Re: Matt 19:9

Date: Sat Oct 02 1999 - 11:52:10 EDT

On Sat, 2 Oct 1999 7:47:17 "Ed Gorham" <> writes:

> BDF cites the use of MH as a way if indicating exception. Also, EPI
> used with the dative often has the sense of "on the basis of". Combined

> with the negative particle, I would think that an acceptable
> would be "not on the basis of" adultery, which is a more literal way to
> "except for".

MH by itself (no accompanying particle, like EI or EAN) occurs over
500 times in the GNT. Nowhere else is it translated, "except." Only
it is accompanied by EI or EAN is it rendered so.

Since neither particle exists in MT 19:9, in order to get the exception
idea some have posited an ellipsis of either EI or EAN.

If we assume an ellipsis, however, we still make a huge leap of
blind faith if we conclude the negation, that is, if a man divorces
his wife and she committed PORNEIA, and he subsequently
remarries, then he does not commit adultery himself in so doing.

No one, to my knowledge, has ever shown that such a construction
as found in Mt 19:9 calls for this kind of conclusion. We are better
off going with the conclusion of the early church fathers (e.g.,
and see this as simply a preterition where the case of the wife
who committed PORNEIA is being excluded from discussion at
the point. Why so, one might ask. If for no other reason than the
fact the Christ has just discussed this case in the immediately preceding

Paul Dixon


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