Re: EI EXESTIN (Mt 19:3)

From: Steven Craig Miller (
Date: Sun Oct 17 1999 - 18:52:14 EDT

<x-flowed> To: Jeffrey B. Gibson,

Thank you for your very detailed reply. It seems to me (and correct me if
I'm wrong) that when you refer to the translation "is it lawful" as a
"juridical sense" you seem to be thinking that the question "is it lawful"
is equivalent (or almost equivalent) to "can you quote the scriptures." You
conclude by saying:

<< Accordingly, Mk 10.2 is to be rendered `Is it in your (i.e., Jesus')
view right that a man should divorce his wife?' and the question itself is
to be seen as concerned with unveiling not Jesus' knowledge of the Law but
his own opinion on the legitimacy of divorce. >>

I, on the other hand, would take the translation "is it lawful" to mean
"what is your interpretation of the Torah." In the above quotation, if you
had written "interpretation" rather than "knowledge," then I would suggest
that Jesus' interpretation of the Torah and his own opinion on the
legitimacy of divorce were simply two sides of the same coin. It seems to
me that you have drawn too sharp of a line of demarcation between "Jesus'
knowledge of the Law" and Jesus' mere "opinion." IMO, there is something
between the two, and that would be jurisprudence. What do you think?

-Steven Craig Miller
Alton, Illinois (USA)

 From Luther's Large Catechism: "Why, do you think, is the world now so
full of unfaithfulness, shame, misery, and murder? It is because everyone
wishes to be his or her own master, be free from all authority, care
nothing for anyone, and do whatever he or she pleases. So God punishes one
knave by means of another" (BoC 386.154).

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