1 Corinthians 5-7 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
B. Moral Disorders[a]
A Case of Incest.[b] 1 It is widely reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of a kind not found even among pagans—a man living with his father’s wife. 2 And you are inflated with pride.[c] Should you not rather have been sorrowful? The one who did this deed should be expelled from your midst. 3 I, for my part, although absent in body but present in spirit, have already, as if present, pronounced judgment on the one who has committed this deed, 4 in the name of [our] Lord Jesus: when you have gathered together and I am with you in spirit with the power of the Lord Jesus, 5 you are to deliver this man to Satan[d] for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.
6 Your boasting is not appropriate. Do you not know that a little yeast[e] leavens all the dough? 7 [f]Clear out the old yeast, so that you may become a fresh batch of dough, inasmuch as you are unleavened. For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore, let us celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
9 [g]I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people, 10 not at all referring to the immoral of this world or the greedy and robbers or idolaters; for you would then have to leave the world. 11 But I now write to you not to associate with anyone named a brother, if he is immoral, greedy, an idolater, a slanderer, a drunkard, or a robber, not even to eat with such a person. 12 For why should I be judging outsiders? Is it not your business to judge those within? 13 God will judge those outside. “Purge the evil person from your midst.”
Lawsuits Before Unbelievers.[h] 1 How can any one of you with a case against another dare to bring it to the unjust for judgment instead of to the holy ones? 2 [i]Do you not know that the holy ones will judge the world? If the world is to be judged by you, are you unqualified for the lowest law courts? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? Then why not everyday matters? 4 If, therefore, you have courts for everyday matters, do you seat as judges people of no standing in the church? 5 I say this to shame you. Can it be that there is not one among you wise enough to be able to settle a case between brothers? 6 But rather brother goes to court against brother, and that before unbelievers?
7 Now indeed [then] it is, in any case, a failure on your part that you have lawsuits against one another. Why not rather put up with injustice? Why not rather let yourselves be cheated? 8 Instead, you inflict injustice and cheat, and this to brothers. 9 [j]Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes[k] nor sodomites 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 That is what some of you used to be; but now you have had yourselves washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
Sexual Immorality.[l] 12 “Everything is lawful for me,”[m] but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is lawful for me,” but I will not let myself be dominated by anything. 13 “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food,” but God will do away with both the one and the other. The body, however, is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body; 14 God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power.
15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take Christ’s members and make them the members of a prostitute?[n] Of course not! 16 [Or] do you not know that anyone who joins himself to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For “the two,” it says, “will become one flesh.” 17 But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Avoid immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the immoral person sins against his own body.[o] 19 Do you not know that your body is a temple[p] of the holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.
III. Answers to the Corinthians’ Questions
A. Marriage and Virginity[q]
Advice to the Married.[r] 1 Now in regard to the matters about which you wrote: “It is a good thing for a man not to touch a woman,”[s] 2 but because of cases of immorality every man should have his own wife, and every woman her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his duty toward his wife, and likewise the wife toward her husband. 4 A wife does not have authority over her own body, but rather her husband, and similarly a husband does not have authority over his own body, but rather his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other, except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, to be free for prayer, but then return to one another, so that Satan may not tempt you through your lack of self-control. 6 This I say by way of concession,[t] however, not as a command. 7 Indeed, I wish everyone to be as I am, but each has a particular gift from God,[u] one of one kind and one of another.
8 [v]Now to the unmarried and to widows I say: it is a good thing for them to remain as they are, as I do, 9 but if they cannot exercise self-control they should marry, for it is better to marry than to be on fire. 10 To the married, however, I give this instruction (not I, but the Lord):[w] A wife should not separate from her husband 11 —and if she does separate she must either remain single or become reconciled to her husband—and a husband should not divorce his wife.
12 To the rest[x] I say (not the Lord): if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she is willing to go on living with him, he should not divorce her; 13 and if any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he is willing to go on living with her, she should not divorce her husband. 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy through the brother. Otherwise your children would be unclean, whereas in fact they are holy.
15 If the unbeliever separates,[y] however, let him separate. The brother or sister is not bound in such cases; God has called you to peace. 16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband; or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?
The Life That the Lord Has Assigned.[z] 17 Only, everyone should live as the Lord has assigned, just as God called each one. I give this order in all the churches. 18 Was someone called after he had been circumcised? He should not try to undo his circumcision. Was an uncircumcised person called? He should not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision means nothing, and uncircumcision means nothing; what matters is keeping God’s commandments. 20 Everyone should remain in the state in which he was called.
21 Were you a slave when you were called? Do not be concerned but, even if you can gain your freedom, make the most of it. 22 For the slave called in the Lord is a freed person in the Lord, just as the free person who has been called is a slave of Christ. 23 You have been purchased at a price. Do not become slaves to human beings. 24 Brothers, everyone should continue before God in the state in which he was called.
Advice to Virgins and Widows. 25 Now in regard to virgins I have no commandment from the Lord,[aa] but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 So this is what I think best because of the present distress: that it is a good thing for a person to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek a separation. Are you free of a wife? Then do not look for a wife. 28 If you marry, however, you do not sin, nor does an unmarried woman sin if she marries; but such people will experience affliction in their earthly life, and I would like to spare you that.
29 [ab]I tell you, brothers, the time is running out. From now on, let those having wives act as not having them, 30 those weeping as not weeping, those rejoicing as not rejoicing, those buying as not owning, 31 those using the world as not using it fully. For the world in its present form is passing away.
32 I should like you to be free of anxieties. An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord. 33 But a married man is anxious about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, 34 and he is divided. An unmarried woman or a virgin is anxious about the things of the Lord, so that she may be holy in both body and spirit. A married woman, on the other hand, is anxious about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. 35 I am telling you this for your own benefit, not to impose a restraint upon you, but for the sake of propriety and adherence to the Lord without distraction.
36 [ac]If anyone thinks he is behaving improperly toward his virgin, and if a critical moment has come[ad] and so it has to be, let him do as he wishes. He is committing no sin; let them get married. 37 The one who stands firm in his resolve, however, who is not under compulsion but has power over his own will, and has made up his mind to keep his virgin, will be doing well. 38 So then, the one who marries his virgin does well; the one who does not marry her will do better.
39 [ae]A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whomever she wishes, provided that it be in the Lord. 40 She is more blessed, though, in my opinion, if she remains as she is, and I think that I too have the Spirit of God.