“Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions as I delivered them to you.” 1 Corinthians 11:2
Almost every time I hear the word “traditions” I think of Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof singing “TRADITIONS!” For many Christians today this word has negative connotations, but it appears Paul is praising the Corinthians for keeping the traditions. The Greek word for “traditions” is “paradosis” which means “that which is passed along by teaching”. It is used in a negative way in the New Testament when it refers to man-made ideas or practices, but it can also be used in a positive way as is seen in the verse above and also in 2 Thessalonians 2:15 where Paul wrote, “Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.”
The problem Paul saw taking place in Corinth did not concern their doctrine or theology, but their morals and lifestyle. They knew the truth of God’s word, but they did not submit to it and live according to it. So, Paul begins by praising them for their strength before he corrects their disobedience. In the case of the passage we’ll be covering on Sunday, their disobedience was based upon their misunderstanding of the roles of males and females in the worship service.
John Frame wrote, “Worship is a time to care for one another, to build up the unity of our fellowship in Christ.” This Sunday we are going to open 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 together and tackle the subject of gender roles in worship in such a way that the unity of our fellowship in Christ will be built up. Join us for a message titled “Heavenly Head Coverings” where Paul will teach us about the great tradition of headship as a principle to govern the people of God for all time. God bless you all and hope to see you there!