1Cor 7:1 - Not to touch a woman....

Mon, 02 Dec 96 15:06:34 MST

Paul tells us in 1 Cor 7:1 to KALON ANQRWPWi GUNAIKOS MH hAPTESQAI.

Presupposing that Paul was here referring to legitimate sexual
intimacies within the marital arrangement, what references are there
in Greek literature where hAPTESQAI has the meaning of sexual intimacy
that may support this thought?


I've recently altered my personal understanding with respect to the
nature of this touch. I've thought for a long while that Paul was
cautioning against any man [immorally] touching a woman not his wife.

However, I've recently come to think that Paul is here restating his
conclusion (v.38 "he that gives his virginity in marriage does well,
but he that does not give it in marriage will do better"). Paul has
already condemned PORNEIA in Ch. 6:9-20. So, this 7:1 "touch" appears
to me to be, not an immoral, but a proper touching in marriage. In
other words, "It is well for a man not to touch a woman" = 'It is well
not to get married, here's why ... [chapter 7].'

Whether one takes the "touch" as immoral or moral, it evidently
implies more than a mere touch. How is this word used in other
contexts around the Koine period?