This section is a response to a single issue.
The issue involves women who are bethrothed (engaged in the ancient world)
Verse 38 begins Paul’s conclusion with “So then. . .”
It appears an ascetic view of marriage
had infiltrated some of the believers in
It may be that some of the Corinthians taught that it was sinful for a single believing male or women to get married. In verses 28 and 36 Paul says:
Paul’s problem with teaching this is the conflict between his two views:
In 7:17-24 Paul tells believers to stay where and as they are when they are called by God to believe (point of salvation). These verses (7:25-40) deal with those who are caught in the middle of an engagement (a bethrothal which is a legal document that ends in a marriage).
Paul basically says, “What do you want to do?”
Paul says staying single is better (7:38 and other places in chapter 7) which puts him in agreement with the Corinthians actions.
What Paul disagrees with the Corinthians about is their reason for remaining single. Paul disagrees with the Corinthian’s theology that says a person can be more spiritual if they live an aesetic life and remain single.
This section is void of the imperatives unless they are restating something from verses 7:1-24 as in 7:27.
This section instead is filled with words and phrases like this:
Three parts of this argument:
Who are “virgins”? There are three basic views:
1) The “virgin” is a father’s daughter who he has the responsibility of letting her marry a young man or not marry a young man.
2) A modern view (1902) was some Corinthians had entered into a spiritual marriage where a man and woman lived together as a married couple but without sexual relations. This was something that existed in certain areas of the church between 100-400 AD. Some of the men where having second thoughts and want to consummate their marriages.
3) The “virgins” were young believers who had entered into an engagement to be married but were being pressured by the “more spiritual ones” (pneumatics) among the Corinthians not to commit such a “carnal act.”
Paul has no OT verses or direct teachings from Jesus so he shares his opinion under apostolic inspiration.
But, because of the Lord’s “mercies” (“grace” of Romans 12:3) Paul does have something to say to the issue (and his words are inspired)
“present crisis” is not eschatological because it is already a current crisis.
The word “crisis” means “necessity, compulsion of any kind, distress,
calamity. It refers to the current state
of things in
7:29 - 31
this is focused on the meaning of Christian existence in this present age and not simply a statement about marriage.