You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Bible’ category.

Andrew Fuller

Andrew Fuller was a Particular Baptist minister in England in the 1700s and into the 1800s. His most known work was The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation. In the work he argued against the prevailing notion of day amongst English Particular Baptists that the gospel is only for the elect and should not be openly proclaimed (a.k.a Hyper-Calvinism). Fuller’s work against this belief was the tipping point which saw the Particular Baptists move to be more evangelic in their life and theology (proclaiming the gospel openly).

The other night I was reading a overview of Fuller’s work by Dr. Peter Morden, “Baptist and Evangelical: Andrew Fuller and the Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation.” (Strict Baptist Historical Society, Bulletin 2011, Number 38). In his work Dr. Morden gives two influences which helped Fuller craft and argue his position: The Bible and Jonathan Edwards. I believe seeing these things at work in Fuller can help us as we work to understand the teachings of the bible. (Note: All quotes are drawn from Dr. Morden’s work)

The first is Fuller’s commitment to let the bible be the final authority upon what he believed. Fuller wrote the following as a personal ‘covenant’ to himself,

Let not the sleight of wicked men, who lie in wait to deceive, nor even the pious character of good men (who yet may be under great mistakes), draw me aside. Nor do thou suffer my own fancy to guide me. Lord, thou hast given me a determination to take up no principle at second hand; but to search for everything at the pure fountain of thy word. (Ryland Jr., Andrew Fuller, 1st edn., pp. 203-204)

Fuller committed himself to going back to the bible to let it be the authority as to what he believed. Fuller did know that he was susceptible to error. But it did not keep him from pursuing truth as much as he could.

Along with this commitment was a secondary influence of Jonathan Edwards. Not only did Fuller study the bible but he used the thinking of others help him understand what the bible taught. This was very apparent when it came to the issue of how we can offer the gospel to people who do not have the ability to believe it (non-elect). Fuller turned to the bible but he also turned to the writing of Edwards on the Freedom of the Will. And it was Edwards who helped him unlock the puzzle as Fuller describes (speaking of himself in the third person),

He had read and considered, as well as he was able, President Edwards’s Inquiry into the Freedom of the Will, with some other performances on the difference between natural and moral inability. He found much satisfaction in the distinction; as it appeared to him to carry with it its own evidence – to be clearly and fully contained in the Scriptures .. The more he examined the Scriptures, the more he was convinced that all the inability ascribed to man, with respect to believing, arises from the aversion of his heart. (Fuller’s Works, Vol. 2, p. 330)

While thinking through the scriptures Fuller relied on Edwards to describe what the bible was teachings. And Edwards’ work was no light reading! Fuller took time and energy to read and grasp what Edwards was showing about how God can command men to do things which they do not have the ability to preform while not infringing upon His justice. Fuller considered what Edwards was saying against the teachings of Scripture. But without Edwards he would not have been able to develop what the scriptures were teachings with regards to this particular objection.

Thus, we see the blend of personal study with the aid of what others have studied. God wants us to use our personal minds to think through His word and discover, through the work of the Spirit, what is revealed there. But He also has the very same relationship with every other believer. With the bible as the norming norm we are to use God’s working with others as we think through what the bible is teaching.

Advertisements

Genesis I-II is `primeval history’ or `prehistory’. It is concerned with beginnings: the origin of the world, and also the origin of things that play an important part in the lives of human beings, such as sin, death, marriage, conflict (between husband and wife, within families and communities and between nations), the nature of God and his relationship with human beings, judgment, forgiveness and covenant. The OT believers are confronted with the same world as their counterparts in Babylon and Ugarit. They are also aware of the mythologies of surrounding nations, in which those nations seek to account for the world as they see it, though from a very different perspective; and they present their own explanation of the way things are, an explanation that puts God at the centre. That is not to suggest that this is a human attempt to explain origins. It continues to be divine revelation, but revelation given in a form that would make most sense to those who would receive it rather than necessarily appealing to modern standards of scientific and historical enquiry.

-Robin Routledge, Old Testament Theology: A Thematic Approach (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2005)

This section brings out a lot of helpful information when reading the Old Testament

1. The main aim of texts in the Old Testament, such as Genesis 1-11 and others, is to teach about theology (who God is, who we are, and how this relates to the world around us) not history or science. That is why the texts are not at all interested in explaining facts like where the wife of Cain came from. It does not make-up anything about history and science but it is not concerned with it. If, thus, we are going to let the bible speak we must approach the texts as they were meant to be read as theological. Not as discussion starters about whether or not Adam had a belly button.

2. The texts of the Old Testament were written in a world like ours with real world questions. Work was hard, relationships where rampant with conflict, and death was an unwelcomed guarantee. My, how things have not changed much. The Old Testament is not a collection of abstract historical facts but a revelation of God’s workings in this broken world with broken people. Texts like Genesis 1-11 are giving explanations to the real issues and problems people in that day, and ours as well, face.

3. There is an apologetic purpose in the Old Testament narratives. They were not written in a bubble. Surrounding people had their own explanation of how the world came to be and how a person was suppose to live. The Hebrews needed counters to these ideas and so we have the Old Testament. The text was not just written to inform but to delineate.

4. The Old Testament was written for the people of the day to understand it. When the bible starts talking about the “foundations of the earth” and such it is not making a scientific claim about the tetonic plate structures. God is using the language and understanding of the people He is speaking with to adequately communicate His truth in a comprehensible manner. It was not God’s aim to give secret scientific information to his followers so that they would know the different magma layers of the earth while others didn’t. His aim was that they would know Him! And thus, for humans with small brains and small language capacities He spoke in forms they could understand.

5. All this should make us give praise to our loving and compassionate God who stoops down to bring His word to us. He is not distant but speaks our frail language to our limited minds about the issues which matter to our well being. He wants us to know Him, to know Christ, and to be in relationship with Him. How low the infinite becomes so we could live with Him!

For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life (2 Cor. 2:15-16).

The Word of God is not a neutral thing. Based on one’s response to God’s spoken Word it can give life or it can give one over to death. Thus, coming to church can be a dangerous thing. Because when we come to church we sit under this Word.

We do not come and judge the word. We tend to think of ourselves as the judge of everything. We judge what ice cream we like, what we are going to wear, what TV shows we find acceptable and enjoyable, and many other things. But when we come to the Word of God the judge’s seat is taken from us. And this happens whether we think it does or not. God’s Word is the authority not us. His Word is the based by which all things are measured.

The Word judges us. The Word of God takes the judges seat and gives its pronouncement about our lives. The reality is we do not render judgment about the bible, even when we think we do! Instead we are judged by our response to what the Word says and its pronouncements are true no matter one’s response. If one stood condemned under the laws of our land their response would mean nothing. Their condemnation and punishment is final and real. And we are in the same state. We can either submit to the bible’s pronouncements or we cover our ears, and thus our hearts, and try to ignore it. But doing that leads to dangerous consequences.

We can become hardened by our refusal to heed the pronouncements of God’s Word. This is the frightening part. If we refuse to listen and so take the life offered to us we will become harden. Every time we refuse to heed the Word of the Lord another layer of lies encases our hearts. This builds up silently but firmly. The Word which would offer us life becomes death to us as our heart becomes more and more encased in the lies we tell ourselves to cloud out the Word’s pronouncements.

This should communicate a fearful respect of the Word and give warning. This Word is not a neutral thing to stand back render opinions about. It is a pronouncement to continually heed and enjoy or reject and be condemned by. We should know that we are not spectators when the Word is preached to us. We are having very life and death put before us! Our response to it, by the working of the Holy Spirit, will determine which one we obtain. But we should not think that just sitting and hearing the Word Sunday after Sunday, in and of itself, is a good thing. Indeed, it can be a deadly thing!

If we, however, cease putting up our lies and fall in submission to this Word we find the opposite of death: life! For the Word to us is simple at its heart, “Repent and believe!” Repent of your sin of not obeying the Word of the Lord. And believe in the finished work of Christ for all your payment of sin and restored relationship with God! That is the Word to us! When we heed this Word fear, shame, and guilt are gone and righteousness, power, and hope our ours. A new heart is given and we will find the commands of the Lord sweeter than the honey comb! Oh, that we would respond to God’s Word like this and find true life! May church not prove dangerous but life to you!

BibleOnPulpit

When we come to hear the sermon or take up Holy Scripture to read it, let us not have this foolish presumption of thinking that we shall easily understand by our own wit everything that is said to us and we read; but let us come with reverence waiting entirely on God, well aware that we have need to be taught by his Holy Spirit, and that without that we can in no way understand what is shown us in his Word.

-John Calvin, Commenting on 1 Timothy 3:9. Quoted in Peter Adam, Speaking God’s Words: A Practical Theology of Preaching (Vancouver, BC: Regent College Publishing, 1996), 144.

bible

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim 3:16-17)

Everything in Scripture is profitable. There is a profit or, in other words, a valuable return in everything God has given to us in Scripture. Paul sets out where the profit is when he says, “and profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, and for training in righteousness ” When it comes to the attainment of godliness the Word of God gives a sure and bountiful return to investments in it. Here are two things which make it profitable:

1. Effectiveness. This means that the Word of God is effective. When God set His word out to accomplish His goal it will to accomplish it. Effectiveness is like the choice weapon which penetrates the armor of the enemy. What it sets out to do it will do. Nothing can hold it back.

A large implication from this is that the Word is not dependent on additions from man’s wisdom. When God spoke so that Christ would be known and that His people would have everything needed for faith and godliness it is sufficient in and of its self. It is effective on its own to accomplish What God wants it to do. It is not as if God’s spoken Word is dependent upon the effectiveness of man to come and bring His purposes to pass. No, God’s Word is enough, when preached and read, to fulfill what God meant it to fulfill.

2. Completeness. Everything we need for the attainment of godliness is given to us. When the bible is correctly, lovingly, wisely handled, interpreted, and communicated it yields all that is need for a person to please God with their lives. This means that we have the perfect number and sorts of weapons for the fight. Whereas effectiveness spoke of precision, completeness speaks for vastness. Everything we need for faith and godliness has been given. Every kind of weapon needed for the particular task is at our disposal.

A implication from this is that if it is not in the bible then it is not needed to please God. If we go and try to find a weapon for a battle and the weapon is not there the problem is not in the bible but in the battle. We are not actually engaged in a battle for godliness but a battle of our own making. There is so much joy and freedom found in knowing that God knows what battles we will face and has fully equipped us for them. We do not have to get distracted by battles we are not equipped to fight.

…the historical character of revelation may be found in its eminently practical aspect. The knowledge of God communicated by it is nowhere for a purely intellectual purpose. From beginning to end it is a knowledge intended to enter into the actual life of man, to be worked out by him in all its practical bearings…God has interwoven the supernaturally communicated knowledge of himself with the historic life of the chosen race, so as to secure for it a practical form from the beginning. Revelation is connected throughout with the fate of Israel. Its disclosures arise from the necessities of that nation, and are adjusted to its capacities…God has not revealed himself in a school, but in the covenant; and the covenant as a communion of life is all-comprehensive, embracing all the conditions and interests of those contracting it.

-Geerhardus Vos, “The Idea of Biblical Theology as a Science and as a Theological Discipline”, in Redemptive History and Biblical Interpretation; Shorter Writings of Geerhardus Vos, ed. by R. B. Gaffin Jr. (Phillisburg: P & R, 1980), 10.

Who can tell us whether this aweful and mysterious silence, in which the Infinite One has wrapped himself, portends mercy or wrath? Who can say to the troubled consience whether He, whose laws in nature are inflexible and remorseless, will pardon sin? Who can answer the anxious inquiry whether the dying live on or whether they cease to be? Is there a future state? And if so, what is the nature of that untried condition of being? If there be immoratal happiness, how can I attain it? If there be an everlasting woe, how can it be escaped? Let the reader close his Bible and ask himself seriously what he knows upon there momentous questions apart from its teachings. What soild foundation has he to rest upon in regard to matters which so absolutely transcend all earthly expereince and are so entirely out of the reach of our unassited faculties? A man of facile faith may perhaps delude himself into the belief of what he wished to believe. He may thus take upon trust God’s unlimited mercy, his ready forgiveness of transgressors, and eternal happiness after death. But this is all a dream. He knows nothing, he can know nothing about it, except by direct revelation from heaven.

-John D. Woodbridge, ed., More Than Conquerors (Chicago: Moddy Press, 1992), p. 209.

The New York Times broke a story two days ago about Karen L. King presenting a fragment of a papyrus at the International Congress of Coptic Studies in which the fragment reads of Jesus having a wife (you can see the fragment here and read the presentation here). What should we make of this?

First, even King herself states that this find means nothing about the historic Jesus,

“It does not, however, provide evidence that the historical Jesus was married.” (Karen L. King, “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife…’”A New Coptic Gospel Papyrus)

Anyone who is using this fine to try and prove such is going against the publisher herself, let alone all reasonable evidence.

Second, Gathercole states the potential meaning of this find that it,

offers us a window into debates about sex and marriage in the early church, and the way Jesus could be adapted to play a part in a particular debate. If it is genuine.

As Gathercole points out in the post there were debates going on during that time in the early church about the rightness or wrongness of sex and marriage. What this fragment could be is someone trying to say Jesus was married in order to prove that marriage was good. But at the end of the day everything is just speculation since there is no context.

Third, the “if genuine” part is a big part. Over at the Evangelical Textual Criticism blog the report has been coming out from the ICCS that a lot of scholars are doubting the authenticity of the fragment. Christian Askeland, who is at the ICCS posted several problems he saw with the manuscript. Other scholars have weighted in the comment section. Let me just reproduce what they are saying here:

Christian Askeland:

Consider the following points:
 
First, the 4th century date is speculation.   I say this based on my own familiarity with similar datable texts (Nag Hammadi, Kellis, Melitian Archive) and with the wider issues of dating in general.  King’s argument’s in her article are based upon other speculatively dated manuscripts which additionally are not similar in appearance or format.
 
Second, this is not a literally codex leaf.  Everyone to whom I have spoken is agreed on this.  Gregor Wurst has publically noted that this fragment resembles the erratic nature of magical texts.
 
Third, letter formation is not literary, semi-literary or documentary.  I note only the example of Epsilon which is two strokes (not three) and which does not conjoin.  Contra Bagnall, I have a hard time explaining the script via a dull calamus.  It is not that hard to sharpen a calamus.  This text was painted or markered.
 
Fourth, if an amateur with a basic knowledge of Coptic were to forge a text, it would look like the text under question.  ⲡⲉϫⲉ ⲓ̅ⲥ̅ … “Jesus said …”  Two omissions are bizarre and may reflect a weak knowledge of the language (missing ϫⲉ and zero article).  Most other weird gospel-like texts from the early period have non-Sahidic elements.

Simon Gathercole:

I’m not completely convinced either way, but I am sympathetic to some of Christian’s scepticism. I agree with the point that if one were producing a fake, this is like what you’d make. (1) Jesus said, “My wife” is slap-bang in the middle of page. Also (2) the script is at least fishy. (3) Most of it is paralleled in the Gospel of Thomas, images of which are easily accessible on the web!

Peter M. Head

In addition to the general appearance of the piece and the script and the convenient positioning of the key idea there are also several problems of procedure: a) two external reviewers expressed doubts about the authenticity of the text (King, draft, p. 3) [these are partly fobbed off on the basis of the low resolution of the photos as if that was decisive, p. 4]; b) they suggest investigation by Coptic papyrologists and scientific investigation of the ink (p. 3); c) neither of these things happen!!!; rather d) a Coptic linguist says the language is OK; e) Bagnall apparently says OK; f) no scientific analysis of the ink takes place. 
This procedure is rather curious to me.

Bloomberg is actually picking up the doubts that other scholars have about the fragment.

But what happens if it turns out to be genuine?

Dirk Jongkind points out that nothing in the fragment can really be trusted. The dealer who cut it cut it where he did for a reason,

Is it too far-fetched to suggest that the lamentable loss of the words immediately following the famed words ‘My wife’ might not have been accidental, but perhaps made in order ‘to maximize profit’?

At the end of all this I don’t see this fragment amounting to much if anything of worth. But the vote is still out and we will wait to see what develops.

One of the things you come across in studying the New Testament are claims about pseudonymous authorship of different New Testament letters. The claim is made that someone else wrote a letter and put Paul’s name on it.

The cost of this understanding is pretty plain. If Paul did not write 1 Timothy, for example, then there is no apostolic authority in the letter. Thus, with one quick sweep many books of the New Testament become letters communicating traditions of people and persons in New Testament times. All authority is lost.

Justin Taylor posted this very helpful bit of information when it comes to this issue. Let me quote it in full:

_______________________________

Some critical scholars suggest that the apostle Paul didn’t really write some of the letters that are now ascribed to him. Ray Van Neste, writing the introduction to 1 Timothy in the ESV Study Bible, has a concise explanation of why the pseudonymity solution is untenable:

It is problematic to argue that these works were written under a false name since the early church clearly excluded from the apostolic canon any works they thought to be pseudonymous. While critics point to the common practice of pseudonymous writing in the ancient world, they usually fail to point out that this practice, though common in the culture, was not common in personal letters, and was categorically rejected by the early church (cf. 2 Thess. 2:2; 3:17; also Muratorian Canon 64-67; Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 6.12.3). Tertullian (c. A.D. 160-225) wrote that when it was discovered that a church elder had composed a pseudonymous work, The Acts of Paul (which included a purported Pauline letter, 3 Corinthians), the offending elder “was removed from his office” (On Baptism 17). Accepting as Scripture letters that lie about their origin is also a significant ethical problem. Thus, there is a good basis for affirming the straightforward claim of these letters as authentically written by Paul.

In addition to the external evidence (e.g., whether or not pseudonymity [false naming] or pseudepigraphy [false attributing] were accepted practices in the first centuries), Van Neste also points to the internal evidence in 2 Thessalonians where Paul’s comments are relevant. These verses are worth quoting:

2 Thessalonians 2:2: “[Do] not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed . . . by . . . a letter seeming to be from us. . . .”

2 Thessalonians 3:17: “I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the sign of genuineness in every letter of mine; it is the way I write.”

Given statements like these, it seems logically and morally incompatible to hold to pseudonymity / pseudepigraphy and the ultimate authority of God’s word containing no deception or error.

For more on this, see D.A. Carson’s essay, “Pseudonymity and Pseudepigraphy,” inDictionary of New Testament Background, ed. Craig A. Evans and Stanley E. Porter (Downers Grove: IVP, 2000), 857-64.

__________

Hopefully these facts will become plain. It will be very nice to research the New Testament books without having to waste time arguing that Paul wrote the book that has Paul’s name on it.

We now turn to the final part of this study. We take a look at the New Testament Usages of Porneia and Moicheia. Then we reach the conclusion of this study. (The other parts can be found here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. The whole paper can be found here.)

I know that this is a technical look at a small portion of this debate. There are many more arguments to be said from both sides about other texts which matter. But the final argument is only as strong as its parts. If the pillars are weak then the structure is weak. we have been looking at one of those pillars which is important for this debate. That pillar is the Permanence claim that Matthew has a special usage of Porneia and Moicheia which translates into Matthew not giving an exception to divorce. Permanence holders claim that there are signals which suggest that Matthew has that special usage. But we are putting those claims to the test by seeing if those signals correspond to what we see else where in the relevant literature.

Hopefully this has proven useful now or maybe in the future. I have played around with different ways to communicate what I write in larger papers.  Would you, the reader, find it more helpful if I gave summarizes of my finds with a link to the main paper? Or something else? Whatever way is most profitable to you is my aim so your suggestion is welcomed.

_________________________________

New Testament Usages. Now we turn to the New Testament. What about other authors? Did the way they use the words tell us anything?

When considering the linguistic rules the Permanence holders assert there is nothing that corresponds to it exactly. There is no example of the words happening in close proximity to one another outside the debated passages in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9. There is only one place where Moicheia comes in a list with Porneia: Mark 7:22 which is a parallel passage with Matthew 15:19.

The claim is made, however, that the New Testament writers follow the a SM pattern in the use of Porneia and Moicheia as found in Matthew, “even outside the Gospels, pornos (fornicator, one who engages in porneia) is plainly distinguished from moichos (adulterer, one who engages in Moicheia) as two different categories of sinners (e.g., 1 Cor. 6:9; Heb. 13:4)”[1] Now we can put this claim to the test.

Porneia is used 25 times in the New Testament. But the question we are exploring is if the word encapsulates adultery in any of its usages? Or does it take a SM usage in every use?

Now for the SM understanding to make sense we have to see it used in every or most cases in the New Testament in an SM way to establish the claim.  This is because language is consistent in its usage. If an author wants to communicate his ideas (Matthew in our case) he will use the language how everybody else is using it. And so when coming to the New Testament are there usages of Porneia consistently pointing to a SM understanding, namely that it never includes adultery?

And since it is a claim about an absolute usage of a word (Matthew has to do it this way) the only thing that is needed to make the claim dubious is to find some examples where the claimed pattern does not work.

Here are several usages of Porneia where the SM understanding does not seem to work,

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality” (1 Thess. 4:3).

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality (πορνεία), impurity, sensuality,” (Gal 5:19)

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality (πορνείαν), impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry (Col3:5).

But sexual immorality (Πορνεία) and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral (πόρνος) or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God” (Eph 5:3-5).

According to an SM understanding Paul does not have adultery encapsulated in any of these commands or lists. That seems like a very hard claim to understand. To see Porneia encapsulating adultery makes a lot more sense in reading these lists and commands.

A very interesting point can be made about the Ephesians 5 passage. There is a parallel saying from 1 Corinthians where Paul says close to the same thing,

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdomof God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral (πόρνοι), nor idolaters, nor adulterers (μοιχοὶ), nor men who practice homosexuality,nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit thekingdom ofGod (1 Cor. 6:9-10).

Paul uses a list of things which characterize those who will not inherit thekingdomofGod. If there is the SM between the sexually immoral person and the adultery why is there no mention of adultery in the Ephesians passage? Is Paul only talking to those who are not in any position to be tempted by adultery or see what adultery is? That does not seem to make sense. However, if Porneia and its different forms and relations can encapsulate adultery then there is no problem.

So what can be gathered from all this? A SM understanding of Porneia is very difficult to read in some usages of Paul and there is no evidence that would support the two linguistic patterns from Permanence holders. From an evidential stand point it seems much better to understand the usage of the word as it has appeared in the Old Testament, Apocrypha, and Apostolic writings.

Conclusion

This has not been a study of every usage of Porneia or Moicheia in the relevant literature. We are, instead, studying the claims made about usages of Porneia and Moicheia in Matthew. The claims being that (1) since Matthew uses the terms in close proximity whenever he uses Porneia and (2) those words appear in the same list of vices in 15:19 that they have to take on “Separate Meanings.” We have taken these claims to the relevant literature to test them. Does the close proximal usage mean that Porneia cannot be used to refer to an adulterous act? Does the use of the word within lists mean that they have to take on SM in every other usage? Does an SM use of the words stand up with the other usages within the New Testament?

We have seen very clear usages of Porneia in the LXX, Apocrypha, and Apostolic Fathers where the first claim is proved clearly false. Porneia can be used in the same verse at Moicheia and refer to an adulterous act. To the second point we have seen a few examples which cast high doubt upon this claim in two ways: first, with authors being able to use the terms both distinctly and synonymously within the same work then second, an author using the terms distinctly in a list and then synonymously earlier in his work. Thus, the claim that Matthew “has to” follow a SM is disproven. There are examples which prove that Matthew does not have to.

What does this mean for the discussion?

We do have to say that this does not confirm the traditional evangelical interpretation of Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 as giving exceptions. It does give support to the idea that the usages of Porneia and Moicheia in the traditional evangelical interpretation are consistent with what we find elsewhere. But it does not give the final verdict. There might be a possibility that Matthew has a special usage of the words that do not correspond to what we find anywhere else. This would, however, require substantial evidence to validate from within the text itself.

It does, though, remove the only linguistic argument from the Permanence holders for their interpretation of Matthew. The two patterns presented as evidence for the special reading do not hold up under scrutiny. With the evidence presented here there is no linguistic reason to take the Permanence position on Matthew. Nothing with Matthew’s usages of Porneia, Moicheia and Moicheuō should suggest that he has to have a SM usage in mind. This means the argument that Matthew has to be speaking to the betrothal period in 5:32 and 19:9 in the exceptions has no support from the usages of Porneia and Moicheia.


[1] Wingerd , Divorce & Remarriage, 43.

The Bible

The Gospel

My Church

My Schools

Follow Me

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 976 other followers

Support Biblical Training.Org