Read PDF Paul on Marriage and Celibacy: The Hellenistic Background of 1 Corinthians 7

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As early as the second century C. But is this a correct reading of Paul?

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What exactly did Paul teach on the subjects of marriage and celibacy? Will Deming here answers these questions. By placing Paul's statements on marriage and celibacy against the backdrop of ancient Hellenistic society, Deming constructs a coherent picture of Paul's views. According to Deming, the conceptual world in which Paul lived and wrote had substantially vanished by C. Paul conceived of marriage as a social obligation that had the potential of distracting Christians from Christ.

Paul on Marriage and Celibacy: The Hellenistic Background of 1 Corinthians 7

For him celibacy was the single life, free from such distraction, not a life of saintly denial. Sex, in turn, was natural and not sinful, and sex within marriage was both proper and necessary. Superbly researched and reasoned, this book corrects misinterpretations of Paul and restores him to his proper place in the history of Christian thought on marriage and sexuality. Read more Read less. Kindle Cloud Reader Read instantly in your browser.

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Product details File Size: Eerdmans Publishing; 2 edition February 24, Publication Date: February 24, Sold by: Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Will Deming's thesis is that Paul does not advocate any sexual asceticism in chapter 7.

The context of Stoic-Cynic marriage debate provides a best account matrix in understanding Paul's logic and the Corinthians' position on marriage and finally their dialogue in 1 Cor.

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It is the most sensible interpretation of 1 Cor. Unlike other monographs on 1 Corinthians, Will Deming does engage in the exegesis of the text itself, seeking to answer every tough questions rose from the logic and the meaning of the text.


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I find some of his interpretation helpful for me to understand Paul's sayings. For instance, Deming points out that v. Second sharp interpretation is the relation of v. I, like many other commentators, have presumed that the latter further explains the former and so logically come to the conclusion of Pauline privilege for divorce. But it immediately faces the difficulty of interpreting 15c: Deming's suggestion, to my mind, is more sensible: Paul corrects Corinthians' wrong concept of regarding mixed marriage as enslavement.

This marital peace of Christians with their unbelieving spouses are not enslavement but the call of God. In chapter 2, he even includes Gospels in NT as possible stoic parallels. In fact, he is talking about the parallels of Jesus' sayings about marriage in Matt For the meanings of words lies in its semantic usage.

Book Review: Paul on Marriage and Celibacy: The Hellenistic Background of 1 Corinthians 7

Thus, seeking parallels of words must include parallel contexts in the biblical text and stoic materials. He seldom quotes the whole paragraph of Stoic materials to show that the semantic usage of those greek words are similar to Jesus' sayings and 1 Cor. Advent at Ground Zero: An Excerpt from Advent: Request a Review Copy. Old Testament Studies Criticism. New Testament Studies John Studies.

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Jouette Bassler "What a boon to have this landmark study published in a new, updated edition! This guarantees that the debate over the nature and meaning of Christian asceticism and celibacy will continue to benefit from Will Deming's meticulous arguments and sound conclusions. Fitzgerald "In this revised edition of his stimulating monograph on 1 Corinthians 7, Will Deming responds to his critics and continues to dismantle the traditional and widespread depiction of Paul as a founding father of Christian asceticism.

Making a clear and convincing distinction between sexual asceticism and celibacy, Deming insists that neither Paul nor the Corinthians were ascetics and that the hermeneutical key to understanding their dialogue was the Stoic-Cynic debate about the advantages and disadvantages of marriage. Grounding his treatment in the philosophical texts of the Hellenistic world and using them to illumine Paul's assumptions and arguments, Deming demonstrates that Paul was intimately aware of the moralist traditions of his day and of the conflicting views on marriage held by philosophers.

An indispensable contribution for anyone interested not only in Paul but also in Hellenistic discussions of the family and marriage.