1 Corinthians 7:40 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 7:40, NIV: "In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is--and I think that I too have the Spirit of God."

1 Corinthians 7:40, ESV: "Yet in my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is. And I think that I too have the Spirit of God."

1 Corinthians 7:40, KJV: "But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God."

1 Corinthians 7:40, NASB: "But in my opinion she is happier if she remains as she is; and I think that I also have the Spirit of God."

1 Corinthians 7:40, NLT: "But in my opinion it would be better for her to stay single, and I think I am giving you counsel from God's Spirit when I say this."

1 Corinthians 7:40, CSB: "But she is happier if she remains as she is, in my opinion. And I think that I also have the Spirit of God."

What does 1 Corinthians 7:40 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has written in the previous verse that a woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. He has been clear that most Christian marriages should be ended only by death. If her husband dies, however, a Christian widow is free to marry anyone she chooses, so long as he is a believer. Paul is clear that God does not forbid her to marry.

Paul, though, adds his judgment that the widow will be happier if she remains unmarried, likely for the reasons he has already given in this chapter. Marriage is good, but it also difficult, bringing worldly troubles (1 Corinthians 7:28). In addition, unmarried believers can give their full and undivided attention to serving Christ (1 Corinthians 7:34). Paul concludes here, according to his own non-binding preference (1 Corinthians 7:25) that, as a result, remaining unmarried will lead to a happier life for a widow than getting married again.

The apostle has repeatedly insisted that getting married is good and that nobody sins in doing so. Still, he does not want his readers to dismiss his views on marriage as mere opinion. He adds that he thinks he has the Spirit of God, too. Perhaps this last line is in response to someone in Corinth who has challenged his authority. That person might have claimed spiritual power or authority in their own declarations about sex and marriage.