Concluding Remarks on the Discussion
by Maurice Barnett

Brother Smelser has unilaterally concluded our exchange. That is his decision. I thank him for his time and energy in making these articles possible. Discussions of this sort can only help all of us in the understanding of Truth. I also give my thanks to brethren Jeff Belknap and Tim Haile for their willingness to post these articles on their websites.

I encourage the readers to pay close attention to the previous articles on both sides and weigh what is said, reaching your own conclusions based on the evidence. Yet, because some things brother Smelser says in his concluding remarks, I feel compelled to clarify some facts. Brother Smelser has kindly indicated that I would probably have some concluding remarks.

(1) In brother Smelser’s reference to Strong’s Dictionary, he says:

"A careful reading of the entry for epi will show that, contrary to brother Barnett’s assertion, Strong does not include with among the meanings of epi with accusative, or for that matter, among the meanings of epi at all. By convention, Strong listed in italics the meanings for each Greek word, using a colon to mark the end of the listing of meanings."

Well, the fact is, that a "careful reading of the entry for epi" in Strong’s will show that the word, "against," is after the colon and is not in italics, either. Yet, both words are found in our translations, as we have seen in the preceding material. Further, under el in Strong’s, the Hebrew counterpart of epi, "with" is italicized and "against" is not. The reader can draw his own conclusions in view of brother Smelser’s argument.

(2) As for a meaning of figurative adultery, the reader can judge for himself what brother Smelser argued. I pointed out in the beginning of my last article that the main difficulty with brother Smelser was in figuring out what he was saying. Now he clearly says that moichatai is not used figuratively at all in Mark 10:11, only literally. Please go back and read the section in my last article on "sentence structure," to which he gave no response. One reason for writing my first two articles was as a reaction to the position that made moichatai both literal and figurative at the same time and place, literally with the second woman and figuratively with the first. It is now clear that brother Smelser does not agree with that position and yet does not agree with me on the passage. So, I am still not certain just what he does believe on Mark 10:11.

(3) I think the case has been clearly made in regard to my "Litany of Lexicons" and the reader can easily judge the matter. Hebrews 8:8 has given brother Smelser a great deal of trouble, from which he has not extricated himself.

(4) I asked brother Smelser two questions in my last article, to which he has responded. I asked first, "Is it your position that after a man’s unlawful remarriage that his divorced wife can then ‘put him away’ and remarry with God’s approval?" He clearly said, "No!" I am pleased to know that. I originally wrote my first two articles to counter the use of Mark 10:11 to prove that position and now brother Smelser agrees that Mark 10:11 does not prove it. Perhaps his response to my articles was only an academic exercise for him. However, the exchange has been profitable in that it shows there is no proof in Mark 10:11, either in English or in Greek, for a woman divorced without cause, on the remarriage of her former spouse to then "divorce" him and remarry. Brethren who take that position must turn elsewhere for support. It seems to me that there is no other source to which they can turn.

My second question concerned a good portion of the New Testament that must be deleted based on the texts that brother Smelser insists are the standard. He is evasive in his answer but it appears to me that he sides with the modern liberals on that subject. The reason for my asking this question is given in my last response

I also am satisfied with the exchange and commend it to the readers for further study and contemplation.