Date: Sat Jun 07 1997 - 15:44:08 EDT
Matt 5:32 (KJV) has:
"But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the
cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall
marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. "
The term, "saving for the cause of fornication" is "parektos logou porneias."
Parektos is a pronoun genitive and is also used in Acts 26:29 where Paul
says that he desires that other be like him except for being bound or in
chains. It is used as an adverb in 2 Cor 11:28 where Paul list all the
things that have happened to him except for certain things that are left
The Farstad/Hodges NKJV interlinear translates this as "for any reason except
sexual immorality" but has "except for a matter of fornication" as a literal
translation. It notes that the Nestle-Aland text reads "Everyone
Is it possible that Jesus expresses a much stronger position here that might
be expressed in the following paraphrase --
"Whoever divorces his wife when she has not committed fornication, and the
husband knows that his wife has not committed fornication and in fact, the
husband makes no charge of fornication against his wife, will be held
accountable by God for having caused his wife to commit adultery if he
In this verse, Jesus seems to address only the case where a man divorces his
wife without charging her with fornication. It seems implicit that, had the
husband charged his wife with fornication with the wife being guilty of
fornicatiom, then the husband would not be charged with having caused his
wife to commit adultery. Is the reader to automatically conclude from this
that divorce where fornication is present is legal or should the reader
conclude that the matter is not addressed in this verse and look elsewhere
(Matt 19) to determine whether divorce is legal where fornication is present?
How can Jesus say that the husband "causes" the wife to commit adultery? On
what basis can Jesus make such a charge? In this verse, it seems to apply
regardless of whether the wife remarries. How can it apply if the divorced
wife never remarries?
Does the phrase, "...and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced
committeth adultery." apply universally to any woman who is divorced for any
reason or just to any woman illegally divorced under the conditions specified
in the first part of the verse (I.e., divorced without having committed
fornication or being charged with such)?
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