Re: 1 Cor 7:27

William Dicks (
Tue, 3 Sep 1996 08:04:34 +0200

At 08:36 AM 9/2/96 -0500, you wrote:
>At 6:00 AM -0500 9/2/96, William Dicks wrote:
>>I have sent this message to b-greek before, but have not received
>>satisfactory answers. I hope I may send it to you for comment?!
>>I have been reading in 1 Cor 7 concerning marriage, divorce, etc. v27
>>I understand that LELUSAI is Perfect M/P Indicative, and that the Perfect
>>tense denotes a present condition based upon a past action. This then would
>>mean that the person spoken about here was once bound, got loosed and is
>>still loosed. Which comes to my question. Does Paul in the context, based on
>>v28 then say that a person that were divorced/loosed can then get married
>>again? Theologically I have always believed, once divorced never to remarry
>>again. But, plain theology is not the issue here. What do you guys say about
>>the text here?
>>I will appreciate any comments here.
>I'm not sure exactly what you're looking for here, but since you've put the
>question directly to me and specifically asked what I think it means _in
>its context_, I'll comment, and I'm sure Don Wilkins will have his comment
>also. It's probably just as well that this does NOT continue directly on
>b-greek, because my answer might upset some of the inerrantists on the list.
>I think that Paul is here responding to a question asked him by the
>Corinthian congregation. He says quite specifically in 7:25 that he is NOT
>basing his advice upon a saying of Jesus (EPITAGHN KURIOU)--so that,
>whatever one may think of Paul's advice "as one who by the Lord's mercy is
>trustworthy," he is NOT referring to the Jesus-saying in the Synoptics
>regarding divorce and remarriage.
>Moreover, I don't think that he's talking about divorce and remarriage at
>all, but rather about BETROTHAL, and moreover, that he is offering this
>advice on the basis of his expectation of the imminent world-end. Just as
>he offers the advice that one should not, if a slave, seek emancipation
>(not because he is pro-slavery, obviously, but because he expect's God's
>new order to establish the right social norms--very soon--) so, if one is
>engaged to be married to a woman (7:25 indicated that he's speaking about
>PARQENOI, unmarried women), one should not endeavor to be released from the
>obligation to go through with that marriage. If, on the other hand, one HAS
>ALREADY BEEN RELEASED from such a commitment to marry, then one should not
>endeavor to enter into a new commitment to a woman. I won't go on to
>discuss verse 28, except to say that there too it appears to me clear that
>he is still dealing with an engagement to marry a PARQENOS rather than a
>consummated marriage relationship. So: in this passage we are NOT dealing
>with the question of divorce and remarriage at all, but rather with a
>question based upon an understanding of the present time before the return
>of Jesus as very short, the question being, given the shortness of the time
>left in this world-age, whether one ought to enter into long-term personal
>relationships such as marriage.
>I rather suspect this is not what you were looking for, but it is,
>nevertheless, my view of the passage in question. The perfect tense does
>indeed refer to the present obligation to which the person addressed is
>subject because of an agreement that he has made--a contract to marry. Paul
>seems to be saying that one should carry out the commitments one has made
>and not seek to be released from them--but that one shouldn't, given the
>shortness of the time left in the world, make NEW commitments of a
>long-term nature. Paul's advice, therefore, is offered upon what we now
>know to be a mistaken estimate of the nearness of Jesus' return, and for
>that reason, I think his advice--on THIS subject, at least--has ceased to
>have any clear relevance for later generations. That's my opinion, at any
>Best wishes, cwc
>Carl W. Conrad
>Department of Classics, Washington University
>One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
>(314) 935-4018
> OR
Thanks for your response. This was exactly the kind of reply that I was
looking for. I appreciate your quick response.

William G Dicks (Systems Analyst - C++ & Theology Graduate)
ISIS Information Systems
South Africa