"It Is Good For A Man Not To Touch A Woman"

A querist asks, "In 1 Corinthians 7:1, What does the phrase, 'It is good for a man not to touch a woman' refer to? Is Paul saying that it is good for a man never to touch a woman in any manner?"

Obviously, Paul is not referring to men never touching women at all, for are we not touching women when we lovingly hug them (such as sisters, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, etc.)?

No, the inspired apostle is instructing men in the church at Corinth, not to sexually touch any woman who is not their wife (note 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 NLT; cf. Proverbs 5; Proverbs 6:20-29). Also note Genesis 20:1-6; Genesis 26:6-11 and see how the word "touch" or "touches" is used in the context.

In this section of scripture, Paul is also teaching that because of the Roman persecution of Christians in the first century (note 1 Corinthians 7:26 NLT and the word "crisis" or "distress" - NKJV), it would be better not to get married at all and bring children into the world to be possibly killed or suffer persecution (see Coffman on vs. 1 and 26 and Barnes' Notes on vs. 1 and 26).

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets

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