Thoughts about the New Testament, Personal Relationship, and Private Contract:
Matthew 19.1-12 and the SCECS Accepted Marriage
In considering the matter presented in Matthew 19.1-12, the understanding of the unfolding of the Biblical narrative along with a perspective of the historical ‘scecs’ of Israel is helpful.
Additionally, in considering the matter presented in Matthew 19.1-12, it should be understood that from the Bible it cannot be argued that a marriage license/certificate is required for a personal relationship and/or Private Contract.
For example, Adam and Eve had no government and no religious establishment like we know, yet they had a personal relationship.
Same applies to Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob.
Consider Jacob. Through the Biblical narrative, it can be seen that some kind of ancient cultural ‘scecs’ shaped the origination and development of his personal relationship.
But, it cannot be said that Jacob’s personal relationship was recognized as a legal entity by a government or by religious body.
Instead, ultimately, Jacob’s personal relationship was recognized as valid and viable by the individuals within that personal relationship.
When Israel became a nation, God gave that nation rules, and those rules influenced their personal relationships and governed their Private Contracts.
Consider Moses and David. Each of man was at a different moment in Israelite history, which means the customs and the traditions that influenced the time period around Moses were significantly different from King David’s time period.
Importantly though, even though Israel was a nation with its religion, it seems appropriate to postulate that those who wanted a personal relationship did not have to go to their Israelite government to obtain a license/certificate to have a formalized personal relationship.
Yet, Israel had its customs, along with things like bride price, “bill of divorce”, and certain rules (e.g. Leviticus 18.6-18) that influenced, shaped, and governed the personal relationship.
But, according to the Biblical narrative, it seems that an Israelite man and an Israelite woman did not have to receive a license/certificate from the nation of Israel or a religious body within Israel in order to have a formalized personal relationship.
Similar applies to the Disciples and New Testament.
Yet, some might point to the teachings of the New Testament thinking that the New Testament provides solid evidence to how to conduct a personal relationship and/or how to formalize and organize a personal relationship.
For example, some teach that 1 Timothy 3.17, 1 Timothy 3.8-13, and Titus 1.5-10 apply to each and every man in the congregation.
Contrary to that popular teaching, contextually that assertion is untrue. Those verses apply only to those men who seek to lead a congregation.
Therefore, men who do not want to lead a congregation are not required to live according to those standards.
It seems certain that conclusion will irritate and consternate those believers who need all the men of the congregation to live up to those standards, but my statement is nonetheless contextual.
Additionally, I was thorough in my discussion about the Greek New Testament and Greek Bible linguistics, so the following is an encapsulation of that discussion.
Consider that it is often stated that the Greek has a term for everything.
The Greek language itself might very well have a word for every thing, everything.
But, as I discussed, it is obvious that the Biblical Greek, which is Koine Greek, doesn’t use a specific Greek word for everything.
Because the Biblical/Koine Greek does not have a Greek term for “man” and another Greek term for “husband”.
Because the Biblical/Koine Greek does not have a Greek term for “woman” and another Greek term for “wife”.
Since that is the case, when the English Bible uses the English term “husband” and uses the English term “wife” to quote-unquote accurately translate the Biblical languages, there are two unintended consequences.
One, the Biblical/Koine Greek language was generic with the term “man” and with the term “woman”, and used those generic terms in multiple contexts.
For the English, the term “man” and the term “woman” are generic, capable of being used in multiple contexts.
Therefore, when the English uses the term “husband” and the term “wife” to translate the generic terminology of Biblical/Koine Greek, then the English alters the generic realities of the Biblical/Koine Greek into specific English statements.
That leads to the second unintended consequence.
Two, when the English translates the Biblical/Koine Greek with the English term “husband” and the English term “wife”, then the English infuses our SCECS Accepted Marriage into the Biblical narrative.
In other words, when the English Bible presents the Biblical personal relationships and/or Private Contracts using specific attributes of the SCECS Accepted Marriage, English readers will read those Biblical relationships as if those Biblical relationships were congruent and parallel to the SCECS Accepted Marriage.
In reality, the specific attributes of our SCECS and the SCECS Accepted Marriage are not part of the Biblical narrative.
Because our SCECS and the SCECS Accepted Marriage occur centuries after the Biblical narrative.
With those unintended consequences, the English blends our world and the Biblical world.
Reflectively, the unintended consequences might make the Bible more relatable. But relatability is not the issue, contextual understanding is the issue, and the personal relationships and/or Private Contracts within the Biblical narrative differ substantially from the SCECS Accepted Marriage.
Since, the Bible uses the generic terms even when referring to the personal relationship and/or Private Contract, it means that the English should retain those generic terms, even when associated with the personal relationship and/or Private Contract.
That has direct impact on Matthew 19.1-12.
Currently, in the English, the woman in Matthew 19.1-12 is understood as his “wife” as such she is interpreted as having legally recognized personal relationship with the man.
However, when the English translates the Greek term gune into the English term “woman” (Matthew 19.3, 19.5, 19.9), then what exactly is the relationship between the man and the woman?
Was their personal relationship formal? informal? recognized? unrecognized? legally binding?
English terminology affects the way in which the English reader reads the text.
Currently, the English translation limits the manner in which the English reader reads the passage.
Currently, the English reader reads the woman as having a legally and formally recognized personal relationship with her man (i.e. the SCECS Accepted Marriage).
Therefore, currently, the English reader does not read that the woman could have had an informal and unrecognized personal relationship with the man.
Therefore, the English reader reads a specific narrative, whereas the Greek reveals a greater contextual possibility.
That greater contextual possibility is not present in the English translation for the English reader to see, yet the greater contextual possibility is relevant to English readers.
It is relevant because when the generic English term “man” and the generic English term “woman” is used to translate Matthew 19.1-12, then the teaching that Jesus presents widens to refer to other aspects of the personal relationship, to include the personal relationship that is not defined as legal by a government or as ligitimate by a religious organization.
As I close this portion, some might state that Matthew 19.9-10 use the Greek term gameo (γαμεω, G1060, a verb meaning “to marry” or “to wed” to have a formal relationship as a “man” and as a “woman”), and sets part of the context for Matthew 19.1-12.
Consequently, some might postulate that what I just stated is incorrect.
However, I encourage my reader not only to look at the manner in which Jesus answered the question posed to him, but also to consider that the Biblical/Koine Greek term gameo is not being used in the exact manner that modern English uses the English term “marry”.
Just because the Biblical/Koine Greek uses the term gameo does not mean that it automatically correlates to the modern English use of the word “marry” where it directly relates to the SCECS Accepted Marriage.
From its use within Matthew 19.1-12, it appears that the use of the Biblical/Koine Greek term gameo takes the personal relationship from informal to formal, from unrecognized to recognized, but even if/when that is the case, the Biblical/Koine Greek term gameo can convey that they entered into a type of simple Private Contract.
Conclusively though, one thing is certain, the SCECS Accepted Marriage is not found within the Biblical narrative, and it is improper to read the SCECS Accepted Marriage into the Biblical world.