Beautiful Symmetry in 1 Corinthians 7

Beautiful Symmetry in 1 Corinthians 7
by Don Johnson

Observe how Paul is almost sing-song in his repetition; he alternates mentioning the woman first and the man first.  Before any analysis of word meaning or historical context,  Paul already makes a point through the structure of symmetry.

1 Corinthians 7  Symmetry (using NIV)

Man/Husband

Woman/Wife

2b each man should have his own wife

2c and each woman her own husband

3a The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife,

3b and likewise the wife to her husband

4b In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife

4a The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband.

11b And a husband must not divorce his wife

10b A wife must not separate from her husband.

12b If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her.

13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him

14a For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife,

14b and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband.

16b how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

16a How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband?

33But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world–how he can please his wife–

34c But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world–how she can please her husband.


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About Donald Johnson

believer in Yeshua of Nazareth
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