Our Lord’s Teaching On Marriage And Divorce -- By: Randolph H. McKim

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 067:265 (Jan 1910)
Article: Our Lord’s Teaching On Marriage And Divorce
Author: Randolph H. McKim

Our Lord’s Teaching On Marriage And Divorce

Reverend Randolph H. McKim

The Essay of Professor Tyson on Our Lord’s Teaching as to the Indissolubility of Marriage1 will command the respectful and thoughtful attention of students of the New Testament both on account of the importance of the subject and the position of the author as a representative of the scholarship of the University of the South.

In venturing to set down my own impression of the validity of the argument here presented, I would first express gratification that Professor Tyson has frankly conceded the fact that the words found in St. Matt. 5:32 and 19:9, “saving for the cause of fornication,” are an integral part of the text. “There is no uncial, cursive, or Latin version which omits the exceptive words in 5:32 or in 19:9.” Thus “the fact remains that, by the indubitable witness of antiquity, the right of a man to divorce his wife for a single cause was definitely recorded by the compilers of the First Gospel.” It is also to be noted that Professor Tyson holds that Christ (if correctly reported in St. Matt. 19:9) allowed the right to remarry in the excepted case, and that, whether the words “and marrieth another” be omitted or not.

With equal clearness our essayist maintains that πορνεία, in the two passages named, refers to post-marital sin.

I come now to the Professor’s exegesis of these two St. Matthew passages. On page 53 he reaches the conclusion that the exception “throws the contexts [of St. Matt. 5:32 and 19:9] into utter confusion,” and is “in direct antagonism to three independent writers of the New Testament,” viz. St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. Paul. In this he follows the lead of Dr. Allen in his “Commentary on St. Matthew.” This is the main thesis of the Essay, and it is elaborated with no little skill (pp. 18-53). In these conclusions I find myself unable to follow Professor Tyson.

1. In the first place, I cannot accept his translation of St. Matt. 5:32. He urges that “the participle without the article used as it is here properly denotes any woman divorced for any cause whatever

Space does not permit the discussion of the point of Greek Grammar involved in the anarthr...

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