1 Corinthians 11:17

17 Now in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse.

1 Corinthians 11:17 Meaning and Commentary

1 Corinthians 11:17

Now in this that I declare unto you
The Syriac version reads, "this is what I command"; which some refer to what he had been discoursing of, adding to his arguments, and the examples of the church, his own orders and command, that men should worship God publicly, uncovered, and women covered; though it seems rather to respect what follows, what the apostle was about to declare unto them; concerning which he says,

I praise you not;
as he did in ( 1 Corinthians 11:2 ) that they were mindful of him, remembered his doctrines, and kept the ordinances in the manner he had delivered them to them: and it should seem by this, that the greater part of them were not to be blamed, though some few were, for their irregular and indecent appearance in public worship, men with a covering on their heads, and women without one; but in what he was about to say, he could not praise them at all:

that you come together;
to the house of God, to pray unto him, to sing his praises, to hear his word, and attend his ordinances, particularly the Lord's supper:

not for the better;
for edification and instruction, for the quickening and comforting of your souls; that you may grow in grace and knowledge, become more holy, zealous, fruitful, and useful:

but for the worse;
to indulge luxury and intemperance, to encourage heresies, schisms, and divisions, and so grow more carnal, scandalous, and useless.

1 Corinthians 11:17 In-Context

15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering.
16 But if anyone is disposed to be contentious—we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.
17 Now in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse.
18 For, to begin with, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you; and to some extent I believe it.
19 Indeed, there have to be factions among you, for only so will it become clear who among you are genuine.