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Author Topic: Augustine's View of Marriage - Of the Works of Monks Passage  (Read 586 times) Average Rating: 0
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truthstalker
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« on: April 25, 2009, 07:34:38 PM »

I had thought that the apostles were married, and hauled their wives around in accordance with 1 Cor 9:5.  Now I read in Augustine (of the Works of Monks, 5 & 6
Quote
Have I not seen Christ Jesus our Lord? Are not ye my work in the Lord? If to others I am not an Apostle, to you assuredly I am. For the seal of mine Apostleship are ye in the Lord. My defense to them which interrogate me is this. Have we not power to eat and to drink? Have we not power to lead about a woman who is a sister,24882488    “Sororem mulierem.” as also the other Apostles, and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?” See how first he shows what is lawful to him, and therefore lawful for that he is an Apostle. For with that he began, “Am I not free? am I not an Apostle?” and proves himself to be an Apostle, saying, “Have I not seen Christ Jesus our Lord? Are not ye my work in the Lord?” Which being proved, he shows that to be lawful to him which was so to the other Apostles; that is, that he should not work with his hands, but live by the Gospel, as the Lord appointed, which in what follows he has most 506openly demonstrated; for to this end did also faithful women which had earthly substance go with them, and minister unto them of their substance, that they might lack none of those things which pertain to the necessities of this life. Which thing blessed Paul demonstrates to be lawful indeed unto himself, as also the other Apostles did it, but that he had not chosen to use this power he afterwards mentions. This thing some not understanding, have interpreted not “a woman which is a sister,” when he said, “Have we not power to lead about a sister a woman;” but, “a sister a wife.” They were misled by the ambiguity of the Greek word, because both “wife” and “woman” is expressed in Greek by the same word. Though indeed the Apostle has so put this that they ought not to have made this mistake; for that he neither says “a woman” merely, but “a sister woman;” nor “to take” (as in marriage), but “to take about” (as on a journey). Howbeit other interpreters have not been misled by this ambiguity, and they have interpreted “woman” not “wife.”
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf103.v.vii.vi.html

I am wondering how the Orthodox, ever so much more familiar with Greek, take this passage. Methinks Augustine goes to far in claiming that the Apostle rules out the idea that the apostles were married based on this passage.  Augustine is liable to the accusation that he goes too far in his celebration of continence, and I think this illustrates the idea perfectly. OTOH, Catholics may use this passage to bolster clerical celibacy.

Comments?
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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2009, 08:00:44 PM »

I had thought that the apostles were married, and hauled their wives around in accordance with 1 Cor 9:5.  Now I read in Augustine (of the Works of Monks, 5 & 6
Quote
Have I not seen Christ Jesus our Lord? Are not ye my work in the Lord? If to others I am not an Apostle, to you assuredly I am. For the seal of mine Apostleship are ye in the Lord. My defense to them which interrogate me is this. Have we not power to eat and to drink? Have we not power to lead about a woman who is a sister,24882488    “Sororem mulierem.” as also the other Apostles, and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?” See how first he shows what is lawful to him, and therefore lawful for that he is an Apostle. For with that he began, “Am I not free? am I not an Apostle?” and proves himself to be an Apostle, saying, “Have I not seen Christ Jesus our Lord? Are not ye my work in the Lord?” Which being proved, he shows that to be lawful to him which was so to the other Apostles; that is, that he should not work with his hands, but live by the Gospel, as the Lord appointed, which in what follows he has most 506openly demonstrated; for to this end did also faithful women which had earthly substance go with them, and minister unto them of their substance, that they might lack none of those things which pertain to the necessities of this life. Which thing blessed Paul demonstrates to be lawful indeed unto himself, as also the other Apostles did it, but that he had not chosen to use this power he afterwards mentions. This thing some not understanding, have interpreted not “a woman which is a sister,” when he said, “Have we not power to lead about a sister a woman;” but, “a sister a wife.” They were misled by the ambiguity of the Greek word, because both “wife” and “woman” is expressed in Greek by the same word. Though indeed the Apostle has so put this that they ought not to have made this mistake; for that he neither says “a woman” merely, but “a sister woman;” nor “to take” (as in marriage), but “to take about” (as on a journey). Howbeit other interpreters have not been misled by this ambiguity, and they have interpreted “woman” not “wife.”
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf103.v.vii.vi.html

I am wondering how the Orthodox, ever so much more familiar with Greek, take this passage. Methinks Augustine goes to far in claiming that the Apostle rules out the idea that the apostles were married based on this passage.  Augustine is liable to the accusation that he goes too far in his celebration of continence, and I think this illustrates the idea perfectly. OTOH, Catholics may use this passage to bolster clerical celibacy.

Comments?
At times, Augustine almost goes too far in his condemnation of sexuality in general, most likely due to his past lechery (before his conversion).
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truthstalker
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« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2009, 09:49:51 PM »

At times, Augustine almost goes too far in his condemnation of sexuality in general, most likely due to his past lechery (before his conversion).

He definitely does.  The Catholic Church has distanced itself from some of his views (for example, that the sexual act, within marriage) may only be done for the sake of generation of children) but not all.  The relationship between Augustine and Catholicism is apparently quite complex.
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