On divorce Part 3

This post is mainly for consolidating the Scriptures on divorce as I’ve participated in several conversations lately on the same topic.  It covers much of the same material as the previous topics On divorce and On divorce Part 2. Thus, if you’ve read them before or if you don’t care feel free not to read it again.

This is one of the original research articles that got me started on reading to understand what the Scriptures say myself. Read it if you have time.

The biggest thing that I learned from my discussions is that people don’t properly understand the background of all of the OT passages on divorce and putting away which set the stage for why Jesus is talking specifically about putting away and not divorce. Hence, I am going to lay them out in a coherent way that allows us to discuss the context for which Jesus speaks about these things to the Pharisees.

Table of contents

  1. Deuteronomy 24 — What is legal divorce according to the Scriptures?
  2. Deuteronomy 22 — What constitutes marital fraud?
  3. Jeremiah 3 and Isaiah 50 — The adulterous cases of Israel and Judah
  4. Malachi 2 — the background from the Old Testament to the New Testament
  5. Deuteronomy 24 and Matthew 5 and 19 — The synonymous terms of legal divorce in the OT and NT
  6. Matthew 19:3 — the Pharisees’ multi layered trap
  7. Matthew 19:4-6 — Jesus goes back to the creation
  8. Matthew 19:7 — The Pharisees’ confusion
  9. Matthew 19:8 — Jesus’ response on hardness of heart
  10. Matthew 19:9 — The heavily misinterpreted passage of Scripture
  11. Matthew 19:10-12 — the disciples actually understand the gravity of marriage
  12. Matthew 1:18-19 — the case of Joseph and Mary
  13. Mark 10:2-12 and Luke 16:13-18 — the unification of Matthew with Mark and Luke
  14. Romans 7 — understanding the context of Jewish divorce
  15. 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 — the Lord’s command to husbands and wives
  16. 1 Corinthians 7:12-15 — Paul, not the Lord, says to live with unbelieving spouses
  17. Conclusion

Let’s get started.

Deuteronomy 24 — What is legal divorce according to the Scriptures?

This is outlined in Deuteronomy 24:

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 (sêpher kerı̂ythûth), and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth (shâlach) 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.

Legal divorce is composed of two parts 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 will be important when we look at the passages in Matthew.

Deuteronomy 22 — What constitutes marital fraud?

Marital fraud is found in Deuteronomy 22.

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.

From a historical perspective very few if any women that were caught in marital fraud were actually stoned.

Thus, what actually occurred is that when a woman was caught in marital fraud were simply put away without being legally divorced. The reason for this is that such a fraudulent marriage was invalid, and the couple was not legally married. Hence, the “wife” could be put away because there was no proof of the marriage due to lack of blood on the sheets which illuminated her deception that she wasn’t a virgin.

Distinguishing legal divorce from marital fraud is important because this outlines a case for which a woman could be put away.

Jeremiah 3 and Isaiah 50 — The adulterous cases of Israel and Judah

The Lord is shown to follow the laws he outlined in Deuteronomy 24 for legal divorce in the cases of Israel and Judah.

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. God abides by His own law that He gave the Israelites.

However, the Lord speaking to Judah does not divorce her even though He puts her away. This means that the Lord is still married to Judah which fulfills His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as well as David that he will always have a descendant sit on the throne.

Isaiah 50:1 Thus saith the Lord [to Judah], 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. The Lord allows Judah to be put away into captivity for their transgressions. Afterward, He redeems and deliveIf rs Judah out of captivity as read in Nehemiah and Ezra and upholds  His 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.

Malachi 2 — The background from the Old Testament to the New Testament

Malachi is the last prophet for 400 years before Jesus. In particular, Malachi points out Israelite backsliding due to assimilation of the surrounding cultures much like today.

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?

The main background behind this passage is that “divorce” in surrounding cultures was simply putting away. Husbands sent their wives out of the house and that was a divorce. As you can see, this “divorce” of putting away is at conflict with the Israelite legal divorce process which was putting away with a writ of divorce.

There are two main reasons why the Lord was saying putting away [without a writ of divorce] was treacherous:

  1. The husbands were receiving cash and prizes from putting away. If a wife was legally divorced — put away with a writ of divorce — she would receive back the dowry that the bride’s father paid. However, if she was put away without a writ of divorce she would not receive back the dowry. Hence, Israelite husbands were following other cultures and not the Lord for selfish gain.
  2. A legal divorce — put away with a writ of divorce — would allow the divorced wife to remarry. However, if a wife was put away she would not be able to remarry as it states in Deuteronomy 24. Instead, she would still be legally married to her husband albeit put away like Judah in captivity. Since the husbands were not going to redeem the wives they had put away they were left destitute because they could not remarry without committing adultery.

This assimilation of the surrounding culture sets the stage for Jesus’ interaction with the Pharisees in the New Testament.

Deuteronomy 24 and Matthew 5 and 19 — The synonymous terms of legal divorce in the OT and NT

Since the OT was written in Hebrew and the NT was written primarily in Greek, we need to critically examine the Scriptures to see if there are synonymous terms that were used in order to understand if the Pharisees and Jesus were speaking about the Law of Moses. There are.

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 (sêpher kerı̂ythûth), and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth (shâlach) 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.

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

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).

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.

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

Note: I crossed out the two instances of “divorce” within the definition of apoluo because apoluo does not denote a legal divorce according to the Law of Moses. Hence, Jesus would not have used apoluo to mean “divorce” because He does not abolish the law but fulfills the law.

Matthew 19:3 — the Pharisees’ multi layered trap

Let’s start delving into the line by line analysis given our solid background of understanding.

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?

First, the key word “every cause” is another instance of background that we need to understand the situation correctly. The Pharisees, specifically the Hillelites, claimed you could legally divorce for “every cause” due to an interpretation of uncleanness in Deuteronomy 24 meaning any form of displeasure. (The article in question gets the conclusion wrong, but the background is important).

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.

Now, your spider senses should be tingling because that question is not what the Pharisees actually asked. This is the importance of understanding that a divorce in Jewish law is putting away AND a bill of divorcement.

They did not ask Jesus:

“Is it lawful for a man to put away (apoluō) [and give a writ of divorce (apostasion)] his wife for every cause?”

but rather

“Is it lawful for a man to put away (apoluō) his wife for every cause?”

If they had said “divorce” via put away + writ of divorce it would have been a basic trap that they knew Jesus could easily refute. However, this multi layered trap is complicated and goes back to it’s roots of being called out by God’s prophet in Malachi 2. Israelite husbands were assimilating culture by putting away their wives treacherously for selfish gain (cash and prizes) and leaving them unable to remarry lest they commit adultery.

The complexity of this trap question is that the Pharisees are pitting Roman law — the current occupiers of the land — versus a specific interpretation of Jewish law. In Roman law you could “divorce” your wife by “putting her away” (apoluo). However, as we know in Jewish law in Deuteronomy 24 you could divorce your wife by “putting her away” (apoluo or shalach) AND giving her a bill of divorcement (Apostasion or Sepher keriythth). This is similar to other traps the Pharisees employed such as it being lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or God (Matt 22, Mark 12).

Hence, the trap. If Jesus answers that you can put away a wife without a bill of divorcement the Pharisees can call Jesus a blasphemer as He is not following Jewish law. If Jesus says that you need a bill of divorcement then the Pharisees can take Jesus to the Romans and say that He is subverting Roman law. The additional part of the trap that is subtle is that “every cause” is thrown in so that they are not referring directly to Jewish law but solely one liberal interpretation of it.

Obviously, this is a no win question, so the only right answer is not to play at all.

Matthew 19:4-6 — Jesus goes back to the creation

Jesus knows that it’s a no-win question. Hence, He doesn’t play.

Matthew 19:4 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.

Jesus neatly sidesteps the Pharisees’ trap by avoiding talking about Roman and Jewish law and instead discusses the creation of man and what God intended. He would know because He was there in the beginning (see: John 1:1-4).

Matthew 19:7 — The Pharisees’ confusion

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)?

The Pharisees see that Jesus has cleverly sidestepped their trap. However, they now are not a bit confused. If God did not intended for any divorce at all then why was it written in the Law of Moses in Deuteronomy 24 that they can divorce by putting the wife away AND giving her a bill of divorcement?

The fact that the Pharisees readily acknowledge that the Law of Moses declared that a divorce is composed of putting away AND bill of divorcement allows us to understand that the prior exegesis of the “trap” set by the Pharisees as indicated by Matthew is correct. The Pharisees were again pitting Roman Law against Jewish Law trying to make Him break one or the other along with throwing in their “every cause” theology.

Remember, they asked “put away” versus “put away with a writ of divorce.”

Matthew 19:8 — Jesus’ response of hardness of heart

Matthew 19:8 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.

Jesus responds to the Pharisees that this part of the law was created because human hearts are hard.

This does not mean that putting away (or apoluo) is synonymous with divorce. Rather, it means that Jesus doesn’t want “putting away” for any reason valid divorce or not because of the hardness of hearts. However, at best this is the only portion of the Scriptures where Jesus refers to “putting away” as all inclusive of divorce.

Next, Jesus goes on to talk about the only valid reason for putting away and not a reason for divorce.

Matthew 19:9 — The heavily misinterpreted passage of Scripture

Matthew 19:9 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).

The first thing to realize is that Jesus is answering the original question that the Pharisees posed which is namely “what are the lawful instances of which you can put away?”

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?

As we remember from Malachi 2 to the current Roman occupation the Israelite husbands were putting away their wives treacherously. Thus, it is important for Jesus to answer this question in order to clarify the instances of which a wife can be put away… not the instances for which a wife can be divorced.

Let’s walk through this part by part:

  1. Specifically, Jesus starts off with “Whosoever shall put away (apoluō) his wife.” Again, putting away is not synonymous with divorce as Jewish law is 2 parts: putting away and giving a bill of divorcement.

We recognize that Jesus knows what a bill of divorce is as He is familiar with Jewish law. Additionally,  the Pharisees just asked him about putting away (apoluo) and bills of divorce (apostasion). Hence, Jesus is only talking about the specific scenario of putting away a wife WITHOUT a bill of divorcement otherwise He would have clarified.

Next:

  1. Jesus specifically says “except it be for fornication (porneia). “Fornication” is an illicit sexual union including incest (1 Cor 5) and includes adultery. However, if Jesus was referring specifically to adultery here then “moichao” would have been used instead of “porneia.” Moichao is used in the same sentence, yet it is not used here.
  2. Additionally, in combination with “putting away (apoluo)” and “fornication (porneia)” this tells us that He is referring to Deuteronomy 22 where a husband marries a wife who is not a virgin by fraud. If it was talking about “putting away (apoluo)” and “bill of divorcement (apostasion)” and “adultery (moichiao)” this would reference Deuteronomy 24 on rules of divorce.

The Greek wording is extremely important to look at here because it tells us what Jesus is talking about and what He is not talking about. This wording absolutely denies that Jesus is talking about divorce and legitimacy of divorce due to adultery in Deuteronomy 24 and instead refers marriage fraud like in Deuteronomy 22.

If Jesus was talking specifically about a legitimate divorce for adultery he would have instead said:

“Whosoever shall put away (apoluō) [with a writ of divorce (apostasion)] his wife, “except it be for adultery (moichiao),

Instead, He says:

“Whosoever shall put away (apoluō) his wife, “except it be for fornication (porneia),

This becomes clear in the final part.

Next, Jesus says: “and shall marry another, commit adultery (moichaō): and whoso marrieth her which is put away (apoluō) doth committeth adultery (moichaō).” Let’s put all of the parts together now.

Remove the “except” part for a moment. Jesus is saying:

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).

Simplified:

And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away (apoluō) his wife, […], and shall marry another, commit adultery (moichaō): and whoso marrieth her which is put away (apoluō) doth committeth adultery (moichaō).

  1. In other words, Jesus is saying [under Jewish law] that if you put away your wife and marry another each of you commit adultery. This makes sense because if you put away your wife under Jewish law without giving her a writ of divorce then you commit adultery as you were still married to her! This is where Jesus refers to Deuteronomy 24 specifically on the laws of divorce.
  2. As you can see, this directly resembles what was exactly happening in Malachi 2 and Roman times. Husbands were putting away their wives without a writ of divorce. They couldn’t marry because they were still married to their original husbands. If they did they were committing adultery.

Let’s continue the textual analysis:

  1. Now, what about the “except it be for fornication (porneia)” part? The Pharisees rightly understood that in Deuteronomy 22 that if a husband accused his wife of not being a virgin then the proof was the sheet with the blood stains on it. If the parents were able to produce that (gross, I know) then the husband must pay a penalty and could never put her away as long as he lives. However, if the wife was guilty she was committing fraud by lying/deception by marrying her husband claiming to be a virgin when she was not.
  2. Therefore, this “except” clause means that a husband COULD put away a wife if she had committed deception by fraud by claiming to be a virgin when she was not. Indeed, there is no covenant marriage formed between the husband and the wife if she fraudulently married.
  3. Hence, a husband can “lawfully” put away his wife for that cause under Jewish law. This bring us full circle to the fact that Jesus fully answered the Pharisees’ question. Under Jewish law a husband can put away his wife [without a bill of divorcement] if she had fornicated and deceived him that she was a virgin as there was no lawful marriage in the first place. Hence, he can put her away and it is not a divorce.

Thus,

And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away (apoluō) his wife, except it be for fornication (porneia) [illicit/fraudulent sexual deception which forms an invalid marriage], and shall marry another, commit adultery (moichaō): and whoso marrieth her which is put away (apoluō) doth committeth adultery (moichaō).

Putting away (without a writ of divorce) and marrying another constitutes adultery because you are still married to your former spouse. The exception is for a fraudulent marriage which means the marriage itself is invalid.

Now that we understand that Jesus was not talking about divorce (putting away + writ of divorce) but rather putting away we also understand that his original statement still stands.

Matthew 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Thus, Jesus says there is no divorce period. Any divorce is sin.

This also describes the only reason you can put away a wife is for a fraudulent marriage. For example, a wife that lies about her past sexual history can be put away because it’s a fraudulent marriage. A covenant must be willingly agreed to openly and truthfully.

Matthew 19:10-12 — the disciples actually understand the gravity of marriage

Matthew 19:10 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.

  1. The disciples, despite how they are often mocked at not understanding things, readily understand that Jesus is saying that there is no divorce period. The only exception is that you can put away a wife if she fornicated prior to marriage as there would have been no covenant marriage formed.
  2. Hence, they say that it’s better not to marry since it would be a bad deal to marry if you couldn’t divorce for any reason.
  3. Jesus then responds that only some can receive the gift of singleness without women. This is important to note in the context of 1 Corinthians 7, and Paul’s concession that it’s better to marry than to burn. Both Jesus and Paul under the inspiration of the Father understand that many will marry because singleness has not been given to everyone.

No divorce period except for fraudulent marriages is a hard word indeed.

Matthew 1:18-19 — the case of Joseph and Mary

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

Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus [r]Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been [s]betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 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.

Joseph marriage with Mary would have been fraudulent because he was marrying a virgin. To him Mary was not a virgin because she was with child. It took an angel of God to convince him otherwise.

Mark 10:2-12 and Luke 16:13-18 — the unification of Matthew with Mark and Luke

 In Mark 10:

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).

And also in Luke 16:

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).

The background behind these passages is that Mark and Luke were mainly written to the Gentiles while Matthew was written to the Hebrews. Thus, there is no “except for fornication” within these two passages when Jesus repeats the same thing in Matthew.

The reason for this is that since “putting away” was “divorce” for the Gentiles they should not do that at all. As they were not under the Law of Moses, this goes back to Jesus statement of original intention: “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” There is no divorce for  Gentile believers.

Romans 7 — understanding the context of Jewish divorce

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.

Romans 7 does not speak specifically about whether you can legally divorce or not. Obviously, Deuteronomy 24, which Paul is quite familiar with being a Pharisee of Pharisees, states that husbands could divorce their wives.

Paul is instead speaking to the scenarios of being unbound by the law (in death) more than about divorce because He is discussing our salvation and grace versus works. In particular, husbands were allowed to divorce their wives in Deuteronomy 24; however, wives were not allowed to divorce their husbands. Hence, when Paul speaks to this scenario a wife is bound by the law to her husband until he dies [or he divorces her which didn’t comment about in this passage].

1 Corinthians 7:10-11 — the Lord’s command to husbands and wives

The Lord speaks through Paul:

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.

It’s important to understand that the Lord is speaking to a Roman/Greek population in the Corinthians here and not the Jewish people. Hence, the Lord is speaking against the Roman law that “divorce” could be done through “putting away” or simply “departing” in the case of the wife.

Likewise, the Lord follows this up with the only correct path for those separated or divorced: stay single or reconcile. This is a hard word for most Christians because divorce and remarriage is not an option.

This agrees with Jesus’ original statements on divorce: “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

This also provides evidence against that Jesus was not speaking about divorce but rather putting away. Hence, Jesus did not say that you could divorce your wife if she committed adultery. Jesus and the Father are one, and they are in agreement.

1 Corinthians 7:12-15 — Paul, not the Lord, says to live with unbelieving spouses

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?

This passage is also used as a so-called exception clause for remarriage. “Well, if I’m not under bondage anymore because my unbelieving wife or husband left me then I can remarry.” That is not what this passage says at all. It only says that if they depart then you’re not under the bondage of the marriage anymore. However, it does not necessarily condone remarriage either. In fact, going back to the earlier part of 1 Corinthians 7 it would be best to stay single or reconcile if at all possible.

Overall, it’s not specifically clear so there is the possible that you are lawfully allowed to remarry. Although if this is the case I would personally recommend staying single.

Conclusions

Jesus is discusses instances of putting away (not divorce). Thus, His comments are able to be unified throughout all of the passages in Scriptures on putting away and divorce.

  1. Putting away is NOT divorce in the context of Jewish law. It is a two part process of putting away and a bill of divorcement. – Deut 22, 24; Mal 2; Jer 3; Isa 50; Matt 5, 19; Mark 10; Luke 16
  2. However, putting away is synonymous with divorce for the Gentiles. — Mark 10; Luke 16; 1 Corinthians 7
  3. God and Jesus’ plan for marriage is that “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” – Gen 2, Matt 19; Mark 10
  4. There is no get-out-of-marriage adultery clause. Who you are married to you should stay married to regardless of any sins they commit. This is a hard word as even the disciples said it was better not to marry. – Matt; 19, Mark 10, Luke 16
  5. Under Jewish law according to Jesus: Your marriage is illegitimate if your wife committed sexual fraud. – Deut 22, Matthew 5, 19; Mark 10; Luke 16,
  6. Under Jewish law: Wives are bound to their husbands as long as they live [or until their husbands divorce them which was not said]. – Rom 7, Deut 24
  7. If a spouse leaves stay single or be reconciled. – 1 Cor 7
  8. If an unbelieving spouse leaves you are not under bondage. This can still be liberally interpreted as being able to remarry; however, the prior part of the chapter tends to speak against it since it says to stay single or reconcile. Note the wording: “10 But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord … [remain unmarried or reconcile]” versus “12 But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if [they leave you are not under bondage]. I take this to generally mean that “not under bondage” means that you are absolved of your marriage duties, but given the context of the wording about the Lord saying versus Paul saying it would seem that stay unmarried or be reconciled is the ideal. Remarriage is likely not an option. – 1 Cor 7
  9. Remarriage is a singular sin and not perpetual adultery This is one of the falsely propagated conclusions from the heretical “You can divorce your spouse if they commit adultery” exegesis. However, the act of remarriage is a sin since the ideal is to stay single or reconcile. The important thing to understand is that it is a singular sin and not a constant state of sin. Confess your sins to God and repent. – Matt 5, 19; Mark 10; Luke 16; 1 Cor 7 (See: Note 3 for more details)
  10. Those already remarried in their second and third marriages are NOT to divorce and reconcile with their first spouse. This follows out of #8 because the heretical interpretation is perpetual adultery with the new spouse. Hence, divorce and reconcile and remarry with the first spouse. Rather, this view goes against what Deuteronomy 24 says in that if a first husband divorces a wife and another marries her even if she is divorced or her husband dies then she is not to remarry him again. – Deut 24, Matthew 19 (See: Note 3 for more details)

Overall, the main conclusions are:

  1. No divorce period. Even for adultery. Your only recourse is separation if you absolutely can’t live with them.
  2. If you are separated, stay single or reconcile. No remarriage.
  3. Stay with an unbeliever if they want to live with you, otherwise you are not under the bonds of marriage.
  4. Fraudulent marriages are not marriages.
  5. While divorce and remarriage are two sins, they are not perpetual adultery. The phrasing “let man no separate” implies man can separate but it’s sinful because of deviation from original design. See: Deuteronomy 24 why divorce and remarriage is not perpetual adultery. Going back to the original spouse is an abomination to the Lord. (See: Note 3 for more details)

As you will note, this exegesis properly aligns with both (?) the Catholic and Orthodox perspective on marriage (although I haven’t studied all of the complexities of them so I’m not 100% sure). I would appreciate of the Catholic and Orthodox readers will comment on this. Most Protestant denominations are in heresy on the topic of divorce.

Also, for those of you who read this far can comment if this post is clearer than the originals I would appreciate it.

Note 1: This is one of the original research articles that got me started on reading to understand what the Scriptures say myself. Read it if you have time.

Note 2: Hopefully this is the last ever post I make on divorce. The logic and continuity of the Scriptures on this topic is clear that I need not revisit.

Note 3: Divorce, remarriage, and perpetual adultery I addressed in the comments. Essentially,

1. I agree with perpetual adultery if the participants are made completely aware of the roles and responsibilities and the everlasting nature of marriage. In other words, “sacramental marriage” affirmed by the Church.

2. However, those who were not made aware sinned in their ignorance. If I remember correctly those that don’t undergo the rites of the Church in the marriage ceremonies in both (?) Catholic and Orthodox tradition means that the marriage formed is potentially invalid. Hence, since the marriage wasn’t valid they are free to marry another.

3. This would also go along with the position that those in their 2nd or 3rd marriages and then come to Christ would not have to divorce and go back to their first spouse. They can get their current marriage affirmed by the Church with all of the details of the Covenant.

Conclusion:

By no means do I think this is optimal, but we live in a broken world so this is probably the best human solution for it given the nature of Covenants and legal contracts. You have to be aware of the details and willingly walk into them for them to be binding. If there is ignorance or fraud they are not binding.

 

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46 Responses to On divorce Part 3

  1. Pingback: On divorce Part 3 | Manosphere.com

  2. Tim says:

    I’m a protestant and I agree 100% with the scriptures and with your interpretation of them.

  3. Dvdivx says:

    This interpretation is why Christianity will die out. Go get cuckolded by your wife and both live with it and pay for it. This system only works when adulterers are brutally killed in public, which is what death by stoning is. If family court issued out death penalties for adultery then I think this could work. As it is now, this is a death sentence for Christianity,
    Also good luck with finding a virgin wife that both stays loyal and does not turn frigid in this century.

  4. Don Quixote says:

    DS said:

    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. God abides by His own law that He gave the Israelites.

    Please consider the following thought on Jeremiah chapter 3.
    God divorced Israel and ticked all the boxes. Then after the divorce He said in verse 14:

    Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:

    God said He is still married to Israel despite the adultery and divorce. And He will restore the status of Israel through Jesus Christ at the appointed time.

    I would agree with your conclusions with the exception of #s 9 & 10:
    Even the Catholic catechism states that:

    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:


    From: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_P87.HTM
    How can a remarriage be a sin and the resulting union not be sinful?

    Regarding conclusion #10.
    Reconciling with estranged spouses is very rare, but it sometimes happens. Mostly those who become aware [and repentant] of their marital sins remain alone.
    The prohibition in Duet.24 doesn’t necessarily apply to all divorcees. Only the circumstances described in the text would apply. Nowhere in the Bible does God allow a women to divorce her husband, this would be usurping the gender hierarchy.

  5. @ dvdivx

    No one said being a Christian was easy. In fact, being a Christian will often lead to persecution and suffering.

    The key is to not let it make you bitter, and give all of the bitterness to Jesus.

  6. @ Don Quixote

    God said He is still married to Israel despite the adultery and divorce. And He will restore the status of Israel through Jesus Christ at the appointed time.

    I suspect this is due to the redemptive power of God that transcends the law through Jesus Christ. In particular, before Jesus the Lord was by the Law. But His promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob fulfilled through Jesus transcend the Law.

    I would agree with your conclusions with the exception of #s 9 & 10:

    From what I know of the Catholic and Orthodox implementation of the system is that both parties must know that marriage is a Sacrament and all that it entails. Only then is it a valid marriage to which it is for life.

    If it is not a valid marriage with both of the parties understanding then it is an invalid marriage which means it never happened. In that case, the people are free to marry (although we would call it remarriage). This specific implementation of marriage is I think probably one of the best ways to obey what God intended.

    I agree completely if the spouses were in such a marriage that they should return to it. This would be perpetual adultery in this case.

    However, for something like where a husband or wife gets saved after their 2nd or 3rd marriage, I do not believe it’s a good idea to divorce and reconcile with the 1st spouse. This would not be perpetual adultery.

  7. Looking Glass says:

    @Dvdivx:

    ~1500 years of Christianity, the entirety of the construction of the “West” and Christendom would tend to suggest it works. Granted, until the WW-era, we actually made adultery a crime. The post 1850s “marriage laws” having done most of the damage.

    @DS:

    Great work. Though having to put together all of that work to restate what should be “orthodox” (small O) Christian teaching on Marriage is sort of sad, if you think about it. But, at the same time, we exist in an age that’s feels more like George Orwell’s 1984 each day. So it makes sense to lay out the “old Wisdom” in a more cohesive fashion.

  8. donalgraeme says:

    One thing worth mentioning is that the Apostles reaction makes it clear that Jesus wasn’t merely reaffirming the Mosaic law. Whatever was meant, it wasn’t that.

    As for divorce/remarriage not being a perpetual sin… not sure I agree. The Catholic doctrine is that you are locked into your first Sacramental marriage. Anything after is adultery. So if you leave your wife/husband of a sacramental marriage, you are duty bound to return to her/him. Any relation with anyone else is adultery. The teaching is basically that divorce is not simply not permitted, but not even possible- essentially, that you can’t actually divorce, no matter what the civil law says. So any divorce/remarriage in the future is basically a fictitious sham.

  9. @ Donal

    One thing worth mentioning is that the Apostles reaction makes it clear that Jesus wasn’t merely reaffirming the Mosaic law. Whatever was meant, it wasn’t that.

    Good point. Given the severity of the disciples reaction it seems that they knew Jesus was saying don’t divorce period.

    As for divorce/remarriage not being a perpetual sin… not sure I agree. The Catholic doctrine is that you are locked into your first Sacramental marriage. Anything after is adultery. So if you leave your wife/husband of a sacramental marriage, you are duty bound to return to her/him. Any relation with anyone else is adultery. The teaching is basically that divorce is not simply not permitted, but not even possible- essentially, that you can’t actually divorce, no matter what the civil law says. So any divorce/remarriage in the future is basically a fictitious sham.

    I clarified my position in the comments. Having thought long about it the Orthodox and Catholic positions seem like the “best possible” scenario to deal with the issue. Correct me if I get this wrong:

    1. I agree with perpetual adultery if the participants are made completely aware of the roles and responsibilities and the everlasting nature of marriage. In other words, “sacramental marriage” affirmed by the Church.

    2. However, those who were not made aware sinned in their ignorance. If I remember correctly those that don’t undergo the rites of the Church in the marriage ceremonies in both (?) Catholic and Orthodox tradition means that the marriage formed is potentially invalid. Hence, since the marriage wasn’t valid they are free to marry another.

    I know that’s what happened to Scott with his first “marriage” that was performed outside of the Orthodox Church. Then in his marriage to his [current] wife it was affirmed by the Church.

    3. This would also go along with the position that those in their 2nd or 3rd marriages and then come to Christ would not have to divorce and go back to their first spouse. They can get their current marriage affirmed by the Church with all of the details of the Covenant.

    Conclusion:

    By no means do I think this is optimal, but we live in a broken world so this is probably the best human solution for it given the nature of Covenants and legal contracts. You have to be aware of the details and willingly walk into them for them to be binding. If there is ignorance or fraud they are not binding.

  10. Don Quixote says:

    I have just received my copy of; ‘Treatises on Marriage and Other Subjects’ by St Augustine compiled/edited by Roy Deferrari. I will be reading this over the next few months and will write a ~red pill~ review. I might post some thoughts into this discussion if thats ok?

    P.S. I suspect there is some good stuff in there after reading some quotes from another very blue pill perspective.

  11. @ Don Quixote

    That would be interesting to see.

  12. donalgraeme says:

    Sounds about right DS. The Church had/has a similar approach to polygamy IIRC. One can dismiss “extra” wives because it was never a proper marriage between them.

  13. donalgraeme says:

    DS, I think I have an idea why God forbade a wife from going back to a husband who had divorced her. At least in OT terms. Specifically, I think I know why the Lord found it abhorrent. I read somewhere (lost the link, sorry) that Islam does not have such a prescription. Plus divorce is really easy in Islam (the husband need nearly say “I divorce you” three times). So what has developed in some instances are “temporary marriages.” Basically, a man marries a woman and then divorces her shortly after they consummate the “union.” Essentially, it is an acceptable form of prostitution.

    If men could remarry their divorced wives, then that would have been an avenue for seemingly legitimate prostitution. Something which, naturally enough, God would find abhorrent. Hence, the ban.

  14. @ Donal

    Oh, interesting. If that’s true then I wouldn’t be surprised if that practice originated from the Canaanite cultures and then was later codified into Islam.

  15. Looking Glass says:

    @donalgraeme:

    Shiite Islam allows that practice. It’s considered abhorrent in Sunni Islam (though for reasons I’m unclear about). I’ve just seen several discussions about it, mainly around why you don’t get Shiite suicide attacks. (Though cultural Persian practice of self-immolation is a different issue.)

  16. Dvdivx says:

    There is a difference between bitterness and insanity. Having your wife cuck you openly is insanity. Saying turn the other check towards Islamic aggression is insanity.
    You quote Jewish laws (pre-Talmudic) and yet it’s clear you tried to make no understanding about the laws concerning a Get. Either Jesus wholesale through out Jewish laws completely regarding divorce or he didn’t as was addressing abuses in the law.

  17. jack says:

    Question:
    “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away (apoluō) his wife, […], and shall marry another, commit adultery (moichaō): and whoso marrieth her which is put away (apoluō) doth committeth adultery (moichaō).”

    This seems, if I read this correctly, to refer to the man putting her away, and the man who marries her. Does this imply that the woman is viewed differently since she has no choice in being put away in this manner? Or is that covered elsewhere.

  18. @ jack

    Jesus gives more information in Mark.

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

    It works both ways.

  19. jack says:

    Makes sense. It does imply a cruel loophole in the law, though, since putting away without a proper divorce meant that a woman would have very limited options.

  20. jack says:

    I know one, thing though, I could probably spend many hours of my eventual time in eternity watching the playback of smug a–holes like the treacherous husbands get the deer-in-the-headlights look when confronted by a righteous God.

    I have a very special contempt for people who knowingly abuse people and abuse power.

  21. shammahworm says:

    @Dvdivx and jack
    This post is false at multiple levels. A man is allowed to divorce and remarry in cases of sexual immorality(both for adultery and deception about one’s sexual history). Read my last post here to see. https://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2015/09/02/on-divorce-part-2/

    This is just a rehash of the same heresies you put forth this past October, DS. All the pertinent points were already addressed. But before I address them again, you need to remember and recognize this:

    THERE WAS NO DIVORCE OPTION IN DEUT. 22. A bride found not to be a virgin at the consummation of her marriage had to be executed. Whoever even allowed for divorce in this case was sinning against God and in violation of the law. This fact right here is why we know for certain that Jesus isn’t talking about this in Matt. 5 and 19.

    Show me where the Romans cared about the formalities of divorce for their subjects. Your claims that the Pharisees were setting a trap for Jesus by getting him to speak against the formalities of divorce in Roman law are asinine because the Jews weren’t viewed as Romans by the Romans. They were allowed a great deal of autonomy in matters of religion and marriage customs.

    This post is so long and I’ve already addressed so much of its content in the comments of your last post that I’ll just address your conclusions.

    “Putting away is NOT divorce in the context of Jewish law. It is a two part process of putting away and a bill of divorcement. – Deut 22, 24; Mal 2; Jer 3; Isa 50; Matt 5, 19; Mark 10; Luke 16”

    1) Even if it isn’t(which it is), Jesus says flat out that a man can put his wife away and marry another in cases of sexual immorality. Porneia means all manner of sexual sin. It’s never ever meant only sexual deception in any context. Adultery and deception about one’s sexual past(when execution wasn’t possible) were and are grounds for divorce. That’s why Jesus uses “fornication” and not “adultery.” I know that you already know this.
    2) Your interpretation has Jesus contradicting Deut. 22 and makes up an option for divorce which isn’t in the text. Just because Jewish leaders rarely obeyed the law in no way means it changed or there was a divorce option.

    “However, putting away is synonymous with divorce for the Gentiles. — Mark 10; Luke 16; 1 Corinthians 7”

    Jesus uses the term “putting away” to refer to divorce because it was impossible to divorce for the scenario described in Deut. 22. What’s funny is even if Jesus were referring to that scenario, there would still be a need to get a certificate of divorce.

    The same term is also used in Mark and Luke. You’re entire premise that Matt. was for Jews and Mark and Luke are for Gentiles is false because.
    – Groups of Jews(Hellenists) and Gentiles worshiped in Greek.
    – Deut. 24 was widely known(including among Gentiles who worshiped God) and didn’t need to be restated or specified.
    – Matt., Mark and Luke are in the same language with the same terminology. They use the same term for divorce. The most important part of the message wasn’t whether or not someone filled out the right paperwork. It was when a man could be severed from his wife.

    “God and Jesus’ plan for marriage is that “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” – Gen 2, Matt 19; Mark 10”

    But God Himself separates in cases when a man divorces his wife for sexual immorality.

    “There is no get-out-of-marriage adultery clause. Who you are married to you should stay married to regardless of any sins they commit. This is a hard word as even the disciples said it was better not to marry. – Matt; 19, Mark 10, Luke 16”

    Yes there is. And not only for adultery. For all manner of sexual sin. This isn’t a hard word at all. It’s crystal clear and you’re refusing to obey the direct words of Jesus. The reason why the disciples were shocked is because divorces happened for reasons other than what Jesus stated in their history. There were many problems and situations described in the Torah and the Prophets which would appear to be “good” reasons for divorce.

    “Under Jewish law according to Jesus: Your marriage is illegitimate if your wife committed sexual fraud. – Deut 22, Matthew 5, 19; Mark 10; Luke 16,”

    Under Jewish law, a woman found to be a non-virgin on her wedding night would have to be executed. If she somehow made it past the wedding night, Deut. 24 required a certificate of divorce. A woman who fraudulently represents her virginity and manages to hide it past her wedding night is still joined in one flesh to the man(1 Corinthians 6:16). Therefore, there must be divorce in order to severe it.

    This is also a flaw of the Catholic and Orthodox positions. A fraudulent marriage which has been consummated must still be dissolved the way an adulterous marriage is because the two have become one body. There’s no such thing as an annulment.

    “Remarriage is a singular sin and not perpetual adultery”

    Remarriage is a right to any man who divorced his wife for sexual immorality. It’s no sin at all.

    There’s no equivalent between the virgin Bride of Christ and an adulteress. God was and is married to the REMNANT of Judah and ancient Israel because they’re part of the Body of Christ aka His Bride. He’s not staying with them in spite of adultery. He’s married to them because they’re part of something greater than the miserable failures of those earthly nations(just like my country of the USA). Not only did God cut off the nonbelievers of Judah and Israel in an earthly sense, but He cut them off from the very name of His bride.

    You were already shown a great deal of this information and I know you know this. But you keep laying up false, heavy burdens on people like Dvdivx. You’re liable to judgment if you keep posting this heresy.

  22. Don Quixote says:

    Dvdivx says:
    December 13, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    There is a difference between bitterness and insanity. Having your wife cuck you openly is insanity. Saying turn the other check towards Islamic aggression is insanity.
    You quote Jewish laws (pre-Talmudic) and yet it’s clear you tried to make no understanding about the laws concerning a Get.

    Only the books described as the “Law and the Prophets” are consider the Jewish canon by Christians. The Talmud certainly isn’t. To get your head around what Jesus was saying you must look at what He said in the context He said it. Not much else matters.

    Regarding a death sentence for Christianity. For 2000 years Christians have prayed:

    Thy Kingdom come;
    Thy will be done;

    When Jesus returns it will be a death sentence for those who rebel against Him. Don’t let a woman drag you down, you’re better than that.

  23. Don Quixote says:

    shammahworm says:
    December 14, 2015 at 1:37 am

    THERE WAS NO DIVORCE OPTION IN DEUT. 22. A bride found not to be a virgin at the consummation of her marriage had to be executed. Whoever even allowed for divorce in this case was sinning against God and in violation of the law. This fact right here is why we know for certain that Jesus isn’t talking about this in Matt. 5 and 19.

    So when Jesus said to the woman caught in the act of adultery: “neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more”
    Was Jesus “sinning against God” for not condemning the woman?

  24. jack says:

    I can say one thing, that a man who is married to a woman who is defiantly screwing other men should divorce her ASAP.

    If stoning is the appropriate measure for a woman who has played the harlot in her father’s house, by reason of being a wife she is now not only immune from such punishment but a Godly husband may not escape her evil through divorce?

    So, as long as a woman can delay the sluttery until after the wedding night sheets have been duly recorded, she has hubby by the orbs for support and marriage, and it’s cucks away!

  25. jack says:

    I respect DS’s efforts here, and I find this post informative and interesting, but young, unmarried people are not in any position to pastor, disciple, advise, or counsel older men who are going through the throes of marital hell. They’re not really even qualified to advise older single men on the challenges of maintaining Biblical sexual morality. Just too inexperienced.

    It is very easy when you’re younger to think yourself in a position to advise your elders. Generally, though, the knowledge may be there but the wisdom to apply it is not fully matured yet.

    To be truthful, DS, as a young unmarried man you really should not be saying “give the bitterness to Jesus”. You’ve never walked those paths or suffered through those events. Nor have you tasted the fullness of life’s treachery. You may reach a time later in life where you can see where such a statement would seem quite flippant, frivolous and insensitive to the suffering of others.

    Would we walk into the hospital morgue where parents are viewing the body of their dead child from a drunk driver and tell them to give the bitterness to Jesus? Go for it.

    This brings to mind a true story:
    I remember once when a Sunday School teacher at my church lost a child to a miscarriage. The class I was in (we were about 13 – youth group) were asked to write condolence cards. First, this was not really a good idea. People grieving a lost child do not need to read cards from children.

    But, dutifully, I wrote something like how sorry I was to hear about their loss.
    The girl I was sitting next to wrote: “and remember, all things work together for good…”

    And remember?? Remember!!?? What??? This came across as a sanctimonious admonition from a snotty teenager. What a clueless, insensitive thing to say. Yes. Nothing will remove the sting of losing child like having a 13 year old “reminding” you that it is some super-secret blessing in disguise (this is questionable interp of this scripture anyway).

    The takeaway from this is that one is not always required to advise or preach, chastise, or admonish. There are times when I (despite my own very comfortable knowledge of scripture and the Lord) have recommended people seek counsel from someone closer to the topic or who has specific wisdom in that area.

    While I am not of the opinion that you are inviting judgment as shammah says, I do think that it is inadvisable to counsel or “disciple” those mens’ views on marriage and divorce especially with regard to infidelity.

    As a matter of practice, I reject admonishment pretty much out of hand from young Christians for these very reasons. I know their intentions are good, but I can tell the difference between applied Biblical wisdom and textual interpretation.

    There is a huge difference between stating an opinion on the meaning of scripture, and putting it to law in another person’s life.

    And DVDivx:

    If that is really happening to you, brother, get some good counsel. I can’t claim wisdom on being married, but I cannot think you are bound to a treacherous person. And lets not forget, that if in the beginning there was no divorce, then why did God divorce from Israel? The hardness of His own heart? I think not.

  26. shammahworm says:

    “So when Jesus said to the woman caught in the act of adultery: “neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more”
    Was Jesus “sinning against God” for not condemning the woman?”

    Nope. Because that entire ordeal was in violation of Jewish law to begin with. Read the actual procedure for stoning adulterers and you’ll see those Jews weren’t following it.

  27. @ jack

    Makes sense. It does imply a cruel loophole in the law, though, since putting away without a proper divorce meant that a woman would have very limited options.

    Yep, that’s why God condemned it in Malachi 2, and Jesus condemned it in Matt, Mark, and Luke. Specifically, the passage in Malachi speaks about it as “treacherous.”

    Unfortunately, most Protestants think the passages on Jesus are about being able to divorce your spouse if they commit adultery which is not what Jesus talks about.

  28. @ Don Quixote

    “THERE WAS NO DIVORCE OPTION IN DEUT. 22. A bride found not to be a virgin at the consummation of her marriage had to be executed. Whoever even allowed for divorce in this case was sinning against God and in violation of the law. This fact right here is why we know for certain that Jesus isn’t talking about this in Matt. 5 and 19.”

    So when Jesus said to the woman caught in the act of adultery: “neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more”
    Was Jesus “sinning against God” for not condemning the woman?

    Heh, the better example is Jesus’ own parents:

    Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 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.

    Joseph sees that Mary is not a virgin and is with child that is not his. Joseph is called just — or righteous in other translations — for wanting to put her away privately rather than expose her to public scorn or by the law’s judgment stoning.

    There’s simply no convincing arguments that Jesus was a
    actually talking about divorce but rather instead discussing putting away. Additionally,Catholic and Orthodox tradition agree with what the Scriptures while Protestants are more divorce happy in the feminist culture. Love for Jesus is obedience to God. All in all, this shows that the “divorce” interpretation is simply wrong.

  29. @ jack

    1. It’s true that I have not experienced the things other married men have. However, the Scriptures say to give up bitterness and instead cultivate the fruits of the Spirit. Bitterness is a rot that destroys the bones.

    It’s not me, it’s God’s word. That’s why Paul tells both Timothy and Titus at their younger ages to counsel even older men in godliness not barring them because of age. I absolutely don’t like speaking out of my realm of expertise, but to other Christians if I don’t have the particular expertise I will speak what the Scriptures say as it is not my advice but God’s.

    2. As for myself, I’ve stated my opinion before. If my wife ever cheats on me I will be getting a permanent separation, stay single for the rest of my life, and devote all of the time to the Lord.

  30. jack says:

    Your interpretation of the Word.

    I was with most of your conclusions, until the very end where I think you made an error. I’m not going to debate that error with you since I don’t need to reach agreement on it.

    Again, it is best to speak in generalities when discussing the real life issues of men many years your senior. Your certainties of the correctness of your interps notwithstanding.

  31. @ jack

    Again, it is best to speak in generalities when discussing the real life issues of men many years your senior. Your certainties of the correctness of your interps notwithstanding.

    I must be missing something.

    1. The Scriptures say that bitterness (along with many other things) is bad news.
    2. I recommend to give the bitterness to Jesus, as Jesus can heal those things. After all, He said His burden is easy and His yoke is light.
    3. You say that it’s best to speak in generalities with senior or older Christians.

    How is what I said not general advice from another Christian man to another? The Bible itself says to exhort each other, and Scripture is definitely one way to do that.

  32. jack says:

    I am not disputing what you said about bitterness. I am pointing out that while it is fine to speak generally about ‘giving bitterness to Jesus’, it is inadvisable for someone who has not experienced such a traumatic event as spousal infidelity to toss off such advise to casually.

    The error I think you have made is in how you interpret a man’s ability to divorce an unrepentant unfaithful wife.
    I’m not really interested in debating it. You can find the gap if you look for it.

  33. @ jack

    Got it.

    The error I think you have made is in how you interpret a man’s ability to divorce an unrepentant unfaithful wife.

    I don’t see it unless there’s any other Scriptures that I missed when analyzing this topic.

  34. shammahworm says:

    You’re demonstrably wrong DS. You’re a liar if you continue to spread these false teachings. Scripture contradicts you.

    1) Porneia has at no point meant only deception about one’s sexual history.
    2) There was no divorce option in Deut. 22 as you repeatedly say.

    You were shown both of these things way back in October.

  35. shammahworm says:

    Thank God I checked this again. The way your comment system is set up made me think you hadn’t responded.

    “Heh, the better example is Jesus’ own parents:”

    Jesus’ own parents were never in this situation.

    Deut. 22 refers specifically to the case of a man finding out his wife isn’t a virgin at the consummation. Joseph avoided being in this situation for precisely this reason. There was no divorce option in Deut. 22. Deut. 22: 13-15,
    “If any man takes a wife and goes into her and then hates her 14 and accuses her of misconduct and brings a bad name upon her, saying, ‘I took this woman, and when I came near her, I did not find in her evidence of virginity,’ 15 then the father of the young woman and her mother shall take and bring out the evidence of her virginity to the elders of the city in the gate.”

    You keep bringing up Deut. 22 as grounds for divorce. Death was required when the situation in verse 13 happens. Joseph and Mary never tried to consummate the marriage and as such never fell into the Deut. 22 category. But you keep citing it like it’s what Jesus is talking about in Matt. 19.

    “Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 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.”

    This was before the marriage was even consummated. In Matt. 19, Jesus is answering the question in the context of Deut. 24 which can only take place AFTER the couple is living together and the woman isn’t eligible for execution. It’s clear from this that Jesus is referring to “putting away” AFTER the marriage was consummated.

    “There’s simply no convincing arguments that Jesus was a actually talking about divorce but rather instead discussing putting away.”

    Porneia refers to all manner of sexual sin. This includes adultery. He says a man can “put away” for these reasons and that means adultery is grounds for putting away aka divorce. God separates the man and woman in this case. Porneia has at no point and in no context meant only falsely representing one’s virginity. It’s always referred to sexual immorality. This crushes all of your attempted distinctions between “putting away” and “certificate of divorce.” Doubly so when “putting away” is used to describe divorce in other books of the Bible.

    I already debunked your presumptions about Mark and Luke being specially made for clueless Gentiles back in October.

    BTW, I’m still waiting for you to give me evidence of the Romans giving one iota of concern about the formalities of divorce in ancient Israel among people they viewed as their subjects and who had autonomy to set many of the standards and practices of their religion.

    “Additionally,Catholic and Orthodox tradition agree with what the Scriptures while Protestants are more divorce happy in the feminist culture.”

    1) Both of those traditions pray to saints. They have far bigger problems than their teachings on divorce. It doesn’t mean anything when their teachings contradict the scripture.
    2) Early Protestants understood and taught what Jesus states plainly. That a man may “put away” aka divorce his wife for sexual immorality.

    “Love for Jesus is obedience to God. All in all, this shows that the “divorce” interpretation is simply wrong.”

    There’s nothing to interpret. You reject what the Bible says. Porneia has always included adultery. By rejecting what the Bible says, you show yourself as being disobedient to God in your teaching.

    You don’t even see the biggest problem of Malachi 2 which was unjust divorce. A man dumping his wife for reasons that didn’t fit Deut. 24 was a far worse sin than whether or not he had a formal certificate. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.” Obeying Deut. 24 isn’t “dealing treacherously.” Dumping a faithful wife is. That was the weightier issue of the law.

  36. Nah, I’m not responding because your arguments aren’t convincing, and I’ve covered them before. The Greek wording and historical perspective simply does not align with your interpretation.

    I entertain good faith arguments; however, that has ceased to be the case here. If you want to write about why I’m wrong feel free to do it on your blog. This is your only warning.

  37. shammahworm says:

    “I entertain good faith arguments; however, that has ceased to be the case here. If you want to write about why I’m wrong feel free to do it on your blog. This is your only warning.”

    You refuse to obey the direct words of Jesus. You’re right about that in the worst possible way. You’re liable to judgement if you continue in these heresies. Of course you’re free to write whatever lies you want on your own blog. But if you try to spread these lies on other parts of the manosphere you’ll be exposed for the heretic you are. This is your final warning.

    Re-posting the Truth for the benefit of people such as Dvdivx. Feel free to delete it. Copies have been made and will be used if they’re needed.

    __________________________________________________________________

    “Nah, I’m not responding because your arguments aren’t convincing, and I’ve covered them before.”

    You’re falsehoods were thoroughly discredited and you know it.

    “The Greek wording and historical perspective simply does not align with your interpretation.”

    False.

    1) The simple usage of the word porneia indicates Jesus is referring to all manner of sexual sin. You even admit porneia includes adultery. From this alone we know adultery is included as grounds for “putting away.” This renders your claims about “divorce” vs “certificate of divorce” irrelevant.

    2) Jesus is referring to situations AFTER the marriage is consummated in Matt. 19.

    3) You were shown there was no divorce option in Deut. 22 and you repeatedly keep citing it. This has reached the level of lies. Read verse 13 of Deut. 22 very carefully. Note how Jesus’ parents were never in that situation.

    4) “Putting away” is translated as divorce in other books of the Bible. It IS synonymous with divorce. You’ve repeatedly falsely claimed that Mark and Luke were special books for ignorant Gentiles with no knowledge of Jewish law. That’s false as the places where the gospels were usually read and taught were synagogues and homes of believers who would know the Torah.

    5) You falsely claim the Jewish leaders were setting a trap for Jesus by trying to get Him to say Jews needed a certificate of divorce and to contradict Roman law. SHOW ME WHERE THE ROMANS CARED ABOUT THE FORMALITIES OF JEWISH DIVORCE. Jews weren’t considered Roman and were allowed to set many of their own domestic laws.

    6) You don’t even see the weightiest issue of the law in Malachi 2. This was divorce for reasons other than the grounds in Deut. 24. The formal certificate was less important than the fact men were “dealing treacherously” with the wives of their youth. There were men in Jesus’ time who never failed to give a formal certificate of divorce who nonetheless were disobeying Deut. 24 and doing the very sins Malachi 2 described.

    Jesus says you can “put away” and remarry for porneia. Adultery, lying about one’s sexual history, homosexuality, etc. are all grounds for putting away aka divorce. The way Jesus speaks in Matt. actually affirms the right of Gentile men to divorce for sexual immorality if there’s no formal “certificate of divorce.”

  38. All those are the same arguments debunked in the OP and here:

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

    If “put away” meant “divorce” and Jesus used “adultery” instead of “fornication” and the texts in rest of the Scripture presented the same unified message I’d agree with you. However, that’s not what the text says. The more recent 1950s+ English translations not faithful to the text.

    If you want to try to pick it apart on your own time on your own blog go for it.

  39. Pingback: DS’ False Divorce Teaching | Shammah Worm

  40. Don Quixote says:

    Augustine’s books on Marriage
    Notes from Jan 2016.
    The following armchair analysis is just a brief layperson’s thoughts on Saint Augustine’s book[s] regarding marriage:
    The Good of Marriage and Adulterous Marriages parts 1 & 2.
    The Good of Marriage is easier to read than the Adulterous Marriages books and I will start with that.
    Augustine mentions the gender hierarchy at the very beginning of this book but quickly takes an egalitarian view regarding Romans 7:2&3. His conclusion is that all remarriage is adultery regardless of gender or circumstances. More on this later.

    He quickly goes on to explain the “marriage debt”. Based on the words of Paul 1Cor.7:3 – 5 he taught that both husband and wife owe the debt of the sexual needs of the other, when you get married you are indebted to your spouse’s sexual requirements and this cannot be denied. Good stuff. This simple principle is still taught in Catholic churches to the best of my knowledge [I am not Catholic].
    It’s a great doctrine but he continues to say that recreational sex between married couples is a sin. A forgivable sin but a sin none the less.
    Augustine taught that married couples should aspire to live without sex, or continently. This thinking underscores much of this book as well as the next 2. I think this caused some problems amongst some couples because the wives wanted to be more ~spiritual~ and deny the marriage debt, and Augustine had to reiterate the “marriage debt” as far more important than the sexless marriage model he presented.
    Augustine’s view of marriage was for procreation and companionship, he quotes 1Pet.3:1- 3 and clearly is of the opinion that the husband is the head of the wife but he doesn’t teach that specifically in this book. I think that feminism wasn’t an issue in his day, he wrote many letters to refute various groups but nothing regarding feminism that I’m aware of.

    Adulterous Marriages books I & 2.
    These small books were written to a guy called Pollentius and can be hard to follow at times because its not always clear when Augustine quotes Pollentius, and when he is voicing his own opinion. Having said that it’s clear that Augustine understood the ‘exception clause’ to include adultery but he forbade all remarriage under all circumstances. He labours this point with much repetition and it makes the book a pain to read. He called all remarriage adultery.

    The following quotes highlights his occasional egalitarian approach and his previously mentioned view regarding recreational marital sex:

    The Apostle has indicated that there is between husband and wife a natural equality as regards this cause of immorality in that memorable passage which says: ‘The wife has not authority over her body, but the husband, and where he also adds: The husband likewise has not authority over his body, but the wife.’ From chapter 8

    I understand his reasoning but I don’t agree that marital sex is immoral. In the next quote he refers to Romans 7:2-3 and applies it equally to both husbands and wives.

    For, since the husband and wife are equal as regards the marriage bond, just as ‘The wife, while her husband is alive, will be called an adulteress, is she be with another man, so will the husband be called an adulterer if, while his wife is living, he is with another woman. From chapter 19

    He repeats his call to sexless marriage and indulges in a bit of castigating the men with the following quote:

    “You will remember that I am making these observations about both sexes, but particularly on account of men who think themselves superior to women, lest they deem themselves their equals in the matter of chastity. They should have taken the lead in chastity, so that their wives would follow them as their heads.” Chapter 20.

    This sentiment would be well received in today’s churches by the women, who would naturally assume the moral high ground by withholding sex, Augustine could be their knight in shining white armour, until he dishes out his Marriage Debt doctrine.
    Overall Augustine’s approach to the subject of divorce and remarriage was very different from what we get today. He stood firm in his conviction that all remarriage was adultery, and laid a sound foundation for the Church to build upon. Some today maintain the exact same opinions but they are the minority.

    Finally I got the impression that during Augustine’s era it was some kind of tradition or fad amongst believers to make various vows. He referred to the “vow of perpetual virginity” and the ”vow of continency” This struck me as odd.
    In his book ‘Holy Virginity’ I was surprised when he said that Mary had made vow of virginity, and he insisted that she remained a virgin and that Joseph was cool with this arrangement! This reminded me of the following youtube video:

  41. @ Don Quixote

    Interesting. I remember reading an article a while back on the orthodox view of Ancestral sin versus Original sin.

    http://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/orthodoxy/articles/ancestral_versus_original_sin

    Basically, in the middle of the article it says:

    The piety and devotion of Augustine is largely unquestioned by Orthodox theologians, but his conclusions on the Atonement are (Romanides, 2002). Augustine, by his own admission, did not properly learn to read Greek and this was a liability for him. He seems to have relied mostly on Latin translations of Greek texts (Augustine, 1956a,

    Given that many of the NT passages do rely on understanding the Greek wording it seems like he was off on some of his conclusions.

  42. Cassie says:

    In his book ‘Holy Virginity’ I was surprised when he said that Mary had made vow of virginity, and he insisted that she remained a virgin and that Joseph was cool with this arrangement!

    I could have misunderstood, but from what I understand of Tradition (sorry, I don’t have a link or source; I was told this verbally by a Catholic whose word I trust), this was the case because Joseph had also taken a vow of chastity in service to God (much like nuns and monks do). He and Mary married in order to take care of each other’s practical needs. Mary took care of the home, cooking and cleaning and all that, and Joseph provided for and protected her. So Joseph was cool with it because he had no plans of seeking it upon marrying her.

  43. @ Cassie

    That seems… odd.

    From what I’ve heard (and I could be wrong) that was just until after Jesus was born. In other words, they marriage but they didn’t consummate the marriage until after Jesus was born.

    Since Jesus had other siblings like James, Judas, and whatnot it stands to reason that after his birth Joseph and Mary’s marriage was normal with sexual relations and children.

  44. Don Quixote says:

    Cassie says:
    March 7, 2016 at 9:59 am

    I could have misunderstood, but from what I understand of Tradition (sorry, I don’t have a link or source; I was told this verbally by a Catholic whose word I trust), this was the case because Joseph had also taken a vow of chastity in service to God (much like nuns and monks do). He and Mary married in order to take care of each other’s practical needs. Mary took care of the home, cooking and cleaning and all that, and Joseph provided for and protected her. So Joseph was cool with it because he had no plans of seeking it upon marrying her.

    It was never my intention to open the rift between Catholic and Protestant views but I’m with DS here. From the scripture it is clear that Joseph’s intentions towards Mary were for marriage and family, because when he discovered Mary’s pregnancy he was going to break the betrothal agreement [as in Matt. 19:9] until God intervened.
    Augustine said that Mary had previously made a vow of perpetual virginity but there are 2 problems with that statement.
    1) There is nothing in the text to support it.
    2) As Mary’s husband Joseph would have the authority to annul any vow she make as in Numbers chapter 30.

    A mutual agreement for a sexless union would be a constant source of frustration. If anyone wants to live without sex it is easier to live alone or with other likeminded monks in a monastery.

  45. Pingback: Polygyny | Christianity and masculinity

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

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