The Young Widow (5:11-16)

To the modern ear, Paul comes off sounding very unfair here. Certainly it is not true that "as a rule" young widows would succumb to sensual desires. Paul generalizes. But he does so because he is aware of the stereotypes that existed in his society, because a very serious pattern of behavior had developed among some young widows, and because he wants to avoid the damage to the church's reputation that would surely result from its young widows' being so "typed." Consequently, the general rule is that young widows were not to be considered for enrollment in the team of widows alluded to here that was supported by the church (v. 11). But what is meant by the difficult rationale that follows?

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