Paul - Ethics passages - "Seemingly Obvious" Ideas

I'm not sure how well this will work...

Romans 14 has been discussed ad nauseam here on SharperIron. What I’m hoping to do here is make a list of things that are “seemingly obvious.” They do not have to be true. They just have to be the most obvious meaning of a part of Paul’s ethical writings. This means if you say, “Yeah, I agree that X is what the Text seems to say, but I don’t think it can be saying that because this other Scripture contradicts that,” then you can still agree that it’s seemingly obvious. 

But another passage forces you to abandon what was “obvious.” You dismiss the “Seemingly Obvious.” For you it becomes formerly seemingly obvious, and then eventually Not-Obvious-At-All. But to many other people, it is still “seemingly obvious.” You instead find a “Fallback position,” another way to understand the text. You can (and should) admit it isn’t as obvious (at least you can admit that not seeing it is very common).

In this thread, try to give a commonly held, “obvious” understanding of part of one of these texts, an objection, and a Fallback Position. 

1. In Romans 14, “meat” is Idol-meat.

Meat was avoided for this reason by Jews whenever they were in a foreign city.


That potentially makes contradiction with Acts 15,21, and Rev 2.

Fallback Positions:

Romans 14 concerns Market-Idol-Meat, while Acts 15, 21, 1 Cor 8-10a, Rev 2 concern Temple-Idol-Meat.


2. The ethical tools underlying Romans 14 are the same as the ethical tools as 1 Corinthians 7-10. 

Similarities abound: 
- Issue similarity (some kind of idol-meat issue)
- “weak”ness 
- The risk of the weak “stumbling” and “falling” (πρόσκομμα and σκάνδαλον).


- Paul seems to treat these differently (ch. 10a is a long polemic against idol-meat -vs- Rom 14 allows it.)
- Paul uses terms conveying poor thinking for the strong in 1 Cor 8-10a

Fallback Position:

3. The strong is the one who is doctrinally established and spiritually mature. 

(follow knowledge in 1 Cor Cool


The strong in 1 Corinthians 8-10a seems to be wrong and the weak seems to be right. 

Fallback Position:

- ? -

4001 reads