moikhatai, and meh
Last week a letter on this list from jim@pasteur (no other
info given) invited a discussion of "moikhatai" in Matthew 19:9.
May I widen the area of discussion to include also the word
"meh" (mu eta) in this verse, a word which is very significant for
the meaning of what Jesus is saying.
This word "meh" occurs 1039 times in the NT, and usually is
translated "no" or "not", or similarly. It is never translated
"except" - except in this one verse, Matthew 19:9. (Source: the
NIV Exhaustive Concordance, p.1754.)
Translate it here as "except", and we seem to have an exception
to what is otherwise a condemnation of divorce and remarriage as
being adulterous. This is usually interpreted as establishing a
ground upon which divorce and/or remarriage is allowable. But
translate it as "not", and Christ's teaching comes out rather
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