It was once believed that there was a serious problem facing the Corinthian church and that Paul addressed it in 1 Cor. 11:2-16. Now some scholars carried away by a ‘Liberation’ tide assure us the problem was not the Corinthian Church—the problem was PAUL!
“How can you believe him,” one unbeliever said, “even the scholars that make a living teaching him don’t believe him!” That’s an old and powerful argument that is successful with many people. See John 7:47-49.
The writer of 1 Corinthians 11
The writer of 1 Cor. 11 is Paul: the divinely chosen witness of and for the resurrected and glorified Lord Jesus. He was personally chosen by the glorified Lord Jesus to be His teacher to the nations of the world to deliver them from the darkness of error and Satan and bring them into the light of life and forgiveness and hope (Acts 9, 22 & 26).
He is the one who established the Corinthian assembly and taught them for eighteen months (Acts 18) and knew all about what was going on at Corinth while modern students continue to work to know what he knew. He is the man who was taken up into heaven and shown things too wonderful to tell or things he was not permitted to tell (2 Cor:12). He was the chosen one who established congregations all over the Greco-Roman world, working miracles everywhere he went and in doing that vindicating his apostleship (2 Cor. 12:12) before those who spent a while reading his writings in schools of learning before publicly undermining his Spirit-superintended truth by pronouncing him “wrong, wrong” about sexual orientation, slavery and women!
He was he man who said, “If anyone thinks himself to be a ‘scholar’ or spiritual let him acknowledge that the things I write to you are the commandments of the Lord (Jesus.) But if anyone is ignorant let him be ignorant.” 1 Cor. 14:37-38.
This was the Paul who could have pulled off his shirt and showed the whipping ‘brand marks’ that said he was a genuine and devoted servant of Jesus Christ who wouldn’t buckle under the theological and political power of an evil society and culture. He was the Spokesman of God who suffered humiliation and pain arranged by those who sat in comfortable conferences and synagogues studying and working up ‘the courage’ to undermine his authority and influence with believers and non-believers. (See Gal 6:17; 2 Cor. 6 & 11.)
Such people were afraid of losing their Church numbers (John 11:45-50) but the shrewder ones were afraid of their national Church being completely destroyed and their losing their exalted status so under pressure they “came out” and showed themselves. This kind of people, ‘religious politicians’ weren’t as much troubled by miracles as they were about preaching, speech, talk. They tried to beat the Church into silence. Note this especially in Acts 3–5). To get popular backing the scholars did to Paul’s Lord what was done to Paul then and now. They told lies about Him, accused Him of being a drunk, an enemy of the True God, a false-teaching Samaritan and such.
It isn’t ‘convenient’ now to say evil things about Jesus but you can gouge the special servant that the glorified Jesus chose and empowered. Paul’s critics tell lies about him. They search (and search) for ‘suitable’ texts that can allow them to say he is a misogynist—woman hater. They call him a “half-liberated legalist (Samuel Terrien an influential professor of Brueggemann). But they don’t stop there—unable to explain away the obvious meaning of scriptures Paul used—boldly and in a flood they attack the Holy Scriptures. From there the GOD presented in Holy Scripture comes under attack. It still hasn’t dawned on a number of the ‘enlightened’ that if we attack the Holy Scriptures we’re attacking Jesus who read, used in His teaching and obeyed the same Holy Scriptures we read today and if we reject or malign the God of the OT that we are rejecting and maligning the God that Jesus revealed, loved, and trusted even as He died; the God He called His Father and His God (John 20:17).
One of Paul’s daily burdens was his worry about the churches he established (2 Cor. 11:28 and read carefully 1 Thess. 2:13—3:14.) In writing to Corinth and Ephesus (see 1 Timothy) where he spent three years (Acts 19) he was writing to two cities super-saturated with gods and goddesses. In liberating these new churches in those two cities from idolatry and the goddesses he sends them both to the same Genesis section which shows how glorious womankind is as GOD’s creation; a section that shows how they were being robbed by the lies of the ‘god of this world’ (Gen. 3; 2 Cor. 4; John 8), the prince of demons and the true father of of all the gods including Isis, Aphrodite and Diana (Artemis)—‘mother goddesses’ of Corinth & Ephesus.
If there was ever an age when we men and women needed to be delivered from the worship of the gods and goddesses this one needs deliverance from Mars/Ares, Bacchus/Dionysus, Isis and Aphrodite+++
God enabling I will work with the text of 1 Cor. 11:2-16.