Freedom and Sexuality (6:12–20)
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6 12 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 Freedom and Sexuality I am free to do anything. but not everything is for the best. I am free to do anything, but I will not let myself be dominated by anything. 131 Food is for the belly, and the belly for food . God will put an end to both alike. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 141 God raised the Lord, and he will raise' us, too, by his power. 15I Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ7 Am I then to take2 the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Neverl161 Or do you not know that the man who clings to a prostitute is one body (with her)7 For "the two," it is said, "shall be one flesh."17 I But the man who clings to Christ is one spirit (with him). 181 Shun fornication I Every sin that a man commits is outside his body. But the fornicator sins against his own body. 19I Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit within you, (the Spirit) which you have from God, and that you do not belong to yourselves? 201 For you have been bought and paid for. So glorify God with your body. For literary criticism see the Introduction. According to Schmithals, 6:12 belongs to letter A, 10:23 (where the same slogan is repeated) to letter B. The diatribe style with its ovK otoan; "do you not know?" remains, but the tone changes: it assumes more firmly the form of argument. Hurd finds 2 a that the style characteristically lies halfway between that of Paul's reactions to the oral information and that of his discussion of the written inquiries from Corinth. He thinks Paul uses it to form a transition from the one (up to 6:11) to the other (from 7:1 onward). Lietzmann concludes from the twofold theme of1ropveLa, "sexual immorality," and elowXbfJura , "meat sacrificed to idols" (chaps. 8-10), that Paul is alluding to the "apostolic decree." In that case it would be all the more striking that he does not mention it. But he has no knowledge of it. The section takes us beyond what has been said so far, for Paul now discusses the old topic of1ropveLa on the basis of a general principle , which he himself recognizes but which he expounds in terms of the theologia crucis. •12 1ravra J.LOL e~eunv, "I am free to do anything": the way in which he introduces this statement leads us to the assumption that it was known and used in Corinth; cf. the repetition of it in 10:23. 3 Thus 1ropveLa in Corinth is not merely a remnant of pagan custom. It is provided with an active/speculative justification on the ground of this basic principle. The statement, like others of its kind, is so formal as to be suited for use in various speculative frameworks, e.g., Cynic, Stoic, Gnostic. 4 We must therefore distinguish between its historic source and the Corinthian understanding of it, and we must go on to ask how far Paul himself had an influence on the latter. The language points to a previous history in Stoicism. Only the Stoics and Cynics provide material for comparison . 5 The same origin is indicated by the catchword O'UJ.L1JEpELV, "be for the best."6 pt' p46 *AD G: t~eyElpEL. p46c2 B 1739 (Origen): (;~~'YELpEv; this is an interpretation which applies it to baptism. 2a J. C. Hurd, The Origin of I Corinthians, 86ff. 3 Lietzmann asks whether the statement is an antiJudaistic slogan of Paul's own (3:21£). 2 A pleonastic phrase. Vulgar speech. 108 4 For the Stoa, see on 3:21£; Dupont, Gnosis, 301-308. Of the two meanings7 off~funv, "it is possible" and "it is permitted," only the latter can be considered here. 8 The Corinthians apparently derive it from Paul's doctrine offreedom. The spheres of application show that the freedom of the Stoics merely provides the terminological starting point, but does not determine the way in which freedom is understood. It is not a question ofcapability, as in the Stoa, but of (enthusiastic) "knowledge" (8:1ff). And the "permission" does not apply to anything and everything. It is related to the "flesh." So it is demonstrated in the form of sexual...