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Goodbye Jesus

1 Cor 5:5 And 1 Tim 1:20


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1 Cor 5:5 I have decided to 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 Tim 1:20 Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme.


These were two verses which troubled me when I was a Christian, why is Paul handing people over to Satan? What does it mean to hand a person over to Satan? Based upon 1 Corinthians 5:13 "REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES." Paul seems to be saying that the person should be tossed out of the church and the flesh referred to in 5:5 is the evil nature, but if this is what he means to say, why does he specifically state "deliver such a one to Satan", why would Satan destroy the evil brother's fleshly nature? Furthermore why would being tossed out of the church into the worldly satanic realm teach ones such as Hymenaeus and Alexander not to blaspheme?


Does anyone know whether these verses may have had a darker meaning when they were written? It at the very least seems likely to me that they would have had a role in the catholic churches torturing sinners in this life, so that their spirit would be saved in the next at least.

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I've seen these verses used to excommunicate someone from the church, tossing them out of the church family and leaving them to Satan's devices, removing God's protection from them.


The theory is that because they once followed Christ, they are saved, even though they willfully walk in sin. Removing the church's protection and God's protection allows Satan to ruin their lives, hopefully helping burn their sinful desires out of them (like forcing your kid to smoke a pack after you catch him lighting up) showing them the error of their ways so they repent and come back to the fold. That's how they would learn how not to blaspheme -- by learning what it's really like to live without God.


It's a scare tactic to get people to keep in line.


Of course, they have probably been used in darker ways than this.

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Looking at 1 Corinthians 5 the verse is about a man, apparently a Jew (since it's mentioned that this isn't even done among the gentiles), who has slept with his father's wife. This could be his birth mother proper or just his step-mother (it's not said) but either way this is a no-no and these people have just let it go. Paul isn't so kind.


Leviticus 18

7 You may not have sex relations with your father or your mother: she is your mother, you may not take her. 8 And you may not have sex relations with your father's wife: she is your father's.


29 For all those who do any of these disgusting things will be cut off from among their people.



Leviticus 20

10 And if a man has sex relations with another man's wife, even the wife of his neighbour, he and she are certainly to be put to death. 11 And the man who has sex relations with his father's wife has put shame on his father: the two of them are to be put to death; their blood will be on them.



Deuteronomy 22

30 A man may not take his father's wife or have sex relations with a woman who is his father's.



Deuteronomy 27

20 Cursed is he who has sex relations with his father's wife, for he has put shame on his father. And let all the people say, So be it.

It's mentioned the four times in the law and it seems that it comes with a punishment of a curse and death. So Paul is basically repeating that here. He's saying that the guy should be handed over to their enemies so they can deal with him according to their laws. They'll kill him but it will essentially "save his soul" in the process.


"Satan" may simply be a euphemism for "the Jews" (or the Jewish authority) so they can deal with the unruly people according to their laws. In this case it was sex with the father's wife. In 1 Timothy it appears to be blasphemy.



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