Re: PAREKTOS clause

From: Ward Powers (
Date: Thu Dec 03 1998 - 20:26:43 EST

At 23:42 98/12/03 +0000, John M. Tait wrote:
>Again, thanks to Ward for the info. re: the PAREKTOS clause. This has given
>me plenty to think about and investigate.

>>It would seem to me (if I am reading your posts correctly) that you have
>>linked the PAREKTOS clause in Mt 5 with the fact that Matthew says the
>>husband through his action in sloughing off his wife is making her an
>>adulteress - that is, HE is responsible for this outcome, unless first of
>>all SHE has brought it upon herself, through sexual misbehaviour on her
>Yes - that's it. It seems to me that, if it were not for other
>considerations - such as the Hillel/Shammai debate - which predispose the
>clause to be taken as exceptive, and therefore exemptive, this would be the
>natural meaning of the sentence.

John, may I follow up further on just one point from your post. You refer
to the Hillel and Shammai views on divorce. Are you aware that the Talmud,
when discussing divorce views, cites THREE, referring also to Akiba? Akiba
flourished shortly AFTER the time of Jesus's earthly ministry, but he
adopted and endorsed rather than inaugurated the view which is given in the
Talmud against his name. Indeed, it is the Akiba view (if the anachronism
may be permitted) which Jesus cites (and refutes) in Mt 5, and which the
Pharisees put to him (Mt 19) and which again he refutes.

The basic difference is:

Shammai: Divorce is only permitted on the grounds of adultery
Hillel: Divorce is permitted on the ground of any fault on the part of the
Akiba: Divorce is allowable without any fault on the part of the wife, if
the man just finds another woman whom he regards as more attractive to him
than his wife. (Note that there is no fault on the part of the wife in the
view which Jesus is refuting in Mt 5 and Mt 19.)



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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