I continue to read Samuel Terrien’s Till the Heart Sings which is a biblical reflection on gender.
People have often considered the Apostle Paul anti-woman. His convoluted and culturally influenced attempts to deal with issues between men and women in his congregations give this impression. Terrien only partly defends Paul on this. He calls Paul a “half-liberated legalist” (p. 163).
In the process Terrien brings up some fascinating points.
He takes up the opinion of some of the church fathers that Paul was married and traveled with his wife. But he says 1 Corinthians 7:8 tells decisively against this. However, Paul had not taken a vow of celibacy. As a Jewish Pharisee and teacher, he had once been married. During his ministry he was either widowed or separated.
Terrien translates the passage in I Corinthians 7:1 that we have heard as “it is good for a man not to touch…
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