1 Corinthians Chapter 7:1-5 Translation and Notes

Paul writes answers to their questions regarding marriage and marital sex. This is my translation and notes.

1 Corinthians Chapter 7:1-5

Apostolic Counsel—Marriage

1 Now concerning the things youp wrote to me: “It is better for a man not to [sexually] touch a woman.”

[In chapter 6, Paul is talking about sexual sins. To prevent someone from thinking that sex is wrong, he addresses some sexual questions the Corinthians had. The Greek word for “touch” is ἅπτομαι háptomai (G680). It means touch in the ordinary sense, touch in any relationships with Gentiles (business or other), and as slang for sexual intercourse. This is also in Hebrew נָגַע nâgaʻ (H5060). See Genesis 20:6 and Proverbs 6:29. Most understand Paul as saying that certain difficulties might be avoided if one remains single. See 1 Corinthians 7:26-35. Paul does not teach that celibacy is better].

2 Nevertheless, because of sexual sins, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

[Paul is not teaching that the main reason to get married is for sex. This chapter is answering their questions. Ray Stedman writes in a sermon: He [God] intended for human beings to experience this exquisite ecstasy of orgasm, but he designed that it be protected, that it be experienced within walls of security which only marriage, as the Bible envisions it, can provide.

Within those marriage bonds, sex is designed to be an exquisite pleasure which a married couple experiences frequently, as frequently as they mutually desire, and to whatever degree it may be desired. This is what is meant in Hebrews 13:4 where it says, “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled.” Therefore, those who twist certain passages of Scripture to indicate that sex is something that really should be kept secret and not openly discussed even in marriage are mistaking and missing the whole purpose of Scripture].

3 Let the husband give his wife the affection due her, and likewise the wife also to her husband.

[The Greek word for ‘affection’ is εὔνοια eúnoia (G2133). It means goodwill and kindness. The combination of the two words is affection—a feeling of warmth and fondness for someone or something (Wordsymth). The husband is to ensure his wife’s physical pleasure to the fullest. He is to please her (see the note a few sentences down). It is more important than ensuring his own physical pleasure. Love is shown to others first (Philippians 2:3-4, 1 Corinthians 10:4, and Romans 15:1-3). Perfect love has no fear. If the wife fears, then she senses her husband is not loving her. It goes both ways. The Greek word for ‘please’ is ἀρέσκω aréskō (G700). It means probably from G142 (through the idea of exciting emotion); to be agreeable (or by implication, to seek to be so): —please (Strong’s). Thayer’s has (G700):

1) to please

2) to strive to please

2a) to accommodate one’s self to the opinions desires and interests of others.

Husband and wife are to be one in body, soul (emotions, logic, etc.), and spirit (worship). One in soul is each spouse feels loved and safe with the other. There is listening, helping, and seriously considering each one’s opinion. This doesn’t mean agreeing on everything, nor the impossible efforts of pleasing the narcissist or abuser. The pleasing of one’s wife physically is the same pleasing the husband must render to his wife’s soul and spirit and vice versa. It is her subjective opinion that she is pleased not his subjective opinion that she is pleased. Consider the Lord Jesus—Romans 15:3 For even Christ didn’t seek to please himself first, but as it is written, “The criticisms of those who criticized yous fell on me.” Also see the use of the same word (please (G700)) in Mark 6:22, Romans 8:8, 1 Corinthians 7:32-34, and 2 Timothy 2:4. The Greek word for ‘due’ is ὀφείλω opheílō (G3784). It means a debt that is owed. This debt can be literal as money or refer to emotional things—love, kindness, compassion, etc. TDNTa adds: In the main these obligations toward others develop out of the preceding act of God or Christ, as the sentence construction shows (Rom. 15:3; Eph. 5:28, etc.)].

4 The wife doesn’t have authority over her own body, but the husband does, and likewise, the husband also doesn’t have authority over his own body, but the wife does.

[These two verses teach that a husband must consider his wife’s sexual needs and submit himself, and likewise the wife must consider her husband’s needs. There is partnership in marriage—a oneness different than any other. There is the mutually pleasing and meeting one another’s needs. The wife can refuse, so can the husband. Perhaps illness or stress prevents one from relaxing and enjoying sex with their spouse. Nevertheless, there is no spiritually in refusing, but there is a time for refusal which must be mutual and only for a brief time to give each time for prayer—thus a type of fasting. So called “obligation sex” is evil and condemned. Some have taught in the past that sex is only at the time a couple wants children. This is also evil and condemned].

5 Don’t deprive one another except with mutual consent for a brief time, so that youp may give yourselvesp to fasting and prayer, then come together again, so that Satan doesn’t tempt youp for yourp lack of self-control.

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