Articles

First Corinthians - Part 16

Introduction:

Last time we finished chapter 6 which detailed the functional and acceptable use of the body. The belly is for meats and meats for the belly BUT God shall destroy (bring to naught) both it and them through the resurrection.

The body is NOT for fornication but for the Lord and the Lord for the body -- fornication is seen as a sin against the body and is a serious violation of God's will because it is a violation of body functionality and purpose set aside for marriage.

7:1-15

Quite clearly the implication of the first verse is that there were things that the Corinthians raised (in a letter or letters) with Paul seeking answers. He now answers the specific questions and issues:

KJV  1 Corinthians 7:1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
TBT  1 Corinthians 7:1 Περὶ δὲ ὧν ἐγράψατέ μοι, καλὸν ἀνθρώπῳ γυναικὸς μὴ ἅπτεσθαι.

The verb "to touch" is hapto which is used in the gospels in various contexts - however here it has the meaning of touch in the sense of intimacy and is in the "middle" (ἅπτεσθαι.) voice which conveys the idea of a touching for the subjects own benefit. 

KJV  1 Corinthians 7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
TBT  1 Corinthians 7:2 διὰ δὲ τὰς πορνείας ἕκαστος τὴν ἑαυτοῦ γυναῖκα ἐχέτω, καὶ ἑκάστη τὸν ἴδιον ἄνδρα ἐχέτω.

Nevertheless ..., meaning "on account of fornication" he uses the impertive in the the third person singular (ἐχέτω) for each gender in a symmetrical construction. This should not be interpreted in such a way that Paul has a very low view of marriage since he has already prefixed his remarks with "Now concerning the things ...". Paul is simply answering the specific matters raised by the corinthians. This is certainly one reason for marriage but is not the only one and the relationship is not to be seen as simply "supply and demand". Read Ephesians 5 below and the context of love and relationship to sacrifice for a marriage in this age.

Eph 5

25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
29  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33  Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

KJV  1 Corinthians 7:3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
TBT  1 Corinthians 7:3 τῇ γυναικὶ ὁ ἀνὴρ τὴν ὀφειλομένην εὔνοιαν ἀποδιδότω· ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ ἡ γυνὴ τῷ ἀνδρί.

More imperatives (one stated and the other implied) are used here the husband "to give back" the thing which is owed with good will to the wife and similarly the wife to the husband. There is duty in this as well as love and puts sex in a very different light than what is seen in the world and offered up in the movie theatres of this age. A sampling of passages concerning the duty, respect, honor and love of the husband to the wife is given below:

Ge 2:23  And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
Ge 2:24  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
De 24:5 ¶  When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.
Pr 5:18  Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.
Ec 9:9  Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.
Mr 10:7  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;
1Co 7:11  But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.
Eph 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
1Pe 3:7  Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

KJV  1 Corinthians 7:4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
TBT  1 Corinthians 7:4 ἡ γυνὴ τοῦ ἰδίου σώματος οὐκ ἐξουσιάζει, ἀλλ᾽ ὁ ἀνήρ· ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ ὁ ἀνὴρ τοῦ ἰδίου σώματος οὐκ ἐξουσιάζει, ἀλλ᾽ ἡ γυνή.

Further explanation on the power and authority one has over the other's body. Very clear and instructional for all couples to think about -- much wisdom can come from the scriptures especially for newly weds to read and ponder.

KJV  1 Corinthians 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
TBT  1 Corinthians 7:5 μὴ ἀποστερεῖτε ἀλλήλους, εἰ μή τι ἂν ἐκ συμφώνου πρὸς καιρόν, ἵνα σχολάζητε τῇ νηστείᾳ καὶ τῇ προσευχῇ, καὶ πάλιν ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ συνέρχησθε, ἵνα μὴ πειράζῃ ὑμᾶς ὁ Σατανᾶς διὰ τὴν ἀκρασίαν ὑμῶν.

The weaknesses of the body, its desires and specifically its lack of self control can be used by Satan to tempt either partner. The proper and healthy use of each others body will help in preventing this type of temptation. There are very likely physical health benefits also.

KJV  1 Corinthians 7:6 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.
TBT  1 Corinthians 7:6 τοῦτο δὲ λέγω κατὰ συγγνώμην, οὐ κατ᾽ ἐπιταγήν.

Paul speaks this by way of permission or literally "knowing together" -- this is a window into inspiration he and the Spirit of God come to this conclusion and not by direct revelation of the Lord in the form of a commandment (see verse 10 and comments there).

7  (AV) For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
7  (TR) θελω γαρ παντας ανθρωπους ειναι ως και εμαυτον αλλ εκαστος ιδιον χαρισμα εχει εκ θεου ος μεν ουτως ος δε ουτως

8  (AV) I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
8  (TR) λεγω δε τοις αγαμοις και ταις χηραις καλον αυτοις εστιν εαν μεινωσιν ως καγω

9  (AV) But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
9  (TR) ει δε ουκ εγκρατευονται γαμησατωσαν κρεισσον γαρ εστιν γαμησαι η πυρουσθαι

Verses 7-9 show that Paul has a preference, the words "I would" come from "θελω" which means "I wish" -- Paul wishes (during the Acts) that all men were single as he himself. But he acknowledges that not all can do that - not all have the same gift in regards to this. Marriage was second best during the acts -- it was a necessity for those who could not contain (ἐγκρατεύονται (1Co 7:9 TBT)) that is if they cannot display self control then they should marry. Without Right division it is clear that there will be problems in understanding marriage today.

10 ¶  (AV) And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:
10  (TR) τοις δε γεγαμηκοσιν παραγγελλω ουκ εγω αλλ ο κυριος γυναικα απο ανδρος μη χωρισθηναι

11  (AV) But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.
11  (TR) εαν δε και χωρισθη μενετω αγαμος η τω ανδρι καταλλαγητω και ανδρα γυναικα μη αφιεναι

At verse 10 Paul now addresses the married and gives not his will but the lords command stating that the woman is not to depart from the man and verse 11 if she does depart "let her remain αγαμος = unmarried! or reconciled to the husband -- the husband on the other hand is not to "send away" the wife.

12  (AV) But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
12  (TR) τοις δε λοιποις εγω λεγω ουχ ο κυριος ει τις αδελφος γυναικα εχει απιστον και αυτη συνευδοκει οικειν μετ αυτου μη αφιετω αυτην

Here Paul gives us a look into the way inspiration works -- many revelations would come to Paul from the ascended Lord -- but inspiration does not come ONLY by this method:

2Co 12:1  It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
2Co 12:7  And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

He could simply write a letter under inspiration of the Spirit of God. In verse 12 he speaks under the inspiration of God but not a direct revelation from the Lord that if a brother (saved man) has a wife who is unbelieving (lost woman) and she is pleased to stay with him then he (the saved man) should not divorce her. 

13  (AV) And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
13  (TR) και γυνη ητις εχει ανδρα απιστον και αυτος συνευδοκει οικειν μετ αυτης μη αφιετω αυτον

Similarly the other way round.

14  (AV) For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
14  (TR) ηγιασται γαρ ο ανηρ ο απιστος εν τη γυναικι και ηγιασται η γυνη η απιστος εν τω ανδρι επει αρα τα τεκνα υμων ακαθαρτα εστιν νυν δε αγια εστιν

The believing has influence over the household and the children separated and put in a place where they can have testimony put in fron of them to the end that they will be saved.

15  (AV) But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
15  (TR) ει δε ο απιστος χωριζεται χωριζεσθω ου δεδουλωται ο αδελφος η η αδελφη εν τοις τοιουτοις εν δε ειρηνη κεκληκεν ημας ο θεος

Peace is what God wants if it is possible! If the unbelieving depart -- let him or her depart.