itself, that is, of Christ, and shall be grievously punished for it.
(k) Otherwise than meet is such mysteries should be handled.

(*) By perverting the true and pure use of the same.


 28  (*) (20) Let (l) every man therefore examine himself, and so let him eat of this bread, and drink of this cup.


(*) 2 Corinthians 13:5 .

(20) The examination of a man's self, is of necessity required in the Supper and therefore they ought not to be admitted unto it, which cannot examine themselves, as children, furious and mad men also such as either have no knowledge of Christ, or not sufficient, although they profess Christianís Religion, and others such like.
(l) This place beateth down the faith of credit, or unwrapped faith, which the Papists maintain.


 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh his own damnation, because he (m) discerneth not (*) the Lordís body.


(m) He is said to discern the Lord's body, that hath consideration of the worthiness of it, and therefore cometh to eat of this meat with great reverence.

(*) But as though these holy mysteries of the Lordís body and blood were common meats, so without reverence he cometh unto them.


 30  (21) For this cause many are weak, and sick among you, and many (*) sleep.


(21) The profaning of the body and blood of the Lord in his mysteries is sharply punished of him, and therefore such a mischief ought diligently to be prevented by judging and correcting of a manís self.

(*) Or, die. Let them look to themselves which either add or take away from the Lordís institution.


 31 For if we would (n) judge ourselves, we should not be judged.


(n) Try and examine ourselves, by faith and repentance, separating yourselves from the wicked.


 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, because we should not be condemned with the world.


 33  (22) Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.


(22) The Supper of the Lord is a common action of the whole Church, and therefore there is no place, for private suppers.


 34  (23) And if any man be hungry, let him eat at home, that ye come not together unto condemnation. (24) Other things will I set in order when I come.


(23) The Supper of the Lord was instituted not to feed the belly but to feed the soul with the communion of Christ, and therefore it ought to be separate from common banquets.
(24) Such things as pertain to order, as place, time, form of prayers, and other such like, the Apostle took order for in Congregations, according to the consideration of times, places, and persons.





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 1 Corinthians 14:8

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