Matthew 5:32 in Aramaic


Does anyone have an idea of the Hebrew/Aramaic word that Jesus would have used, which Matthew translated as “porneia”?


Aramaic and biblical Hebrew are both semitic languages closely related.

In ancient Hebrew culture, incest referred to illicit marital relations between a man and woman who belong to the same kinship group. Biblical Hebrew has no term for incest, but the Old Testament spells out marital relationsthat were forbidden. In the New Testament, the Greek term porneia [porneiva] refersto unlawful sexual intercourse in general, which included incest.

see, e.g.


Thank you. I had the feeling that a specific word may not be as easily known.

Jesus must have either used an expression or phrase, or Matthew (Inspired by the Holy Spirit) added the exception to defend illicit marriages.

Either way, the evidence from the rest of Scripture, reveals this wasn’t an exception to disolving a valid Christian marriage.

I did like the article you provided. The example of Herod’s unlawful marriage to his brother’s wife is a good thing for proper context, though it doesn’t use the term porneia.

One that does use the term, is St Paul writing to the Corinthians where a man was sleeping with his father’s wife.

I also believe the term used in Acts 15, when the apostles wrote to the churches about refraining from sacrifices to idols, blood, and “porneia” is referring to unlawful marriages (sexual unions). These are the bonds that can and should be broken.


:ok_hand: ____________________________


This also point to the ongoing error of attempting to determine the Divine Will via extrapolation from a Greek (or any other) dictionary. In the past 500 years, the faith has been reverse engineered, whereas one should begin at the beginning and bring it forward. “Christian” and “Divorce” in our age, simply should not exist in the same sentence, but look at what has happened.


I fully concur!

It is ridiculous to hit the “etymology” thing whenever one wants to circumvent God’s Commands.

It stands to reason that Jesus was not offering a way out of the Sacrament of Marriage by both the direct content of the passage and the expressed acclamation that it was not so from the Beginning.

Interestingly though, this same passage which, when expanded, demonstrates the Sacrament of Marriage between one man and one woman, is not seen/observed by those who want to accept multiple partners, multiple marriages, and same sex unions.

Maran atha!



Here is the interesting thing, though. Both incest and adultery have Greek words that could have been used. So why does Matthew choose an ambiguous word, when the direct question of the Pharisees asks what would be a cause for divorce?

Porneia seems to have a variety of meanings, from prohibited sex (i.e. prostitution, Jewish with Gentile) to incestuous sex/marriage.


Hi, RC!

Could you expand on this?

So why would porneia be used?

Maran atha!



I’m trying to discuss everything here:


Hi, RC!

Thanks; I was looking to link this to Father Mitch Pacwa’s rendering… I forget exactly where it was (Threshold of Hope or EWTN Live)–he addressed this term (not sure if it was porneia) used by Christ to denote the only cause for the dissolution of marriage; however, the term’s definition would be more towards the “incest” or “invalid” union.

What I find interesting is how it seems that no one wants to accept that Jesus is not condoning divorce and remarriage–many just simply jump on the “adultery” theme and so they see the means for the dissolution of the Sacrament and they credit Jesus for giving them the “out.”

Maran atha!



Yes. There are a few rare Christian denominations who have understood Jesus, in this matter. But there are so many out there who just roll with these teachers and preachers who think they know Jesus.

I do take this personal, because I know and see people taken away so easily over this. The “exception clause” has become a catch all “out”.

I do blame the pastors. Not that I haven’t messed up, sinned terribly, been unfaithful, etc. But it is a very serious thing to assume the position of a minister of God, and teach what they think is from Jesus.

I realize they would say the same thing back, for someone who preaches a different doctrine.


The thing about teaching and Teaching is that teaching usually leads back to bad fruit (destruction, dissolution, ownership, lovelessness…) while Teaching always leads to good fruit (Love, generosity, respect, protection…); here’s to view the Teaching according to Jesus:

13:4 Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; 13:5 it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence, and is not resentful. 13:6 Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; 13:7 it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes. 13:8 Love does not come to an end. (1 Corinthians)

How can adultery be the key to divorcing one’s spouse?

How can Christ Teach His Followers to sin so that they can join a life of sin.

Rather, look at what is said: 'the one who divorces and remarries another lives in adultery (lives in sin) and the one who marries the person who has divorced another also lives in adultery (lives in sin).

It is good to own up to our failures ("I’m a sinner); it is better to own up to God: Be Holy, for I AM HOLY!

Maran atha!



I agree.

But I also see a severe lack of Catholic pastors helping us understand this Teaching. I can honestly say that no Catholic pastor has helped me learn about it.

It’s no wonder why so many Catholics think the same thing as the majority of Protestants.


What is ironic, is that the Protestants who protest the Catholic faith as placing man’s laws above God’s, are choosing to place Dueteronomy 24, and it’s tolerance for a certificate of divorce, above God’s, where Jesus specifically says it is not from His father. He does refer to Leviticus 18 which clearly says is from the Lord.


Hi, RC!

I fully concur.

The Church remains silent for too long on these serious issues; don’t know if it is a genuine attempt to keep the numbers in or to keep the sinners from running from the Sacrament of Confession… the fact remains, that the Body of Christ is poorly instructed past the catechesis it receives while preparing for First Communion.

The Church also fails in that she is much too lenient… even Father Mitch Pacwa has bought into the “cohabitation (or some other sinful practice) because they do not know better” tenet.

So, even if this were true (“not know better”) why is the Church not becoming more actively involved in Teaching?

Maran atha!



Yeah, it’s that “selective” reasoning from “selective” application of the “we obey the Word (Sacred Scriptures) of God.”

Maran atha!



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