1 Corinthians 7:10-11

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Christoph Jasinski
Posts: 2
Joined: April 12th, 2019, 2:11 am

1 Corinthians 7:10-11

Post by Christoph Jasinski » April 14th, 2019, 10:34 am

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I have a problem grasping the full scope of the separation/divorce passage in 1 Corinthians. It's of personal interest and therefore very important for me to get it right. So I would appreciate any clarification from advanced practitioners of Greek.
τοῖς δὲ γεγαμηκόσι παραγγέλλω, οὐκ ἐγώ, ἀλλʼ ὁ Κύριος, γυναῖκα ἀπὸ ἀνδρὸς μὴ χωρισθῆναι·
ὰν δὲ καὶ χωρισθῇ, μενέτω ἄγαμος ἢ τῷ ἀνδρὶ καταλλαγήτω· καὶ ἄνδρα γυναῖκα μὴ ἀφιέναι.
(A) My first confusion is caused by some computer programs (and also parsed texts you find everywhere) as some claim *χωρισθῇ* (χωρίζω) is in aorist passive indicative while others state it's in subjunctive mood. After consulting a few grammars and exegetical text books (of which I have plenty, being aware that the topic of aspect etc. is much debated), I came to the conviction that *χωρισθῇ* is indeed 3 person singular aorist passive subjunctive and not indicative.

(B) I consulted quite a few translation and commentaries, finding that most translate it with an active present tense (ex. if she separates...) sort of and very few with a passive past tense (ex. if she be separated...) in both German and English. From the grammars I get that in the subjunctive, not time but aspect is the driver - okay, roger that. Now still, the protasis is in aorist and not present or future, so I assume that's significant.

(C) In most grammars, the conditionals are handled only very superficial. So for me it's still a lot of guess work.

(D) In the presiding vers the woman is prohibited to separate/divorce. Which can mean depending on the grammar of the conditional sentence in vers 11 that either the woman can anyway depart or only if she already before the letter was read in the assembly.

I understand that grammar cannot solve all possible problem, but I hope it can narrow down the possibilities of what the text can and cannot say. At the current moment, with the context of the preceding vers, I understand (also from the grammatical contruction) the following:

The Lord forbids the wife to separate/divorce from the husband at all, but if that is already the case (the Christian wife not having heard/read about Pauls writing yet), then she has two options staying single or reconcile with the husband.


As mentioned, I would appreciate any comments on the conditional sentence and protasises being in aorist, present, future. Many thanks.

Chris
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Stirling Bartholomew
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Joined: August 9th, 2012, 4:19 pm

Re: 1 Corinthians 7:10-11

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » April 15th, 2019, 5:40 pm

chris wrote:
April 14th, 2019, 10:34 am
I understand (also from the grammatical construction) the following:

The Lord forbids the wife to separate/divorce from the husband at all, but if that is already the case (the Christian wife not having heard/read about Pauls writing yet), then she has two options staying single or reconcile with the husband.


As mentioned, I would appreciate any comments on the conditional sentence and protasises being in aorist, present, future. Many thanks.

Chris
I'm not an expert on conditional constructions. This text doesn't require an expert.

1Cor. 7:10 Τοῖς δὲ γεγαμηκόσιν παραγγέλλω, οὐκ ἐγὼ ἀλλὰ ὁ κύριος, γυναῖκα ἀπὸ ἀνδρὸς μὴ χωρισθῆναι, 11 - ἐὰν δὲ καὶ χωρισθῇ, μενέτω ἄγαμος ἢ τῷ ἀνδρὶ καταλλαγήτω, - καὶ ἄνδρα γυναῖκα μὴ ἀφιέναι.

ἐὰν + aorist subjunctive marks a hypothetical scenario.

I don't think it specifically addresses a scenario where the wife has already departed. That scenario would be included within the general hypothetical scenario but it isn't explicitly stated that way. I think your interpretation unnecessarily restricts the scope of what Paul is saying.
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

Christoph Jasinski
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Joined: April 12th, 2019, 2:11 am

Re: 1 Corinthians 7:10-11

Post by Christoph Jasinski » April 28th, 2019, 11:06 am

Many thanks for your input.

Best
Chris
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