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Featured "except" for fornication - a Matthew 19:9 revisit

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by PeterDona, Jul 31, 2020.

  1. PeterDona

    PeterDona Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It is my belief, that the whole passage of Matthew 19:3-12 is constructed as a discussion of the much debated passage of Deuteronomy 24:1-4. I believe that the wording “except” in Matthew 19:9 is a mistranslation since the original greek says “mey epi porneia”, which translates as “not over porneia”. In my understanding, there were 2 kinds of validation for divorce in rabbinic teaching, (1) the sexual ones, which required a death penalty on the incontinent spouse, and (2) the non-sexual ones, using Deuteronomy 24:1-4 for their blueprint.

    So when Jesus says “not over fornication” in Matthew 19:9, he is not suddenly introducing an “exception” into the debate, he is simply referring to Deuteronomy 24:1-4 using different language. So in effect he says, whosoever divorces his wife using arguments based on Deuteronomy 24:1-4, and marries another, is committing adultery. This means that the first marriage has NOT been ended by the divorce paper, and the man is still married to his first wife. Also, his cohabiting with the new woman is an act of adultery, an ongoing act for that.

    So to reiterate my main point: “not over fornication” is simply a technical term to distinguish different kinds of divorce. It does not introduce an exception.
     
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  2. ewq1938

    ewq1938 When something is "mind bottling" Staff Member Supervisor Supporter

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    That carries the same meaning. Divorce not valid except "for Adultery" and divorce not valid when "not over pornia" are the same.

    The real difference is that in the OT a man could divorce his wife if "she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some unseemly thing in her" is much broader and is not limited to Adultery/Pornia.
     
  3. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    Well if you want to read some serious research on this topic, read the following from Bill Heth who has devoted several years of his life to the issue...
     

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  4. PeterDona

    PeterDona Well-Known Member Supporter

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    (1) I believe that in Matthew 19:3-12, the question of divorces for adultery is not even touched upon. I believe that Jesus only answers the question about those Deut 24:1-4 divorces, and he basically disowns them. In order to see what Jesus would say to those adultery divorces, you should then go into the account of Mark 10, where the "exception" is simply not there, meaning, the same ruling applies to adultery divorces, which also are not valid.

    (2) as to what Deuteronomy 24:1-4 teaches, there is a difference to how it was popularly taught, and what it was intended to say (in my view). I believe that it is so narrow as to almost never apply to anyone.
    - I take note that it is in Deuteronomy, which means "the 2nd law", since this is a preaching given by Moses at the entrance into Canaan, 40 years after Sinai. So Moses has had time to observe how the Israelites dealt with the law, and he felt the need to deal with a kind of abuse of the new laws, saying "hey my wife whom I love no more is actually prohibited in those lev 18+20 passages, so I can safely divorce her and take another, or if I regret I can take her back at any moment right?"
    - So he made this ruling, and this is why it includes the mysterious phrase "and he has found in her a matter of indecency". This matter of indecency, in hebrew "erwah dabar" (a saying of nakedness).
    Check for yourself the occurences of the word "erwah" (nakedness) and see if you can follow me on the idea that this references, lets say, an incestuous relationship
    Strong's Hebrew: 6172. עֶרְוָה (ervah) -- 54 Occurrences
     
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  5. ewq1938

    ewq1938 When something is "mind bottling" Staff Member Supervisor Supporter

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    Except it is more than "touched upon" in verse 9 where it is explicitly mentioned. How exactly can you say it isn't even "touched upon"?


    Mat 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
     
  6. PeterDona

    PeterDona Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I can see that I disagree with Bill Heth. Much of what he writes is good stuff, but he fails to go into the question about "except for fornication" versus "not over fornication". This is the history of the Erasmian addition. Erasmus, when he put together the greek new testament, found the phrase "not over fornication" to be difficult, and added a small "if", to be "if not over fornication", which then became "except for fornication".

    I have spent much time to ponder, what would that mean, "not over fornication", and have come to the conclusion that it is a legal term describing a classification of divorce grounds. So it is not really an exception, and this is something that Bill Heth misses. Therefore he ends up thinking that Jesus agreed with the Shammai school, that divorce for adultery is ok. But as I have hopefully argued, this is not Jesus position, and also this would not really have shocked his disciples. That was a view they had heard before.
     
  7. PeterDona

    PeterDona Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This is the question of what is meant by "not over fornication", and the Erasmian addition. In the original greek it is not an exception, it is an exclusion, and the point of my post is to point to the meaning of the exlcusion phrase.

    If you understand the "not over fornication" as a legal phrase describing a category of divorce grounds, namely those related to rabbinic interpretation of Deuteronomy 24:1-4, then the whole "exception" is not there at all.
     
  8. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    So if the unbelieving partner files for divorce because she moves in with someone else, where does that leave the believing partner who was not party to this seperation?
     
  9. ewq1938

    ewq1938 When something is "mind bottling" Staff Member Supervisor Supporter

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    It's there in both supplied translations/translation suggestions. Either way Jesus is saying Adultery is a valid grounds for a divorce. It matches what the OT says as well, although more specific than the supplied OT passage. There is no mystery here as to what he was saying.
     
  10. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    Would you like me to ask him about this?
     
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  11. SANTOSO

    SANTOSO Well-Known Member

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    I understand the technicalities mentioned.

    Is it not more fundamental to admit this:

    Why many who have lost sight of good in the significant other?

    Why kind words escape them?

    Don’t all are called to forgive another and love one another.

    God is merciful in His ways. Why is it hard to follow God’s way to be merciful for some people?

    Let us not break what has joined together.

    Is it Moses who speak to some who are hard hearted!

    Is it not many don’t know what they are doing when they begin marriage,and now, also for divorce ?

    Is it Not the enemy that make many feel depressed, oppressed and hurt ?

    Are we not called to bring the message of reconciliation ?

    May those who are hurt be guided to the paths of peace.

    GBU
     
  12. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    These are noble sentiments, however, what happens when a believing partner is deserted for another and files for divorce ??
    Is the believing partner free to remarry?
     
  13. Radagast

    Radagast comes and goes Supporter

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    The μὴ ἐπὶ πορνείᾳ modifies a subjunctive verb here.

    Every translation I've checked translates that as "except for sexual immorality" or similar wording.

    So I'm afraid you're wrong.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
  14. SANTOSO

    SANTOSO Well-Known Member

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    Is it not better to be wronged by others?
    Is it not better to endure sufferings ?
    Is it not hardship the discipline that we need ?
    Are not many who desert our Lord’s love for another ?
    Do not our Lord endure as Lamb of God ?
    Are we not called to be a sheep of God?
    Do not our Lord endure suffering to the point of shedding blood ?

    We are not alone; we bear His yoke and burden. He is with us to strengthen us to live our life for His glory that we do not have to be afraid.

    God able to give us the strength to bear up with those who make our life difficult.
    Our Lord God bears our burden when others trespass us.
    He know when our whole heart suffer.
    Just we are called not to trust our senses but on God’s promise.
    We have faith in His person and power that can work mightily in us.
    We just have to continue to pray and believe that we receive that His blood of our Lord Jesus Christ can make the family whole.

    There is power in His name.
    GBU
     
  15. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It's a waste of time. Divorce was part of the Old Covenant, not the New which replaced it.
     
  16. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    This is the point at which theology does not always serve us well...

    The hub of truth is the Resurrection of Jesus and hence the Father heart of God.

    It is so easy to be to taken up by technical issues of language and principle and Law that the reality of the Love of of Jesus and His Father's Heart gets lost.

    We saw this when He wrote on the sand.

    He so wonderfully led me to a second wife after 10 years of singleness since I was divorced against my will by an unbeliever.

    My new marriage of 35 years and 5 children bares testimony of His great love and faithful fruitfulness.

    What theology demands is not always His Living Word - this is obvious given that what passes for good theology has driven believers to hideous crimes of hatred against brothers and sisters down through history.

    This continues to this day - some demand that I am in adultery and refuse fellowship.

    Forgive them Lord, for they know not what they do...
     
  17. PeterDona

    PeterDona Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yeah, that is more a question about the Bible verse of 1 Cor 7:15, which I can see that William Heth touched upon. I feel that that verse contains a very different set of issues, and maybe we can start another thread on it if you desire?
     
  18. PeterDona

    PeterDona Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I would clearly deny your viewpoint, that Jesus considers adultery a valid ground for divorce.
    (1) in the Matthew account, Jesus only touches upon divorces for non-sexual matters ("not over fornication")
    (2) in the Mark account, all remarriages after divorce, no matter the ground, are adultery i.e. forbidden by force of the 6th commandment.
    So if divorces for sexual matters were not explicitly discussed in Matthew 19, then they are included in the statement in Mark 10.
    I will admit you this: it may take time to see it, when you are used to reading a passage in a specific way. You still seem to think of the phrasing in Matthew 19:9 as an exception. It is an exclusion.

    "And I say to you, whosoever divorces his wife not over fornication and marries another, commits adultery". (my translation)
     
  19. PeterDona

    PeterDona Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yeah it is funny that even the catholic translations do it like that - however the RCC have _never_ had an exception for adultery - does that strike you as odd? I guess the reason is, that the RCC looks more to the church fathers for doctrine, and those never wrote about an exception for adultery.

    I will relate to you a Bible version that does translate the verse as I am talking about, namely the Modern Literal Version (MLV), there is a website here: Modern Literal Version Bible Official Site and a free pdf here: http://www.modernliteralversion.org/bibles/MLV/MLVBL.pdf , where you will have to manually scroll to Matthew 19 to check for yourself.

    19:9 But I am saying to you°, Whoever divorces his wife not over{Greek: upon. Or: upon the basis of}fornication, and should marry another, is committing adultery, and he who married the one who has been divorced is committing adultery.{
     
  20. Der Alte

    Der Alte This is me about 1 yr. old. Supporter

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    …..Greek is now, and has always been, the language of the Eastern Greek Orthodox church. Who, better than the native Greek speaking scholars who translated the “literal” Greek Eastern Orthodox Bible [EOB], know the correct meaning of Greek words.
    Matthew 9-19 I tell you that whoever divorces his wife (except for reason of sexual immorality) and marries another commits adultery; <and he who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”>
    Cleenewerck, L. (Ed.). (2011). The Eastern/Greek Orthodox Bible: New Testament (Mt 19:9). Laurent A. Cleenewerck.
    https://azbyka.ru/otechnik/books/or...tament-(The-Eastern-Greek-Orthodox-Bible).pdf
    The Eastern/Greek Orthodox Bible EOB—New Testament 96 can be viewed or D/L at the above link. For any doubts/questions about the EOB version please read the 200 page preface which documents the extensive Greek scholarship supporting this translation.


     
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