Date: Sun Oct 12 1997 - 22:36:49 EDT

>From Ward Powers' reply, I saw that I didn't do a good job in asking my
question. With some help from a friend and relative, I would like to try
again and ask the following question about Matt 19:1-9:

1. Can APOLUO in verse 9 be considered a synonym of BIBLION APOSTASIOU of
the earlier verses?
Are the two terms (a) synonymous, (b) separate steps of one legal process,
(c) two different divorce procedures?

2. If they represent two different procedures (1c), could Jesus be making
some kind of distinction allowing for a legal divorce? Are the two terms for
effecting a divorce linked so tightly that it is not
necessary for Jesus to repeat both of them, as it is understood that they
to the same process? Or in failing to repeat the command DIDONAI BIBLION
APOSTASIOU is Jesus in effect leaving a loophole for divorce legalized by the
right paper?

Tom Bivins
Orlando, Florida
Forwarded message:
From: (Ward Powers)
Date: 97-10-10 01:36:13 EDT

At 01:10 97/10/08 -0400, Tom Bivins wrote:

>I too have been studying the divorce/remarriage issue. I wish I could get
>access to Ward Powers’ doctoral dissertation.

It was for London University, London, U.K., where it can be accessed.
However, the easiest way to access it is in its published form, "Marriage
and Divorce - the New Testament Teaching" (384 pages, Family Life Movement
of Australia). This can be ordered through any bookshop: it is available in
hardcover edition as ISBN 0 909922 29 2, or paperback as ISBN 0 909922 27
6. If interested, probably the quickest and cheapest way to get a copy is
to order it from me directly by email, and I will arrange for it to be sent
to you. The cost is: hardcover, $US20, or paperback, $US15, postage included.

>But could I get a reply on the
>following (please forgive my Greek):
>1. In Matt 19:1-9, two different words are discussed. APOLUO and
>APOSTASION. I never find Jesus condemning an APOSTASION. Is it possible,
>the Greek, that Jesus (Matt 19:9) only has a problem if the person only has
>an APOLUO without the APOSTASION?
>2. Can APOLUO in verse 9 be considered a synonym of APOSTASION of the
>earlier verses?

APOLUW is the verb form, "I divorce"; and APOSTASION is the noun, "a
divorce". In Mt 19:9, BIBLION APOSTASIOU is "a certificate of divorce", as
referred to in Deut 24:1 (which lies behind the discussion with the

In Matthew 19:9 Jesus is describing the teaching of the Pharisees, which
authorized a man to divorce his wife even if she were not guilty of
"porneia" (the ground set out by Moses in Deut 24:1) and then to marry
another woman. This is for a man to turn from his wife to another woman,
and Jesus says in this verse that for a man to leave his wife in this way
for another woman is adultery, even if that husband goes through the legal
procedure of a divorce here and a remarriage there.

In Mt 19:4-6, Jesus says (quoting Genesis 2:24) that in marriage the
husband and wife become "one flesh", and that this one-flesh relationship
is a joining together by God which is not to be sundered by the actions of
any person. He thus forbids separation and indeed any sundering, severing,
splitting-apart, of the one-flesh marriage relationship. Now, this refers
to the stage BEFORE divorce, and I reckon you could say that Jesus is
condemning it.



Rev Dr B. Ward Powers Phone (International): 61-2-9799-7501
10 Grosvenor Crescent Phone (Australia): (02) 9799-7501
SUMMER HILL NSW 2130 email:

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