Re: Matt 19:9

Date: Wed Oct 13 1999 - 12:05:14 EDT

On Wed, 13 Oct 1999 06:35:04 EDT writes:

> Dear Paul,
> This is not a trap. Because we are dealing with a legal text here in
> framework of a Pharisaic debate, does it not deserve a legalistic
> reading? The term Jesus uses for divorce
> in the adulterous sense is APOLUW, lit. "send away." APOLUW,
> however, is only half of the legal term for divorce the Pharisees used
in their
> question. In verse 7, they define Mosaic divorce as GRAFW BIBLION
> APOSTASIOU + APOLUW. Moses, the Pharisees are saying, laid down
> a two-step divorce process. Step one is Filing for the requisite
papers (a
> certificate of divorce)" which then allows you to proceed to step
> two which Is the "sending way" the wife (APOLUW).
> To get out of the trap, all the person has to do is to complete the
> process and give the divorce paperwork.

I must admit, I had never heard this one.

What you are saying is that since since Christ did not include
BIBLION APOSTASIOU in v. 9, then this verse pertains only to
the situation where the man has put his wife away without
giving her a bill of divorcement. The implication is that if he
gives her such, then he does not commit adultery. RIght?

I have two concerns. First, this still falls into the trap of affirming
the negation (negative inference fallacy). The text simply does
not say if a man writes a bill of divorcement and puts his wife
away because of PORNEIA and remarries, then he does not commit
adultery. Furthermore, this cannot be properly inferred.

Second, there is an assumption here of a two-step process
(writing of a bill of divorcement + sending away) which implies
one can exist without the other. It may be that they are referring
to the same thing and were not meant to be taken separately.
If so, then Christ's use of the latter only (APOLUSHi) in v. 9 would
include the idea of the writing of a BIBLION APOSTASIOU.

Paul Dixon


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