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1 Corinthians 7:38

ESV So then he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better.
NIV So then, he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does better.
NASB So then, both the one who gives his own virgin in marriage does well, and the one who does not give her in marriage will do better.
CSB So then he who marries his fiancée does well, but he who does not marry will do better.
NLT So the person who marries his fiancée does well, and the person who doesn’t marry does even better.
KJV So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.
NKJV So then he who gives her in marriage does well, but he who does not give her in marriage does better.

What does 1 Corinthians 7:38 mean?

This and the previous two verses provide challenges for modern translators of the original Greek texts. Are these verses written to Christian men who are engaged to be married or to the Christian fathers of young women who are engaged to be married? Bible scholars differ.

In either case, Paul's bottom line is that the engaged man or the father of the potential bride does well to marry her or give her in marriage. Either of them also does well to break off the engagement or to refuse to give her in marriage, provided Paul's conditions are met. The first condition is that the young woman will not be dishonored by an unseemly end to the engagement. The second one is that the man—or the young woman if the father is addressed—has the gift of celibacy, with his or her sexual desire under control.

At that point, with either decision being acceptable to God (1 Corinthians 7:25), Paul speaks again from his own personal preferences (1 Corinthians 7:6–7). If those conditions are met, the choice not to marry is one Paul, himself, prefers more than the good choice to get married. Nobody does anything wrong in either case.
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