1 Corinthians 11:1-3

 1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.

Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you.

But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

Verse 1 refers to what Paul was writing at the end of chapter 10 and should be included there (although it also applies to chapter 11). Paul was exhorting the Corinthians to seek to benefit others more than themselves, as he did.

It should be observed that the apostle does not say: “Follow me as I follow Jesus,” but “Follow me as I follow Christ.” Jesus was the God-given name by which our Lord was known when He walked this earth with His twelve apostles. But Paul had not even been saved at that time and surely did not follow Jesus. But Christ is His title as the Anointed of God. As Peter declared in his Pentecostal address, “that same Jesus,” whom Israel had crucified, had now been exalted in heaven and made “both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). It was a Lord and Christ, exalted “far above all,” that Paul knew Him and followed Him as, by direct revelation, the Lord committed to him the glorious “mystery — hid from ages and from generations, but now … made manifest to His saints” (Colossians 1:26). — Stam, page 185.

I praise you (v.2) — Paul begins his admonishment of what they are doing wrong by first praising them for what they were doing right.

traditions (v.3) — (here) apostolic teaching about conduct in assemblies. The same word in 2 Thessalonians 2:15, refers to doctrine. So, in general, it means “teachings with apostolic authority.”

The word “ordinances” in verse 2 has nothing to do with ceremonies. The Greek paradoseis (Lit., things handed down), is everywhere else rendered traditions (whether true or false), and here refers to those truths and instructions which Paul had “handed down” to them. — Stam, page 185.


About five years later Paul declared that Christ had blotted out the handwriting of ordinances. To be subject to ordinances now is like living in the world (Colossians 2:14-20), but he is here thinking of his own practical teaching which never will be superseded. — Bultema, page 91.

But I want you to know (v.3) — new teaching

the head of Christ is God (v.3) — Christ was obedient to God’s will — John 5:30; Romans 15:3; Philippians 2:8

Christ is within us to direct us in the ways of righteousness. He is the head of all believers, but He is also the head of each individual believer. Paul is also pointing out the distinction between man and woman by reason of the circumstances of their differing creation. The man is head of the woman, in the same way that Christ is the head of the man. The woman as a believer is certainly under the authority of Christ; yet in relative position to the man as having to do with things of earth and the natural life, he is her head, for “the woman is the glory of the man” (v.7). — Greene, page 350.

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