In studies of Pauline reception, most scholars limit themselves to works in the second or early third century (often ending with Irenaeus or the Acts of Paul) and to material from the Latin West and Greek East. Although later Syriac sources are rarely engaged, those who do work on this material have long recognised the importance of Paul's letters for that material. The present argument aims to help broaden the dominant discourse on Pauline reception by attending to early Syriac sources, principally the work of Aphrahat the Persian Sage. I focus in particular on his discussion of baptism and marriage in Dem. 7.18–20, which has confounded scholars over the years. This passage displays a kind of Pauline ‘logic’ indebted to 1 Cor 7.20, which can be discerned among other early Christian applications of that passage in similar contexts, in both East and West.