Re: Matt. 5 - porneia

From: David L. Moore (
Date: Thu Oct 09 1997 - 00:00:51 EDT

Ward Powers <> wrote:

>Rather, Jesus is here saying, "Everyone who divorces his wife when she is
>not guilty of committing porneia makes her (stigmatizes her as) an
>adulteress - that is, gives her the stigma of a person who has committed
>porneia, when she is not such a one." The case which Jesus excludes is when
>she HAS been guilty of porneia, when of course she brings upon herself the
>stigma of "adulteress".

        Ward's estimation of whom Jesus is indicating as guilty in the case
of divorce in this passage does seem to be on target. Let me suggest,
however, a reason that might illustrate why this is so.

        The Greek expression POIEI AUTHN MOIXEUQHNAI (Mt. 5:32) could
correspond to a Semitic hiphil (i.e. causative) form of the verb. This is
the most logical option if, as most assume, Jesus spoke and taught mainly in
Aramaic. If it is this form, the emphasis would be on the action, not of
the divorced woman who remarried, but on the one who forced her into a
situation where she would be obligated to remarry.

David Moore

David L. Moore
Miami, Florida, USA
Southeastern Spanish District of the A/G Dept. of Education
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