Friday, November 21, 2014

Matthew 19:3, 5 - 9

But Christ prohibits divorce, saying, "Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery; and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband, also committeth adultery." In order to forbid divorce, He makes it unlawful to marry a woman that has been put away. Moses, however, permitted repudiation in Deuteronomy: "When a man hath taken a wife, and hath lived with her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found unchastity in her; then let him write her a bill of divorcement and give it in her hand, and send her away out of his house." You see, therefore, that there is a difference between the law and the gospel---- between Moses and Christ? To be sure there is! But then you have rejected that other gospel which witnesses to the same verity and the same Christ. There, while prohibiting divorce, He has given us a solution of this special question respecting it: "Moses," says He, "because of the hardness of your hearts, suffered you to give a bill of divorcement; but from the beginning it was not so" ----for this reason, indeed, because He who had "made them male and female" had likewise said, "They twain shall become one flesh; what therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." Now, by this answer of His (to the Pharisees), He both sanctioned the provision of Moses, who was His own (servant), and restored to its primitive purpose the institution of the Creator, whose Christ He was. Since, however, you are to be refuted out of the Scriptures which you have received, I will meet you on your own ground, as if your Christ were mine. When, therefore, He prohibited divorce, and yet at the same time represented the Father, even Him who united male and female, must He not have rather exculpated than abolished the enactment of Moses? But, observe, if this Christ be yours when he teaches contrary to Moses and the Creator, on the same principle must He be mine if I can show that His teaching is not contrary to them. I maintain, then, that there was a condition in the prohibition which He now made of divorce; the case supposed being, that a man put away his wife for the express purpose of marrying another. His words are: "Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery; and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband, also committeth adultery," ----"put away," that is, for the reason wherefore a woman ought not to be dismissed, that another wife may be obtained. For he who marries a woman who is unlawfully put away is as much of an adulterer as the man who marries one who is un-divorced.. Permanent is the marriage which is not rightly dissolved; to marry, therefore, whilst matrimony is undissolved, is to commit adultery. Since, therefore, His prohibition of divorce was a conditional one, He did not prohibit absolutely; and what He did not absolutely forbid, that He permitted on some occasions, when there is an absence of the cause why He gave His prohibition. In very deed His teaching is not contrary to Moses, whose precept He partially defends, I will not say confirms. If, however, you deny that divorce is in any way permitted by Christ, how is it that you on your side destroy marriage, not uniting man and woman, nor admitting to the sacrament of baptism and of the eucharist those who have been united in marriage anywhere else, unless they should agree together to repudiate the fruit of their marriage, and so the very Creator Himself? Well, then, what is a husband to do in your sect, if his wife commit adultery? Shall he keep her? But your own apostle, you know, does not permit "the members of Christ to be joined to a harlot." Divorce, therefore, when justly deserved, has even in Christ a defender. So that Moses for the future must be considered as being confirmed by Him, since he prohibits divorce in the same sense as Christ does, if any unchastity should occur in the wife. For in the Gospel of Matthew he says, "Whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery." He also is deemed equally guilty of adultery, who marries a woman put away by her husband. The Creator, however, except on account of adultery, does not put asunder what He Himself joined together, the same Moses in another passage enacting that he who had married after violence to a damsel, should thenceforth not have it in his power to put away his wife.[Tertullian Adv Marc 4.34.1 - 6 KROYMANN Aem., CCL 1 (1954),(p.635, l.9) BP1]
The Scripture says nothing of this, although it is not in other instances silent when anything was done against Him by way of temptation. "Behold," it says, "a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted Him." And in another passage: "The Pharisees also came unto Him, tempting Him." Who was to prevent its being in this place also indicated that this was done with the view of tempting Him? I do not admit what you advance of your own apart from Scripture. [Tertullian De carne Christi 7.3 KROYMANN Aem., CCL 2 (1954), (p.887, l.19) BP1]
We, for our part, say in reply, first, that it could not possibly have been told Him that His mother and His brethren stood without, desiring to see Him, if He had had no mother and no brethren. They must have been known to him who announced them, either some time previously, or then at that very time, when they desired to see Him, or sent Him their message. To this our first position this answer is usually given by the other side. But suppose they sent Him the message for the purpose of tempting Him? Well, but the Scripture does not say so; and inasmuch as it is usual for it to indicate what is done in the way of temptation ("Behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted Him; " again, when inquiring about tribute, the Pharisees came to Him, tempting Him ), so, when it makes no mention of temptation, it does not admit the interpretation of temptation. [Tertullian Adv Marc 4.19.7 KROYMANN Aem., CCL 1 (1954),(p.593, l.18) BP1] 

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