Author Topic: What is meant by "joining/cleaving" to one's wife?  (Read 1704 times)

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: What is meant by "joining/cleaving" to one's wife?
« Reply #30 on: September 29, 2021, 03:13:05 PM »
A simile just includes a comparative particle to make the figurative use obvious. The connection between the passages was the use of the same word in different senses. But I'm guessing you knew that.

Use in context determines meaning. Lexicons just summarize such usage and by nature are never comprehensive. So we follow Scripture interprets Scripture rather than lexicon interprets Scripture.

The passage seems straight forward and is not tripping others up. It seems to have tripped something in your mind as a reader that others do not see. I'm not sure where you are headed but I hope you have a nice trip.
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: What is meant by "joining/cleaving" to one's wife?
« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2021, 01:14:38 PM »
A simile just includes a comparative particle to make the figurative use obvious. The connection between the passages was the use of the same word in different senses. But I'm guessing you knew that.

Use in context determines meaning. Lexicons just summarize such usage and by nature are never comprehensive. So we follow Scripture interprets Scripture rather than lexicon interprets Scripture.

The passage seems straight forward and is not tripping others up. It seems to have tripped something in your mind as a reader that others do not see. I'm not sure where you are headed but I hope you have a nice trip.


Letting scripture interpret scripture is exactly what I am doing by looking up every verse where κολλάω, προσκολλάω, and דָבַק are used.


Specifically, one cannot know what κολλάω means in 1 Corinthians 6:16 without also looking at its meaning in v. 17. If you want to check all the other occurrences of this word (and the NRSV's translation):
Mt 19:5 ("be joined");
Lu 10:11 "clings");
Lu 19:15 ("hired himself out");
Ac 5:13 ("to join");
Ac 8:29 ("join");
Ac 9:26 ("to join");
Ac 10:28 ("to associate with");
Ac 17:34 ("joined");
Ro 12:9 ("hold fast");
Rev 18:5 ("are heaped high").


It is used in 36 verses in the LXX and translates five different Hebrew words.


προσκολλάω only occurs in Mk 10:7 and Ep 5:31 where Genesis 2:24 is quoted. It is used in Gn 2:24 as well as in 18 other verses in the LXX; the translation of three different Hebrew words.


דָּבַק (dāvaq) is the Hebrew word used in Genesis 2:24 (and is frequently translated by the Greek words above). It occurs in 54 verses in the OT.


A quick scan of the ways the NRSV translates the word (which helps illustrate the range of meanings).
"cling/clung" 24 times
"overtake/overtook" 5 times
"was drawn" once
"retain" twice
"hold/held fast" 5 times
"stick/stuck" 7 times
"join" twice
"follow steadfastly/closely" 3 times
"keep/stay/draw close" 4 times
"pursue" twice


It's precisely because of the way these words are used throughout scriptures that raised some questions about how it should be understood in verses with husband and wife.


This is the primary way that I let scripture interpret scripture - through the use of Hebrew and Greek concordances to see how a particular word is used throughout scriptures. Quite often, like with these words, they are not translated the same way in English translations.


How do you let "scripture interpret scripture"?
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: What is meant by "joining/cleaving" to one's wife?
« Reply #32 on: September 30, 2021, 01:20:21 PM »
To move the question out of the marriage/sex arena; what does it mean to "be joined" to the Lord (1 Cor 6:17)? What does it mean to "be joined" with Paul (and other believers) (Acts 17:34, see also 9:26)? What did it mean for Peter to "associate" with Gentiles (Acts 10:28)?


How are these uses of κολλάω similar in meaning? How are they different given their differing contexts?
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]