The Head Covering and the Lord’s Supper in 1 Corinthians 11:2-34 -- By: David K. Lowery

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 143:570 (Apr 1986)
Article: The Head Covering and the Lord’s Supper in 1 Corinthians 11:2-34
Author: David K. Lowery

The Head Covering and the Lord’s Supper in 1 Corinthians 11:2-34

David K. Lowery

[David K. Lowery, Associate Professor of New Testament Literature and Exegesis, Dallas Theological Seminary]

[Editor’s Note: This article is adapted from The Bible Knowledge Commentary, ed. John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, 2 vols. (Wheaton, IL: Scripture Press Publications, Victor Books, 1983, 1985), and is used by permission of the publisher.]

The Purpose and Nature of 1 Corinthians

While Ephesians is a letter concerned with the universal church, 1 Corinthians is pointedly concerned with the local church. If anyone thinks his church has more than its share of riffraff and woe, he need only turn to this letter (and its companion, 2 Corinthians) to put his problems in perspective. First Corinthians provides a glimpse of life inside one first-century church, and far from saintly it was. Yet that is the reason Paul wrote this letter—to make positional sanctification practical (cf. 1 Cor 1:2).1 The spirit of the world seemed more influential in the Corinthian church than the Spirit of God, despite the splendidly evident gifts given by the Spirit. Paul wanted to change that. He directed his message along three lines:

1. The first six chapters were an attempt to correct the contentions in the church brought to Paul’s attention by Chloe’s servants (1:11) and to bring about unity in perspective and practice.

2. Beginning in chapter 7, Paul addressed certain questions (introduced by the phrase περὶ δὲ, “now concerning”) about marital issues (7:1, 25), liberty and responsibility (8:1), spiritual gifts and church order (12:1), money for impoverished saints in Jerusalem (16:1), and the availability of Apollos (16:12).

3. In chapter 15 he affirmed and defended the doctrine of the Resurrection, which some denied. It is possible that Paul saw this

as a fundamental ill affecting all the preceding discussion, So he placed it at the climax of his letter.2

Standing above all the issues with which this letter deals i...

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