1Cor 7:16

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Tue Aug 22 06:31:21 EDT 2000


At 11:01 AM -0700 8/21/00, Francisco Orozco wrote:
>>From 1 Cor 7:12-16
>
>Without citing the whole text,

I don't mean to be harsh so much as practical in saying this, but if you
DON'T cite the whole text of a passage you're asking about, you are far
less likely to get useful answers: although many list-members have a NT
text ready to hand somewhere or on their hard-disk, it still is more
trouble to look up the text in order to answer your question than it is to
look at a text that you cite directly in your message before posing your
question. You're just less likely to get answers when you put a question
like this without citing the text.
Here then:

12 TOIS DE LOIPOIS LEGW EGW OUC hO KURIOS: EI TIS ADELFOS GUNAIKA ECEI
APISTON KAI hAUTH SUNEUDOKEI OIKEIN MET' AUTOU, MH AFIETW AUTHN. 13 KAI
GUNH EI TIS ECEI ANDRA APISTON KAI hOUTOS SUNEUDOKEI OIKEIN MET' AUTHS, MH
AFIETW TON ANDRA. 14 hHGIASTAI GAR hO ANHR hO APISTOS EN THi GUNAIKI KAI
hHGIASTAI hH GUNH hH APISTOS EN TWi ADELFWi; EPEI ARA TA TEKNA hUMWN
AKAQARTA ESTIN, NUN DE hAGIA ESTIN. 15 EI DE hO APISTOS CWRIZETAI,
XWRIZESQW; OU DEDOULWTAI hO ADELFOS H hH ADELFH EN TOIS TOIOUTOIS; EN DE
EIRHNHi KEKLHKEN hUMAS hO QEOS. 16 TI GAR OIDAS, GUNAI, EI TON ANDRA
SWSEIS? H TI OIDAS, ANER, EI THN GUNAIKA SWSEIS?

my question simply is: Is v.16 a further
>reason for v.12, 13 (as v.14 seems to be) and therefore v.15 is a
>parenthesis. Or, of v.16 a reason for v.15 - my question has to do with
>grammar, that is, are there grammatical answers to my questions.
>
>V.14 ...GAR
>V.15 EI DE
>V.16 ... GAR

Personally I don't think there is a rigid logical structure here so much as
a conversational sort of thinking through the possibilities involved in a
situation where the husband or wife in a marriage is an unbeliever. I'd
understand vs. 15 as saying simply that there should be no pressure put
upon the unbeliever in a marriage when or just because the other partner
has become a believer--so that if the conversion of one has become an
embarrassment to the other, the other should feel free to go his or her own
way--BUT IF the unbeliever consents to continue to live with the new
believer, the believer should endeavor to sustain the marriage. I think
that vs. 14 offers the essential rationale for this advice and 16 clarifies
what Paul means by that advice: the 'sanctification' of the unbelieving
partner by the partner involves an opportunity for the believing partner to
'save'/convert the unbelieving partner.

Perhaps some might want to define a more logical structure to this, but in
my view it's a colloquial sequence, almost a thinking out loud. I don't
imagine Paul delivering a lecture from prepared notes here but thinking out
loud before the amanuensis who writes down what he says as he thinks it
through. I'd render the above quite colloquially thus:

"As for the others, here's what I think--it's not what Christ is
commanding: suppose that a member has a wife who's not a believer and she's
quite happy to continue living with him; he should NOT leave her. And
supposing that a woman has a husband who's not a believer and he's quite
happy to continue living with her, she should NOT leave her husband. The
unbelieving husband, after all, has been put into a special circumstance
(hHGIASTAI) by virtue of his wife and the unbelieving wife has been put
into a special circumstance by virtue of her believing husband. So your
children are 'profane'--but as it is they are in a special circumstance.
Yet supposing the unbeliever goes his own way, he should go his own way:
the believing husband or the believing wife hasn't become a slave in this
sort of situation--rather it is in non-coercion (EIRHNHi) that God has
called you  So why shouldn't you suppose, wife, that you just may be the
salvation of your husband? Or why shouldn't you suppose, husband, that you
just may be the salvation of your wife?"

Others might want to see a much stricter rhetorical structure to this, but
to me it seems to have a conversational tone of 'sweet reasonability' --
"here's what I think; there's no specific instruction of Jesus in this
matter ..."

-- 

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/



More information about the B-Greek mailing list