Comments/Questions from Readers

Question #5: Your essay on Biblical Polygyny was phenomenally excellent. Up until reading this essay, I wasn't fully convinced that christian polygyny was good in God's eyes. Each side seemed to have good arguments. I've been thoroughly studying this topic for a few weeks and was hung up on NT passages such as Mat 19:9. But you laid out the OT so well, keeping it in historical context. And once Mat 19:9 came up, it fit perfectly. At times I was convinced I had you but upon looking up the scripture or Strong's concordance, I only confirmed your findings.

My question was whether Jesus defined adultery as divorce + remarriage. Or is it misconstrued that way when its really saying that divorce + remarriage = adultery? So there is no definition of adultery here, but a definition of divorce and remarriage?

Correct. Jesus wasn't "defining" adultery, but rather he was clarifying how a disallowed (unlawful) divorce and remarriage would cause the parties to commit adultery. He was applying the sin of adultery to the common act of marry, divorce, remarry, because the very act of unlawful divorce is breaking wedlock.

Unless the woman had committed "zanah" (whoring), then simply divorcing her under any grounds would cause her to commit adultery. And if the man who unlawfully divorces her then remarries, he too commits adultery. The verses directly before and after Matthew 5:31-32 and Matthew 19:9 clearly show that the question being asked and the answer being given by Jesus was related to an unjustified divorce in the eyes of God, not a comprehensive definition of adultery. For that, we must again look to the Old Testament.




"...In essentials we maintain unity, in opinions liberty, and in all things love..."

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