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Pauls Teachings Against Marriage

Pauls Teachings Against Marriage - Date Written: 12/1/2008

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Title: "Pauls Teachings Against Marriage"  Author: Unknown

Let's read Paul's teaching on sex and on marriage which is found in 1 Corinthians chapter 6 verse 9 through chapter 7 verse 39.

Here is the text:

9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

12"Everything is permissible for me"but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 "Food for the stomach and the stomach for food"but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, "The two will become one flesh." 17 But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

1 Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. 2 But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7 I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.

8 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her.

13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

17 Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. 18 Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God's commands is what counts. 20 Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him. 21 Were you a slave when you were called? Don't let it trouble youalthough if you can gain your freedom, do so. 22 For he who was a slave when he was called by the Lord is the Lord's freedman; similarly, he who was a free man when he was called is Christ's slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. 24 Brothers, each man, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation God called him to.

25 Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy. 26 Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for you to remain as you are. 27 Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.

29 What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; 30 those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; 31 those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.

32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairshow he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this worldhow he can please his wife 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this worldhow she can please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.

36 If anyone thinks he is acting improperly toward the virgin he is engaged to, and if she is getting along in years and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get married. 37 But the man who has settled the matter in his own mind, who is under no compulsion but has control over his own will, and who has made up his mind not to marry the virginthis man also does the right thing. 38 So then, he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does even better.

39 A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord. 40 In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she isand I think that I too have the Spirit of God.

end of text:

Paul mentions sexual immorality. What is sexual immorality? It appears to be sex with a prostitute. Paul also mentions adultery. What is adultery? Adultery is cheating on your spouse.

Paul was single. People tend to think that the way they are, is best. So Paul encourages singleness. Ten times in the passage above, Paul says it is better to not marry. Wow.

Paul is also against marriage, because he thinks Christ is coming back in a matter of days. Paul says in verse 29, "What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none;" So Paul says that because the time is short, married couples should not live as if they are married. Wow, that could cause big problems in most marriages!

In verse 36 and 37 Paul talks about a man who is engaged to a woman. And Paul says the woman is "along in years". And Paul says that if the man wants to marry her that is fine but if the man wants to continue to date her or be engaged to her and not marry her - that is fine also.

Paul says in verse 37, "But the man who has settled the matter in his own mind, who is under no compulsion but has control over his own will, and who has made up his mind not to marry the virginthis man also does the right thing." The Greek word Paul used for "virgin" is the word "parthenos" or "par-then" which means a maiden; by implication, an unmarried daughter.

Wow, I believe if Paul had known Christ was not coming back for 2000 years, Paul would not have been encouraging couples to not marry.

Paul's miscalculation as to when Christ was going to return had other consequences also. Many apparently quit their jobs and lived in church communes. And this caused problems eventually. So in 2 Thessalonians 3:10-11 Paul writes, "10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." 11 We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies."

When we study the Bible we need to take into consideration the culture at the time and the author. Thank God that the human desire to marry is so strong that it outweighs Paul's teaching against marriage, which appear to be based solely on Paul's misconception that Christ was coming back in a matter of days.
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Comment by: Old Site Date: 2/9/2013 7:49:42 PM
A reader says ... One comment said they thought Paul had been married previously. What makes you think Paul was ever married?

A reader says ... I think you may be missing my point. Ephesians 5 verses 22-33 have great instructions on how a husband and wife should treat each other once they are married and then Paul quotes Gen. 2:24. 1 Timothy 3:2 and 1 Timothy 3:12 basically say elders and deacons cannot have more than one wife.

Neither of these passages you sited have any teaching with regard to whether it is right or wrong to marry. The only teaching in the New Testament, that I can find, on whether it is right or wrong to get married, is the passages Ive mentioned here which I believe show Paul personally was against marriage because he was single and he felt there wasnt much time left before Christ comes back and he felt that those who want to get married are letting their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ and they bring judgment on themselves because they have broken their first pledge. Those are not my words, they are Pauls.

Either Paul is wrong or else good Christians shouldn't get married.

A reader says ... My pastor has a rule that we start from the 'easy' portions of the Bible and then go to the more difficult. Some of the portions in 1 Corinthians are not as clear as others and were written in answer to specific questions he received. There are other places where Paul gives clear instructions on marriage - as in Ephesians and Timothy. These are the clear instructions of scripture.

A reader says ... One comment says that Paul in 2 Thessalonians is not against marriage. Here are the only verses I could find in 2 Thessalonians on marriage. 2 Thessalonians chapter 5 verses 11 to 14 read, 11 As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list (for food - younger widows could not get free food at the churcch commune). For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry. 12 Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge. 13 Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to. 14 So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.

This sure looks like Paul is still against marriage. Paul says, when referring to widows, For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry. 12 Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge. I guess there first pledge is to God? Or is Paul saying that the widows first pledge was to her husband who died?

Either way, since they want to get married, because of their sensual desires, Paul says this brings judgment on them. So they are sinning (bring judgement on themselves) to want to get married? Paul goes on to call them idlers, gossips, busybodies and more.

And it's only because of how bad the widows are, that Paul is in favor of them getting married. Even so, Paul basically condemns the widows for wanting to get married. Again he says their "sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ", and this brings judgment on them.

If all young widows who want to marry are condemned because of their sensual desires, then where does that put you and me? Condemned also, for having wanted to get married? Does that sound like Paul is in favor of marriage?

I havent heard any sermons where the Pastor accuses young widows who want to get married, of being all the things Paul calls them. Cant we be honest and admit Pauls own biases came through in this passage? Or is Paul correct in condemning all young widows who want to marry?

A reader says ... The bottom line for me is that I interpret everything in the Bible through a filter that says, "does this help me love God and love others" and if it doesn't then maybe it is not one of the scriptures Paul was talking about. So if Paul said to act like I'm not married, then I assume he really did not mean it in a negative way but rather he meant what he said, that the time is short before Christ comes back. And since it's been 2000 years since Paul said that, I can assume he may have been mistaken but that doesn't stop me from loving God and loving others or from believing the other things Paul said that do make sense. The law and the Prophets are summed up in loving God and loving others and so that is why the parts of the Bible that seem to go against that, like slavery and poligamy and acting like you don't have a wife, those parts I take with a grain of salt, because I know deep in my heart that man makes mistakes and man wrote the Bible down and man picked which books to be in the Bible and so that is why the Bible is not perfect. But God is perfect.

A reader says ... 2Ti 3:16 - 17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

"inspiration of God" is very tragic and controversial,even to some evangelicals.

From the Greek word, theopneustos,
an adjective, but a compound word from
1. Theos-means God
2. Pne-ow- means,wind, breath. (0r spirit)

inspiration of God in direct translation is:
1. God inspired, (inspired by God)Thayer's definition.
2. God spirited,
3. God's breath, (the same power of God that was given to make the "dust" to have life, "and Adam became a "living soul"

From original form-"Dust and Breath" Dicotomous!!!!

What is the "great value of original writings in Hebrew and Greek to Preachers and Teachers,to the "evangelicals" in general?

1. Without some knowledge of Hebrew and Greek, you cannot understand the critical commentaries on the Scriptures, and a commentary that is not critical is of doubtful value.

2. Without some knowledge of Hebrew and Greek, you cannot satisfy yourself or those who look to you for help as to the changes, which you find in the Revised Old and New Testament.

3. Without some knowledge of Hebrew and Greek, you cannot appreciate the critical discussion, now so frequent, relating to the books of the OT and NT.

4. Without some knowledge of Hebrew and Greek, you cannot be certain, in a single instance, that in your sermon or teaching based on a Scripture text, you are presenting the correct teaching of the text.

5.Without some knowledge of the Hebrew and Greek, you cannot be independent student, or a reliable interpreter of the word of God.

6.As much as knowledge of Hebrew and Greek can be secured, with the same method, under the same circumstances, by the pupil, in one year, with the aid of interlinear Old Testament, as can be gained of Latin in three years. Greek, though somewhat more difficult, may be readily acquired within a brief period with the aid of the Interlinear New Testament (which contains Lexicon) and an elementary Greek grammar.

7.The Hebrew language has, in all about 7,000 words, and of these 1,000 occur in the OT over 25 times each.

8.The Hebrew grammar has but one form for the Relative pronoun in all cases, numbers and genders; but three forms for the Demonstrative Pronoun. The possible verbal forms are about 300 as compared with the 1,200 found in Greek. It has practically no declension.

9. Within ten years the average man wastes more time in fruitless reading and indifferent talk, than would be used in acquiring a good working knowledge of Hebrew and Greek that in turn would impart to his teaching that quality of independence and of reliability which so greatly enhances ones power as a teacher.

10. There is one minister in ten who might not if he but would, find time and opportunity for such study of Hebrew and Greek as would enable him to make a thoroughly practical use of it in his work as a Bible-preacher and Bible-teacher.

Taken from Interlinear Greek-English NT
With Lexicon and Synonyms
Zondervan, 1980

A reader says ... This approach does not conflict with the following interpretation of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 in the NIV which says, All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Because, if we look at the context and look at the literal translation (Youngs Literal Translation) we see that most likely Paul was not saying the Old Testament was inspired but rather the New Testament writings are inspired. Notice in these verses Paul is not referring to the Old Testament but rather to his own teachings and writings that teach about Jesus. Those can only be new Testament letters and possibly the Gospels.

In 2 Timothy 3 verses 10 to 17 Paul says, "10 And thou -- thou hast followed after my teaching, manner of life, purpose, faith, long-suffering, love, endurance,

11 the persecutions, the afflictions, that befel me in Antioch, in Iconium, in Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of all the Lord did deliver me,

12 and all also who will to live piously in Christ Jesus shall be persecuted,

13 and evil men and impostors shall advance to the worse, leading astray and being led astray.

14 And thou -- be remaining in the things which thou didst learn and wast entrusted with, having known from whom thou didst learn,

15 and because from a babe the Holy Writings thou hast known, which are able to make thee wise -- to salvation, through faith that [is] in Christ Jesus;

16 every Writing [is] God-breathed, and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for setting aright, for instruction that [is] in righteousness,

17 that the man of God may be fitted -- for every good work having been completed.

In these verses we see Paul is referring to Holy Writings that lead to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. The Old Testament didnt have any verses that lead to salvation through faith in Jesus, since Jesus had not come. Most likely Paul is referring to his own letters and letters from other apostles and maybe the Gospels.

Paul would not have been promoting the Old Testament law. If you read Galatians and Ephesians and even Romans you will see that Paul did not want Christians to fall back under the law. And so Paul would have been referring to inspired New Testament writings that Paul says lead people to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus those inspired writings would not have been the Old Testament.

A reader says ... I believe the way Jesus believed. Jesus did not believe that the Old Testament perfectly reflected what God would want. Instead Jesus said, at least in one instance, that a portion of the Old Testament law was the product of Moses, in opposition to what God would have wanted.

More specifically Im referring to the Deuteronomy 24:1 that says, If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house . This portion of the Old Testament law which was supposedly given by God, starts in Deuteronomy 6:1, where it says, These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to

But then in the New Testament the religious leaders questioned Jesus about the Old Testament divorce law. In Matthew 19:7-9 the religious leaders said, "Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?" Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."

Jesus said that Moses, not God allowed divorce even though the divorce law was penned as given by God.

Jesus explains how this could happen in Matthew 23 verses 2 to 4 where Jesus said, "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

So Jesus was saying that the people needed to obey what the Pharisees told them, because the Pharisees spoke for God. But even though everyone was supposed to believe that the Pharisees spoke for God, Jesus said, they tie up heavy loads and put them on mens shoulders If you read the remainder of Matthew 23 you can see that Jesus did not believe the Pharisees spoke for God.

So whoever sat in Moses seat spoke for God. But yet Jesus in Matthew 19 verses 7 to 9 says that divorce, which was part of the supposedly God given law, was not from God but rather from Moses.

This doesnt in any way discredit the Bible. Instead it adds credibility to the Bible, because it gives us a way to explain things in the Bible that we know in our hearts do not reflect Gods nature. Things like polygamy and slavery.

A reader says ... Yes maybe I misunderstood Paul's teachings. So you are saying Paul's teachings are not for us but only for the problem they had in Corinth. So we can ignore what he said, as far as today is concerned? Is that what you are saying?

What verses in 2 Thessolonians are you referring to? Can you be more specific? Thanks ...

A reader says ... Am I to understand that you do actually believe Paul was speaking for God? If you believe Paul was speaking for God, then I challenge you to obey what he said.

Verse 29, says, "What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none;"

So if you really believe Paul was speking for God, then shouldn't you stop living as if you have a wife and start living as if you have no wife?

A reader says ... Are we to understand that you think the Word of God (as expressed through Paul) is in error with what he said?

A reader says ... I think you misunderstand Paul's teaching. Paul's letter to the Corinthians was to answer specific questions they were asking them. The problem is we don't know what they exactly are! From the point of view of doing God's work in Corinth, Paul tells those who had asked that in their situation it was better not to marry though not wrong to do so. This would still be the case today where (eg) people might go to prison for their faith. Paul no doubt had been married himself so it was no sin. He later tells Timothy that people should settle down and get married. As for 2 Thess scriptures, Paul is writing to correct false teaching in a letter put about by his opponents. He had no misconception as a reading of 2 Thessolonians will show.

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