Bible Articles on the Topic of Celibate

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.

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.

Wrested Scriptures: Celibacy (1 Corinthians 7:1)

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

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.

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.

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.