Turretin on celibacy and Rev 14

No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins

FT offers the standard arguments against priestly celibacy, but he does focus on the objection from Rev 14:4, of the virgins who weren’t defiled with women.  Turretin notes this cannot mean physical virgins for the following reasons:

  1. This would imply that marriage is a pollution, which contradicts Heb. 13:4
  2. This would imply that only the unmarried are saved.
  3. Thus, ruling out several apostles, patriarchs, and quite a few popes (III: 258)!

5 thoughts on “Turretin on celibacy and Rev 14

  1. Evan

    I especially like your last point! Lol. Unfortunately, there is also reaction in the other way. I think that celibacy is not an unfortunate circumstance that ought to be pitied, but is rather God’s calling for some. Celibacy has allowed many great men to arise in the history of the church that otherwise– without seriously harming their marriage– would not have been nearly effective.

    In Reformed circles, unfortunately, celibacy is tacitly looked down upon.


  2. Turretin is actually neutral on this subject. Earlier he says marriage is neither a good nor an evil. I’m not so sure, but the larger point is that it is a means to an end, not the end.

    And you’re right. There is a tendency in Evangelicalism today to focus 100% on sex. Doug Wilson’s people are especially guilty, what with the lives ruined and all.


    1. cal

      I’m curious, with all the books sold by Evangelicalism about sex, adding to your sex life, why sex is so great, marital sex techniques etc etc. if this is one of those cases where the fact everyone is talking about it means no one is actually doing anything?Or maybe no one is reading any of these books even though publishers think people are? Or is this kind of Victorian pornography, where people loved to read those sex-manuals about things that are immoral and things that one shouldn’t do?


  3. Pingback: Review: Vanderwaal, Job-Song of Songs | Kingdom Authority

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