Re: adultery

From: Carl William Conrad (
Date: Thu Feb 12 1998 - 08:20:16 EST

On Thu, 12 Feb 1998, Braulio Barillas wrote:

> Gentleman:
> I have to inquire about Lc.18:29 (" one who has left home o wife
> ...") Which is the condition of the woman in this case, when her husband
> left her? żIt's possible to talk about divorce?
> Sorry, I undertand that this questions are out of the forum's proposite
> but reciently we talk about the subject and I had think about it.
This little dominical saying is found, I believe, in all the Synoptic
gospels. There may be some disputable elements regarding its context, but
it doesn't really appear to be concerned with divorce but rather with the
sort of "abandonment of everything" to follow Jesus such as may be noted
in the earliest "call" narratives concerned with Simon Peter and Andrew
and the Sons of Zebedee. Some might want to interpret this in terms of an
apocalyptic expectation of an early Parousia and the need to abandon "life
as usual" in order to take up an evangelistic mission. Surely it would be
somewhat comparable to Paul's exhortation in 1 Cor to those who are not
already married not to marry, and I suppose it would be possible even to
interpret the dominical saying about which you're asking in terms not so
much of "abandoning" a wife as of renouncing the possibility of marriage.
Yet another theme that seems present here and is of considerable
importance especially in Mark's gospel is the notion that when one becomes
a follower of Jesus, the family of Jesus supercedes earlier familial
relationships: cf. Mark 3:31-35 and Mark 10:28-31, the latter also being
the Marcan locus of the shared Synoptic dominical saying.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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