Mark 10:12 And if a woman shall put away her husband...

Greek Verse: 

Literal Translation: 

And when she, putting away that male of hers, she might marry another, he defiles himself.

KJV Verse: 

Mark 10:12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

There is no "a woman" in the Greek. There is just the pronoun, "she." The "put away" is not an active verb but an adjective, "putting away" or "releasing." Notice this action is the same as a man toward a woman. The active verb in the "if" statement, is "marry," In other words, it is marrying after divorce that creates adultery.  The term "commit adultery" is only usually applied to man debauch women. Since there is no "she" in the phrase "she committeth adultery," the sense of the verb would be "he commits adultery" refering to the "another" she marries. . This makes this verse more consistent with the versions in Matthew 5:32 and Luke 18:20 which refer to the  other man in the relationship, not the woman.

Greek Vocabulary: 

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just."

ἐὰν (conj) "If" is ean, which is a conditional particle (derived from ei (if)and an (might)) which makes reference to a time and experience in the future that introduces but does not determine an event.

αὐτὴ ( adj sg fem nom ) "A woman" is autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there."

ἀπολύσασα ( part sg aor act fem nom ) "Shall put away" might be from apolyo which means "to loose from" "to set free", "to release", "to acquit", "to divorce [a wife]", "to do away with," and "to begin to count." In the passive, it means "to be released", "to be separated [combatants]," "to be brought forth [a child]," and "to be delivered [of a mother]," and "to be undone."

τὸν (article)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

ἄνδρα (noun sg masc acc) "Husband" is from aner, which means "a man (as opposed to a god)", "a man (as opposed to a woman)", "a husband", "a man in the prime of life (as opposed to a youth)," and "a man indeed." -- 

αὐτῆς ( adj sg fem gen ) "His" (adj sg masc acc) "Him" is autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there."

γαμήσῃ ( verb 3rd sg aor subj act ) "be married" is from gameo, which mean "to marry" and "to take a wife." For a woman, it means "to give yourself in marriage." It can also mean to "take a lover.

ἄλλον ( adj sg masc acc ) "To another" is allos, which means "another", "one besides", "of another sort", "different", "other than what is true", "as well", "besides," {with numerals: "yet", "still", "further"), "of other sort", "other than what is", "untrue", "unreal", "other than right", "wrong", "bad", "unworthy," [with an article] "the rest", "all besides," and [in series] "one...another."

μοιχᾶται. ( verb 3rd sg pres ind mp ) "She commiteth adultery" is moicheuo, which means "commit adultery with a woman, " "to debauch a woman," and generally, "to commit adultery with anyone." It is a metaphor for "worshiping idolatrously." -- Christ uses the word translated as "adultery" more broadly than its general meaning of having sex with a person not your spouse. He uses it more generally to mean "betraying your vows" or, more simply, "betray".

KJV Analysis: 

And -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

if -- The Greek word meaning "if might" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. This is often how we use the word "when".

a woman -- The word translated as "a woman" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English.  The word means "the same" when used as an adjective. In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there." 

shall -- This does not indicate a future tense of the verb. The verb is in the form of possibility where we would usually use a "might."

put away -- The Greek verb translated as "put away" means "to loose from" "to set free", "to release", "to acquit",  and "to divorce [a wife]". 

untranslated -- The untranslated word is the Greek definite article.The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

her -- The word translated as "her" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English.  It comes after the noun so "of hers."

husband, -- "Husband" is a noun that isn't the normal Greek word translated as "man" but a special word that indicates that manliness of "men," both for good and bad. In English, we would say "male." It emphasizes the adult man when compared to a youth or the mortality of a man when compared to the divinity of God. It is also used to mean "husband."

and -- There is no "and" here, because their is only one active verb. The form is again that of possibility, "might marry."

be -- This seems ot make the following verb passive, but the Greek verb is not passive.

married -- The word translated as "I have married" means, for a man, "to take a wife" and for a woman, to "give yourself in marriage."  It is not the past tense, but in a tense meaning something happening at some time. 

to -- This word doesn't exist in the Greek and isn't indicated by the form of the following noun.

another, "Another" is an adjective that means "another", "one besides", "of another sort", "different", "other than what is true", "as well", "besides," {with numerals: "yet", "still", "further"), "of other sort", "other than what is", "untrue", "unreal", "other than right", "wrong", "bad", "unworthy," [with an article] "the rest", "all besides," and [in series] "one...another."

she -- This is from the 3-person, singular form of the verb. The feminine is assumed because the only subject is the earlier "she."  However, the verb, "commits adultery" usually only applies to men so this could also refer to the "another" that she marries. This makes this verse more consistent with the versions in Matthew 5:32 and Luke 18:20 which refer to the  other man in the relationship, not the woman.

committeth adultery. -- "Commiteth adultery" is from the verb that means to "commit adultery with a woman, " "to debauch a woman," and generally, "to commit adultery with anyone." It is a metaphor for "worshiping idolatrously." This word is usually used only to describe men committing adultery. Jesus uses the word translated as "adultery" more broadly than its general meaning of having sex with a person not your spouse. He uses it more generally in describing the Pharisees to mean "betraying your vows" or, more simply, "betray".

Related Verses: 

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

Jesus explicitly says that the rules defining the way that a man treats his wife in marriage are the same for woman. He would not make this explicit statement unless 1) it is reasonable to think that some rules for men and woman are sometimes different, and 2) it is critical for marriage that the rules regarding divorce are the same for both sexes.

Both of these distinctions are important. Jesus never teaches that men and women are exactly the same.  Though they are yoked together in marriage, he never teaches against the idea that they have different roles and responsibilities as part of a single team.  He only teaches that neither party has the ability to dissolve that team by virtue of their sex.

Front Page Date: 

Oct 5 2019