Seeming contradictions from Saint Paul


1 Corinthians 7 seems to say that being unmarried is fine.

7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.

But what about 1 Thesselonians 4?

This is the will of God, your holiness:
that you refrain from immorality,
that each of you know how to acquire a wife for himself…

Therefore, whoever disregards this,
disregards not a human being but God,

So, which is it?


1 Corinthians says being unmarried is fine.
1 Thessalonians says being married is fine.

That is still the case today. Why is there a problem?


1 Thess 4 says you must “know how” to acquire a wife. It doesn’t say you have to do it.



As one poster pointed out in is not a sin to marry and it is not a sin remain chaste. You can see Jesus saying the same thing in Matt 19.

In 1 Cor 7:24 Paul states that whatever state you have been called to in this life remain with God always, and then in verse 25 Paul records that he is given the Church of Corinth his opinion on the subject.

In 1 Thes 4 Paul is advocating for self restraint and control and not to be like the Pagan’s who seek after lust and marry for quench their improper desires. Recall that the Thessalonians thought the end of the world was upon them, and this was becoming manifest in their behaviors. Apparently one of those must have been a rush to wed and fulfill a carnal desire and not a sacramental desire of uniting two people man and wife with God.


Well, if this is true, then there is alot of people out there that are sinning, and probably have no idea they are, as I know PLENTY of people that have no clue in either getting a girlfriend/wife. There are many people who are just not good at this sort of thing, they are either awkward, shy, scared of rejection, they lack the skills with the opposite sex, many remain single for this reason alone.

From a male perspective, most guys learn these ‘skills’ in middle school, they learn how to talk to girls, how to ask them on dates, etc. Females do the same, from a young age, they learn, just from being in social situations, how to interact with boys, how to respond to advances, etc. Yet some just never pick this up and they carry it into adulthood.


I don’t think “know how” is the same as “be capable of.” But in reality I don’t think this command acts upon everybody anyway. I’m surprised people are getting flustered over this.


Read the REST of the passage. He is warning people against fornication and impurity, not commanding that we all get married.

“3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from fornication; 4 that each one of you know how to control your own body** in holiness and honor, 5 not with lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one wrong or exploit a brother or sister[c] in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, just as we have already told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever rejects this rejects not human authority but God, who also gives his Holy Spirit to you**.” (1Thess 4:3-8, NRSV-CE)

Or the NAB version you quoted: “3 This is the will of God, your holiness: that you **refrain from immorality, ** 4 that each of you know how to acquire a wife for himself **in holiness and honor, 5 not in lustful passion **as do the Gentiles who do not know God…”


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