Korinthians A 7


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Excerpt from my 2004 translation of Paul’s first letter to the Korinthians which begins at And Now For Something Completely Different…

My 2012 translation of John’s first epistle begins at John A.

My 2015 translation of John’s second epistle begins at John B.

My 2015 translation of John’s third epistle begins at John Γ.

My 2015 translation of Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, which begins at To The Thessalonians A.

My 2015 translation of Paul’s letter to The Romans begins at To the Romans.

My 2004 translation of Mark’s gospel begins at Mark 1.

My 2004 translation of John’s gospel begins at Start With John, along with a brief explanation of my interpretive approach.

7 1 Now concerning what you wrote, [it is] good that a man not be obsessed by a woman [απτω, ‘to fasten or fix upon’ a thing]; 2 but because of prostitution each [man] should have his own wife and each [woman] should have her own husband. 3 The husband should ‘give up what he owes’ to the wife, and likewise the wife to the husband. 4 The woman does not exercise authority over her own body but rather the man [does], and likewise, the man does not exercise authority over his own body but the wife [does]. 5 Do not withhold from one another, except it might be by mutual agreement at certain times, for instance to devote yourself in prayer, and be restored after this, so that Satan does not seduce you by your lack of self control.

6 Now I am saying this from empathy [συγγνωμην, ‘fellow feeling’], not as an order. 7 I really [δε] wish all men were as I myself [am]; but each has his own charisma [‘favor,’ ‘gift’] with God, one in his way and the other his [or ‘one in this manner and the other that’].

8 Now to the [young, αγαμοις] unmarried and to the [older, χηραις] widow(er)(s) I say, good for them if they remain as I am; 9 but if they are not exercising self control, let them marry, for it is so much better [‘stronger,’ ‘mightier’] to marry than to burn. 10 To those who are married I exhort you, not I but the Lord, women do not be separated from [your] husband – 11 but if you are separated, remain unmarried or be reconciled to [your] husband – and men do not leave [your] wives.

12 Now to the rest [of you], I myself am speaking, not the Lord; if some brother has a wife [who is] unfaithful but she consents to live with him, let him not leave her; 13 and if some wife has an unfaithful husband and he consents to live with her, let her not leave her husband. 14 For the unfaithful husband is kept holy by the wife and the unfaithful wife [is] kept holy by the husband; since then your children would be ‘unclean’ [ακαθαρτα, ‘marred by internal impurity, i.e., unsaved], now they are holy [‘saints,’ αγια – saved]. 15 But if the unfaithful must separate, let them separate; the brother or sister should not be enslaved by these [rules, cf. v 12]; for God has chosen that we [p66; א* have ‘you’] [live] in peace.

16 For how do you know, wife, if you will save the husband? or how do you know, husband, if you will save the wife? 17 [We do not know] except as to each the Lord allotted, as God has chosen each one, [so] in this manner let him [or her] go about [their lives]. And likewise among all the churches I am setting guidelines. 18 [For instance] someone who had been circumcised when [he was] called, let him not try to cover it up [επισπασθω]; someone who was called in uncircumcision, let him not be circumcised.

19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, rather, keeping God’s commandments [is the thing]. 20 Let each in the [state] of calling in which he was called, in this [state] let him remain. 21 [If you were] a slave when you were called, don’t let it bother you; but if you are able to become a freedman [this would be] a much better state [χραω, ‘experience’]. 22 For the slave chosen by the Lord is released, likewise the free man chosen by Christ is a servant. 23 You are bought for a price; do not become slaves of men. 24 Let each in whatever [state] he was called, brothers, let him remain in this [state] with God.

25 Now concerning those [who are] virgins I do not have a guideline from the Lord, but I will give my opinion as one who by the mercy of the Lord is [considered] to be trustworthy. 26 I hold according to custom that this [is] good, relatively speaking [υπαρχειν, ‘present circumstances’] because they are opposing [ενιστνμι] natural desires [αναγκη, ‘force,’ metaph., ‘law of nature’], so that [οτι] it is good for a man to be in this [state].

27 Being bound to a wife, do not seek to break up; having broken up with a wife, do not seek a wife. 28 However, if you should marry, you have not sinned, and if a virgin should marry, she has not sinned; now these [are] the ones who have ‘pressure in the flesh’ [‘bodily urges,’ Θλιψιν δε τη σαρκι εξουσιν] and I am sparing you [φειδομαι].

29 It is my opinion, brothers, that the measure of time [word play, καιρος also ‘webbing thrums of the cloth’] is being drawn close [συστελλω, ‘to draw in, as a sail’ – that metaphorically all of history is being drawn in like a sail folding up]; so to sum up [λοιπον]: it [should be] that those having wives be as if they did not 30 and those who weep as if they did not and those who are happy as if they were not and those doing business as if they were out of business, 31 and those who are dependent on the material world as if they were not; for the paradigm [σχημα] of this world is passing [‘temporary,’ even ‘contingent’]. 32 I wish you to be free from worry. The unmarried [person] worries [‘is careful about’] the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord; 33 but the married [person] worries about the things of the world [‘material things’] how to please the wife, 34 and he is distracted. Also, both the unmarried woman and the virgin girl worry about the things of the Lord, that she might be holy both in body and in spirit; while the married woman worries about material things, how to please the husband.

35 I am saying these things to you for your own benefit, not in order to cast a snare upon you but rather, to the end that [you might be] [προς το] well and clearly minded [ευσχημον, ‘orderly,’ well ordered in terms of this issue; i.e., pick a side/type/schema and feel good about it] and devoted to the Lord without distraction.

36 If anyone surmises that he is not assimilating his virgin [child], if she should be maturing beyond bloom of youth even as she ought to be, what he wishes let him do, he does not sin, letting them marry [γαμειτωσαν]. 37 But whoever has stood firm in his heart, not having lust [αναγκην, ‘natural desires’] but has authority over his own will and having determined in his own heart, let him keep himself chaste, he will do very well. 38 Thus also, the one who marries his virgin [child] does very well, and the one who does not marry does [much] better. 39 A woman is bound for her whole life to her husband; but if the husband should die, she is released to marry whomever she wishes, only [let it be] in the Lord. She is happiest if she remains thusly, in my opinion; and I think I have the spirit of God.


@gamiliel on Instagram

This translation was taken from The Greek New Testament, Kurt Aland, et. al. eds., Third Edition (corrected), United Bible Societies, (in cooperation with the Institute for New Testament Textual Research, Münster/Westphalia, Printed in West Germany by Biblia-Druck GmbH Stuttgart),1983.

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