1 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 11.
Conduct in Public Worship. 1 Cor. 11, 1—34.
A preliminary admonition: V. 1. Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. V. 2. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things and keep the ordinances as I delivered them to you. The opening verse really belongs to the previous chapter, since it refers to the example given by Paul in making use of the proper Christian tact under all circumstances. Through his own pattern he points his readers to that of his Master and theirs: Imitators of me become, even as I of Christ. He wants them to follow the example which he has set before them by his conduct, in which he renounced all selfish interests for the sake of gaining souls for Christ. But incidentally he does not want them to become attached to his person, but they should recognize in his conduct the influence of the exalted Christ; they should imitate him in so far as he set forth the image of Christ before them. This would involve time and constant application, since a Christian is ever in the making, but their model was such as to incite them to emulation, to stimulate their Christian ambition at all times. And in order to inspire them to their most persistent efforts, the apostle does not hesitate to give the Corinthian Christians all credit for their attitude in certain matters: But I praise you that you remember all things which were given by me, that you have been keeping the remembrance of me in all things, and that you have been observing the instructions just as I have delivered them to you. The Corinthians, though in general far behind the apostle in self-denial, were nevertheless in general mindful of the divine ordinances which he had delivered to them. These instructions, 2 Thess. 2, 15; 3, 6, which were transmitted both orally and by letter, concerned doctrine and life, and included also customs of worship and ceremonies. Although the latter are by no means equivalent to the former, they nevertheless serve for the edification of the Church, and their adoption may be advisable even at this time. Mark: The Pope has no hold in this passage for his insistence upon the value of oral tradition, for the word is used in the Bible only for the immediate instructions of inspired men and never for a conglomeration of tenets concerning which the Pope claims the right of sole arbiter.
The woman's veil: V. 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. V. 4. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoreth his head. V. 5. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoreth her head; for that is even all one as if she were shaven. V. 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. The apostle here qualifies the praise which he has just bestowed. He has heard that some women were speaking in the public services of the Corinthian congregation, and that bareheaded. So he proceeds to instruct them as to the impropriety of such conduct: But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, while the head of woman is man, but the head of Christ, God. This is the doctrinal basis for the practical instruction which he is about to give. The peculiar notion of Christian liberty which had gained ground in the congregation at Corinth manifested itself also in this, that the women departed from the custom prevailing in the East, according to which they were obliged to wear veils in public. Christ is every man's Head; the man holds the position, especially in worship and in his family, with no visible superior, holding headship from, and directly responsible only to, Christ. For that reason the man is the head of the woman, the latter occupying a position of subordination to him, a fact which by no means implies inferiority, but merely a relation fixed by God's order. Woman, in her relation to her husband, if she is a wife, or with regard to her activity in public worship, has her support, her destiny, and her dignity in man. And that this status is by no means derogatory to her intellect, ability, or moral character is shown by the fact that, in the parallel clause, God is called the Head of the exalted Christ. In this case there is absolute essential equality, and yet Christ's perfect obedience to the Father consents to a submission in office. Cp. chap. 15, 28; Gal. 4, 4; Heb. 5, 5. 8.
An inference from this doctrine: Every man praying or prophesying, while engaged in this act of worship, wearing a veil down from the head, puts to shame, disgraces, his head. If a man speaks or leads in public worship and has his head veiled or covered, he dishonors his head, because he has only Christ over him and, his conduct subordinating him to the dependent wife, it brings disgrace upon Christ. On the other hand: But every woman praying or prophesying with the head unveiled disgraces her head, for she is one and the same thing, she is on a level with her that is shaven. While women were not teachers in the congregation, chap. 14, 34; 1 Tim. 2, 12, they were not excluded from the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, Joel 2, 28. 29; Acts 2, 17. 18; 21, 9. It might, therefore, also happen that they prayed or prophesied in a public meeting, without thereby assuming the leadership. If, in a case of that kind, a woman threw back the veil which covered her face and thus stood with her head uncovered, she put to shame her own head, the dishonor done to the dominant sex falling upon herself. She placed herself upon a level with the free, loose women (heterae) who were so numerous in the Greek cities. It follows, then, that a woman who insists upon going unveiled might just as well keep her head close-cropped, thus placing herself altogether on a level with slave-women and others whose close-cropped head proclaimed their vocation to all the world. But if it is a disgrace for a woman to be close-cropped or shaved, let her be veiled; that is, if a woman prefers a bare head, she should be shaved. But since womanly feeling would object to the latter, the same argument holds in the case of the former, since the like shame attaches to both. Physical bare-facedness led people to make inferences as to the morals of a woman, especially in a city like Corinth; and it was self-evident for a Christian woman to avoid even the appearance of evil.
The apostle advances a further argument for the woman's veiling: V. 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. V. 8. For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man. V. 9. Neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man. V. 10. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. V. 11. Nevertheless, neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. V. 12. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. The relative position of the sexes is here based upon the Scripture-account of the creation: For a man indeed should not veil the head, since the image and glory of God he is. Cp. Gen. 1, 26. He was created in, and therefore represents, the image of God, and in this likeness he also bears the visible splendor of God; he rules in his own sphere by virtue of the power and freedom given him by God, and this conduct redounds to the glory of God. But the wife is the glory of man; she has the dignity of her position from man; in her office in the home she represents the majesty of the man. Note: From this statement it follows that the respect shown to women is the measure and safeguard of human dignity. That the distinction made at the time of the creation is to be observed also in the Christian Church appears, moreover, from the story of the creation of Eve, Gen. 2, 18—25. For not is man from woman, but woman from man; and not was man created for the sake of woman, but woman for the sake of man. In the case of all other organic creatures the Lord created them in two sexes at once, but Adam was created alone at the beginning, and it was only afterward that the woman originated, being made out of one of his ribs. And in fashioning woman in this way, the Lord aimed to meet the man's need; she was to be a helpmeet for him. It is a subversion of the order of creation if a woman regards her husband as the servant of her pleasure, as the instrument of her subsistence.
So important does the apostle consider the maintenance and observance of the relation between the sexes as fixed by God that he wants also the external sign of the woman's auxiliary position retained: For this reason the woman is obliged to have "power on her head"; she should wear the token, or emblem, of her status, the veil, as denoting the power which she derives from the man, and that on account of the angels. The angels, being present in public worship, are offended by irreverence and misconduct. Even if men might, under circumstances, not find it offensive or scandalous for a woman to discard the dignity of her position, the presence of God's holy angels ought to deter a true woman from unwomanly behavior.57)
In discussing their position so frankly, Paul has no intention of belittling the state of women or to ascribe inferiority to them: Nevertheless, and yet, neither woman without man, nor man without woman, in the Lord; for even as the woman is out of, derived from, the man, so also the man is through the woman; but everything is from God, who is the Originator of all. The woman is not in the Lord apart from man, she has no claim in a Lord all for herself: the same Christ is the Lord of both, a fact which applies to the man as well. They stand side by side, with equal rights, in the Kingdom of Grace. The woman was taken from man, he' was the initial cause of being to the woman; but, on the other hand, woman, by the order of God in nature, is the instrumental cause of being to the man. But these facts give neither party a right to boast, since, after all, God is the Source, the Creator, of all things; to Him both must give reverence. This holds true especially in home life. The man should regard himself as living in the Lord for the sake of his wife, and likewise the woman for the sake of her husband. Married people belong together in the house of God, together at the Table of the Lord, together in home devotions, together in all things in which the life in the Lord is fostered; they are heirs together of the grace of life, 1 Pet. 3, 7.
The natural sense of propriety supports the apostle: V. 13. Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? V. 14. Doth not even nature itself teach you that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? V. 15. But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given her for a covering. V. 16. But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God. Aside from all external authorities, the apostle here appeals to the natural feeling of his readers; they should decide for themselves whether the innate sense of decency and modesty did not seem to require, did not think it befitting or suitable for a woman to join in public prayer properly veiled. Or does not nature itself teach you that, if a man wears his hair long, it is a disgrace to him, but if a woman wears her hair long, it is a glory to her? It is a significant thing that practically all nations in the world agree in having the men wear the hair short while that of the women is worn long; long hair in a man is considered a sign of effeminacy, while long hair in a woman is looked upon as her crowning beauty. And although the sinful vanity of women, abetted by the foolish admiration of men, has placed the hair into the service of sin, 1 Pet. 3, 3; 1 Tim. 2, 9, it remains true nevertheless: It ia given her to serve as a covering, in the nature of a hood. Nature itself has insisted upon woman's veiling her head, and therefore it is proper for her to express this intention in keeping her head covered.
Since some of the Corinthians might feel inclined to take exception to these statements of Paul, he closes the discussion with a sharp word of warning: But if any one thinks, presumes, is getting ready to be contentious, (he may know that) we have not that custom, neither the churches of God. Paul was acquainted with the quarrelsome disposition of some of the Corinthians; he knew that he might expect to be attacked for his position in this matter. And so he simply declares that he and his fellow-ministers did not have a custom of that kind. Paul neither believed in extending Christian liberty beyond the boundaries of common decency nor in the specific practice of having the women take part in public worship unveiled. He thus cuts off all further disputation about the matter by appealing to universal Christian usage. Note: The principle stated by the apostle holds to this day, and if propriety and decency in a certain matter require a degree of accommodation from Christians, they will be willing to concede the point for the sake of the Gospel.
Unseemly behavior in public worship: V. 17. Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come tog-ether not for the better, but for the worse. V. 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. V. 19. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. V. 20. When ye come together, therefore, into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. V. 21. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper; and one is hungry, and another is drunken. V. 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. The matter which the apostle now broaches is not one of mere custom or usage which proper Christian judgment may adjust to suit the needs of the situation, but a rule to which he demands assent: But in giving you this command I do not praise you, in that not for the better, but for the worse you come together. The charge concerns the proper form of public worship, especially if connected with the celebration of the Lord's Supper. He does not praise them, he cannot withhold his displeasure, his censure: Because not for the better, but for the worse you come together. Instead of being edified, aided in their spiritual growth, they were harmed in their faith; their meetings were held in a spirit of frivolousness that took no account of the sanctity of the occasion. The reason for this was, in the first place: Whenever you come together in assembly, it is continually reaching my ears that schisms, dissensions, have their place among you; and in part I credit the stories. The service that Paul is speaking of is that which was connected with the celebration of the Eucharist, which was held often, at least every Sunday. This service was entirely within the congregation, no outsider being admitted, no unbeliever or Gentile being present. A common meal was first eaten (the so-called love-feast), after which followed the Holy Communion. In Corinth the congregation had split up into cliques, separated from one another partly by social distinctions, partly by the feeling due to the divisions in their midst. Instead of holding a common meal, each clique chose a corner for itself, leaving the other strictly alone. As Paul says, he could very well believe this to be true, since that seemed to be a necessity of the case: For indeed also heresies, parties, must exist among you, in order that the really approved might become evident in their midst. This was in accordance with the divine administration by which evil, far from hindering, is made a servant of good. God will finally give up the persistent wranglers, that delight in wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, to their evil mind, the result being that the true Christians, that are approved of God, are made manifest in the congregation. Augustine very properly says: Heresies are the grindstone of the Church. Their sin serves to reveal them and thus to purge and purify the Christian congregation of an unpleasant discordant element.58)
The apostle now makes a specific charge: When, then, you assemble at the same place, it is not an eating of the Lord's Supper. It appears that the Corinthian congregation, even at this early day, had a definite place for meeting, since Paul is evidently not speaking of house congregations. Their purpose undoubtedly was to celebrate the Eucharist, and the earthly elements, bread and wine, were not lacking, but the manner in which they came together rendered the celebration a farce and a blasphemy. For in eating, as the hour for the meal came, every one took out, brought forward hastily, his own supper, seeking out and sitting down with his own particular friends. The custom formerly had been for the members to bring what they wished, what they could afford for the purpose, the food then being divided equally among all. But now that the new selfish custom became prevalent, the poor people had little or nothing, and therefore went hungry, while the wealthier members had more than sufficient for their needs and became intoxicated. "The scene of sensual greed and pride might well culminate in drunkenness." Surely a disgraceful spectacle for a Christian congregation to present!
The reproof of Paul, therefore, did not lack sharpness: Have you no houses to eat and drink in? Surely they could not have been in such straits as to make the satisfying of their appetites in public worship necessary. Or, on the other hand, do you despise the congregation of God and put those that are without means to shame? If that was their deliberate intention, to heap scorn upon the Church of God and to make the poor members feel their poverty, their inability to keep up their end of such profligate behavior, then their action was all the more reprehensible. What could and should the apostle say to them under the circumstances? Was it possible for him to praise them for such behavior? He frankly told them that this was out of the question. How could he have excused such inexcusable frivolousness, especially since it occurred in connection with the celebration of the Eucharist!
The Lord's revelation of the institution of the Eucharist: V. 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; v. 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. V. 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. Cp. Matt. 26, 26—28; Mark 14, 22—24; Luke 22, 19. 20. The apostle would have been fully justified in saying that he had received the doctrine concerning the Holy Communion even if he had merely heard the story from the mouths of the apostles that had been present at its institution. But his purpose in mentioning a direct and immediate communication of God is to emphasize his apostolic call and the authenticity and authority of his preaching. The Lord had given him the information by direct revelation, and in this sense they were to accept his teaching. Cp. Gal. 1, 12. He had taught them thus while he was with them in Corinth, and he was here recording the facts as the Lord had made them known to him. It was in the night when He was betrayed, literally, while the betrayal was going on, that the Lord instituted the wonderful meal of His body and blood. While His enemies were busily engaged in preparations for His capture, the Savior was preparing the heavenly meal for the comfort of believers. He took bread, one of the pieces of unleavened bread which was used at the Passover meal. And having given thanks, not merely the usual prayer of grace which Jewish custom had fixed for this meal, but a special blessing over the bread as the bearer of heavenly gifts. Then, as He walked from one to the other among His disciples, He broke off pieces of bread of convenient size and distributed them, bidding them to take and eat, and declaring that this bread which they were receiving was His body, the same body which was broken or given for them, in their stead and for their benefit. The bread carried, offered, and imparted to the disciples then, as now, the body of the Savior and sealed to the believers all the benefits of His salvation.
And in the very same manner, as an essential part of the new Sacrament, Jesus took the cup, after they had supped, after the paschal lamb and the chief course of the supper had been served. As he walked from one disciple to the next, he varied the formula of distribution but little, as we see from the close agreement between the four accounts. He called the cup with the wine contained therein the new testament in His blood, the new covenant established by the shedding of His blood; through it He entered into a covenant of mercy with all the partakers of this new sacrament. One fact stands out with undeniable force, namely, that all those present partook of the cup as well as of the bread, and that there can be no true Eucharist unless both elements are received by all communicants.59) Mark that in either case the Lord says: This do in remembrance of Me, for the commemoration of Me. And in the case of the cup He adds: As many times as you drink it. As often as a believer has a longing and desire for the assurance of the forgiveness of sins, and no matter how often, that certainty is his in the Holy Communion. Surely it ought not require more than this definite promise to induce a Christian to receive the Sacrament frequently. "And now consider, my dear friend, what we must think of such people as boast of their being Christians and yet probably go a whole year, two, three years, and still longer, and do not receive the reverend Sacrament. Surely the devil has possessed them to such an extent that they either pay no attention to their sins and therefore do not think about getting rid of them, or they find more pleasure in this present life than in the eternal. In either case it is a terrible thing to hear. Therefore he that wants to be a Christian and also wants to conduct himself, in accordance with his name, in a Christian manner, should not abstain from this Supper, but use it very often. For we are in great need of it, as we are here informed." 60)
Worthy and unworthy communicants: V. 26. For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till He come. V. 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. V. 28. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup. V. 29. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning" the Lord's body. The apostle now gives the Christians of Corinth and of all times some rules as to the proper preparation for, and celebration of, the Holy Communion. One of its purposes, as just stated by Paul, was that it should serve for the commemoration of the Lord. But frequency of celebration and familiarity with the Eucharist was not to blunt the reverence for its sanctity. Therefore the apostle says: For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, the death of the Lord you proclaim until He comes. Every celebration of the Eucharist is an open proclaiming, a publishing of the death of the Lord, of the fact that by the giving of His body and by the shedding of His blood He has wrought redemption. Of course, the right attitude toward the Sacrament is that in which the heart is fully conscious of the blessings which the mouth confesses. That fact will make every communicant both humble and eager for the wonderful grace of God, as given in the Holy Communion. Until He comes, until He returns in glory, the Sacrament of His body and blood is to be the means of communication from Him to us.
But the wonderful content and purpose of the Holy Communion demands, at the same time, a most careful preparation on the part of the communicant: So that whoever eats the bread, or drinks the cup of the Lord, unworthily, guilty is he of the body and blood of the Lord. To eat unworthily is to be in such a spiritual condition or to conduct oneself in such a manner as to be out of harmony with the dignity and the sanctity of the heavenly meal. Should a person come to the Lord's Supper as he would go to any other meal, considering his actions to be the mere eating of bread and the mere drinking of wine, if he feels neither desire for the grace of God nor devotion at the prospect of partaking in the miracle feast, then such a person will be guilty, not merely of a thoughtless eating and drinking, but of desecration of the body and blood of the Lord. He will show that he has neither a conception of his sinful-ness nor a longing for the grace of God; and thus his guilt will consist in his hindering the grace of God in the Sacrament, which is ready to bestow upon him forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation.
It follows, then, for every earnest Christian: But let a man examine himself, make a careful test of his own mind and attitude, explore all the secret recesses of his heart, not, as some commentaries say, to see whether he is religiously and morally qualified, personally worthy of being a guest of the Lord's, but, as our liturgical formula very properly says, to see whether he heartily repents of his sins, believes in Jesus Christ, and sincerely and earnestly purposes to amend his sinful life. Having made this examination, preferably with the aid of the questions in the Fifth Chief Part, in the Table of Duties, and in the Christian Questions offered in our Small Catechism, a Christian may come and partake of God's meal of grace. The purpose of the admonition, therefore, is not to deter and scare away such Christians in whom self-examination reveals many sins in thoughts, words, and deeds, but to stimulate the right desire for the grace of God, the need, of which this self-exploration has shown to exist.61) "Therefore we should here learn diligently and mark that such persons do not receive the Sacrament unworthily as say and confess they are poor sinners, feel various temptations.… If you did not want to receive the Sacrament unless you were free from all sins, it would follow that you would never go to the Sacrament. But they that knowingly continue in sins receive the venerable Sacrament unworthily; as, murderous hatred of their neighbor, murder, fornication, adultery, and other, similar public transgressions, and do not purpose to discontinue them. For the Sacrament has been instituted by Christ the Lord, not that people should remain in sins, but that they should obtain forgiveness and grow in sanctity. ... I can speak with authority of what results follow if a person abstains from the Sacrament for a time; I have also been in such fire of the devil that I became estranged from the venerable Sacrament, and that I attended with the greater unwillingness, the longer this lasted. Be sure to beware of this and get into the habit of going often, especially if you are fit to go, that is, if you find that your heart, on account of your sins, is heavy and shy, in order that you may not forget our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but remember His sacrifice and death; for otherwise He asks nothing of us." 62)
But of the unworthy the apostle says: For he that eats and drinks unworthily, judgment, condemnation, he eats and drinks to himself, because he does not discern, discriminate, the body of Christ. He makes no distinction between an ordinary meal and this heavenly meal; he does not realize that the true body and blood of his Savior are here present, and that for this reason a thoughtless use of the Sacrament is blasphemy and results in the final righteous punishment of God. For he that approaches the table of the Lord in such a spirit of frivolousness will indeed also receive the body and blood of Christ in, with, and under the bread and wine, but not as that of his Redeemer, rather as that of his Judge, who will, on the last day, demand an account of him with sharp reckoning, since the outward behavior is only an indication and demonstration of the unbelief of the heart. "We teach, believe, and confess also that there is only one kind of unworthy guests, those namely who do not believe, concerning whom it is written, John 3, 18: 'He that believeth not is condemned already,' And this judgment becomes greater and more grievous, being aggravated by the unworthy use of the Holy Supper, 1 Cor. 11, 29." 63)
A final admonition to use care in going to the Sacrament: V. 30. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you and many sleep. V. 31. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. V. 32. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord that we should not be condemned with, the world. V. 33. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. V. 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. Practically all commentators agree in understanding v. 30 of physical inflictions and infirmities, of debility and ill health, many of them adding that these conditions were the result of the intemperance alluded to in v. 21. Others have suggested that such extraordinary and direct visitations and bodily punishments for spiritual shortcomings were a feature of the apostolic age. But the text itself suggests nothing of the kind, and the idea of believing some of the Corinthian Christians sleeping in physical death agrees neither with the usage of the word nor with the doctrine of Scriptures on this point. The meaning of the apostle is plain: Many of the members in their own midst were weak, they were lacking in spiritual strength, Matt. 26, 41; Rom. 14, 1. 2; 1 Cor. 1,27; 9, 22; others were seriously ill in spirit, lacking the strength and vigor of the ideal Christian, Matt. 9, 12; Luke 5, 31; and still others were dozing in spiritual sleep, Eph. 5, 14; 1 Thess. 5, 6, and therefore lacked the watchfulness, the spiritual vigilance, which should mark the Christian at all times, lest he fall into the snares of the devil, 1 Pet. 5, 8. In other words, many of the Corinthian Christians, though still nominally believers and looked upon as members of the congregation in good standing, were actually in a spiritual state, which showed that energetic measures were needed to bring them back to true faith and the active life in Christ. Then, as now, this condition was the result of misusing the Sacrament, of eating and drinking unworthily, of not making the proper discrimination between the Lord's Supper and all other eating and drinking.
This sad state of affairs might have been avoided by the vigilance which should characterize the Christians at all times: If, however, we discriminated ourselves, we should not be judged. An earnest self-examination before every communion, together with a frank condemnation of everything found to deviate from the norm of God's holy will, saves believers from the judgment of unworthy communicants. But now that we are under judgment, since the Lord criticizes and condemns our laxity and irreverence with regard to the use of His Holy Supper, His is a pedagogical purpose. Through the earnest reproof of the apostle the Lord was chastising, disciplining, the Christians of Corinth, lest they continue in their spiritual sleep and in the end fall under the pronouncement of the final damnation.
And so the apostle, having summoned all the arguments which were necessary to bring the Corinthians to the realization of their situation, repeats his admonition in conclusion: Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. They should not continue the practice of splitting up into parties and cliques and, as a consequence, change the love-feast preceding the Lord's Supper into a debauch, but they should celebrate also this decently and together, lest the Eucharist be desecrated. And they should avoid the appearance of feasting. If any one was hungry, he should attend to the satisfying of his hunger at home, in order that they did not assemble for worse, for judgment. Other matters which pertained to proper order and decency in the celebration of the Eucharist and public worship, Paul intended to regulate according as he might come. He did not yet know, at that time, when he might be able to visit Corinth, but he was determined to come as soon as circumstances would permit his making the journey.
Summary. The apostle discusses the veiling of women in church services, together with their position in the congregation, he chides the Corinthian Christians for the evidences of divisions among them as these appeared even in the celebration of the Eucharist, and speaks at length of the preparation for, and the proper celebration of, the Lord's Supper.