Why do some translations have a "perhaps" in 1 Cor. 7:5:

Defraud not one another, except, perhaps, by consent, for a time, that you may give yourselves to prayer; and return together again, lest Satan tempt you for your incontinency.

μη αποστερείτε αλλήλους ει μη τι αν εκ συμφώνου προς καιρόν ίνα σχολάζητε τη νηστεία και τη προσευχή και πάλιν επί το αυτό συνέρχησθε ίνα μη πειράζη υμάς ο σατανάς διά την ακρασίαν υμών

“προς καιρόν” = “perhaps”, but can it also mean "for a time"?

1 Answer 1


In the OP question, "perhaps" does not translate προς καιρόν - these latter words are correctly translated by "for a time".

"Perhaps" appears, in this translation, to be an extension of ει μητι which is correctly translated "unless" with the somewhat unexpected insertion of "perhaps". ει μητι is the text in the NA27, NA28, UBS4, UBS5, Majority text, etc.

However, in the TR & Byzantine text, we have ει μη τι - very slightly different but should still be translated "unless" or "except" or similar.

Therefore, "perhaps" appears to be an interpretive translation added by some versions.

  • Does St. Jerome's "nisi forte" have the sens of "unless perhaps"?
    – Geremia
    Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 4:48
  • I know much less about Latin, but think the answer is probably "yes"
    – user25930
    Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 9:46

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