What are the ordinances Paul refers to in 1 Corinthians 11:2?

1 Corinthians 11:2 (KJV)

2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

I figure baptism ought to be one of them. Is he also referring to Eucharist/Communion/Sacrament? Eating bread and drinking is mentioned later in the chapter.

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    These are not directly ordinances but rather traditions, what also the original word παράδοσις means – Karl von Moor Sep 11 '11 at 19:54

It's hard to say for certain exactly what Paul was referring to. All he said was, "keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you." What ordinances? The ones he delivered, of course. The people he was writing to already know what he was talking about, because they're the ones he delivered them to, so he doesn't need to explain it.

It's a well-understood convention that writers tend to interrupt the main body of whatever they're writing in order to explain things that the audience would not be familiar with, but of course they don't usually bother when covering familiar subject matter. Unfortunately, we're not the Corinthians.


As was pointed out in the comment, the best translation is traditions, not ordinances. In the Ignatius Study Bible, New Testament from the Second Catholic Edition, RSV, we read this note:

11:2 the traditions: i.e., the beliefs and practices of Christianity stemming from Christ. By extension it refers to the gospel as it was delivered to the early Church in person or in writing by the inspired apostles (15:3; 2 Thess 2:15; 3:6). The divine origin of Christian tradition gives it an authority not shared by merely human tradition, which is often unreliable and can be in conflict with revealed truth (Mk7:3-8; Col 2:8; Catholic Catechism 81-83).

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