June 22nd, 2013| Topic: RaMbLeS | 0


On permanent display in the Musée du Louvre in Paris is what is perhaps the most well-known sculpture of the world, Venus de Milo. The marble statue is otherwise known as Aphrodite of Milos (Aphrodite is the Greek name for the goddess labeled Venus by the Romans). The work is likely to have been created in the 2nd century BC, and probably by Alexandros of Antioch, as an inscription on the plinth of statue (now lost) apparently asserted.

The image of the lady is renowned for her missing arms, though it appears (from evidence—also now missing—found at the site of the statue’s discovery in the early 19th century on the Aegean island of Milos) that her right arm kept in place the drapery around her hips, and her raised left arm held an apple.

Crowning the city of Corinth was a famous temple to this goddess, Aphrodite. According to ancient writers, the precincts of the temple was served by over a thousand pagan ritual prostitutes, a form of worship to further the fertility of the land.

No wonder the very name of the city of Corinth became eponymous with dodgy sexual practices. The verb korinthiazomai meant to practice sexual immorality, and korinthios indicated a prostitute.

Corinth. Well known to Christians from two letters in the Bible written to that city by the Apostle Paul, who had himself lived there for about two years in two separate stays.

In his letters to the Corinthians, Paul had a lot to say about sexual behavior.

He excoriated the Corinthian church for a case of incest that had occurred within the assembly of Christians, calling for the sinner’s excommunication, so that he might repent.

You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead,
so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst.
In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled,
and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus,
deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh,
so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
1 Corinthians 5:2, 4–5

Paul warns of the loss of rewards (“inheritance”—not loss of salvation) for believers engaging in such deplorable practices:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous
will not inherit the kingdom of God?
Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters,
nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, …
1 Corinthians 6:9

One must be careful not to pander to the lusts of the flesh.

Flee immorality. …
Or do you not know that your body is
a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you,
whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
1 Corinthians 6:18–19

And, of course, Paul also touts the value of celibacy in the same letter to Corinth, pointing to his own single status.

Yet I wish that everyone were even as I myself am.
However, each has his own gift from God,
one in this manner [the gift of celibacy],
and another in that [the gift of marriage].
1 Corinthians 7:7

Oh, and regarding the guy involved in incest? Thankfully, it appears that the man did repent, prompting Paul to call for his restoration in his Second Letter to the Corinthians.

Sufficient for such a one is this punishment ….
You should rather forgive and comfort him, otherwise such a one might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.
Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him.
2 Corinthians 2:6–8



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