1 Corinthians

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16

1 Corinthians 11 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on 1 Corinthians 11 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

"Be ye followers of me."
Paul says that everyone should follow him -- not Jesus. He'll take care of all that for you.
Didn't Paul start his letter (1 Cor. 1:12) with taking issue with those Corinthians that claimed to follow different ministers? Yes he did. So either he has changed his mind now or the spin of the author of the SAB is wrong. Paul doesn't ask the Corinthians to follow him here. He says that they should follow Christ by following his example.

2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

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.

"The head of the woman is the man."
What the Bible says about women's rights
Should women have the same rights as men?

"The head of Christ is God."
Is Jesus God
If the head of every man is Christ, what does that say about men's rights? Just as much as this verse says about women's rights, i.e. nothing. To correct the church in Corinth, where some men prayed with their head covered, and some women prayed without their head being covered, the apostle Paul goes back to the creation. As the creator is above its creation, so is Christ as the creator the head of men. As the woman was created because of the man, Gen. 2:20, in creation order the man is her head. This civil order is to be displayed in the church, because although in Christ there is no male or female (Gal. 3:28), the full demonstration of that is reserved for heaven.
On if Jesus is God, Christ is not only God, but man as well. As God, he is equal with the Father, as he often asserted, and the Pharisees clearly understood, and that is why they wanted to kill him for blasphemy (Mark 14:61-64), because he made himself equal to God. But God the Father is his head with respect to his human nature, and with respect to his office, because he humbled himself to become a servant, Phil. 2:7-8.

4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.

5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

"Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head."
May a woman speak in church?
(11:5-6) "If the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn."
If a woman refuses to cover her head in church, then her her head must be shaved.
The author of the SAB looks at the words pray and prophesy and concludes this is something men do. Women are allowed to do it as well, if they cover their head. But the meaning of pray and prophesy, given the context, is not execution, but it indicates participation. Not all men pray or prophesy in church. But in church there is prayer and prophesy (preaching) and every hearer joins in that. As John Gill says:

Not that a woman was allowed to pray publicly in the congregation, and much less to preach or explain the word, for these things were not permitted them: see chapter 14:34 but it designs any woman that joins in public worship with the minister in prayer, and attends on the hearing of the word preached, or sings the praises of God with the congregation, as we have seen, the word prophesying signifies,

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 author of the SAB also claims that Paul says that women who do not cover their head in church should be shaved. The apostle doesn't say that, but he says in the previous verse: “for that is even all one as if she were shaven.” Clearly being without hair is shame. Women do not shave off all their hair. Paul uses that as an example: if they think they can be without covering, let them shave their head. Which they will not do, so let them cover themselves in public worship as well.

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.

(11:7-9) "A man ... is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man."
Men are made in the image of God; women in the image of men. Women were created from and for men.
The apostle Paul refers back to creation. The first woman was indeed taken from a man. But being the glory of men does not indicate servitude, but a crown:

and to be a crown of honour and glory to him. The apostle speaks the sense, and in the language of the Jews. The words in Is. 44:13. "After the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man", are by the Targum rendered, "after the likeness of a man, after the glory of a woman";

8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.

9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.

11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.

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

13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?

(11:13-15) "If a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him. But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her."
God likes short hair on men and long hair on women.
Is it OK for men to have long hair?
What the Bible says about clothing and fashion
Oh, look at this one: 'Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?' OK, well, it's right about that one." -- Penn and Teller on the Bible
Theologikos: A haircut in the name of the LORD...
Men should indeed not have long hair. The verse pointed to by the author of the SAB was the exception that confirms the rule as this was only applicable to men who had take the Nazarite vow, Num. 6:5.
The verses the author of the SAB compares on clothing are a mixture of rules that were applicable to certain people, priests, or Old Testament times. They do not apply in New Testament times, Acts 15:19-20. Some laws are still in effect of course, because they proceed from creation, and predate the specific instructions given to Israel. Men and women should have some distinction in clothing. In our day and age we like to wipe out the differences between the sexes, all such distinctions are just culture supposedly, but the Bible clearly rejects this.

14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?

15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.

17 Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.

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.

19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.

21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.

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.

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:

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.

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.

26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

(Jehovah's Witnesses) "For as often as you eat this loaf and drink this cup, you keep proclaiming the death of the Lord, until he arrives." (NWT). If Christ arrived in 1914, as the governing body teaches, then why do Jehovah's Witnesses continue to partake of the bread and wine? Shouldn't they have stopped in 1914?

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.

28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

(11:27, 29) "He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself."
Those that "eateth and drinketh unworthily" will go to hell.
This is not on eating and drinking in general, but on partaking of the Lord's Supper. We can be born again, and still partake unworthily.

30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

"For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep."
Those who eat and drink unworthily often get sick and die.(And then they go to hell.)
See the previous verse. This is all part of the instructions on how the Lord's Supper should be commemorated.

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

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

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

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.