1 Corinthians 11:2
Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
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(2) Now I praise you.—A new subject is here introduced, and occupies to 1Corinthians 11:16. The exhortation of the previous verse probably recalled to the Apostle’s mind that to a certain extent the Corinthians did follow his teaching and example; and had possibly in their letter, to which he was now replying, boasted of their obedience. The rebuke which he is about to administer is, with characteristic courtesy, introduced with words of commendation. While there is a likeness in form in the original in the words “imitators” and “remember,” the latter is weaker in its significance. He exhorts them to be “imitators.” He praises them only for bearing him in mind in all things to the extent of obeying certain practical directions which he had given them. The word “ordinances,” or traditions, here refers to matters of Christian discipline (as in Acts 16:4; 2Thessalonians 3:6).

1 Corinthians 11:2-3. Now I praise you, brethren — That is, the greater part of you; that you remember me — That you bear in mind all my directions; and keep the ordinances — Observe the rules of public worship in most points; as I delivered them to you — Formerly. But I would have you know — As if he had said, Yet I must further inform you respecting some things wherein you are defective in your attention to these rules. Consider, in particular, the subordination of persons appointed by God to be observed; That the head of every man is Christ — Who was the Creator, and is the immediate Supreme Governor of all mankind, especially of such as believe in him, being, in a peculiar sense, the head of his body the church, Colossians 1:18. So that every Christian should often recollect the relation in which he hath the honour to stand to Christ, as an engagement to observe the most respectful decorum in his whole behaviour toward him. And comparing the different sexes, it must be observed, the head of the woman is the man — To whom therefore she ought to be in subjection, and to pay a reverent respect, as in the Lord. And the head of Christ — As Mediator and man; is God — The Father, from whom he derives all his dignity and authority. Christ, in his mediatorial character, even considered in his whole person, acts in subordination to his Father, who rules by him, and hath constituted him sovereign of all worlds, visible and invisible. And, as the Father’s glory is interested in the administration of Christ, so is the glory of Christ, in some measure, interested in the conduct and behaviour of those men, whose more immediate head he is; and it may be added, of those women, whose heads such men are.

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.Now I praise you, brethren - Paul always chose to commend Christians when it could be done, and never seemed to suppose that such praise would be injurious to them. See the note at 1 Corinthians 1:4-5. On this occasion he was the more ready to praise them as far as it could be done, because there were some things in regard to them in which he would have occasion to reprove them.

That ye remember me in all things - That you are disposed to regard my authority and seek my direction in all matters pertaining to the good order of the church. There can be little doubt that they had consulted him in their letter (1 Corinthians 7:1) about the proper manner in which a woman ought to demean herself if she was called upon, under the influence of divine inspiration, to utter anything in public. The question seems to have been, whether, since she was inspired, it was proper for her to retain the marks ef her inferiority of rank, and remain covered; or whether the fact of her inspiration did not release her from that obligation, and make it proper that she should lay aside her veil, and appear as public speakers did among people. To this the apostle refers, probably, in the phrase "all things," that even in matters of this kind, pertaining to the good order of the church, they were disposed to regard his authority.

And keep the ordinances - Margin, "Traditions" (τὰς παραδώσεις tas paradōseis). The word does not refer to anything that had been delivered down from a former generation, or from former times, as the word "tradition" now usually signifies; but it means that which had been "delivered to them (παραδίδωμι paradidōmi); that is, by the apostles." The apostles had "delivered" to them certain doctrines, or rules, respecting the good order and the government of the church; and they had in general observed them, and were disposed still to do it. For this disposition to regard his authority, and to keep what he had enjoined, he commends them. He proceeds to specify what would be proper in regard to the particular subject on which they had made inquiry.

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.

That ye remember me in all things; that you remember my doctrine, the precepts and instructions that I gave you;

and keep the ordinances: so we translate it; the Greek word is paradoseiv. The word signifieth any thing that is doctrinally delivered, or taught men, whether it concerns faith or manners. It is thought, that in this text it doth not signify what the apostle had delivered to them with respect to faith, or their moral conversation, but with respect to matters of order, because such is the next instance which the apostle mentioneth, about praying or prophesying with the head covered, or uncovered; and undoubtedly any precepts of that nature from one guided by an infallible Spirit ought to be observed. The apostle doth not command them to keep any traditions, which others should to the end of the world deliver to them, he only praiseth them for keeping those which he had delivered. There is a great question between us and the papists, about the obligation that lieth upon Christians to observe unwritten traditions; that is, such rites and observances as they tell us were apostolical, and the traditions of the primitive church, though they can show us no Scripture for them; but no Christian disputes his obligation to keep apostolical traditions; only we are at a loss to know how to prove those traditions apostolical, of which we find nothing in the writings of the apostles: it is praiseworthy to keep apostolical traditions; but for others, or such as do not appear to us to be so, it is but a work of supererogation: where hath God required any such thing at people’s hands?

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.

{1} 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.

1 Corinthians 11:2. Conciliatory preamble to the sharp correction which follows.

δέ] is simply the autem leading on to a new subject; hence we are not to seek any set purpose in the similarity of sound between μιμηταί and μέμνησθε.

πάντα] because you are in all respects mindful of me. Rückert’s explanation: “you think on everything that comes from me” (1 Corinthians 16:14), is needlessly far-fetched, seeing that μέμνημαι with the accusative, very frequent in Greek writers, does not occur in the N. T., and the absolute πάντα is common enough (1 Corinthians 9:25, 1 Corinthians 10:32).

καὶ καθὼς κ.τ.λ[1750]] and because you hold fast the traditions in the way in which I delivered them to you. This is the practical result of what was stated in the foregoing clause. Παραδόσεις might refer to doctrine as well as to usages and discipline (comp Galatians 1:14; Colossians 2:8; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; Plato, Legg. vii. p. 803 A; Polyb. xi. 8. 2); but the tenor of the following context shows that Paul means here directions of the latter sort, which he had given to the Corinthians orally (and also perhaps in his lost letter, v. 2). He had, at the foundation of the church and afterwards, made various external regulations, and rejoices that, on the whole, they had not set these aside, but were holding them fast in accordance with his directions (κατέχετε, comp 1 Corinthians 15:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; Hebrews 3:6; Hebrews 10:23). As to the connection of ΠΑΡΈΔΩΚΑΠΑΡΑΔΌΣΕΙς, see Winer, p. 210 [E. T. 281].

[1750] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

1 Corinthians 11:2-6. § 35. THE WOMAN’S VEIL. P. is glad to believe that the Church at Cor[1593] is loyal to his instructions (2); he interrupts his censures by a word of praise. This commendation, however, he proceeds to qualify. First, in respect of a matter whose underlying principles his readers had not grasped: he hears that some women speak in Church-meetings, and that bareheaded! For a woman to discard the veil means to cast off masculine authority, which is a fixed part of the Divine order, like man’s subordination to Christ (1 Corinthians 11:3 f.). She who so acts disgraces her own head, and only needs to go a step further to rank herself with the degraded of her sex (1 Corinthians 11:5 f.).

[1593] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

2–16. The Conduct and Dress of Women at the Public Services of the Church

2. Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things] There is no contradiction between this verse and 1 Corinthians 11:17. The ordinances which St Paul had delivered to the Corinthians had been faithfully kept; but the principles of Christian liberty and Christian brotherhood had been, in some instances, unsatisfactorily carried out. He therefore proceeds to give other ordinances on matters which required immediate attention, leaving (1 Corinthians 11:34) those of less pressing importance till he himself arrived at Corinth. The ordinances in the present chapter relate (1) to the conduct of women in the public assemblies, and (2) to the Lord’s Supper.

ordinances] The margin has traditions; praecepta, Vulgate (comaundements, Wiclif). The signification of the Greek word is things delivered, and it is derived from the verb translated delivered in this verse, just as tradition is derived from trado, to deliver or give over. These ‘traditions,’ or rather, ‘ordinances,’ were of three kinds; (1) regulations for the government of the Church, as here and in 2 Thessalonians 3:6; (2) statements concerning doctrine, as 2 Thessalonians 2:15; or (3) concerning fact, as in ch. 1 Corinthians 11:23, 1 Corinthians 15:3, which are spoken of as having been ‘delivered’ by the Apostle. The doctrines of the Rabbis are spoken of as ‘traditions’ in St Matthew 15:2; Galatians 1:14.

as I delivered them to you] “Large principles, when taken up by ardent and enthusiastic minds, without the modifications learnt by experience, are almost sure to run into extravagances, and hence the spirit of law is by degrees reduced to rules, and guarded by customs.”—Robertson, Lect. xxi. on 1st Ep. to Corinthians. The whole lecture is extremely valuable.

1 Corinthians 11:2. Ἐπαινῶ, I praise) [This verse is the proper commencement of the chapter.—Not. Crit.] Nowhere else does Paul so directly praise any of those, to whom he writes. But here he resolves to write about anything, which does not properly fall under his παραγγελίαν, admonition, to them, 1 Corinthians 11:17; in which, however, if they will follow the reasons, which he has set before them, and comply with the custom of the saints, 1 Corinthians 11:16, which he finally lays down as somewhat stringent, he assures the Corinthians, that they will be worthy of praise, and declares, that they will incur neither Peter’s indignation, nor his.—πάντα) κατὰ πάντα.—μου, me) construed with you remember, or with all things, 1 Corinthians 16:14.—παρέδωκαπαραδόσεις, I delivered—traditions [ordinances]) This is applied to doctrines, whether imparted to them by word of mouth, or by letters, whether they relate to mysteries, or ceremonies, 1 Corinthians 11:23; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:15 : they have a greater relation however to ceremonies. In 1 Corinthians 11:23, he says respecting the Lord’s Supper, that he both received and delivered; but here, he says, that he delivered, he does not say that he had received.

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. 1 Corinthians 11:2Ordinances - delivered (παραδόσεις - παρέδωκα)

There is a play of two hundred words, both being derived from παραδίδωμι to give over. Ordinances is a faulty rendering. Better, Rev., traditions. By these words Paul avoids any possible charge of imposing his own notions upon the Church. He delivers to them what had been delivered to him. Compare 1 Timothy 1:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:15.

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