Let’s Stop Popular Scripture Abuse: The “Debunk” Series – Part 1

Part 1 - What Hill...by Standerinfamilycourt

Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers.   Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.     –  2 Timothy 2:14-15

Fans of our Facebook page “Unilateral Divorce is Unconstitutional” have been regaled recently with the foibles of a church leader many of us would unmistakably recognize (even if, like the “Proverbs 31 Woman“, he’s a composite),  one “Reverend All-Wet“.    Our cartoon evangelical hireling isn’t intended merely to skewer the post-“no fault” clergy, but use a bit of winsome humor, or outright sarcasm if necessary, to point out the considerable scripture-bending that has caused church-salt to lose its savor over the past 40 years.    We also aim to teach the basics of hermeneutics along the way,  and get our fans to start thinking systematically in those terms for purposes of testing the various doctrines that blow their way from the harlot church.

There’s only so much that can be accomplished with a meme, however.    A blog series seemed like a good idea to expand on effective antidotes to the perilous misadventures of “Rev. All-Wet”.    If dying in a state of remarriage adultery were not a heaven-or-hell issue according to 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Galatians 5:19-21, Hebrews 13:4 and Revelation 21:8,  we’d indeed be more loving to stay quiet about it, but since it is, it behooves us to prove it in a disciplined way that gets to the “why” this is so, and more loving to undertake the effort.     Upon the June 26, 2015 total melt-down of the U.S. Supreme Court, Barak Obama brazenly crowed over 50-state-sanctified sodomy (man’s futile attempt to join what only God can join) , “#LoveWins”.   We are faithfully pronouncing over serial polygamy (man’s futile and violent attempt to unjoin what God refuses to unjoin) , #LoveWarns!  

You may be asking, what do you mean by “hermeneutics” ?     Merriam-Webster’s dictionary lists the following definition:

Definition of hermeneutics:

  1.  plural but sing or plural in constr :  the study of the methodological principles of interpretation (as of the Bible)

  2.   a method or principle of interpretation

    When we attempt to “rightly divide” the word of God, we must cross languages (sometimes more than once), cultures and centuries or millennia to do so while preserving the original meaning of a scripture passage, all  the while keeping in mind what Paul found it necessary to remind his protégé Timothy of:

     All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,  so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
    2 Timothy 3:16-17


If we are neither disciplined nor conscientious in our workmanship of understanding God’s word, it will affirm sin rather than rebuke it, and the training we will receive will be in self-will rather than righteousness.   Humanistic impulses will take over, as the prophet Jeremiah described:

The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?    (Jer. 17:9)

Faithful application of hermeneutics has a very interesting effect on the self-interested enemies of God’s truth.   This either shuts their mouths and causes them to retreat (hopefully to ponder, study further and eventually repent), or it causes them to act like an angry parrot with a repertoire of one or two unsupportable biases, repeated in an incessant loop, sometimes accompanied by ad hominem personal attacks.    It’s a painful exercise, but if refuted courteously, others will be reading and benefitting.


In successive installments, we will be applying a framework of five of the most basic concepts to each of the most-abused scriptures commonly mis-rendered to justify performing / entering, or remaining in marriages following man’s divorce that Jesus and Paul repeatedly called adulterous.    However, in this introduction, it seems right to apply the very same rigor to the most central of the scripture passages that formed the basis for what both Jesus and Paul had to say on the matter.   The purpose is not merely to affirm the belief and actions of the already-obedient, but to give them effective tools to start changing the culture in the church and perhaps in their own families or other sphere of close personal influence.    Learning this discipline is the most respectful way to approach the Rev. All-Wets in our lives.

How does one choose wisely “the hill to die on” when it comes to the indissolubility of holy matrimony?    These are only this blogger’s reflections, submitted for the reader’s consideration:

(1) we imitate Jesus, as best we can
(2) we examine what scripture the truth-opponents most avoid, “like kryptonite”
(3) we make sure it’s foundational to the creation, just as Jesus did.

In SIFC’s opinion, the scripture passage that best fulfills all three of these criteria is indeed the very definition of marriage given by Jesus in Matthew 19:4-6 (echoed in Mark 10:7-9, and by Paul in Ephesians 5:28-31):

And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female,  and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined 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 no man separate.”

With regard to considerations (1) and (3),  if this is the “hill to die on”,  we are imitating Jesus as He confronted the Rabbi “All-Wets” of His day, taking them back to the Garden and the Creation, just as He actually did.

To be sure, there are a quartet of scriptures universally dismissed, ignored, avoided and explained away by the remarriage apologists per consideration (2) that our cartoon series parodies, two by the mouth of Jesus, and two by the mouth of Paul.   Three of these represent the “what” more than they do the “why“, because they do not take us back to the Garden the way Matthew 19:6 does.    They are corroborating evidence under the COMPARISON principle.

We will therefore rigorously apply the framework of the hermeneutical basics (Content, Context, Culture, Comparison and Consultation) to Matthew 19:6 in this installment, and once having done so, the nuggets of truth we pull out of that passage should trump all conflicting arguments around interpretations of other scriptures since by principle Holy Spirit-breathed scripture cannot contradict itself, and in fact, heretical interpretations of those scriptures readily fall apart when the same rigor is applied to those, as we’ll do in upcoming installments.

Our Hill to Die On:   Matthew 19:6

The Principle of CONTENT:
We must first agree with certainty on what Matthew 19:6 actually says on the surface.   This is a function primarily of accurate manuscript / text selection, and accurate language translation.   One of the difficulties with the book of Matthew in general is that it was most likely originally written in Hebrew, then later translated into Greek before it was translated into English.   While Greek texts of Matthew were circulated and are available in many versions, only one such manuscript written in the original Hebrew has reportedly survived.   It is reportedly on display in Jerusalem, and is disputed.    We will rely on the Greek interlinear text tools and the literal syntax for our analysis of content, in order to remove any translation bias that may have occurred in your favorite bible version in more contemporary times.

Part 1 - Matt 19six

Source:  www.scripture4all.org   Greek Interlinear Bible

We must be accurate and faithful, not only with word translation but also with the parts of speech including verb tense, active or passive, imperative voice, etc.  that can greatly impact the meaning.

As a point of awareness, our scripture4all.org source above is the “Authorized Version” (also known as the Received Text) derived from the Antioch manuscripts which were translated by Dutch Catholic Humanist, Erasmus Desiderius (who was no actual “fan” of marriage permanence, according to the bulk of his various writings).    This translation went on to become the basis for the King James Bible, Geneva Bible and most other reliable older versions.   It is of note that this manuscript is NOT the basis for any of the contemporary English translations, because  occultist  / universalist scholars Westcott & Hort  rejected the Antioch manuscripts in favor of the weaker and less complete Alexandrian manuscripts which became the foundation of NIV, NASB (and other Revised Standard Versions), CEB, etc.     With some passages, notably Matthew 19:9, this is a really big deal due to missing or omitted crucial phrases, but with Matthew 19:6, all the manuscripts appear to agree with one another.

All of the above being the case, we are ready to look again at the translated Greek text, word by word, in literal syntax and merge the scripture4all.org  translation with the biblehub.com translation, taking the parts of speech into proper account:


We’re almost finished with our analysis of CONTENT, but there are some key words highlighted in yellow where it’s useful to look at alternative words that appear elsewhere in the New Testament which Jesus did not choose to use, and also see where else (what context) the words He did use appear in scripture.    We’ve covered this in detail in two previous blogs,  May, 2015 and November, 2015.   Our takeaway from this part of the exercise is that the words for “joining” and “one-flesh” are used exclusively  in connection with God’s active role in supernaturally making them one (otherwise they could be two again, as contemporary man vainly imagines God, through His Son, to be a liar),  and covenanting with them in holy matrimony, but only where the bride and groom both meet the criteria in Matthew 19:4, alluding to Genesis 2:21-24 – opposite gender and leaving father and mother, that is, not already (still) joined to another because death has not occurred to sever the prior union.

Therefore, from our thorough analysis of  CONTENT, we can conclude with authority that all three of the “truth nuggets” identified above were communicated infallibly by the mouth of Jesus:

(1)  from the point God joins husband and wife, they cannot be unjoined as long as both live
(2) God actively and instantly creates the joining
(3)  God commands and decrees that no act or law of men has any power or authority to unjoin holy matrimony.

By extension, (and supported by the strong evidence of the unique words used, as contrasted with those used later by Paul in 1 Cor. 6:16),  joining that is withheld by God and therefore accomplished only by the carnal means of men, is immoral regardless of men’s civil laws, and it constitutes either adultery or fornication (or sodomy, more recently).    Unless repented of by terminating the relationship, there is forfeiture of entry or inheritance in the kingdom of God.    We can plainly see from this the basis for all of the other strong statements about the indissolubility of holy matrimony, as we’ll develop when we talk later about COMPARISON with other scriptures.   This is the “why” to the “what” of all those other scriptures.   It is foundational to the Creation, as Jesus Himself pointed out in voicing them.

The Principle of CONTEXT:
Most heretical interpretation of marriage scriptures flunk this test when closely examined.   Those that attempt to fit context around their particular theory draw it far too narrowly, which is hard not to do with the topic of marriage.    After all, holy matrimony is God’s first and His most sacred symbol, not only  for His relationship with His people, but also for His call to holiness itself.   This symbolism threads its way through every book of the Old and New Testaments, is reflected in each of the successive covenants God made with His people, and culminates in the last verses of Revelation:

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.”….He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.        REVELATION 22:17,20

God Most High cast His Son as the Bridegroom, both in prophecy and in His self-proclamations as He walked out His ministry on earth, but not just any sort of bridegroom.   Jesus was cast as the specific sort of Bridegroom that pays the price for a pure, virgin bride as part of the Hebrew betrothal custom called kiddushin.   Our justification upon agreeing to accept the offer of betrothal is our ketubah.    Though the consummation is in the future, we are the legal “wife” with full inheritance rights, unless we choose not to show up for the marriage supper.   However, even if we make that choice, He doesn’t tear up the ketubah.    We always have the option to seek forgiveness after again forsaking all others, and resume our journey toward that marriage supper spoken of in Revelation, and spoken of by Jesus in the Upper Room.    This is the broader context of Matthew 19:6, along with the Genesis account of the first wedding, and Paul’s explicit analogy in Ephesians 5: 31-32.

The narrower context of the exchange in Matthew 19, leading up to the definitive words that begin in verse 6 and culminate in verse 12, reaffirming the total indissolubility of covenant holy matrimony, and shutting the door on the prior acceptability of all deviations, including polygamy and divorce, is His confrontation by the Pharisees, following three or four important events that had preceded:

(1) The Roman occupation had removed the ability of the Jews to carry out the Mosaic law for stoning that applied to porneia  and moicheia under Deuteronomy 22.    This upped the ante on civil divorce as a substitute means of disposing of unwanted wives.

(2) Jesus had just publicly lauded His cousin John the Baptist, who had recently been beheaded by Heriod after rebuking his adulterous mutual divorce and remarriage to Herodias, saying “return your brother’s wife — it is not lawful for you to have her.”

(3) A recent attempt by the Pharisees to entrap him had failed when He was brought the woman taken in adultery — related to (1) above.

(4) Jesus had previously delivered the Sermon on the Mount, where He had informed his audience that He was raising the moral standard on a host of Mosaic laws, not the least of which was marriage.   He began by warning them that to lust after another man’s wife, and not be content with one’s own wife would send them to hell if they acted on it.   (There was really no indication that this wasn’t the case all along, even under Moses, but under the New Covenant, there would no longer be atonement available through animal sacrifices, so obedience to Him must begin to come from the heart.)  
Furthermore, He was redefining adultery, no longer to be based solely on an act of the woman, but now it would be based on either gender marrying somebody else’s one-flesh spouse while that person was still living.  This was the first of three recorded occasions where He repeated the identical message without any exceptions that pertained to the 3rd party involved.

For the Pharisees, there was also no mistaking, due to the Hebrew betrothal custom and (1) above that when Jesus spoke in Matthew 5:32 of “except for a report  of unchastity” [logou  porneias],  He was not speaking of a consummated wife by any stretch of the imagination.   This could only be applied to the betrothed legal wife who was the subject of an unconsummated  ketubah.    Speaking as God, He was, in effect slamming the door on “Plan B” which at various earlier points in their history following Moses’ death, they accustomed themselves to resorting to when periodically deprived of the power to carry out stoning.    All of the above created the incendiary backdrop for another Pharisaical attempt to trap and incriminate Jesus, hoping Herod would be motivated to do to Jesus what he had just done to John the Baptist.

Most contemporary Protestant commentaries fixate on the running dispute between the Hillel and Shammai camps of the Pharisees, while presuming in a weakly-supported manner that Jesus sided with the Shammai’s  because of the “exception” He mentioned in  Matthew 5.   This is not only an inept analysis, it is also a total red herring!    Full context shows that Jesus flatly rebuked both schools, and Moses along with them!   Jesus brushed aside their dispute and moved the whole conversation to a place of impact in the kingdom of God, as can be seen in the private discussion with His disciples in the house afterward, verses 10-12:

The disciples said to Him, “If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.   But He said to them, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given.  For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.   He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.”

Sometimes the context that immediately follows the passage being interpreted is just as important as the context that preceded it.   In this instance, if Jesus were merely agreeing with the “conservative” Shammais, verses 10-12, the discussion of becoming a eunuch for the kingdom of God would have no context, nor would the incredulous statement of dismay by the disciples.    But the parallel account in Mark 10 strengthens it even further because Mark, who was not there but spent years ministering with Peter among the Roman Gentiles, was impressed enough with the strength and firmness of what Jesus said that day to drop the gender distinction, indicating that was only relevant in the patriarchal Hebrew culture:

In the house the disciples began questioning Him about this again. And He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her;  and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery.”

The Principle of CULTURE:
Much has already been covered concerning the cultural considerations in interpreting Matthew 19:6 as rendering holy matrimony altogether indissoluble by any act of men.   The central element is without question the tradition of the Hebrew betrothal, and well as the politics around the on-again, off-again stoning law established by Moses.    Other elements that factor in include the long history of polygamyespecially among the great patriarchs of Israel, the divorce practices learned from among the Egyptians and other pagans prior to and during the Exodus that corrupted the Hebrews and multiplied their adulteries.   The final element is the ritual animal sacrifice that atoned for personal iniquity on a daily basis, which ended shortly after the Mosaic covenant gave way to the Messianic covenant which shifted men’s moral responsibility to maintaining a pure heart in taking up their personal cross and following Him.    Not to love Jesus more than any possession or family relationship was now deemed to be idolatry, which was another for which one forfeited their inheritance in the kingdom of God.

The Principle of COMPARISON:
Scripture must always be interpreted in light of all other scripture on the same topic, and accomplished in such a way that there is no contradiction.    All canonized scripture is equally-inspired.  The Holy Spirit cannot contradict Himself.    Where there appears to be an inconsistency, disciplined investigation must continue until the source of the error is proven, and until scripture again aligns.   All of the relevant Old and New Testament scripture passages must be considered, and appropriate rigor demands that none be ignored as “analogy”, or dismissed as “hyperbole”.

The most relevant scriptures from Genesis to Revelation are:

Genesis 2:21-24  –  Matthew 19:6 is verbatim Genesis 2:24, but verses 21-23 give us even richer context.   The covenant wife of a man’s youth is “flesh of his flesh” and “bone of his bones” precisely because of God’s supernatural role in every holy matrimony joining.   God did not take a slab of ribs out of Adam, nor did He send Adam into a second sleep to supply a replacement when Eve did not turn out to be perfect.   There was no provision whatsoever for severing their one-flesh relationship except death.   That’s precisely why Jesus took the Pharisees back to the Garden, and why it wasn’t even necessary to say in the Pharisees’ hearing (because they already knew) the private elaboration He saved for His disciples, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her;  and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery.”

Exodus 20:14, 17  – the Ten Commandments were in effect a ketubah, the written evidence of an enduring covenant between Elohim and His chosen people.    In light of how Jesus redefined man’s notion of adultery, the seventh and tenth commandments also echo our understanding of Matthew 19:6.

Deuteronomy 22:13-22  – Under Mosaic law, the penalty for either adultery by a fully-consummated wife (verse 22), or fornication by a betrothed wife (verses 13-21) under a ketubah, was stoning, not dissolution of the marriage by dismissal.   This is fully consistent with the truth that death was required to unjoin one-flesh, which Moses fully understood.

Deuteronomy 22:23-29 – This passage demonstrates a situation where justice required that an unbetrothed virgin who was raped was made legally equivalent to a consummated wife, necessary because would now never be offered a ketubah, therefore was robbed of her opportunity to become one-flesh with a future husband.   Not only was her rapist required to marry her, but he could not divorce her all his days.   This was necessary because of the possibility that her rapist was already married, so without this provision, she might otherwise not be made equal with the one-flesh wife, but instead subject to the law in Deuteronomy 24:1-4.

Deuteronomy 24:1-4 –   Although the Pharisaical controversy with Jesus (and also the text of Malachi 2) shows that the system had broken down at some point, but under Moses, “divorce” constituted release from the ketubah, and was reserved for situations where supernaturally God-joined one-flesh did not yet exist, or could never exist (and not situations involving sexual immorality because that was defined in Deuteronomy 22).   Examples included:  “some indecency” or “some nakedness” such as an undisclosed disease in the bride that resulted in ongoing ritual uncleanness – such as leprosy or bleeding;  an unhappy concubine who had been captured in war;  subsequent spouses in polygamy;  too-close consanguinity, and the like.    The reason the husband could not take such a divorced wife back was because the marriage could never be lawful either before or after it occurred.   The obvious analogy with today is the non-covenant wife of remarriage adultery  who must be relinquished permanently in order for both spouses to have a chance to enter heaven.    [This is one passage that is rampantly abused by commentators and ministry leaders, and will be the subject of our next blog in the series.]

Jeremiah 3:1-14 –  This is the passage where the prophet draws an analogy between the covenant violation of adultery and the covenant violation of worshipping other gods (idolatry).   Because it seems to imply in verse 8 that God “divorced” Israel,  this is another widely-abused passage, both in terms of claims that God instituted and / or allows divorce,  and to justify replacement theology, our series will address this passage as well.   There is much to get into with word translation and context that we will cover at that time.   For now,  suffice it to say that the book of Revelation, as well as the march of 20th century history clearly demonstrates that God’s covenant marriage bond with Israel and Judah were violated but certainly not dissolved, and verse 14 is quite explicit in its corroboration of our understanding of indissolubility described in Matthew 19:6,
“Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion….”

Hosea 1, 2 – In another prophetic analogy similar to Jeremiah, this prophet was told by God to marry a known prostitute.   The one-flesh joining occurred, despite her past, due to their vows before God.  Her return to prostitution after taking those vows did not dissolve their covenant, despite his anguished declaration (2:2),
For she is not my wife, and I am not her husband...”  nor did he have her stoned under Mosaic law, as he could have.   Instead, he buys her back from off the slave auction block, saying (2:14, 16, 19-20),

“…Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Bring her into the wilderness
And speak kindly to her…….It will come about in that day,” declares the Lord,   “That you will call Me Ishi  [husband]
And will no longer call Me Baali [master]….I will betroth you to Me forever;  Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice,
In lovingkindness and in compassion,
And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness.
Then you will know the Lord.”

It is as if God set the extreme story of Hosea to show that no act of men dissolves the marriage covenant of our youth, nor unjoins one-flesh.

Ezra, chapters 9 and 10 –  Over 100 priests were found to have entered into prohibited marriages (perhaps even polygamously) to pagan women with whom they had many children.   The Lord commanded that they be sent away in order to purify the people and have the nation restored.   When a nation, and especially with the involvement of its spiritual leaders, becomes so evil as to trample the sanctity of life and marriage, God begins to demand drastic cleansing measures.  Some cite this passage as evidence that God allows divorce, especially if the spouse of one’s youth is not a believer.   The problem with that is Paul’s instruction in 1 Corinthians 7: 12-13 to the contrary.   That instruction is based on the foundational fact that only  God can unjoin one-flesh.   However, in the instance of a prohibited marriage, it is not holy matrimony and God does not perform a one-flesh joining even if there are children born of the union.

Malachi 2:10-17 –  The Amplified Version brings in some important context that is not otherwise evident in the prophet’s rebuke of the adulterous priest(s) who were indeed guilty of remarriage adultery, of sending away an innocent one-flesh wife of their youth in order to “marry” a pagan woman, the identical situation that is so pervasive today.   God makes clear in verse 14 that He does not covenant with this second marriage, nor did he join them as one-flesh.   He is graphic about the human attempt to tear away,  or violently sever the one-flesh that Jesus says in Matthew 19:6 that only God can sever.   It is possible, as well, that Malachi is referring to false accusation that may have resulted in the wrongful stoning of an innocent covenant wife when Malachi speaks of “covering your garment with violence”,  and Jesus might have been alluding to the abuse of stoning when He spoke of hard hearts.   The term “shalach” used in 2:16 is literally “sending / putting away”,  but as we see in Deuteronomy,  the “get” (bill of divorcement) was reserved for other purposes than to dispose of a consummated one-flesh wife.
It is clear in this passage, that when God says He hates divorce (sending away),  He is speaking specifically of only the one-flesh spouse of our youth.

(Before turning to our comparison of New Testament passages, we pause to note what we’ve seen from scripture interpreting scripture,  the Pharisees who challenged Jesus were violating  God’s law from the beginning, as Jesus points out to them in Matthew 19:8.   Even in the Old Testament, there was never any true provision for sending away or abandoning a one-flesh spouse of one’s youth, consistently with all three “truth nuggets” gleaned above from  Matthew 19:6.   This is further supported by the fact that in all of the books of the Old Testament, we see a certain amount of polygamy, but we do not see one instance of “shalach” of a one-flesh consummated wife among those of any of the named figures of bible history except Vashti, the wife of the pagan King Xerxes in the book of Esther, until we come to the New Testament, where we see Herod directly rebuked by the Holy Spirit as an adulterer.)

Matthew 1:24-25 –   Mary was a betrothed wife under ketubah during the Roman occupation of Palestine, during which stoning for adultery or fornication was deprived of the Jews to carry out, so his option according to the post-Mosaic rabbinical tradition was “shalach“, which he purposed to do quietly, not wanting to disgrace her.   When the angel of the Lord commanded him to take her as his wife rather than issue her a “get” sending her away, he obeyed but kept her a virgin until Jesus was born.   As a result, though the ceremony took place, it is possible the one-flesh joining was delayed by God in this instance.   But why did God choose a betrothed mother and not an unattached virgin?    Perhaps it was so that we would have a well-known example through the ages to understand the importance of Hebrew betrothal to Jesus’ role as our unconditionally faithful Bridegroom.   Jesus subsequently gained several brothers whose biological father was Joseph.

Matthew 5:27-32 –  the key theme of the Sermon on the Mount was that Jesus was ushering in a new covenant, where no longer would there be animal sacrifices and external atonement for sin, nor the law to grudgingly fall short of, but obedience was to flow from the heart out of love and gratitude for His taking our place, and suffering the punishment we deserved.   Therefore, the Mosaic law was being superseded, especially the 613 sundry Pharisaical rules and the bulk of the Mosaic laws, in favor of a much higher standard:  love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, and love our neighbor as ourselves.    No more eye for an eye , tooth for a tooth.  No more taking our own revenge or loving only those who love us.   We were no longer to allow sin to form even in our hearts.   Jesus redefined adultery as lustful thoughts, and murder as hateful, angry thoughts.   Against this backdrop, how is it even possible to seek to terminate a one-flesh God-joining for any reason?   How could such hate be committed against one’s own children?    A word of clarity is necessary concerning verse 32:

ἐγὼ δὲ   λέγω  ὑμῖν     ὅτι     πᾶς   ὁ       ἀπολύων                            τὴν
I however say to you that everyone “from-loosing”[dismissing] the

γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ  παρεκτὸς         λόγου       πορνείας
wife     of him      except for     a report of prostitution / whoredom

ποιεῖ   αὐτὴν      μοιχευθῆναι                        καὶ      ὃς         ἐὰν
causes   her      to commit adultery              and   whoever if

ἀπολελυμένην                                 γαμήσῃ               μοιχᾶται
her having been divorced        shall marry     commits adultery.

Why did Jesus say it was entering into a state of adultery  for a man to marry a woman who had been put away?    Was it not because she was still joined as one-flesh to her true husband, a condition that only God, not men, could unjoin?    Why does putting her away cause her to commit adultery?   Is it not for the very same reason Jesus stated in Matthew 19:6, that they would never again be two, once joined by God?     Note, too, that contemporary English translations make an unsupported word substitution for “porneia” (rendering it as “sexual immorality”)  when the original usage was much more specific than that.   Lastly, it should be noted Jesus referred to  “porneia”  (whoredom) and “moicheia” (adultery) as two separate and distinct sexual sins, not only here, but also in  Matthew 15:19 and Mark 7:21, as well as Matthew 19:9.    Paul did likewise in
1 Corinthian 6:9-10  and Galatians 5:19-21.    All of the above is consistent with the truth Jesus stated in Matthew 19:6, that man has no power to dissolve holy matrimony for any reason, by any act short of dying, and cannot unjoin what God has joined.   We can see that construing Matthew 5:32 as creating an adultery exception permitting one to divorce and remarry  causes the verse to contradict all other marriage scriptures except (on the surface) Matthew 19:9.

Matthew 14:3-4; Mark 6:17-18  –  These are the two  accounts of John the Baptist openly rebuking the adulterous divorces and remarriage of Herod and Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip.    On what basis was John justified in making that charge if either civil divorce or adultery dissolved holy matrimony?    Note that even though they were both pagans, as presumably both of their true spouses were, God still irrevocably joined them as one-flesh to their respective true spouses.   Jesus highly commended John the Baptist for taking the stand that he did.

Matthew 19:8 –  “…Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so….”     Jesus is reiterating exactly what He said two verses earlier, that flesh-of-a-man’s-flesh and bone-of-his-bones cannot be unjoined by man,  a foundational truth from the Creation account, Genesis 2:21-23.

Matthew 19:9  –  This is the second most abused scripture in the New Testament when it comes to the sanctity of marriage, right after 1 Corinthians 7:15 (see below).   Both will be the subject of future installments to come.  If you click on the scripture’s link, please pay very careful attention to the footnotes at bottom.    These “manuscripts”, almost dismissively referred to, are the very ones rejected by revisionist translators Westcott & Hort.   Added back to Matthew 19:9 they cause this passage to read the same as Matt. 5:32 and Luke 16:18, with the concluding phrase casting serious doubt on the notion that “except for fornication” reasonably refers to a post-wedding state of sin.   The footnotes also show that “fornication” (“prostitution” or “whoredom” in pre-1800’s translations) was changed to the more fungible “immorality” in this version.

Matthew 19: 10-12 –  After Jesus offended the Pharisees’ carnal line of questioning by slamming the door shut on divorce and remarriage as being something tolerable in the kingdom of God, His incredulous and stunned disciples confronted Him privately in the house, where He delivered the hard word in Matthew 19:9 / Mark 10:10-12.   We know that Jesus was not stating an exception for adultery because this was the accepted position of the school of Shammai, and would have triggered no controversy whatsoever with the twelve.   Their response, “it is better not to marry”  (if there’s no way holy matrimony can be dissolved by men) is once again perfectly consistent with our understanding of Matthew 19:6.     Jesus then spoke of three types of eunuchs:  those born that way, those who have been emasculated, and those separated from a one-flesh spouse who may not remarry for the sake of the kingdom of God, which directly follows from His straightforward message in Matthew 19:6.

Mark 10: 1-12 – This is the parallel account of the same event as Matthew 19: 1-12, but addressed to a mixed-gender Gentile audience.    The key verse is 10:11-12,  “And He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery.”     John Mark, nephew of Barnabas was not present for this event,  but was Peter’s companion and ministry partner, thereby learning of it from Peter who was present.   Whatever Jesus said in that house following the exchange with the Pharisees was obviously made so strong an impression on Peter that his young disciple felt it applied equally to both genders, overcoming the traditional patriarchal bias of the Mosaic law, and dispensing with any exception whatsoever.  

Luke 16:16-31 –  This is one of the two passages where Jesus is commending John the Baptist, martyr and rebuker of remarriage adultery, just before He delivers an exceptionless rebuke of divorce and remarriage, stating for the third time that to marry a person who has been put away by a spouse is entering into an ongoing state of adultery.    On what basis?   On the basis that they are attempting to marry someone who is still joined as one-flesh to their true spouse, and violating an indissoluble covenant according to what He said in Matthew 19:6.    Immediately following this, Jesus goes into a vivid description of hell, describing the rich man who lived for self and received his reward in full during his life on earth while others suffered under his feet.   Coincidence or design, is Jesus’ account?

Romans 7:2-3; 1 Corinthians 7:39  –  Two pronouncements of Paul, echoing each other, that only death dissolves the covenant of holy matrimony and frees a previously married person to marry another.    On what basis was Paul saying this, if not Matthew 19:6, and the other exceptionless instances where Jesus is calling marriage to a divorced person adultery?

1 Cor 6:1-8; 15-20 –  In addition to flatly stating that ongoing, unrepentant adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of God,
1 Corinthians 6 forbids using the pagan civil court system to avoid the godly authority of church leadership, and very importantly, it contrasts the constitutional differences between the permanent, supernatural God-joining of holy matrimony with the transitory carnal joining of an unlawful, immoral relationship.   It describes slavery to the wrong thing, lust and idolatry, as well as the sin of bodily dragging Jesus into the immorality.   If we’re bought with a price by the Bridegroom, and our bodies are not our own to do as we please,  the basis is also Matthew 19:6.

1 Corinthians 7:10-16 –  This chapter addresses various groups in the church body, including “the married”,  reiterating that separation and divorce is not an option, but if separation occurs, the spouses are to remain celibate or they are to reconcile.   They are not to seek separation due to a difference in faith,  For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband.”   This is as much an allusion to the one-flesh state that exists between them as it is to godly daily influence.   The instruction not to obstruct a spouse from departing who cannot abide the believing spouse’s discipleship has little to do with other causes of marital rupture, and the reference to the believing spouse not being bound refers to their freedom to follow Christ rather than a dissolution of the marriage bond.    All of this is perfectly consistent with Matthew 19:6.   (The pervasive abuse of verse 15 will be the subject of another blog in the series.)

1 Corinthians 7: 26-27 –  Another commonly-abused scripture in the same passage is used to justify remaining in a civil marriage that Jesus called adulterous.    Paul instructed those in the Corinthian church, in light of the persecution they were suffering, to remain as they were “called”,  meaning the state they were in when converted to Christ, also referring to slavery a few verses above.   However, verse 25 specifically addresses this to the virgins, and is once again referring to the kiddushin betrothal.    Therefore, his references to “wife” are mixed.    In the case of an indissoluble covenant with the wife of one’s youth, one is always “called” in the married state and required to cease and repudiate any accompanying state of sin.     The foundation for saying that one is called in the married state, not to a spouse of serial polygamy but to the covenant one-flesh spouse is, of course, Matthew 19:6 (also Luke 16:18  and Mark 10:11-12).

Eph 5:28-32 –   This passage is one of the clearest possible elaborations of the one-flesh relationship that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 19:6.   Paul goes so far to say that however a man treats his one-flesh companion, he is treating his own body.   From there Paul reiterates the symbolism of holy matrimony as depicting Christ’s relationship with His body, the church.

1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6 –  Both of these passages forbid a man from serving in church leadership who is the husband of more than one wife, that is, one who has married another after putting away a wife, since Jesus defined this practice in Matt. 5:32b, Matt. 19:9b and Luke 16:18b as adultery.    Allowing a remarriage adulterer to serve as a pastor sets an immoral example which then attacks the families of that church who would emulate the pastor’s example.   Violating Paul’s clear instruction has also has historically polluted official church doctrine, from the Anglicans to the Assemblies of God, as humanistic impulses put the Matthew 19:6 commandment of Christ to a popular vote of the clergy in the 17th and 20th centuries, respectively.

Romans 13:1-2, 6-7Matthew 16:19; Acts 5:28-30 –  Some Christians will refute our disciplined interpretation of Matt. 19:6 by using Romans 13 to argue for the “validity” of civil divorce as “dissolving” holy matrimony.    They are correct that civil divorce dissolves unions of whatever type that God did not join and covenant with.   “For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God….for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.  Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.”        But did God ever grant the regulation of holy matrimony into civil government’s remit?   Matthew 19:6 directly states otherwise, by the mouth of Jesus!

The Roman Catholic Church claims authority to “annul” marriages, citing Matthew 16:19,  “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”     Yet, Jesus could not have been plainer, “therefore what God has joined, let NO MAN separate.”

As now with the legalization of both sodomous and serially-polygamous /  adulterous unions by the civil authorities, there arises a need for fearing and obeying God above men, even to the extent of civil disobedience and suffering civil consequences.    Peter and the apostles were rebuked and threatened for preaching the gospel:
“We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.”  But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.  The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross.”   
deed, the rebuked adulterer Herod was the governing authority,  yet John the Baptist put his and his adulteress’ souls above the civil law, fully willing to suffer for doing right, and was highly commended by Jesus for it .    Are we going recognize homosexual “marriages”, along with adulterous ones because “there’s no authority except as established by God?”   St. Augustine (echoed by Martin Luther King, Jr. in his Letter from the Birmingham Jail)  stated, “an immoral law is no law at all.”

[“Standerinfamilycourt”  has endeavored to include in the COMPARISON step all of the scriptures commonly used (misused, actually) to negate or undermine the unpalatable message from Jesus in Matthew 19:6, however if such a scripture has been overlooked,  the reader is encouraged to use the Comments section of this blog to bring it to our attention.]


The Principle of CONSULTATION
Whom is it most appropriate to consult on the authority of scripture which condemns man’s attempts to dissolve holy matrimony and to “sanctify” marriage to another while still having a living one-flesh spouse?     Due to the carnality of man which tends to escalate over time, that is a very important question which requires a strong knowledge of church history to reliably answer.    Hopefully, we’ve made it clear with indisputable evidence up to this point exactly where Jesus and the Apostles (including Paul) stood.   They discipled the next generation of followers of The Way, who in turn discipled the successive generations of the ante-Nicene church fathers.   It makes sense therefore to start the consultation with the writings of those who knew the Apostles (for example, Luke and Mark), and with those whom the next generation  discipled.

We need to be a bit skeptical while consulting theologian commentators from the time  of the Reformation forward when it comes to this topic.    Some will be biased in defense of the heretical Westminster Confession of Faith, which dominated mainline Protestant Churches from the 17th century, and others will be swayed by the tampering with word translations that began to occur in the lexicons published after the latter half of the 19th century.    On this basis, an equal number of later scholars will refute and discredit the many writings of the disciples of the Apostles, literally lapsing into “Reverend All-Wet” mode, and only superficially applying the  principles of disciplined hermeneutics  that we’ve just stepped through together.    For example, in convoluted fashion they’ll say that “scripture cannot contradict itself”,  so since “most scholars agree” (a presumption based on confirmation bias — and a weakened, distorted application of the COMPARISON principle that completely bypasses application of both the CONTEXT and  CULTURE principles) …that porneia “should always be” translated as “sexual immorality”,  all of the many scriptures that refute this must therefore be interpreted as not universally authoritative, and the church fathers should be dismissed as “flawed” asceticists.   Two free downloadable scholarly books are available, here and here, that will be very helpful in carrying out the CONSULTATION step for almost every scripture we’ll be examining in this series.   Our Church Fathers and Church Wolves series will also be historically helpful.

Here’s what several of the early church fathers and other bible commentators had to say on this topic of the indissolubility of holy matrimony:

Justin Martyr (100-165 A.D)
And, “Whoever shall marry her who is divorced from another husband, commits adultery.”   And, “There are some who have been made eunuchs of men, and some who were born eunuchs, and some who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake; but all cannot receive this saying.”  So that all who by human law, are twice married, are in the eye of our Master sinners, and those who look upon a woman to lust after her.

Hermas (circa 160 A.D.)
And I said to him, “Sir, if any one has a wife who trusts in the Lord, and if he detect her in adultery, does the man sin if he continues to live with her?”  And he said to me, “As long as he remains ignorant of her sin, the husband commits no transgression in living with her.  But if the husband knows that his wife has gone astray, and if the woman does not repent, but persists in her sin, and the husband continues to live with her, he also is guilty of her crime, and a sharer in her adultery.”  And I said to him, “What then, sir, is the husband to do if she continues in her vicious practices?”  And he said, “The husband should put her away and remain by himself.  But if he put her away and marries another, he also commits adultery.”

Theophilus (circa 170-190 A.D.)
“And he that marries”, says [the Gospel] , “her that is divorced from her husband commits adultery; and whoever puts away his wife**, saving for the cause of fornication, cause her to commit adultery.”   Because Solomon says: “Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?  Or can one walk across hot coals and his feet not be burned?  So he that goes into a married woman will not be innocent.”      (**Recall that “wife” in the Gospel also referred to a betrothed legal wife who was the only type of “wife” who could commit fornication rather than adultery.)

Athenagoras (177 A.D.)
For we bestow our attention; not on the study of words, but on the exhibition and teaching of actions, that a person should either remain as he was born, or be content with one marriage; for a second marriage is only a specious adultery.   “For whoever puts away his wife,” says He, “and marries another commits adultery;” not permitting a man to send her away whose virginity he has brought to an end, nor to marry again.

Clement of Alexandria (circa 215 A.D.)
Now that the scripture counsels marriage, and allows no release from the union, is expressly contained in the law, “You shall not put away your wife except for the cause of fornication,” and it regards as adultery the marriage of those separated while the other is alive.   The Church cannot marry another, having obtained a bridegroom;  each of us individually has a right to marry the woman he wishes according to the law; I mean here first marriage.

Tertullian ( circa 160-220 A.D.)
A divorced woman cannot even marry legitimately; and if she commits any such act without the name of marriage, does it not fall under the category of adultery, in that adultery is crime in the way of marriage?    Such is God’s verdict, within narrower limits than men’s, that universally, whether through marriage or promiscuously, the admission of a second man to intercourse is pronounced adultery to Him...so true, moreover, is it that divorce “was not from the beginning,” that among the Romans it is not until the six hundredth year from the building of the city that this kind of “hard heartedness” is set down as having been committed.  But they indulge in promiscuous adulteries, even without divorcing their partners: to us, even if we do divorce them, even marriage will not be lawful.

Council of Arles, 314 A.D.
Of those who discover their wives in adultery and are young Christians and are forbidden to marry, it was determined that they be most strongly advised not to take other wives while their own live, though they be adulterous.

Gregory Nanzianzen (circa 325-389 A.D.)
For I think the word here seems to deprecate second marriage.  For, if there were two Christs, there may be two husbands or two wives; but if Christ is One, one Head of the Church, let there also be one flesh, let the second be rejected…now the [civil] Law grants divorce for every cause, but Christ not for every cause; but He allows only separation from the whore; and in all other things He commands patience.

Ambrose of Milan (333-397 A.D.)
Therefore, the right to marry is given you, lest ye fall into a snare and sin with a strange woman.  Ye are bound to your wife; do not seek release because you are not permitted to marry another while your wife lives.

John Chrysostom (circa 347-407 A.D.)
‘Let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband.’….’What then if he will never be reconciled?’ one may ask.   You have one more mode of release and deliverance.  What is that?  Await his death.  For as the (consecrated) virgin may not marry because her Spouse always lives, and is immortal; so to her who has been married it is then only lawful [to remarry] when her husband is dead.

Innocent I  (417 A.D.)
It is manifest that when persons who have been divorced marry again both parties are adulterers.   And moreover, although the former marriage is supposed to be broken, yet if they marry again they themselves are adulterers, but the parties whom they marry are equally with them guilty of adultery; as we read in the gospel:
He who puts away his wife and marries another commits adultery; and likewise, He who marries her that is put away from her husband commits adultery.

Jerome (circa 340-420 A.D.)
The apostle has cut away every plea and has clearly declared that, if a woman marries again while her husband is living, she is an adulteress.   You must not speak to me of the violence of a ravisher,  a mother’s pleading, a father’s bidding, the influence of relatives, the insolence and the intrigues of servants, household losses.   A husband may be an adulterer,  a sodomite, he may be stained with every crime and may have been left by his wife for his sins; yet he is still her husband as long as he lives; she may not marry another.

Augustine of Hippo (354-430 A.D.)
It cannot be correctly affirmed either that the husband who puts away his wife because of immorality and marries another does not commit adultery.   For there is adultery, also, on the part of those who marry others after the repudiation of their former wives because of immorality…If everyone who marries another woman after the dismissal of his wife commits adultery, this includes one who puts away his wife without cause of immorality and the one who puts away his wife for this reason.

Peter Lombard (prior to 1160 A.D.)
The marriage bond still exists between those who, even if departing from one another, having joined themselves to others.

Thomas Aquinas (circa 1225-1274 A.D.)
Nothing happening after a marriage can dissolve it: wherefore adultery does not make a marriage cease to be valid.  For according to Augustine, “as long as they live they are bound by the marriage tie, which neither divorce nor union with another can destroy.

Isaac Williams (1802-1865)
‘What therefore God has joined let not man put asunder.’   Here our Lord sets aside the letter of Holy Scripture, in one case, in the passage in Deuteronomy, (which He speaks of as the command of Moses,) on account of the higher law of Christian holiness and perfection…and therefore this passage in the book of Genesis not only is spoken, as St Paul says it is, of the Sacramental union betwixt Christ and His Church, but also does signify that marriage is itself of Divine sanction, and the union formed by God, and necessarily indissoluble as such…for if God has joined, man cannot put asunder.

FB profile 7xtjw   SIFC Note:   All of the above quotes are from  Daniel R. Jennings, “Except for Fornication – Why Evangelicals Must Reevaluate Their Interpretation of Matthew’s Divorce Exception Clause” (2011)
Sean Multimedia (www.seanmultimedia.com).
The remainder of the commentaries, cited below, are courtesy of www. biblehub.com.

R.A. Torrey (circa 1890)  – Moody Bible Institute

Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible
Wherefore they are no more twain,…. They were two before marriage, but now no more so; not but that they remain two distinct persons,

but one flesh; or, as the Syriac, Arabic, Persic, and Ethiopic versions read, “one body”: hence the wife is to beloved by the husband as his own body, as himself, as his own flesh, Ephesians 5:28.

what therefore God hath joined together; or, by the first institution of marriage, has declared to be so closely united together, as to be, as it were, one flesh, and one body, as husband and wife are;

let no man put asunder; break the bond of union, dissolve the relation, and separate them from each other, for every trivial thing, upon any slight occasion, or for anything; but what is hereafter mentioned. The sense is, that the bond of marriage being made by God himself, is so sacred and inviolable, as that it ought not to be dissolved by any man; not by the husband himself, or any other for him; nor by any state or government, by any prince or potentate, by any legislator whatever; no, not by Moses himself, who is, at least, included, if not chiefly designed here, though not named, to avoid offence: and God and man being opposed in this passage, shows, that marriage is an institution and appointment of God, and therefore not to be changed and altered by man at his pleasure; this not merely a civil, but a sacred affair, in which God is concerned.

Pulpit Commentary
Verse 6.
Wherefore (ὥστε); so that. This follows from the quotation just given. Our Lord explains and confirms the original dictum by an assertion of his own and a general law. What God hath joined together. The institution of marriage is God’s appointment. Christ says ο{, what, neuter singular, not “those whom,” plural and concrete, that he may make it clear that he is here speaking in the abstract, not specially of Adam and Eve. What he enunciates is true of all wedlock, not simply of the case of our first parents. Let not man put asunder. Man does thus infringe the primitive rule when he divorces his with. Herein he opposes God and acts against nature. He and his wife are one; they can no more separate from one another than they can from themselves. If we regard our Lord’s language in this passage without prejudice, and not reading into it modern notions, we must consider that he here decrees the indissolubility of the marriage tie. His hearers plainly understood him so to speak, as we see from the objection which they urged.

Bengel’s Gnomen
Matthew 19:6. οὐκ ἔτι εἰσὶ, they are no more) They are now no longer two, as they were before.—δύο, two) We should not understand σάρκες, fleshes (carnes): for in Matthew 19:5 we find οἱ δύο (the two, they twain).—, that which (quod), not , those which (quae): for they are now one flesh.—συνέζευεξεν, hath joined together) hath made one.—ἄνθρωπος, man) see Matthew 19:3.—μὴ, κ.τ.λ., let not, etc.) The principle here involved admits of a widely extended application: what GOD hath separated, commanded, conceded, prohibited, blessed, praised, loosed, bound, etc., let not Man join together, prohibit, forbid, command, curse, blame, bind, loose, etc., not even in his own case; see Acts 10:15; Numbers 23:8; Romans 14:3; Romans 14:20.—χωριζέτω, put asunder) In every case of sexual connection, either God hath joined the two, or He hath not joined them: if He hath not joined them, their connection is unlawful; if He hath joined them, why are they separated?

To be sure, there are commentaries, Ellicott’s and Meyers’ for two examples, on Matthew 19:6 that comport with the Lutheran / Calvinist  (revisionist) view of holy matrimony being an “ideal” rather than a commandment, and with it being dissolved by the act of adultery, and by the decree of men.   However, this view as we’ve shown, is not supported by either church history nor by the vast body of scripture, nor by what the Lord repeatedly stated.

The United States of America was established, with the Lord’s help, as a nation dedicated to the freedom of men to pursue the kingdom of God, beginning in their homes.   Unlike Europe, to whom the Protestant Reformers handed off to the state the power to regulate that which belonged exclusively to God, civil marriage licenses did not begin to be instituted by state and local governments for nearly 100 years after the U.S. Constitution was ratified.    Morality was elevated and there developed a tradition that the family was sovereign and sacrosanct, and as a result,  God’s extreme favor rested on our nation.    Our forefathers likewise established their  hill to die on, the alienable right of conscience and to the free exercise of religious conviction in awe-filled reverence toward the word of God.


But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;   Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.    1 Peter 2:9




7 Times Around the Jericho Wall  |  Let’s Repeal No-Fault Divorce!




2 thoughts on “Let’s Stop Popular Scripture Abuse: The “Debunk” Series – Part 1”

  1. Hello again,

    I wanted to share a resource that I discovered online from the late Dr. Leslie McFall that I found fascinating in support of this truth. I’m not sure if elsewhere on your blog you mention the topic of Erasmus and his addition to Matthew 19:9, with all its implications from the Reformation to the present but if not, I highly recommend this eBook (a portion of which can also be found on Academia.edu).



  2. Thank you for sharing, Jan.
    Dr. McFall was gracious enough to have an ongoing dialogue for some time before his sudden passing with scholar Sharon Fitzhenry who is a friend and contributor of this page. His untimely death last year was a deep loss to Christendom and to the voice of truth within her.

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