Re: 1 Corinthians 7:27,28

From: Steve Amato (
Date: Thu Aug 06 1998 - 08:48:58 EDT

At 08:00 AM 8/6/98 +0800, you wrote:
>My understanding is that the Hebrew custom made betrothal technically a
marriage before sexual relations take place (Matthew 1:19).
>But APOLUO and its cognates seem to mean that the case of separation is
really called divorce (Matthew 19:1-15; Mark 10:1-12).
>The Graeco-Roman custom allowed the woman to divorce her husband.
>It seems that the second part of 1 Corinthians 7:27 does not rule out that
the man did live with his wife for sometime as husband and wife, that a
divorce took place, and he is a divorcee. My understanding of MH ZHTEI
GUNAIKA is that the divorcee should not be in a hurry to marry again.

But the lack of the exception clause in the Mark and Luke passages on this
subject would seem to invalidate that idea. As well as would would

1Cor 7:39 A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her
husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to
the Lord.

It seems that "death" and not "divorce" nullifies a marriage.

However, I agree with you that Matthew is referring to the betrothal period
- which is why perhaps the exception clause is found only in his gospel,
which reputably was written to more Jewish Christians, and being more
applicable to them as they have such a betrothal period. Notice also that
he uses the word translated "fornication" rather than "adultery" - perhaps
again pointing to the lack of consummation of the marriage bond.

In other words, the marriage can be nullified during the betrothal period
if the marriage had not yet been consummated.

This would different categories of "divorced" people. Some can remarry,
but for others, it would be adultery while their "spouse" (in the eyes of
God) was still alive.

At least that's my conclusion. Food for thought.

Steve Amato

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