While reading through 1 Corinthians, the phrase “not I, but the Lord” caught my eye. Growing up whenever someone would speak about the Bible they would say that it is all God’s word. I took this to mean that since God and JC were speakers in the book that that’s all they were talking about. The older I got the more I understood what was actually being said.
In 2 Timothy 3:16 it says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God…” meaning that every word in the Bible is divinely inspired by God. Every word that someone has written or spoken was God writing or speaking through that individual. However, some argue that this refers only to the Old Testament.
So I want to question the inspiration behind 1 Corinthians 7:12. While speaking Paul used different words, “To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her.” Did Paul just state his opinion on the matter at hand, or was it completely God speaking through him?
As Paul is writing about marriage and the different laws he is referring back to the Old Testament and what the protagonist had originally stated. (We have to keep in mind that the authors of the Bible didn’t sit down to write a book, but to share the message given to them by God.) The only catch? There had never been anything written about a believer being married to an unbeliever and possibly divorcing. Paul had to address it now as it seemed to be an issue amongst the Corinthians. The protagonist had only ever given one reason for divorce (Matthew 5:32) and this wasn’t that reason.
In 2 Peter 3:15-16 we read, “And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom give him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters.” This may directly answer the question at hand. Peter makes it clear that Paul’s writings are inspired. Obviously the people who decided to put the Bible together believed that Paul wrote divinely inspired material since they included his letters within the Scripture.
For me, this is not an issue of whether the comments were inspired or not, but that this was Paul’s way of explaining things not found in the Old Testament teachings. Although it appears to be an opinion I have faith that they are inspired by The Man and the principles given. Those words are meant to be there and they are just as inspired as all the other parts of the Epistle.