1 Corinthians11:16

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And if anyone is of the opinion

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to be contentious,

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we have no other practice

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on this [matter], nor [do] the assemblies of THEOS.


Now if someone is inclined because of an opinion they hold to create strife over this issue, know that I and those I do ministry with do not see it or practice it in any other way, this is the only option available to us. In fact all the congregations that follow THE CREATOR AND OWNER OF ALL THINGS do likewise.



This word’s core meaning is “to have an opinion” and from there one gets the idea of “to be inclined to.”


Here the idea is someone who is “contentious or fond of strife.”


This word means “habit, practice or custom.” It can be taken two different ways in this verse. It can mean that the churches of God do not have the habit of being contentious, or that all the churches practice culturally understood  demonstrations of submission to authority. I believe, along with many others, that it is the latter.


There was and still is pushback against the principle of demonstrations of respect for authority during times of worship. Therefore Paul bolstered his statement by indicating that he was not picking on the Corinthian believers nor singling them out with extraordinary rules, rather this was his consistent teaching on this matter. In fact, this was the consistent teaching on respect for authority taught in all the churches that had been started, including those started by others.

Many people today hold the opinion that Paul’s statements were based on culture and therefore we do not need to follow those practices or those principles. However, this statement, and others like it, indicate that the principle was deeper than just a cultural issue.


As stated earlier, in this passage Paul takes the accepted way of doing things for the Greeks, which was different in this matter than for the Jews, and he makes a strong argument that they should keep showing respect the way they have learned to do so. The important thing is that they show proper respect for the authority figures over them, not the method used to show that respect. The principle is universal; the methodology is adaptable from culture to culture. When Paul said that “all the congregations that follow THE CREATOR AND OWNER OF ALL THINGS do likewise” he meant that they all place a high priority on showing respect in an understandable way, not that they all do so the way the Greeks do.


While the method can change from culture to culture, the principle must be followed. That means that we all need to recognize that we have those in authority over us, and we must show them proper respect. This passage also indicates that the lines of authority are different for men and women (that is where the rub comes). What should this look like in our culture? We have no outward demonstration of respect that is different for men and for women. For the bulk of our population, all we have left is our life itself, which should consistently demonstrate respect for all those in authority over us. Those visible signs of respect that have been used in the past and are still used by a few, can be abused. Therefore, we do not need to go back to them. We should stick with our very life being a demonstration of respect for all authority figures over us.