Daily Bible Nugget #540, 1 Corinthians 7:25

The Nugget:

1Co 7:25  Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful. (KJV)

1Co 7:25  But concerning virgins, I have no commandment of the Lord; but I give my opinion, as having received mercy of the Lord to be faithful. (Darby)

1Co 7:25  Now about virgins I have no orders from the Lord: but I give my opinion as one to whom the Lord has given mercy to be true to him. (Basic English)

1Co 7:25 About unmarried women I have no command from the Lord, but I will give you my opinion as of one who is trustworthy, since I have had mercy shown me by the Lord. (Williams)

1Co 7:25  I don’t know of anything that the Lord said about people who have never been married. But I will tell you what I think. And you can trust me, because the Lord has treated me with kindness. (CEV, Contemporary English Version)

My Comment:

1 Corinthians 7:25 was mistakenly applied and surely misunderstood by a Muslim who objects to the validity of the Apostle Paul. He is responding to the answers I posted here yesterday as Daily Bible Nugget #539. You can learn much more than you bargained for if you read the discussion below!

The Muslim Challenge:

Jerome Smith our first objection: two verses from the letters of Paul proved that not all biblical passages are revealed by God. Paul says:

“Concerning virgin, I HAVE NO COMMANDMENT OF THE LORD, BUT I GIVE MY OWN OPINION as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy” 1st Corinthians 7:25

“What I am saying with regard to this boastful confidence, I am saying NOT WITH THE LORD’S AUTHORITY, but as a fool” 2nd Corinthians 11:17.

Our second objection: Mark 16:9-20 was not present in the RSV. The NIV wrote in its footnote that “the ancient and most reliable Manuscripts did not have Mark 16:9-20. So, According to your scholars Mark 16:15 is a fabrication.

Our third objection: In the American standard version, the phrase used in Mathew 28:19 is “all the nations”. This refers to the twelve tribes of Israel (each tribe is a nation). However, if we are to accept Mathew 28:19 the way you relate it; then we have no any other option than to say Jesus Christ contradicts himself (something I will never believe). This is because, when Jesus sent out his disciples to preach, he commanded them saying; “Go not unto the way of the gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans, but go rather unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” Mathew 10:5, 6.


My Response:

Hayatuddeen Ameen You have misunderstood what Paul means in 1 Corinthians 7:25. Paul means that our Lord Jesus Christ in His earthly ministry did not address the question asked by the Corinthians that Paul then proceeds to answer.

Further in his answer, Paul states that on that aspect of the question he has the direct word of our Lord Jesus Christ:

1 Corinthians 7:10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: (King James Version)

Consider 1 Corinthians 7:12,

1 Corinthians 7:12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. King James Version

Paul again distinguishes between what he, writing by divine inspiration, states in answer to the question raised by the Corinthians, compared with what Jesus had discussed while He was upon earth. Paul could not cite Jesus as his authority on this point regarding marriage relations because Jesus did not discuss this precise topic. Notice, therefore, how carefully Paul identifies the source of his authority when answering the questions addressed to him.

Contrast what Paul declares in 1 Corinthians 14:37,

1 Corinthians 14:37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. King James Version

So the issue is not whether Paul writes what is revealed by God. He most certainly does, according to 1 Corinthians 14:37. The issue in context is whether what Paul asserts under divine inspiration was directly addressed by our Lord Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry.

As for your reference to 2 Corinthians 11:17, in objecting to these words, you are missing the ironic language Paul is using in that context which he uses to emphasize the validity of his apostleship.

This is seen when Paul reaches the climax of his defense of his apostleship against his detractors when he writes:

2Co 13:5  Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

2 Corinthians 13:5 involves a number of figures of speech for emphasis, including Hyperbaton and Irony.

The Hyperbaton by which the pronoun heautous, yourselves, is placed in the Greek text at the beginning of the sentence (the object before the subject), shows the emphasis which is to be placed upon it, and tells us that this is the serious irony of a grieved heart, and not a general command.

These Corinthian saints, having been beguiled by the Jewish enemies of the apostle to question his apostleship, actually sought a proof of Christ speaking in him! So he meets their questionings with another question: Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me…YOURSELVES examine ye, if ye are in the faith; YOURSELVES prove ye. Know ye not that Jesus Christ is in you except ye be reprobates?”

The answer to this question, thus ironically put, would prove them to be the seals of his ministry, and the real proof of his apostleship.

In answer to your SECOND OBJECTION regarding the so-called long ending of the Gospel of Mark, that ending is unquestionably the original ending of Mark’s Gospel.

The genuineness of Mark 16:9-20 is established by the fact that they are:

(1) contained in the majority of even ancient manuscripts, and in the famous few that omit these verses space was left in some of them sufficient to be included;

(2) the verses are included in ancient versions including the various forms of the Syriac, the Latin, Gothic, Egyptian and Coptic, Armenian, Ethiopic, and Georgian, several of these predating the oldest extant Greek manuscripts for this passage;

(3) the passage has been cited from the time of the earliest Christian writers, including Papias (AD 100) who refers to Mark 16:18 (as stated by Eusebius, Hist. Ecc. iii. 39); Justin Martyr (AD 151), who quotes Mark 16:20 (Apol. I. c. 45); Irenæus (AD 180), who quotes and remarks on Mark 16:19 (Adv. Hær. lib. iii. c. x.); Hippolytus (AD 190-227) quotes Mark 16:17-19 (Lagarde’s ed., 1858, p. 74); Ambrose (AD 374-397) quotes Mark 16:15 four times, Mark 16:16-18 three times, and Mark 16:20 once; Chrysostom (AD 400) refers to Mark 16:9; and states that Mark 16:19-20 are “the end of the Gospel.” Jerome (AD 331-420) includes these twelve verses in his Latin translation, besides quoting Mark 16:9; Mark 16:14 in his other writings; Augustine (AD 395-430) more than quotes them. He discusses them as being the work of the Evangelist Mark, and says that they were publicly read in the churches.

I place no confidence in the Revised Standard Version because it is an English translation produced by theologically liberal scholarship which does not believe in the divine inspiration of the Bible and often rejects the supernatural. The RSV was widely rejected by Bible-believing Christians when it was first published.

The NIV has made some quite notable errors in its comments and decisions regarding matters of textual criticism, so on those issues I find it necessary to reject their mistaken claims.

The ANSWER TO YOUR THIRD OBJECTION is seen by comparing Scripture with Scripture. You claim “all the nations” has reference to only the twelve tribes of Israel. That is not correct. See the parallel construction at Matthew 24:14,

Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Clearly, the expression “all nations” or “all the nations” (same wording in the underlying Greek text) has reference to every nation “in all the world,” a mission most certainly not to be limited to the twelve tribes of Israel!

Jesus Himself said in Acts 1:8,

Act 1:8  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

This world-wide outreach of the true Gospel of Christ was prophesied repeatedly, as anyone can learn by consulting the cross references given for such a verse as Isaiah 49:6,

Isaiah 49:6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.



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