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Paul’s Sexual and Marital Ethics in 1 Corinthians 7

An African-Cameroonian Perspective


Alice Yafeh

Paul’s Sexual and Marital Ethics in 1 Corinthians 7: An African-Cameroonian Perspective provides readers with an innovative interpretation of Paul’s pastoral and pedagogical approach and solutions to the multifaceted ethical problems presented to him by the Corinthian community, revealing a wide-ranging, complex, and flexible decision-making process. Alice Yafeh’s analysis also illuminates two different evaluations of the same ethical problem may be simultaneously relevant where operating assumptions diverge: first as a community in pursuance of the goal of undistracted devotion to the Lord, and, second, as individual members who must pursue that goal within the specific lifestyles in which they have been called.
The author argues that Paul’s pastoral and theological approach, which is deeply motivated by a desire to inspire faithful Christian living and witness, can serve as a new model for evaluating pre-conversion polygyny; a model that is oriented toward positive and substantive change in the lives of women and children. Consequently, the implication of Paul’s approach and judgments for contemporary Christian communities suggests the same believing community may adopt different ways of faithfully living out the practical implications of Christian view of marriage extended by Paul in 1 Corinthians 7.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Yafeh, Alice. Paul’s sexual and marital ethics in 1 Corinthians 7: an African-Cameroonian perspective / Alice Yafeh. pages cm. — (Bible and theology in Africa; v. 22) Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Eglise presbytérienne camerounaise. 2. Bible. Corinthians, 1st—Criticism, interpretation, etc. 3. Bible. Corinthians, 1st—Socio-rhetorical criticism. 4. Sexual ethics—Biblical teaching. 5. Marriage—Biblical teaching. 6. Sexual ethics—Cameroon. 7. Marriage—Cameroon. I. Title. II. Series: Bible and theology in Africa; v. 22. BS2675.52.Y34 227.2’06—dc23 2014044350 ISBN 978-1-4331-2835-6 (hardcover) ISBN 978-1-4539-1498-4 (e-book) ISSN 1525-9846

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at




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