The Head of Every Man

1Corinthians 11:1-4 Be you followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. 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. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonours his head. 

‘Followers’ [Greek: mimetes] imitators. Follow or imitate me as I imitate Christ (4:16; 11:1; Eph. 5:1; 1Thess. 1:6; 2:14; Heb. 6:12; 1Pet. 3:13).

‘Praise’ [Greek: epaineo] commend (Luke 16:8); laud (Rom. 15:11), and praise (1Cor. 11:2, 17, 22).

‘Keep’ [Greek: katecho] hold fast (1Thess. 5:21; Heb. 3:6, 14; 10:23).

‘Ordinances’ [Greek: paradosis] a handing down; doctrines; traditions (Matt. 15:2-6; Mark 7:3-13; Gal. 1:14; Col. 2:8; 2Thess. 2:15; 3:6). What ordinances he refers to are not listed, but they no doubt include the whole body of truth of the gospel and not only the Lord’s Supper and water baptism.

‘The head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.’ Three headships in 1Corinthians11:3: God is head of Christ. Christ is head of man. Man is head of woman – the husband is the head of his wife.

‘The head of Christ is God’ – God and Christ are two separate and distinct persons (1Tim. 2:5).

‘Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonours his head.’ Every man praying or prophesying with a cap or turban on his head dishonours his head, Christ (11:3). This was in direct contrast to the canons of the Jews which did not permit a man to pray or prophesy unless veiled. Their idea was that man is unworthy to have an open face before God.

‘Dishonours’ [Greek: kataischuno] shame (Luke 13:17; Rom. 5:5; 9:33; 10:11; 1Cor. 11:22; 2Cor. 7:14; 9:4; 1Pet. 3:16); confound (1Cor. 1:27; 1Pet. 2:6); and dishonour (11:4-5). Christianity is an open-faced religion and nothing is to be done in secret or under cover.