Tuesday, October 20, 2015

1 Corinthians 7:36

Louw-Nida's lexicon has the following for ὑπέρακμος:

"pertaining to being of an age beyond the prime of life (in 1 Cor 7:36 a reference to a woman beyond the normal marriageable age) 'past one's prime, past marriageable age'" (Semantic Domain 67.158).

While Louw-Nida's definition of ὑπέρακμος is quite plausible, it is good to keep in mind that the prefix ὑπέρ possibly refers to "intensity" which means that one could understand Paul's language as a reference to intense sexual desires.

"If someone with strong passions thinks that he is behaving badly towards his fiance'e and that things should take their due course, he should follow his desires. There is no sin in it; they should marry" (1 Cor. 7:36, New Jerusalem Bible).

I also found a substantial and relatively long discussion in Anthony C. Thiselton's commentary on the Greek text of The First Epistle to the Corinthians: he provides both pertinent diachronic and synchronic details concerning ὑπέρακμος. See Thiselton, 593-598.

Finally, Will Deming has produced a very detailed study of 1 Corinthians 7 entitled Paul on Marriage and Celibacy: The Hellenistic Background of 1 Corinthians 7. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.


Duncan said...




Duncan said...


paragraph bridging pg 134-135 - past first marriageable age?

Duncan said...

Found this to be more grounded:-


Duncan said...


Duncan said...

Sorry forgot to ask - for previous post, is it usually possible to get a transcript of such a lecture?

Found some more information on 4 possible understandings rather than the usual 2.


It's a pity that more of the relevant text is not available, although his claims to sparse evidence is contradicted by Puberty.DOC (above). The depth of textual witness has just not been comprehensively examined.

Duncan said...

Indirectly associated, but I thought you might find it interesting:-


Duncan said...


See Page 176 regarding apotheosis.

Duncan said...

Sorry meant page 176 - note also golden crown.

Edgar Foster said...

Thanks, Duncan. The best qay to acquires notes, lectures (etc) is usually to ask the author. academia.edu is a good way to get such things.

Edgar Foster said...

qay should be "way"

Duncan said...

More thoughts on why diachronic is so problematic


Remembering that synchronic is only a subset of above.

Edgar Foster said...

I'll read the final link you posted above, but it must be said that no linguistic method is non-problematic. No method is perfect. We just do the best we can or as Geza Vermes said about the British--'we muddle our way through.'

Duncan said...

As you know, I do like the writings of Vermes especially when he unearthed Hebraic evidence usually overlooked by the mainstream of the time. But I do not think that his suppositions were in any way muddled & he did have an agenda:-



Separating the facts from the commentary is the trick, understanding his motivations.

Some methods are problematic & some are just untenable. What works for Greek (with all the extra biblical historical evidence) does not necessarily work for all.


Duncan said...



"While recognizing that the dating of biblical texts poses unique challenges,"


"A third problem is that in the biblical period we do not have a lot of evidence for the state of the language outside the Bible. This is not to say there is none, but there is not a great deal."

Duncan said...

Just realised that one of my links above was time critical. See MP3 download from:-


Duncan said...