First Corinthians 11:27-34

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Partaking of the meal in an unworthy manner is now the theme.


“Unworthy” is “anaxiwV” and it means “unworthily or not in accordance with their value.”  An example of eating the meal in an “unworthy” (or “not in accordance with the value” or purpose of the meal) manner would be:

  1. to eat for selfish reasons
  2. to use the meal as social entertainment
  3. to simply fail to recognize the Lord’s death
  4. to fail to remember his coming return
  5. to have sin in your heart such as lack of love towards others, etc.


“Guilty” is a technical legal term to express liability.  In its construction here it can mean to the person sinned against or the crime itself.  It can mean:

  1. Guilty of sinning against the Lord . . . desecrating the Lord’s table.  This puts some sacred nature on the elements and the meal itself.  Paul was not concerned with the actual bread and cup but with how they were treating each other.
  2. Held liable for the Lord’s death.  Paul would then be saying that the purpose of the meal was to proclaim the Lord’s death and return.  By losing this meaning the Corinthians are facing the same guilt as those responsible for his death (body and blood) the first time.  To be “guilty of his body and blood” means they are “liable for his death”



enocoV       estai        tou       swmatoV      kai    tou     aimatoV      tou        kuriou

Guilty        will be    of the     body          and  of the    blood       of the      Lord.


Partaking of the meal in an unworthy manner then is equal to sharing the guilt of those who put him to death.


Dishonoring the symbol of the king (example: burning the flag) is an act of dishonoring the one the symbol represents.


h” (“a”) “or” instead of “kai” (“kai”) “and” Since the bread and cup were passed at different times during the meal you could drink or eat one in an unworthy manner without eating or drinking the other in an unworthy manner.


“cup of the Lord” is the cup of fellowship with the Lord.  Consider 1 Cor. 10:21 – “cup of demons” which indicates you are fellowshipping and drinking in the presence of demons.



To avoid dishonoring the symbol a man should make sure he is who he should be.  Are you in the right state of mind and are you acting in an acceptable manner that is worthy of claiming to be in right standing with the king?


“Examine” is dokimazo.  It means to examine and to approve after examination.  This word refers to testing metals of a coin to see if they are genuine.

In this case when dokimazo or dokimazo is applied to the believer in Jesus Christ that believer should examine himself to see if he is what he says he is.  Are you a Christian?  Then examine yourself to see if you really are a Christian.


After “dokimazo” there are two appropriate responses:

  1. Yes, you are approved in your thoughts and actions.
  2. No, you are not but you have made corrections before you eat and drink.


Notice the reference to “eats the bread” and not to “eats the body.”  Another verse that undermines the concept of transubstantiation.





“Recognizing the body” means not to recognize his death.

“Recognizing” is the word “dokimazo” again.


This is not a reference to the bread but to what the bread represents – the death of the Lord.


This verse is warning against:

  1. Turning the supper into a normal, common meal
  2. Eating and drinking without “dokimazo” (eating without examining yourself would be eating unworthily.)
  3. Not judging yourself correctly.




Spiritual problems do lead to physical problems in many cases (Not all though.)   Because of their poor spiritual condition and failure to develop spiritual understanding the Corinthians had suffered illnesses and death.


Even in a church such as Corinth that had the gift of healings (12:9, 28)the members were still sick and dying.  In this case because of their failure to recognize the Lord’s body and his death.



11:31 – We can judge ourselves

“If” is “ei” with the indicative. This form is used for a contrary to fact conditional clause.  Or, the second class condition “if and it is not true.”


“judged ourselves” has the verb “judged” in imperfect tense which means we should make judging ourselves a continuous practice.  This refers back to  11:28 where it is said “a man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.”  So the judging of ourselves is the “dokimozw” of examining of ourselves to see if we are what we should be.


If we habitually tested ourselves and came to a correct conclusion we would not need to be judged by the Lord.


Notice Paul says “if we judged ourselves”.   Paul does not say “if you Corinthians judged yourselves”


11:32 – God can judge us

Even judgment by the Lord is an act of love and grace for he is disciplining us so we will not be condemned with the world.


Hebrews 12:4-13



“So then” is “hoste” and introduces the logical conclusion of Paul’s criticism of the Corinthian’s failure to practice the Lord’s Supper correctly.


This verse indicates what the main problem was that was violating the Lord’s Supper in Corinth:

  1. There is no love or fellowship taking place among the believers.
  2. This would indicate there is no love or fellowship between the individual believers and the Lord.


“wait for each other” is the correct translation and the usual meaning of the Greek verb. (Heb. 10:13; 11:10; James 5:7)



  1. It does not say wait for the ordained priest or wait for the consecration by the pastor.
  2. No one seems to be receiving special bread from a church hierarchy or church officer.



If you are hungry eat at home. 

The purpose of the Lord’s Supper is not to fill you up but to remember the Lord’s death until he returns.

It is important we evaluate our purpose, motive and focus at the Lord’s Supper.


There are other items of doctrine and practice concerning the Lord’s Supper that Paul will explain and elaborate on when he arrives in Corinth.


The Lord’s Supper was at this time similar to a cultic meal or Passover meal. 

Paul here seems to direct it more towards a ceremony.