Turning nonsayings into sayings.

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Post Reply
User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 8252
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA

Turning nonsayings into sayings.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:12 pm

One of my favorites of the so called agrapha (such a misleading term):

Clement, Miscellanies 4 Again the Lord says, “Let the one who has married not be cast out, and let the one who has not married not marry.” He who has confessed that he will not marry according to his decision of eunuchhood, let him remain unmarried. / 4 πάλιν ὁ κύριός φησιν· «Ὁ γήμας μὴ ἐκβαλλέτω καὶ ὁ μὴ γαμήσας μὴ γαμείτω.» ὁ κατὰ πρόθεσιν εὐνουχίας ὁμολογήσας μὴ γῆμαι ἄγαμος διαμενέτω.

Well, this saying certainly sounds familiar:

1 Corinthians 7.25-31: 25 Now, concerning virgins, I have no command of the Lord, but I am offering direction as one who by the mercy of the Lord is trustworthy. 26 I think, then, that this is good in view of the present distress, that it is good for a man to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28 But if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such people as yourselves will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you. 29 But this I say, brothers, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none; 30 and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; 31 and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the present form of this world is passing away.

In contradistinction to 7.10-11 earlier in the discussion, in which Paul expressly attributes his words to the Lord, here the apostle expressly tells us the opposite: he does not have instructions from the Lord on this point, but is rather giving his own opinion, which he judges to carry some weight of its own — but still, this is Paul speaking, and not the Lord.

The agraphon quoted by Clement, however, evidently ignores Paul's disclaimer and goes right ahead and says that the Lord did say something like this, after all. And, I guess, if he did not, he should have!


Post Reply