#8 Lemon One: 1 Corinthians 11:1-16

A Questionable Message in a Swamp of Words

So, now we come to the explanation of 1 Corinthians 11:1-16, the first lemon passage. (I will be covering all seven New Testament lemon passages in order of their appearance in the Bible.)

Each lemon explanation opens with four subheadings: “The Passage,” “The Misfit,” “The Fit,” and “The De-lemonization.”

“The Passage” is typically a quote from the King James Version. If the quote is from a different Bible version, it is because that version’s translation requires less modification to turn it from a lemon into a grape.

“The Misfit” contains a summary of the way that the passage is commonly understood.

“The Fit” contains a summary of the way that the passage can rightfully be understood and, thereby, fit well in the context of the whole Bible.

“The De-lemonization” provides a detailed explanation of how to change the lemon from a misfit to a fit, or maybe I should say, from a lemon to a grape.

Each explanation also ends with a possible retranslation (typically with  only some minor changes) that turns it from a lemon to a grape.

2 Replies to “#8 Lemon One: 1 Corinthians 11:1-16”

  1. In your prior blog # 6 The Misfit Principle I was impressed with your reference to Katharine Bushnell’s paragraph:
    The lesson is this: Expositors having once convinced themselves that Nature (they would not own to doing it themselves), has outlined a certain “sphere” for woman, whereas man is at liberty, under God, to outline his own “sphere;” and having convinced themselves that the Apostle Paul places teaching, preaching and governing outside women’s “sphere,”—whatever supports this view as to woman’s “sphere” is slightly (and sometimes more) exaggerated in our English translation [KJV]; and what would stand out as proof against this masculine preconception, is toned down in translation. This making use of “divers weights and measures” is an abomination in the sight of God. (Bushnell, para. 370)

    And here we see the source of such “logic” in this blog — from a teaching of Aristotle. How interesting that such pagan teachings influenced the oral tradition of the Jews and wound up affecting these scripture translations. The devil is very sneaky for sure.

    Thanks for pointing this out in the following verses.
    14 Even nature itself does not teach you that “if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him, 15 but if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.” (1 Cor. 11:14–15)
    Paul is not asking them to agree with him that nature teaches that if a man has long hair it is a shame to him, because nature clearly does not teach this. Instead, he is refuting a “nature” argument that others were making. Among the Greeks, who greatly influenced Jewish thought during the days of mingling, there existed a “nature” argument for male superiority as seen in what Aristotle wrote:
    It is the best for all tame animals to be ruled by human beings. For this is how they are kept alive. In the same way, the relationship between the male and the female is by nature such that the male is higher, the female lower, that the male rules and the female is ruled. (Aristotle, 1254 b 10–14)
    Nature also does not teach that long hair on a female is a glory to her and is given as a covering. Paul’s argument is that man and woman are the same with respect to long hair and also with respect to head covering.

  2. Unfortunately, Christians today seem to have been compromising for so long with God’s Word that it’s easy for them to argue with the idea that something so confusing as this passage of Scripture could have possibly been mistranslated. (No matter how many times I’ve read it, I can’t figure it out either, but I’ve just blindly accepted it.) Sin has been creeping into the churches right and left for a very long time, and nobody raises much controversy over it. Homosexuals are allowed to worship and take the Lord’s Supper with nothing said, and couples living together unmarried has been widely accepted, hands down. Divorcees sit in the same congregations with their “new” families. So, this matter of discriminating against women in the Bible must be very important for so many people to resent anyone trying to address it. It may seem to most people that this matter is very “insignificant,” but then why has satan tried so hard to frustrate the function of women? So, I have to take this writing into serious consideration and do what I can to help spread this word. I hope many other women will be willing to consider it, too, and join in.

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