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The Epistles of Paul - 1 Corinthians Part 13: Communion, Ritual vs. Reality
Continuing our discussion of this first epistle to the Corinthians, we must keep in mind that ever since the beginning of chapter 7 of the epistle Paul of Tarsus has been responding to specific questions which the assembly in Corinth had previously composed to him. So in chapter 7 he discusses with them the risks of marriage in a time of persecution, and then in chapter 8 the daily coexistence of Christians in a pagan world. Paul then addressed matters concerning the conduct of his own ministry in chapter 9, and then in chapter 10 he turned back to the discussion of idolatry.
In each of these discussions we gain important insights into Paul's own Christian worldview, in things such as how he defined marriage, divorce and fornication, and how he esteemed Christian license under the New Covenant, giving the procurement of food from pagan sources as an example of the bounds and resolution of Christian disagreements. Then Paul offered the conduct of his own ministry as an example for others, that continence and subjection of the fleshly will are of the utmost importance because men must subject themselves to Christ, and especially those men who are proclaiming Christ.
In 1 Corinthians chapter 10, Paul more or less continued the discussion from chapter 8, concerning idolatry, the tables of demons, and the bounds of Christian communion. Paul attested that idolatry was the worship of demons, and we illustrated that his words in Colossians chapter 2 concerning the worship of angels were related to this statement, while also citing the corroborating Enoch literature and the writings of the contemporary Qumran sect in order to show that the sins of the so-called fallen angels were related to these demons, which are also the spirits of bastards. In Psalm 96, in verse 5, we may read from the King James Version that “all the gods of the nations are idols”. However in the Septuagint version of the Psalm we find that “all the gods of the nations are devils”, or demons, and therefore we find agreement with Paul in a version of the Old Testament closer to the one which he himself had used.
Here in 1 Corinthians chapter 11 Paul will continue along those lines, and discuss Christian communion as well as Christian deportment within the assembly of Christ. In chapter 10, however, among other things there were two important concepts expressed by Paul which are a necessary prerequisite in order to have a complete understanding of this coming chapter. The first of those are that the Corinthians were indeed among those nations who had descended from the children of Israel which were in the Exodus, and the second is that Paul clearly reckoned the children of Israel according to the flesh as being the tribes of the pagan nations of Europe. Paul reckoned Israel as twelve tribes as it is recorded in Acts chapter 26, and in Romans chapter 4 Paul attested that the Nations to whom he brought the Gospel were indeed the offspring of Jacob according to the promise to Abraham, that they had actually descended from him. Therefore the Body of Christ consists of those children of Israel according to the flesh since the New Covenant was made with those same Israelites, as Paul also explained in several of his writings elsewhere citing the Old Testament prophets. As we had seen in part concerning the Corinthians, ancient history certainly proves that Paul was correct.
Modern-day denominational churches have developed the mistaken idea that Israel is “spiritual”, or in others words that some general community of believers has somehow replaced the Israel of God. Yet Paul of Tarsus accounted Israel in his own day as “twelve tribes” as he attested in Acts chapter 26, and as his “kinsmen according to the flesh” as he attested in Romans chapter 9. These are the nations which are sprung from the seed of Abraham, which he explains are the recipients of the promises in Romans chapter 4 and Galatians chapters 3 and 4. Only Identity Christians have an understanding of the truth of these matters, and believing Paul's words in conjunction with the many oracles of Yahweh found in the prophets concerning the ancient children of Israel, it is Identity Christians who are indeed the traditional Christians, while the universalist dispensationalists and replacement theologians are the innovators and the frauds. Here in the latter part of 1 Corinthians chapter 11 it shall be further elucidated, that Christian Israel should have discriminated from the beginning against non-Israelites, who are forever outside of the covenants, and that they are faulted for not having discriminated.
Because the first verse of 1 Corinthians chapter 11 belongs with the end of the chapter which precedes it, here we shall commence with verse 2:
2 Now I commend you, because you have remembered me entirely, and just as I had transmitted to you, those transmissions you have retained.
The Codex Claromontanus (D) and the Majority Text interpolate the word “brethren” at the end of the first clause of this verse. The phrase “remembered me entirely” is literally “remembered all things of me”, and the obvious inference is that they remembered “all that I had told you”, as the phrase may have been loosely translated. Paul is commending the Corinthians for having adhered to certain things which he had taught them during his year-and-a-half in Corinth several years prior to the writing of this epistle. It is evident that in his subsequent statements he offers elaborations upon and refinements of those earlier teachings.
3 But I wish for you to acknowledge that of every man the head is the Anointed, but the head of the woman is the man, and the head of the Anointed, Yahweh.
That the word for anointed here is a reference to the Body of Christ, which is Christian Israel collectively, is our interpretation. It may be interpreted as Christ, however we do this because Christ is indeed one and the same with Yahweh, or God, who is the ultimate head of the assembly. This interpretation preserves the context of this epistle. As Paul explains further on in chapter 12, where he also explicitly refers to the ekklesia as the body of Christ and individual members as being members of that body, “25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” If members of the body of Christ are to have greater concern for the other members of the body than they do for themselves, then it is evident here that the man should be subservient to the body of Christ by making himself a servant of that body. Doing this, a man lives his life as Christ did by giving his life for the body, as He Himself had done and as He instructed His followers to do in turn. From Matthew chapter 16: “24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
Now concerning Paul's presentation of the proper relationship between man and wife. It is evident right from the beginning of Scripture, in the way in which the Scripture is presented, that there is a lesson which Paul had followed in Genesis chapters 2 and 3 concerning the proper relationship between a man and his wife. The man was created first, and then the woman was created in order to be a help-mate for the man. Accordingly, Paul asserts in verse 9 of this chapter that woman was created for the sake of man. However we read in Genesis chapter 2 that the man was also to cleave unto his wife. This is the natural order of the creation of God, and therefore while the woman is subordinate to the man, the man has a responsibility to the woman.
However in the beginning of Genesis chapter 3 we find the woman alone, where she was beguiled by the serpent. Then, in her sinful state, the man was led by the woman into that same sin. This was the fault of the man as much or even more so than it was of the woman, because the man was told to cleave to his wife and he evidently failed to do so. As Paul said in his second epistle to the Corinthians, the woman was deceived in the transgression but the man was not, and ostensibly the sin of the man was committed willfully.
As punishment for their transgression, the woman was told that “thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee”, which actually only commanded the woman to be returned to her rightful place in the creation. Then the man was punished in turn, and the pronouncement of his punishment begins with the words “because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife”. So the man was punished because he allowed the woman to lead him into sin. It was not that Adam should not have ever taken any advice from his wife, but that Adam should not have followed the wife contrary to the Word of God: therefore man should obey God first, and his relationship with his wife is secondary.
There are feminists, even many feminists among Identity Christians, who believe that a woman can rightfully fulfill the role of a man. However in Deuteronomy chapter 22 we read that: “5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.” In Isaiah chapter 3 we see the children of Israel depicted in a sinful state: “12 As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.” This compares once again to the state of society today, where women and children have been granted a legal status which makes them preeminent above men. This is a reproach to sinful men, and it is in their chastisement that Yahweh God allows it. When women rule over men, it is a disgrace to the men. Men can only keep their rightful place in God's creation when they put God first. When the men of Israel put God first, women will fall in line behind them.
4 Every man praying or interpreting prophecy holding the head down disgraces his head.
The Greek verb προφητεύω (4395) is only used by Paul in 1 Corinthians, in chapters 11 (vv. 4 and 5), 13 (v. 9) and 14 (vv. 1, 3, 4, 5 (bis), 24, 31, and 39). To the Greeks the word meant “to be an interpreter of the gods” and according to Liddell & Scott, in the New Testament it means “to expound scripture, to speak and preach under the influence of the Holy Spirit”. After the manner in which the Greeks used the word, from a Christian perspective we would agree that in the New Testament it means to be an interpreter of the Word of God. Therefore everywhere in this epistle the verb is understood to mean to interpret prophecy. We have likewise interpreted the noun προφητεία to mean the interpretation of prophecy at Romans 12:6, and the noun προφητής, or prophet, to refer to an interpreter of prophecy at 1 Corinthians 12:28.
However there were clearly other uses of these words which are not adequately expressed by adhering to this one aspect of its meaning. The first use is found in the Old Testament of those men who recorded the visions and messages given to them by God. Additionally, the words may also describe a person who has the unnatural ability to reveal hidden secrets, and that is the sense in which it is used in 1 Corinthians 14:24, and where the Samaritan woman at the well described in John chapter 4 exclaimed to Christ that “Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet” (John 4:19) when He revealed to her details of her life that He did not know otherwise. We shall discuss this further when in this presentation of our commentary we arrive at 1 Corinthians chapter 14.
5 But every woman praying or interpreting prophecy with the head uncovered, disgraces her head; for it is one and the same with having been shaven. 6 Indeed if a woman is uncovered, then she must be shorn, but if it is a disgrace to a woman to be shorn or to be shaven, she must be covered.
These verses cannot be understood outside of their original historical context. In verse 15 of this chapter, Paul explains that it is the woman's long hair which is the covering of which he speaks. In that, we see that the Roman Catholic insistence that a woman wear a head-scarf or other man-made covering is an innovation which reflects their own misunderstanding of Paul's words here.
Among the women of Paul's time, it had become fashionable for them to make elaborate decorations in braids, thereby uncovering their heads by having their hair arranged high above their heads. A collection of photographs of early Roman sculpture illustrating this custom is available at Christogenea under the title Early Roman Women where the comment is made that looking at Roman hairstyles, the comments by Paul at 1 Corinthians 11 and I Timothy 2:9, and by Peter at I Peter 3:3 can be better understood.
Paul said in his first epistle to Timothy (2:9) that “Likewise women in moderate attire are to adorn themselves with modesty and discretion, not in wreaths and in gold or pearls or in very expensive garments”, where the word translated as wreaths may have been better translated as braids, since it bears either meaning. The King James Version properly has “broided hair”.
The apostle Peter fully agrees with Paul where in his first epistle (chapter 3) he wrote: “1 Likewise the wives being subject to their own husbands, in order that if some then disobey the Word, through the conduct of the wives they shall have advantage without the Word, 2 observing in fear your pure conduct, 3 of which the dress must not be outward with braids of hair and applications of gold or putting on of garments, 4 but the hidden man of the heart with the incorruptibility of the gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious before Yahweh. 5 For thusly at one time also the holy women who have hope in Yahweh had dressed themselves being subject to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah had obeyed Abraham calling him master, whose children you have been born to do good and not fearing any terror.” Of course, Peter was also talking to women who were the literal children of Sarah.
7 Therefore while a man ought not to have the head covered, being of the likeness and splendor of Yahweh, then a woman is the splendor of a man.
Yahweh having made the Adamic race both male and female, the woman is certainly the more beautiful of the two, as she is evidently supposed to be.
Paul's insistence that men should not cover their heads while praying is als enigmatic unless one understands the Roman tradition of his time. While Corinth was a Greek city, since its restoration by Julius Caesar it was a cosmopolitan and Romanized city as well. Pagan Roman priests had conducted religious observances with their heads covered, and pagan Roman men when praying would both lower and cover their heads with a cloak or with a part of their toga. This custom is well-known to have prevailed in Paul's time, and is explained by Dionysius of Halicarnassus (who died circa 7 AD) in his Roman Antiquities as well as by Plutarch in his Moralia (who died circa 120 AD). Livy (who died circa 17 AD) also mentioned prayers being made by men with their heads covered (History of Rome, 1.32.6). Of course, Paul is addressing former pagans, as can clearly be told from 1 Corinthians 12:2. so he is not referring to any Judaean customs here.
8 For man is not from woman, but woman from man. 9 Also man has not been created for the sake of woman, but woman for the sake of man.
Paul's explanation comes directly from Genesis chapter 2: “19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. 21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
10 For this reason a woman ought to have a sign of control upon the head, for the sake of the Messengers.
The Greek word ἐξουσία (Strong's # 1849) has appeared frequently in this epistle. It is generally power or authority to do something or to have license in a thing which gives one the authority to do it. The King James Version has it that the woman ought to have “power on her head”. Here it is a sign of control, which is explained by Joseph Thayer in his Greek-English Lexicon definition for ἐξουσία (at 4.d.) to more fully mean “a sign of the husband's authority over his wife”, which we shall see is not necessarily correct. Of course, reading Thayer's definition the traditional caricature of the caveman pulling his wife by the hair may come to mind, however that is certainly not what Paul intends here. Rather, in our opinion, it seems that the sign of control in long hair is an expression of modesty on the part of the woman, where the inferences made by both Paul and by Peter are that women who adorn themselves with braids and jewels are immodest.
Paul's reference to the messengers, or angels, may seem to be obscure but it should not be obscure at all. He already spoke in chapter 10 of the demons who were the authors of idolatry. The epistle of Jude is probably the plainest New Testament resource which explains that the “angels which kept not their first estate” were dwelling among Christians and were spots in their feasts of charity, feeding themselves without fear. Jude also describes them as men who “crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” These are the progeny of those very devils who were the authors of idolatry and they dwell among us even today, bound in chains of darkness as the non-Adamic races who have been infiltrating Adamic society in order to corrupt it in every age! Peter described these same people in chapter 2 of his second epistle where he said “12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; 13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; 14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children”. These must be the angels to whom Paul referred in this admonishment, the descendants of the “fallen angels”, the Kenites and Rephaim and other races of Genesis chapter 15 who were later intermingled with and identified as Canaanites, Edomites and others of the mixed races. As it has been illustrated here, women wearing their hair naturally and without braids was a sign of modesty. Therefore the sign of control was not for their husbands to pull them around by the hair, but it was for the woman herself as an indication to the rest of the society that she was modest and continent and therefore she was not issuing an invitation to be tempted. The sign of control is therefore a sign of self-control. A woman dressing immodestly is advertising an inclination to incontinence, and issuing an invitation that she is open to such temptation.
11 However neither is woman separate from man, nor man separate from woman, by authority.
The Greek word κύριος is often used with the Definite Article as a Substantive, which is a word or group of words which are not nouns but which function as a noun. When κύριος is used in this manner it is usually translated as “the Lord” in most Bible versions. In this verse it is not accompanied with the Greek article, and therefore it is not necessarily a Substantive. The word κύριος is basically an adjective and it means “of persons, having power or authority over, lord or master of … absolute authority, authoritative, supreme” (Liddell & Scott). Therefore, as it appears here in the Dative case and with a preposition which means in, at or within, among other things, it is “with authority”.
Paul had written earlier in this very epistle, in 1 Corinthians chapter 7: “2 but because of fornication each man must have his own wife, and each woman must have her own husband. 3 The husband must render the obligation due to the wife, and in like manner the wife also to the husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband; and in like manner also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife. 5 Do not withdraw from one another, unless in agreement for a time, in order that you devote time to prayer, and come together into one place again, that the Adversary would not tempt you due to your incontinence.” That which the Word of God says in Genesis, Christ also said as it is recorded in the Gospels of both Matthew and Mark, “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife”. If the husband is to cleave to his wife, then here in 1 Corinthians it is evident that Paul interpreted that to mean that the two should not at all be separated, except for those reasons which he had given.
12 Therefore just as the woman is from the man, in that manner also the man is through the woman, but all things are from Yahweh.
Paul refers to the creation of Eve, and then to the act of child-bearing, as the child is perceived as being made from the body of the mother.
13 You decide within yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to Yahweh uncovered? 14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a dishonor to him?
The men of the Greco-Roman world typically had short hair. Perhaps not as short as a modern military haircut, but not longer than many men wear their hair today, and usually not below what we may call the collar. There is a misconception that in antiquity the Israelites grew their hair long, usually taken from poor interpretations of Leviticus chapter 19:27. However in Ezekiel chapter 44 we see a vision of the priests of the temple which says “20 Neither shall they shave their heads, nor suffer their locks to grow long; they shall only poll their heads.” To poll their heads means to trim their hair, and it is quite clear here that the hair of the priest was not permitted to grow long. Ezekiel was writing over 600 years before Paul of Tarsus.
In the earliest Greek art, such as the Attic black-letter and red-letter vases, women were pictured with longer hair, although it was often tied up. Men were usually pictured with relatively shorter hair, although there were sometimes exceptions where certain gods were pictured with long hair.
15 But if a woman wears long hair it is an honor to her, because the long hair has been given to her in place of a covering.
Some manuscripts include the first clause of this verse in Paul's question from verse 14, however the general meaning does not change. As for the rest of the Greek of this passage, every ancient manuscript agrees on the wording, except that some (P46, D) want the word for “to her” in the last clause. Yet neither does that omission change the general meaning. There are a lot of emotional responses and illogical arguments concerning the meaning and translation of this verse. The King James Version and other translations have taken the word ἀντί and weakened it, rendering it only as for. Yet the preposition when used with an object of the Genitive case, as it is here, means instead or in the place of. Paul is clearly saying that the long hair of a woman should be worn so as to cover her head, because it is the natural covering which God had given to her. That hair being given in place of a covering, the use of the hair of the woman is for a covering, and Paul is certainly not stating anywhere that a woman needs any additional covering.
The interpretation of this verse and Paul's remarks here when they are all taken in context are an excellent example of the one-verse-wonder phenomenon of Bible study which permeates the modern organized denominational churches. Upon reading 1 Corinthians 11:5, or 11:5-6, they develop doctrines requiring women to wear scarves or shawls or kerchiefs on their heads while they are in assembly. Yet they do not read down to verse 15 to see what covering Paul was talking about. Furthermore, they cannot understand why Paul discussed the need for hair as a covering, because they do not realize that contemporary to Paul, Roman women were uncovering their heads by using their hair as a piled decoration of elaborate braids worn atop of their heads. As we have illustrated, in 1 Timothy 2:9 and 1 Peter 3:3 both Peter and Paul discourage the use of such braids in their teachings on women and modesty. Then in addition to those failures, when they are confronted with 1 Corinthians 11:15, they abuse historical passages which are taken out of context describing things such as the traditional veiling of virgins among the Greeks in order to somehow prove that Paul did not teach what he said! Paul indeed taught what he said here, and the denominational churches should be ashamed, for not taking into consideration the whole of the Scriptures before formulating their doctrines upon one verse. They have all done this same thing with many other Scriptural issues as well.
I can remember the 1960's, and the compulsory Catholic Church attendance I suffered as a child. Women going to church without a hat or a kerchief would take a tissue and a hairpin out of their toolboxes – or pocketbooks – and attach the tissue to their head in order to fulfill the church requirement that their head be covered. That is no different than a ritual. The reality is that some of those women were already properly covered with their own long hair, while others with short hair or with elaborate hairstyles were certainly not properly covered in spite of the kerchief or tissue on their heads. The failure of denominational churches and throughout Roman Catholic history has been that they have focused on ritual and the expense of reality.
Paul concludes this part of his discussion with an assertion for those who would disagree:
16 Now if anyone supposes to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the assemblies of Yahweh.
This seems to be a purposely tongue-in-cheek statement. There very well may have been women among those of the assembly in Corinth who justified their baubles and hairstyles as being fashionable, contentiously defending their immodest dress. Paul is attempting to put such contention to rest. For these things, modern feminists esteem Paul as a woman-hater, a misogynist. Yet throughout his ministry, Paul had excellent relationships with Christian women. On the other hand, the sodomites seek to make Paul a sodomite as well, so that they can justify their sodomy. In truth, neither feminists (women who want to be like men) nor sodomites (men who like being women) belong in the assembly of Christ, and both are antithetical to the proper function of the creation of Yahweh God.
Paul had commended the Corinthians, as we see in verse 2, since to some great degree they must have adhered to the teachings which he had reinforced in the first part of this chapter and up to this point. Now in the latter part of the chapter he will discuss things in which the Corinthians were evidently failing, so he told them that for those things he does not commend them.
17 Now giving this message I do not commend you: because you gather not for the better, but for the worse. 18 Indeed in the first place, of your gathering in the assembly I hear of divisions arising among you, and to some degree I believe it.
Paul had already admonished the Corinthians for having exhibited a proclivity to be followers of men rather than followers of Christ, where in chapter 1 of this epistle he said that “11 It has been disclosed to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of the house of Chloe, that there is contention among you. 12 Now I say this: that each of you say, 'so I am of Paul', 'but I am of Apollos', 'but I am of Kephas', 'and I of Christ'. 13 Have the Anointed been divided? Has Paul been crucified on your behalf? Or have you been immersed in the name of Paul?” Of course, being followers of men and interpreting the words of men apart from the Scripture itself is certainly the primary cause for divisions among Christians. Since all men are fallible, all teachers of Scripture must be inspected against Scripture, and necessarily corrected if they are found to be in error. The apostles were not substitutes for Christ, but rather they were each pointing the way to Christ.
19 For there must also be sects among you [D wants “among you”], in order that [P46, B, and D interpolate “also”, the text follows א, A, C, and the MT] those approved will become evident among you [P46 and C want “among you”].
The Greek word αἵρεσις (139) appears elsewhere in Paul only at Galatians 5:20 and elsewhere in Scripture only in 2 Peter 2:1 The English word “heresy” was derived as a transliteration from this Greek word αἵρεσις, which is properly “a taking...a choosing, choice...a sect” (Liddell & Scott). A choosing or a choice on the Christian path indicates that there is a fork in the road, however Scripture is consistent, and therefore such choosings or choices are not truly Christian if they cause divisions in the Body of Christ. The word sects here is a more literal, straightforward, and clearer choice than the church word heresies, although there are some who foolishly criticize the literal translation. While the word sect has a negative connotation, it is properly a section, or a division. Using the word αἵρεσις in reference to a Christian assembly merely indicates that there is a group within the assembly that has in some respect made a choice or taken a path that distinguishes it from the rest of the body.
Ostensibly, those who love Christ and His Word, which is the Word of Yahweh God, will conform themselves to Him. Those who create sects distinguish themselves apart from Christ, and Paul is warning that this is inevitable, but that in the process the people who are indeed approved by God will be made manifest. The apostle Peter in his second epistle said “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”
20 However, of your gathering into one place, it is not to eat the supper of the Prince.
It is a common assertion among Judaized Christians, and especially Roman Catholics, that the purpose of going to church is for communion. Many Catholics believe in a pagan and basically cannibalistic idea that they call transubstantiation, whereby they think that a wafer host and a cup of cheap wine somehow changes into the flesh and blood of Christ, which they all drink to obtain salvation. This is just another pagan ritual foisted upon the people by the professional priesthood at the expense of the reality of true Christian communion.
The Roman Catholics have the audacity to call their Eucharist ritual “the Lord's supper”, and here in a single statement Paul refutes the validity of their ritual by saying “of your gathering into one place, it is not to eat the supper of the Lord [or Prince]”. Except for the word translated as “however” in our version, all Greek manuscripts agree on the text, and the literal meaning is clear. In this important instance, the Roman Catholics are clearly shown to be in direct contradiction to Paul of Tarsus. Of course there are many other such instances.
21 Each beforehand takes his own supper in there to eat, and while one hungers then another is intoxicated. 22 Now do you not have houses in which to eat and to drink? Or do you think contemptuously of the assembly of Yahweh, and disgrace those that have not? What should I say to you? Shall I commend you [P46 wants “you”] in this? I do not commend. [The NA27 punctuates the last two clauses here: “Shall I commend you? In this I do not commend”, which is an acceptable alternative.]
Paul's words here reflect a view of “the Lord's supper” which is quite different than the perception of most so-called Christians down through the ages, mostly because of the deception of the formerly pagan professional priests who dominated the formation of the Roman Catholic Church.
According to Paul, the “supper of the Lord” should be eaten at home. It also consisted of a full meal, and not some paper wafer with or without a sip of wine. The Corinthians were wrong for bringing these meals to the Christian assembly, and Paul is scolding them for it because there were evidently poorer members of the assembly who had to do without while the wealthier members gouged themselves. Referring to the “supper of the Lord” Paul asks them “Now do you not have houses in which to eat and to drink?” This helps to clarify some things that Paul wrote later in this chapter, where he says in verse 26 that “Indeed as often as you may eat this wheat-bread, and you may drink this cup, you declare the death of the Prince, until He should come.” This reveals Paul's perspective that the “supper of the Lord” should be what Christians do every single time they partake of a meal in those houses they have in which they should eat and drink! The “supper of the Lord” is not a ritual to be conducted in a church. The reality of the Scripture is that Christians should praise Christ every time they eat and drink, and partake of all of the blessings and sustenance which they receive from Him in His commemoration.
23 For I have received from the Prince that which I have also transmitted to you, that Prince Yahshua, in the night in which He had been handed over, took wheat-bread 24 and giving thanks He broke it and said, “This is My body [the MT adds the words 'you take, you eat' before 'This is My body' (see Matt. 26:26); the text follows P 46, א, A, B, C, and D] which is for you [the MT has 'which on your behalf is being broken'; D has 'which on your behalf is being crushed'; the text follows P 46, א, A, B, and C]; this you do in remembrance of Me.” 25 In like manner also the cup, along with the dinner saying, “This cup is the New Covenant in My blood: this you do, as often as you may drink, in remembrance of Me.”
Paul is repeating things which are found recorded in the Gospel accounts in Matthew chapter 26 (26-28), Mark chapter 14 (22) and Luke chapter 22 (19-20).
In verse 25 we find the phrase μετὰ τὸ δειπνῆσαι, which is translated here as “along with the dinner”, since the verb δειπνέω (Strong's # 1172) means “to take the chief meal, to dine”, and there are a host of other verbs which mean simply “to eat”. The word μετά (Strong's # 3326) means among, in the midst of, with, or in company with, for which see the definitions of either Liddell & Scott, Thayer, or Strong. Here there emerges a picture of the “Lord's supper” which is far different than that perpetrated by most denominations.
Paul describes Christ's having taken the bread, a common loaf of wheat bread, and breaking it at a meal. In the synoptic gospels, it is only evident in Luke chapter 22 that Christ Himself made the correlation of the broken bread to His body being broken on behalf of His people. This entire portion of the Last Supper is not recorded by John. The cup, representing the New Covenant in His blood, is then taken “along with the dinner”. From all of the gospels it is clear that the dinner which is described is an entire meal, and not merely a piece of bread.
But did Paul interpret the bread and wine to somehow become the literal flesh and blood of Jesus, as the Catholics believe? That is not how he interprets it in verse 26, where the wheat-bread remains as bread. Rather Paul's interpretation of Yahshua's actions were provided earlier, in chapter 10 of this epistle where he wrote “16 The cup of eulogy which we bless, is it not fellowship of the blood of Christ? The wheat-bread which we break, is it not fellowship of the body of Christ? 17 Because one loaf, one body, we the many are, for we all partake from the one loaf.”
Paul's perception was that the people sitting around the table were the body and blood of Christ, and that for that reason, they all being of the same loaf, they jointly partook of the body and blood of Christ. However the bread and wine were not the actual body and blood. Rather, they represented the fellowship of the body and blood for those who were of that body and blood! The Greek word κοινωνία which the denominational churches translate as communion is fellowship, a sharing of things in common, and when Christians share their blessings one another, that is true communion.
26 Indeed as often as you may eat this wheat-bread, and you may drink this cup, you declare the death of the Prince, until He should come.
Paul has already told the Corinthians that they had houses in which to eat and to drink, and here in verse 25 he uses the verb δειπνέω, which to the Greeks commonly described the taking of the chief meal of the day, in conjunction with the description of the “Lord's supper”. Whenever Christians share a meal in common with their brethren, they are having communion, and upon doing so - every time they have a dinner - they should do so in the praise and memory of Christ.
27 Consequently, whoever would eat the wheat-bread or drink the cup of the Prince unworthily, will be liable of the body and blood of the Prince. 28 But a man must scrutinize himself, and thus from of the wheat-bread let him eat, and from of the cup let him drink.
As the apostle Peter had said in chapter 2 of his second epistle, there are “natural brute beasts” among the Body of Christ, who “speak evil of the things that they understand not”. They are “spots … and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you”, and they do so “having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices”, and he calls them “cursed children”. Jude also talks of these evil beasts and says that they are “spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear.”
We can look around us today, at any White Christian nation, and see spots infesting our feasts of charity everywhere we turn. Most of these spots are not difficult to see, but even in the time of the apostles there were tares among the wheat which were most difficult to discern. The promise of Scripture is that one day the tares shall all be torn up and thrown into the Lake of Fire. All of the spots shall eventually be eradicated.
29 For he that is eating and is drinking [D and the MT add “unworthily” here; the text follows P 46, א, A, B, and C], eats and drinks condemnation for himself, not distinguishing the body [D and the MT append “of the Prince” to the end of the verse; the text follows P 46, א, A, B, and C].
This is precisely why the Word of Yahweh says in Obadiah “15 For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head. 16 For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been.”
30 For this reason there are among you many feeble and sickly, and plenty have fallen asleep. 31 If then we had made a distinction of ourselves, perhaps we would not be judged.
The King James Version translation of this passage is very dishonest. There it says “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” However there are two different verbs here for which the King James has judge both times. The first is διακρίνω and the second is simply κρίνω.
The Greek word διακρίνω (Strong's # 1252) is “to separate one from another...to part...to distinguish” according to Liddell & Scott, who offer an example from Herodotus where he had written the words οὐδένα διακρίνων in reference to persons, which are interpreted to mean making no distinction of persons. Here in the appropriate tense the word is translated in that same manner, “If then we had made a distinction of ourselves” The verb κρίνω (Strong's # 2919) is found later in this verse and again in verse 32 as “judged”. The King James Version had properly translated the related word διάκρισις, which is the noun form of διακρίνω, as discerning here in verse 29 and again in 1 Corinthians 12:10. With that, the text here should have been read “if then we had discerned ourselves, perhaps we would not be judged.”
Here Paul of Tarsus is clearly stating that these Corinthians, whom he identifies as descendants of the ancient Israelites in chapter 10 of this epistle, may not be judged if they would only distinguish the body of Christ and make a distinction of themselves. In other words, Christians are commanded to discriminate by properly identifying the Body of Christ. The sin and judgment of man are directly linked by Paul here to man's failure to make a distinction of himself. Man should have made a distinction of himself in Genesis chapter 3, but instead he accepted the serpent and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, when he himself was of the Tree of Life. Men should have distinguished themselves again, but failed, in Genesis chapter 6 where they first accepted the angels which left their first estate and gave their daughters over to marrying with them. Once more, when the children of Israel took the land of Canaan, they failed to distinguish themselves and as a result they had adopted paganism and the ways of the accursed Canaanites. In Paul's day, the Edomites and others of the Canaanite tribes had infiltrated both the Greeks and the Judaeans, and once again they were spots in their feasts of charity. In modern times, the Jewish problem is related to that same phenomenon, and now due to the failure of the people to distinguish themselves they are once again doomed to judgment.
As we have seen in 1 Corinthians chapter 10, as well as throughout Paul's epistles in many other places, the White nations of Europe, the nations which were pagan in Paul's time but soon became known as Christendom, were indeed the children of Israel according to the flesh, and as Paul attests again in Romans chapter 4 they were indeed the offspring of Abraham and the nations who are destined to inherit the earth. Now we see here that they, being the Body of Christ, are commanded to make a distinction of themselves and doing so they may not face judgment.
This is in keeping with the scripture of the Old Testament, where in Exodus chapter 19 it says “5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” Likewise the apostle Peter had written to the Israelites of the dispersion in Anatolia, and he told them in 1 Peter chapter 2 “9 But ye are a chosen generation [race], a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light”. The Holy Nation and Peculiar People of Exodus chapter 19 are indeed the same Holy Nation – by this time grown into an entire race of nations – and the same Peculiar People of 1 Peter 2:9. Christians, real Christians, are the descendants of the children of Israel found in the White race, and they are commanded to put into practice that same discrimination that the Israelites of the Old Testament were commanded to practice.
32 But being judged, by the Prince we are disciplined, in order that we would not be condemned with the Society.
The discipline of Israel and reconciliation in Christ was a major and recurring theme in the Old Testament, and that is the story of Scripture. Anyone who seeks to introduce non-Israelites or especially those of the non-Adamic races into that story are introducing spots into our feasts of charity, and eat and drink condemnation for themselves, because God will not be mocked.
The Word of Yahweh speaks to Israel in Jeremiah chapter 30: “11 For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.” Until Yahweh's Day of Vengeance, so shall all the non-Israelite nations drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been.
33 Consequently, my brethren, gathering in to eat, you await one another. 34 If anyone hungers, he must eat at home, in order that you would not gather for condemnation; and the other things when I should come, I will set in order.
Among other things in the chapter which follows, and in a very subtle manner, Paul is about to address the Corinthians who ate and drank at the assemblies to the disgrace of those of their less fortunate brethren who had to do without. For now, here he tells them directly that they should not eat the “Lord's supper” in the assembly, but to eat and drink at home! That way they would not be condemned by showing despite for their less fortunate fellow Christians.