virgin

virgin (Heb. bethulah; Gk. parthenos)

A woman who has not had sexual intercourse. In the OT the term bethulah is used for a woman who is a virgin, while another word, almah, means simply “a woman of marriageable age,” though that word is also sometimes translated “virgin” in English Bibles. The Greek word parthenos is used to translate both Hebrew words in the Greek LXX and, so, apparently carries a range of meanings. Thus, in the NT, which was written in Greek, context must determine whether literal virginity is at issue or whether the reference is simply to unmarried persons (for whom, of course, virginity might sometimes be assumed even if it is not being explicitly indicated). Paul encourages virgins, both male and female, not to marry, but he does permit it (1Cor 7:25-38). The book of Acts refers to four virgin daughters of Philip who prophesied (Acts 21:9). The word is also used metaphorically of the church (2Cor 11:2-3) and of the morally faithful (Rev 14:4).

1Cor 7:25-38

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Acts 21:9

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2Cor 11:2-3

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Rev 14:4

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