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1 Corinthians 7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Teaching on Marriage

Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman. But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband. The husband must [a]fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and [b]come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. But this I say by way of concession, not of command. [c]Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am. However, each man has his own gift from God, one in this manner, and another in that.

But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I. But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

10 But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not [d]leave her husband 11 (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not [e]divorce his wife.

12 But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not [f]divorce her. 13 And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not [g]send her husband away. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through [h]her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy. 15 Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called [i]us [j]to peace. 16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?

17 Only, as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each, in this manner let him walk. And so I direct in all the churches. 18 Was any man called when he was already circumcised? He is not to become uncircumcised. Has anyone been called in uncircumcision? He is not to be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God. 20 Each man must remain in that [k]condition in which he was called.

21 Were you called while a slave? [l]Do not worry about it; but if you are able also to become free, rather [m]do that. 22 For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord’s freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. 24 Brethren, each one is to remain with God in that condition in which he was called.

25 Now concerning virgins I have no command of the Lord, but I give an opinion as one who [n]by the mercy of the Lord is trustworthy. 26 I think then that this is good in view of the [o]present distress, that it is good for a man [p]to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28 But if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such will have [q]trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you. 29 But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none; 30 and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; 31 and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away.

32 But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; 33 but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. 35 This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but [r]to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.

36 But if any man thinks that he is acting unbecomingly toward his virgin daughter, if she is past her youth, and if it must be so, let him do what he wishes, he does not sin; let [s]her marry. 37 But he who stands firm in his heart, [t]being under no constraint, but has authority [u]over his own will, and has decided this in his own heart, to keep his own virgin daughter, he will do well. 38 So then both he who gives his own virgin daughter in marriage does well, and he who does not give her in marriage will do better.

39 A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband [v]is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. 40 But in my opinion she is happier if she remains as she is; and I think that I also have the Spirit of God.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Corinthians 7:3 Lit render
  2. 1 Corinthians 7:5 Lit be
  3. 1 Corinthians 7:7 One early ms reads For
  4. 1 Corinthians 7:10 Lit depart from
  5. 1 Corinthians 7:11 Or leave his wife
  6. 1 Corinthians 7:12 Or leave her
  7. 1 Corinthians 7:13 Or leave her husband
  8. 1 Corinthians 7:14 Lit the brother
  9. 1 Corinthians 7:15 One early ms reads you
  10. 1 Corinthians 7:15 Lit in
  11. 1 Corinthians 7:20 Lit calling
  12. 1 Corinthians 7:21 Lit Let it not be a care to you
  13. 1 Corinthians 7:21 Lit use
  14. 1 Corinthians 7:25 Lit has had mercy shown on him by the Lord to be trustworthy
  15. 1 Corinthians 7:26 Or impending
  16. 1 Corinthians 7:26 Lit so to be
  17. 1 Corinthians 7:28 Lit tribulation in the flesh
  18. 1 Corinthians 7:35 Lit for what is seemly
  19. 1 Corinthians 7:36 Lit them
  20. 1 Corinthians 7:37 Lit having no necessity
  21. 1 Corinthians 7:37 Lit pertaining to
  22. 1 Corinthians 7:39 Lit falls asleep
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

1 Corinthians 7 New International Version (NIV)

Concerning Married Life

Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.

Now to the unmarried[a] and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

Concerning Change of Status

17 Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. 18 Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts. 20 Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.

21 Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so. 22 For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings. 24 Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.

Concerning the Unmarried

25 Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for a man to remain as he is. 27 Are you pledged to a woman? Do not seek to be released. Are you free from such a commitment? Do not look for a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.

29 What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not; 30 those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; 31 those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.

32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.

36 If anyone is worried that he might not be acting honorably toward the virgin he is engaged to, and if his passions are too strong[b] and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get married. 37 But the man who has settled the matter in his own mind, who is under no compulsion but has control over his own will, and who has made up his mind not to marry the virgin—this man also does the right thing. 38 So then, he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does better.[c]

39 A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord. 40 In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is—and I think that I too have the Spirit of God.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Corinthians 7:8 Or widowers
  2. 1 Corinthians 7:36 Or if she is getting beyond the usual age for marriage
  3. 1 Corinthians 7:38 Or 36 If anyone thinks he is not treating his daughter properly, and if she is getting along in years (or if her passions are too strong), and he feels she ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. He should let her get married. 37 But the man who has settled the matter in his own mind, who is under no compulsion but has control over his own will, and who has made up his mind to keep the virgin unmarried—this man also does the right thing. 38 So then, he who gives his virgin in marriage does right, but he who does not give her in marriage does better.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

1 Corinthians 7 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Teaching on Marriage

Now as to the matters of which you wrote: It is good (beneficial, advantageous) for a man not to touch a woman [outside marriage]. But because of [the temptation to participate in] sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. The husband must fulfill his [marital] duty to his wife [with good will and kindness], and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have [exclusive] authority over her own body, but the husband shares with her; and likewise the husband does not have [exclusive] authority over his body, but the wife shares with him. Do not deprive each other [of marital rights], except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, so that you may devote yourselves [unhindered] to prayer, but come together again so that Satan will not tempt you [to sin] because of your lack of self-control. But I am saying this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all the people were as I am; but each person has his own gift from God, one of this kind and one of that.

But I say to the unmarried and to the widows, [that as a practical matter] it is good if they remain [single and entirely devoted to the Lord] [a]as I am. But if they do not have [sufficient] self-control, they should marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

10 But to the [b]married [believers] I give instructions—not I, but the Lord—that the wife is not to separate from her husband, 11 (but even if she does leave him, let her remain single or else be [c]reconciled to her husband) and that the husband should not leave his wife.

12 To the [d]rest I declare—I, not the Lord [since Jesus did not discuss this]—that if any [believing] brother has a wife who does not believe [in Christ], and she consents to live with him, he must not leave her. 13 And if any [believing] woman has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not leave him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is [e]sanctified [that is, he receives the blessings granted] through his [Christian] wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be [ceremonially] [f]unclean, but as it is they are holy. 15 But if the unbelieving partner leaves, let him leave. In such cases the [remaining] brother or sister is not [spiritually or morally] bound. But God has called us to [g]peace. 16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband [by leading him to Christ]? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife [by leading her to Christ]?

17 Only, let each one live the life which the Lord has assigned him, and to which God has called him [for each person is unique and is accountable for his choices and conduct, let him walk in this way]. This is the rule I make in all the churches. 18 Was anyone at the time of his calling [from God already] circumcised? He is not to [h]become uncircumcised. Has anyone been called while uncircumcised? [i]He is not to be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is keeping the commandments of God. 20 Each one should remain in the condition in which he was [when he was] called.

21 Were you a slave when you were called? Do not worry about that [since your status as a believer is [j]equal to that of a freeborn believer]; but if you are able to gain your freedom, [k]do that. 22 For he who was a slave when he was called in the Lord is a freedman of the Lord, likewise he who was free when he was called is a slave of Christ. 23 You were bought with a price [a precious price paid by Christ]; do not become slaves to men [but to Christ]. 24 Brothers, let each one remain with God in that condition in which he was [when he was] called.

25 Now concerning the virgins [of marriageable age] I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 I think then that because of the impending distress [that is, the pressure of the current trouble], it is good for a man to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you [l]unmarried? Do not seek a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned [in doing so]; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned [in doing so]. Yet those [who marry] will have troubles (special challenges) in this life, and I am trying to spare you that. 29 But I say this, believers: the [m]time has been shortened, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they did not; 30 and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess [anything]; 31 and those who use the world [taking advantage of its opportunities], as though they did not make full use of it. For the outward form of this world [its present social and material nature] is passing away.

32 But I want you to be free from concern. The unmarried man is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; 33 but the married man is concerned about worldly things, how he may please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. The unmarried woman or the virgin is concerned about the matters of the Lord, how to be holy and set apart both in body and in spirit; but a married woman is concerned about worldly things, how she may please her husband. 35 Now I say this for your own benefit; not to restrict you, but to promote what is appropriate and secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.

36 But if any man thinks that he is not acting properly and honorably toward his virgin daughter, [[n]by not permitting her to marry], if she is [o]past her youth, and it must be so, let him do as he wishes, he does not sin; let her marry. 37 But the man who stands firmly committed in his heart, having no compulsion [to yield to his daughter’s request], and has authority over his own will, and has decided in his own heart to keep his own virgin [daughter from being married], he will do well. 38 So then both the father who gives his virgin daughter in marriage does well, and he who does not give her in marriage will do better.

39 A wife is bound [to her husband by law] as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry whomever she wishes, only [provided that he too is] in the Lord. 40 But in my opinion a widow is happier if she stays as she is. And I think that I also have the Spirit of God [in this matter].

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Corinthians 7:8 Some scholars believe Paul may have been a widower.
  2. 1 Corinthians 7:10 Couples who are both believers.
  3. 1 Corinthians 7:11 In reference to married Christians, Paul teaches that reconciliation is always preferable to separation or divorce and should be actively sought.
  4. 1 Corinthians 7:12 Christians married to non-believers. It is evident that some of the married couples in Corinth had wed before either of them had become Christians, and subsequently the believing spouses probably wondered whether their marriage was legitimate in the eyes of God.
  5. 1 Corinthians 7:14 The unbeliever is not saved by marriage to a Christian. Each person, whether spouse or child, must make a personal decision to accept and follow Christ to receive salvation and God’s promises.
  6. 1 Corinthians 7:14 The word used here seems to be borrowed from the language of OT ritual. There were many things that could render a person ceremonially unclean. All these things would disqualify a person from participating in worship, and required cleansing rituals to correct.
  7. 1 Corinthians 7:15 Probably peace between the spouses, hopefully leading to restoration and salvation (v 16).
  8. 1 Corinthians 7:18 Paul may be speaking figuratively of abandoning all of one’s Jewish heritage and culture; however, there was a procedure in ancient medicine for reversing circumcision.
  9. 1 Corinthians 7:18 A faction of Jewish Christians (often called “Judaizers”) hounded Paul and insisted that Gentile believers must be circumcised.
  10. 1 Corinthians 7:21 In practice, even if both a slave and his master became Christians, the slave would remain so unless he were freed (cf Onesimus and Philemon); he could not claim that his freedom in Christ applied to his civil status as a slave. But it would have been wrong for others to treat a slave differently from anyone else in church services.
  11. 1 Corinthians 7:21 This essentially is an exception to the rule of v 20.
  12. 1 Corinthians 7:27 Lit released from a wife.
  13. 1 Corinthians 7:29 Paul may be referring to the appointed time of the return of Christ, or he may have been focusing on the briefness of human life, or both of these.
  14. 1 Corinthians 7:36 In ancient times marriages were usually arranged by a girl’s father or the head of the family.
  15. 1 Corinthians 7:36 I.e. has reached her child-bearing years.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

1 Corinthians 7 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Principles of Marriage

Now in response to the matters you wrote[a] about: “It is good for a man not to have relations with[b] a woman.”[c] But because sexual immorality is so common,[d] each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband. A husband should fulfill his marital responsibility to his wife, and likewise a wife to her husband. A wife does not have the right over her own body, but her husband does. In the same way, a husband does not have the right over his own body, but his wife does. Do not deprive one another sexually—except when you agree for a time, to devote yourselves to[e] prayer. Then come together again; otherwise, Satan may tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say the following[f] as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all people were just like me. But each has his own gift from God, one person in this way and another in that way.

A Word to the Unmarried

I say to the unmarried and to widows: It is good for them if they remain as I am. But if they do not have self-control, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with desire.

About Married People

10 I command the married—not I, but the Lord—a wife is not to leave[g] her husband. 11 But if she does leave, she must remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband—and a husband is not to leave his wife. 12 But I (not the Lord)[h] say to the rest: If any brother has an unbelieving wife and she is willing to live with him, he must not leave her. 13 Also, if any woman has an unbelieving husband and he is willing to live with her, she must not leave her husband. 14 For the unbelieving husband is set apart for God by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is set apart for God by the husband.[i] Otherwise your children would be corrupt, but now they are set apart for God. 15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let him leave. A brother or a sister is not bound in such cases. God has called you[j] to live in peace. 16 For you, wife, how do you know whether you will save your husband? Or you, husband, how do you know whether you will save your wife?

Various Situations of Life

17 However, each one must live his life in the situation the Lord assigned when God called him.[k] This is what I command in all the churches. 18 Was anyone already circumcised when he was called? He should not undo his circumcision. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? He should not get circumcised. 19 Circumcision does not matter and uncircumcision does not matter, but keeping God’s commands does. 20 Each person should remain in the life situation[l] in which he was called. 21 Were you called while a slave? It should not be a concern to you. But if you can become free, by all means take the opportunity.[m] 22 For he who is called by the Lord as a slave is the Lord’s freedman.[n] Likewise he who is called as a free man[o] is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. 24 Brothers, each person should remain with God in whatever situation he was called.

About the Unmarried and Widows

25 About virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I do give an opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 Therefore I consider this to be good because of the present distress: It is fine for a man to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28 However, if you do get married, you have not sinned, and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But such people will have trouble in this life,[p] and I am trying to spare you. 29 And I say this, brothers: The time is limited, so from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none, 30 those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess, 31 and those who use the world as though they did not make full use of it. For this world in its current form is passing away.

32 I want you to be without concerns. An unmarried man is concerned about the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the things of the world—how he may please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or a virgin is concerned about the things of the Lord, so that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the things of the world—how she may please her husband. 35 Now I am saying this for your own benefit, not to put a restraint on you, but because of what is proper and so that you may be devoted to the Lord without distraction.

36 But if any man thinks he is acting improperly toward his virgin,[q] if she is past marriageable age,[r] and so it must be, he can do what he wants. He is not sinning; they can get married. 37 But he who stands firm in his heart (who is under no compulsion, but has control over his own will) and has decided in his heart to keep his own virgin, will do well. 38 So then he who marries[s] his virgin does well, but he who does not marry[t] will do better.

39 A wife is bound[u] as long as her husband is living. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to anyone she wants—only in the Lord.[v] 40 But she is happier if she remains as she is, in my opinion. And I think that I also have the Spirit of God.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Corinthians 7:1 Other mss add to me
  2. 1 Corinthians 7:1 Lit not to touch
  3. 1 Corinthians 7:1 The words in quotation marks are a principle that the Corinthians wrote to Paul about to ask for his view.
  4. 1 Corinthians 7:2 Lit because of immoralities
  5. 1 Corinthians 7:5 Other mss add fasting and to
  6. 1 Corinthians 7:6 Lit say this; some interpret the word as referring to v. 2, vv. 2-5, v. 5 (wholly or in part), or v. 6
  7. 1 Corinthians 7:10 Or separate from, or divorce
  8. 1 Corinthians 7:12 Jesus did not address the situation of a marriage in the Gentile world where only one person is a believer.
  9. 1 Corinthians 7:14 Lit the brother
  10. 1 Corinthians 7:15 Other mss read us
  11. 1 Corinthians 7:17 Lit called each
  12. 1 Corinthians 7:20 Lit in the calling
  13. 1 Corinthians 7:21 Or But even though you can become free, make the most of your position as a slave.
  14. 1 Corinthians 7:22 A former slave
  15. 1 Corinthians 7:22 A man who was never a slave
  16. 1 Corinthians 7:28 Lit in the flesh
  17. 1 Corinthians 7:36 = a man’s fiancée, or his daughter, or his Levirate wife, or a celibate companion
  18. 1 Corinthians 7:36 Or virgin, if his passions are strong,
  19. 1 Corinthians 7:38 Or marries off
  20. 1 Corinthians 7:38 Or marry her off
  21. 1 Corinthians 7:39 Other mss add by law
  22. 1 Corinthians 7:39 Only a believer
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