A Study in Context 2 Cor Dennis Bratcher Many verses of Scripture are used as "proof texts," quoted as the confirmation of some doctrine or opinion without much attention to what the verse might mean in its own context or what the background of the idea might be from a cultural or historical perspective.

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Let's back up to Paul's first epistle to these same Corinthians: 1Co And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. For sure Paul is not forbidding interaction with "The many called and the few chosen.

Equally yoked–god’s perfect plan

We do not need to totally avoid unbelievers, but we are not to become unequally "yoked" to them either. We can advise and try to help people see different aspects of a situation. That is what makes them believers. This concept of boundaries and order in terms of everyday living was a good way to illustrate the ethical demands of relationship with God without resorting to legalism.

Paul’s imagery

These religious laws are connected to the creation in Genesis 1 in which God established an order in the world that is part of creation itself. It was not just a legalism, but an attempt to live out in all aspects of life what they understood to be God's purposes for his world that he had created. Marriage is an area best left up to the bride and the groom. Was Paul suggesting that members of the Corinthian Church congregation could not and should not yokfd other members of the congregation?

What does it mean to be unequally yoked with unbelievers?

It is a matter of ethics that must come from the freedom in Christ that Paul makes clear. So, they concluded, what their body did had nothing to do with their relationship with God since that was a "spiritual" matter. The Middle Eastern practice of sacred prostitution in pagan temples was readily accepted in such a climate, as well as in some of the Greek temples that stood there in the first century.

This was easier to do in the environment of Corinthian Greek culture that, following Plato, assumed that the physical world was irrelevant and unimportant since the only true reality ylked spirit, the "inner" person see Body and Soul: Greek and Hebraic Tensions in Scripture.

What does evenly yoked mean

But we should not get involved in being overly righteous in these matters lest we be guilty of "forbidding to marry" I Tim. And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? So if they wanted to marry within their faith, most of them would have had to marry someone carnally-minded.

What does evenly yoked mean

First you would be "yoked unequally" and to make it worse, to an "unbeliever. The phrase "unequally yoked together" is not a phrase that ifies a "marriage.

What does evenly yoked mean

In other words, the people wanted to be Christian while still partaking of all the activities that marked the worship of the Greek gods. But we know that Paul never suggested such a thing, but just the opposite: 1Co But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to yokwd with him, let him not put her away. To this, Paul simply answers that they cannot be mixed, that God's people must be marked by a different kind of lifestyle than others, and that lifestyle cannot be mixed even,y a pagan lifestyle.

What does evenly yoked mean

And so I will take a little liberty myself and evnly that when it comes to marriage remember Paul is not specifically speaking of marriage hereand say that we should neither become unequally yoked together with BELIEVERS. For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will eenly, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty" II Cor.

What does evenly yoked mean

And that principle is precisely what Paul is using in the letters to the church at Corinth for example, 1 Cor Only God knows for sure how marriages will turn out. From there they fall into all kinds of and doctrinal differences, but nonetheless, they are mwan regardless of how many of them evwnly "yet carnal.

The reference to temples and idols suggests that Paul is still addressing the Corinthians' tendency to try to blend the worship of God with the activities that went on the pagan temples.

What does evenly yoked mean

But is that really the intent of that verse? Now Paul said with unbelievers, which makes it obviously the wrong thing to do. Practically, this could apply to a lot of areas of life, but not as a rigid law. svenly

Suggest a verse

Paul had already addressed this issue quite strongly throughout the first letter, especially the implications of their libertine views in sexual matters that included sacred prostitution 1 Cor Phil "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure. And what concord hath Christ with Belial? The word "yoke" means a coupling as when two evenlyy are coupled or yoked together by a pulling beam to do work such as plowing a field or pulling a wagon.

The key is becoming "unequally yoked. Or what does a believer share with an unbeliever? The result is a lifestyle that is "cleansed" from such contamination with pagan practices as visiting temple prostitutes 2 Corbecause someone who truly loves God as doee son or daughter would not contaminate themselves with such practices.

What does evenly yoked mean

Now we need to understand what's important in this teaching. Or what fellowship is there between light and darkness?

Seeking private sex

So what did Paul mean by all these? Is this verse, ripped from its context within a letter to a church that is most likely suffering a crisis far more severe than questions of who to date or marry, really intending to impose yet another law governing social behavior? So we need to pay close attention to ALL the words of these profound Scriptures.