Saturday, December 16, 2006

More on 1 Corinthians 7:15 - Answering the Criticisms I

Arguments abound on the web regarding the abandoned Christian spouse having to remain unmarried (agamos)) in the situation of 1 Co 7:15. My arguments for allowing remarriage are here (Link 1, Link 2, Link 3, Link 4, Link 5, Link 6) I have located a few of the typical arguments against remarriage:

The unbeliever (not the believer) may depart, since unsaved people will not follow the Word of God.(1 Cor. 7:15)

This does not mean that the believer may remarry. (Rom. 7:2; I Cor. 7:39; Luke 16:18; Matt. 5:32)

Romans 7:2 and 1 Co 7:39 do not apply as both refer to a married (Greek gamos) woman being bound to her husband, not to an abandoned and now unmarried, i.e. agamos Christian ex-spouse. In a more narrow sense neither address the problem of the abandoned Christian man. Using these verses is simply misapplying scripture.

Luke 16:18 and Matthew 5:32 again do not apply to the abandoned Christian spouse. Both verses refer to the sin of initiating a divorce. The Christian spouse in 1 Co 7:15 did not divorce the unbeliever, it is the that unbeliever that initiated that action. Using these verses in this situation is simply again a misapplication of scripture.

Another anti-remarriage argument:

What if the unbeliever initiates a separation? What should the Christian do? Let him go, the apostle says, the Christian is not enslaved to that mate, so that domestic proximity is absolutely required (15). “Divorce” is not under consideration here. The New Testament term for divorce is apoluo (literally, to loose away; cf. Mt. 5:31-32; 19:3,7-9; Mk. 10:2-4,11-12; Lk. 16:18), and that word is meticulously avoided in First Corinthians 7:10-15.

The author is referring to Paul's use of aphiemi instead of apolou for divorce in verse 11.

11: (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife.

Why then does Paul call the woman in 1 Co 7:10-11 unmarried (
agamos)? In my previous posts (Link 1, Link 2, Link 3), it was clear unmarried meant previously married as opposed to widows and virgins/singles. Also how many synonyms do we have in English for 'divorce'?

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