Jesus, marriage and divorce, part 1 — Matthew 19:3-6

The Kings Instructions

Advent 2021

There are ways that a person’s prejudices are exposed, that they twist things around to make them fit their agenda. They even do this with the words of Jesus.

The new gay pride flag featurpng black and brown stripes to represent people of colour, and baby blue, pink and white to include the trans flag in its design.
The Progress Flag

And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” 

Marrhew 19:3-6 ESV UK

There are two passages, both in Matthew’s Gospel together with parallel passages in other gospels, which have been use to show that Jesus was against same sex relationships. They cite his quoting of Genesis 2:24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” They claim that because Jesus does not mention same sex relationships then he is against them.

I see this as a straw man, a logical fallacy. An argument is built up that is different to the question being asked and then the new argument is refuted and it is claimed that the original argument has been refuted.

As I have introduced logical fallacies, let me refer to Occam’s Razor, which is usually described as “the simplest answer is the best one. Why would Jesus want to introduce the subject of same sex relationships to the question, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” The simplest solution is that Jesus is answering the question about a man divorcing his wife.

Back on 2017 when looking at the sermon on the mount I did not mention same sex relationships. That is because they are not mentioned. Not all agree. Matthew 5:22 says, “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgement; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.” Some take this to be a reference to homosexuality.

This is how their argument works: The Greek word raca, translated as insults above, is similar to Hebrew rakh meaning weak or soft, an effeminate person, and they also claim that moros, translated fool, means a homosexual aggressor.

If that is what moros means, let’s look at some other uses of moros in Matthew’s Gospel and translate them the same way:

  • Matthew 7:26 – And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a homosexually aggressive man who built his house on the sand.
  • Matthew 23:17 – You blind homosexual aggressors! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred?
  • Matthew 25:1-2 – Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were homosexual aggressors, and five were wise.

Even if that translation is correct, which I cannot see, then we still have it as, “whoever calls his brother homosexual will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You homosexual aggressor!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.” It is the homophobe not the homosexual who is judged.

Jesus never mentioned same sex relationships in all that the four Gospel writers thought important to write down.

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