11:21 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all
things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered [them] to
(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.
11:32 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 the sex.
(a) In that Christ is our mediator.
11:43 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 ordinance.
(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
11:54 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
11:76 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
11:87 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the
(7) He proves the inequality of the woman by the fact that from
the man is the substance of which woman was first made.
11:98 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.
11:109 For this cause ought the woman to have c power on
[her] head because of the 10 angels.
(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.
11:1111 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.
11:1312 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray
unto God uncovered?
(12) He urges the argument taken from the common sense of
11:15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for
[her] hair is given her for a e covering.
(e) To be a covering for her, and such a covering as
should procure another.
11:1613 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.
11:1714 Now in this that I declare [unto you] I praise [you]
not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the
(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.
11:1815 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.
11:1916 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
11:20 When ye come together therefore into one place, [this] is
g not to eat the Lord's supper.
(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 come.
11:2217 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.
11:2318 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 bruised.
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
11:2820 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
(l) This passage overthrows the idea of the faith of
merit, or undeveloped faith, which the papists
11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and
drinketh damnation to himself, not m discerning the
(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.
11:3021 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
(n) Try and examine ourselves, by faith and repentance,
separating ourselves from the wicked.
11:3322 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
11:3423 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
(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.