I once wrote a paper on „parthenos” in 1 Cor. 7:36-38, in which, following the exegesis of Chrys Caragounis, I argue that it means „parthenia” (virginity).

I am intrigued to discover that Augustine (On Grace and Free Will, ch. VII) seems to understand the passage in a similar fashion. Doing his best to assert free will (against the view of the determinists), Augustine writes that many injunctions in the NT appeal to this human capacity.

Was it not to Timothy’s free will that the apostle appealed, when he exhorted him in these words: „Keep thyself continent”? He also explained the power of the will in this matter when he said, „Having no necessity, but possessing power over his own will, to keep his virgin.” And yet „all men do not receive this saying, except those to whom the power is given.”

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