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1 Corinthians 7 : Douay-Rheims Bible parallel
Clementine Latin Vulgate, Haydock Commentary

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1 Corinthians 7

Douay-RheimsDouay-Rheims Bible — The New Testament was published at Rheims, France (1582), the Old Testament at Douay (1609) by exiled English Catholic scholars. Bishop Challoner updated it extensively mid-18th century. The Douay-Rheims served as the English bible for the Catholic world for centuries. This text set is from an approved 1914 U.S. printing.Clementine Latin VulgateClementine Latin Vulgate Bible — Update to the Latin Vulgate Bible of St. Jerome, a foundational Catholic bible, originally issued under Pope Sixtus V and authoritatively revised by Pope Clement VIII, hence its name. This 1914 printing starts with the original Clementine text and takes into account variations in prior printings as well as correctoria officially issued by the Vatican.Haydock CommentaryHaydock Catholic Bible Commentary — Originally compiled by Catholic priest and biblical scholar Rev. George Leo Haydock (1774-1849); written with the Douay-Rheims Bible in view.
1 Now concerning the thing whereof you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.De quibus autem scripsistis mihi: Bonum est homini mulierem non tangere:Now concerning. The heads of the Church of Corinth had written to S. Paul, desiring to know whether he thought it more expedient to marry or not. This was a question which the sages of antiquity had frequently taken into consideration. To this question S. Paul here delivers his opinion. Calmet. — Others, with greater probability, suppose the chief question proposed to S. Paul was, whether they were not bound, upon their conversion, to abstain from their infidel wives. S. Jer. cont. Jovin. c. iv. S. Chrys. in hunc. locum. hom. xix. — To this he answers in v. 12. and 13. — It is good. That is, according to the style of the Scriptures, it is better, if we consider the advantage of every particular, &c. Wi.
2 But for fear of fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.propter fornicationem autem unusquisque suam uxorem habeat, et unaquæque suum virum habeat.But because of fornication, let every man have, and live with his own wife, [1] and not leave her, nor dismiss her. Take notice, that S. Paul speaks these words to those that are already married, and speaks not of the unmarried till the 8th verse. He does not then here exhort every one to marry, but admonishes married persons to live together, and not to refuse the marriage duty, which neither the husband nor the wife can do without mutual consent, because of the marriage engagement. Yet he advises them to abstain sometimes from what they may lawfully do, that they may give themselves to prayer, [2] and as it is added in the common Greek copies, to fasting. S. Chrys. observes, that the words of S. Paul, are not only, that they may pray, (which no day must be omitted) but that they may give themselves to prayer, that is, may be better disposed and prepared for prayer, contemplation, and for receiving the holy Sacrament, as we find the priests even of the ancient law, were to abstain from their wives, when they were employed in the functions of their ministry. But such kind of advice is not relished by all that pretend to be reformers. And return together again . . . yet I speak this by way of indulgence, of what is allowed to married persons, and not commanded them, unless when one of the married couple is not willing to abstain. Wi.
3 Let the husband render the debt to his wife, and the wife also in like manner to the husband.Uxori vir debitum reddat: similiter autem et uxor viro.
4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband. And in like manner the husband also hath not power of his own body, but the wife.Mulier sui corporis potestatem non habet, sed vir. Similiter autem et vir sui corporis potestatem non habet, sed mulier.
5 Defraud not one another, except, perhaps, by consent, for a time, that you may give yourselves to prayer; and return together again, lest Satan tempt you for your incontinency.Nolite fraudare invicem, nisi forte ex consensu ad tempus, ut vacetis orationi: et iterum revertimini in idipsum, ne tentet vos Satanas propter incontinentiam vestram.
6 But I speak this by indulgence, not by commandment.Hoc autem dico secundum indulgentiam, non secundum imperium.By indulgence. That is, by a condescension to your weakness. Ch.
7 For I would that all men were even as myself: but every one hath his proper gift from God; one after this manner, and another after that.Volo enim omnes vos esse sicut meipsum: sed unusquisque proprium donum habet ex Deo: alius quidem sic, alius vero sic.I would, or I could wish you all were even as myself, and as it is said in the next verse, to continue unmarried as I do. From hence it is evident, that S. Paul was not then married, who according to the opinion of the ancient fathers, was never married. But when the apostle says, I would this as to you all, he only signifies what could be wished for, the particular good of every one considered as a particular person, but what cannot be hoped for, considering the state of mankind in general, and the temptations, and frailty of men. — But every one hath his proper gift from God, so that some prudently embrace a single life, and also make a religious vow of always living so, as it has been practised by a great number both of men and women in all ages, ever since Christ's time. Others have not this more perfect gift: they find themselves not disposed to lead, or vow a single life, they marry lawfully: it is better to marry than to burn, or be burnt by violent temptations of concupiscence, by which they do not contain themselves from disorders of that kind. It is against both the Latin and Greek text to translate, they cannot contain themselves, as in the Prot. and Mr. N . . . 's translation. Dr. Wells, in his paraphrase, gives the sense of this place in these words: The inconveniences of marriage are to be undergone, rather than such sinful imaginations, or practises, as arise from the flames of an ungovernable lust. They therefore that are unmarried or widows, (to whom S. Paul speaks in these two verses) may have recourse to marriage as a remedy. But let it be observed, that when S. Paul allows of marriage, he speaks not of those who have already made a vow of living always a single life. Vows made to God must be kept. Ps. lxxv. 12. Eccl. v. 3. And S. Paul expressly says of such persons, who have made a vow of perpetual continency, and afterwards marry, that they incur damnation, because they violate their first faith, or vow made to God. See 1 Tim. v. 12. This saying, therefore, it is better to marry than to burn, cannot justify the sacrilegious marriages of priests, or of any others who were under such vows. There are other remedies which they are bound to make use of, and by which they may obtain the gift of continency and chastity. They must ask this gift by fervent prayers to God, who gives a good spirit to them that ask it. Luke xi. 15. They must join fasting, alms, and the practice of self-denials, so often recommended in the gospel. See the annotations on Mat. xix. The like remedies, and no others, must they use, who being already in wedlock, are under such violent temptations, that they are continually in danger of violating, or do violate the chastity of the marriage-bed. For example, when married persons are divorced from bed and board, when long absent from one another, when sick and disabled, when one has an inveterate aversion to the other: they cannot marry another, but they can, and must use other remedies. Wi.
8 But I say to the unmarried, and to the widows: It is good for them if they so continue, even as I.Dico autem non nuptis, et viduis: bonum est illis si sic permaneant, sicut et ego.
9 But if they do not contain themselves, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to be burnt.Quod si non se continent, nubant. Melius est enim nubere, quam uri.If they do not contain. This is spoken of such as are free; and not of such as by vow have given their first faith to God; to whom, if they will use proper means to obtain it, God will never refuse the gift of continency. Some translators have corrupted this text, by rendering it, if they cannot contain. Ch.
10 But to them that are married, not I but the Lord commandeth, that the wife depart not from her husband.Iis autem, qui matrimonio iuncti sunt, præcipio non ego, sed Dominus, uxorem a viro non discedere:
11 And if she depart, that she remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband. And let not the husband put away his wife.quod si discesserit, manere innuptam, aut viro suo reconciliari. Et vir uxorem non dimittat.
12 For to the rest I speak, not the Lord. If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she consent to dwell with him, let him not put her away.Nam ceteris ego dico, non Dominus. Si quis frater uxorem habet infidelem, et hæc consentit habitare cum illo, non dimittat illam.For to the rest, &c. This was a case entirely new, which the wisdom of the apostle regulates according to the laws of charity. Tertul. thinks that some of the faithful, who had been converted from paganism, did not esteem it lawful to live any longer with their wives, who were yet buried in the superstitions of idolatry, which scruples S. Paul answers, guided as he was, by the particular lights of the Holy Ghost. Calmet. — Not the Lord. That is, it is the command of the Lord, for such even as are separated, not to marry to another, but when I advised the unmarried not to marry, this is a counsel, or advice, not a divine precept, which doctrine he repeats again before the end of this chap. v. 25. 28. 39. — If any brother have a wife that believeth not, &c. S. Paul speaks of two that were joined by a contract of marriage, when both of them were infidels, and that one of them is converted to the Christian faith: we do not read of any precept that Christ gave, as to those marriages, but the apostle seems to order by his apostolical authority, that they continue as man and wife, unless the party that remains still an infidel, will needs depart; then, says the apostle, let such an one depart. There is also another case, to wit, when the man or woman remaining an infidel, will not live without continual injuries and blasphemies against God and the Catholic religion, so that there can be no peace on that account betwixt them. In these two cases, according to the canons of the Church, it is looked upon as no marriage, so that the party converted may marry another. And this seems grounded on the reason, which the apostle here gave, that God hath called us in peace. Wi.
13 And if any woman hath a husband that believeth not, and he consent to dwell with her, let her not put away her husband.Et si qua mulier fidelis habet virum infidelem, et hic consentit habitare cum illa, non dimittat virum:
14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the believing wife; and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the believing husband: otherwise your children should be unclean; but now they are holy.sanctificatus est enim vir infidelis per mulierem fidelem, et sanctificata est mulier infidelis per virum fidelem: alioquin filii vestri immundi essent, nunc autem sancti sunt.Is sanctified. The meaning is not that the faith of the husband, or the wife is of itself sufficient to put the unbelieving party, or their children, in the state of grace and salvation: but that it is very often an occasion of their sanctification, by bringing them to the true faith. Ch. — Sanctification which has different significations, cannot here signify that an infidel is truly and properly sanctified, or justified, by being married to a faithful believer; therefore we can only understand an improper sanctification, so that such an infidel, though not yet converted, need not be looked upon as unclean, but in the dispositions of being converted, especially living peaceably together, and consenting that their children be baptized, by which they are truly sanctified.How knowest thou, O wife? &c. These words seem to give the reason, why they may part, when they cannot live peaceably, and when there is little prospect that the party that is an infidel will be converted. Wi.
15 But if the unbeliever depart, let him depart. For a brother or sister is not under servitude in such cases. But God hath called us in peace.Quod si infidelis discedit, discedat: non enim servituti subiectus est frater, aut soror in huiusmodi: in pace autem vocavit nos Deus.
16 For how knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? Or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?Unde enim scis mulier, si virum salvum facies? aut unde scis vir, si mulierem salvam facies?
17 But as the Lord hath distributed to every one, as God hath called every one, so let him walk: and so in all churches I teach.nisi unicuique sicut divisit Dominus, unumquemque sicut vocavit Deus, ita ambulet, et sicut in omnibus Ecclesiis doceo.But[3] as the Lord hath distributed, . . . and called every one, &c. S. Paul proceeds to other points of discipline, that persons converted may remain and continue in the same employments, and lawful state of life as before, that it is nothing to the purpose, whether before his conversion he was a circumcised Jew, or an uncircumcised Gentile, circumcision being no longer of obligation in the new law. If any one that is converted was a bond-man, or a slave, let him not be concerned at this, but use it rather, [4] which many interpret, let him rather endeavour to be made free, though S. Chrys. and others understand, let him rather remain content with his servile condition. Perhaps it was an admonition to those new converts, who might imagine that their Christian liberty exempted them from being servant of men. However, he gives them this great comfort, that such an one is the Lord's free-man, that is, whoever is a Christian, and in the grace of God; but he adds, let him not be a slave to men, that is, not follow their sinful ways, nor consent to any thing that is criminal. Wi. — All consists in doing the will of God, by loving him with our whole heart; without this, all is illusion. To attach ourselves to exterior practices contrary to the order of God, is the superstition of circumcision; to despise what comes from God, is the pride of uncircumcision.
18 Is any man called, being circumcised? let him not procure uncircumcision. Is any man called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.Circumcisus aliquis vocatus est? non adducat præputium. In præputio aliquis vocatus est? non circumcidatur.
19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing: but the observance of the commandments of God.Circumcisio nihil est, et præputium nihil est: sed observatio mandatorum Dei.
20 Let every man abide in the same calling in which he was called.Unusquisque in qua vocatione vocatus est, in ea permaneat.
21 Wast thou called, being a bondman? care not for it; but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.Servus vocatus es? non sit tibi curæ: sed et si potes fieri liber, magis utere.
22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a bondman, is the freeman of the Lord. Likewise he that is called, being free, is the bondman of Christ.Qui enim in Domino vocatus est servus, libertus est Domini: similiter qui liber vocatus est, servus est Christi.
23 You are bought with a price; be not made the bondslaves of men.Pretio empti estis, nolite fieri servi hominum.With a price. Viz. with the price of the precious blood of Christ. Est. — Him only should we serve, for whatever draws us from this allegiance, is perfect servitude, such as the love of any person or thing out of God.
24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he was called, therein abide with God.Unusquisque in quo vocatus est, fratres, in hoc permaneat apud Deum.
25 Now concerning virgins, I have no commandment of the Lord; but I give counsel, as having obtained mercy of the Lord, to be faithful.De virginibus autem præceptum Domini non habeo: consilium autem do, tamquam misericordiam consecutus a Domino, ut sim fidelis.Now concerning virgins, &c. He turns his discourse again to the unmarried, who (if they have made no vow) may lawfully marry, though he is far from commanding every one to marry, as when he says, seek not a wife. And such shall have tribulation of the flesh, cares, troubles, vexations in the state of marriage, but I spare you, I leave you to your liberty of marrying, or not marrying, and will not discourage you be setting forth the crosses of a married life. Wi.
26 I think therefore that this is good for the present necessity, that it is good for a man so to be.Existimo ergo hoc bonum esse propter instantem necessitatem, quoniam bonum est homini sic esse.
27 Art thou bound to a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.Alligatus es uxori? noli quærere solutionem. Solutus es ab uxore? noli quærere uxorem.
28 But if thou take a wife, thou hast not sinned. And if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned: nevertheless, such shall have tribulation of the flesh. But I spare you.Si autem acceperis uxorem: non peccasti. Et si nupserit virgo, non peccavit. tribulationem tamen carnis habebunt huiusmodi. Ego autem vobis parco.
29 This therefore I say, brethren; the time is short; it remaineth, that they also who have wives, be as if they had none;Hoc itaque dico, fratres: Tempus breve est: reliquum est, ut et qui habent uxores, tamquam non habentes sint:The time is short, &c. Incomparable instructions to the end of this chapter, which are not obscure. Wi.
30 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as if they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;et qui flent, tamquam non flentes: et qui gaudent, tamquam non gaudentes: et qui emunt, tamquam non possidentes:And they who weep. In this passage the apostle teaches us, in the midst of our greatest afflictions not to suffer ourselves to be overwhelmed with grief, but to recollect that the time of this life is short, and that temporary pains will be recompensed with the never-fading joys of eternity. Est.
31 And they that use this world, as if they used it not: for the fashion of this world passeth qui utuntur hoc mundo, tamquam non utantur: præterit enim figura huius mundi.
32 But I would have you to be without solicitude. He that is without a wife, is solicitous for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please God.Volo autem vos sine solicitudine esse. Qui sine uxore est, solicitus est quæ Domini sunt, quomodo placeat Deo.
33 But he that is with a wife, is solicitous for the things of the world, how he may please his wife: and he is divided.Qui autem cum uxore est, solicitus est quæ sunt mundi, quomodo placeat uxori, et divisus est.It is far easier to give our whole heart and application without any the least reserve to God, than to divide them without injustice.
34 And the unmarried woman and the virgin thinketh on the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she that is married thinketh on the things of the world, how she may please her husband.Et mulier innupta, et virgo cogitat quæ Domini sunt, ut sit sancta corpore, et spiritu. Quæ autem nupta est, cogitat quæ sunt mundi, quomodo placeat viro.
35 And this I speak for your profit: not to cast a snare upon you; but for that which is decent, and which may give you power to attend upon the Lord, without impediment.Porro hoc ad utilitatem vestram dico: non ut laqueum vobis iniiciam, sed ad id, quod honestum est, et quod facultatem præbeat sine impedimento Dominum obsecrandi.
36 But if any man think that he seemeth dishonoured, with regard to his virgin, for that she is above the age, and it must so be: let him do what he will; he sinneth not, if she marry.Si quis autem turpem se videri existimat super virgine sua, quod sit superadulta, et ita oportet fieri: quod vult faciat: non peccat, si nubat.Let him do what he will, he sinneth not, &c. The meaning is not as libertines would have it, that persons may do what they will, and not sin; provided they afterwards marry: but that the father with regard to the giving his virgin in marriage, may do as he pleaseth: and that it will be no sin to him if she marry. Ch.
37 For he that hath determined being steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, but having power of his own will; and hath judged this in his heart, to keep his virgin, doth well.Nam qui statuit in corde suo firmus, non habens necessitatem, potestatem autem habens suæ voluntatis, et hoc iudicavit in corde suo, servare virginem suam, bene facit.
38 Therefore, both he that giveth his virgin in marriage, doth well; and he that giveth her not, doth better.Igitur et qui matrimonio iungit virginem suam, bene facit: et qui non iungit, melius facit.He that giveth her not, doth better. And more blessed shall she be, if she so remains, according to my counsel. It is very strange if any one, who reads this chapter without prejudices, does not clearly see, that S. Paul advises, and prefers the state of virginity to that of a married life. — I think that I also have the spirit of God. He puts them in mind, by this modest way of speaking, of what they cannot doubt of, as to so great an apostle. Wi. — It is worthy our notice, that S. Paul on every occasion avoids the least appearance of vanity, and frequently when delivering his own opinion, gives us only a hint, hoping that we shall supply the rest. Of this apostle's modesty in this particular, we have many instances in his writings, as in v. 26. "I think, therefore, that this is good;" and likewise in chap. iv. v. 9. "For I think that God." Estius.
39 A woman is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband die, she is at liberty: let her marry to whom she will; only in the Lord.Mulier alligata est legi quanto tempore vir eius vivit. quod si dormierit vir eius, liberata est: cui vult nubat: tantum in Domino.
40 But more blessed shall she be, if she so remain, according to my counsel; and I think that I also have the spirit of God.Beatior autem erit si sic permanserit secundum meum consilium: puto autem quod et ego Spiritum Dei habeam.

Footnotes: 1 Corinthians 7

  • [1] V. 2. Suam uxorem, suam virum. εαυτου γυναικα, τον ιδιον ανδρα.
  • [2] V. 5. Ut vacetis orationi, ινα σχολαζητε τη προσευχη. S. Chrys. ουκ ειπεν απλως προσευχεσϑε.
  • [3] V. 17. Nisi, &c. ει μη, it bears the sense here of but.
  • [4] V. 21. Magis utere, μαλλον χρησαι. S. Chrys. says, τουτετι μαλλον δουλευε.

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