Monday, November 27, 2006

Was Paul Married? - The Law of Moses command would make it that all Pharasees would be married.

I have often heard people claim that Paul wasn't married. Certain things he stated can sound that way if taken on their own, and not really examined.
Firstly I'll quote these, and secondly I'll present that by the law of Moses all Pharasees, of which Paul was one, would marry.
1 Cor 7:1 "Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman."
1 Cor 7:7-8 "For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I."
The part of this text that is ignored is, "Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me". What were these things? We have a half of a phone conversation (so to speak). Let me take this conversation up in another spot.
Matt 19:10 "His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry." Here we have both sides of the phone conversation. NOTE - "If the case of the man be so with his wife". In other words there are circumstances that make it better not to marry again.
The Law of Moses commanded the following of the Chief High Priest _Lev 21:10&13-14 "And he that is the high priest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil was poured..." "...shall take a wife in her virginity. A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife."
So the greatest priest had to be married and (by implication) not divorced, as did his wife. It may be a bit hard to grasp someone else's way of thinking, but just put yourself in the position of the pious Pharasees. Everything had to be by the letter and even greater. They even made their phylacteries (a border on their clothes commanded to be a certain width by the Law of Moses) wider than what was commanded, to make themselves look good. So a command is given for the Chief High Priest to be a married, undivorced person. Can you imagine a Pharasee, therefore, not being a married, undivorced person? I don't believe such a person would be accepted in the first place.
In fact Paul presented this same law himself on three occasions. 1 Tim 3:2&12, Titus 1:6-7. The Greek word translated as "one" on these occasions should have been translated "first", as it is in Mark 16:9, Luke 24:1 etc.
So here we have this devout Saul (soon to become Paul) with his equally devout Jewish wife. She is, no doubt, thoroughly behind his push to destroy this Jesus sect. Cheering him on all the way. Then suddenly he joins them. Can you imagine her position? Being so devout, and in with Pharasees, divorce is a disgrace. So she would most likely remain married to him though have nothing to do with him again. She is not young. He would have to have been at least 30 by the Law of Moses to have even begun as a Pharasee. And who knows how many years he had at it.
He could not have just married a new wife, leaving one at home uncared for. The Jews would have regarded him very poorly by scripture standards. So he seems to have remained a married man who was as a single person. If an actual divorce did occur he still would have stood by Christ's admonition not to re-marry except in the case of adultery - which his wife had not committed.

No comments: