1 Corinthians 11:22 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 11:22, NIV: Don't you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God by humiliating those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? Certainly not in this matter!

1 Corinthians 11:22, ESV: What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.

1 Corinthians 11:22, KJV: What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.

1 Corinthians 11:22, NASB: What! Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What am I to say to you? Shall I praise you? In this I do not praise you.

1 Corinthians 11:22, NLT: What? Don't you have your own homes for eating and drinking? Or do you really want to disgrace God's church and shame the poor? What am I supposed to say? Do you want me to praise you? Well, I certainly will not praise you for this!

1 Corinthians 11:22, CSB: Don't you have homes in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What should I say to you? Should I praise you? I do not praise you in this matter!

What does 1 Corinthians 11:22 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has described reports about the Corinthian Christians badly abusing the concept of the Lord's Supper—the sharing of communion. In short, it's a mess. The problem is not that the supper is being celebrated in somebody's house. Personal homes are likely where all the meetings of the early church took place. Nor is the problem that they are engaged in a full-scale meal. That was also a common form of communion in the early church.

The problem is that the church in Corinth had turned it into a party. Not only that, this was a provide-your-own event. That resulted in abundant food and alcohol for some—presumably the wealthy—while those believers living in poverty are forced to watch in hunger. Drunkenness is occurring at least enough for Paul to call it out.

Paul's appropriate response is, "What!?" This is not a modern projection into the ancient text. Paul opens this statement with the phrase mē gar, an exclamation of disapproval, disbelief, and frustration. One can imagine a modern version of Paul responding with that exact word when told that the Corinthians are calling that "the Lord's Supper."

This verse clearly indicates that feasting and drinking are not to be the point of this gathering. There are other times and places for people to arrange a jamboree. As Paul asks, don't they have homes they can do that in? His next question reveals that the way they are practicing this supper does not show respect for the Lord; it shows that they disrespect and minimize God's church.

"The church" includes all believers, even those who are poor. Instead of ensuring that everyone is welcomed and fed, wealthy Christians in the Corinthian church were dividing from the poor along class lines. This attitude is no different than what was experienced by all in Roman culture. Paul will insist that the church should be different. Poor people should not be humiliated by the rich and powerful in church. All should be unified in Christ.

Paul goes beyond silently withholding praise to telling the Corinthians bluntly that he will not praise them for this. Instead, he will describe for them the purpose of the Lord's Supper and give direction about how to practice it together.