Re: 1 Cor. 7,1

From: Steven Craig Miller (
Date: Fri Nov 26 1999 - 10:50:06 EST

<x-flowed>To: Robert Piorewicz,

KALON can mean either "it is good" or "it is better." Also note that Paul
writes ANQRWPWi and not ANDRI, the latter could be interpreted as "for a
husband." That which is good or better is added in the infinitive. The UBS
lexicon by Louw and Nida takes GUNAIKOS hAPTOMAI to be an idiom meaning "to
marry a woman." But it seems fairly clear to me that this idiom has a more
general (and obvious) sense meaning "to have sex with a women." For
example, in Plato we find: PWPOTE GUNAIKOS hHYATO OUD' AU PAIDOS "he never
once had sex with a woman, nor furthermore with a boy" (840a). It seem very
clear that here "sex" is in mind and not merely "marriage." Finally, one
should note that KALON ANQRWPWi GUNAIKOS MH hAPTESQAI could be taken either
as a quotation from the Corinthians, or as advice from Paul. And if a
quotation, it is also possible to take it as a question from the
Corinthians (so Orr & Walther in their AB commentary). As a question, one
might translated it as: "Is it better for a man not to have sex with a woman?"

-Steven Craig Miller
Alton, Illinois (USA)

"For the ancients, to mediate is to read a text and to learn it 'by heart'
in the fullest sense of this expression, that is, with one's whole being:
with the body, since the mouth pronounced it, with the memory which fixes
it, with the intelligence which understands its meaning, and with the will
which desires to put it into practice" (Jean Leclercq, "The Love of
Learning and the Desire for God: A Study of Monastic Culture," 1961:17).

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