Thursday, February 16, 2006

Corruption and marriage

I’ve been exegeting my way through thesis-relevant passages in 1 Corinthians for the last couple of weeks, and the last few days have been focused on 1 Cor 7.

In the process I came across a rather amusing statement made by a famous theologian concerning the purpose of marriage. Marriage is, he writes, ‘a necessary remedy to keep us from plunging into unbridled lust’!! In a few days it will be my 3rd wedding anniversary, so at least I know what to put in the card!

But do you know who made this statement?

Also while working through 1 Cor 7, I came across the mother of all textual problems. The Greek of verse 34 is so Totally Corrupt it is positively Calvinist.

Here are some possible readings (see side bar to download Greek font used):-
  1. kai. meme,ristaiÅ kai. h` gunh. h` a;gamoj kai. h` parqe,noj the preferred NA and UBS reading based on Pesher 15 B P (anyone know how to type those funny squiggly ‘p’ Pesher signs?)
  2. kai. meme,ristaiÅ kai. h` gunh. h` a;gamoj kai. parqe,noj (above but no.1175)
  3. kai. meme,ristaiÅ kai. h` gunh. h` a;gamoj kai. h` parqe,noj h` a;gamoj Pesher 46, a A
  4. kai. meme,ristaiÅ kai. h` gunh. a;gamoj kai. h` parqe,noj kai. h` a;gamoj
  5. kai. meme,ristai h` gunh..Å kai. h` a;gamoj h` parqe,noj h` a;gamoj D*
  6. meme,ristai kai. h` gunh. h` parqe,noj h` a;gamoj D2 F G Y
  7. kai. meme,ristai kai. h` gunh. h` parqe,noj h` a;gamoj (Chrysostom)
For those of you who aren’t sure what the above means let me spell it out: In not just a few places, exegetes don’t even know which Greek text to exegete! Whichever is thought to be closest to the Pauline original is the one most scholars want to bother themselves with, but which one that is can be a tough choice between rather a few options!

And this is just the first step before trying to work out the syntactical problems of the singular verbs related to potential plural subjects etc.

But I love this. Love it. Few things are as satisfying as working through such problems (especially with Thiselton’s commentary in hand).

Last but not least, be sure to go here, and have a listen to Ben Myers of Faith and Theology talk about what the gospel is. It's great to be able to put a voice to his text now!


At 2/17/2006 3:35 AM, Anonymous T.B. Vick said...

"Marriage is, he writes, ‘a necessary remedy to keep us from plunging into unbridled lust’!!"

After more than ten years of marriage I can safely say, that was my number one reason for getting married to begin with!


I am curious though, Chris, who made that statement?

At 2/17/2006 11:54 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

None other than Calvin!

At 2/25/2006 3:19 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Interesting. I just read the main page on your website, and looked at your pictures... And your comments on that page are right on: How DID you get a woman that pretty to marry you? Proof of divine grace? :-)

Yes, divine grace mixed with a threat that I’d kill her entire family if she didn’t say ‘I do’. The usual.

On to more substantive things: I find it interesting that you compare the corruption of the text to "total corruption" in Calvinism.

Thus, the range of options of interpretation here comprise a small field of meaning. It is not as if the text EITHER speaks of issues concerning marriage OR the upcoming alien invasion from planet Xarxon. Another way of saying this is that the text, even with corruptions, is "multivalent" in meaning, but not "omnivalent".

Yes, I agree. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if I couldn’t write a best-seller based on the Xarxon idea. Interesting. I’ll go and mull on that one.
As for the comparison, as you mentioned, it was only a joke and not an official parallel! The way you put it sounds a lot better! Write a book man! I’d read it.


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