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1 Corinthians 11:1-16

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

1. Imitatores mei estote, sicut et ego Christi.

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

2. Laudo autem vos, fratres, quod omnia mea meministis et traditiones 609609     “Mes ordonnances;” — “My ordinances.” tenetis, quemadmodum vobis tradidi.

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.

3. Volo autem vos scire, quod omnis viri caput est Christus, caput autem mulieris, vir: caput autem Christi, Deus.

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

4. Omnis vir orans aut prophetans velato capite, dedecore afficit caput suum.

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.

5. Omnis mulier orans aut prophetans aperto capite, dedecore afticit caput suum: perinde enim acsi radatur.

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.

6. Si enim non velatur mulier, etiam tondeatur: si autem mulieri turpe est tonderi aut radi, veletur.

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.

7. Vir quidem velato esse capite non debet, quum sit imago et gloria Dei: mulier autem gloria viri est.

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

8. Non enim est virex muliere, sed mulier ex viro.

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

9. Etenim non est creatus vir mulieris causa, sed mulier causa viri.

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

10. Propterea debet mulier potestatem habere super caput suum, propter angelos.

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

11. Caeterum neque vir absque muliere, neque mulier absque viro in Domino.

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

12. Quemadmodum enim mulier ex viro, sic et vir per mulierem: olnnia autem ex Deo.

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

13. In vobis ipsis iudicate, deceatne mulierem retecto capite Deum precari.

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

14. An ne ipsa quidem natura vos docet, quod si vir comam alat, dedecus illi sit?

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

15. Si vero mulier comam alat, gloria sit illi? quoniam illi coma instar velamenti data est.

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

16. Quodsi quis videtur contentiosus esse, nos talem consuetudinem non habemus, neque Ecclesiae Dei.


1. Imitators of me. From this it appears, how absurdly chapters are divided, inasmuch as this sentence is disjoined from what goes before, with which it ought to have been connected, and is joined to what follows, with which it has no connection. Let us view this, then, as the close of the preceding chapter. Paul had there brought forward his own example in confirmation of his doctrine. Now, in order that the Corinthians may understand that this would be becoming in them, he exhorts them to imitate what he had done, even as he had imitated Christ

Here there are two things to be observed — first, that he prescribes nothing to others that he had not first practiced himself; and, secondly, that he directs himself and others to Christ as the only pattern of right acting. For while it is the part of a good teacher to enjoin nothing in words but what he is prepared to practice in action, he must not, at the same time, be so austere, as straightway to require from others everything that he does himself, as is the manner of the superstitious. For everything that they contract a liking for they impose also upon others, and would have their own example to be held absolutely as a rule. The world is also, of its own accord, inclined to a misdirected imitation, (κακοζηλίαν) 610610     “Κακοζηλία, an absurd invitation The term is used in this sense by Lucian. (V. 70.) Our author makes use of the same term in the Harmony, vol. 1, p. 209, n. 2. — Ed and, after the manner of apes, strive to copy whatever they see done by persons of great influence. We see, however how many evils have been introduced into the Church by this absurd desire of imitating all the actions of the saints, without exception. Let us, therefore, maintain so much the more carefully this doctrine of Paul — that we are to follow men, provided they take Christ as their grand model, (πρωτότυπον,) that the examples of the saints may not tend to lead us away from Christ, but rather to direct us to him.

2. Now I praise you He passes on now to another subject-to instruct the Corinthians, what decorum ought to be observed in the sacred assemblies. For as a man’s dress or gesture has in some cases the effect of disfiguring, and in others of adorning him, so all actions are set off to advantage by decorum, and are vitiated by the want of it. Much, therefore, depends upon decorum (τὸ πρεπον,) 611611     Τὸ πρέπον, may be defined to be the union of propriety and grace. Πρέπον and καλὸν being used among the Greeks and among the Romans, pulchrum and decorum, as synonymous terms. See Cic. de Off., 1, 27. — Ed and that not merely for securing for our actions gracefulness and beauty, but also to accustom our minds to propriety. While this is true in a general way as to everything, it holds especially as to sacred things; 612612     “Es choses qui concement le seruice de Dieu;” — “In things that concern the service of God.” for what contempt, and, eventually, what barbarism will be incurred, if we do not preserve dignity in the Church, by conducting ourselves honorably and becomingly? Hence he prescribes some things that are connected with public order, by which sacred assemblies are rendered honorable. But in order to prepare them the more for obedience, he commends, in the outset, their obedience in the past, inasmuch as they observed his ordinances; for inasmuch as he had begotten that Church to the Lord, (1 Corinthians 4:15,) he had delivered to them a certain system, by which it was to be governed. By retaining this, the Corinthians gave reason to hope, that they would also in future be docile.

It is surprising, however, that, while he now bestows upon them this commendation, he had previously blamed them for many things. Nay more, if we consider the state of the Church, such as has been previously described, they were far from deserving this praise. I answer, that there were some that were infected with those vices which he had previously reproved, and indeed, some with one, others with another; but, in the meantime, the form which he had prescribed to them had been retained by the entire body. For there is nothing of inconsistency in saying, that very many sins, and of various kinds, prevail among a particular people — some cheating, others plundering — some envying, others quarrelling, and another class guilty of fornication — while, at the same time, in respect of the public form of the Church, the institutions of Christ and his Apostles are maintained.

This will appear more clearly when we come to see what Paul means by παραδόσεις; (traditions;) 613613     “Traditions ou ordonnances;” — “Traditions or ordinances.” and independently of this, it is necessary to speak of this word, for the purpose of replying to Papists, who arm themselves with this passage for the purpose of defending their traditions. It is a common maxim among them, that the doctrine of the Apostles consists partly of writings and partly of traditions. Under this second department they include not merely certain foolish superstitions, and puerile ceremonies, with which they are stuffed, but also all kinds of gross abomination, directly contrary to the plain word of God, and their tyrannical laws, which are mere torments to men’s consciences. In this way there is nothing that is so foolish, nothing so absurd — in fine, nothing so monstrous, as not to have shelter under this pretext, and to be painted over with this varnish. As Paul, therefore, makes mention here of traditions, they seize, as they are accustomed to do, upon this little word, with the view of making Paul the author of all those abominations, which we set aside by plain declaration of Scripture.

I do not deny, that there were certain traditions 614614     “Quelques ordonnances;” — “Certain enactments.” of the Apostles that were not committed to writing, but I do not admit that they were parts of doctrine, or related to things necessary for salvation. What then? They were connected with order and government. For we know that every Church has liberty to frame for itself a form of government that is suitable and profitable for it, because the Lord has not prescribed anything definite. Thus Paul, the first founder of the Corinthian Church, had also framed for its regulation pious and seemly enactments — that all things might be done decently and in order, as he afterwards enjoins. (1 Corinthians 14:40.) But what has this to do with those silly trifles of ceremonies, which are to be seen in Popery? 615615     “Les sottes ceremonies et badinages, qu’on voit auiourd’huy en la Papaute;” — “The silly ceremonies and fooleries that are to be seen in Popery at this day.” What has it to do with a worse than Jewish superstition? What has it to do with a tyranny worthy of Phalaris, 616616     “Ceste tyrannic plus que barbare;” — “That worse than barbarous cruelty.” Phalaris, the tyrant of Agrigentum in Sicily, was infamous for his cruelty. Cicero on more than one occasion employs the term Phalarismus to denote excessive cruelty. See Cic. Att. 7. 12, and Fam. 7. 11. — Ed. by which they torture miserable consciences? What has it to do with so many monstrous rites of idolatry? For the foundation of all right enactment was this: to observe the moderation that Paul made use of — not to compel persons to follow their enactments, 617617     “Leurs arrests et determinations“ — “Their decrees and determinations.” while, in the meantime, contriving everything that might strike their fancy, but to require that they should be imitated, in so far as they are imitators of Christ But now, after having had the audacity to criticize everything agreeably to their own humor, to demand obedience from all is exceedingly absurd. Farther, we must know that Paul commends their obedience in the past, in order that he may render them docile also for the time to come.

3. But I would have you know It is an old proverb: “Evil manners beget good laws.” 618618     Matthew Henry makes use of this proverb in his Commentary, when summing up the contents of Luke 15. — Ed. As the rite here treated of had not been previously called in question, Paul had given no enactment respecting it. 619619     “N’en auoit rien touche es enseignemens qu’il auoit donnez;” — “Had not touched upon it at all in the instructions which he had given.” The error of the Corinthians was the occasion of his showing, what part it was becoming to act in this matter. With the view of proving, that it is an unseemly thing for women to appear in a public assembly with their heads uncovered, and, on the other hand, for men to pray or prophesy with their heads covered, he sets out with noticing the arrangements that are divinely established.

He says, that as Christ is subject to God as his head, so is the man subject to Christ, and the woman to the man We shall afterwards see, how he comes to infer from this, that women ought to have their heads covered. Let us, for the present, take notice of those four gradations which he points out. God, then, occupies the first place: Christ holds the second place. How so? Inasmuch as he has in our flesh made himself subject to the Father, for, apart from this, being of one essence with the Father, he is his equal. Let us, therefore, bear it in mind, that this is spoken of Christ as mediator. He is, I say, inferior to the Father, inasmuch as he assumed our nature, that he might be the first-born among many brethren.

There is somewhat more of difficulty in what follows. Here the man is placed in an intermediate position between Christ and the woman, so that Christ is not the head of the woman. Yet the same Apostle teaches us elsewhere, (Galatians 3:28,) that in Christ there is neither male nor female. Why then does he make a distinction here, which in that passage he does away with? I answer, that the solution of this depends on the connection in which the passages occur. When he says that there is no difference between the man and the woman, he is treating of Christ’s spiritual kingdom, in which individual distinctions 620620     “Les qualites externes;” “External qualities.” are not regarded, or made any account of; for it has nothing to do with the body, and has nothing to do with the outward relationships of mankind, but has to do solely with the mind — on which account he declares that there is no difference, even between bond and free. In the meantime, however, he does not disturb civil order or honorary distinctions, which cannot be dispensed with in ordinary life. Here, on the other hand, he reasons respecting outward propriety and decorum — which is a part of ecclesiastical polity. Hence, as regards spiritual connection in the sight of God, and inwardly in the conscience, Christ is the head of the man and of the woman without any distinction, because, as to that, there is no regard paid to male or female; but as regards external arrangement and political decorum, the man follows Christ and the woman the man, so that they are not upon the same footing, but, on the contrary, this inequality exists. Should any one ask, what connection marriage has with Christ, I answer, that Paul speaks here of that sacred union of pious persons, of which Christ is the officiating priest, 621621     “Autheur et conducteur;” — “Author and conductor.” and He in whose name it is consecrated.

4. Every man praying Here there are two propositions. The first relates to the man, the other to the woman He says that the man commits an offense against Christ his head, if he prays or prophesies with his head covered. Why so? Because he is subject to Christ, with this understanding, that he is to hold the first place in the government of the house — for the father of the family is like a king in his own house. Hence the glory of God shines forth in him, in consequence of the authority with which he is invested. If he covers his head, he lets himself down from that preeminence which God had assigned to him, so as to be in subjection. Thus the honor of Christ is infringed upon. For example, 622622     “Mais afin de mieux entendre ceci, prenons vn exemple;” — “But, that we may understand this better, let us take an example.” If the person whom the prince has appointed as his lieutenant, does not know how to maintain his proper station, 623623     “Se maintenir, et vser de son authorite;” — “To keep his place, and maintain his authority.” and instead of this, exposes his dignity to contempt on the part of persons in the lowest station, does he not bring dishonor upon his prince? In like manner, if the man does not keep his own station — if he is not subject to Christ in such a way as to preside over his own family with authority, he obscures, to that extent, the glory of Christ, which shines forth in the well regulated order of marriage. The covering, as we shall see ere long, is an emblem of authority intermediate and interposed.

Prophesying I take here to mean — declaring the mysteries of God for the edification of the hearers, (as afterwards in 1 Corinthians 14,) as praying means preparing a form of prayer, and taking the lead, as it were, of all the people — which is the part of the public teacher, 624624     “Du ministre et docteur de l’Eglise;” — “Of the minister and teacher of the Church.” for Paul is not arguing here as to every kind of prayer, but as to solemn prayer in public. Let us, however, bear in mind, that in this matter the error is merely in so far as decorum is violated, and the distinction of rank which God has established, is broken in upon. For we must not be so scrupulous as to look upon it as a criminal thing for a teacher to have a cap on his head, when addressing the people from the pulpit. Paul means nothing more than this — that it should appear that the man has authority, and that the woman is under subjection, and this is secured when the man uncovers his head in the view of the Church, though he should afterwards put on his cap again from fear of catching cold. In fine, the one rule to be observed here is το πρέπονdecorum If that is secured, Paul requires nothing farther.

5. Every woman praying or prophesying Here we have the second proposition — that women ought to have their heads covered when they pray or prophesy; otherwise they dishonor their head For as the man honors his head by showing his liberty, so the woman, by showing her subjection. Hence, on the other hand, if the woman uncovers her head, she shakes off subjection — involving contempt of her husband. It may seem, however, to be superfluous for Paul to forbid the woman to prophesy with her head uncovered, while elsewhere he wholly

prohibits women from speaking in the Church.
(1 Timothy 2:12.)

It would not, therefore, be allowable for them to prophesy even with a covering upon their head, and hence it follows that it is to no purpose that he argues here as to a covering. It may be replied, that the Apostle, by here condemning the one, does not commend the other. For when he reproves them for prophesying with their head uncovered, he at the same time does not give them permission to prophesy in some other way, but rather delays his condemnation of that vice to another passage, namely in 1 Corinthians 14. In this reply there is nothing amiss, though at the same time it might suit sufficiently well to say, that the Apostle requires women to show their modesty — not merely in a place in which the whole Church is assembled, but also in any more dignified assembly, either of matrons or of men, such as are sometimes convened in private houses.

6. For it is all one as if she were shaven. He now maintains from other considerations, that it is unseemly for women to have their heads bare. Nature itself, says he, abhors it. To see a woman shaven is a spectacle that is disgusting and monstrous. Hence we infer that the woman has her hair given her for a covering Should any one now object, that her hair is enough, as being a natural covering, Paul says that it is not, for it is such a covering as requires another thing to be made use of for covering it And hence a conjecture is drawn, with some appearance of probability — that women who had beautiful hair were accustomed to uncover their heads for the purpose of showing off their beauty. It is not, therefore, without good reason that Paul, as a remedy for this vice, sets before them the opposite idea — that they be regarded as remarkable for unseemliness, rather than for what is an incentive to lust. 625625     “Sainct Paul pour remedier à ce vice, propose tout le contraire de ce qui leur sembloit; disant, que tant s’en faut qu’en cela il y ait vne beaute pour attirer les hommes a connoitise, que plustot c’est vne chose laide et deshonneste;” — “St. Paul, with the view of remedying this vice, sets forward quite the reverse of what appeared to them — saying, that so far from there being a beauty in this to allure men to lust, it is rather a thing that is ugly and unseemly.”

7. The man ought not to cover his head, because he is the image The same question may now be proposed respecting the image, as formerly respecting the head. For both sexes were created in the image of God, and Paul exhorts women no less than men to be formed anew, according to that image. The image, however, of which he is now speaking, relates to the order of marriage, and hence it belongs to the present life, and is not connected with conscience. The simple solution is this — that he does not treat here of innocence and holiness, which are equally becoming in men and women, but of the distinction, which God has conferred upon the man, so as to have superiority over the woman. In this superior order of dignity the glory of God is seen, as it shines forth in every kind of superiority.

The woman is the glory of the man There is no doubt that the woman is a distinguished ornament of the man; for it is a great honor that God has appointed her to the man as the partner of his life, and a helper to him, 626626     “Pour estre compagne a l’homme, pour viure auec luy, et pour luy aider;” — “To be a companion to the man, to live with him, and to aid him.” and has made her subject to him as the body is to the head. For what Solomon affirms as to a careful wife — that she is a crown to her husband, (Proverbs 12:4,) is true of the whole sex, if we look to the appointment of God, which Paul here commends, showing that the woman was created for this purpose — that she might be a distinguished ornament of the man.

8. For the man is not from the woman. He establishes by two arguments the pre-eminence, which he had assigned to men above women. The first is, that as the woman derives her origin from the man, she is therefore inferior in rank. The second is, that as the woman was created for the sake of the man, she is therefore subject to him, as the work ultimately produced is to its cause. 627627     “Ainsi que l’oeuure tendant a quelque fin est au dessous de sa cause et fin pour laquelle on le fait;” — “As a work fitted for some design is inferior to its cause and the design for which it is made.” That the man is the beginning of the woman and the end for which she was made, is evident from the law. (Genesis 2:18.)

It is not good for a man to be alone. Let us make for him, etc.


God took one of Adam’s ribs and formed Eve.
(Genesis 2:21, 22.)

10. For this cause ought the woman to have power 628628     “Doit auoir sur la teste vne enseigne qu’elle est sous puissance;” — “She ought to have upon her head a token that she is under authority.” From that authority he draws an argument 629629     “Vn argument et consequence;” — “An argument and inference.” in favor of outward decorum. “She is subject,” says he, “let her then wear a token of subjection.” In the term power, there is an instance of metonymy, 630630     “I1 y a de mot a mot au Grec, La femme doit auoir puissance sur la teste. Mais au mot de puissance il y a une figure appellee metonymie;” — “It is literally in the Greek, The woman ought to have power upon her head. But in the word power there is a figure called metonymy.” for he means a token by which she declares herself to be under the power of her husband; and it is a covering, whether it be a robe, or a veil, 631631     “C’est la couuerture de teste, soit un chapperon, ou couurechef, ou coiffe, ou chose semblable;” — “It is a covering of the head, whether it be a hood, or a kerchief, or a coif, or anything of that kind.” or any other kind of covering. 632632     The term ἐξουσία (exousia) is considered by Bloomfield to be the name of an article of dress of which mention is made in Ruth 3:15, and Isaiah 3:23, and consisted of “a piece of cloth of a square form thrown over the head and tied under the chin.” Granville Penn, on the other hand, considers it as nothing more than the (τι) κατα κεφαλης in the third verse of the chaptersomething on the head, or a covering on the head, and notices it as remarkable, that in Wiclif’s version (1380) the rendering is — “the woman schal have an hilying on hir heed,” which the glossary explains by covering. — Ed

It is asked, whether he speaks of married women exclusively, for there are some that restrict to them what Paul here teaches, on the ground that it does not belong to virgins to be under the authority of a husband. It is however a mistake, for Paul looks beyond this — to God’s eternal law, which has made the female sex subject to the authority of men. On this account all women are born, that they may acknowledge themselves inferior in consequence of the superiority of the male sex. Otherwise it were an inconclusive argument that Paul has drawn from nature, in saying that it were not one whit more seemly for a woman to have her head uncovered than to be shaven — this being applicable to virgins also.

Because of the angels This passage is explained in various ways. As the Prophet Malachi 2:7 calls priests angels of God, some are of opinion that Paul speaks of them; but the ministers of the word have nowhere that term applied to them by itself — that is, without something being added; and the meaning would be too forced. I understand it, therefore, in its proper signification. But it is asked, why it is that he would have women have their heads covered because of the angels — for what has this to do with them? Some answer: “Because they are present on occasion of the prayers of believers, and on this account are spectators of unseemliness, should there be any on such occasions.” But what need is there for philosophizing with such refinement? We know that angels are in attendance, also, upon Christ as their head, and minister to him. 633633     “Et sont tousiours a son commandement et seruice;” — “And are always at his commandment and service.” When, therefore, women venture upon such liberties, as to usurp for themselves the token of authority, they make their baseness manifest to the angels. This, therefore, was said by way of amplifying, as if he had said, “If women uncover their heads, not only Christ, but all the angels too, will be witnesses of the outrage.” And this interpretation suits well with the Apostle’s design. He is treating here of different ranks. Now he says that, when women assume a higher place than becomes them, they gain this by it — that they discover their impudence in the view of the angels of heaven.

11. But neither is the man without the woman This is added partly as a check upon men, that they may not insult over women; 634634     “Qu’ils n’ayent les femmes en desdain et mocquerie;” — “That they may not hold women in disdain and derision.” and partly as a consolation to women, that they may not feel dissatisfied with being under subjection. “The male sex (says he) has a distinction over the female sex, with this understanding, that they ought to be connected together by mutual benevolence, for the one cannot do without the other. If they be separated, they are like the mutilated members of a mangled body. Let them, therefore, be connected with each other by the bond of mutual duty.” 635635     “Par ce lien d’aide et antitie mutuelle;” — “By this tie of mutual assistance and amity.”

When he says, in the Lord, he by this expression calls the attention of believers to the appointment of the Lord, while the wicked look to nothing beyond pressing necessity. 636636     “La necessite qui les presse et contraint;” — “The necessity that presses and constrains them.” For profane men, if they can conveniently live unmarried, despise the whole sex, and do not consider that they are under obligations to it by the appointment and decree of God. The pious, on the other hand, acknowledge that the male sex is but the half of the human race. They ponder the meaning of that statement — God created man: male and female created he them (Genesis 1:27, and Genesis 5:2.) Thus they, of their own accord, acknowledge themselves to be debtors to the weaker sex. Pious women, in like manner, reflect upon their obligation. 637637     “Pensent a leur deuoir, et que de leur coste elles sont obligees aux hommes;” — “Think of their duty, and of their being under obligation, on their part, to men.” Thus the man has no standing without the woman, for that would be the head severed from the body; nor has the woman without the man, for that were a body without a head. “Let, therefore, the man perform to the woman the office of the head in respect of ruling her, and let the woman perform to the man the office of the body in respect of assisting him, and that not merely in the married state, but also in celibacy; for I do not speak of cohabitation merely, but also of civil offices, for which there is occasion even in the unmarried state.” If you are inclined rather to refer this to the whole sex in general, I do not object to this, though, as Paul directs his discourse to individuals, he appears to point out the particular duty of each.

12. As the woman is of the man If this is one of the reasons, why the man has superiority — that the woman was taken out of him, there will be, in like manner, this motive to friendly connection — that the male sex cannot maintain and preserve itself without the aid of women. For this remains a settled point — that it is not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18.) This statement of Paul may, it is true, be viewed as referring to propagation, because human beings are propagated not by men alone, but by men and women; but I understand it as meaning this also — that the woman is a needful help to the man, inasmuch as a solitary life is not expedient for man. This decree of God exhorts us to cultivate mutual intercourse.

But all things of God God is the Source of both sexes, and hence both of them ought with humility to accept and maintain the condition which the Lord has assigned to them. Let the man exercise his authority with moderation, and not insult over the woman who has been given him as his partner. Let the woman be satisfied with her state of subjection, and not take it amiss that she is made inferior to the more distinguished sex. Otherwise they will both of them throw off the yoke of God, who has not without good reason appointed this distinction of ranks. Farther, when it is said that the man and the woman, when they are wanting in their duty to each other, are rebels against the authority of God, the statement is a more serious one than if Paul had said, that they do injury to one another.

Doth not even nature itself He again sets forth nature as the mistress of decorum, and what was at that time in common use by universal consent and custom — even among the Greeks — he speaks of as being natural, for it was not always reckoned a disgrace for men to have long hair. 638638     It is remarked by President Edwards, that “the emphasis used, αὐτὴ ἡ φύσις, nature itself, shows that the Apostle does not mean custom, but nature in the proper sense. It is true it was long custom that made having the head covered a token of subjection, and a feminine habit or appearance, as it is custom that makes any outward action or word a sign or signification of anything; but nature itself, nature in its proper sense, teaches that it is a shame for a man to appear with the established signs of the female sex. Nature itself shows it to be a shame for a father to bow down or kneel to his own child or servant, because bowing down is, by custom, an established token of subjection and submission.” Edwards on Original Sin, part 2, chapter 3, section 3. — Ed Historical records bear, that in all countries in ancient times, that is, in the first ages, men wore long hair. Hence also the poets, in speaking of the ancients, are accustomed to apply to them the common epithet of unshorn 639639     Instances of this occur in Ovid, Fast. 2. 30, and in Hor., Od. 2, 15, 11. Gaul, to the north of the Alps, was called Gallia comata, from the inhabitants wearing their hair long Homer applies to the Greeks in his time the epithet of καρηκομόωντεςlong-haired Hom. Il., 2. 11. — Ed It was not until a late period that barbers began to be employed at Rome — about the time of Africanus the elder. And at the time when Paul wrote these things, the practice of having the hair shorn had not yet come into use in the provinces of Gaul or in Germany. Nay more, it would have been reckoned an unseemly thing for men, no less than for women, to be shorn or shaven; but as in Greece it was reckoned all unbecoming thing for a man to allow his hair to grow long, so that those who did so were remarked as effeminate, he reckons as nature a custom that had come to be confirmed. 640640     “I1 appelle Nature ceste coustume desia confermee par vn long temps et vsage commun;” — “He gives the appellation of Nature to this custom, already confirmed by length of time and common use.”

16. But if any man seem A contentious person is one whose humor inclines him to stir up disputes, and does not care what becomes of the truth. Of this description are all who, without any necessity, abolish good and useful customs — raise disputes respecting matters that are not doubtful — who do not yield to reasonings — who cannot endure that any one should be above them. Of this description, also, are those (ἀκοινώνητοι) would be singular persons 641641     “Qui ne se veulent en rien accommoder aux autres;” — “Who are not disposed to accommodate themselves to others in anything.” — The Greek word made use of by Calvin here (ακοινωντος) is employed by classical writers to mean — having no intercourse, or not caring to have intercourse with others. See Arist., Top. 3. 2, 8.; Plat. Legg., 774 A. — Ed who, from a foolish affectation, 642642     “Et appetit sans raison;” — “And unreasonable desire.” aim at some new and unusual way of acting. Such persons Paul does not reckon worthy of being replied to, inasmuch as contention is a pernicious thing, and ought, therefore, to be banished from the Churches. By this he teaches us, that those that are obstinate and fond of quarrelling, should rather be restrained by authority than confuted by lengthened disputations. For you will never have an end of contentions, if you are disposed to contend with a combative person until you have vanquished him; for though vanquished a hundred times, he would argue still. Let us therefore carefully mark this passage, that we may not allow ourselves to be carried away with needless disputations, provided at the same time we know how to distinguish contentious persons. For we must not always reckon as contentious the man who does not acquiesce in our decisions, or who ventures to contradict us; but when temper and obstinacy show themselves, let us then say with Paul, that contentions are at variance with the custom of the Church 643643     “Que ce n’est point la coustume de l’Eglise d’entrer en debats et contentions;” — “That it is not the custom of the Church to enter into strifes and contentions.”

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