DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE SO-CALLED PAULINE PRIVILEGE IS?

“Pauline Privilege” is a term not even found in the Bible, but it is supposed to be a second reason a person can be divorced and marry another person.

Here’s the text in 1 Cor. 7

15Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace.” 7:15.

So that this verse does not contradict Jesus’ words in Matthew 5 and 19, and Paul’s words earlier in this chapter’s verses 10 and 11, this must be applied strictly to the Christian who is abandoned by an unbelieving spouse. So what does it mean that “in such cases” the brother or sister is not under bondage?

The typical liberal approach of Catholics and others is to say that the marriage bond is nullified “in such cases” so that the Christian now has grounds to marry another.

The problem with this view is that the word “bondage” is not ever used to refer to the marriage “bond” or “bonds of matrimony”. In fact, the verb for bondage is in the PERFECT INDICATIVE PASSIVE and literally means you are not now and never were in bondage to the person. Since the marriage itself was a true marriage bond in the eyes of God, this ” bondage” word is not saying the marriage bond is dissolved. So when he says “in such cases”, he is not saying anything more than that this isn’t slavery, never has been, and so let the unbeliever go.

But what about entering another marriage? There is nothing in this text that permits remarriage. In fact, what Jesus said in Matthew 19 and 1 Cor 7:10-11 makes it clear that a celibate life is the future.



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