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Just Some Dude
02-08-2014, 03:51 PM
I've been lead to believe that one is immorality between two unmarried, the other is cheating on one's spouse. Also, wondering what specific form of sexual immorality is used when Jesus is preaching the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5), as I've heard it argued from a close friend that Jesus isn't giving an exception here to divorce on grounds of immorality, but rather, just giving grounds to break off an engagement based off of infidelity (referencing Jewish custom at the time of engagement being just as binding as marriage).

Thanks for the help in advance.

KingsGambit
02-08-2014, 04:45 PM
There is very little evidence that Jesus's statement only applied to breaking off an engagement; very few scholars uphold the view.

The word translated fornication is porneia and the word pops up throughout the New Testament in several different contexts. As scholar David Instone-Brewer writes:


It is used for visiting a prostitute (1 Cor.6.13-15, 18), incest (1 Cor.5.1), general sexual sin by a married person (1 Cor.7.2), use of cultic prostitutes (Rev.2.20-21) and the sin of the ‘whore of Babylon’ (Rev.17.2, 4; 18.3; 19.2) - though the most common meaning is ‘sexual sin in general’ (eg Acts 15.20; Eph.5.3; Col.3.5).

Source: http://divorceremarriage.blogspot.com/2007/10/john-piper-corrects-misconceptions.html

JohnnyP
02-08-2014, 05:22 PM
I would also like to add my question here repeated from the other thread, to see what John Reece or others say:


I wonder if adultery to God, such as becoming an idol-worshiper, could be extended here. Or if it is strictly limited to physical sex. Since the term seems to also be used for the Harlot of Babylon in relation to unfaithfulness to God:



Revelation 17:2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

John Reece
02-08-2014, 07:06 PM
I would also like to add my question here repeated from the other thread, to see what John Reece or others say:


I wonder if adultery to God, such as becoming an idol-worshiper, could be extended here. Or if it is strictly limited to physical sex. Since the term seems to also be used for the Harlot of Babylon in relation to unfaithfulness to God:


Revelation 17:2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

The Greek words in Revelation 17:2 are πορνεύω (verb) and πορνεία (noun), which can be used "in the sense ‘practice image-worship/idolatry’."

Here is the entry in BDAG:

πορνεύω

fut. πορνεύσω; 1 aor. ἐπόρνευσα; pf. 3 pl. πεπορνεύκασιν Ezk 16:34 (Hdt. et al.; LXX, En; TestAbr A 10 p. 88, 8 [Stone p. 24]; Test12Patr; Ar. 15, 4; Just.; Tat. 34, 3) of a variety of ‘unsanctioned sexual intercourse’.
1. to engage in sexual immorality, engage in illicit sex, to fornicate, to whore, in Gk. lit. freq. in ref. to prostitution (s. L-S-J-M s.v.). In a gener. sense 1 Cor 10:8ab. Distinguished fr. μοιχεύειν ‘commit adultery’ (Did., Job 133, 22ff [quote fr. Hos 4:14], 25ff); D 2:2; B 19:4; Mk 10:19 v.l. Regarded as a sin against one’s own body 1 Cor 6:18. W. φαγεῖν εἰδωλόθυτα ‘eat meat offered to idols’ Rv 2:14, 20.
2. engagement in polytheistic cult, fornication, in imagery (Phalaris, Ep. 121, 1), of polytheistic cult in the sense ‘practice image-worship/idolatry’ (πορνεία 3 and cp. Hos 9:1; Jer 3:6; Ezk 23:19; 1 Ch 5:25; Ps 72:27; En 8:2) Rv 17:2; 18:3, 9.) —DELG s.v. πέρνημι. M-M. TW.

JohnnyP
02-08-2014, 07:30 PM
Thank you Mr. Reece. I truly appreciate your knowledge and desire to help us since me being ignorant of original languages -- though I have made many false starts in trying to learn them -- I am sure I lumber and bluster around with many of my beliefs based only on the English translations. I just wanted to say you are a blessing to those who want to learn, and also to me who sometimes just wants to go with my own agenda even if it's wrong. :smile:

John Reece
02-09-2014, 04:42 AM
Thank you Mr. Reece. I truly appreciate your knowledge and desire to help us since me being ignorant of original languages -- though I have made many false starts in trying to learn them -- I am sure I lumber and bluster around with many of my beliefs based only on the English translations. I just wanted to say you are a blessing to those who want to learn, and also to me who sometimes just wants to go with my own agenda even if it's wrong. :smile:

I very much appreciate your comment, JohnnyP; thank you!

Geert van den Bos
02-09-2014, 05:13 AM
[size=4][font=times new roman]

The Greek words in Revelation 17:2 are πορνεύω (verb) and πορνεία (noun), which can be used "in the sense ‘practice image-worship/idolatry’."




Do you think Paul meant the same ( πορνεία as idol-worship) in Romans 1:22-23, Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into the likeness of an image of a corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
?

Just Some Dude
02-09-2014, 08:28 AM
Thanks you for the information. I'll see if I can't inform my friend of this.

Just Some Dude
02-10-2014, 07:12 PM
Another question, if permissible. Again, thank you ahead of time for your insight on the languages:

My same friend argues that the context of 1 Corinthians 7:15-16 doesn't give grounds for divorce after abandonment. Specifically, he says that, because Paul still uses the term "husband" and "wife" in verse 16, he still acknowledges the abandoned as married, and simply wants them to live peacefully but not remarry. If not insight into the languages, any other insight into this verse? I'm also digging a little deeper into the link that KingsGambit has graciously provided. Again, thank ya'll for ya'lls help.

John Reece
02-11-2014, 06:38 AM
My same friend argues that the context of 1 Corinthians 7:15-16 doesn't give grounds for divorce after abandonment. Specifically, he says that, because Paul still uses the term "husband" and "wife" in verse 16, he still acknowledges the abandoned as married, and simply wants them to live peacefully but not remarry.

From The First Epistle to the Corinthians (NICNT: Eerdmans, 1987), by Gordon Fee (via Accordance):


15 In keeping with the pattern of the entire argument (vv. 5, 9, 11a, 21, 28, 36, 39), Paul once more qualifies the ideal, “stay as you are,” with an exception. The believer may not pursue divorce, “but if” the unbeliever separates, let him or her do so. That is, if the pagan spouse seeks the dissolution of the marriage, then allow the divorce. Except for some differences regarding the nuance of the verb, all are agreed on that much.

The differences begin with the next sentence, in which Paul offers a further explanation of the first one: “The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances.” That is, they are not bound to the ruling given above about maintaining the marriage. They have wanted to dissolve such marriages. Paul has said No. But now he allows that if the pagan wants out, then one is not enslaved.

This statement is the source of the notorious “Pauline privilege,” in which the text is understood to mean that the believer is free to remarry. But despite a long tradition that has so interpreted it, several converging data indicate that Paul is essentially repeating his first sentence: that the believer is not bound to maintain the marriage if the pagan partner opts out. (1) Remarriage is not an issue at all; indeed, it seems to be quite the opposite. In a context in which people are arguing for the right to dissolve marriage, Paul would scarcely be addressing the issue of remarriage, and certainly not in such circuitous fashion. (2) The verb “to be under bondage” is not his ordinary one for the “binding” character of marriage (cf. 7:39; Rom. 7:2); that means that Paul does not intend to say one is not “bound to the marriage.” One is simply not under bondage to maintain the marriage, which the other person wishes to dissolve. From Paul’s point of view, one is bound to a marriage until death breaks the bond (7:39). (3) In v. 11, even though there is a similar exception regarding divorce, he explicitly disallows remarriage. (4) Such a concern misses the theme of the chapter, which has to do with not seeking a change in status. The exceptions in each case do not allow a change in partners but in status, either from single to married or vice versa, but not both! All of this is not to say that Paul disallows remarriage in such cases; he simply does not speak to it at all. Thus this text offers little help for this very real contemporary concern.

The third sentence in this verse (lit. “But in peace God has called us”) is also perplexing. The question is whether the “call to peace” refers to the dissolution of the marriage (v. 15ab) or to its preservation (vv. 12–14). To put that in another way, does all of vv. 15–16 deal with the exception (the dissolution of the mixed marriage), or does only v. 15ab do so, while vv. 15c and 16 return to the question of maintaining the marriage?

It is common to take the clause as a further explanation of the two preceding sentences, the implication being that one should not “contest the divorce” because God has called us “to live” in peace. That means either that living in peace “would not be possible if the unbelieving partner were forced to live with the believer,” or that one should let the separation occur in as peaceful a way as possible, not creating unnecessary disturbances. It should be noted that for those who take the “pessimistic” stance toward v. 16, this is the necessary meaning of the sentence, although not everyone who takes this view subscribes to the pessimistic view of v. 16.

The difficulty with this interpretation is twofold: (1) It tends to run roughshod over the normal sense of Paul’s conjunctions; and (2) it misses the Jewish background to Paul’s use of the “call to peace.” The first problem has to do with the de of this sentence, which ordinarily has either adversative or consecutive force. But neither of these makes any sense for this point of view. Thus many leave it untranslated; but that will not do since this view in fact requires a causal nuance to this sentence. That is, without the “call to live in peace” being the cause of the admonition not to contest the separation, one can make no sense of it at all. The problem, of course, is that de simply will not sustain that nuance. More likely, then, the structure of the paragraph is thus:


The ideal:.......... Do not divorce a pagan spouse (vv. 12–13)
The reason:.......... .....gar (“for”)
.........................* They are sanctified in you (14)
The exception:.......... de (“but”)
.........................* If they choose to leave, let it be so (15ab)
The reason (again):...de (“rather” than the exception)
.........................* God has called us to peace (15c)
................................ gar (“for”)
.........................* Perhaps you will yet save your spouse (16)

Not only does this give due force to all of the conjunctive words but it also fits the context better, which has to do with urging them not to dissolve mixed marriages, not with making peace if they are dissolved.

But what then does it mean for Paul to protest, “Rather (than dissolving the marriage) God has called us to peace”? Very likely this reflects Paul’s Jewish heritage, which “for the sake of peace” did certain deeds toward the less favored, or even toward the Gentiles, with a view toward winning the favor of Judaism with them. This accords with his concern for Christians’ living peaceably with all people (Rom. 12:18). Thus, despite the exception Paul prefers that they follow “God’s call into the ways of peace.” That means that they should “stay as they are” (in this case, maintain the marriage), and view that on the one hand as God’s calling (v. 17), and on the other hand as an opportunity for the salvation of the spouse (v. 16).

16 The two questions that conclude the argument are tied to v. 15c with a “for,” thus offering a final reason albeit hypothetical for maintaining a mixed marriage. Much discussion has centered on whether by these questions Paul expected a positive or negative answer. That is, is he offering them the hope that if they maintain the marriage their partners might be saved, or is he telling them not to fight the separation because they have no assurance that they will ever be saved? In fact the questions are ambiguous and do not lend themselves to either a positive or a negative answer. Probably they are purposely left indefinite, for Paul makes no promises that maintaining the marriage will turn out in their favor. Nonetheless, since the questions give reasons for maintaining the marriage as their response to God’s call into the ways of peace, almost certainly they go with vv. 12–14, not with v. 15ab. To that degree they offer yet a further explanation of the pagan mate’s “sanctification,” and a further reason for maintaining the marriage. They cannot be sure, but perhaps they will be responsible for saving their spouses.

In speaking of “saving one’s spouse,” Paul is referring to their “evangelizing” or “winning” them, whether by word or deed (cf. 1 Pet. 3:1). This use of “save” is not unique; in 9:22 (cf. Rom. 11:14) Paul speaks of becoming all things to all people so that by every possible means he might “save” some, where “save” is used as a synonym for “winning” people for the gospel. Yet in a similar context in 10:33 he puts the same verb in the passive, “in order that they might be saved.” This, of course, is what it means to “save” them in the other sense.

This passage has regularly been consulted in the church for an ongoing concern divorce and remarriage. But this issue is so complex, and the individual cases so diverse, that this text with its singular focus on maintaining mixed marriages (but allowing them to dissolve if the pagan initiates the action) does not offer much help. It certainly would be an injustice to make it apodictic law (“Thou shalt or shalt not”); on the other hand, one should exercise due caution in using it casuistically (case by case).

Our situation is usually made more complex because our concerns are often the precise opposite of theirs, which caused this to be written in the first place. They wanted to dissolve marriages; we want to know whether remarriage is permitted. Two things, therefore, need to be pointed out. First, Paul does not speak to the question of remarriage. If that is one’s concern, then it must be wrestled with in the much larger context of Scripture; and the answer is not clear-cut. In many cases such marriages are clearly redemptive. Even if it is not the ideal situation, God still redeems our fallenness, whether it be individuals or broken marriages. On the other hand, there is nothing redemptive in remarriage that is simply an excuse for legalized lust.

Second, the real point of the passage needs to be given a fair hearing. When a married man or woman hears and responds to the call of the gospel but the married partner does not at least at the same time let the new believer consider the spouse sanctified, that is, also set apart for the gospel. And then let him or her so live that in due time they might “save” their spouses. That’s the Good News that this passage sets before us.

Obsidian
02-23-2014, 11:13 AM
The whole purpose of giving a bill of divorce was to allow the woman to remarry without getting in trouble.

Deuteronomy 20:1-2
When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife.

Thus, it is ludicrous to say that a Christian wife should let a pagan abandon her unilaterally, and then be prevented from marrying another (Christian) man who might be able to care for her.