1 Corinthians 7:25, Homosexuality and the Bible, Part V of VIII

Now concerning virgins: I have no commandment from the Lord; yet I give judgment as one whom the Lord in His mercy has made trustworthy.

//Question 3 of 5: Did Paul mean for us to take this anti-gay teaching (1) literally, (2) in our day today, and (3) as the words of Jesus? Even if we believe that Paul was teaching against homosexual sex in general, should we take his words literally and at face value? Read today’s verse again, written by Paul.

So Paul himself cautioned us about believing that he was speaking for Jesus. He was giving his honest opinion, he says, and in retrospect, we know in this case he guessed wrong. He imagined that Jesus was coming back in his lifetime, or at least in the lifetime of some of those listening. So certain was he about this that in this passage in Corinthians, he recommended that people not bother to marry! Thank goodness he was honest, and prefaced his opinion with “I have no commandment from the Lord!”

Does this give us pause about considering his opinion regarding same-sex relationships on the same level as the words of Jesus? Does it make us wonder whether these words—like so many of Paul’s writings—were better suited for a first-century audience, because of his particular beliefs and concerns? Two days ago I pointed out how different the first century social setting was from ours today. Certainly, Paul had no idea we’d be reading his words as scripture 2,000 years later, and using them to condemn loving, honest relationships.

Tomorrow, we’ll take a peek at what Jesus says on the matter.

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