Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


1 Corinthians 11:22

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? - They should have taken their ordinary meal at home, and have come together in the church to celebrate the Lord's Supper.

Despise ye the church of God - Ye render the sacred assembly and the place contemptible by your conduct, and ye show yourselves destitute of that respect which ye owe to the place set apart for Divine worship.

And shame them that have not? - Τους μη εχοντας, Them that are poor; not them who had not victuals at that time, but those who are so poor as to be incapable of furnishing themselves as others had done. See the note on Matthew 13:12.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

What! - This whole verse is designed to convey the language of severe rebuke for their having so grossly perverted the design of the Lord‘s Supper.

Have ye not houses … - Do you not know that the church of God is not designed to be a place of feasting and revelry; nor even a place where to partake of your ordinary meals? Can it be, that you will come to the places of public worship, and make them the scenes of feasting and riot? Even on the supposition that there had been no disorder; no revelry; no intemperance; yet on every account it was grossly irregular and disorderly to make the place of public worship a place for a festival entertainment.

Or despise ye the church of God - The phrase “church of God” Grotius understands of the place. But the word church ( ἐκκλησία ekklēsia) is believed not to be used in that sense in the New Testament; and it is not necessary to suppose it here. The sense is, that their conduct was such as if they had held in contempt the whole church of God, in all places, with all their views of the sacredness and purity of the Lord‘s supper.

And shame them that have not - Margin, “Are poor.” Something must here be understood in order to make out the sense. Probably it meant something like “possessions, property, conveniences, accomodations.” The connection would make it most natural to understand “houses to eat and drink in;” and the sense then would be, “Do you thus expose to public shame those who have no accommodations at home; who are destitute and poor? You thus reflect publicly upon their poverty and want, while you bring your own provisions and fare sumptuously, and while those who are thus unable to provide for themselves are thus seen to be poor and needy.” It is hard enough, the idea is, to be poor, and to be destitute of a home. But it greatly aggravates the matter to be “publicly treated” in that manner; to be exposed publicly to the contempt which such a situation implies. Their treatment of the poor in this manner would be a public exposing them to shame; and the apostle regarded this as particularly dishonorable, and especially in a Christian church, where all were professedly on an equality.

What shall I say to you? … - How shall I sufficiently express my surprise at this, and my disapprobation at this course? It cannot be possible that this is right. It is not possible to conceal surprise and amazement that this custom exists, and is tolerated in a Christian church.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The apostle rebukes the disorders in their partaking of the Lord's supper. The ordinances of Christ, if they do not make us better, will be apt to make us worse. If the use of them does not mend, it will harden. Upon coming together, they fell into divisions, schisms. Christians may separate from each other's communion, yet be charitable one towards another; they may continue in the same communion, yet be uncharitable. This last is schism, rather than the former. There is a careless and irregular eating of the Lord's supper, which adds to guilt. Many rich Corinthians seem to have acted very wrong at the Lord's table, or at the love-feasts, which took place at the same time as the supper. The rich despised the poor, and ate and drank up the provisions they brought, before the poor were allowed to partake; thus some wanted, while others had more than enough. What should have been a bond of mutual love and affection, was made an instrument of discord and disunion. We should be careful that nothing in our behaviour at the Lord's table, appears to make light of that sacred institution. The Lord's supper is not now made an occasion for gluttony or revelling, but is it not often made the support of self-righteous pride, or a cloak for hypocrisy? Let us never rest in the outward forms of worship; but look to our hearts.
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