If They Cannot Exercise Self-Control

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Tue Jan 7 22:28:12 EST 2003


At 10:05 PM -0500 1/7/03, Matthew R. Miller wrote:
>I suppose this gets to the heart of my question. Why is the aspect of
>being "unable" necessary implied? "Cannot" makes it sound like it is
>absolutely impossible for them to exercise self-control -- like they are
>being forced to sin. Why not merely, "If they are not exercising
>self-control," which does not attempt to define the motive?

The text: (8) LEGW DE TOIS AGAMOIS KAI TAIS CHRAIS, KALON AUTOIS EAN
MEINWSIN hWS KA'GW; (9) EI DE OUK EGKRATEUONTAI, GAMETWSAN, KREITTON GAR
ESTIN GAMHSAI H PUROUSQAI.

Once again, I can only say that to me--and evidently to the translators of
numerous English versions also--it seems reasonably clear that those who
CAN exercise self-control WILL remain celibate in accordance with Paul's
example; it is those others, the ones who DO not exercise self-control,
evidently because they CANNOT, who are advised to marry. I take it that
PUROUSQAI = MH EGKRATEUESQAI.
-- 

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad at ioa.com
WWW: http://www.ioa.com/~cwconrad/



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