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1follow me in this attitude, my brethren, as I follow the Christ.
Paul's views on woman in the church
2You do remember and mark my words, I know, and you do keep the rules and the instructions which I lay down. I commend you as an obedient flock, and therefore listen now to another rule, a tradition I wish to be observed in our churches. 3Let men be bareheaded at our meetings, but let the women still wear the head-covering, as has always been the custom, and not thinking themselves free, as they begin to do, appear bareheaded like to men. 4-9And why? There is a reason. If a woman is to appear bareheaded like a man, then let her cut her hair, and wear it in the way that men wear theirs. That would be ugly, you say, and I agree. There is then a difference between the man and the woman; and what is our interpretation of it? Mine is this. Man stands for God; but woman stands for man. The head of the man is the type of Christ governing the body, and the head of Christ is God. The man then in every way stands as the type of the divine, the image and likeness of God, and with unveiled head he stands in the presence of God. 10But woman represents the glory of man; and in the presence of the angels of God man's glory should be veiled. A woman's beauty is her modesty. Her long hair is her glory, because it clothes and covers her. 11The male comes first as the representative of God, and the female next as the representative of man. 12In the second chapter of Genesis the difference made between the creation of man and of woman lies, as I interpret it, in these two different types, the one of God, the other of man; 13-15and so I advise you to keep the old custom whereby men wear their hair short, and bare their heads in prayer or preaching, but women wear their hair long, and in praying or in preaching they keep their heads covered. 16I advise you, I say, to keep this rule, but if you intend to argue the point with me — then I declare I am ignorant of any such custom, and the churches of God know it not!
Divisions and abuses at the Lord's table
17Now in this next point I cannot add any commendation to the advice I am going to give you, for the reason that things are far from well, and that you are receiving harm where you ought to get only good. 18It is an excellent thing that you assemble yourselves together that you may get mutual profit thereby, but not if thereby differences and divisions arise amongst you. This I have heard to be the case, and so in a measure I believe it to be; 19because these divisions, it would seem, have a part to play in our faith, whereby the false are separated from the true, and true faith is tried and tested. 20-21Similarly taking food and drink in common, arriving at this meal hungry and thirsty, is no part of our faith. To dine all together is not to eat the supper of the Lord, especially when some are far better provided than others, and there are great differences in the way you fare at this common feast, and excess even and want are found seated at the same table. 22I like not such customs as that. Why not take your meals in the ordinary way at home? To eat and drink in such a way is to hasten the doom that is coming on all flesh — that doom and judgment of the flesh which is seen in the sickness, the ill-health and the death that still is found amongst your numbers. Now through the eternal body and blood of the Christ we are released from that fate and judgment that come upon the flesh. We look forward to the appearance and coming of the eternal Christ, and we show forth that peculiar death of his which overcame death and releases us from it.
The last supper described
23That is what the Lord Jesus meant by his words at that last supper the night on which they took him, when he handed the cup to his disciples, and broke the bread for them. I taught you his words and his action on that occasion, as they were given me by those who were present. 24After taking the bread, he gave thanks, spoke the usual blessing, and handed it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is surrendered on your behalf. In future, when you break bread thus, and give thanks, remember my body, remember me.” 25-26In handing the cup after dinner, he said, “This is the new covenant, sealed in my blood. In future, whenever you take wine thus together, think of this new covenant, remember my blood.”
Its spiritual meaning explained
27Do you then my brethren, when you come together, eating and drinking, with the intention of carrying out his injunction, and recalling his words, do you really discern beneath this semblance and type of bread and wine the eternal body of Christ to which we belong? Do you really celebrate that wondrous death of his, which differed from all other deaths in that it is to be followed by his second coming and eternal presence in the world? 28Examine yourselves on these points, and assemble together in that spirit only. Otherwise you will only eat and drink the doom of all flesh, as it comes upon the whole world. 29But if you discerned that infinite eternal body, if you understood the meaning of Christ's death in the flesh, and what is signified by the shedding of his blood, and the giving up of his mortal life and material body — 30-31then, my brethren, there would not be so much sickness and disease and death in your midst as there still is. 32-33You would not be bound up with the world in the common doom of perishing mortality, but by first judging yourselves, you would then escape the general ruin. 34Such feasts as you observe, where the eating and drinking predominate over the teaching, have little in keeping with the Lord's supper and this can be avoided by eating first at home, and then when you come together, giving place to one another, and taking the bread and wine as it comes to you. There are other details in connection with this matter which I will arrange when I see you.
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1Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
On Covering the Head in Worship
2I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you. 3But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man,#11:3 Or of the wife is her husband and the head of Christ is God. 4Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. 5But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is the same as having her head shaved. 6For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head.
7A man ought not to cover his head,#11:4-7 Or 4 Every man who prays or prophesies with long hair dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with no covering of hair dishonors her head—she is just like one of the “shorn women.” 6 If a woman has no covering, let her be for now with short hair; but since it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair shorn or shaved, she should grow it again. 7 A man ought not to have long hair since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; 9neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10It is for this reason that a woman ought to have authority over her own#11:10 Or have a sign of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.
13Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, 15but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. 16If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God.
Correcting an Abuse of the Lord’s Supper
17In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. 18In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. 19No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval. 20So then, when you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, 21for when you are eating, some of you go ahead with your own private suppers. As a result, one person remains hungry and another gets drunk. 22Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God by humiliating those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? Certainly not in this matter!
23For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
27So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 30That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. 32Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.
33So then, my brothers and sisters, when you gather to eat, you should all eat together. 34Anyone who is hungry should eat something at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment.
And when I come I will give further directions.