|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:2-16 Here begin particulars respecting the public assemblies, ch. 1Co 14. In the abundance of spiritual gifts bestowed on the Corinthians, some abuses had crept in; but as Christ did the will, and sought the honour of God, so the Christian should avow his subjection to Christ, doing his will and seeking his glory. We should, even in our dress and habit, avoid every thing that may dishonour Christ. The woman was made subject to man, because made for his help and comfort. And she should do nothing, in Christian assemblies, which looked like a claim of being equal. She ought to have power, that is, a veil, on her head, because of the angels. Their presence should keep Christians from all that is wrong while in the worship of God. Nevertheless, the man and the woman were made for one another. They were to be mutual comforts and blessings, not one a slave, and the other a tyrant. God has so settled matters, both in the kingdom of providence and that of grace, that the authority and subjection of each party should be for mutual help and benefit. It was the common usage of the churches, for women to appear in public assemblies, and join in public worship, veiled; and it was right that they should do so. The Christian religion sanctions national customs wherever these are not against the great principles of truth and holiness; affected singularities receive no countenance from any thing in the Bible.
Verses 2-16. - Rules and principles respecting the covering of the head by women in Church assemblies. Verse 2. - Now; rather, but, on the other hand. That ye remember me in all things, and keep, etc. This is probably a quotation from their letter. He thanks them for this kind message, but points out one particular in which their practice was not quite commendable. The ordinances. The word literally means traditions, but is here rightly applied to rules which he had delivered to them. The Vulgate has praecepta. The word is used in Matthew 15:2 of the rules and precedents laid down by the rabbis.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now I praise you, brethren,.... The apostle prefaces what he had to say by way of commendation of them; though some think that this is said in an ironical way, because there are many things both in this chapter, and in the following part of this epistle, delivered in a way of reproof; but whoever considers the change of style in 1 Corinthians 11:17 will easily see, that this must be spoken seriously here, and is designed to raise the attention to what he was about to say, and to prepare their minds to receive, and take in good part, what he should say by way of rebuke; who could not well be angry when he praised them for what was praiseworthy in them, and reproved them for that which was blamable. The things he commends them for are as follow,
that ye remember me in all things; that is, either that they were mindful of him, though at a distance from them, and had such a veneration for him, and paid such respect to him, and to his judgment, as to write to him to have his sense about any point of doctrine, or case of conscience which had any difficulty in them; or that they bore in memory the doctrines of the Gospel which he had delivered among them; see 1 Corinthians 15:2 The Arabic version reads, "that ye remember my sayings and deeds"; the doctrines he preached among them, and the examples he set them:
and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you; meaning, among the rest, if not principally, baptism and the Lord's supper, which he received from Christ, and delivered unto them; see 1 Corinthians 11:23 and which they, at least many of them, kept and observed in the faith of Christ, from a principle of love to him, and with a view to his glory, and that as to the form and manner in which they were delivered to them by the apostle, agreeably to the mind of Christ; but was the apostle alive now, would, or could he praise the generality of those that are called Christians on this account? no; neither of these ordinances in common are kept as they were delivered: as to baptism, it is not attended to either as to subject or mode, both are altered, and are different from the original institution; and the Lord's supper is prostituted to the vilest of men; and, what is "monstrum horrendum", is made a test and qualification for employment in civil and military offices under the government.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. Here the chapter ought to begin.
ye remember me in all things—in your general practice, though in the particular instances which follow ye fail.
ordinances—Greek, "traditions," that is, apostolic directions given by word of mouth or in writing (1Co 11:23; 15:3; 2Th 2:15). The reference here is mainly to ceremonies: for in 1Co 11:23, as to the Lord's Supper, which is not a mere ceremony, he says, not merely, "I delivered unto you," but also, "I received of the Lord"; here he says only, "I delivered to you." Romanists argue hence for oral traditions. But the difficulty is to know what is a genuine apostolic tradition intended for all ages. Any that can be proved to be such ought to be observed; any that cannot, ought to be rejected (Re 22:18). Those preserved in the written word alone can be proved to be such.
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