The Lord Jesus describes a very straightforward and plainly understood rule in the Gospels of Mark and Luke, concerning remarriage after divorce: it is adultery(1). But in the gospel of Matthew, it is possible to translate generally high-quality ancient manuscripts in such a way that the Lord appears to be giving an exception to that rule: if fornication was the grounds for divorce, then remarriage is not adultery(2).
Questions I submit:
Can the Ancient Greek of Matthew be read so that there is no contradiction of Mark and Luke?
Is there a clear precedent for any gospel, or any book of the New Testament, contradicting or majorly nuancing another book of the New Testament?
Personally, as a Bible translator, I believe there are possible linguistic grounds for translating the Ancient Greek of Matthew such that there is no exception or contradiction to the Markan and Lukan rule being given. Such translations could be as follows:
... anyone who is loosing from the wife of his except on account of fornication causes adultery to be committed against her (Matthew 5:32);
... whoever would loose from the wife of his not upon fornication and [whoever] would marry another commits adultery (Matthew 19:9).
[Edit added in response to comments:] These readings (if they are reasonable on linguistic grounds) remove any nuancing or contradiction of the Markan and Lukan statements about remarriage after divorce, because
(1) in Matthew 5:32, the Lord would only be saying that divorce itself, when done not on the ground of fornication, is an act of adultery against the other spouse,
(2) in Matthew 19:9, there would be a combination of a re-statement of Matthew 5:32 with the additional information that a man remarrying after divorce is committing adultery.
Thank you to all who are contributing to the answering (and improvement) of the question that I asked.NOTES:
- Mark 10:11-12, Luke 16:18
- Matthew 5:32, 19:9