Re: Matthew 19:9, mng of PORNEIA

From: Steven Craig Miller (
Date: Sat Oct 16 1999 - 15:19:45 EDT

<x-flowed>To: Paul Dixon,

<< Would you say, then, that the wife who has committed such
infidelity/adultery could be lawfully divorced? If so, how would that
comport with the law which stipulates she should be stoned to death? >>

Although the evidence is not absolutely clear, it is possible that the
Matthean Jesus was in effect suggesting that if we were under our own law,
such a woman would be dead and thus one could remarry, but since we are not
under Roman law (cf. Jn 18:31), we will allow such a man to remarry, BUT no
one else! Or it could be that the Matthean Jesus no longer felt that
adulterous women should be put to death (cf. Jn 7:53-8:11), and yet that
the man should be able to divorce in such a situation, but no other. (See:
Brown's "The Death of the Messiah" pp. 363-372.)

<< This is why PORNEIA here must be interpreted in light of the preceding
verses and ultimately in light of Deut 24:1ff. It is apparently an
uncleanness, indecency (literally, nakedness of some sort) falling
short of adultery. >>

How would you want to translate Mt 19:9?

-Steven Craig Miller
Alton, Illinois (USA)

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