1 You people should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.
2 Now I commend you for remembering me in everything and for remaining loyal to the [inspired] traditions which I have handed on to you. 3 But I want you to know that Christ is the [spiritual] head [i.e., authority] over every man; and the man is the [spiritual] head over the woman [Note: The Greek words for "woman" and "wife" are the same. "Wife" is obviously meant by the context]; and God is the head over Christ. 4 Every man who prays or prophesies [i.e., speaks in a public assembly, since prophecy was always for the benefit of others] with his [physical] head covered [Note: The Greek word here denotes "something hanging down" and could refer to long hair or a cloth shawl], shows disrespect for his head [i.e., Christ]. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies [in the public assembly] with her [physical] head uncovered [i.e., with hair or a shawl] shows disrespect for her head [i.e., for her husband. See verse 3]. Such appearance is the same as if her [physical] head were shaved. [Note: Various sources point out that a shaved or closely cropped head was an emblem of a prostitute or a woman found guilty of sexual unfaithfulness to her husband. See Num. 5:11-18]. 6 So, if a woman does not cover her [physical] head [i.e., with sufficient hair or a cloth shawl], she might as well cut her hair off. But if it is a shame for a woman to cut her hair off or shave her head [See note on verse 5], then she should have her head covered [i.e., with hair or a shawl].
7 But a man should certainly not cover his [physical] head [i.e., with "something hanging down," such as long hair or a cloth shawl. See verse 4], since he is the image and glory of God. But the woman [i.e., his wife] is the glory of the man [i.e., her husband]. 8 For man did not come from woman [i.e., Adam was created directly by God], but woman came from man [i.e., she was taken from his side. See Gen. 2:18-23]. 9 And indeed, man was not created for the woman's sake, but woman [was created] for man's sake. 10 This [i.e., the order of creation] is the reason that the woman should have [a symbol of] authority on her [physical] head [i.e., hair or a shawl to indicate subjection to her husband], and because of the angels. [Note: This difficult phrase probably means that angels, who observe the activities of Christian assemblies, are pleased when they see things being done in their proper order]. 11 Nevertheless, in [the fellowship of] the Lord, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. [See Gal. 3:28]. 12 For as the woman was created from man, so also the man is born from the woman. But everything comes from God.
13 [So], judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God [in the assembly] with her [physical] head uncovered [i.e., by hair or a shawl]? 14 [And] does not the very nature of things teach you that it is disgraceful for a man to have long hair? [Note: The prevailing, worldwide custom, observable to Paul even in his day, was shorter hair on men and longer hair on women. The fact of exceptions to this arrangement only proves the rule. See Num. 6:5; I Sam. 1:11]. 15 But if a woman wears long hair, it is a glory to her, for her hair is given to her for a covering [i.e., in place of the cloth shawl]. 16 But if anyone is inclined to argue [about this matter], neither we [apostles] nor the churches of God have any [other] custom than this.
17 But in giving you these instructions, I have a criticism to make [about you people]. It is that your assemblies are doing more harm than good. 18 For first of all, I have been informed [Note: This was probably by Chloe's family. See 1:11] that divisions exist among you people when you assemble as a congregation. And I am inclined to believe it [is true]. 19 For it is to be expected [i.e., it is inevitable] that there would be dissensions among you, so that those who are approved [by God] can become known among you. 20 So, when you people assemble together [Note: This was a church meeting at which they also shared a common meal prior to the Lord's Supper], it is not possible to eat the Lord's Supper [properly]. 21 For as you are eating, each one of you partakes of his own supper [ahead of the others], so that one person is [still] hungry while the other gets drunk. 22 Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or, do you despise the church of God and put to shame those people who do not have anything [to eat]? What should I say to you? Should I commend you for doing this? Certainly not!
23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you: On the night the Lord Jesus was turned over [to the Jewish authorities] He took bread, 24 and after giving thanks [for it], He broke it [in pieces] and said, "This represents my [physical] body, which is [to be given] for you. [Continue to] do this in memory of me."
25 In the same way [He took] the cup also, after supper, and said, "This cup [i.e., its contents] represents the New Agreement [ratified] by my blood. [Continue to] do this, whenever you people drink from it, in memory of me." 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink from this cup, you are proclaiming the Lord's death until He comes [again].
27 Therefore, whoever eats the [Lord's] bread or drinks from the Lord's cup in a way that is unworthy [of them. See verse 21], will be guilty of [dishonoring] the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 So, a person should examine himself [first] and then he should eat the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For a person who eats and drinks without determining the significance of the body [of Jesus], [i.e., without showing proper reverence for Christ, as represented by the bread and cup (see verse 27), or without distinguishing this sacred memorial Supper from a common meal], eats and drinks judgment upon himself. [Note: Some apply "the body" in this verse to the church and explain it as a warning against failing to appreciate the unity that the Supper is intended to signify]. 30 Because of this [i.e., their improper partaking of the Supper], many people among you are weak and ill, and a number have fallen asleep [i.e., died]. [Note: While most commentators view this judgment as physical, there is a distinct possibility that it refers to spiritual sickness and death]. 31 But if we [had] examined ourselves [properly], we would not be [i.e., not have been] judged [i.e., with sickness and death. See verse 30]. 32 But since we are being judged, we are [also] being disciplined by the Lord, so that we do not have to be condemned along with the world.
33 So, my brothers, when you assemble for a meal, wait for each other [i.e., so some will not be finished before others. See verse 21]. 34 If anyone is [too] hungry [i.e., to wait], he should eat at home, so that your assembly does not result in judgment [falling on some of you. See verse 30]. And I will tend to the remaining matters when I come [to you].