1 Corinthians 11:3-16*

A. 3 But I would have you know,
that the head of every man is Christ;
and the head of the woman is the man;
and the head of Christ is God.

B. 4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. 5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head:
for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

C. 6 For if the woman be not covered,
let her also be shorn:
 but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven,
let her be covered.

D. 7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head,
forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God:
but the woman is the glory of the man.

E. 8  For the man is not
of the woman;
but the woman
of the man.

F. 9 Neither was the man created
for the woman;
but the woman
for the man.

G. 10 For this cause ought the woman to have power (authority) on her head because of the angels.

F’. 11 Nevertheless neither is the man
                without the woman,
neither the woman
without the man, in the Lord.

E’.12 For as the woman is
of the man,
even so is man also
by the woman;

D’. but all things of God.

C’. 13 Judge in yourselves:
is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?

B’. 14 Doth not even nature itself 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.

A’. 16 But if any man seem to be contentious,
we have no such custom (synetheia),
neither the churches of God.


5 thoughts on “1 Corinthians 11:3-16*”

  1. Can I suggest you extend this a little by making v2 “Now, I praise you, brethren” an independent opening step, paired with verse 17a “Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not”

  2. Note: on checking this post I found that verses 8-12 were recognised as a chiasmus by Nils Lund in his landmark book “Chiasmus in the New testament, a study in Formgeschichte”, originally published in 1942. I have set out these verses as Lund proposed, and followed suit with other verses.

  3. I’ve been reworking the version of the slightly expanded context that I first generated several years ago. There are two very different versions, and I find both of them compelling. One was inspired by the presentation you published here.

    1 Corinthians 11:1-17 * as chiasmus and parallelism

    One is a 10+10 chiasmus, the other is a 2+2 parallelism, and both have some nestings of sub-structures in their design.

    I’d love to have some feedback from the community. Does anyone have an argument favoring one over the other?

    Thanks and blessings!


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