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June 25, 2006

Paul: ANTI- MARRIAGE ? ANTI- SEX ? ASCETIC ?

Copyright 2006: Dr Gregory J. Laughery

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Originally published in the Evangelical Quarterly. Laughery deals with
the apostle Paul and his views of sex, marriage, and celibacy in 1
Corinthians 7. Is Paul against marriage? Is marriage only valid choice in order to
avoid sexual immoralities? Does Paul believe that celibacy is spiritually
superior to being married?

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PAUL:
ANTI- MARRIAGE ?
ANTI- SEX ?
ASCETIC ?

A DIALOGUE WITH 1 CORINTHIANS 7:1-40
Dr Gregory J. LAUGHERY

1. The Scope of the Study
This study will focus on an examination of the apostle Paul's attitude to sex, marriage, and celibacy in 1 Corinthians 7. Are we to view Paul as ascetic? Is Paul against marriage ( or sexual relations within it ) per se? Does this chapter affirm that the celibate life is morally or spiritually superior to the married life? Does Paul actually argue that it is evil for a man to have sex with a woman or for that matter to even touch one? Many interpreters from the patristic era to the modern would respond in the affirmative regarding such questions. In their opinion, Paul was ascetic, held the celibate life to be a higher, more spiritual form of existence than the married, and thought sex was evil. The only reason to get married, if at all, was to avoid sexual immoralities.

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