Skip to main content

Proverbs 6:20-35, Background to Paul's Sexual Ethics?

I just came across this in my devotional reading recently and was kicking myself for not spotting it earlier as this may have been something that would contribute to my already submitted thesis.

In Prov 6:20-35, we have the interesting juxtaposition of the act of adultery with the stealing of a loaf of bread, and while the bread thief will have to answer for what he has done (v31), no one thinks any the worse of him (v30), but the adulterer's punishment and disgrace are endless (v32-35).  Interestingly the prostitute's fee (a loaf) is compared with the price of adultery - death (v26).

This passage could well be important background for 1 Cor 6;12-20 and 1 Thess 4:1-8.  In 1 Cor 6:12-20 Paul contrasts the eschatologically indifferent act of the consumption of food to sexual immorality (1 Cor 6:13-14).  In 1 Cor 6:12-20 it is not the prostitute who is condemned but the adulterous believer.  In 1 Thess 4:1-8 Paul warns against adultery with the promise of vengeance (v6).  In both cases the part of wronged husband from Proverbs is assumed by God as the one to whom the believer belongs (1 Cor 6:19-20, cf. Prov 6:29) and as the one who will avenge (1 Thess 4:6, cf. Prov 6:34). 

Obviously, to show any connection would require a good deal more work, but I think there are some interesting parallels there.  Let me know what you think.  :-)


Popular posts from this blog

Why Dr Charles Stanley is not a biblical preacher

Unusually for me I was watching the tele early on Sunday morning and I caught an episode of Dr Charles Stanley preaching on his television program. Now I know this guy has come under some criticism for his personal life, and that is not unimportant, but it is also not something i can comment on, not knowing the facts. His preaching is however something I can comment on, at least the one sermon I did watch.

He started off by reading 2 Timothy 1:3-7. Which is a passage from the Bible, so far so good. He then spent the next 30 minutes or so talking about his mum and what a great example of a Christian mother she was. Now nothing he said or suggested was wrong, but none of it actually came from scripture, least of all the scripture he read from at the beginning. It was a lovely talk on how Stanley's mother raised him as a Christian despite considerable difficulties and it contained many useful nuggets of advice on raising Christian kids. All very nice, it might have made a nice…

The false link between suicide and mental illness

One characteristic of human society is the tendency to keep doing something over and over again despite it not working. One example would be our approach to incarcerating criminals to punish them instead of rehabilitating them, compounding their trauma and making it harder for them to live productive law-abiding lives when they get out. But this is the "common-sense" approach, the intuitive human response to the failings of others, punish them and they wont dare do it again. It has never worked, ever, but let's keep doing it. Secular society is screwed because it cannot comprehend that its vision is blurred by sin and therefore knee-jerk, common sense solutions are usually destructive and counter-productive.

So it is with our response to suicide. To kill yourself must be the response of the weak minded and sick - so the thinking goes - so to combat rising suicide we treat individuals medically. Yet suicide is a perfectly rational response to a world as broken as ours and…

The Addictive Power of End Times Speculation

The mighty Rhett Snell has picked up his blog again (I wonder how long he'll last this time), check out his theory on why people get so into annoyingly unbiblical end times nonsense.

I think that where codes-and-calendars end times theology is dangerous, is that it can give a sense of false growth. We read a theory online, or hear it from some bible teacher, and we come to think that we have mastered an area of our faith. A bit like levelling up in a computer game, or Popeye after he’s eaten some spinach. At worst, we begin to believe that we’ve taken a step that other Christians have not; that we’ve entered an elite class of Christianity.