My daily exploration of the Bible, taking it one chapter at a time. If I do it everyday, it'll take 1189 days.



Thursday, October 25, 2007

1 Corinthians 11

First in, first served!

Summary:
Congrats on doing what I've said. Remember that God heads Jesus who heads men who head women. So women should pray with covered heads, and men with uncovered. If not, it's like having a man with long hair or a woman with short. That's just weird! Man was made first, biartch!

But then, under God, men and women are equally interdependent. Just be normal, like everyone else. Men has short uncovered hair, women have long or covered heads. Don't be weird.

But no congrats on your communion taking! This isn't something to fill you up! Why are you rushing trying to get food first, while other go hungry. Look, before he died, Jesus gave bread as his body and wine as his blood both to remember him. You are proclaiming Jesus' death until his return! You can't do that in an disrespectful way. We need to judge ourselves before taking this supper. If you don't do this spiritual thing, then there are very real physical consequences - sickness and death.

So wait for each other when you eat the Lord's supper. Be patient. Don't use it to satisfy your gluttony.

Key verses:
11. In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman.
26. For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes

My thoughts:
What a chapter.

Let's look at some of Paul's reasoning in the first half of this chapter.

"A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God"
"For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head."

Please enlighten me if you have more wisdom, but neither of these reasons appear to make any sense to me. They just seem to lack any logical value. Aristotle would be very upset. Most of all, I love the cast-away reasoning "because of the angels". It just seems to be a generic 'Don't ask more questions' reason.

Anywho, I'd like to suggest that Paul is being noticably less clear in his arguments here. He is saying statements with big qualifications, such as though man was made first, we are interdependent. He calls on the Corinthians to judge for themselves, but his ultimate conclusion was that the Corinthians should just do what everyone else does, perhaps because it's not worth the potential controversy being weird might cause. I just get the feeling that Paul himself isn't thoroughly convinced by his theological reasonings, but is just trying to stop the Corinthians from arbitrarily odd.

Anyway, I think there is a significant argument to be made that when you take into account the context of the Corinthian church, the early church, ancient society, and the context of the entire teachings of the Bible, there is little mandate that Paul's specific demands of verses 1-16 be comprehensively met as modern Biblical Christians.

Whew...

So. The second half of the chapter... It seems that the rich who didn't really need to work during the day were starting the Lord's supper during the day, and thoroughly enjoying themselves, and there was little or no food left for the workers who only got there after work. This was not a wafer and a sip, this was a meal, but Paul is clear that the Lord's supper's role as a nutritious meal is secondary to the remembrance of Jesus and the equal community of all believers.

Much of the Anglican prayer book regarding the Eucharist is taken from here, so I find it all very familiar.

This is another passage which shows Paul's interest in the physical earthly life and ministry of Jesus. He is relating an early creed of the Lord's Supper as is shown by his words, "For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you".

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