Bible Articles on the Topic of Celibacy

The following articles have been compiled and indexed by inWORD Bible software.

Loneliness

“It is not good that a man should be alone.” (Genesis 2:18)

Paul’s Reasons for Remaining Single

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. (Genesis 2:18)

Illegal to Remain Single

The right to remarry after divorce was the fundamental right that was communicated by the Jewish divorce certificate. It was also seen as an undeniable right in Greco-Roman marriage and divorce law. Technically it was actually illegal for a divorced Roman woman to remain single for more than eighteen months, though this law was rarely enforced.¹ It would therefore have been very difficult for Paul to convince his readers that they no longer had the right to remarriage after a valid divorce, and it is inconceivable that he could have expected his readers to conclude, simply by his silence when discussing the issue of widowhood or illustrating the end of the believer’s marriage to the Law, that remarriage of a divorceé was unacceptable.

Was the Apostle Paul Married?

It is generally agreed that the apostle Paul was an unmarried man for the duration of his ministry. Not only does Acts omit any mention of Paul having a wife, but also Paul’s own letters seem to indicate the same. Nevertheless, there is some disagreement over whether or not Paul had been married at an earlier point in his life. In this post, I will argue that Paul was in fact a widower at the time of his writing. I’ll make the case in seven points:

Why Should A Person Get Married?

I’ll first explain some ideas behind the Jewish notion of marriage and why it is essential, and then refute some common arguments against getting married.

Marriage and the Christian Life

I am aware that the subject upon which I have been asked to write is by no means an easy one.

Was Paul a Married Man?

Certain distinguished members of the Church of England have recently published a memorial recommending celibacy for those engaged in the preaching of the Gospel. They say:

The Church Rome: Its History, Mystery and Destiny

(A Paper Read at the Birmingham Mutual Improvement Society)

The Silence: Clerical Sex Abuse in Remote Alaska

PBS and FRONTLINE reveal a little-known chapter of the Catholic Church sex abuse story: decades of abuse of Native Americans by priests and other church workers in remote Native villages of Alaska.

Catholic Church

The Catholic Church (Latin: Ecclesia catholica), also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with more than 1.27 billion members. As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, it has played a prominent role in the history of Western civilisation. Headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the Pope, its doctrines are summarised in the Nicene Creed. The Catholic Church is notable within Western Christianity for its sacred tradition and seven sacraments.

Wrested Scriptures: Celibacy (1 Corinthians 7:1)

“. . . It is good for a man not to touch a woman.”

Roman Catholicism

Prof. John Roller teaches an 8-class course on Roman Catholicism, covering its history, its doctrines and its unique practices.

Stewarding Your Body

How should you steward your body? Are all bodily pleasures inherently sinful? In order to grapple with these questions, we take a tour through the Bible from the Garden of Eden through to the time of Jesus to observe the balanced biblical perspective between asceticism (denying all pleasures) and hedonism (living for pleasure). As it turns out, God designed us to experience pleasure, but within his boundaries. We discuss several of these before considering how sometimes we may need to enter a period of abstinence to recenter ourselves. Lastly, we look at how legalism can sneak in and wreak havok when we impose our own personal boundaries on other Christians.

Celibacy

Celibacy, (celibatus, Lat. ccelebs or caolebs, unmarried, derived by some Roman writers from cali beatitudo, the blessedness of heaven), the state of virginity, or of unmarried persons.

Virginity

Virginity in an ecclesiastical sense, is the unmarried or celibate state, voluntarily accepted as a means of holiness. The pre-eminence of the virgin state is very generally taught by the Christian fathers from the apostolic age. Virginity was from the first a lifelong profession; but virgins did not, at first, live in community, but with parents or relatives. In some cases they adopted a peculiar dress; but such was not the general usage. The vow was in many instances secretly made, and did not require ecclesiastical sanction. Early in the 3rd century, however, the Church gave direct sanction to the vow of virginity, and made regulations for the conduct of those who took the vow. It was during the same century that community life among celibates originated, by the association of those under the vow in one home for prayer and works of charity. Since that time, in the churches which encourage the monastic life, numerous orders of celibates have sprung up, and are today exercising a considerable influence in the world. SEE MONASTICISM; SEE NUN; SEE SISTERHOODS.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (Latin: Catechismus Catholicae Ecclesiae; commonly called the Catechism or the CCC) is a catechism promulgated for the Catholic Church by Pope John Paul II in 1992. It sums up, in book form, the beliefs of the Catholic faithful.

Catholic theology

The theology of the Catholic Church is based on natural law, canonical scripture, divine revelation, and sacred tradition, as interpreted authoritatively by the magisterium of the Catholic Church. The teachings of the Catholic Church are summarized in various creeds, especially the Nicene (Nicene-Constantinopolitan) Creed and the Apostles’ Creed, and authoritatively summarized in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Catholic teachings have been refined and clarified by major councils of the Church, convened by popes at important points throughout history. The first such council, the Council of Jerusalem, was convened by the Apostles c. AD 50. The most recent was the Second Vatican Council, which was held from 1962 to 1965.

Catholicism

Catholicism (from Greek καθολικισμός, katholikismos, “universal doctrine”) is a term which in its broadest sense refer to the beliefs and practices of Christian denominations that describe themselves as Catholic. It commonly reflects traditions of Catholic theology, doctrine, liturgy, ethics, and spirituality. Associated traits often include or claim to include episcopal polity, sacramental theology, apostolic succession and sacred tradition. “Catholicism” and “Catholic” in these senses refer to various Christian churches, as well as their beliefs and practices. The most frequent uses refers to the faith and practices of the Catholic Church, also called the Roman Catholic Church, consisting of the Latin Church and 23 Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See of Rome, as understood by the Four Marks of the Church. “Catholic” and “Catholicism” are also especially used by the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Church, the Church of the East, the Anglican Communion and the Old Catholic Churches, all of which consider themselves within the universal and apostolic church.

Celibacy

Celibacy (from Latin, cælibatus”) is the state of voluntarily being unmarried, sexually abstinent, or both, usually for religious reasons. It is often in association with the role of a religious official or devotee. In its narrow sense, the term celibacy is applied only to those for whom the unmarried state is the result of a sacred vow, act of renunciation, or religious conviction. In a wider sense, it is commonly understood to only mean abstinence from sexual activity.

Lex Papia Poppaea

The Lex Papia Poppaea was a Roman law introduced in 9 AD to encourage and strengthen marriage. It included provisions against adultery and celibacy and complemented and supplemented Augustus’ Lex Julia de Maritandis Ordinibus of 18 BC and the Lex Iulia de Adulteriis Coercendis of 17 BC. The law was introduced by the suffect consuls of that year, M. Papius Mutilus and Q. Poppaeus Secundus, although they themselves were unmarried.

Pontifex Maximus

The Pontifex Maximus (Latin, literally: “greatest pontiff” or “greatest bridge-builder”) was the high priest of the College of Pontiffs (Collegium Pontificum) in ancient Rome. This was the most important position in the ancient Roman religion, open only to patricians until 254 BC, when a plebeian first occupied this post. A distinctly religious office under the early Roman Republic, it gradually became politicized until, beginning with Augustus, it was subsumed into the Imperial office. Its last use with reference to the emperors is in inscriptions of Gratian (reigned 375–383) who, however, then decided to omit the words “pontifex maximus” from his title. Although the most influential office within Roman priesthood, the pontifex maximus was ranked the fifth in the ranking of the highest Roman priests (ordo sacerdotum), behind the rex sacrorum and the flamines maiores (Flamen Dialis, Flamen Martialis, Flamen Quirinalis).

Pontiff

A pontiff (from Latin pontifex) was, in Roman antiquity, a member of the most illustrious of the colleges of priests of the Roman religion, the College of Pontiffs. The term “pontiff” was later applied to any high or chief priest and, in Roman Catholic ecclesiastical usage, to a bishop and more particularly to the Bishop of Rome, the Pope or “Roman Pontiff”.