Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives. The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version. At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture. To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.
1 Corinthians 11:2-13:13
Questions & Observations
Q. (1 Corinthians 11:2-16): This sounds like more of the Law of Moses coming back. It thought all of these regulations were gone. And, of course, you know I’m going to ask about “the head of a woman is man” in v. 3. Vs. 11-12 help some. Those two make sense. But, it sounds like it’s two different points. Are some of these rules made because of problems that were happening in the church with people dressing inappropriately and distracting the church from its message and mission?
A. I think Paul’s instruction comes from a desire for Christians to be humble before God, but I can see why this might be perceived as being legalistic. I do not think that Paul is providing universal instruction here — we certainly do not follow it today — but is rather describing a particular set of circumstances, possibly involving women whose dress was distracting to others (imagine that!) as you suggest.
Q. (11:17-34): So are the churchgoers at Corinth eating a meal at church or are they treating the Lord’s Supper like a meal with no regard for it’s meaning?
A. Paul is attempting to correct a disturbing behavior: at the house church (very common in this era) where Christians were meeting, the wealthiest Christians (likely the owners) were not including everyone in the Communion ceremony — they were excluding the poor! Paul rightly smacks them for this great insult: we are called to be unified, Paul says, for Jesus established this sacrament for everyone! But here you are, he goes on, having your meal without everyone present — possibly in a separate room or section of the house — and on top of that, you’re getting drunk in the process! This was indeed a shameful action, and the wealthy Christians needed to be called to account for it. That is the substance of Paul’s argument.
Q. (12:4-5): I don’t know about anyone else, but I often feel pressure to volunteer for everything at my kids’ school. I do my share. There is always a lot to do and everywhere else, like in church. But, I think if we use our God-given talents in choosing what we volunteer for that we will be more fulfilled because we have given the glory to God. We acknowledge him by using what He has given us. And, likewise, those people who seem to volunteer for everything should never make anyone feel guilty for not volunteering for every opportunity. I would think that to do that, we would be denying God of fully using the talents He has given us in all aspects of life possible and we are denying others from opportunities to use their talents. Then, there are those who never help. That’s judgment though, right! I don’t know what their obligations are.
A. I don’t either, and it would be difficult to speculate. The important information: the Spirit has given everyone a spiritual gift — everyone gets at least one, no one has all — and we are called to use it for the benefit of the body, which is where the image of the different “parts” working together comes from.
O. (12:18-27): God’s creative eye is so amazing. I’m in total awe. How Paul explains that, like our bodies with all the necessary parts, so is the people of Christ. All of us our essential to fulfilling Jesus and His purpose. There are so many “systems” that copy this same design — weather, photosynthesis, symbiotic relationships of nature, etc.
O. (13:1): Here is the awesome song by King & Country that goes along with this Passage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-2dKOfbC9c