1 Corinthians 7:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 7:8, NIV: "Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do."

1 Corinthians 7:8, ESV: "To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am."

1 Corinthians 7:8, KJV: "I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I."

1 Corinthians 7:8, NASB: "But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I."

1 Corinthians 7:8, NLT: "So I say to those who aren't married and to widows--it's better to stay unmarried, just as I am."

1 Corinthians 7:8, CSB: "I say to the unmarried and to widows: It is good for them if they remain as I am."

What does 1 Corinthians 7:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul now agrees, to a point, with the opening statement of this chapter. That statement appears to have been quoted from the Corinthian's letter to Paul, asking him to clear up this issue for them (1 Corinthians 7:1).

Paul says, yes, for those who are not currently married, it is good to remain single. Paul himself is happily single. As he wrote in the previous verse, the ability to find contentment in the single, celibate life is a gift from God. To be single, in God's eyes, is not better or worse than being married. It is a result of the specific gifts given by God to specific individuals.

Paul's conclusion is that someone currently single should not seek marriage simply for the sake of being married. Marriage is not something Christians are obligated to pursue or attain. Marriage is not automatically better than singleness. This does not, of course, provide an excuse for sexual immorality, as Paul qualifies with a condition in the following verse.