Isn’t the word for “flesh” and “body” the same in I Corinthians 6:16?



You claim in "Immorality", "Paul proves that sex binds the participants. It is not a permanent or stable bond, but it is a bond nonetheless. Those who engage in sexual sins are physically coupled during the act. They become for the moment one body (the Greek word soma)."

This is not true. I Corinthians 6:16 uses the same Greek root 'sorx' speaking of the binding "one-flesh" between a man with a harlot.

Referring to both one flesh between the man and wife (which simply is ‘woman’ in Hebrew) and a man and prostitute. That’s why Paul quotes Genesis 2:24 because the man and prostitute are binding unlawful marriage, but marriage nonetheless. Likewise, when a man binds himself to a previous married or divorced woman, he commits adultery because she is still one-flesh with her first husband. Though unlawful, the one-flesh relationship is still marriage nonetheless.


Transliterated Greek:

e ouk oidate hoti ho kollomenos te porne hen soma estin Esontai gar phesin hoi duo eis sarka main

Literal Greek

"Or not know you that the being joined to the harlot, one body is? Shall be for, he says, the two for flesh one."

There are actually three "one"s in I Corinthians 6:15-17: one body, one flesh, and one spirit. In the context of the passage, Paul is addressing potential arguments for fornication. Here Paul is addressing the idea that someone can engage in fornication it won't impact him.

"Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, "The two shall become one flesh." But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him" (I Corinthians 6:15-17).

Notice the progression:

  1. Joining as one body (soma) with a prostitute is temporary. There is no expectation of a continued relationship. And the joining itself is physically only for a few moments.
  2. Joining as one flesh (sarka) with a wife lasts the remainder of a man's life. The joining includes the physical aspect of sex, but is so much more because the couple becomes one flesh. It is an ongoing process of two people blending their lives to become a unit. Thus, marriage is a spiritual joining as well as a physical joining. But that union ends at death.
  3. Joining as one spirit (pneuma) with the Lord is an eternal union. It is totally spiritual.

However, where does the fornicator put his emphasis? On the temporary physical act. But which has the greatest value? It would be the eternal relationship with our Lord. Why would anyone severe their eternal relationship with Christ for a few minutes of pleasure with a prostitute? For that matter, why would a married man damage his lifetime relationship with his wife for a few minutes of sex with a prostitute? Even though marriage is less important than a relationship with Christ both have far greater worth than sex with an immoral woman.

Marriage is established by a covenant (Malachi 2:14). It is God who does the joining of a man and woman -- not man (Matthew 19:4-6). That joining is established as the couple swears a covenant vow before witnesses to God. If it was the act of sex, as you claim, then it would be the man who does the joining since God is not involved, especially in an act of sin if a couple has sex without being married.

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