Re: Matt 19:9 & the Gnomic Present Tense

Date: Tue Oct 12 1999 - 15:40:55 EDT

On Tue, 12 Oct 1999 12:11:03 -0500 Steven Craig Miller
<> writes:


> I don't believe that the saying at Mt 19:9 was intended to present a
> course of action for a divorced person who had remarried, rather its
> was to state that remarriage (with one exception) was unacceptable to
> Matthean Jesus.

Agreed. Divorce and remarriage results in adultery. It should not be
done. That is the point.

> I find it ironic that anyone could read Mt 19:3-9 and come
> away thinking that being remarried was acceptable to the Matthean

If you assume your interpretation, then you might find it ironic.
But, if you don't assume it, there is no irony.

The question is: does the use of the present tense MOICATAI in
Mt 19:9 denote a habitual living in adultery?


> But just because
> you find the Matthean Jesus' ethics difficult, that is not a serious
> historical argument against the translation "lives in adultery."

This is an assumption you are making. I have never argued that
your interpretation should be rejected because of the difficult ethics

> For anyone to suggest they were NOT "living in adultery" merely
> because they asked God to forgive them for remarrying, appears
> to be nothing more than special pleading.

I have never said nor suggested this.

Our difference pertains only to your view that the present tense
of MOICATAI denotes habitual or characteristic activity translated
into an on-going adulterous relationship.

In my view this is not necessitated. There are alternative
of the present tense. Is your view probable? That is the question I
would like to see addressed. Is the fact that two aorist tenses are
found in the protasis (understood conditional thought here) sufficient
reason for suggesting the present tense in the apodosis should be
rendered characteristically/habitually? If so, why?

Perhaps we should go off-line on this.

Paul Dixon

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