Re: AGAMOS in 1 Cor. 7

From: David L. Moore (
Date: Thu Oct 09 1997 - 11:36:35 EDT

>>Ward Powers <> wrote:
>>>If this is really what Paul is saying, does that mean that we who are
>>>pastors and clergy need to do a rethink about our attitude to the
>>>remarriage of divorcees?
>> I generally agree with what Ward has presented relative to the
>>meaning of AGAMOS except as noted above and in a few other minor matters.
>>But I would urge caution. There are several factors that point in the
>>direction he has taken the interpretation, but they seem to me to be
>>somewhat less than conclusive. I believe we need more data and more light
>>on the general context of this chapter before we recommend that people take
>>momentous steps in their personal lives on the basis of this line of
>Presumably, David, you mean by this last sentence that a divorced person
>should not take the momentous step of remarrying? If so, here I must record
>an opposite opinion. I know of numbers of Christians who believe that after
>their divorce they are now required by God's law to remain single. (Thus
>they withdraw from the possibility of establishing a new Christian home and
>family.) Surely this is contrary to 1 Cor 7:9, addressed to AGAMOI: in the
>circumstances described, "they must marry". Surely this is leaving out of
>consideration Paul's word to the divorced in 1 Cor 7:28: "if you marry, you
>have not sinned." For a divorced person as much as for any other. "It is
>not a good thing for a man to be alone."

        What I said was meant in the context of our discussion about the
meaning of AGAMOS. That may not have been altogether clear in my post.
Also, it looks as though Ward's comments were made on the basis of wider
ranging study that he has done concerning the matter of marriage and divorce.

        I still maintain that the meaning of AGAMOS has not been
definitively established in 1Cor. 7:8, 32 and 34, although some evidence
points to a meaning of "previously, but not presently married." My concern
is that we should proceed cautiously and not jump to conclusions on this
matter that affects how we view the bond of marriage.

David L. Moore
Miami, Florida, USA
Southeastern Spanish District of the A/G Dept. of Education
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