First Corinthians - Part 19


Last time we looked at a summary of the important issues of 1Corinthians as an Acts epistle. One issue is that those saved whether Jew or Greek were to remain in that state:

This has some important implications when one interprets many of the doctrines that are taught by  Paul in his Acts epistles. One very important issue relating to this is the economy that the world was under and the nearness of Christ's second coming. Paul applies this to the subject of marriage. He continues in verse 29:

29  But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;
TBT  1 Corinthians 7:29 τοῦτο δέ φημι, ἀδελφοί, ὅτι ὁ καιρὸς συνεσταλμένος· τὸ λοιπόν ἐστιν ἵνα καὶ οἱ ἔχοντες γυναῖκας ὡς μὴ ἔχοντες ὦσι· (1Co 7:29 TBT)

The time ( καιρὸς) is short: What does that imply? The verb (is short) is shown in the box below. It comes from the idea of placing something together and in so doing make it short. The lemma is used also in Acts

KJG  Acts 5:6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
TBT  Acts 5:6 ἀναστάντες δὲ οἱ νεώτεροι συνέστειλαν αὐτόν, καὶ ἐξενέγκαντες ἔθαψαν.

The time was wound up!


4958 συστέλλω sustello soos-tel’-lo 

from 4862 and 4724; TDNT-7:596,1074; {See TDNT 739 } v 

AV-wind up 1, short 1; 2 
1) to place together 
1a) to draw together, contact 
1a1) to diminish 
1a2) to shorten, abridge 
1a3) the time has been drawn together into a brief compass, is shortened 
1b) to roll together, wrap up, wrap around with bandages, etc., to enshroud 

What is interesting is how the rest of the sentence is constructed. "it remaineth" -- τὸ λοιπόν ἐστιν - literally "the rest is" andcan mean "henceforth" and carries the idea of a result.  The rest of the time must be lived in accordance with this restraint That they who have wives be as though they do not have wives. This is a restraint because the time had been made short and therefore there was little time left.

We are not under these restraints today.

Paul gives relevant instructions to Timothy after the Acts 28 divide -- he says that in the latter times of this age (not the wound up time of Acts) some shall depart from the faith. Their teaching will be sourced from seducing spirits and devils. While not Pau'ls Acts instructions to the churches he ministered to the idea of forbidding to marry would be a very short distance -- Paul says to Timothy that his will was that the younger women marry, bear children. There is no embellishing and modifying context to say that only those who cannot contain should do so. Rather it was his will simply that the younger women marry.The time had changed with the advent of a "new age" not anything like the new age movement of gurus, crystals, aquarius, rainbows and eclectic eastern religions, rather this new age was planned by God long before the foundation of the world and passed to us through PAul the prisoner. There are 7 epistles that come to us through his pen after the close of the book of Acts. If you wish to learn about God's new age then you need to read these epistles, especially his prison epistles. 

Without distinguishing Paul's two ministries it is easy to teach and believe incorrect doctrine. 

30  And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;
31  And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.
TBT  1 Corinthians 7:31 καὶ οἱ χρώμενοι τῷ κόσμῳ τούτῳ, ὡς μὴ καταχρώμενοι· παράγει γὰρ τὸ σχῆμα τοῦ κόσμου τούτου. (1Co 7:31 TBT)

The life then lived was one of urgency, you would weep but not as one who weeps, it would be done only as necessary you would buy but not as though you would at all keep these things. 

32  But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:
TBT  1 Corinthians 7:32 θέλω δὲ ὑμᾶς ἀμερίμνους εἶναι. ὁ ἄγαμος μεριμνᾷ τὰ τοῦ Κυρίου, πῶς ἀρέσει τῷ Κυρίῳ· (1Co 7:32 TBT)

Literally -- "I wish you to be without carefulness" -- the word "carefulness" means "anxiety" -- but the word is translated in the KJ's as carefulness and goes so beautifully with the actions of the unmarried (ὁ ἄγαμος) who careth for the things of the Lord. Look how it (the verb) is used in the new testament and especially the frequency of usage about chapter 7 of 1 Corinthians.

TBT Matthew 13:22  ὁ δὲ εἰς τὰς ἀκάνθας σπαρείς, οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τὸν λόγον ἀκούων, καὶ ἡ μέριμνα τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου καὶ ἡ ἀπάτη τοῦ πλούτου συμπνίγει τὸν λόγον, καὶ ἄκαρπος γίνεται.
TBT 1 Corinthians 7:32  θέλω δὲ ὑμᾶς ἀμερίμνους εἶναι. ὁ ἄγαμος μεριμνᾷ τὰ τοῦ Κυρίου, πῶς ἀρέσει τῷ Κυρίῳ·
TBT 1 Corinthians 7:33  ὁ δὲ γαμήσας μεριμνᾷ τὰ τοῦ κόσμου, πῶς ἀρέσει τῇ γυναικί.
TBT 1 Corinthians 7:34  μεμέρισται ἡ γυνὴ καὶ ἡ παρθένος. ἡ ἄγαμος μεριμνᾷ τὰ τοῦ Κυρίου, ἵνα ᾖ ἁγία καὶ σώματι καὶ πνεύματι· ἡ δὲ γαμήσασα μεριμνᾷ τὰ τοῦ κόσμου, πῶς ἀρέσει τῷ ἀνδρί.
TBT 2 Corinthians 11:28  χωρὶς τῶν παρεκτός, ἡ ἐπισύστασίς μου ἡ καθ᾽ ἡμέραν, ἡ μέριμνα πασῶν τῶν ἐκκλησιῶν.

33  But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.

Here is the other side of the issue -- the care goes to the things of the world -- how he may please his wife and therefore attention is taken away from the Lord. This is a bitter pill to swallow if addressed to us in this age who seek to serve God and yet must be made inadequate by virtue of our marriage. This would be so IF the age we live in is that of the Corinthians. We have new instructions appropriate to our age which we find in the letters of PAul the prisoner.

34  There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

This defines a virgin = unmarried woman and gives the symmetrical argument which was applied to the man in verse 33.

  • 35  And this I speak for your own profit; 
    • not that I may cast a snare upon you, (throw a noose about you)
      • but for that which is comely, (honouarble)
      • and that ye may attend upon the Lord (literally sit beside)
        • without distraction. 

TBT  1 Corinthians 7:35 τοῦτο δὲ πρὸς τὸ ὑμῶν αὐτῶν συμφέρον λέγω· οὐχ ἵνα βρόχον ὑμῖν ἐπιβάλω, ἀλλὰ πρὸς τὸ εὔσχημον καὶ εὐπρόσεδρον τῷ Κυρίῳ ἀπερισπάστως. (1Co 7:35 TBT)

This is what was required during the Acts when the time was short and there were these necessities laid upon them in the time remaining.

36 ¶  But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.
37  Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.

The first of these two verses give the "permission" to marry and to console those that did and the second to show the ideal state for those who have power over their will.

38  So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.

What is the better state and what is the better action? He that giveth her NOT in marriage doeth better.

39 ¶  The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.