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1 Corinthians 11 Good News Translation (GNT)

11 Imitate me, then, just as I imitate Christ.

Covering the Head in Worship

I praise you because you always remember me and follow the teachings that I have handed on to you. But I want you to understand that Christ is supreme over every man, the husband is supreme over his wife, and God is supreme over Christ. So a man who prays or proclaims God's message in public worship with his head covered disgraces Christ. And any woman who prays or proclaims God's message in public worship with nothing on her head disgraces her husband; there is no difference between her and a woman whose head has been shaved. If the woman does not cover her head, she might as well cut her hair. And since it is a shameful thing for a woman to shave her head or cut her hair, she should cover her head. A man has no need to cover his head, because he reflects the image and glory of God. But woman reflects the glory of man; for man was not created from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for woman's sake, but woman was created for man's sake. 10 On account of the angels, then, a woman should have a covering over her head to show that she is under her husband's authority. 11 In our life in the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as woman was made from man, in the same way man is born of woman; and it is God who brings everything into existence.

13 Judge for yourselves whether it is proper for a woman to pray to God in public worship with nothing on her head. 14 Why, nature itself teaches you that long hair on a man is a disgrace, 15 but on a woman it is a thing of beauty. Her long hair has been given her to serve as a covering. 16 But if anyone wants to argue about it, all I have to say is that neither we nor the churches of God have any other custom in worship.

The Lord's Supper

17 In the following instructions, however, I do not praise you, because your meetings for worship actually do more harm than good. 18 In the first place, I have been told that there are opposing groups in your meetings; and this I believe is partly true. (19 No doubt there must be divisions among you so that the ones who are in the right may be clearly seen.) 20 When you meet together as a group, it is not the Lord's Supper that you eat. 21 For as you eat, you each go ahead with your own meal, so that some are hungry while others get drunk. 22 Don't you have your own homes in which to eat and drink? Or would you rather despise the church of God and put to shame the people who are in need? What do you expect me to say to you about this? Shall I praise you? Of course I don't!

23 For I received from the Lord the teaching that I passed on to you: that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took a piece of bread, 24 gave thanks to God, broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in memory of me.” 25 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup and said, “This cup is God's new covenant, sealed with my blood. Whenever you drink it, do so in memory of me.”

26 This means that every time you eat this bread and drink from this cup you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. 27 It follows that if one of you eats the Lord's bread or drinks from his cup in a way that dishonors him, you are guilty of sin against the Lord's body and blood. 28 So then, you should each examine yourself first, and then eat the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For if you do not recognize the meaning of the Lord's body when you eat the bread and drink from the cup, you bring judgment on yourself as you eat and drink. 30 That is why many of you are sick and weak, and several have died. 31 If we would examine ourselves first, we would not come under God's judgment. 32 But we are judged and punished by the Lord, so that we shall not be condemned together with the world.

33 So then, my friends, when you gather together to eat the Lord's Supper, wait for one another. 34 And if any of you are hungry, you should eat at home, so that you will not come under God's judgment as you meet together. As for the other matters, I will settle them when I come.

Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

1 Corinthians 11 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

11 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

Head Coverings

I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions just as I handed them on to you. But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the husband[a] is the head of his wife,[b] and God is the head of Christ. Any man who prays or prophesies with something on his head disgraces his head, but any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled disgraces her head—it is one and the same thing as having her head shaved. For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or to be shaved, she should wear a veil. For a man ought not to have his head veiled, since he is the image and reflection[c] of God; but woman is the reflection[d] of man. Indeed, man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for the sake of woman, but woman for the sake of man. 10 For this reason a woman ought to have a symbol of[e] authority on her head,[f] because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man or man independent of woman. 12 For just as woman came from man, so man comes through woman; but all things come from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head unveiled? 14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair, it is degrading to him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 But if anyone is disposed to be contentious—we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.

Abuses at the Lord’s Supper

17 Now in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, to begin with, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you; and to some extent I believe it. 19 Indeed, there have to be factions among you, for only so will it become clear who among you are genuine. 20 When you come together, it is not really to eat the Lord’s supper. 21 For when the time comes to eat, each of you goes ahead with your own supper, and one goes hungry and another becomes drunk. 22 What! Do you not have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you show contempt for the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What should I say to you? Should I commend you? In this matter I do not commend you!

The Institution of the Lord’s Supper

23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body that is for[g] you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Partaking of the Supper Unworthily

27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For all who eat and drink[h] without discerning the body,[i] eat and drink judgment against themselves. 30 For this reason many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.[j] 31 But if we judged ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined[k] so that we may not be condemned along with the world.

33 So then, my brothers and sisters,[l] when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 If you are hungry, eat at home, so that when you come together, it will not be for your condemnation. About the other things I will give instructions when I come.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Corinthians 11:3 The same Greek word means man or husband
  2. 1 Corinthians 11:3 Or head of the woman
  3. 1 Corinthians 11:7 Or glory
  4. 1 Corinthians 11:7 Or glory
  5. 1 Corinthians 11:10 Gk lacks a symbol of
  6. 1 Corinthians 11:10 Or have freedom of choice regarding her head
  7. 1 Corinthians 11:24 Other ancient authorities read is broken for
  8. 1 Corinthians 11:29 Other ancient authorities add in an unworthy manner,
  9. 1 Corinthians 11:29 Other ancient authorities read the Lord’s body
  10. 1 Corinthians 11:30 Gk fallen asleep
  11. 1 Corinthians 11:32 Or When we are judged, we are being disciplined by the Lord
  12. 1 Corinthians 11:33 Gk brothers
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

1 Corinthians 11 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

11 try to imitate me, even as I myself try to imitate the Messiah.

Now I praise you because you have remembered everything I told you and observe the traditions just the way I passed them on to you. But I want you to understand that the head of every man is the Messiah, and the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of the Messiah is God. Every man who prays or prophesies wearing something down over his head brings shame to his head, but every woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled brings shame to her head — there is no difference between her and a woman who has had her head shaved. For if a woman is not veiled, let her also have her hair cut short; but if it is shameful for a woman to wear her hair cut short or to have her head shaved, then let her be veiled. For a man indeed should not have his head veiled, because he is the image and glory of God, and the woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man; and indeed man was not created for the sake of the woman but woman for the sake of the man. 10 The reason a woman should show by veiling her head that she is under authority has to do with the angels. 11 Nevertheless, in union with the Lord neither is woman independent of man nor is man independent of woman; 12 for as the woman was made from the man, so also the man is now born through the woman. But everything is from God. 13 Decide for yourselves: is it appropriate for a woman to pray to God when she is unveiled? 14 Doesn’t the nature of things itself teach you that a man who wears his hair long degrades himself? 15 But a woman who wears her hair long enhances her appearance, because her hair has been given to her as a covering. 16 However, if anyone wants to argue about it, the fact remains that we have no such custom, nor do the Messianic communities of God.

17 But in giving you this next instruction I do not praise you, because when you meet together it does more harm than good! 18 For, in the first place, I hear that when you gather together as a congregation you divide up into cliques; and to a degree I believe it 19 (granted that there must be some divisions among you in order to show who are the ones in the right). 20 Thus, when you gather together, it is not to eat a meal of the Lord; 21 because as you eat your meal, each one goes ahead on his own; so that one stays hungry while another is already drunk! 22 Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or are you trying to show your contempt for God’s Messianic community and embarrass those who are poor? What am I supposed to say to you? Am I supposed to praise you? Well, for this I don’t praise you!

23 For what I received from the Lord is just what I passed on to you — that the Lord Yeshua, on the night he was betrayed, took bread; 24 and after he had made the b’rakhah he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this as a memorial to me”; 25 likewise also the cup after the meal, saying, “This cup is the New Covenant effected by my blood; do this, as often as you drink it, as a memorial to me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord, until he comes.

27 Therefore, whoever eats the Lord’s bread or drinks the Lord’s cup in an unworthy manner will be guilty of desecrating the body and blood of the Lord! 28 So let a person examine himself first, and then he may eat of the bread and drink from the cup; 29 for a person who eats and drinks without recognizing the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. 30 This is why many among you are weak and sick, and some have died! 31 If we would examine ourselves, we would not come under judgment. 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined, so that we will not be condemned along with the world.

33 So then, my brothers, when you gather together to eat, wait for one another. 34 If someone is hungry, he should eat at home, so that when you meet together it will not result in judgment.

As for the other matters, I will instruct you about them when I come.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

1 Corinthians 11 The Message (MSG)

To Honor God

11 1-2 It pleases me that you continue to remember and honor me by keeping up the traditions of the faith I taught you. All actual authority stems from Christ.

3-9 In a marriage relationship, there is authority from Christ to husband, and from husband to wife. The authority of Christ is the authority of God. Any man who speaks with God or about God in a way that shows a lack of respect for the authority of Christ, dishonors Christ. In the same way, a wife who speaks with God in a way that shows a lack of respect for the authority of her husband, dishonors her husband. Worse, she dishonors herself—an ugly sight, like a woman with her head shaved. This is basically the origin of these customs we have of women wearing head coverings in worship, while men take their hats off. By these symbolic acts, men and women, who far too often butt heads with each other, submit their “heads” to the Head: God.

10-12 Don’t, by the way, read too much into the differences here between men and women. Neither man nor woman can go it alone or claim priority. Man was created first, as a beautiful shining reflection of God—that is true. But the head on a woman’s body clearly outshines in beauty the head of her “head,” her husband. The first woman came from man, true—but ever since then, every man comes from a woman! And since virtually everything comes from God anyway, let’s quit going through these “who’s first” routines.

13-16 Don’t you agree there is something naturally powerful in the symbolism—a woman, her beautiful hair reminiscent of angels, praying in adoration; a man, his head bared in reverence, praying in submission? I hope you’re not going to be argumentative about this. All God’s churches see it this way; I don’t want you standing out as an exception.

17-19 Regarding this next item, I’m not at all pleased. I am getting the picture that when you meet together it brings out your worst side instead of your best! First, I get this report on your divisiveness, competing with and criticizing each other. I’m reluctant to believe it, but there it is. The best that can be said for it is that the testing process will bring truth into the open and confirm it.

20-22 And then I find that you bring your divisions to worship—you come together, and instead of eating the Lord’s Supper, you bring in a lot of food from the outside and make pigs of yourselves. Some are left out, and go home hungry. Others have to be carried out, too drunk to walk. I can’t believe it! Don’t you have your own homes to eat and drink in? Why would you stoop to desecrating God’s church? Why would you actually shame God’s poor? I never would have believed you would stoop to this. And I’m not going to stand by and say nothing.

23-26 Let me go over with you again exactly what goes on in the Lord’s Supper and why it is so centrally important. I received my instructions from the Master himself and passed them on to you. The Master, Jesus, on the night of his betrayal, took bread. Having given thanks, he broke it and said,

This is my body, broken for you.
Do this to remember me.

After supper, he did the same thing with the cup:

This cup is my blood, my new covenant with you.
Each time you drink this cup, remember me.

What you must solemnly realize is that every time you eat this bread and every time you drink this cup, you reenact in your words and actions the death of the Master. You will be drawn back to this meal again and again until the Master returns. You must never let familiarity breed contempt.

27-28 Anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Master irreverently is like part of the crowd that jeered and spit on him at his death. Is that the kind of “remembrance” you want to be part of? Examine your motives, test your heart, come to this meal in holy awe.

29-32 If you give no thought (or worse, don’t care) about the broken body of the Master when you eat and drink, you’re running the risk of serious consequences. That’s why so many of you even now are listless and sick, and others have gone to an early grave. If we get this straight now, we won’t have to be straightened out later on. Better to be confronted by the Master now than to face a fiery confrontation later.

33-34 So, my friends, when you come together to the Lord’s Table, be reverent and courteous with one another. If you’re so hungry that you can’t wait to be served, go home and get a sandwich. But by no means risk turning this Meal into an eating and drinking binge or a family squabble. It is a spiritual meal—a love feast.

The other things you asked about, I’ll respond to in person when I make my next visit.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

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