Re: Matt 19:9

From: dixonps@juno.com
Date: Sun Oct 03 1999 - 20:27:30 EDT


On Sun, 3 Oct 1999 02:16:41 EDT CEP7@aol.com writes:
>
> I might as well put my two denarii in here too.
>
> Zerwick, Biblical Greek Illustrated by Examples, §442 has some
> helpful comments:

> "Can MH mean «except»? The question has a certain importance in
> connection with the «divorce clauses»; for it is obviously likely that
the two
> expressions (Mt 5.32 and 19.9) have the same meaning i. e. that MH
> EPI PORNEIAi means the same thing as the previous PAREKTOS LOGOU
> PORNEIAS. The meaning would of course be the same if MH could mean
«except», but
> this is with good reason denied by many scholars. In this passage,
however,
> MH not only may but should mean «except», not that MH = «except» is of
> itself dmissible, but because MH is here dependent upon the
introductory
> hOS AN which is equivalent to EAN TIS («whoever = if anyone dismiss his

> wifeMH EPI PORNEIAi∑») and thus we have (EAN) MH= «unless», i. e.
«except».
> Both expressions therefore, lay down the same true exception∑"
>
<snip>

> Any comments on Zerwick's suggestion would be most appreciated.

If the MH of Mt 19:9 should be rendered "except" because of the parallel
with Mt 5:32, then what does "except" mean? Does it mean the negation,
that is, if a man divorces his wife because of PORNEIA and remarries,
then he does not commit adultery?

Even if the construction in Mt 19:9 somehow denotes the negation of the
protasis, the negation of the apodosis screams for assertion. It simply
cannot be assumed, as apparently Zerwick does.

Paul Dixon

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