Matthew 19:9

From: Michael Abernathy (
Date: Thu Oct 14 1999 - 23:56:19 EDT

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<DIV><FONT size=2>While I am interested in the discussion&nbsp; of how to
interpret the Matthean passage on divorce, I&nbsp; feel that the recent
discussions have overlooked some possibilities.&nbsp; Most of us are acquainted
with the two most common interpretations:</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>1. Jesus forbids remarriage after divorce for any
<DIV><FONT size=2>2. Jesus forbids remarriage after divorce for any reason
except <EM>porneia</EM> with <EM>porneia</EM> being equated either with adultery
or some form of marriage that would be illegal according to Jewish
<DIV><FONT size=2>A less common interpretation was suggested by Tom Bivins in a
recent posting.&nbsp; <BR></FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>3. Jesus was not forbidding divorce and remarriage but the
abominable practise of sending away a wife without benefit of divorce.
<DIV><FONT size=2>(While this interpretation has some problems, it does
harmonize with the Aramaic translation of Mt. 5:32 &amp; Lk. 16:18 where the
woman is not divorced but merely sent away.&nbsp; [For those who don't know
Aramaic, see Lamsa's translation of the Four Gospels.]&nbsp;It would also
harmonize with the Caesarean and Western variants of Mark 10:12 which
describes&nbsp;the woman as one who has left but not divorced her
<DIV><FONT size=2>4. Jesus was forbidding divorce for the purpose of remarriage.
<DIV><FONT size=2>Brad Young argues that the force of the Hebrew would have
linked the divorce and remarriage together in one continuous motion thus,
translating, "Everyone who divorces his wife [in order] to marry another commits
adultery." ( See <EM>Jesus the Jewish Theologian</EM> p. 115).</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>5. Jesus was that divorce and remarriage were not a part of
God's ideal plan for mankind.&nbsp; Therefore, all divorce and remarriage falls
short of perfection, but God because of His love and grace recognized&nbsp;man's
fallen condition and allowed for both divorce and remarriage.&nbsp; Thus,
divorce and remarriage are allowed but they are not encouraged. (See David
Daube, "Concessions to Sinfulness in Jewish Law," <EM>The Journal of Jewish
Studies</EM> vol 10, no 1-2 (1959).</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>Let me know if I have missed any major interpetations.&nbsp;
Personally, I lean to a combination of 4 and 5. 4 fits the context of the Jewish
leaders testing Jesus in the same area where John the Baptist was arrested for
denouncing the illegal divorce and marriage of Herodias.&nbsp; </FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>Michael Abernathy</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>Lock Haven, PA</FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>


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