Did adultery mandate divorce? A reassessment of Jesus' Divorce Logia
Loader, William R.G.
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This paper argues that Matthew's so-called exception clauses to the prohibition of divorce (5.32; 19.9) make explicit what was already implicit in versions without them: that adultery required divorce. While biblical law required death for adulterers or expected it as a result of the ordeal of the suspected wife, the issue of divorce arose where communities no longer had capital rights and where guilt was not in question. Matthew's nativity story, the norms of Greek and Roman culture, notions of the defiled wife (Deut 24.1-4) and the use of Gen 2.24 to indicate permanent joining give plausibility to the thesis.
- Faculty of Theology