On divorce

Divorce is an extremely divisive topic in Christianity and for good measure. So I’m going to parse the Scriptures today based on some research that I found and looked up which presents an interesting case. FN had a post today on recourse in marriage and listed the adultery clause which is false, and I was already planning to write this anyway.

About a month or two ago, one of the commentors on I believe Donal’s blog post this in the comments on what “fornication” is before marriage. We recall that only Matthew has a fornication clause that permits putting away a wife whereas Mark and Luke do not. This article is 135 pages long.

I also came across another well researched article on divorce and mistranslation in divorce. I went back through the Greek and found it to be true. So given these two articles, I’m going to piece together what the Scriptures say on divorce given the context of what was being said when the Scriptures are written.

Passages on divorce in the Scriptures

To fully understand what Jesus is talking about we first have to analyze the OT Scriptures in which He is discussing. These are important in historical context because Jesus always refers back to the law, and then explicates His position on the fulfillment of the law.

Deuteronomy 24:1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement (sêpher kerı̂ythûth), and give it in her hand, and send (shâlach) her out of his house. 2 And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife. 3 And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; 4 Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the Lord: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

Deuteronomy 22:13 If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, 14 And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid:

15 Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel’s virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: 16 And the damsel’s father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her; 17 And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter’s virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. 18 And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him; 19 And they shall amerce him in an hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away (shâlach) all his days.

20 But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: 21 Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.

There are two parts of “divorce” required of the husband in the OT covenant:

  1. Sepher keriythth — Writing and giving the wife a bill of divorcement.
  2. Shalach — Sending her out of the house or away.

This is important to realize when we get to the New Testament where Jesus and Paul both discuss divorce in this context. Now, let’s look at the New Testmanet Scriptures.

Note: I’m specifically using the KJV because almost every English translation has the wrong wording of the text from the Greek. Even the KJV has one mistranslation of the word as well.

Matthew 5:31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away (apoluō) his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement (apostasion): 32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away (apoluō) his wife, saving for the cause of fornication (porneia), causeth her to commit adultery (moichaō): and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced (apoluō) committeth adultery (moichaō).

Matthew 19:3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away (apoluō) his wife for every cause? 4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement (apostasion), and to put her away (apoluō autos)? 8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away (apoluō) your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away (apoluō) his wife, except it be for fornication (porneia), and shall marry another, commit adultery (moichaō): and whoso marrieth her which is put away (apoluō) doth committeth adultery (moichaō).

10 His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. 11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. 12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

Here are Strong’s words for each of the highlighted wording:

G630 — ἀπολύω — apoluō — ap-ol-oo’-o
From G575 and G3089; to free fully, that is, (literally) relieve, release, dismiss (reflexively depart), or (figuratively) let die, pardon, or (specifically) divorce: – (let) depart, dismiss, divorce, forgive, let go, loose, put (send) away, release, set at liberty.

G647 — ἀποστάσιον — apostasion — ap-os-tas’-ee-on
Neuter of a (presumed) adjective from a derivative of G868; properly something separative, that is, (specifically) divorce: – (writing of) divorcement.

G4202 — πορνεία — porneia — por-ni’-ah
From G4203; harlotry (including adultery and incest); figuratively idolatry: – fornication.

G3429 — μοιχάω — moichaō — moy-khah’-o
From G3432; (middle voice) to commit adultery: – commit adultery.

Now let’s look at the passages from Matthew in context starting with Matthew 19:

Matthew 19:3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away (apoluō) his wife for every cause? 4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

You will note here that the Pharisees are intending to trick Jesus. When the Pharisees come to tempt Jesus, it is almost always about pitting Roman law against Jewish law and the discrepancies that crop out of out it.

This is very similar to other tricks that the Pharisees try to play with Jesus such as with stoning the adulteress woman. Roman law forbid the Jews from executing capital punishment; thus, if Jesus said not to stone the woman then He would be in violation of the Jewish law, but if Jesus said to stone the woman He would be in violation of Roman law. Jesus comes up with the elegant solution of let he who has not sinned cast the first stone.

Another example is when the Pharisees asked Jesus if they should pay taxes to Caesar. If Jesus said not to pay taxes to Caesar then He would be in violation of Roman law, but if He said that they should pay taxes to Caesar then he would be affirming Roman rule over the Jews. Hence, Jesus’ elegant solution of rendering to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.

Thus, in this case, if you know your Roman history the Romans considered “divorce” just sending the wife away out of the house. However, compared to Jewish law which we see from Deuteronomy, the husband must provide a writing of divorcement and then send the wife away. If Jesus says that a writing of divorcement is required before sending away, then He is subverting Roman law and they could accuse Him to be sentenced to death. If Jesus says that it is lawful to put away a wife without a writing of divorcement, then Jesus would be in violation of Jewish law and could be disregarded and stoned. Jesus provides the elegant solution that was from the beginning: that there should be no divorce.

Matthew 5:31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away (apoluō) his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement (apostasion): 32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away (apoluō) his wife, saving for the cause of fornication (porneia), causeth her to commit adultery (moichaō): and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced (apoluō) committeth adultery (moichaō).

Matthew 19:7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement (apostasion), and to put her away (apoluō autos)? 8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away (apoluō) your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away (apoluō) his wife, except it be for fornication (porneia), and shall marry another, commit adultery (moichaō): and whoso marrieth her which is put away (apoluō) doth committeth adultery (moichaō).

10 His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. 11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. 12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

First, you’ll notice that in Matthew 5 that the KJV translator(s) and even Strong’s dictionary put “divorce” in the context of apoluo. However, this appears to be false. You’ll note that the wording of Matthew 5:32 is the exact same wording in the Greek as Matthew 19:9 except in Matthew 19 it is translated as “putting away” instead of “divorced” as it has been the other time.

Additionally, of the 69 times that apoluo is used in the NT, this is the only time that it is used for divorced in the KJV. The other 68 times it is used in the context of putting away, or Jesus dismissing/sending away the crowds, or Pilate releasing Barabbas from prison instead of Jesus. Thus, this appears to be a mistranslation in the KJV, and a mistranslation in almost every other English Scripture text. Even my preferred NASB has fallen prey to it.

Second, in Matthew 19:7 the Pharisees see that Jesus has cleverly side-stepped their trap on pitting Roman law versus Jewish law. It follows then, given Jesus answer that there should be no divorce, that they question why Moses gave the law that they could divorce. Jesus responds that it is out of the hardness of their hearts which is clearly the case given what we see in the OT with Israel.

Third, Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9 clearly state that husbands cannot put away their wives except in the cause of fornication, otherwise they commit adultery and she commits adultery. Fornication refers to pre-marital sex only. This case is built in the article I linked earlier, and Jesus is referring back to Deuteronomy 22 where the wife may be put away without a certificate of divorce if she was not a virgin (in the OT she would’ve been stoned).

This also agrees with Matthew 1:19 where Joseph was going to put Mary away.

Matthew 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.

In this specific case, Joseph was not married to Mary (only betrothed), but Jesus is saying in this instance that if a husband did marry a woman who was not a virgin he could put her away without a bill of divorce.

Fourth, Israelite husbands could not claim a wife was not a virgin and then put her away if there was proof of their virginity. They could put her away if she was not a virgin though as per Jesus’ words because there was no blood spilled — the cloth with the blood being the proof of the binding covenant of marriage and of virginity.

Fifth, this means that divorced men and women who are remarried do not commit adultery. However, their prior divorce means they are going against God’s original design for marriage and sinning. The remarriage itself is not sinning. However, establishing a behavioral pattern of divorce and remarriage is quite questionable at best for a Christian.

We can see this in the disciples response to Jesus’ instruction that what God put together let man not separate that it is better not to marry. This is because Jesus is implicitly stating here that there should be no divorce ever. There is no exception clause for adultery or any other reasons. Jesus responds by saying that most men cannot receive what the disciples have said.

Sixth, this unifies what Jesus says in Mark and Luke about there being a no exception clause for divorce given that what God has joined together let no man separate:

Mark 10:2 And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away (apoluō) his wife? tempting him. 3 And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you? 4 And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement (apostasion), and to put her away (apoluō autos). 5 And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. 6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. 7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. 9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

10 And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter. 11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away (apoluō) his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery (moichaō) against her. 12 And if a woman shall put away (apoluō) her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery (moichaō).

Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 14 And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. 15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. 16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. 17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.

18 Whosoever putteth away (apoluō) his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery (moichaō): and whosoever marrieth her that is put away (apoluō) from her husband committeth adultery (moichaō).

Mark uses time compression in this instance to get right to the point of the story rather than Matthew’s more long winded response. Lest you think this is a discrepancy in the gospels, Mike Licona explains the various rhetocal devices that authors from that historical period used. It wasn’t only writers of the Bible that used them but also other Roman and Greek writers.

Luke pairs Jesus’ comments on putting away with the parable of the unjust servant/steward. This is a direct analogy to, but different teaching than, to the trickery that the Pharisees tried to pull on Jesus in Matthew. The Pharisees loved their outward appearance and vain glory and obedience of the law. However, in their quest to be just and gain favor toward men, they were acting unjustly toward their Master which is God.

Romans 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

We can see here that Romans 7 talks specifically about a woman having a husband. A woman cannot have 2 husbands or she commits adultery. That brings up two points.

  1. A woman that has been divorced does not have a husband and is free to remarry, albeit a man marrying her would best take heed because past behavior is indeed indicative of future behavior.
  2. A woman whose husband has died is free to remarry.

Obviously, a widow is often a better choice that to marry a woman that has been divorced.

1 Corinthians 7:10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart (chōrizō) from her husband: 11 But and if she depart (chōrizō), let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away (aphiēmi) his wife.

G5563 — χωρίζω — chōrizō — kho-rid’-zo
From G5561; to place room between, that is, part; reflexively to go away: – depart, put asunder, separate.

G863 — ἀφίημι — aphiēmi — af-ee’-ay-mee
From G575 and ἵημι hiēmi (to send; an intensive form of εἶμι eimi (to go)); to send forth, in various applications: – cry, forgive, forsake, lay aside, leave, let (alone, be, go, have), omit, put (send) away, remit, suffer, yield up.

G630 — ἀπολύω — apoluō — ap-ol-oo’-o
From G575 and G3089; to free fully, that is, (literally) relieve, release, dismiss (reflexively depart), or (figuratively) let die, pardon, or (specifically) divorce: – (let) depart, dismiss, divorce, forgive, let go, loose, put (send) away, release, set at liberty.

Paul could’ve just made it easier on us and used the word apoluo like Jesus did in the gospels; however, you can see they are pretty much synonyms here. This is consistent with what Jesus has said in Matthew, Mark, and Luke and what Paul has already stated in Romans. Don’t be conformed to the law of the Romans/world and put away your spouse and marry another. However, if they do separate/leave the options you have are to remain unmarried or reconcile. This is also consistent with Jesus saying that there should be no divorce.

1 Corinthians 7:12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put away (aphiēmi autos). 13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him (aphiēmi autos). 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. 15 But if the unbelieving depart (chōrizō), let him depart (chōrizō). A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. 16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

Note that Paul is referring to what He referred to earlier in 1 Corinthians 7: that the bondage that the spouse is under was putting away specifically and not divorce. This is the so-called exception clause. However, this seems to be only applicable in the times of the Romans since almost all countries, if I am not mistaken, require formalization of divorce.

The main question is then what if a believer is married and an unbeliever departs but there is no bill of divorce. Technically, given this Scripture the bondage is broken and that would allow the believer to remarry without a bill of divorce. Obviously, the in most cases the believer can file a no-fault divorce, but in the cases where they can’t that may be an issue. It would be best to follow the earthly laws if at all possible.

Malachi 2:14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. 15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.

16 For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away (shâlach): for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously. 17 Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?

You will notice in Malachi 2 that it is referring to the same circumstances as was during Roman occupation. The law of Moses basically gave the Israelites the right to divorce if they wrote up a bill of divorce, handed it to her, and then sent her away. However, the Israelites were dealing treacherously by sending their wives away without a bill of divorce.

The reason behind this is because if a wife was divorced she would receive back the dowry and the bride price which may have also included land. The Israelite husbands were sending away their wives without the bill of divorcement which allowed them to keep the dowry and bride price but also left the wife destitute and on the street.

Additionally, with a bill of divorce the wife would now be single and able to be remarried. However, as Jesus discussed with putting away without the bill of divorce the woman would be unable to be remarried without committing adultery which is a grievous sin before God. Since the wife was left destitute without the bride price and dowry back and unable to be married again to support herself, the Israelite husbands were basically condemning the woman to poverty and begging in a treacherous manner.

Jeremiah 3:6 The Lord said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot. 7 And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. 8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away (shâlach, and given her a bill of divorce (sêpher kerı̂ythûth); yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. 9 And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks. 10 And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the Lord.

This is one of the reasons why Israel was not brought back out of Assyrian captivity, and why Samaritans were treated like garbage by the Jews. They were no longer Jews because they have been divorced by God. This passage in Jeremiah 3 shows that God Himself divorces the Israelites, gives her a bill of divorce, and sends/puts her away into Assyrian captivity.

However, the Lord speaking to Judah does not divorce her even though He puts her away:

Isaiah 50:1 Thus saith the Lord, Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement (sêpher ‘êm kerı̂ythûth), whom I have put away (shâlach)? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away (shâlach). 2 Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stinketh, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst. 3 I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering.

In the case of Judah, we know that Jesus comes from the lineage of Judah and David. Thus, even though the Lord puts away Judah into captivity for their transgressions, He brings her back out of captivity as read in Nehemiah and Ezra, and remakes the covenant with them through the rebuilding of His temple. Then He brings full redemption to them through sending His Son Jesus to die bring forth the New Covenant.

Conclusion

Judging from the understanding of the Scriptures it is clear that what they say on the topic of divorce is not actual common Christian — or perhaps specifically Protestant — thinking. A reading of Deuteronomy 22 and 24 in conjunction with Isaiah 50, Jeremiah 3, and Malachi 2 along with the NT Scripture references of Matthew 5, Matthew 19, Mark 10, Luke 16, Romans 7, and 1 Corinthians 7 paint this picture.

  1. Christians should not divorce at all. What God has put together let man not separate (Matt 19, Mark 10).
  2. There is no “adultery clause” for those who are married to divorce. (Matt 19, Mark 10).
  3. Reconciliation is the only option for those separated/put away. Remarriage constitutes adultery (Isaiah 50, 1 Cor 7).
  4. There was legalistic OT recourse for putting away if the spouse fornicated prior to marriage. This applies to zero Christians today as we do not live by the old law (Deut 22, Matt 5, Matt 19, Mark 10, Luke 16, Romans 7).
  5. Abandonment by an unbeliever allows remarriage due to not being under bondage (1 Cor 7).
  6. Remarriage is not considered adultery and is thus not sinful. However, reconciliation is better than remarriage. We know this by similar analogy: Judah versus Israel. Given what we know, previous divorce — whether believer or unbeliever — should be a big red flag warning. All believers should be wary of this (Matt 5, Matt 19, Mark 10, Luke 16, Romans 7, 1 Cor 7).

Jesus’ reference to fornication and putting away is His answer to the OT law on putting away without a bill of divorce. Following this today is legalism and not walking in the grace to which He has called us. His NT statement on divorce for Christians is “What God has put together let no man separate” which is why the disciples were taken aback and said it was better not to marry. Jesus said you shouldn’t divorce period, and there is no way to do it without sinning.

I’ve read up a fair bit on the Catholic tradition regarding marriage as a sacrament and how they handle annulments/divorce and remarriage. I think this model is probably the best in terms of holding to #1 even though it doesn’t specifically talk about some of the cases in #2-6. The statistics on divorce also bear this out with Catholics having the least of any form of Christian, even though there are substantially more annulments in the US than anywhere else. However, I suppose from the Pharisaical angle you could argue that “it’s the tradition of men” but such a tradition appears to be honor God more than other traditions.

There is more evidence and historical background than what I have presented here in the two articles at the top if you think that what I’ve presented is not convincing. Thoughts and critique are welcome.

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80 Responses to On divorce

  1. jonadabtherechabite says:

    It also appears at first reading that divorce may only be initiated by the male and there is no provision for the wife to dissolve the covenant. Seems a consistent representative-type to the reformed understanding of perseverance.

  2. Mrs. C says:

    Catholics, once sacramentaly bound by marriage, understand that they are always seen as one flesh by God. If a divorce is necessary, and it should never be taken lightly, then they are free to live apart if civilly divorced. However, just because there is a legal separation with a divorce, the sacrament is still considered valid and they are still married. They can reconcile but they are not free to remarry. IF one of the reasons for the divorce is something that would have made the original marriage invalid, meaning that the sacrament was never valid on the day of the wedding due to one or more requirements not being present, such as: at least one partner didn’t fully & freely consent, someone wasn’t mature enough to understand the full extent of what they were doing, there was never intent to be faithful.or one or both partners did not intend to be open to children, then the Church can say a sacramental marriage never took place and they were never married to begin with. After an investigation and witnesses giving their testimony, if it was found that a sacrament didn’t take place, they are issued a declaration of nullity and are free to marry.

  3. @ jonadabtherechabite

    That would be my initial interpretation of the text as well. Wives cannot initiate any type of lawful divorce period.

    The only putting away that a husband can initiate seems to be if the wife fornicated prior to marriage. This is technically not “divorce” since putting away without a bill of divorce means there was no covenant in the first place (Re: Deut 22 understanding of the NT gospels).

  4. @ Mrs C

    Thanks for putting the information about that here because I didn’t post it.

    It seems to be the best system overall because it takes into account actions prior to marriage with fully informed consent and all of that jazz which means there is no recourse for divorce at all.

    Ideally, I suppose everything could be determined prior and no annulments would ever be granted. But alas humans are humans.

  5. Mrs. C says:

    @DS “Ideally, I suppose everything could be determined prior and no annulments would ever be granted. But alas humans are humans.”

    Sometimes what I think happens is you have a young couple who come to the Church to get married when they themselves are lukewarm about their faith. They could care less whether they get married by a justice of the peace or a Protestant minister but their parents insist it has to be a Catholic wedding. So the couple says all the right things to the priest in order to have the wedding in the church but they don’t really intend to live that out.

    Another common scenario is one of them is Catholic and the other not. The one who isn’t still has to agree to live a fully Catholic marriage, raising their children as such etc. They may also say all the right things just to get married without ever intending to live out their promises.

    There are many things that can go wrong at the start. The priest tries to determine and instruct them before marriage, but ultimately he has to take what they are saying on faith.

    There is an attempt to also prevent invalid marriages by Banns of marriage (a public announcement of an impending marriage) so that if someone knows why the couple shouldn’t be married, they can come forward. In 1983 this was no longer required but most parishes still publish it in the church bulletin.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banns_of_marriage

  6. Mrs. C says:

    DS I’m curious how Protestant Churches in general view divorce. If a person if legally divorced are they still considered married because of the sacrament or does a legal divorce mean the marriage is really dissolved? How is a remarriage viewed? If church members are divorced and remarried do they consider them adulterous relationships? Do they assume the couple has reconciled with God about their divorce and therefore there is no judgement?

  7. Mrs. C says:

    Re: the original commenter jonadabtherechabite – As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, there is no divorce period. Neither the husband or the wife can dissolve the marriage. Not even the Pope can declare a valid marriage as sacramentaly dissolved. What the couple does legally in getting a divorce, has no bearing on the marriage itself, so it doesn’t matter who would initiate the legal action. As far as an investigation to see if the marriage was valid to begin with, that wouldn’t matter either because no matter the result, there is still not a “divorce” sacramentaly.

    My husband’s grandparents were legally separated because his grandfather was horribly physically abusive. His grandmother moved out when her daughter married and she lived with her and her husband. Still does to this day. They still spoke to one another. He was invited over for holiday meals and Sunday dinner. They took care of him when he was dying of cancer. Grandma still cried at his funeral. They were always married but she couldn’t live him due to the abuse. Neither one of them ever dated or married anyone else.

  8. @ Mrs C

    Pretty much depends on the Church.

    From what I can gather of most of the interpretations of the aforementioned NT Scriptures, most believe that there is an adultery clause to get out of marriage, and also I would say that most are ignorant or haven’t thought about whether remarriage constituted adultery or not. This being Christians who actually want to live out what Jesus said as opposed to the Christians in name only.

    I’d also say that they view marriage spiritually as one in the same with the legality of marriage of the state. Although, I think more and more are coming around to the fact that sacramental marriage is not legal/state marriage. However, I think this is a problem not just of Prots because of the gradual feminization through everything. Even the Catholic and Orthodox who have been somewhat resilient of it have had the poison slowly creep in as well as I’m sure Donal and Chad can attest to you.

    Christians in name only are all over the place obviously. Lots of those in all denominations and even in the Catholic church.

    From my involvement with the Prot community basically there are those who are lukewarm, there are those who love God but are ignorant on what to do about it, and then there are a bunch who are going after Jesus with everything. When I was younger I loved God, then was lukewarm, and over the past ~2ish or so years to finding the manosphere have been going after God with everything. Unfortunately, the majority of the Prots are lukewarm or ignorant. I would assume there are less lukewarm and more of the ignorant but love God and going after Jesus in the Catholic and Orthodox communities.

    edit: on the topic of actual marriage and remarriage there are many who say they are against it but end up doing it. And then there are some like my parents and the other ones who are on fire for God who will never divorce period. But their attitude is usually lax on the remarriage of others and don’t voice that they shouldn’t do it.

    Personally, I’ve thought strongly about “converting” to Catholicism or Orthodox, but I don’t think that is where God wants me in terms of ministering to people at least at the moment. God needs people in all “denominations” to direct people to the straight and narrow. It’s sad but saying you’re say a Catholic or a Protestant or Orthodox can turn people away from God because of bad experiences with one or the other… but they can be reached by someone from the other denomination.

    Though I’ll have to pray more about it in the future.

  9. Feminine But Not Feminist says:

    @ Mrs C

    I’m not DS obviously, but I hope you don’t mind if I answer based on what I’ve seen, which may or may not be the same as what DS has seen.

    Most of my experience with Protestant churches was either “non-denominational” or Baptist churches down in the Bible Belt. From what I saw, they didn’t take divorce very seriously at all. Oftentimes at least one of the people in a divorcing pair would have the *almost* unanimous backing of the church they attended. There would be a “divorce recovery group” of some sort to help them deal with the issues that come with divorce. The divorced people could still participate in church ministries, could still partake of Communion (on the rare occasion that it would be offered), and would be encouraged to “marry” another. The idea of marriage being a lifelong covenant that can’t be broken as long as the other person lives doesn’t exist. They preach against divorce from the pulpit, bit when one of their own actually does seek a divorce, it’s usually accepted.

    As an example, I know of a woman who was “married” and divorced 7 times (all initiated by her) before her oldest child (who was my best friend then) finished high school. I asked her (after the 7th one) why she left him, and she said (with a very casual nonchalant attitude about it) “I just didn’t feel like being married anymore, so I left”. Her church (a small Southern Baptist one) didn’t seem to care at all, based on what my friend told me.

    Very different compared to the Catholic church’s view, which may or may not shock you.

  10. Mrs. C says:

    @DS – Even the Catholic and Orthodox who have been somewhat resilient of it have had the poison slowly creep in as well as I’m sure Donal and Chad can attest to you.

    I was just thinking about this. I wonder what percentage of divorced Catholics have actually gone on to get an annulment, what percentage live as my husband’s grandparents and still honor their vows and what percentage date/live with/remarry someone else. I’m willing to bet the last has the highest percentage.

  11. Mrs. C says:

    Thanks FBNF. It doesn’t shock me. I see it all the time with friends or neighbors but no one I was close enough to to ask such a personal question. I was curious because it’s so cut and dry with Catholics (although even some of them don’t fully understand it) that I could never figure out how they reconcile the divorced and remarried. For instance, if a Catholic who is divorced remarries, they are considered in mortal sin and can’t receive communion, unless they can later obtain an annulment. They certainly can’t get remarried in the Church either because any priest they see would tell them they are still married to someone else. I just didn’t know how a minister, who is approached by a couple who wants to get married, deals with the fact that one of them was married before. However, if they accept the legal divorce as a real dissolution of the original vows, then I guess that’s how it’s done.

  12. Feminine But Not Feminist says:

    @ Mrs C

    However, if they accept the legal divorce as a real dissolution of the original vows, then I guess that’s how it’s done.

    Sadly, that’s the way it tends to go. And you’re welcome.

  13. Looking Glass says:

    The State became God and people talk a good game.

    The real issue is a complete lack of Wisdom in all of Christendom, which is why no one can talk about or deal with the harder topics without putting themselves into a box. That’s the crux of the issue. As for what the Churches do about it? Pretty much, the topic only comes up when you’re asking to get remarried in the Church. There’s the side-point that people tend to Divorce from their Church when they get Divorced. It’s rare that both parties stick around. So there’s something of a self-fulfilling cycle.

    Given the Tyranny of the Checkbook, that most Churches live in fear of, it’s not a topic that gets touched much. Ignored might be better thought of.

  14. Looking Glass says:

    I’ve joked before that the “compromise” in the Modern Society would be to only allow Men to remarry in a Church, unless a Woman is a Widow. I’d love to toss that idea to a Pastor Convention.

  15. donalgraeme says:

    Your timing is perfect DS, because I was thinking of doing a post of my own on divorce and remarrriage and the like. My focus was going to be on the early Church fathers, for their views on the subject. It will probably end up being my next Thursday post.

    The interesting thing about that is your view is, as far as I can tell, unique. None of the early Church fathers that I’m aware of made anything similar to this kind of argument. It is quite legalistic, and while it ties together the Scripture really well, I don’t see anything else to support this particular interpretation.

    Also, porneia refers to not only fornication, but illicit unions, such as within consanguineous blolodlines. This is what St. Paul was referencing in 1 Cor 5- a man in an illicit union with his father’s wife. There is far more scriptural support for that usage of porneia in Matthew than there is for the notion that it means you can put away a woman who isn’t a virgin. Nowhere in scripture is that part of Deuteronomy referred to as an instance of porneia.

    Also, Joseph and Mary were betrothed and thus had already said their vows. But Mary was not living with him. Therefore, Joseph couldn’t have simply “put her away.” After all, she was already away from him. It must have meant give her a bill of divorce by that phrase- which suggests that it was often a shorthand for both procedures.

  16. Elspeth says:

    I have been thinking about this lately as a woman I am acquainted with had the terrible experience of having her husband defect the faith and leave her for another woman. She originally said she was going to stay before the Lord in faith that He would reconcile her family if only for the sake of her kids.

    I was rather impressed with her principled stance because I knew the men would be lining up to date her as soon as word got out that she wasn’t married anymore. She’s Beautiful. Even my husband asked, “Seriously? He left HER? Wow.”

    At a church Christmas event in our area I ran into her and her kids and sure enough, she had a date with her.

  17. Elspeth says:

    Shoot. Hit “post” by accident.

    Being Protestant, I am not at all convinced that she sins if she remarries given the circumstances surrounding the demise of her first marriage, but I do believe that we Prots are all too quick to latch on to our exceptions rather than suffer for the glory at least in the short term.

  18. Looking Glass says:

    Something (or several posts) got deleted, and now this conversation is rather funny.

    As for Jewish Contract Marriage customs, while we’d used Betrothed now, Joseph would have paid the Bride Price. Amazingly, my own pastor was going over the construction just this past Sunday. He was specifically referencing the “putting away” between the stage of Contract & Consummation. Further, Jesus specifically references this setup John 14:3. Which ties in with what God said to Judah in Jeremiah. So, DS isn’t off base. There’s really not much argument to get around: There is no divorce among Christians. Jesus specifically warns anyone that gets in the way. (A lot of Pastors really need to read Mark 10:9 & Matthew 19:6 more closely.)

    The sticky part is that there is always Civil Practices, which is what we’re fighting with right now. This is why Remarriage is one of the fastest ways to get an actual fist fight to break out among Pastors.

  19. If anyone has a problem with me they can contact me by e-mail and talk to me in private via Matthew 18. My e-mail can be found on the about page.

    @ Elspeth

    Given that I deleted your comment I do want to respond to it by saying that age is not something that I hold to high concern as keeping in good nutritional and physical shape prolong the effects of the wall significantly into the 30s and keep attractiveness well into the 40s and 50s. Neither is Christianity + virginity the only thing I look for as I have repeatedly stated on this and other blogs.

  20. @ Donal

    “What God has put together let no man separate” is the only thing Christians should adhere to. I don’t think any of the “exceptions” should in any way be considered by [serious] Christians. It’s quite sad that I have to use serious before Christians to denote what I’m talking about.

    In reference to Matthew 5 fornication clause this is specifically referencing the OT text so it is legalism to the highest nature. We are not called to legalism as Christians. I will correct this in my conclusion.

    Likewise, porneia is indeed a catch all term of illicit sexual union it is not specifically and cannot be stated as adultery as moichaō is a word for that. That’s why porneia and moichaō are present in most other lists of what is sexually immoral because they refer to different things.

    Also to my understand what LG said on betrothal is correct. It is addressed in the 2nd article linked above if you want to read that one. I glossed over it in this post.

  21. @ Donal

    Edited the conclusion to make it more accurately reflect how we should live as Christians. The past conclusion did not distinguish between OT and NT and so it was particularly confusing.

    There’s no reason for divorce now for Christians. The fornication clause speaks of Jesus’ answer to OT law which we are not under the law but under grace.

  22. @ Donal

    Here’s the section from the 2nd article showing the Jewish Betrothal is not considered to need a certificate of divorce. It is a law of man rather than a law of God.

    And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her, desired to put her away secretly. Matthew 1:19

    I must hasten to add that this is Matthew’s first use of the word apoluo. Although many, but not all translations render the word “divorce” in this verse, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to do so. They are not married. Joseph had the right “to send her away” without a divorce certificate. In the same way, however, had they already gotten married, according to what Jesus was saying in Matthew 19:9, Joseph had the right to send her away without a writ of divorce. Why? Fornication. The proof? She was pregnant.It is interesting that in the evolution of the mistranslation of the word apoluo to mean “divorce,” Matthew 1:19 was about a generation behind the change in other biblical texts. That is, when the word “divorce” began to appear in Matthew 19:3, 6, and 9, (and the parallel texts), Joseph’s action was still represented as “putting away” or “sending away.” However, over the years the myth that, in the first century, betrothal was tantamount to marriage and that the breaking of a betrothal required a divorce, crept into 19 the text.

    The process was a subtle one and can best be understood by looking at another biblical situation as described by Instone-Brewer.In Genesis 21:14 we read, “Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba.” (The phrase “sent her off” is the Hebrew shalach and is rendered in the LXX, apestello,a synonym of apoluo.) Instone-Brewer calls this the first biblical divorce and explains, “In the text, Abraham simply dismisses Hagar, but later Jewish tradition says that he also gave her a certificate of divorce. (Yalkut Shimoni Gen. Sec. 95)”34 In other words, rabbinical teaching at least a thousand years after Christ, was apparently uncomfortable, because of how they understood the meaning of shalach, with their ancestor Abraham sending off a woman without a certificate (earlier Jews had a similar discomfort whenever they encountered a patriarch marrying a non-believer, and they often rewrote that history as well, as in the story of Joseph and Asenath.).

    Fast-forwarding to the modern times, we see a similar phenomenon taking place in the story of Mary and Joseph. Professor Peter Zaas clarifies what must have happened. While biblical law makes no provision for divorce in the case of a broken betrothal, rabbinic law famously does. The Mishna, for example, so unselfconsciously assumes that a betrothal constitutes a marriage, so far as divorce is concerned, that contemporary scholars who get the point at all [Zaas references Keener, Brown, and Davies and Allison here] generally read the rabbinic legal situation back into the biblical one, and conclude that biblical law requires a get to dissolve a betrothal as well.

    Zaas further comments on the writing of Michael Satlow in this regard:Recently Michael Satlow, in his 2001 volume Jewish Marriage in Antiquity, notes that Matthew reflects a rabbinic, rather than a biblical view of Jewish law in this matter. Specifying examples from the Hebrew Bible and from the Elephantine papyri, Satlow concludes that, while financial damages may be assessed when a betrothed woman is acquired by someone else, the law does not obligate a divorce:…during the entire Second Temple period, (most?) Jews neither customarily “betrothed’ (in the biblical sense) nor did they even have a firm understanding of what such a betrothal would mean. The law does not mandate a divorce to terminate a betrothal, nor is a divorce possible, if we extend Satlow’s conclusion to its logical conclusion, when there is no marriage.

    In other words, translating the word apoluo as “divorce” in Matthew 1:19 is anachronistic. This case of “fornication” brings us back to the text of Matthew 19 and the so-called “exception clause” of Jesus’ statement. Joseph, even if he had married Mary, would have been within the law of Deuteronomy 22 in sending away his “woman” without a divorce certificate. Likewise, any man, abiding by the permission Moses granted in Deuteronomy 22 (except for the stoning), may send away his wife and is free to remarry because his first marriage has essentially been annulled. This was the biblical law in the time of Matthew, and the rabbinical teachings of two or more centuries later should not influence our understanding of what Jesus said.

    I think the conclusion is self evident here. In either case, during betrothal or after “marriage” Joseph would have been acting righteously to put Mary away privately.

  23. donalgraeme says:

    @ DS

    Thanks for that bit on betrothal. I hadn’t had a chance to read that part. Having dug a little myself, apparently at least one early Church father stated that it was also not unheard of for the betrothed woman to live in the same household as her future husband (although not with him) prior to the actual marriage. So she could have been “put away” in the proper sense.

  24. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with this, but there is a betrothal rite for us (Roman Catholics). It’s rarely done these days. It’s found in the appendices of “The Catholic Family Handbook” by Rev. Fr. George A. Kelly (copyright 1959, Random House) I assume it is the Ritual as well (the old one); this is just where I know for sure because the book is here in the bookshelf.

  25. donalgraeme says:

    Really? I shall have to look into that. I know Canon Law references betrothal, at least as marriages are concerned, but it isn’t binding from what I recall. Not like how it was in the past.

  26. It’s not binding — meaning you can still break it if there is a serious reason to do so; but then again I can’t imagine anybody breaking an engagement on a mere whim; I would assume you had thought over everything first before taking such a step. It makes much more solemn and I think reading it through drives home the point of how serious this step really is. My personal opinion is that people who do something formal instead of just the “pop the question and present a ring” deal will be far more likely to take the whole business seriously.

    My husband and I did the formal betrothal rite when he gave me my engagement ring. Looking back, I am REALLY glad we did. His mother was terminally ill by the time we decided to get married, and we did the whole thing in her hospital room with family members present. She didn’t live to see us get married, so I am really glad we did something formally like this for her.

    We also drew up a certificate and signed it in front of our mothers (my father-in-law had died several months prior). Then our mothers also signed it. Although, in the right circumstances, the fathers ought to be the official witnesses. I think the text of the certificate is also in the back of that book I referenced; if not, I can provide the text (because I now have no idea where we got it).

  27. Don Quixote says:

    Great post Deep Strength.
    Please consider how the ‘exception clause’ could be applied to the betrothal of the church. The apostle Paul said I have For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ 2Cor.11:2 Viewed in this context I would consider that the ‘exception clause’ is a call to holiness for the Church. Sexual misconduct is a deal breaker.

  28. @ Don Quixote

    You’re correct. As the Church is in the engagement/betrothal period to Christ so too a Christian man should consider it for the wife as a time to sift. Jesus makes the same analogy to sift the wheat from the tares, the sheep from the goats, and the man at the wedding without a garment prior to His actual marriage to the Church (wedding feast).

    Although once you’re married there is no exception clause.

  29. Don Quixote says:

    Deep Strength says:

    Although once you’re married there is no exception clause.


    Wow! I completely agree. The marriage covenant is until death, but it is possible the betrothal covenant could be called off if the bride is fornicating. These 2 different covenants are represented by Israel [married] and the Church [betrothed to be married]. So few people will agree with this view.
    It like I’m reading my own home page: Once Married Always Married http://oncemarried.net
    Thanks for dealing with this subject with such honesty. These days I am often confronted with people just looking for loopholes.

  30. @ Don Quixote

    Yes, I find all too often these days most people believe what they want to believe rather than holding their standard up to what the Scriptures say.

  31. Just a couple of points.

    First of all, the whole “certificate of divorce” was a judgment of Moses, not of God. Keep in mind that Deuteronomy was a sermon preached by Moses to the assembly, a summary of the Law. Notice that nowhere prior to that where God was speaking to Moses will you find any reference to divorce.

    Knowing that, it brings what Jesus said in Matthew 19 into a much clearer focus. His first answer was “What God has therefore joined, let no man separate.” The Pharisees responded “Why therefore did Moses command us… Everybody was on the same page. They all knew it was a judgment of Moses. His response was “but from the beginning it was not this way.”

    The protestants want to point to the fact that His final response was “but I tell you the truth…” and states a justification for divorce means there is a justification for divorce. Not so. In Matthew 23 Jesus tells the people that the Scribes and Pharisees have seated themselves in the seat of Moses and they are to obey them. Jesus was 100% man, born into the tribe of Judah and of the line of David. He was subject to the authority of Moses. He HAD to say what He said in order to support the authority of Moses, of which He was subject to AT THAT TIME. That was Jesus the man speaking to the Pharisees on the subject of a judgment of Moses.

    But look what happened later. 1st Corinthians 7:10-11. This is one of only a handful of places in the entire New Testament where any of the writers specifically say that it’s instruction from the Lord (other than the synoptic gospels, of course). Paul says “And to the married I give instruction, not I, but the Lord.” That Lord isn’t Jesus, the man. It’s the risen Lion of the Tribe of Judah. The one who was faithful and true, who was seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. In other words, no longer a servant of Moses. Moses is now HIS servant. So, this is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Risen Lord and Savior speaking to His elect.

    Jesus the man and the Lord Jesus Christ. Two different stations, two different sets of rules, two different statements concerning divorce.

    Notice there is no longer an exception for immorality with respect to divorce when the Risen Lord is speaking to His believers.

    I’ve been through this fight before and I know men and women whom I consider to be pretty serious about being Christian that will fight tooth and nail over this. Nobody really wants divorce but they all want the option if things go south. Matthew 5:31-32 is another example of where you sit determines what you see. If you turn to this around just a bit you’ll see that Jesus is saying that God will not accept an illegitimate divorce. I ask the question: Will God accept a divorce decree issued by a State court judge issued simply because some woman filed papers? Maybe, but highly unlikely. At that time there was a legitimate form of divorce. Jesus was distinguishing between the (at that time) legitimate divorce and the illegitimate divorce and saying God won’t accept an illegitimate divorce.

    It is worthwhile to discuss what marriage actually is. Jesus said to render to Caesar that which belongs to Caesar and to render to God that which belongs to God. Marriage is an excellent example. God created marriage as a covenant entity and gave it His commands and regulations. Marriage does not belong to the state, yet the state claims authority over marriage. Who’s rules need to be followed? God’s or the state? Is somebody going to point to the law requiring a marriage license or will they point to the fact that Meister v. Moore (decision handed down in 1878!) says laws requiring a marriage license are nothing more than a polite suggestion? That decision has never been overturned on that point and it also specifically states that marriage is a natural right.

    The issues are complex, but the fact is that only a very tiny minority of Christians support the exegesis of “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

    Second point. I believe your reading of the passage in Malachi is incorrect. She is described as the wife of his youth, married by covenant. A covenant is a contract to which God is a party. Men and women take vows to each other but also to God as well and God becomes a witness to the covenant. The State co-opted this design, requiring a license (permission) and placed themselves in God’s position, using their statutory rules instead of God’s rules. However, back then the people were under God’s rules and that wife belonged to her husband, for life. He had responsibilities. Period.

    Nothing prevented the man from taking another wife. If he wanted that hot little cutie from the other side of the village, fine. He can have her if she and her father are willing. But throwing out wife #1 was completely wrong because he had an obligation to wife #1 to care for her, provide for her and defend her all the days of his life. For whatever reason (you made an economic argument) the husband was not required to either divorce her or put her away because a man is allowed by God to have more than one wife. That’s still true today. And God said “I hate divorce.”

  32. @Not a Troll

    Do you believe that morality is a concept determined by democracy? Or is morality determined by God, and God alone? Don’t get into a Romans 14 argument about that which is sin to you is sin, I’m speaking generally.

  33. @Not a Troll

    It was a yes or no question hon, not a request for a dissertation. That was the point.

  34. @ Artisanal Toad

    I think we are on the same page for the first point, but I think you misinterpreted my 2nd point.

    1. “What God has put together let man not separate” is the only correct prescription for Christians today.

    The case made in the post is that Jesus is talking specifically about the law and how it was to be rendered. However, that is a moot point for Christians because we are not under the law but under grace.

    2. In regard to the second, Israelite husbands could divorce their wives for any reason as long as they gave a writing of divorcement before they put their wives away. The Hebrew specifically says they were putting away their wives but fails to mention the husbands giving writings of divorcement.

    What this means is that Israelites were putting their wives away, which is similar to what other cultures were doing at the time period including 400+ years in the future to the Romans. It is likely that aside from taking on the current culture, the reason that the Israelite husbands were doing it also because of economic reasons given that if they didn’t give a writing of divorcement they would be able to keep the bride price and dowry and send her away. The economic argument is made in the second research article link above if you want to check it out.

    Given that Malachi doesn’t reference writings of divorcement without putting away that is the most likely conclusion. Likewise, Jesus is making the same statement in Matthew, Mark and Luke.

  35. Don Quixote says:

    Hi guys, I would like to add my $0.02 into the mix.
    Prior to Jesus arrival there were 2 schools of Jewish thought concerning divorce and remarriage. Rabbi Hillel and Rabbi Shammai. Both these guys agreed [with Moses] that if a wife receives a ‘certificate of divorce’ from her husband she was free to remarry another man.
    When Jesus said the following: “whoso marries a divorced woman commits adultery”, He introduced a new school of thought into the mix. This point is repeated through out the New Testament. Matt, Mark, Luke and Paul.

    One of the pillars of feminised churchianity it that a wife can divorce her husband if he is unfaithful, but this is not biblical. Whosoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery every time, everywhere. It doesn’t matter if it’s king Herod or some remarried entitlement princess. Threat-point marriage disappears when this truth is revealed.

  36. Pingback: Lightning Round -2014/12/24

  37. @ Don Quixote

    I addressed this in the post above:

    “whoso marries a divorced woman commits adultery”

    You can see the difference in wording here:

    Matthew 5:31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away (apoluō) his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement (apostasion): 32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away (apoluō) his wife, saving for the cause of fornication (porneia), causeth her to commit adultery (moichaō): and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced (apoluō) committeth adultery (moichaō).

    Matthew 19:7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement (apostasion), and to put her away (apoluō autos)? 8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away (apoluō) your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away (apoluō) his wife, except it be for fornication (porneia), and shall marry another, commit adultery (moichaō): and whoso marrieth her which is put away (apoluō) doth committeth adultery (moichaō).

    Only in Matthew 5 is apoluo translated as ‘divorced’ where else it is translated as put away. Putting away is synonymous with shalach in the Hebrew. To divorce a wife under the old law you have to give her a writing of divorcement and send her away.

    1 Cor 7:10-11 speaks to the same thing: those put away (or separated) should be reconciled and should not marry another.

    The Scriptures say nothing of those already lawfully divorced, although you can argue that under God’s law there are not that are ever truly divorced. I would argue that the Catholic Church position of sacramental marriage is probably the most correct implementation of marriage that God intends — married for life, cannot remarry but only reconcile, annulments are very rare, etc. — and you can see this born out in the statistics on divorce in the Western world. Catholics have the lowest rates of divorce.

    What the Scriptures don’t say is that if you marry a divorced woman you commit adultery all the time everywhere. That relies on a mistranslation of the Scriptures.

    The problem that you get is when you run into scenarios like the woman at the well in John 4. She was married 5 times and the man she was living with was not her husband before she met Jesus. So what about the divorced woman who remarries before coming to Christ? Is there grace for her? Jesus obviously thought there was.

    However, it gets more complicated. Taking your position a woman is divorced and comes to Christ. Should she not be able to be remarried? What about if her husband is already remarried under the laws of the world? Is she “stuck” being single?

    The Scriptures make no mention of this, although the churches do take various positions on it. The Catholics obviously take the same stance as you do: no remarriage even if the other spouse remarries if you are in Christ if there was a sacramental marriage beforehand and it is not annuled.

    Basically, it gets really complicated really fast, and because the Scriptures don’t speak to such a scenario I won’t make a definitive statement on it.

  38. donalgraeme says:

    I’ve decided to delay my post until after the Nativity. But I intend to address a few of the points DS brings up in his latest comment.

  39. Don Quixote says:

    Seasons greetings, its already christmas here in Australia.
    Deep Strength said:

    What the Scriptures don’t say is that if you marry a divorced woman you commit adultery all the time everywhere. That relies on a mistranslation of the Scriptures.

    3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.

    I don’t believe that Paul made a mistake in the above statement. I understand he was making a comparison with the law but his choice of examples is correct. According to the doctrine of Christ a remarried woman is in an adulterous marriage.

    The woman at the well is the poster girl for divorce and remarriage. She was neither a Jewess or a believer. Jesus was speaking to her in the only way she would understand. And please consider the dialogue, Jesus preempted her question to receive the living water, and instead of giving her anything He said: go get your husband. He knew that unless that issue was dealt with she could not go forward [i.e. receive the living water]. Then her sad sorry plight was discussed.

    Regarding people with a messed up marriage resume [like the woman at the well] Jesus taught that there are 3 types of eunuchs [celibates] 1) Born that way. 2) Made that way. 3) Make themselves that way for the kingdom of God. If the woman at the well or any person with a messed up marriage resume wants to enter the kingdom of God they must adopt #3 and wait for God to change their circumstances.

    God bless one and all.

  40. @ Don Quixote

    The whole passage I addressed in the main post, but I’ll talk about it again:

    Romans 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

    Why does Paul use the wife in this case instead of the husband?

    Because husbands under Israelite law had the ability to divorce their wives with the writing of divorcement and sending her away. Wives had no recourse under law to divorce, and Paul need not bring up the counter example where the husband divorced the wife with the writing of divorcement and sending her away which would make her free to marry again under Israelite law.

    However, I do agree with you: wives and husbands that are “divorced under human law” or “separated” from each other shouldn’t remarry another and reconcile.

    But I don’t think there is enough evidence from the Scriptures to state that those who are divorced and remarried are committing adultery every time they have sex.

    Are you making the case that an unbeliever, who had divorced and remarried, and then becomes a believer is committing adultery in her current relationship and should “divorce” her current husband and be reconciled to her previous one?

    That’s the ambiguous situation you run if you take that stance.

  41. @ Red

    I put moderation of comments on because you’re slandering (technically libel) other people. I will not tolerate that on this blog.

    I explored the possibility of a relationship with FBNF at the end of 2013 which was 5-6 months before I met you and it didn’t work out.

    This has nothing to do with my consideration of Catholicism of which I have only contemplated because there are charismatic Catholics.

    I can see given my comments you could infer that connection, but I would have rather you contacted me privately so I could tell you the truth of the situation.

  42. Don Quixote says:

    Deep Strength says:
    re: Rom.7:1-3

    Why does Paul use the wife in this case instead of the husband?

    Because husbands under Israelite law had the ability to divorce their wives with the writing of divorcement and sending her away. Wives had no recourse under law to divorce, and Paul need not bring up the counter example where the husband divorced the wife with the writing of divorcement and sending her away which would make her free to marry again under Israelite law.

    I have 2 thoughts concerning this.
    1) This letter was addressed to the Roman chuch, many/most of them would not know Jewish divorce law. But the example is exactly in line with Jesus’ doctrine that; whoso marries a divorced a woman commits adultery This is my understanding of the New Testament doctrine concerning divorced women. It is always in all circumstances adultery. Every time.

    2) Jewish society wasn’t monogamous, apparently the Romans were. This makes the example even more poignant for the divorced Roman woman.

    However, I do agree with you: wives and husbands that are “divorced under human law” or “separated” from each other shouldn’t remarry another and reconcile.

    But I don’t think there is enough evidence from the Scriptures to state that those who are divorced and remarried are committing adultery every time they have sex.


    I always like to approach this in the same gender specific way the Scripture does.
    Different roles have different rules. For any remarried woman she is in a state of public and permanent adultery.
    Not necessarily so for a remarried man. Consider David when he fled from King Saul. He didn’t divorce his first wife, King Saul remarried her off to another man, and David went on to remarry other women. 20 odd years later he forced the separation of her second marriage and restored her to himself. There are other examples if your interested please have a look at Twice Married Always Married:
    http://oncemarried.net/twice-married-always-married.html

    Are you making the case that an unbeliever, who had divorced and remarried, and then becomes a believer is committing adultery in her current relationship and should “divorce” her current husband and be reconciled to her previous one?
    That’s the ambiguous situation you run if you take that stance.

    The short answer to your question is yes.
    For a divorced and remarried woman who is converted to Christ she [like the woman at the well] needs to terminate the adulterous relationship, if she wants to continue in the walk of faith. However, if said unbeliever is a divorced and remarried man, I like to give the benefit of the doubt to his current marriage unless… he initiated the divorce, in those circumstances Luke 16:18 applies.

    Thanks again for your blog addressing a difficult topic. God bless you and your family, now and in the new year.

  43. @ Don Quixote

    1) This letter was addressed to the Roman chuch, many/most of them would not know Jewish divorce law. But the example is exactly in line with Jesus’ doctrine that; whoso marries a divorced a woman commits adultery This is my understanding of the New Testament doctrine concerning divorced women. It is always in all circumstances adultery. Every time.

    That’s not what Jesus says. Jesus says that if someone marries a wife who was “put away” that she is caused to commit adultery.

    That’s why the wording is important like I showed in the main post. Jesus is talking about wives/women who were “put away” (Heb: Shalach) without being given a writing of divorcement since Roman culture was like that.

    Your second point with the example of King David is specifically in the case of the wife being taken away (which I would suppose is synonymous with putting away). If she was lawfully divorced — writing of divorcement and sent away/taken away — then she would have been able to remarry without any adulterous consequences.

    However, the fact that we are not under the law but under grace. I see that “what God has put together let no man separate” is the ideal that we strive for. I could see In that vein to excise evil from relationships it may be a good thing to divorce and be reconciled to the previous spouse.

    However, I still I don’t think there’s a clear cut answer there. Because the Scriptures don’t make it clear in these cases, all we have are inferences on what we think is correct.

  44. @DS

    1. “What God has put together let man not separate” is the only correct prescription for Christians today.

    The case made in the post is that Jesus is talking specifically about the law and how it was to be rendered. However, that is a moot point for Christians because we are not under the law but under grace.

    We’re on the same page, but we got here from different directions and I think the distinction is important. The biggest problem, in my opinion, is church tradition. I have been accused before of the “crime” of “wall of text” but the problem is one cannot discuss a complicated topic in twitter-sized comments. However, I’ll break this up into smaller pieces.

    The certificate of divorce was a command by Moses to the men because they were sending their wives away when they got tired of them. Moses codified this judgment into the Law and in effect it means that sending her away was a divorce and it had to be handled in a certain way. The certificate was merely the proof that the husband had sent her away (divorced her). We differentiate this from the wife leaving her husband, in which case she is still married to him, because nowhere does Scripture give a wife the authority to begin a marriage and nowhere does it give her the authority to end it. This is backed up by 1st Peter 3:1, that the wife is to submit to her husband even if he is not obedient to the Word. That disobedience includes adultery on his part. However, going by Deut 24, sending her away and divorcing her are one and the same because Moses commanded the “send her away” to be handled in a specific manner.

    The question of divorce is really a two-part question: Does the husband have the authority to end the marriage (the wife certainly does not); and, if he does, what justification is necessary in order for him to do so?

    In Matthew 19 the Pharisees came to Jesus and presented Him with a question about the law. Essentially they were asking Him to be a judge and tried to present it as and “either-or” binary choice. The first thing He did was to insult them (have you not read?). Then, instead of citing from the Law, He took them back to the creation story. This is particularly important because the first covenant entity God created was the family and that is founded on marriage. It was to the man that the authority to begin a marriage was given. Moses recognized this and it was for the husband (man) that he codified the procedure to end the marriage. It was already happening and Moses simply standardized the procedure.

    Moses skipped over the first prong of whether the man had the authority to end a marriage and simply assumed it. He was quite vague on what justification was necessary to end the marriage, rather, he simply said ‘if you’re gonna do it, here’s how.’

    When Jesus answered the question He said “What therefore God has joined together let no man separate.” That answered the first part of the question of whether the husband has the authority to divorce his wife. The answer was “no” and so the second part is moot. This is clearly reinforcing the principle that marriage is a covenant between man and wife (wives) in which God is a party and witness to the contract and God joins them as one flesh. He stated His objections twice, but then rendered a judgment in line with the established precedent set by Moses because at that time He had no choice. At that time He was under the authority of Moses. This explains the dichotomy between His first two statements and the last statement. The last one was the “Sunday School” answer.

    Later, after He had been elevated to a higher station than Moses (seated at the right hand of the Father), He corrected the record and reversed Moses. We see in 1st Corinthians 7 Paul stating the instruction as a direct command by the Lord Jesus Christ that the wife is not to separate, but if she does she is to remain single or reconcile with her husband (because she’s still married) and the husband is not to divorce his wife. Effectively He returned to the judgment of Moses and said “no divorce.” This isn’t about being under Law or under Grace, it’s about obedience.

    Jesus came to do the will of His Father. Full stop. Under Grace, when we receive salvation we become children of God. However, we were bought with a price. Look at the law of the bondservant (Exodus 21) The very first of the laws, statutes and ordinances that God told Moses to give to the people was the law of the bondservant. As Christians we first receive salvation and then we are to work out our salvation under our master as bondservants to Christ. The so-called “Pauline Privilege” in 1st Corinthians 7 was effectively a restatement of the law of the bondservant. Remember that at the end of his period of service, the servant had the choice: stay with the master permanently or leave. However, if he left, he lost his wife and children who were the property of the master.

  45. @ Red

    I’m not angry, mad, or disappointed at you. I understand that there have been major miscommunications or failure to communicate moments. This has caused hurt and intense emotions. I’d even say that in some instances the majority of them are on me. I know that in your heart that this is not who you are or who you want to be.

    I’m always open to talking regardless of the circumstances and to communicate to the best of my ability which admittedly has been poor at times. However, you need to decide if that’s something you want to do. You have my e-mail.

  46. @ Artisanal Toad

    Interesting take on Jesus under the authority of Moses versus Jesus with all authority in heaven and on earth. I can see how this is true.

    However, my only objection (well, not necessarily objection) but point that would negate this is that Paul is talking about the similar concept that Jesus is: husbands or wives that were put away as opposed to divorced. In this context, both Jesus and Paul lived under Roman rule. Roman custom to divorce was only to send the wife away (e.g. put her away).

    Thus, those that would be put away (or in other words, separated) were to be reconciled or not to remarry because they would be committing adultery.

    Of course, I think in the context of obedience to Christ it is always better to avoid the appearance of evil, and in so doing the more conservative approach which is your statement would seem to be the most viable. This also seems to be the stance that the Catholic and Orthodox (?) Churches take on the matter.

  47. At the beginning of the 1st century marriage was still mostly a private matter between those involved, but not in Rome. In Rome marriage was regulated by the state, but marriage does not belong to the state, it belongs to God. Paul stated in Ephesians 5 that the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church. The marriage belongs to the man who began it and he is the controlling authority over his marriage. Ephesians 5, 1st Corinthians 7 and 1st Peter 3 are the major controlling passages concerning marriage and the husband answers to God in this area. The husband is the authority, answering not to the church, or the state, but to God.

    Later, after the Romanization of the church, the church stepped in and usurped the authority of husbands by claiming authority over marriage and issued all manner of rules regulating the marriage and even the marital bed. Those rules created conflict between husbands and wives and inserted the church (priest) as the arbiter and decision-maker in the conflict they created. Yet, God gave only two rules concerning the marital bed:

    1) No sex while she’s bleeding
    2) Two periods of abstinence after childbirth. 40 days if it’s a boy and 80 days if it’s a girl.

    Other than that, the commandment not to profane the marital bed applies to adultery, but within the bounds of marriage God said nothing about how the plumbing gets connected. That makes many Christians profoundly uncomfortable. The question about whether morality is determined by democracy is the point. God’s Law is forever but the opinions of men are always changing. The RCC and the Orthodox place a great deal of importance on the traditions of the church, but all that’s done has been to create problems. In fact, the problems we have now with marriage and divorce are the direct result of the usurpation by the church of the husbands authority over his marriage and family.

    You have to understand that the feudal system gave the local nobility a lot of authority and power. The church fought for hundreds of years to become a large institutional force at the expense of the nobility. The authority over marriage and the ability to regulate marriage behavior was crucial to this power struggle. This is where feminism formally began, because the church used a divide and conquer strategy which empowered wives against their husbands and placed the church in the position as the arbiter of what was right. Their POV was (and still is) ‘we decide what is right and wrong.’

    With the reformation, the RCC lost power and the state stepped in to “regulate” marriage. The state continued along the same lines as the church and codified into civil law regulations of what a married couple could or could not do within the marital bed. The reasonable laws (prohibiting homosexuality, for example- based on God’s Law) were then swept away when the courts finally removed the ridiculous rules about what happens in the bedroom. Other areas regulating marriage made divorce more easily available and gave the woman the right to divorce her husband. Slowly but surely the rights of husbands have been chipped away and now we have crazy domestic violence laws and men are beginning to see there isn’t much utility in marriage any more. This began with the church usurping the authority of husbands.

    You mentioned the RCC’s view that marriage is a sacrament. That came about at the Council of Trent and it held (contrary to Scripture) that marriage was one man and one woman. That was the formal removal of Biblical dread game (if she refuses to behave, take another wife) and simply another step in the church’s long history of regulating marriage without any authority. By the end of the Council of Trent the church doubled down on many of the objections the Protestants saw as abuses by the church. Many believe that the “one man – one woman” doctrine was a direct result of what Martin Luther wrote to Philip of Hesse, which was later published in Luther’s last book. Philips’ wife was barren and Luther’s advice was that divorce was forbidden but nothing in all of Scripture forbade a man from taking another wife. His advice was to cease with the idea of divorce and quietly take another wife to get an heir.

    As a practical matter, today, the only way to have a Biblical marriage that isn’t under the threat point of divorce is to have an unlicensed marriage by written contract with more than one wife. The state cannot recognize it as a marriage and with a well-written marital covenant if one of the wives wanted out, the courts would have a real dilemma on their hands. I believe the marital covenant would wind up being viewed as a cohabitation contract and that contract would determine her rights in exiting the relationship. That would place the incentives on staying in the marriage rather than exiting the marriage. It would also give the father a tremendous advantage in terms of gaining custody of the children.

    And that certainly makes the vast majority of Christians really, really uncomfortable. Multiple wives! Oh! The horror! Why? Because they’ll drive themselves into a tizzy over what the sleeping arrangements might be. I know a number of poly families (all conservative Christian- not Mormon) and a couple have separate quarters for each wife and her children, some have separate bedrooms for each wife with all the kids together and some of them will look you in the eye and say “We didn’t get married to sleep alone, and you don’t need to know anything else.” All of them have settled their own arrangement based on the individuals involved.

    I have been called a pervert, a heretic and all manner of other names. There was an epic blowup at SSM’s blog last year in which I wrote a guest post arguing that the authority of the husband under Ephesians 5 was not limited. It really was quite enlightening to watch all the people simply arguing their catechism while completely ignoring what the Bible said. You see, in God’s eyes, men and women are simply not the same and the Bible is very clear about this. I argued that the Law says that if two men get together, it’s an abomination and they are to be killed. Then, I pointed out the Law says if a man has sex with an animal both the man and the animal are to be killed. Interestingly, the text then states that if a woman approaches an animal to mate with it, both she and the animal are to be killed. Let’s look at this like an equation and figure out what God DIDN’T say.

    Man + Man = Prohibited and condemned.
    Man + animal = Prohibited and condemned.
    Woman + animal = Prohibited and condemned.

    Woman + Woman = *crickets*

    If God took the trouble to specifically mention both men and women with respect to bestiality, why was He completely silent on woman + woman?

    Scripture says the Law of God is perfect. That means no more and no less than perfect. I argued that Ephesians 5:22-24 was completely in line with this because if a man had more than one wife (which God regulated in the Law and did not prohibit or condemn anywhere… and keep in mind that God does not regulate sin, He condemns it), things might happen. Maybe the husband wants everybody in his bed at once. When you have a pile of naked, sexually aroused people in bed together, things will happen. Within marriage, this is allowed. It would probably be a lot of fun, too, which sends the women into conniption fits.

    When the husband has the authority/right to take another wife, that’s ultimate Biblical dread game. I believe it was for political reasons that the church of Rome officially came out against polygyny, but it was the women who won another round in their desire to subvert the authority of men.

    Two men who decide to shack up is an abomination because it is in direct violation of God’s plan for marriage and family and violates the commandments of the Law. Romans 1:26 is pointing at two women (lesbians) who decide to commit themselves to pleasure without a man and outside the bounds of marriage. However, a careful reading of Romans 1 shows that even then the women are not condemned and there is no penalty, although in the following verse the men are condemned and there is a penalty. Both examples are outside the bounds of marriage and in violation of the first covenant. Women will be saved through the bearing of children, if they continue in love, faithfulness and sanctity. Can multiple wives do that within the bounds of marriage to one man? The answer is yes. Women hate, hate, hate this.

    Women get one husband until he dies or if he is an unbeliever, leaves her. Men get a wife for all the days of their life (or hers) but they aren’t limited to one wife. If wife #1 separates herself she is to remain chaste but he is free to take another wife. He is free to take another wife while wife #1 is still with him. That is God’s point of view but the church stepped in and made rules where God didn’t.

    The howls of outrage over this were deafening but nobody was able to make a decent argument except Ellie, who pointed to the vow to “forsake all others” and asked how a man could take another wife having vowed not to. My only response to that is how can she separate in violation of the command not to, steal his stuff, separate him from his kids and in general make his life hell when she vowed to love, honor and obey all the days of her life. But, that’s women for you.

  48. @DS
    Paul is talking about the similar concept that Jesus is: husbands or wives that were put away as opposed to divorced.

    Put away = divorced

    Put away means she was divorced but he didn’t follow the procedure. Divorced means he followed the procedure. Is this really what you’re arguing?

    BTW- what lexicon do you use?

  49. @ Artisanal Toad

    1. Strong’s.

    2. Put away != divorced as the Hebrew in Deut 24 is clear about that. Malachi 2 is not about divorce, it is about putting away.

    3. I linked this article in the above post, but it outlines what Jesus is saying in Matthew, Mark, and Luke and discusses Deut 22 and 24, Malachi 2, and Jeremiah in it.

    http://www.academia.edu/3622738/What_Jesus_Really_Said_Putting_Away_the_Mistranslations_about_Divorce

    It gets into it in more detail in terms of cultural analysis than I did in this post.

  50. @DS

    If I can simplify for you. Context is everything. The Hebrew men in the time of Moses were kicking their wives to the curb. Moses obviously heard a case and issued a judgment: if you’re going to kick her to the curb, give her a certificate of divorce. Therefore, kicking her to the curb is divorce.

    It appears that you and the multiple authors you’ve linked to (yes, I read it all) are trying to separate the two into two separate actions. No. We’re talking about one action (kicking her to the curb) with the ordered procedure or without the ordered procedure. This must be taken within the context (that everyone is trying VERY hard to avoid) that the husband in question had every right to take another wife. This is where it gets sticky. The overriding passage regarding divorce (which you have correctly identified) should be “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” The word translated as “separate” covers both the “putting away” and “divorcing” the wife. That is an absolute on-point direct answer that it cannot be ignored. But, we devolve to semantics.

    Understand, I am in agreement with you: for a Christian, NO DIVORCE. Marry a believer and you’re stuck with her.

    If the husband has the right to take a second wife (or third, fourth, fifth, etc.) then why does sending the first wife away constitute adultery? This is like the issue of the command that the king is not to multiply his wives. In 2nd Samuel 8:12, God took credit for giving David multiple wives and said that if it hadn’t been enough He would have given David more of the same. I’m not sure how many David had at that time but it was a bunch of them and he can’t have been in violation because God took credit for it. Yet, David’s son Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines (the mind boggles) and they turned his heart away from the Lord. In the first case God obviously didn’t violate His own Law, so David didn’t multiply wives, but in the second case Solomon obviously did. So… what does the word “multiply” mean? It obviously doesn’t mean more than one or God violated His own Law. God says He was married to both Israel and Judah, so God had two wives. One (Israel) He divorced and the other (Judah) He put away and then redeemed.

    This brings into question what the word “adultery” means. My understanding is the word “adultery” (adulter) is best translated (at the root) to the word “mongrel.” Meaning, an illicit mixing, to mongrelize. To adulterate away from the pure. This can be on the physical level (the adulteress calls into question the parentage of the children, and no bastard can enter the assembly, nor their progeny til the 10th generation.) It exists strongly in the racial sense (this makes everybody uncomfortable these days) in that the Israelites were forbidden to marry outside their race. It also exists as a spiritual concept. To commit idolatry is spiritual adultery. This expanded definition of “adultery” removes it from being merely an act of illicit sex and far better fits the narrative. Look at the big investigation under Nehemiah and all the men who had their names recorded for all eternity as violating the law against marrying outside their race.

    In my opinion the husband who sends his wife away without justification and marries another commits adultery because he has called into question his own bloodline, unjustly. He was supposed to keep her and provide for her in order to protect the good name of his children. That falls within the bounds of mongrelizing.

    May you and yours have a merry Christmas.

  51. @ Artisanal Toad

    Partially agree with you.

    The overriding passage regarding divorce (which you have correctly identified) should be “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” The word translated as “separate” covers both the “putting away” and “divorcing” the wife.

    This appears to be correct analysis which I agree with given the context of 1 Cor 7:

    Matthew 19:6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate (chorizo).”

    1 Cor 7:10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate (chorizo) from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce (aphiemi) his wife.

    Obviously, it is a sin to put away and/or divorce and marry another. That’s quite obvious.

    The main question that arises is what becomes of “second” or “third” marriages when an unbeliever comes to know Christ.

    What I would say is the questionable part of the argument is does remarriage constitute repeated adultery if you were making that point too. Jesus obviously speaks to putting away in the context of the law, but He doesn’t speak to it in context of the new covenant of grace. I don’t see the Scriptures speak to this specifically in terms of the new covenant along the lines of what I was discussing with Don Quixote. However, the part about spiritual adultery does make sense, so I will think that over as most of the OT prophets equate turning away from the Lord and to idols as adultery of both Judah and Israel.

  52. Looking Glass says:

    Merry Christmas, all!

  53. Mrs. C says:

    “You mentioned the RCC’s view that marriage is a sacrament. That came about at the Council of Trent and it held (contrary to Scripture) that marriage was one man and one woman.”

    When the Church holds a council, it’s usually to officially state something that has always been in practice due to some heresy that has cropped up. It didn’t make new rules but upheld the ones that have always been there.

    The beginning of the Council of Trent states such

    “Since therefore matrimony in the evangelical law surpasses in grace through Christ the ancient marriages, our holy Fathers, the councils,[6] and the tradition of the universal Church, have with good reason always taught that it is to be numbered among the sacraments of the New Law; and since with regard to this teaching ungodly men of this age, raving madly, have not only formed false ideas concerning this venerable sacrament, but, introducing in conformity with their habit under the pretext of the Gospel a carnal liberty, have by word and writing asserted, not without great harm to the faithful of Christ, many things that are foreign to the teaching of the Catholic Church and to the usage approved of since the times of the Apostles, this holy and general council, desiring to restrain their boldness, has thought it proper, lest their pernicious contagion should attract more, that the principal heresies and errors of the aforesaid schismatics be destroyed by directing against those heretics and their errors the following anathemas.”

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/COUNCILS/TRENT24.HTM

    “In the 16th century, various groups adhering to the Protestant Reformation denied in different degrees the sacramental nature of most Catholic sacraments.[64] In reaction, the Council of Trent on 3 March 1547 carefully named and defined the Catholic Church’s sacraments,[64] reaffirming[65] the teaching that marriage is a sacrament, already expressed authoritatively in 1184, 1208, 1274 and 1439. Recalling scripture, the apostolic traditions and the declarations of previous councils and of the Church Fathers, the bishops declared that there are precisely seven sacraments, with marriage one of them, and that all seven are truly and properly sacraments.[65][66][66]”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_%28Catholic_Church%29

    A lot of the rules and regulations for marriage over the years were to help ensure that marriages were actually valid from the beginning. Ex-Arranged marriages for political reasons were seen to take away the free consent of the man and woman so these had to be condemned.

    Marriage is to reflect the union of Christ with his Bride, the Church. Christ doesn’t have many brides. He prayed that his Church would be one.

  54. Great point, Mrs. C. And our Church safeguards the dignity of women and of marriage, which those in the Protestant Reformation couldn’t stand, the honor placed upon the Blessed Virgin Mary — not to stir up the pot, but no other religion honors the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    I’ve got to say, I have been sitting here bug-eyed at Artisanal Toad, thinking, “no way, he doesn’t really think polygamy, etc., are all right,” except I realize he could be coming at this from a strictly scholarly point of view, which makes it understandable.

    All I can say is, if a single guy started talking like that to a single woman, she would probably head for the hills…..”thanks, but no thanks…” I knew somebody like that before I met my husband, and…he was….eh….interesting. Hope he found somebody compatible, or else is enjoying single blessedness, because I seriously doubt any self-respecting girl is going to stomach that for long.

    I could be way off base here, and this is purely a scholarly discussion, but whatever….just be aware if you hold opinions like that on polygamy and so forth and so on, you probably can look forward to growing old alone. On that subject, how do you reconcile your opinions on Old Testament polygamy, etc., with the ancient decree of Adam — for this cause a man shall leave father and mother and cleave unto his wife (not wives) and they shall be two in one flesh….not many in one flesh. Which goes to prove that before the Fall it was supposed to be one man and one woman. Polygamy was allowed because without it being allowed, tons of people would have fallen into serious sin and could have been damned. Actually, not allowed, it was tolerated.

    Joyeux Nöel.

  55. @DS

    Hope you and yours had a merry Christmas. If I address the comments of Mrs. C and Mom in the Shoe, this will have every indication of being a Prot v RCC flamewar. It’s your blog and your call. I suggest you put me back in moderation and I’ll post my response to their objections, you can make the call whether to post it or perhaps decide to delete it all.

    So far, all is polite (at least on the surface) and I’d like to keep it that way, but I’d like to be able to respond to their comments without this devolving into a flamewar.

    What say you? Parley?

    I would begin with asking 4 questions.

    1.) Is God the same, yesterday today and forever?

    2.) Did God allow, regulate, take credit for and even participate in polygyny, as compared to farming?

    3.) #3 should read “If the teachings and tradition of the RCC are in direct contradiction to Scripture, which wins? (In other words, does God have authority over the RCC’s decisions, of does the RCC have authority over God’s decisions?)

    4.) In Ephesians 5:22-24, the husband is described as the head of the wife and his authority is described as being the same as that of Christ over the church and the wife is to obey her husband in everything. Are there any exceptions to everything, which would mean the wife is to obey her husband in everything (except that)?

  56. @DS
    Correction please:

    #3 should read “If the teachings and tradition of the RCC are in direct contradiction to Scripture, which wins? (In other words, does God have authority over the RCC’s decisions, of does the RCC have authority over God’s decisions?)

    Thanks

  57. @ Artisanal Toad

    I corrected your post.

    Feel free to discuss as polygyny does relate to marriage and divorce. I fully expect that society as it is current headed with gay marriage and the like will eventually be permissible to polygamy and other forms of “marriage.” Discussing it now before it happens is a good idea even in that context.

  58. I was more concerned with the appearance of evil: a prot v RCC flamewar. This should not be happening. We should be focusing on our common ground rather than on our man-made differences.

  59. @ Artisanal Toad

    To be honest, I think anything can be discussed without devolving into a flame war. However, it depends mostly on the two people in the discussion if they don’t personally involve their emotions in it. This seems to be difficult for most people though.

    If you think it would devolve into a flame war I would refrain. Otherwise, feel free.

  60. Mrs. C says:

    I think these things could be discussed without a flame war but it would be a constant stating of Catholic teaching alongside a personal interpretation of the Bible. Just the fact that Catholics don’t believe God just gave us a book without an authoritative earthly interpreter but instead left us an actual Church, whose leaders under the guidance of the Holy Spirit will lead us to truth revealed by Scripture and Tradition (oral teachings of the apostles handed down and preserved by the writings of the Church Fathers), means there will never be any meeting of the minds.

    We can each state our beliefs but we will never reach the same conclusions.

    Concerning 1,2 & 3 above. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. This doesn’t mean that everything He allowed in the OT was meant to be carried over once Christ entered human history and fulfilled the former laws. First, we have in Genesis God creating man and due to Adam’s being lonely, God then formed Eve as a helpmeet. He didn’t give Adam a harem to quell his loneliness but one woman. Jesus referenced going back to the beginning when He spoke of divorce in the N.T. Humanity got off course, due to sin and hardness of heart after the fall. God may have allowed this departure from His original plan in time before the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, but He never commanded it. In fact, just like many stories of the history of the O.T., we see how sinful practices often lead to chaos and strife and war. Polygamy was a good example of how it generally spells trouble among the children of several wives. God seemed to want to show that without Christ and the fulfillment of the law, that humanity will bring painful consequences as a result of their actions which were contrary to what God intended from the beginning. The O.T. seems to mostly be about showing us why we need a Savior and that despite our sinfulness God can use it to work towards the good of fulfilling His plan in time. Once Christ established the Church and it was understood to be His bride, we can see Paul in Ephesians teaching a new way to understand marriage as one head and one body as Christ is to the Church.

    God began creation with one man and one woman, then led us to Christ and His Church, of which marriage became a symbol and in the future we will see Christ united with His Bride at the end of time. There are not multiple brides named Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist etc (at least from the Catholic Church’s POV). There is only one.

    The marriage described above of the husband, when and if he should be unhaaappy for whatever reason with one wife, could go and get another, is not an example of Christ and His Church. There is no Biblical dread game as described above. Christ, despite the sins and faults of the Church militant (the Church on earth), will remain faithful to her and guide her to all goodness with which to bring her to the wedding feast at the end of time as the Church Triumphant.

    The Church’s encyclical on Christian Marriage states

    ” For matrimonial faith demands that husband and wife be joined in an especially holy and pure love, not as adulterers love each other, but as Christ loved the Church. This precept the Apostle laid down when he said: “Husbands, love your wives as Christ also loved the Church,”[24] that Church which of a truth He embraced with a boundless love not for the sake of His own advantage, but seeking only the good of His Spouse.[25] The love, then, of which We are speaking is not that based on the passing lust of the moment nor does it consist in pleasing words only, but in the deep attachment of the heart which is expressed in action, since love is proved by deeds.[26] This outward expression of love in the home demands not only mutual help but must go further; must have as its primary purpose that man and wife help each other day by day in forming and perfecting themselves in the interior life, so that through their partnership in life they may advance ever more and more in virtue, and above all that they may grow in true love toward God and their neighbor, on which indeed “dependeth the whole Law and the Prophets.”[27] For all men of every condition, in whatever honorable walk of life they may be, can and ought to imitate that most perfect example of holiness placed before man by God, namely Christ Our Lord, and by God’s grace to arrive at the summit of perfection, as is proved by the example set us of many saints.”

    Concerning 4- The obedience in everything. The same encyclical states

    “27. This subjection, however, does not deny or take away the liberty which fully belongs to the woman both in view of her dignity as a human person, and in view of her most noble office as wife and mother and companion; nor does it bid her obey her husband’s every request if not in harmony with right reason or with the dignity due to wife; nor, in fine, does it imply that the wife should be put on a level with those persons who in law are called minors, to whom it is customary to not allow free exercise of their rights on account of their lack of mature judgment, or of their ignorance of human affairs. But it forbids that exaggerated liberty which cares not for the good of the family; it forbids that in this body which is the family, the heart be separated from the head to the great detriment of the whole body and the proximate danger of ruin. For if the man is the head, the woman is the heart, and as he occupies the chief place in ruling, so she may and ought to claim for herself the chief place in love.

    28. Again, this subjection of wife to husband in its degree and manner may vary according to the different conditions of persons, place and time. In fact, if the husband neglect his duty, it falls to the wife to take his place in directing the family. ”

    As I said above, as a Catholic woman who follows the Church established by Christ, which has the authority, guided by the Holy Spirit, to not only interpret Scripture but to also bind and loose on earth that which will be considered bound and loosened in heaven, I will have to go with the Church’s judgment on this matter as opposed to someone’s personal interpretation of Scripture who also seems to be approaching said interpretation to confirm a modern day philosophy (Red Pill, dread game) rather than humbly with prayer and reason looking for truth.

    For further reading
    http://blog.adw.org/2011/06/dont-do-polygamy-on-the-polygamy-of-the-patriarchs-and-the-problems-it-produces/

    http://blog.adw.org/2012/01/david-a-great-king-yet-with-a-critical-flaw-what-is-the-lesson-for-us-today/

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/Encyc/p11casti.htm

  61. Don Quixote says:

    Deep Strength says:

    That’s not what Jesus says. Jesus says that if someone marries a wife who was “put away” that she is caused to commit adultery.

    That’s why the wording is important like I showed in the main post. Jesus is talking about wives/women who were “put away” (Heb: Shalach) without being given a writing of divorcement since Roman culture was like that.

    I personally am not convinced that Jesus made a difference between putting away and divorcing.
    1) This means that Jesus is more concerned about the paper work than the family!
    2) It implies that putting-away and remarrying = adultery, but divorcing and remarrying = possible righteousness.
    3) It contradicts the New Testament position that a remarried woman is an adulteress. Hardly ever mentioned these days.
    4) This interpretation puts Jesus in almost alignment with Rabbi Shammai. And sounds like thinly veiled divorce apologetics, so much loved in the Protestant churches.

    In Jesus name, Russell

  62. Don Quixote says:

    I think the Artisanal Toad nailed it with the words:

    “Put away means she was divorced but he didn’t follow the procedure. Divorced means he followed the procedure.”

  63. I will refrain from comment and instead rather watch at this time.

    As Roman Catholics, we firmly believe in the hierarchical structure put in place by Our Lord in His commission to His Apostles and their successors. Our structure is set up in such a way that all members of the Mystical Body are protected under laws — Divine Law, natural law and ecclesiastical law (canon law). Of all three, ecclesiastical law can be and has often been changed, as evidenced by various changes in Church discipline over the centuries and most notably in recent decades.

    Natural law, being written in our own consciences, is accessible to all. Divine Law is also accessible to all. But unfortunately, human nature is such that other laws are needed to see to it that both natural law and Divine Law are kept, which is the purpose of all forms of government (in theory). This is why we have civil law and, in the Church, ecclesiastical law. Without law, and everybody interpreting the Bible for themselves, things can get quite “interesting”.

    I will leave it at that.

  64. @ Don quixote

    1) This means that Jesus is more concerned about the paper work than the family!
    2) It implies that putting-away and remarrying = adultery, but divorcing and remarrying = possible righteousness.
    3) It contradicts the New Testament position that a remarried woman is an adulteress. Hardly ever mentioned these days.
    4) This interpretation puts Jesus in almost alignment with Rabbi Shammai. And sounds like thinly veiled divorce apologetics, so much loved in the Protestant churches.

    1, No it wouldn’t. He had already said: What God has put together let no man separate.
    2. No, because He had already said: What God has put together let no man separate.
    3. Except that Romans and Corinthians talk about putting away not divorce.
    4. I’m not familiar with Shammai’s position, but in no way does this say that divorcing is not a sin.

    The only thing that this position says is that remarriage is not [continued] adultery. Or rather, it doesn’t hang condemnation over others. That said it would still be best to reconcile with the divorced and/or put away spouse rather than remarry.

    To be completely forthright on the matter, I’m not entirely convinced of either position. I think there’s decent evidence for both sides and you can make a case either way.

  65. Don Quixote says:

    Thanks Deep Strength, I am not familiar with this type of thinking, and I’m trying to get my head around it.
    Just one thought… here is a quote from from the Catholic catechism regarding divorce and remarriage; “ Contracting a new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture: the remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery” http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_P87.HTM
    Please consider reading the above link.

  66. Don Quixote says:

    Dear Deep Strength, I’m not sure if it’s ok to put this here, please remove it if for any reason you don’t want it here:

  67. @ Don Quixote

    Video is fine. Catechism I do agree with.

    What I’m still unclear on is how the how the Catholic Church would treat a wife/husband who has been remarried who converted after the fact. Or alternatively, in a less complicated case a divorced husband/wife who converted after the fact and their previous spouse is already remarried.

    I know your stance on it. Prots are all over the place. I’m curious what the Catholic Church would say… get the first one annuled if possible, but if not remain celibate? That would be the most logical conclusion from my perspective.

  68. I see a large part of this as feminism. Anything that transfers power from the husband to the wife is damaging of the marital relationship.

    On the subject of remarriage, we cannot lump men and women into the same class. Men have the right to take more than one wife, but as both 1st Cor. 7:39 and Romans 7:2 say, the wife is bound to her husband for as long as he lives. I believe that Matthew 5:31-32 is saying that God will not accept an illegitimate divorce. Thus, the second marriage for the woman isn’t really a marriage because she’s still married to the first husband.

    If a woman separates herself from her husband (which she is commanded not to do), he has the authority to take another wife but she is told to remain single or be reconciled to her husband. To say otherwise is to say a woman has the authority to sentence her husband to celibacy. That is completely at odds with 1st Corinthians 7:4 as well as Ephesians 5:22-24. Wives are to submit to their husbands as unto the Lord and the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the Head of the church. Does that mean everything, or everything except [that]? Because if it means everything except [that] it means the church doesn’t have to submit to Christ in everything.

    If you look in Revelation 1-3, you’ll find the seven letters Christ told John to write to His seven churches. I strongly recommend you read them and look at the emphasis on obedience and reward. Yes, He wrote seven letters to seven churches. The church of Rome isn’t one of them, but then again, neither is the church of Gaul. Continue on to chapter 21 and you’ll find that the Bride of Christ is the new city of Jerusalem. In fact, I do not know of any place in Scripture where the church is mentioned as the bride of Christ. The body of Christ, yes, but not the bride.

    This agrees perfectly with the parable of the 10 virgins. They are all Christians and have the Holy Spirit (oil in their lamps) but the five wise virgins obeyed the command of Ephesians 5:18 and were filled with the Holy Spirit (extra flask of oil) If one receives the Holy Spirit upon becoming born again, why then the command to be filled with the Holy Spirit? Obviously they are two different things. So the foolish virgins were told to go out and purchase (work for) their own extra oil, but when they got to the door it was shut. So, let’s look at this. They got to the door and they now had their own filling of the Holy Spirit, exactly like the virgins who were inside. Why weren’t they let in? The Master says He doesn’t know them.

    There are two words in the Greek that are translated “know” and one is subjective and the other objective. When John said he didn’t know his cousin Jesus (and he certainly knew who his cousin was) he was using the subjective word. He objectively knew Jesus, but didn’t subjectively know Him.

    The extra filling of the Holy Spirit comes from being obedient and doing all that could be done when it could be done. The five wise virgins had worked hard for their master and He subjectively knew them. The five foolish virgins had what the Baptists used to call “fire insurance” but did little for the kingdom. They were locked out of the feast because while He’d seen them around, they hadn’t been doing His will when they had the chance. He knew who they were but didn’t subjectively know them because they had not been walking with Him daily. The Master is just and the five wise virgins got a greater reward. To try to spin this as the wedding feast where the virgins are marrying the Master, you’re saying that some Christians become the bride of Christ while others don’t. If you say the virgins are guests at the feast, it’s all about service and reward.

    This is the same in the parable of the talents. All were servants of the Master, but when He returned He found two of them had been doing their jobs and one of them was a slacker. The two who had done all according to their talents were rewarded but the slacker was punished. Again, there are two phrases translated into outer darkness. One of them means hell, but in this passage the outer darkness is that area outside the pavilion at a feast. In this case he is still a servant of the Master, but will not be allowed to enter into his Masters joy.

    I hold to covenant theology, that the first covenant entity was the family. The second was the state and the third was the church. The covenant family was commanded to be fruitful and multiply, to fill the earth and subdue it, to take dominion over it. The authority to initiate marriage was given to the man and as Jesus said, what therefore God has joined together let no man separate. The authority of the husband over his wife that’s stated in Ephesians 5:22-24 goes all the way back to Genesis 2:24. The husband is the head of the wife and Christ is the head of the husband, not the church.

    The man was given the authority to initiate marriage. Moses gave the man the procedure on how to end a marriage. Christ corrected that. The subject of polygyny seems to drive everyone insane.

    However, lets compare polygyny to farming.

    God was a gardener, planting a garden at Eden. In the Law, men who wanted to til the soil were given certain rules, so we see that God regulated this practice. Later we see that God had two fields, one named Israel and the other named Judah. Many of the patriarchs engaged in this practice of farming and at no point is it ever forbidden or condemned. However, nowdays if a man has a garden and then he buys another field, builds a wall around it and plants a vineyard… people look at him and say “You’re farming and that’s wrong! You only get one field because nobody should be able to open the gate and plow more than one field! More than one field is wrong because God only gave Adam and Eve one garden, not multiple gardens! Farming is sinful! If God had wanted a man to have more than one field He’d have given Adam more than one garden!

    Our church has been in agreement on this for a thousand years now. Five hundred years ago it was officially made part of church doctrine that a man has a sacred bond with the soil and that’s limited to one man with one field. Even though God didn’t say it was wrong, participated in farming, regulated it and even in the New Testament there is no prohibition or condemnation of the practice, it is the tradition and now doctrine of the church that a man can only have one field.

    The state came along and said we are going to regulate this practice of agriculture. If you want to do it you have to get a license and we’re going to change the rules from time to time but you still have to obey them. Licensed agriculture is limited to one field at time. You can sell a field and buy another one, but you’ll have to get a license for the second field before you start plowing it.

    The supreme court came along and said no, agriculture is a right and those laws requiring a license are just polite suggestions.

    But we have problems now and there’s this disease that fields get called feminasty disease. Half the gardeners are losing their fields to this disease because the state comes in and takes the field away and the man is still required to work the field but doesn’t get any of the goodies. Toad comes along and suggests that the only way a man might be able to feed his family is to have multiple fields without a license because multiple fields isn’t considered agriculture. You might still lose a field to the feminasty disease, but you’ll have other fields so you’ll still have something to eat.

    Not everybody can handle multiple fields because it’s a lot of work, but for those who can, why not enjoy the diversity of fruit? Yet, once again the people say “No, Toad. We don’t care if God allows it, we say it’s wrong, so there. We don’t care if the landscape is littered with abandoned fields, some in serious need of attention and even wanting attention. We say it’s wrong.

  69. One other thing about the bride of Christ. Christ is the firstfruits, the firstborn of many brethren. When we are saved we become children of God, able to boldly go before the throne crying Abba, Father. Christ, who paid the price with His blood is now our master and we are to work out our salvation in His service. He will judge us at the Bema seat and we will be His brothers and sisters.

    Marrying siblings is against God’s Law.

  70. Don Quixote says:

    Deep Strength says:

    What I’m still unclear on is how the how the Catholic Church would treat a wife/husband who has been remarried who converted after the fact. Or alternatively, in a less complicated case a divorced husband/wife who converted after the fact and their previous spouse is already remarried.

    I know your stance on it. Prots are all over the place. I’m curious what the Catholic Church would say… get the first one annuled if possible, but if not remain celibate? That would be the most logical conclusion from my perspective.

    You would have to put the questions to a Priest or someone of church office. Do not ask the Catholic Answers Forum, it is full of crazy feminists.

  71. Mrs. C says:

    @DS “What I’m still unclear on is how the how the Catholic Church would treat a wife/husband who has been remarried who converted after the fact.

    I’m not 100% on this but I think in this situation, the first marriage would have to be annulled. This shouldn’t be too complicated due to it not being a Catholic marriage to begin with. Some uncomplicated annulment cases can take as little as two weeks to go through. The current marriage would have to be what they call convalidated, meaning the couple would exchange vows in a simple ceremony with the priest presiding and two witnesses. This would ensure that the marriage is valid. It would take no more than 5-10 minutes.

    Or alternatively, in a less complicated case a divorced husband/wife who converted after the fact and their previous spouse is already remarried.

    They wouldn’t have to do anything if the divorced convert wasn’t going to marry again. If they did want to marry, they would have to go through the annulment process to declare the original marriage invalid.

  72. Asher says:

    It’s pretty clear that “two become one flesh” can only refer to having biological children, i.e. recombinant DNA, which echoes God’s first commandment to Mankind “be fruitful, and multiply”. In other words, God detests the separation of a man a women to whom He has blessed children – that is the only possible context of that assertion.

    As for civil marriages that are childless, they are solely for social stability and are the affairs of men and governed by their laws and customs. A marriage certificate means nothing to God and does not bind Him.

  73. @ Asher

    That’s an interesting take on “one flesh” which I hadn’t considered before. I need to think about that more.

    Though my view on Scripture is often that there are multiple interpretations that are correct because it’s living and active and sharper than a two edged sword.

  74. Asher says:

    @ Deep Strength

    By what criterion should we judge that God has joined a man and woman “in one flesh”? A marriage certificate issued by the civil authorities?

  75. Having thought about the conclusions in this article:

    If we take the OT Deut 24 in context of Paul’s prescription in 1 Cor 7 and Jesus’ wording about what God has put together then I come to the conclusion that:

    1. Husbands and wives may separate, but they may only be reconciled or stay separate.
    2. They may not remarry because otherwise it’s a sin, even if there is a “lawful” divorce. What God has put together let man not separate.
    3. However, if they do remarry it’s a sin, but not specifically adultery via Deut 24 as the first husband is not allowed to remarry a wife who was divorced by him, remarried, and then divorced by the second husband.

    The opposing argument could be that such a “lawful-but-sinful” divorce was not in actuality a divorce at all, so the woman was married to the second husband was still married to the first but not the second. However, this goes against the OT that a divorce is a writing of divorcement and putting/sending away. Therefore, the only thing that changed is that “lawful” divorce is missing the mark and sin, but it is not some form of perversity where the second husband/wife is committing adultery every time they have sex.

  76. Pingback: Male and female sexual desire is not sinful | Christianity and the manosphere

  77. Pingback: On divorce Part 2 | Christianity and the manosphere

  78. Pingback: On divorce Part 3 | Christianity and the manosphere

  79. Pingback: On divorce Part 4 | Christianity and masculinity

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