From: Bob Wilkin (
Date: Mon Oct 18 1999 - 12:09:02 EDT

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<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>This is my first reply to a post, so I'm not sure
how to format it. My remarks are first. That which I am responding to
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>If porneia "cannot be adultery or prostitution,"
then what can it be in the case of a married person whose marriage had been
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>And why did the Lord use porneia in this context in
such a confined meaning? Does not porneia typically include all sexual sin
(e.g.,&nbsp;&nbsp; 1 Cor 5:1; Acts 15:29)? Why not use moicheia here if adultery
were the only possibility. Indeed, if only a special type of adultery, before
marriage is consummated, is meant, why is this not explained when the question
asked is clearly not dealing with divorce before a marriage was
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>Porneia occurs once in Matthew besides the two
exception clauses, in 15:19. There it is preceded by moicheia, clearly
distinguishing the two. What does porneia mean there? Shouldn't we give careful
consideration to its meaning in 15:19 in forming our view of its meaning in 5:32
and 19:9?</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>Bob Wilkin</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>Grace Evangelical School of Theology</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>Subject: Re: porneia<BR>From: <A
href=""></A><BR>Date: Sat, 16 Oct 1999
22:58:18 -0700<BR>X-Message-Number: 3<BR><BR><BR><BR>On Sat, 16 Oct 1999
21:15:58 -0700 "Michael Abernathy"<BR>&lt;<A
writes:<BR><BR>&gt; Paul Dixon said porneia "cannot be adultery or prostitution,
since <BR>&gt; the lawful punishment for such is death by stoning."&nbsp; You
might want <BR>&gt; to reconsider this argument.&nbsp; There is substantial
evidence that <BR>&gt; during the New Testament period divorce, not stoning, was
the usual <BR>&gt; consequence of adultery (See. Markus Bockmuehl's article
"Matthew <BR>&gt; 5.32; 19.9 in the Light of Pre-Rabinnic Halakhah" New
Testament <BR>&gt; Studies vol. 35, 1989, pp. 291-295).&nbsp; Also consider
Joseph's planned <BR>&gt; divorce of Mary upon finding that she was
pregnant.<BR><BR>It may be the case that divorce, not stoning, was the usual
consequence<BR>of adultery during the NT period, but that is
irrelevant.&nbsp;&nbsp; The question<BR>raised<BR>by the Pharisees was, is it
lawful (EI EZESTIN, Mt 19:3)?&nbsp; NT practice <BR>has no bearing upon it.
<BR><BR>Nor does Joseph's plan to put Mary away (APOLUSAI, Mt 1:19) have
any<BR>bearing upon this, even if he was a DIKAIOS ANHR.&nbsp; The fact that
he<BR>was a righteous man is better explained by his desire not to make<BR>a
public spectacle of her (MH QELWN ANTHN DEIGMATISAI), rather<BR>than as a
commentary that his behavior was lawful.<BR><BR>But, even if his behavior is
lawful, we still have the case of a man who<BR>is engaged to be married, and not
yet lawfully married.&nbsp; There has <BR>been no consummation.&nbsp; Is this
not an altogether different ballgame?<BR><BR>Someone asks about Jn 7:53-8:11 and
the woman taken in adultery.<BR>This was another setup.&nbsp; The Pharisees
wanted to trap Jesus.&nbsp; Their<BR>thinking, of course, was that she should be
stoned to death in line<BR>with the OT law.&nbsp;&nbsp; They said, "Now Moses in
the law commanded that<BR>such should be stoned.&nbsp; But what do you say?"
(8:5).<BR><BR>His answer is not to deny the law, but to show their failure to
uphold <BR>the law in the execution of it.&nbsp; "He who is without sin among
you, let<BR>him throw a stone at her first" (v. 7).&nbsp; This comes from Deut
13:9;<BR>17:7.&nbsp; <BR><BR>His forgiveness of the woman, of course, is
exemplary.&nbsp; He, like Joseph,<BR>was merciful, and we ought to be.&nbsp; If
a man's wife commits adultery<BR>today,<BR>he ought to be merciful and willing
to forgive her.&nbsp; But, again, this is<BR>not the<BR>question.&nbsp; The
question is not, should we be merciful.&nbsp; It is: according<BR>to<BR>the OT,
is it lawful for a man to put away his wife because of adultery?<BR><BR>The
answer, according to the law, is that she should be stoned to<BR>death for
adultery.&nbsp;&nbsp; There is no apparent provision for divorce
for<BR>adultery, and if there were there would appear to be
contradiction<BR>within the law.<BR><BR>Paul


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