Matthew 5-31-32


#1

This seems to condone divorce (although I know the Church doesn’t allow divorce)

***Divorce ***

31"It has been said, 'Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.'f] 32But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.

Now, this is the translation in the NIV, but it is my understanding that the greek word here refer’s to incestual sexual relations. Am I wrong? How does the Church handle this verse that seemingly condones Divorce?


#2

[quote=Superstar905]This seems to condone divorce.

***Divorce ***

31"It has been said, 'Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.'f] 32But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.

Now, this is the translation in the NIV, but it is my understanding that the greek word here refer’s to incestual sexual relations. Am I wrong? How does the Church handle this verse that seemingly condones Divorce?
[/quote]

The Greek word, I believe, is best translated as either Unchastity or Unlawful Marriage. When we flip back to Leviticus, we can see what unlawful marriages are. That is why some people would argue that this is referring to incestual sexual relationships. Anyway, the Church agrees. The Church universally condemns divorce, for “what God has united, man must not divide” (Mk 10:9). What the Church states is that in these “marriages” a valid union never took place. It says that the “two never became one”. In order for this to occur, the couple must come to the marriage, “totally, freely, faithfully, and fruitfully”. In absence of any of these conditions, a valid union never occurred, thus the two fleshes never became one.


#3

[quote=Redbandito]The Greek word, I believe, is best translated as either Unchastity or Unlawful Marriage. When we flip back to Leviticus, we can see what unlawful marriages are. That is why some people would argue that this is referring to incestual sexual relationships. Anyway, the Church agrees. The Church universally condemns divorce, for “what God has united, man must not divide” (Mk 10:9). What the Church states is that in these “marriages” a valid union never took place. It says that the “two never became one”. In order for this to occur, the couple must come to the marriage, “totally, freely, faithfully, and fruitfully”. In absence of any of these conditions, a valid union never occurred, thus the two fleshes never became one.
[/quote]

Hiii :slight_smile:

You seem to be referring to a situation where these relations take place before the marriage??? This is my understanding because you refer to a valid union never occurring in the first place.

The scripture is saying, in my understanding, that if you were to cheat on your wife/husband, then it is grounds for divorce. Just looking at the passage, that’s what it suggests to me. Now obviously I don’t have a complete understanding of it.


#4

[quote=Superstar905]Hiii :slight_smile:

You seem to be referring to a situation where these relations take place before the marriage???

The scripture is saying, in my understanding, that if you were to cheat on your wife/husband, then it is grounds for divorce. Just looking at the passage, that’s what it suggests to me. Now obviously I don’t have a complete understanding of it.
[/quote]

No, I don’t think it is saying that at all. This translation, “31"It has been said, 'Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.'f] 32But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery” (NIV) would seem to suggest what you are saying. However, this is not plausible for several reasons. First off, if adultery were all it would take for a divorce, then everyone would be free to obtain one. Jesus stated, "27"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.'e] 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. "

Secondly, this would mean, that if I wanted a divorce, all I would have to do would be to commit adultery. How silly is that?

Third, Jesus stated elsewhere, “What God has united, Man must not divide” (Mk 10:9). I think that verse speaks for itself.

Fourth, the language translation is the problem here. Many translations make this translation, “marital unfaithfulness” or “adultery”. However, as I stated in the first post, this is better translated as unchastity or illicit marriage. I am trying to remember the part in Scripture where it uses the same Greek word as is used in Matt 5 and 19 and at the same time uses the word for adultery. I believe it was in Matt 15:19, where it states, “19For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” The NIV version sidesteps it, but when you take a look at the Greek, their translations become inconsistent. Thus, it would be condemning the same act twice in the same verse, which would be more than just redundant. This is why I believe the best translation from the Greek to be unchastity or illicit marriage.

Finally, my original response was not referring to before the marriage. I am referring to the marital vows where two people covenant themselves together through God. If a person does not come freely, totally, faithfully and fruitfully to the altar and swear an oath before God than no valid union can occur.


#5

The word sometimes translated as “adultery” in Matthew 19:9 is the Greek word porneia; a more accurate translation is “unchastity” or “illicit marriage” (see the site I’ve recommended below). The Lord here is absolutely not giving an exception to His forbidding divorce. He is speaking here of those who have engaged in an already illicit (both morally and legally) “marriage.” Therefore, for such couples to “divorce” is allowed since they are not actually married in the first place.

This footnote from The Navarre Bible: Matthew is of help:

[The RSVCE carries a note which reads: ‘unchasity’: The Law of Moses (Deut. 24:1), which was laid down in ancient times, had tolerated divorce due to the hardness of heart of the early Hebrews. But it had not specific clearly the grounds on which divorce might be obtained. The rabbis worked out different sorts of interpretations, depending on which school they belonged to – solutions ranging from very lax to quite rigid. In all cases, only husband could repudiate wife, not vice-versa. A woman’s inferior position was eased somewhat by the device of a written document whereby the husband freed the repudiated woman to marry again if she wished. Against these rabbinical interpretations, Jesus re-established the original indissolubility of marriage as God instituted it (Gen. 1:27; 2:24; cf. Mt. 19:4-6; Eph. 1:31; 1 Cor. 7:10)… . .The Greek word used here [*porneia

] appears to refer to marriages which were not legally marriages, because they were either within the forbidden degrees of consanguinity (Lev. 18:6-16) or contracted with a Gentile. The phrase ‘except on the ground of unchastity’ does not occur in the parallel passage in Luke 16:18. See also Matthew 19:9 (Mark 10:11-12), and especially 1 Corinthians 7:10-11, which shows that the prohibition is unconditional.] The phrase, ‘except on the ground of unchastity’, should not be taken as indicating an exception to the principle of the absolutely indissolubility of marriage which Jesus has just re-established. It is almost certain that the phrase refers to unions accepted as marriage among some pagan, but prohibited as incestuous in the Mosaic Law and in rabbinical tradition. The reference, then is to unions radically invalid because of some impediment. When persons in this position were converted to the true faith, it was not that their union could be dissolved; it was declared that they had never in fact been joined in true marriage. Therefore, this phrase does not go against the indissolubility of marriage, but rather affirms it.

On the basis of Jesus’ teaching and guided by the Holy Spirit, the Church has ruled that in the specially grave case of adultery it is permissible for a married couple to separate, but without the marriage bond being dissolved; therefore, neither party may contract a new marriage.” The Navarre Bible: St. Matthew, Four Courts Press, 1988.


#6

The Church does allow civil divorce. You just remain married in the eyes of the Church and are not allowed to have relations with another person.


#7

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