Unequally Yoked: A Re-examination of 2 Corinthians 6:11-7:4

Donald G. McDougall | August 25, 2009

A very familiar quotation in Christian circles is: “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” It seems to be applied most often in the context of mixed marriages or mixed business partnerships. That admonition and its related command, “Come out from their midst and be separate,” are central themes in a very important paragraph. As familiar as those two commands are, the context in which they are found is often totally disregarded in their application. The paragraph in which they are found – 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1 – has been the center of great controversy for over a century. Some doubt that Paul even wrote these verses, while others question their position in the text. In order to correctly understand this passage and its message to the Corinthians and to the church as a whole throughout the centuries, it is essential to examine these verses contextually and historically and thereby come to an understanding of Paul’s purpose in penning these words in their given location in the text.

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