Re: Matthew 19:9, mng of PORNEIA

Date: Sat Oct 16 1999 - 11:24:08 EDT

On Fri, 15 Oct 1999 19:55:51 -0500 Steven Craig Miller
<> writes:
> I would concur with you, that is why I think the primary referent for
> PORNEIA at Mt 19:9 should be seen to be prostitution, and it is
> being used as such by the Matthean Jesus as an abusive metaphor.
> Thus I've suggested the following translation:
> "I say to you: whoever divorces his woman (except for divorcing
> whores) and marries another lives in adultery."

While PORNEIA can mean or include prostitution, its meaning
here can hardly be that.

If the law is consistent, then the uncleanness or indecency of the
offending wife in the Deut 24 backdrop cannot be adultery or
prostitution, since the lawful punishment for such is death by

This is why PORNEIA in Mt 19:9 must be interpreted in light of
the immediately preceding verses which are promted by the
Deut 24 passage. PORNEIA here does not include adultery.
It refers to some other sexual uncleanness, not legally
punishable by death, unless the law is in conflict.

Paul Dixon

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