Maxey - Thomas Debate
An Examination of a Proposition
Relating to Divorce and Remarriage

Thursday, March 1, 2001

Ron Thomas Responds
To Al's Recent Comments

Al Maxey wrote: "I might note that I am 'straining at the leash' to respond fully to numerous statements made by Ron in his last post. It is most difficult to let some of what he said go unanswered and unchallenged."

There is much in our debate that I've refused to respond to because I felt it was counter-productive to our discussion. I, too, have felt that much of what Al has said needed to be responded to, but I decided against it because of the potential quagmire.

Al wrote: "Perhaps Ron and I can delve into some of these matters at a later date when this debate is over. I would be willing, if he is."

Sure. This may prove beneficial.

Al said with respect to the definitions I have offered: "No, of course not. And I do not disagree with the definition given by W.E. Vine. It is a legitimate definition, and, as I have already pointed out, it is clearly used in some passages of the Bible. I agree with you completely that John 8:3-4 and Hebrews 13:4 have this meaning clearly in view when using the term 'adultery.' I think it is equally clear that in Revelation 2:22; Matthew 12:39; 16:4; Mark 8:38 something other than a sexual meaning and application is in view."

So, there are passages that require an exclusive application of the word adultery. I am assuming you are saying this is so. Do you insist upon this?

Al wrote: "You absolutely refuse to even acknowledge the possibility of any other legitimate usage or application of this word being in view in these passages, even when the definition you have chosen makes little sense in the context and when a manipulation & redefining of terms is required for you to make your theory work. It is this with which I have a problem, Ron."

Where have I manipulated or redefined the word "adultery"? I have "chosen" no definition; I have given you reference works that give the definition. Where have I mishandled them? Frankly, I have noticed your observance of the "passover" on them except to say that I have defined them which I haven't.

Questions and Answers

  1. Can a person ever live in adultery?

    • Al said: "The only time that I would ever characterize a person as 'living in adultery,' in the sexual sense, would be if a man, while still married (no divorce has been secured), moves in with a woman 'other than his spouse,' and lives with her and continually has sex with her. This living with her, while his wife lived elsewhere, would be a 'living in adultery.' Romans 7:3 also seems to convey this thought. If a woman joins herself to another man in some close association (the word 'marries' is NOT in the original text there, by the way; a marriage is NOT in view in that passage), while still under the authority of a husband, she is termed an 'adulteress.' She is associating with one 'other than her spouse,' and this is an adulterous association (whether sex is actually taking place or not)."

    A reasonable answer (without commenting, just yet, on Al's "only time") until one reads this last sentence of Al above. "Adultery" is "associating" with one "other than her spouse?" "Adultery" is "associating" "whether sex is actually taking place or not?" And you've said to me, I have manipulated the meaning of the word?

  2. If one were to divorce and marry another person, and God did not approve of that divorce, would the marriage (to another) be acceptable to God?

    • Al said: "And anything less than the IDEAL I would never characterize as 'acceptable.' Thus, ALL divorces are lacking His 'approval.' God HATES divorce (Malachi 2:16). However, divorce happens. So do remarriages. I believe God recognizes both; thus, they are legitimate in the sense that a marriage has indeed ended, and a new marriage has indeed begun."

    A real divorce, which does not have God's approval, and a subsequent remarriage, which also does not have God's approval, is legitimized by God? What do you mean, Al, when you use the word legitimize? Is a legitimate marriage going to be accepted by God?

  3. When two people get married does God have to be a part of that marriage for it to be acceptable to Him?

    • Al said: "However, I think a marriage can be fully legitimate even if the man and woman choose to exclude God from their lives. Ron, when two atheists marry, are they really married? Are the wicked, godless peoples of the world really married? By excluding God from their lives, is their marriage therefore in some way invalid? NOT a real marriage?! I believe a marriage takes place when two people vow commitment to one another, and enter into a covenant of marriage with one another."

    Whether God is left out of the ceremony or not --- is He a part of that marriage? Does He have to approve of the marriage to be part of it? Your question to me is answered from Matthew 19:4-6.

The Divorces of Ezra 10

I previously asked: "In Ezra 10 there was recognized marriages; did God approve of them (it was a 'reality' situation)? ..... In Ezra 10 did God recognize the marriages that were then in existence? If He did, then why did Ezra require the separation as he did?"

Al, in your remarks against what you think "misguided legalistic religionists" do, you never answered my question. I read your analysis on Ezra 10 (poetic books) and found nothing in there that was substantive. You have a nice overview of the historical circumstances surrounding Ezra through Esther. You offered some additional good thoughts, but anything substantive with respect to Ezra 10:44 I did not find. If you think I overlooked something I would appreciate your calling my attention to it. I will not deal with Matthew 12 and some of your thoughts on it. That will have to occur at another time --- maybe another discussion.

Responses to Various Remarks

With respect to Herod's marriage Al said, "Was it a real marriage? Yes. Did God approve of it? No." Al, since God did not approve of the marriage, was the marriage "legitimized" by God? With respect to that which God does not "approve" --- is it sin?

Al wrote: "Again, Ron confirms agreement with me on this principle: Ron says, 'Why would you say I would have to deny that the second marriage is a marriage? Merely because a second marriage occurs does not mean God approves of it (as you have said yourself). Neither have I said (or implied) that a divorce is not a divorce. All that I have said with respect to this is that a divorce that has occurred does not necessarily mean that God approved of it.' My point exactly, Ron! We agree. Divorces are real; they happen. And the divorced remarry; it happens. Subsequent marriages are real, too. It is less than God's IDEAL for men and women; it does not please Him; but He does recognize them."

Merely because divorces are real, and merely because remarriages are real, does not mean that God accepts them. Is divorce sin? We know that it is. If God hates something is He against it? Again, we know that He will be. If He is against it, will He stand (metaphor) opposed to it? We know that He will. If He will stand opposed to it will it be accepted on the Day of Judgment?

Again, your comparison of marriage to murder is apples and oranges.

Al said: "Ron wrote: 'You don't like the idea that Jesus applies the word "adultery" to a second marriage.' Whether I like the idea or not is immaterial. My point, Ron, is that I do not believe Jesus DOES apply the word 'adultery' to a second marriage. I believe Jesus applies it to the breakdown of the previous marriage. Ron has at least, in this post, acknowledged that the word we translate 'adultery' CAN mean what I have stated it means. That's a positive step!! He wrote: 'Is "breaking of the covenant" involved in adultery? Certainly it is, but in the reading of Matthew 5 and 19 the primary definition (unlawful sexual intercourse) is the demanded application.'"

Al, I never said "adultery" means "breaking of the covenant." I said that it involves it. A vast difference between the two. To tell a lie does not mean to break the covenant between a husband and wife. But, telling a lie is involved in the process of breaking a covenant between a husband and wife. No, "adultery" means unlawful intercourse between a man and woman (not his spouse).

Al wrote: "Well, I think I have already amply demonstrated that no such DEMAND is present in the context."


Al wrote: "They are clear and convincing, and a matter of public record, and I think the readers can see through Ron's inconsistencies on this matter ..... especially with respect to the teaching in Matthew 5, where his definition, despite his protestations, simply will NOT fit. Indeed, his definition presents numerous problems and absurdities, and is based on huge assumptions. In short, Ron has not even come close to 'proving' that the context demands his view be the only one adopted."

We will see.

Quoting From Collier

Al wrote: "A rather large portion of Ron's last post was lifted almost verbatim from a web page or two on which Gary Collier expressed his views about the Lord's teaching in Matthew."

Was Gary wrong in his grammatical analysis of Matthew 5:32? If so, where?

Al wrote: "I don't know how much credibility Ron hopes the readers and I will bestow upon Gary's opinions, but apparently Ron values this man's insights. Personally, I was less than impressed with his attempt at 'scholarly exegesis.'"

Whether I was impressed or not is not the point. Was Gary wrong, Al? And if so, where? Further, I brought the entirety of his paper into the debate for the benefit of those that would read it in its context. It was a clear refutation of the grammatical analysis attempted by John Edwards, et al.

Al wrote: "Gary, like any other mortal, shared his opinion .... and Ron was impressed .... but Gary is not infallible; he's not quite God yet. What he had to say carries no more weight with me than any other man's opinions. These 'insights' certainly give us something to reflect upon, but for the ultimate answers I turn to the Word itself."

Was he wrong? Where? How? If he is wrong then it is understandable that what he offered would carry no weight. But if he is right, and it still carries no weight, then it is evident that you will believe something in spite of the evidence to the contrary.

Al wrote: "By the way, I almost found it amusing that in the lengthy quotation from Gary Collier it appears that this 'scholar' differs as much with Ron as he does with me."

The point of the insertion is not whether he agrees or disagrees with me (Frankly, you have read more into his words than is there). The point is the grammatical analysis he offered. Is he wrong?

Al wrote: "Gary's major premise is that the man of Matt. 19:9 was trying to use Scripture to justify divorce (this is the particular 'hobby' Gary has chosen to promote). In the course of developing this premise, Gary made the following observation: 'The context of Matt. 5:32 is best understood, not as an attempt to define every manner in which one might become guilty of adultery, or as an attempt to distinguish between divorce and remarriage so as to precisely locate adultery (e.g., at remarriage?), but as an attempt to condemn those who would use Scripture itself to justify or sanction the practice of divorce.'"

Gary offered his opinion about interpreting the context of Matthew 5. His interpretation is fine. But, his analysis of the grammar in Matthew 5:32 REFUTES your way of handling the text.

Al wrote: "There is sooooooo much more in Ron's post that I would like to 'pick at,' because I am convinced he is way off base on some matters of vital importance, but I fear I would just be going over matters already discussed at great length elsewhere in this debate."

If need be, Al, I don't mind treading over familiar territory. Since you think I'm confused in this matter maybe we are warranted to continue.

The Present Indicative in Matthew 19

Al wrote: "Ron wrote: 'Jesus said that if one were to divorce his wife and marry another that person would commit adultery and continue to do so.' Ironically, just four sentences later, Ron said: 'You attribute to me the putting of words into the mouth of Jesus.' Yes, I have suggested that. And I'm about to suggest it again!! Please show me where in this passage .... or where anywhere, for that matter .... Jesus says that if a man divorces his wife and marries another he would commit adultery "and continue to do so." Jesus didn't say those words, Ron, so I'm assuming YOU put them there!! Ron's understanding of the Greek Present Indicative in Matthew 19:9 is horribly confused and flawed."

I find this amusing.

Al wrote: "I mentioned earlier that I was a member of the Biblical Greek List (which is hosted by a prominent university). Last year, while engaging in a similar debate with another Gospel Minister, I posed this premise of Ron's to the members of that discussion group and asked for their insights. The response was immediate and overwhelming. 'No, it cannot be sustained from the present tense. The confusion is a common one, especially in older grammars,' stated one professor (and his statement is representative of the others). Another scholar wrote, 'Actually I think most of the traditionalists have pretty much backed off of the "continuing action" argument. The whole scholarship world is against them on it. But, you may still encounter it on occasion by those less knowledgeable in Greek.' Yet another writes, 'When all is said, one cannot be intellectually honest and say that the present tense use of the verb proves the notion of "continuing adultery." Based on the rules of Greek grammar it just cannot be proven.'"

I have searched the e-mail list you speak about (I am a present member and have been for about 18 months) and I have found nothing with respect to your name or question in the archives (relative to the date you told me about). Al, could you help me out; I would like to see what was said. Can you give me the names of those that responded to you? With them I should be able to search the archives (chances are that I'll recognize the names).

The present indicative, as found in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9, is found in the verbs "I say," "commits adultery" (19:9), and "I say," "makes," "commits adultery" (5:32). This is according to the Analytical Greek New Testament. The Greek word for "adultery" is moichatai (as found in Matthew 5:32; 19:9; Mark 10:11-12). This word is used, each time, in the indicative mood (3rd person, singular). Al said the word is not to be understood as "continuing in adultery." Suggesting, with these words, that the present indicative does not mean or will not allow a continuation of a particular activity. If this is so, then take a look at each verb in 1 Corinthians 13:5. Each verb has either a similar or the same grammatical breakdown (in its entirety) as the verb moichatai (adultery). The difference is the verb moichatai (Matthew 19:9) is a middle or passive deponent while two of the four verbs (1 Corinthians 13:5) are active, one is passive, and the other is middle or passive deponent. The one verb in 1 Corinthians 13:5 that has the exact grammatical breakdown as "adultery" in Matthew 5:32 or 19:9 is the verb logizetai ("thinketh" -- KJV). Should we, Al, understand the word "thinketh" (KJV) of something we continue to do or should we not?

William D. Mounce, in his Greek Grammar, said, "The present active indicative verb in Greek is basically the same as in English. It describes an action that usually occurs in the present. It can be either a continuous ('I am studying') or undefined ('I study') action. We recommend using a continuous translation by default, and if it does not fit the context switch to the undefined" (Basics of Biblical Greek, p. 125, 1993). This is the paragraph in its entirety.

Al wrote: "Ron's apparent belief is that the present tense should be interpreted as signifying continuing action, and therefore the verb employed suggests that the meaning is 'keeps on committing adultery.' What Ron seems to be unaware of, however, is the significance of the present tense when used in the indicative mood. Dr. Carroll D. Osburn (formerly of Harding Graduate School of Religion), in the publication Restoration Quarterly (Volume 24, Number 4, 1981), wrote an extremely scholarly article entitled The Present Indicative in Matthew 19:9."

I have Dr. Osburn's article on the present indicative of Matthew 19:9. I also have two of Dr. Roy Deaver's serious responses to Dr. Osburn (Spiritual Sword, April, 1982, pp. 27-32 and Spiritual Sword, October 1987, pp. 35-41). Though Roy Deaver never called into question Dr. Osburn's scholarship, after reading what Dr. Roy Deaver said, I started wondering about the credibility of Dr. Osburn's scholarship. Dr. Deaver challenged Dr. Osburn to refute Dr. Deaver's criticism of the article. In so far as I'm aware it was never done (I called Dr. Deaver today --- 2/28/01 --- and asked him if he has ever seen a response by Dr. Osburn. To the best of his recollection he told me he has never seen a response from him).

Dr. Osburn said: "With regard to Matthew 19:9, the appeal to the present indicative to establish that moichatai must necessarily refer to continuity is not cogent based as it is upon imprecise understanding of Greek mood distinctions." Dr. Roy Deaver criticizes this harshly when he said "Ascertaining whether or not moichatai means continuous action in Matt. 19:9 is not a matter of mood. Rather, it is a matter of the significance of the present tense. This very statement of Dr. Osburn shows a tragic misunderstanding of mood."

Dr. Osburn, again, said: "By way of analogy, the familiar present indicative in 1 John 3:9 hamartian ou poiei, 'does not continue to sin,' derives its continuity not from the mood, but from the following hamartanein, a present infinitive which cannot mean other than 'is not able to continue in sin.'" Dr. Deaver responds: "He thinks the infinitive is necessary to indicate the continuity of action, and this is as false as it can be. It is the present tense --- not the infinitive --- which indicates the continuous action." To further elaborate Dr. Deaver's point note what Donald W. Burdick said with respect to 1 John 3:9 and the phrase "and he cannot sin, because he is born of God:" "Here, John goes beyond his previous statement. Not only is it true that the believer does not continually sin, but he cannot do so. Again the present tense verbs are significant" (The Letter of John the Apostle, "An In-Depth Commentary," p. 248, Moody Press, 1985, emphasis added, RT).

Dr. Osburn said: "Robertson notes that the most frequent use of the present indicative is the 'descriptive present,' the simple statement of a fact with no specific reference to continuity. The 'iterative present,' involving repetition, is not so frequent. Of the more than 700 instances of the present indicative in Matthew's Gospel, the vast majority of occurrences are 'descriptive' with no continuity under consideration, as 3:11 where baptidzo, 'I baptize,' connotes no repetitive or continual action but is merely a declarative statement."

I looked up Osburn's reference, in A.T. Robertson's monumental reference work, and have not found Dr. Osburn very honorable here. Dr. Robertson said, with respect to the present tense: "It has already been seen that the durative sense does not monopolize the 'present' tense, though it more frequently denotes linear action. The verb and context must decide" (A Grammar of the Greek New Testament, p. 879). Dr. Robertson says about the "descriptive present," "It is a graph (represented by a straight line). As with the imperfect, so with the present this is the most frequent use." Dr. Deaver comments about Dr. Osburn's use of Robertson, "This is, to me, an astonishing statement. Two lines above the specific reference by Robertson to The Descriptive Present Robertson mentions that the present tense '...more frequently denotes linear action.' ... The graph is designed to describe linear (continuous) action. I cannot believe for one moment that Osburn did not know about these statements on this page, each within two lines of the material which he (Osburn) cited!" (emphasis in original, RT).

Al wrote: "Let me share some of the points Dr. Osburn makes in that article. He begins by stating, 'In recent discussion of the interpretation of Matthew 19:9, it has been ventured by some that Moichatai must mean "continues to commit adultery" because the present indicative necessitates continuous action.' This is exactly Ron's contention, by the way. But, is Ron correct about this? Dr. Osburn notes that such a theory is false, 'based as it is upon imprecise understanding of Greek mood distinctions.'"

I have already shown, by the writings of Dr. Roy Deaver (Greek scholar), that Dr. Osburn's article is to be seriously questioned. Not to mention his dishonorable handling (in my opinion) of A.T. Robertson's reference to the present tense.

Al wrote: "Dr. A.T. Robertson observes, 'It is not wise therefore to define the present indicative as denoting "action in progress" like the imperfect' (A Grammar of the Greek NT). Dana & Mantey say, 'It is a mistake to suppose that the durative meaning monopolizes the present stem.' Dr. H.W. Smyth, in his Greek Grammar (Cambridge: Harvard University Press), notes that the 'present stem denotes the simple action of the verb in present time without regard to its continuance.'"

Note what Dana & Mantey says about the present tense (p. 181), "The fundamental significance of the present tense is the idea of progress. It is the linear tense. This is not, however, its exclusive significance. It is a mistake to suppose 'that the durative meaning monopolizes the present stem'" (emphasis in original, RT). So, the above quote (by Osburn) is selectively taken. Dana & Mantey also said (same page): "The other elements entering into the resultant import of the present tense are the meaning of the verb itself and the general significance of the context. That is, in dealing with the present tense we must consider not only the fundamental force of the tense, but also the meaning of the verb root, and the significance of the context."

Let Al refute all of this, then we'll go from there.

Al wrote: "Most feel that of the various forms of the present tense which may be employed (and there are a great many), that it is most likely the Gnomic Present which is in operation in Mathew 19:9. Dr. Osburn writes, 'The use of the present indicative in discussing a general truth is as old as Aeschylus and Plato. It is this "gnomic present" which occurs in Moichatai in Matthew 19:9 when Jesus provides the general truth that "whoever divorces his wife except for unchastity and marries another commits adultery." In such a "gnomic present," or "present of general truth" (see: Dr. Smyth, p. 42f) continuity is NOT under consideration.' Dr. Osburn concludes (after much scholarly, in-depth, validating analysis), 'Thus, it cannot be said that the present indicative in Matthew 19:9, or any other Greek text, "cannot mean other than continuous action," for any such argument blatantly disregards the several idiomatic uses of the present indicative in which continuity is not explicit. ..... In Jesus' statement of that truth Moichatai must be taken as a "gnomic present" in which continuity is NOT under consideration.'"

Here is what Daniel Wallace (Greek Grammar Beyond The Basics, p. 523, all emphasis his, RT) said, "The present tense may be used to make a statement of a general, timeless fact. 'It does not say that something is happening, but that something does happen.' The action or state continues without time limits. The verb is used 'in proverbial statements or general maxims about what occurs at all times. This usage is common. The gnomic present is distinct from the customary present in that the customary present refers to a regularly recurring action while the gnomic present refers to a general, timeless fact. It is distinct from the stative present (a subcategory of the customary) in that the stative present involves a temporal restriction while the gnomic present is generally atemporal. There are two predominant semantic situations in which the gnomic present occurs. The first includes instances that depict deity or nature as the subject of the action. Statements such as "the wind blows" or "God loves" fit this category. Such gnomic presents are true all the time. There is a second kind of gnomic, slightly different in definition: the use of the present in generic statements to describe something that is true any time (rather than a universal statement that is true all the time). This kind of gnomic present is more common. Thus, pragmatically, it is helpful to note a particular grammatical intrusion: A gnomic verb typically takes a generic subject or object. Most generics will be subjects (but not the first example below).'"

On the following page (524) Wallace uses as a clear example of a gnomic present Matthew 5:32 and John 3:8. The phrase he uses in Matthew 5:32 is "everyone who divorces his wife..." The phrase he uses in John 3:8 is "the wind blows where it desires..." How should we understand a gnomic present, Al?

Al wrote: "Ron has based his theory largely upon a misguided interpretation of the force and focus of the Present Indicative in Greek."

I wonder who has the misguided view?

Al wrote: "This has led him down a false hermeneutical trail. The use of the Gnomic Present (and indeed the simple and common use of the Present Indicative itself) suggests the phrase 'commits adultery' does NOT denote continual action."

As illustrated above, by Wallace's Grammar, this is false! All the gnomic present indicates is that the verb is timeless, that is all! But, Al, an interesting word you use here: "suggests." Is that the strongest word you can use in the context? Carroll Osburn said, in his article (last sentence), "Now continuity may or may not be involved, but it is not legitimate to speak to the Greek present indicative to assert that it must be involved." So, Al, "continuity" may be involved?

Al wrote: "The phrase 'commits adultery' (Present Indicative) is a simple declaration of Truth, not a declaration of continuing action. For example, I can use the same 'gnomic present' in the phrase: 'Whosoever takes a gun and shoots a man in the head commits murder.' Does the phrase 'commits murder' (being a Present Indicative) indicate continuous action? Of course not. It is rather a declaration of historic truth, even though it appears in the present tense."

Your analogy is countered: "Whosoever gets in the car and puts it in gear goes driving." The present indicative does not limit (or stop) the continuation of a certain activity --- it is the context. But, even in the context, there is a process of the continuation.

Al wrote: "A man who casts his wife off in favor of a union with another woman (or for any other reason) is guilty of committing adultery."

This is correct because when the two are married and there is the consummation of the union there is adultery.

Al wrote: "Jesus is NOT condemning the second union per se, He is rather condemning the action of casting off a woman, breaking covenant with her, so as to pursue a selfish goal (in the case specified: to embrace another woman). It is this sinful casting off that is the adulterous action."

This is as false as it can be! The "casting off" is NOT adulterous.

Al wrote: "Can Ron seek out and produce a list of 'scholars' who will agree with him that the Present Indicative denotes continuous action? ... The bulk of reputable Greek scholarship, however, clearly sides with the view I have presented, and it denounces the view embraced and taught by Ron. After much research, I side with the majority position of Greek scholarship and completely reject Ron's view that the Present Indicative of Matthew 19:9 denotes 'continuous action.' It simply does NOT."

The point is not whether I can align "scholars" on my side, but what "scholar" can you find that subscribes to your view? Are the "scholars" in the minority which are "on my side?" I have 12 Greek grammar books (Robertson, Wallace, Mounce, Machen, Hewett, Burton, Brooks & Winbery, Dana & Mantey, Young, Mare, Dobson, Greenlee) and not one even remotely suggest as much as Al is putting forth in this debate. I have 10 Greek dictionaries (Kittel's, Bullinger, Louw & Nida, EDNT, Abbott-Smith, Thayer's, BAGD, Moulton & Milligan, Pershbacher, Vines) and not even one says the word "adultery" in Matthew 5:32 or 19:9 is as Al suggests (this does not even consider the Bible Dictionaries I have). Al, give one "scholar" from a reputable source that even applies the word "adultery" as you do in Matthew 5:32 and/or 19:9. When (if there is one) you give the name please give the reference that I might check it out.

Al wrote: "I thought it interesting, and somewhat ironic, that Ron was so quick to point out to me that 'Scholarship refutes your way of thinking.' He somewhat scolded me for 'standing in judgment' of a host of recognized scholars and authors. Well, again, isn't it most curious that Ron now finds himself in the very same position?!!!"

This is hardly the case. I asked you to show where (and why) the reference works I cited (for your consideration) were wrong. You never did, you just said one of them is wrong and others were incomplete. You never did say why.

Al wrote: "That is an obvious fact. In some areas of interpretation these scholars agree with me, in some areas they agree with Ron. Licking our finger and sticking it in the wind is hardly the way to determine biblical Truth. That is why I have done my OWN research in the Word to determine God's Truth with respect to MDR (and that research has been presented in book form in Down, But Not Out)."

This implies that I have done no research. If you want to think this way, then you can. I have read much on the topic. It is very easy for one to write a book and postulate a theory when another cannot offer serious criticism against it until after the book is printed. Because of my interest on this issue I read and have read debate books (I have 12). It is here that one's position is scrutinized and it is here that one gets a chance to see another begin to cloud the issue (such as the Mac Deaver -- Olan Hicks debate).

Al wrote: "Some of my findings scholars agree with, some they disagree with, but I believe my findings are completely consistent with the WHOLE of God's Word on the matter. And if the numerous positive comments of those who have read my book is any indication, a great many people are coming to a new awareness of biblical Truth in this matter, and are rejecting the harsh doctrines of traditionalism."

Anyone can have "itching" ears.

Al wrote: "I believe a careful examination of the overall teaching of the Scriptures with regard to marriage, divorce and remarriage will show MY findings to be far more consistent and in harmony with revealed Truth than the traditional theology embraced by Ron. More and more people, as they begin to think for themselves and to carefully and prayerfully examine the Word, are rejecting the troubling traditional teachings on MDR promoted by Ron and others like him. It is my prayer that one day soon Ron will utterly reject these harsh doctrines as well. We need his zeal and dedication on the side of Truth, and I will be praying for that transformation of this devoted disciple!!"

A Summary

Al thought to refute the proposition I'm affirming by an analysis of the present indicative of Matthew 19:9. As I have offered above --- this analysis of Al's is incorrect. Further, I have asked Al to consider the Greek reference works cited. Are these wrong? Where?

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