Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all 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, that is 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 begins nonetheless 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.
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 a head
of Christ [is] God.
(2) He sets down God, in Christ our mediator, as
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 declares 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
(a) In that Christ is our mediator.
Every b man praying or prophesying,
having [his] head covered, dishonoureth his head.
(3) By this he gathers that if men do either pray
or preach in public assemblies having their heads covered (which was then a
sign of subjection), they robbed themselves of their dignity, against God's
(b) It appears, that this was a political law
serving only for the circumstance 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.
But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with [her] head uncovered
dishonoureth her head: 5 for that is
even all one as if she were shaven.
(4) And in like manner he concludes that women
who show themselves in public and ecclesiastical assemblies without the sign
and token of their subjection, that is to say, uncovered, shame themselves. (5)
The first argument taken from the common sense of man, for so much as nature
teaches women that it is dishonest for them to go abroad bareheaded, seeing
that they have given to them thick and long hair which they do so diligently
trim and deck, that they can in no way abide to have it shaved.
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.
(6) The taking away of an objection: have not men
also hair given to them? "I grant that", says 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 so that by profession of her obedience, she might more honour her
For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.
(7) He proves the inequality of the woman by the
fact that from the man is the substance of which woman was first made.
Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
(8) Secondly, by the fact that the woman was made
for man, and not the man for the woman's sake.
For this cause ought the woman to have c
power on [her] head because of the 10
(9) The conclusion: women must be covered, to
show by this external sign their subjection.
(c) A covering which is a token of subjection.
(10) What this means, I do not yet understand.
Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the
man, d in the Lord.
(11) A digression which the apostle uses, lest
that which he spoke of the superiority of men, and the 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 teaches 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 the marriage relationship may be cherished.
(d) By the Lord.
Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?
(12) He urges the argument taken from the common
sense of nature.
11:15 But if a
woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for [her] hair is given her for a e
(e) To be a covering for her, and such a covering
as should procure another.
But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the
churches of God.
(13) Against those who are stubbornly contentious
we have to oppose this, that the churches of God are not contentious.
Now in this that I declare [unto you] I praise [you] not, that ye come together
not for the better, but for the worse.
(14) He passes now to the next treatise
concerning the right administration of the Lord's supper. And the apostle
uses this harsher preface, that the Corinthians might understand that whereas
they generally observed the apostle's commandments, yet they badly neglected
them in a matter of greatest importance.
For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be
divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
(15) To celebrate the Lord's supper correctly,
it is required that there is not only consent of doctrine, but also of
affections, so that it is not profaned.
For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are f
approved may be made manifest among you.
(16) Although schisms and heresies proceed from
the devil, and are evil, yet they come not by chance, nor without cause, and
they turn to the profit of the elect.
(f) Whom experience has taught to be of sound
religion and godliness.
11:20 When ye come together therefore into one
place, [this] is g not to eat the
(g) This is a usual metaphor by which the apostle
flatly denies that which many did not do well.
11:21 For in eating every one taketh h
before [other] his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.
(h) Eats his food and does not wait until others
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.
(17) The apostle thinks it good to take away the
love feasts because of their abuse, although they had been practised a long
time, and with commendation used in churches, and were appointed and
instituted by the apostles.
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:
(18) We must take a true form of keeping the
Lord's supper, out of the institution of it, the parts of which are these:
touching the pastors, to show 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 of it, 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 show forth the
Lord's death, that is, in true faith to yield to his word and institution:
and last of all, to take the bread from 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.
11:24 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 in remembrance of me.
(i) This word "broken" denotes to us
the manner of Christ's death, for although his legs were not broken, as the
thieves legs were, yet his body was very severely tormented, and torn, and
11:2719 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this
bread, and drink [this] cup of the Lord, k
unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
(19) Whoever condemns the holy ordinances, that
is, uses them incorrectly, are guilty not of the bread and wine, but of the
thing itself, that is, of Christ, and will be grievously punished for it.
(k) Otherwise than how such mysteries should
properly be handled.
But let l a man examine himself, and so
let him eat of [that] bread, and drink of [that] cup.
(20) The examination of a man's self, is of
necessity required in the supper, and therefore they ought not to be admitted
to it who cannot examine themselves: such as children, furious and angry men,
also such as either have no knowledge of Christ, or not sufficient, although
they profess Christian religion: and others that cannot examine themselves.
(l) This passage overthrows the idea of the faith
of merit, or undeveloped faith, which the papists maintain.
11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh
unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not m
discerning the Lord's body.
(m) He is said to discern the Lord's body that
has consideration of the worthiness of it, and therefore comes to eat of this
food with great reverence.
For this cause many [are] weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
(21) The profaning of the body and blood of the
Lord in his mysteries is harshly punished by him, and therefore such wrongs
ought diligently to be prevented by each one judging and correcting himself.
11:31 For if we would n
judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
(n) Try and examine ourselves, by faith and
repentance, separating ourselves from the wicked.
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.
And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto
condemnation. 24 And the rest 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 separated 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.