From: Iver Larsen (email@example.com)
Date: Fri Nov 16 2001 - 02:29:00 EST
Ben Crick said:
> you need to compare Matthew
> 5:31-32. hOS AN APOLUSHi THN GUNAIKA AUTOU, DOTW AUTHh *APOSTASION*.
> EGW DE LEGW hUMIN hOTI PAS hO APOLUWN THN GUNAIKA AUTOU *PAREKTOS LOGOU
> PORNEIAS* POIEI AUTHN MOICEUQHNAI, KAI hOS EAN APOLELUMEMHN
> GAMHSHi MOICATAI.
> The APOSTASION is that mentioned in Deuteronomy 24:1, SeFeR K:RiYThuTh or
> BIBLION APOSTASIOU (verse 3 in LXX). The LOGOU PORNEIAS is the phrase
> `eRWaTh DaBaR in the same verse, ASCHMON PRAGMA in LXX. The Hebrew phrase
> means roughly "the nudity word", a neat euphemism for sexual infidelity,
> and corresponding precisely with LOGOU PORNEIAS.
Thanks Ben, for a helpful response.
Just an additional comment on the difference between Matthew and Mark/Luke
from a linguistic and communications viewpoint.
It is a basic fact that a writer/speaker shapes what he says to what he
thinks is most relevant to his audience. Matthew wrote to a Jewish audience,
whereas Mark and Luke wrote to a general, Gentile audience. I am aware this
question is wider than Biblical Greek, but the general principle of
relevance to the audience is a very important aspect for understanding an
utterance, espoused in the branch of linguistics/pragmatics called Relevance
Ben has interpreted the ASCHMMON PRAGMA as a euphemism for sexual
infidelity. That makes good sense but we can imagine that the interpretation
would have been a hotly debated issue among Jewish Rabbis. The Pharisees are
likely to have had a conservative interpretation and the Sadducees a much
more liberal view. Did it mean only adultery or did it have a wider meaning
as anything indecent?
It seems that the Pharisees tried to test Jesus by forcing him to make a
choice between interpretations. Both Matt 19:3 and Mark 10:2 said that the
Pharisees came to test Jesus with this question. It is clearest in Matthew
KAI PROSHLQON AUTWi FARISAIOI PEIRAZONTES AUTON KAI LEGONTES
EI EXESTIN ANQRWPWi APOLUSAI THN GUNAIKA AUTOU KATA PASAN AITIAN;
Jesus then goes on to compare Deut 24:1-4 with Genesis 2:24, and he takes
the more conservative interpretation. It is a question of speaking into a
Since this Rabbinic debate was not considered particularly relevant to
non-Jews, Mark leaves out the answer to a question that was not asked and
keeps the general teaching about divorce and hardness of heart. This is
carefully done in several places in the passage Mark 10:1-12:
1) He leaves out KATA PASAN AITIAN
2) The quote from Deut 24:1 is way down in Matt 19:7. Every Rabbi would know
that this was the passage in question so Matthew does not need to refer to
it here. Mark clarifies for his readers that this was the passage in
question by moving it up to v. 3. He also greatly reduced the content of
Matt 19:7-9 into a summary of about one third in size. In doing so he leaves
out the bone of contention, i.e. what is the correct interpretation of
`eRWaTh DaBaR, equivalent to MH EPI PORNEIAi.
3) Mark says that the disciples were still wondering about this contentious
issue after they came home, so they asked Jesus again. I don't think that
Mark leaves out the phrase because he disagrees with it. He only chooses to
leave out a detail he thinks is not sufficiently relevant to his audience.
Sometimes, when you answer a question the audience did not ask, you confuse
them more than you help them.
Luke does the same as Mark in his brief statement in Luke 16:18. Paul does
the same for his Corinthian audience when he comments on the same issue in 1
Cor 7:10. (I assume Paul had access to Matthew's Gospel or at least a
possible Hebrew forerunner to it, since he quotes a saying of Jesus.)
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