1 Corinthians 11:11
Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
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(11) Nevertheless . . .—Here follow words of caution, lest the previous express declaration of the subordination of woman to man might be exaggerated or perverted. This very subordination of one sex to the other implies a mutual connection, and not an isolation of each sex. The woman is not independent of, but dependent on the man “in the Lord,” i.e., in the Christian economy.

1 Corinthians 11:11-12. Nevertheless, neither is the man, since the first creation, produced without the woman, neither the woman without the man — And they cannot subsist without the mutual help of each other in many cases: in the Lord — By God’s appointment, and according to that order he has fixed in the creation. As if he had said, Yet let not the man be proud of his superiority, nor the woman troubled at her subjection, for there is a kind of equality in some respects, and many mutual obligations to engage them both to love and kindness. For as the woman is, or was, of the man — At first taken out of him; even so is the man also by the woman — Now in the ordinary course of nature: and therefore let him not despise, but honour and love her. But all things are of God — The man, the woman, and their dependance on each other: or both the dominion of the one, and the subjection of the other, are by God’s appointment, and therefore they should acquiesce therein.

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.Nevertheless - Lest the man should assume to himself too much superiority, and lest he should regard the woman as made solely for his pleasure, and should treat her as in all respects inferior, and withhold the respect that is due to her. The design of this verse and the following is to show, that the man and woman are united in the most tender interests; that the one cannot live comfortably without the other; that one is necessary to the happiness of the other; and that though the woman was formed from the man, yet it is also to be remembered that the man is descended from the woman. She should therefore be treated with proper respect, tenderness, and regard.

Neither is the man without the woman ... - The man and the woman were formed for union and society. They are not in any respect independent of each other. One is necessary to the comfort of the other; and this fact should be recognized in all their contact.

In the Lord - By the arrangements or direction of the Lord. It is the appointment and command of the Lord that they should be mutual helps, and should each regard and promote the welfare of the other.

11. Yet neither sex is insulated and independent of the other in the Christian life [Alford]. The one needs the other in the sexual relation; and in respect to Christ ("in the Lord"), the man and the woman together (for neither can be dispensed with) realize the ideal of redeemed humanity represented by the bride, the Church. Lest the man, upon the apostle’s discourse of his pre-eminence and dignity over the woman, should wax proud and insolent, and carry himself too imperiously, the apostle addeth this, that they both stand in need of each other’s help, so as neither of them could well be without the other, either as to matters that concern God, or that concern the world; the Lord so ordering and disposing it, that they should be mutual helps one to another. Or else the sense is, they are equal in the Lord as to a state of grace, in Christ there is neither male nor female: though there be a difference between a man and woman in other things, and the man hath the priority and superiority; yet when we come to consider them as to their spiritual state, and in their spiritual reference, there is no difference.

Nevertheless, neither is the man without the woman,.... This is said, partly to repress the pride and insolence of man, that he might not be too much elated with himself, and his superiority over the woman, and look with any degree of disdain and contempt upon her, and treat her with indifference and neglect; and partly to comfort the woman, that she might not be dejected with the condition and circumstances in which she was, since the one is not without the other; nor can they be so truly comfortable and happy, as not the man without the woman, who was made for an help meet for him,

so neither the woman without the man in the Lord. The phrase "in the Lord" is added, to show that it is the will of God, and according to his ordination and appointment, that the one should not be without the other; or it may design that lawful conjunction and copulation, of one man and one woman together, according to the will of the Lord, which distinguishes it from all other impure mixtures and copulations. The Arabic version reads it, "in the religion of the Lord"; and the sense is, that the one is not without the other in religious worship, and in the enjoyment of religious privileges; that though the woman may not pray publicly and expound the Scriptures, yet she may join in prayer, and hear the word preached, sing the praises of God, and enjoy all ordinances; for in Christ no distinction of sex is regarded, men and women are all one in him, and equally regenerated, justified, and pardoned, and will be glorified together.

{11} 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.

1 Corinthians 11:11. Paul’s teaching from 1 Corinthians 11:7 onward might possibly be misinterpreted by the men, so as to lead them to despise the women, and by the women so as to underrate their own position. Hence the caveat which now follows (ἐπάγει τὴν διόρθωσιν, Chrys.) against the possible dislocation of the Christian relation of the two sexes: nevertheless, neither is the woman without the man, nor the man without the woman in Christ, i.e. nevertheless there subsists such a relation between the two in the sphere of the Christian life (ἐν Κυρίῳ), that neither does the woman stand severed from the man, i.e. independent of, and without bond of fellowship with, him, nor vice versâ. They are united as Christian spouses (comp 1 Corinthians 11:3) in mutual dependence, each belonging to the other and supplying what the other lacks; neither of the parties being a separate independent person. The ἘΝ ΚΥΡΊῼ thus assigns to the relation here expressed the distinctive sphere, in which it subsists. Out of Christ, in a profane marriage of this world, the case would be different. Were we, with Storr, Heydenreich, Rückert, Hofmann, to take ἘΝ ΚΥΡΊῼ as predicative definition: “neither does the woman stand in connection with Christ without the man, nor vice versâ,” this would resolve itself either into the meaning given by Grotius: “Dominus neque viros exclusis feminis, neque feminas exclusis viris redemit;” or into Hofmann’s interpretation, that in a Christian marriage the relation to the Lord is a common one, shared in by the two parties alike. But both of these ideas are far too obvious, general, and commonplace to suit the context. Olshausen (comp Beza) renders it, “by the arrangement of God.” But ἐν Κυρίῳ is the statedly used term for Christ; the reference to the divine arrangement comes in afterwards in 1 Corinthians 11:12.

1 Corinthians 11:11-12. πλὴν κ.τ.λ. modifies and guards the foregoing; this conj. lies between δὲ and ἀλλὰ in its force—but besides, howbeit. What has been said in 1 Corinthians 11:3-10 must not be overpressed: woman is subordinate, not inferior; the sexes are alike, and inseparably necessary to the Christian order (1 Corinthians 11:11); and if man is the fountain, woman is the channel of the race’s life (1 Corinthians 11:12). οὔτε γυνὴοὔτε ἀνήρ κ.τ.λ.: “Neither is there woman apart from man, nor man apart from woman in the Lord.” Here Tennyson is the best commentator: “Either sex alone is half itself … each fulfils defect in each, and always thought in thought, purpose in purpose, will in will, they grow … the two-celled heart beating, with one full stroke, life”. ἐν Κυρίῳ (cf. 1 Corinthians 7:39, etc.), i.e. under the rule of Christ, where woman’s rights are realised as nowhere in heathenism (cf. Galatians 3:28, Ephesians 5:28; also the wording of 1 Corinthians 7:3 f. above). For the contrast of ἐκ and διά, see 1 Corinthians 8:6; “the woman has an equivalent in the Divine order of nature, that as man is the initial cause of being to the woman, so woman is the instrumental cause of being to the man” (Ev[1650]). But the ἀνὴρ is only a relative source; God is absolute Father—τὰ δὲ πάντα ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ (cf. 1 Corinthians 8:6, 1 Corinthians 1:30 and note, Romans 11:36). To Him man and woman owe one reverence.

[1650] T. S. Evans in Speaker’s Commentary.

11. Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman] “St Paul’s teaching from 1 Corinthians 11:7 onward might possibly be misinterpreted by the men so as to lead them to despise the women, and by the women so as to lead them to underrate their own position.”—Meyer. He goes on, however, to treat the passage as referring chiefly to married persons, whereas it refers to the two sexes in general, as constituent parts of the Christian community, each having its own peculiar excellencies and special gifts, every one of which is necessary to the perfection of human society. We may remark how in Christ alone were the various qualities of humanity so blended that He united in Himself the perfections of the masculine and feminine characters.

1 Corinthians 11:11. Ἐν Κύριῳ, in the Lord) in Christ, by whom both the man and the woman have been created and redeemed. The difference between the man and the woman, Galatians 3:28, begins now rather to disappear in respect of Christ in this ver., and in respect of God in the following verse, than in respect of the angels. Therefore 1 Corinthians 11:9-12, elegantly correspond with one another in their short clauses.

Verse 11. - Nevertheless. The verse is meant to correct any tendency on the part of men to domineer. Man and woman are "all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28).

"The two-celled heart, beating with one
full stroke - Life."
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