In some of Paul's writings, he maintains that his teachings have the authority of God the Father and Jesus Christ. But in 1st Corinthians 7:25, Paul specifically states that his next advice comes not from God, but his attempt to use his own wisdom. Did Paul intend for his readers to view this section in 1 Corinthians as having less authority than what he normally expected his readers to assume?

And if Paul considered his own writings Scripture (as Peter perhaps did), would this indicate that Paul believed - contrary to the Letterism school of Biblical fundamentalism, which teaches that every word of the Bible is to be considered the word of God, specifically and intentionally placed there - that some parts of Scripture were not to be taken as the inspired word of God?

  • Excellent question and nicely set forth. However, I think the inquiry regarding the intention of Paul regarding his "aside" is possibly opinion-based and probably off topic.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Jul 4, 2018 at 19:07

3 Answers 3


I believe that in that particular reference, Paul is giving personal advice based on wisdom and is still to be accepted as inspired by the Holy Spirit. Taken in context (so perhaps a Socio-Rhetorical Critical Hermeneutic), he is ensuring that this piece of advice is not taken as on par with the very word of the "Lord." He is differentiating pieces of advice based on sources. This does not degrade the claim to inspiration, though.


Yes, it is inspired (2 Tim 3:15-17). In 1 Cor 7:25, Paul isn't saying that the next words don't come from God, but that he is not quoting Torah, either written or oral.

  • So it means when paul then says. Yet not I but the Lord... It means he is quoting the torah? Commented Mar 21 at 14:50

We miss the point if we understand that Paul's advice is that a single person should remain single or get married depending on circumstances.

His 'inspired' advice is a commentary on the command to "be fruitful and multiply". Paul is saying that fruitfulness and multiplying does not refer to bearing children in the flesh, but in serving Christ.

He suggests that marriage may be a distraction from serving Christ, and not being married may be a distraction from serving Christ.

Christ's own example is that as a single person he was fruitful through his total devotion to the Father even to death. And from the types of Christ, (Adam, Seth, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, etc) that the Christ type and his bride were fruitful together.

He advises to take the decision to best serve Christ in order to be fruitful. His 'wisdom' is taken directly from the Torah understanding that the purpose of the law is to point to Christ. The purpose of the command to be fruitful is to point the bride to Christ so that together they are fruitful.

  • But is his advise In Par with the statements he makes. Stating that they are commands from the Lord? Commented Mar 21 at 14:58

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