Re: Matt. 5 - porneia

From: Jeffrey Gibson (
Date: Thu Oct 02 1997 - 15:10:45 EDT

On Thu, 2 Oct 1997, Ben Crick wrote:
> To mitigate the problem of unrestricted divorce and the "hardness of heart"
> which drove it, Moses laid down set grounds for it: that the wife find no
> favour in the husband's eyes *because she has committed /`eRWaTh DaBhaR/,* the
> "Nudity Word". This "Nudity Word" is a phrase all contemporary hearers would
> have understood; as today we refer to "the F*** Word". Jesus preserves
> precisely the same euphemism, in his saying /PAREKTOS LOGOU PORNEIAS/: the
> LOGOS PORNEIAS, the "Nudity Word". /ASCHMON PRAGMA/ indeed!

I find this explanation difficult for three reasons:

1. How does one "commit" a word? One may speak a word, or utter it. But
commit it?

2. The context of Deut. 24 shows that the "unseemly thing" that is spoken
of is something (especially a quality) a *man* finds "in" a woman, not
something a woman does, let alone anything she says.

3. the explanation makes nonsense of the rabinnical debates carried on
between the Schools of Hillel and Shammai on how this "unseemly thing" is
to be interpreted (cf Mishna Git. 9:10). There the debate is over whether
a man may divorce his wife if he finds his wife a soup burner or
spiller or another woman more comely than the one he has.

Jeffrey Gibson

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