Did Moses Permit Divorce? Modal "weqatal" as Key to New Testament Readings of Deuteronomy 24:1-4
Did the New Testament permit divorce in Matthew 19 and elsewhere? This article argues that an improved syntactic analysis of the Old Testament text shows Moses to have in fact issued a specific directive on divorce; however, that directive in Deuteronomy 24 was open to the kind of misunderstanding that Jesus needed to correct. This article applies the categories of linguistic modality to main-clause verbs, verbs of reporting, verbs of divorcing and conditional clauses. In this way, it is possible to shed more light on how Jesus and the Pharisees dealt with the Old Testament text.
Source: Tyndale Bulletin, 1998. 18 pages.
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