Scripture and change and divorce

Matthew 19: 3 - 9

Jesus says that the Scripture of the time was created to accommodate and then summarily rejects that accommodation.

How can this hermeneutic then be applied?
Situation A is bad, Law A is given to slightly move everything forward but still bad, NT command is given that supersedes but both of the latter are justified?

Slavery exist and is bad, Law adds some regulations but still is bad, NT adds a way to slowly address it but does not go into banning it?

If OT is Scipture and cannot be broken, how then does Jesus’ teaching fit here?

Moreover, arranged marriage was between teenaged girls and slightly older guys who have not even developed their prefrontal cortex and there are huge consent issues. Yet these are not addressed and instead there is a blanket prohibition. Abuse and other things are not addressed as well.

Most modern churches do not hold to Jesus or Paul’s teaching on this and set it as a backburner to other “more important issues”

Is this approach to sin simply that it means that people are not perfect, oh well stuff happened, let’s move on except if you are doing/are from these select categories of sin?

Personally, I love that Jesus does this and I would say that who ever thinks “the OT cannot be broken” may want to modify their understanding of scripture in light of how Jesus and the early church actually used it.

Its far worse in the NT. I agree with Crossan who says Paul would not permit Christians to own other Christians as slaves. Later authors writing in Paul’s name normalized the radical message of Paul. They domesticated and Romanized him.

Real-Paul wrote 7 epistles ( Romans· 1-2 Corinthians, Philemon, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians). Post-Paul: we find three epistles in his name (Ephesians Colossians and 2 Thessalonians). Anti-Paul: we find the Pastorals (1-2 Timothy and TItus).

The problem is not that a disciple of Paul wrote in his name to address changing situations, it is that a trajectory emerges that softens the radicalness of Paul. “In other words, the radical Paul is being deradicalized, sanitized and Romanized. His radical views on, for example, slavery and patriarchy, are being retrofitted into Roman cultural expectations and Roman social presuppositions .”

Notice how real Paul in the 50s is domesticated and normalized to Roman society over time. “Paul’s vision of the radicality of God has been co-opted by the Roman normalcy of civilization .” We see God’s accommodated scripture fighting with itself. We can see this happen with real-Paul and women as well.

There is a lot of tension in scripture with itself. The example you cited with Jesus on divorce cannot make this any more obvious.



Jesus was addressing a highly specific, parochial, Jewish, male abuse of divorce in a society with no safety nets, in His typically hyperbolic way. And He was right. Any man who did that was not a man. Wouldn’t be still.

As for slavery, how could a Jewish carpenter change an institution perichoretic to the Roman Empire for the next four hundred years and at least 10% of the population (up to 40% in Rome proper) by banning it? Who would have taken a blind bit of notice and if they had society would have collapsed.

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