Matthew 5:32???


#1

Something that I have for a long time wondered about is how to interpret Matthew 5:32.

“But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” NAB version

In particular the “(unless the marriage is unlawful)” part of it. Many translations will say except for the cause of fornication. So if the Catholic Church doesn’t allow divorce for any reason then how do I interpret this verse?

God bless,
SMcCarthy


#2

Also can anyone suggest where I can find the different versions of the Bible online and Bible studies?


#3

From what I’ve read, Matthew 5:32 (and Paul as well) makes allowances for “divorce” in cases where the marriage is incestuous (which did happen in the pagan world) or when the marriage is forced. In these cases, the marriage really isn’t a marriage at all, but is a perversion of marriage that ought not be.

Also, it should be noted that the Catholic Church does not always oppose civil divorce. For example, the CCC states that if “civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense” (my emphasis).

Also, the moral guilt for divorce can rest just on one partner. Again from the CCC, “It can happen that one of the spouses is the innocent victim of a divorce decreed by civil law; this spouse therefore has not contravened the moral law. There is a considerable difference between a spouse who has sincerely tried to be faithful to the sacrament of marriage and is unjustly abandoned, and one who through his own grave fault destroys a canonically valid marriage.”

– Mark L. Chance.


#4

Typically fornication means sex out side of marriage. What I find interesting is that even the lalin vulgate uses the word “fornicationis”. I would like to be able see find the original greek text for this verse and perhaps try to find if there is a deeper meaning. Sometimes in our english translations the meaning of a word is missed or not fully expressed.


#5

[quote=SMcCarthy]Also can anyone suggest where I can find the different versions of the Bible online and Bible studies?
[/quote]

biblegateway.com


#6

The only problem with that web site Garg is that it is all Protestant versions.


#7

[quote=SMcCarthy]Typically fornication means sex out side of marriage. What I find interesting is that even the lalin vulgate uses the word “fornicationis”. I would like to be able see find the original greek text for this verse and perhaps try to find if there is a deeper meaning. Sometimes in our english translations the meaning of a word is missed or not fully expressed.
[/quote]

IIRC, the Greek uses porneia (spelling?), the root word for pornography. It is not principally concerned with extramartial sex, but was more widely used to denote perverse sex, such as incestuous or coerced sexual relations.

Adultery is not in and of itself grounds for divorce.

– Mark L. Chance.


#8

That is precisely what I was talking about when I said “Sometimes in our english translations the meaning of a word is missed or not fully expressed.”

Why is that Protestants only take this word as meaning fornication or in a spouse commiting adultery???


#9

[quote=SMcCarthy]Why is that Protestants only take this word as meaning fornication or in a spouse commiting adultery???
[/quote]

Probably for the same reason many Catholics do: It is part of fallen human nature to water down the demands that accompany God’s grace. It is the difference between costly grace and cheap grace, as Bonhoeffer discusses at length in The Cost of Discipleship.

– Mark L. Chance.


#10

According to Scott Hahn, the Patristic view is that the exception clause (whatever porneia is) allows for “divorce” (i.e. civil separation), but not the divorce that attempts to break the matrimonial bond.

In other words, in the situation of porneia, one doesn’t cause his/her spouse to commit adultery if they choose to live separately but not remarry.

Divorce and remarriage, according to Jesus, is not an option.


#11

Is there anywhere else in the bible that the word porneia is used?


#12

[quote=SMcCarthy]The only problem with that web site Garg is that it is all Protestant versions.
[/quote]

Nah. They got a Latin Vulgate, but its’ well hidden (and Daniel, at least, is truncated)

Biblia Sacra Vulgata (VULGATE)

Here’s some more:

New American Bible
nccbuscc.org/nab/bible/index.htm

Blue Letter Bible (KJV with lexicon links)
blueletterbible.org/

Greek New Testament
www-users.cs.york.ac.uk/~fisher/gnt/

Original 1611 KJV (all 80 books) with original preface
ccel.org/bible/kjv/preface/index.htm

Peshitta (Syriac) Bible
peshitta.org/

Vine’s Expository of New Testament Words
menfak.no/bibel/vines.html

Douay-Rheims Bible
scriptours.com/bible/

Latin Vulgate
speedbible.com/vulgate/

Crosswalk Bible Study Tools
biblestudytools.net/

Crosswalk Interlinear KJV-Greek Bible
biblestudytools.net/InterlinearBible/

Strong’s Hebrew-Greek Dictionary
sacrednamebible.com/kjvstrongs/STRINDEX.htm

Greek Old Testament (Septuagint; truncated)
spindleworks.com/septuagint/septuagint.htm

RSV with Apocrypha
etext.virginia.edu/rsv.browse.html

Olivetree Bible Search Engine
olivetree.com/cgi-bin/EnglishBible.htm


#13

The Latin Vulgate has:

Matt 5:32 “ego autem dico vobis quia omnis qui dimiserit uxorem suam excepta fornicationis causa facit eam moechari et qui dimissam duxerit adulterat”

The Douay-Rhiems has:

Matt 5:32 “But I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, excepting the cause of fornication, maketh her to commit adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery.”

According to the Blue Letter Bible. "Dictionary and Word Search for 'porneia (Strong’s 4202) ’ " . Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2002. 18 Sep 2004. http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/words.pl?word=4202&page=1

***porneia (Strong’s 4202) ***occurs 26 times in 25 verses, and means:

1) illicit sexual intercourse

a) adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.

b) sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18

c) sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; Mk. 10:11,12

2) metaph. the worship of idols a) of the defilement of idolatry, as incurred by eating the sacrifices offered to idols

From Thayer’s Lexion for proneia:

http://www.blueletterbible.org/tmp_dir/strongs/1095527362-5319.html


#14

My understanding is the same as that provided by Vincent above.


#15

[quote=SMcCarthy]Also can anyone suggest where I can find the different versions of the Bible online and Bible studies?
[/quote]

bible.com/

I mostly use the New American Bible which is linked to this site.

-Jim


#16

I am borrowing this from a post I made on another thread.

The discussion of the text in Matthew 5:32 concerning divorce because of sexual sin needs some additional perspective. Please note that each of the synoptic gospels were written to different audiences. For example Matthew was written primarily to the Jews while Mark was written to gentiles. As a result, they have some differences. It is noteworthy that Mark’s gospel when quoting Jesus on divorce does not include the exception for divorce due to unchastity or sexual sin. There is a reason that this difference exists.

Scripture is a “high context” set of documents. If we take Mark’s gospel we come to the conclusion that there is no exception and divorce is always forbidden. If we read Matthew we know there is an exception. Matthew included the exception because of Jewish understandings at the time of Jesus. If a women was involved in illicit sexual activity during the bethrothal period or returned to such activity after being married the Jews saw this as a reason for divorce. Jesus recognizes this situation for what it is, and some translations of Matthew’s gospel give recognition to it as well. The following translations should make this clear:

– Young’s Bible
Matthew 5:32 but I say to you, that whoever may put away his wife, save for the matter of whoredom, doth make her to commit adultery; and whoever may marry her who hath been put away doth commit adultery.

– New Jerusalem with Apocrypha
Matthew 5:32 But I say this to you, everyone who divorces his wife, except for the case of an illicit marriage, makes her an adulteress; and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

The Church recognizes the Jewish context of Matthew’s gospel and also sees the importance of no exceptions from Mark’s gospel. A marriage is either valid or invalid depending on the disposition and intent of the marital partners. The Church has been generous in granting annulments when the data supports them, but the Church cannot undo a valid marriage.

Further discussion might also be given to the Pauline privilege and its relationship to the words of Jesus about divorce.

I hope this helps.


#17

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