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Unread 20th March 2012, 01:45 AM
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Bible Need your comments about the following article about divorce

DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE---
What Does The Bible Really Say?

Harry Bethel
BethelMinistries.com

(NOTE: The truths from the Scriptures presented in this article will be new to you, and astonishing. This article has been read by many thousands and not one has refuted anything herein. I encourage you to allow the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to see these very important truths about divorce and remarriage.)

There is probably no doctrine more misunderstood among conservative Christians than the one concerning divorce and remarriage. Conservatism in biblical interpretation is, for the most part, a safe camp to be in. But just because one embraces a conservative view of a particular doctrine does not necessarily mean one holds a scriptural view.

Christians should not divorce their marriage partners.

Forgiveness is the best and right way to handle infractions of the marriage covenant or relationship.

Husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it. Wives should love and submit to their husbands in everything as unto the Lord. If these two commands were obeyed, divorce would be virtually non-existent among Christians.

But what do we do, for example, about Christians who are divorced and their ex-spouse has remarried? May that one marry another person? This and many other questions concerning this issue are clearly answered from the Word of God in this treatise.

What you are about to discover (whether you accept these truths or not) is a literal view, and more importantly a scriptural view and indeed the truth concerning divorce and remarriage.

To help you to grasp the truths of this teaching, some basic points in a question-and-answer format will be presented. May the Lord do for you what He did for the disciples---"Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures" (Lk. 24:45). I encourage you to be like the Bereans and search the Scriptures to see if these things are true.

Because many of these truths from the Scriptures are based on sequentially presented facts, it is important to read the following questions and answers without skipping any of them.

Does God recognize divorce, or is a marriage indissoluble?

A marriage can be dissolved by divorce, and God does recognize this fact. God Himself put away Israel and gave her a bill of divorce. God said, "And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce" (Jer. 3:8). Indeed, God Himself is a divorcé (masculine is divorcé, feminine is divorcee).

What about the teaching that two people who are legitimately married are one flesh and God says man cannot put the marriage asunder?

A marriage can indeed be put asunder. The Scriptures do not say that man cannot put asunder what God has joined together, but rather "let not" man put it asunder (Mt. 19:6). Is God forbidding people to do that which is impossible to do?

No.

But isn't a marriage still binding even if a couple gets a divorce? Aren't they still husband and wife in God's eyes?

No. God put away Israel and gave her a bill of divorce (Jer. 3:8), and in Hosea's relationship with Gomer (which is analogous to God's relationship with Israel) God had recorded in Hosea 2:2, "She is not my wife, neither am I her husband."

Doesn't the Bible say that God hates divorce?

No. Notwithstanding the fact that some modern translations say God hates divorce in Malachi 2:16, that is a mistranslation. What the Hebrew text really says is that God hates "putting away" (Mal. 2:16 KJV), "sending away" (Young's Literal Translation).

God did not say He hates divorce. God hates putting away. Giving a certificate of divorce so that the one put away may remarry without being in an adulterous relationship was a merciful act allowed by God.

Is there a difference between "putting away" and "divorce"?

Yes. One can put away or send out his or her spouse without giving a bill of divorce. Deuteronomy 24:1-3 and Jeremiah 3:8 speak of giving a bill of divorcement and sending out of the house or putting away. Some wrongly claim that "putting away" and "divorce" are synonymous, but the fact that a wife can be put away without having been given a bill of divorcement clearly refutes that false teaching. There are many wives who are legally separated from their husbands, but are not divorced.

But doesn't putting away and divorce really mean the same thing?

No. Putting away is because of sin and giving the bill of divorcement is a merciful act allowed by God to dissolve the marriage so that the ex-spouse is free to marry another person. In Moses' day it was a very burdensome thing for a woman to be put away without being given a bill of divorcement so that she could marry another man. God made a provision for women who were put away so that they could be supported. It was because of men's hard hearts (Mt. 19:8) that God, through Moses, allowed men to put away their wives. And it was God's mercy that provided for a man to give a bill of divorcement so that "she may go and be another man's wife" (Deut. 24:1-2).

Notice in Deuteronomy 24:4 that the Scriptures refer to "her former husband." Her first husband is no longer her husband, he is her former or ex-husband. The first marriage has been absolutely dissolved. Otherwise the divorced woman would be in adultery if she became another man's wife.

What if a divorced woman's second husband dies or gives her a bill of divorcement and sends her out, may she return to her former husband who divorced her?

No. Her former husband may not take her again to be his wife. "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; 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" (Deut. 24:3-4).

If marriage was indissoluble then she would be able to return to her first husband because they would still be one flesh. But she is no longer married to her first or "former" husband. He "may not take her again to be his wife."

Marriage is a sacred institution. God never intended for a man and wife to divorce for any and every reason. A man should not frivolously divorce his wife. If she marries another man he may not take her back for any reason. This command of God is not only given in the Old Covenant, but also in the New.

The Lord commanded, "Let not the wife depart from her husband: but and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband" (1 Cor. 7:11). She must remain unmarried. The clear implication here is that if she does not remain unmarried and marries another man, then she cannot be reconciled to her former husband because this is still an abomination to God.

If a woman divorces her husband and she becomes another man's wife, she may not return to him, according to the command of God.

It should be noted here, that, while God allowed men to divorce their wives in the Old Testament because of their hard hearts, nowhere in the entire Bible is a woman allowed to divorce her husband.

What about the fact that the Bible says in Matthew 5:32 that whosoever marries her that is divorced commits adultery?

That is what the King James Version and several modern translations say. But a closer look at the Greek text shows that a literal translation in that verse would be "whosoever shall marry her that is put away commits adultery."

The Greek word apoluo, Strong's number 630, is used here and for some reason was translated "divorced" instead of "put away." The King James translators were not consistent in translating apoluo "put away" or "send away" or "sent away" as they did more than 25 times in other verses. In fact, apoluo appears in the Greek Textus Receptus (from which the King James Version was translated) more than 65 times but was translated "divorce" only once, and that was in Matthew 5:32.

The Greek word apoluo was correctly translated "put away" in Matthew 5:32, for example, in the American Standard Version (1901), Young's Literal Translation of the Holy Bible (1898), and The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament translated by Jay P. Green. A margin note in The Geneva Bible translated from the Textus Receptus in 1560 (about 50 years before the KJV) concerning the term put away said, "that is, was not lawfully divorced."

Jesus did not say whosoever shall marry her that has been given a bill of divorce (biblion, 975 and apostasion, 647) commits adultery, but rather whosoever shall marry her that has been put away (apoluo, 630) commits adultery (Mt. 5:32; 19:9; Lk. 16:18).

Likewise, Jesus did not say whosoever shall give a bill of divorce (biblion, 975 and apostasion, 647) to his wife causes her to commit adultery, but rather whosoever shall put away (apoluo, 630) his wife (except for fornication) causes her to commit adultery (Mt. 5:32).

And Jesus did not say whosoever shall give his wife a bill of divorce (biblion, 975 and apostasion, 647) and marry another commits adultery, but rather whosoever shall put away (apoluo, 630) his wife (except for fornication) and shall marry another commits adultery (Mt. 19:9; Lk. 16:18).

And Jesus did not say if a woman shall give her husband a bill of divorce (biblion, 975 and apostasion, 647) and be married to another she commits adultery, but rather if a woman shall put away (apoluo, 630) her husband and be married to another she commits adultery (Mk. 10:12).

Why in all these cases would the parties be guilty of adultery? Because they would have only been put away or separated, they would not have been divorced. They would still be married, therefore they would be committing adultery.

A man who no longer has a wife cannot be guilty of adultery by marrying a woman who does not have a husband. Conversely, a woman who no longer has a husband cannot be guilty of adultery by marrying a man who does not have a wife.

If one marries a woman who is merely put away without having been given a certificate of divorce, that is an adulterous situation because she is still married to the man from whom she has been separated. But if she has been given a certificate of divorce, then she is not married, she no longer has a husband and as set forth early on in Deuteronomy 24, she is free to go be another man's wife.

But weren't the King James translators inspired by the Holy Spirit to produce an infallible translation which is the only English Bible that God has used to preserve His Word?

Even the King James translators themselves did not make that claim. In fact, in the preface to the 1611 version (this and the Apocrypha which they translated has been omitted from most copies of the KJV today) they clearly disclaim that their translation was the only Word of God. There were already several English translations in existence and being used in England, America, and other countries. Some of these were Wycliffe (1380), Tyndale (1525-30), Coverdale (1535), Matthew's Bible (1537), Great Bible (1540), Geneva Bible (1560), and Bishop's Bible (1568).

In the preface titled The Translators To The Reader was written, "...We do not deny, nay we affirm and avow, that the very meanest [most common, lowest quality] translation of the Bible in English...containeth the Word of God, nay, is the Word of God." "...We are so far off from condemning any of their labors that prevailed before us [previous translators of previous versions] in this kind, either in this land or beyond sea...that we acknowledge them to have been raised up of God, for the building and furnishing of his Church, and that they deserve to be had of us and of posterity in everlasting remembrance." "Truly (good Christian reader) we never thought from the beginning that we should need to make a new translation, nor yet to make of a bad one a good one...but to make a good one better, or out of many good ones, one principle good one..."

The 1611 original had numerous margin notes that offer different possible translations of words and phrases.

The translators wrote in the preface, "Some peradventure would have no variety of senses to be set in the margin, less the authority of the Scriptures for deciding of controversies by that show of uncertainty, should somewhat be shaken. But we hold their judgment not to be so sound in this point...It hath pleased God in his divine providence, here and there to scatter words and sentences of that difficulty and doubtfulness...Variety of translations is profitable for the finding out of the sense of the Scriptures: so diversity of signification and sense in the margin, where the text is not so clear, must needs do good, yea, is necessary, as we are persuaded." "...We have not tied ourselves to an uniformity of phrasing, or to an identity of words, as some peradventure would wish that we had done...Why should we be in bondage to them [words or syllables] if we may be free, use one precisely when we may use another no less fit, as commodiously?...We have...avoided the scrupulosity of the Puritans..."

Wouldn't the teaching that a divorced person is free to marry again give license to widespread sin?

No more than what Jesus taught concerning forgiving a brother who sins against you. Jesus said to forgive not just seven times as Peter suggested, but seventy times seven. Does this give license for brothers to sin against you? No. God, when He deems it necessary, will chasten one of His own for sinning (Heb. 12:6-11).

Christians should never divorce their marriage partners. Forgiveness is God's desire. Anyone who divorces their spouse will have to account to God for it.

Anyone who marries a person who has only been put away without a certificate of divorce commits adultery and will have to account to God for that.

Anyone who is lawfully divorced may remarry, but whoever divorces their spouse in order to marry another will have to account to God.

The whole tenor of the New Testament is forgiving those who sin against you.

Husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it. Wives should not only love their husbands but submit to them in everything as unto the Lord.

The head of man is Christ, and the head of woman is man, not Christ (1 Cor. 11:3).

The Lord commands a woman to not depart (chorizo, 5563) from her husband. But if she does depart (chorizo, 5563) she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And the husband should not put away (aphiemi, 863) his wife (1 Cor. 7:10-11).

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Unread 20th March 2012, 01:47 AM
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What is adultery?

Adultery is having sexual relations with someone other than your husband or wife. Jesus also said in Matthew 5:28 that a man who looks at a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery in his heart, without committing the physical act. In Matthew 5:32 and 19:9, Jesus said whoever marries her that is put away commits adultery. The reason is that a woman who has only been put away without having been given a certificate of divorce is still married.

Would a lawfully divorced person who marries another who has never been married or who has also been lawfully divorced be guilty of adultery?

No. The lawfully divorced person does not have a husband or wife.

What is biblical proof that a divorced person does not have a husband or wife?

The best example of this truth is what God recorded in the analogous situation with Hosea and Gomer, "She is not my wife, neither am I her husband" (Hosea 2:2. See Jeremiah 3:8 where it is recorded that God put away Israel and gave her a certificate of divorce.)

Does a man have any authority over an ex-wife?

No. A man has no authority over a woman who is divorced from him. The law of the husband includes, for example, the authority to disallow a vow she has made. If a husband hears a vow that his wife made and disallows it, then he shall make her vow of no effect (Num. 30:6-8). "But every vow of a widow, and of her that is divorced...shall stand against her" (Num. 30:9).

Likewise, in the New Testament, if a woman is married she is bound by the law of her husband. And while she is married to her husband (not divorced from him) if she marries another, she shall be called an adulteress (Rom. 7:2-3).

The only way a woman is not bound by the law of her husband is if she is divorced or her husband is dead. Paul wrote, "The wife [not ex-wife] is bound by the law as long as her husband [not ex-husband] liveth; but if her husband [not former husband] be dead, she is at liberty to be married to who she will; only in the Lord" (1 Cor. 7:39).

The wife is bound by the law of her husband, not ex-husband who has no authority over her. If she is divorced, she is no longer his wife, she does not have a husband and as in the example in Numbers 30:9 above is not under his authority or law. "For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law [of her husband] so long as he liveth" (Rom. 7:2). As God had recorded in Hosea 2:2, "She is not my wife, neither am I her husband."

A woman cannot be bound by the law of her husband if she does not have a husband; that is, if she has been put away and given a certificate of divorce as God did with Israel.

What about John the Baptizer telling Herod that it was not lawful for him to have his brother Philip's wife?

According to Josephus, Herod (Antipas) was a guest at his half-brother Philip's house. While there Herod and Herodias eloped and got married. This was an incestuous relationship and forbidden by the Old Testament law (Lev. 18:6, 16). That is why John said what he did.

Does the Bible anywhere prohibit a man whose wife divorces him from marrying another woman?

No.

Does the Bible anywhere prohibit a woman from marrying a divorced man?

No.

Under what circumstances does the Bible prohibit divorce?

If a man publicly accused a wife of not being a virgin when they got married, but it was proved that she was a virgin, then he may not put her away (and, of course, not divorce her) as long as he lives (Deut. 22:13-19).

Also, if a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged to another man and they are discovered, he must marry her and may not put her away (and, of course, not divorce her) as long as he lives (Deut. 22:28-29). This command would be senseless if divorce was prohibited in all other circumstances, too.

What about the passage in Romans 7:2-3?

Romans 7:2-3 says, “For the married woman [not the divorced woman] is bound by the law [not the Mosaic Law, but the law of her husband, not ex-husband] to her husband [not ex-husband]; but if her husband [not ex-husband] dies, she [the wife, not ex-wife] is released from the law concerning the husband. So then if, while her husband [not ex-husband] is living, she is joined to another man [marries another man], she shall be called an adulteress [because she is still married, not divorced]; but if her husband [not ex-husband] dies, she is free from the law [of her husband], so that she is not an adulteress [because her husband, not ex-husband died], though she is joined to [married to] another man.”
What does the New Testament say about a man who is freed from his wife?

Do not seek a wife, but if he marries he has not sinned (1 Cor. 7:27-28). The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to use the Greek word luo in verse 27. "Art thou loosed [luo, 3089] from a wife?" The word luo can mean "dissolve" or "destroy" or "unbind." Jesus used the same Greek word when He said, "Destroy [luo] this temple and, and in three days I will raise it up" (Jn. 2:19). Peter said concerning the complete destruction of the universe on the last day, "...The heavens and the earth shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved [luo]..." (2 Pet. 3:10-12). If a man is loosed (luo) from a wife and he marries another, he has not sinned.

Does God anywhere in the Bible prohibit someone from marrying a lawfully divorced person?

Yes. A priest in the Old Testament was prohibited from marrying a divorced woman (Lev. 21:10, 13-14). This command would make no sense if all men were prohibited from marrying divorced women.

Doesn't God recognize only the first marriage, that you can only become one flesh with one person?

Following are a few of many verses that clearly refute this teaching. This writer does not in any way advocate polygamy for Christians (or anyone else). The following scriptures from the Word of God are presented only to refute that false teaching. God's ideal is one man and one woman as husband and wife.

"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife [ishshah]: and they shall be one flesh" (Gen. 12:5). "And Sarai, Abram's wife [ishshah] took Hagar her maid the Egyptian...and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife [ishshah]. And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived...And the angel of the Lord said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly..." (Gen. 16:3-4, 10). "David arose and went...And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife [ishshah]. And Saul saw and knew that the Lord was with David" (1 Sam. 19:27-28). "And David comforted Bathsheba his wife [ishshah], and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the Lord loved him" (2 Sam. 12:24).

David had several wives and was a man after God's own heart. Many other saints had more than one wife (ishshah) including Abraham, Moses and Jacob. These men were not living in adultery. They were blessed by God. Again, this is presented only to refute the false teaching that God recognizes only the first marriage.

According to the New Testament a man is disqualified for the office of pastor, elder, or deacon if he has more than one wife (1 Tim. 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6).

What about the fact that in Strong's Concordance apoluo, 630, includes "divorce" in the meaning along with "put away," "release," etc.

Strong's Concordance is based on the King James Version of the Bible. Since the King James translators translated apoluo "divorced" (one time out of more than 65 occurrences of the Greek word), Mr. Strong was obliged to include "divorce" as one of the definitions. The word apostasion which means "divorce" or "divorcement" is used three times (Mt. 5:31; 19:7; Mk. 10:4) and is a distinctly different Greek word with a distinctly different meaning.

Again, the Geneva Bible translated in 1560 in the margin says that "put away" (translated from apoluo) means "not lawfully divorced."

Was Joseph thinking about divorcing Mary?

No. The Scriptures do not say that Joseph was thinking about giving Mary a bill of divorce (biblion, 975 and apostasion, 647). The Scriptures say he had in mind to put her away (apoluo, 630). They had not yet consummated the marriage, they were only betrothed (Mt. 1:19).

Does the Bible anywhere say that any married couples should separate?

Yes. When 113 Israelite men had married foreign wives contrary to God's command (Ezra 10).

Does the Bible anywhere say that a married couple, one or both of whom were previously divorced, should separate?

No.

How many verses in the entire Bible speak of a woman having the prerogative of divorcing her husband or of giving her husband a certificate of divorcement?

None.

How many verses in the entire Bible speak of a man and woman taking marriage vows?

None.

How many verses in the entire Bible speak of a man and woman making a marriage covenant?

None.

If there are no marriage vows and no marriage covenants between a man and a woman spoken of in the Bible, then what constitutes a marriage?

When a man and a woman make a verbal or written or implied commitment to one another to be husband and wife.

Is there anything wrong with making marriage vows?

No. It is, however, a serious matter to make a vow and break it.

We can see from the above truths that "putting away" one's spouse is different from the legal act of dissolving a marriage by giving a bill of divorcement.

Because of the mistranslation of the Greek word apoluo, which means "put away," not "divorce," many sincere Christians today have been led astray and perpetuate the false teaching that anyone who marries a divorced person is living in adultery and must separate. A close examination of the Scriptures, as presented above, will prove that that is false teaching. That false teaching has caused many people, especially Christians, to separate merely because of a misunderstanding of the Scriptures.

"Putting away" and "giving a bill of divorcement" are not the same thing and Christians should realize that a divorce is an absolute dissolution of a marriage.

And while a person who puts away a spouse and gives him or her a certificate of divorcement will have to account to God, it is not adultery to be married to a divorced person. Those who teach that divorced people who are married are living in adultery and must separate will have to account to God for that false teaching.

Following is an email I sent to someone who asked me about the "exception clause":

The so-called "exception clause" is something that some Christians use as an excuse for a married couple to get a divorce in the case of adultery. But the word porneia is more accurately translated "fornication," not "adultery," which is moicheuo or moichaomai. Fornication is a sin that results from an unmarried person having sexual relations with another person. Adultery is a married person having sexual relations with someone other than your marriage partner.

Some of the Jews accused Jesus of being born as a result of Mary committing fornication, not adultery (John 8:41). Mary was pregnant by the Holy Spirit before her marriage with Joseph had been consummated. They were only betrothed (engaged) at that time. Joseph was going to only put away (apoluo) Mary, rather than give her a certificate of divorce, because they were not yet husband and wife, in the fullest sense, and one cannot give a certificate of divorce to one to whom one is not married.

Divorce is not an option for any Christian for any reason, if they want to be in God's will. However, once a person is divorced, the marriage has been absolutely dissolved, and there is nothing in the Scriptures that prohibits anyone from marrying a person who has been given a certificate of divorce (except in certain cases for the Jews under the Old Covenant). Anyone who marries a person who is married to another person, and has only been put away (also known as "legally separated"), without having been given a certificate of divorcement, causes that person to commit adultery, because he or she is still married.

I would not want to have to account to God, even as a Christian, for putting away a wife (or husband) and giving them a bill of divorcement, for any reason.

Concerning the passage in Matthew 19:1-12, the Jewish mindset was that, under the Mosaic Law, a man could put away his wife for any reason, but was commanded by Moses to give her a bill of divorcement, so she could be cared for by another husband. (Women did not have the right to put away their husbands.) But Jesus was setting a higher standard than the Mosaic Law. Jesus makes an allowance for putting away a "wife" (a woman to whom a man is engaged but has not yet consummated the marriage) if she commits fornication with another man prior to the commutation of the marriage.

The disciples responded to Jesus' higher calling either because they thought the higher New Covenant standard of never being able to put away a wife for any reason after the marriage was consummated (even being married for life to a woman who turns out to be virtually intolerable to live with), or because that if a man finds out his betrothed wife-to-be has committed fornication with another man either before or during the betrothal, it would be better not to marry. In any case, because of the inevitable worries and hardships that come because of having a wife, Jesus said, if a man can accept being single for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, it would be better for him.

No one has to worry about too many true Christian men opting for life-time celibacy in order to serve God, and thereby making the human race extinct. Jesus said not all men can accept the call to celibacy to serve God, but only those to whom it has been given.

Also, the apostle Paul was one who served the Lord as a single man, and he said that he wished all men were like him, in this regard, but each man has his own spiritual gift from God, and not all are called to be eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake (1 Cor. 7:7). Paul goes on to say that nonetheless, it is still good for the unmarried, even widows, to remain as he was (single) (1 Cor. 7:8), and reiterates the higher calling to not put away your spouse, as Jesus said (1 Cor. 7:10-28).

Paul said, in conclusion of the matter, that if you do marry, you will have concerns of this world that a single person does not have, and will have distractions concerning devotion to the Lord, but the wife is bound to her husband as long as her husband lives (no allowance for separation and giving a certificate of divorcement), unlike the loose standards of the Mosaic Law, because of the hard hearts of men (1 Cor. 7:32-40).
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I found a debunking of a similar line of thought on gracecentered.com's theology forum. I thought I'd post a portion of that here. The quotes are not from this forum.



“Furthermore it has been said, “Whoever PUTS AWAY [separates from {apoluo}] his wife, LET HIM GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE. But I say to you that whoever PUTS AWAY [separates and remarries without being divorced from] his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery: and whoever marries a woman who is PUT AWAY [separated without being divorced {apoluo}] commits adultery” (Matthew 5:31-32).
The very verse you quote disproves your argument. It shows 'apoluo' being used to refer to a divorce with a writ of divorcement!

Look at it again.
“Furthermore it has been said, “Whoever PUTS AWAY [separates from {apoluo}] his wife, LET HIM GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE. But I say to you that whoever PUTS AWAY [separates and remarries without being divorced from] his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery: and whoever marries a woman who is PUT AWAY [separated without being divorced {apoluo}] commits adultery” (Matthew 5:31-32).

Emphasis mine. The use of 'apoluo' in the bold sentence is being used to describe the kind of divorce that was legal under the law of Moses, the kind with a writ of divorce.

We can infer from the usage here, that 'apoluo' is a word that includes both legal and illegal putting away of wives, according to the law of Moses.

Your comments which I changed to red are clearly incorrect from context. They contradict the previous sentence which shows that 'apoluo' includes divorce with a writ of divorce, which was allowed under Moses' law.

Again, the use of the Greek terms in the passage disprove your arguments about the Greek terms. 'Apoluo' clearly does NOT mean exclusively illegal putting away. It clearly includes 'legal' divorces (under Moses' law) and the 'legal' divorces are the context Christ is discussing.

If Christ was only saying that a man who wanted to divorce his wife had to fork up enough money to buy a piece of parchment, or even return a dowry (which the wife was to keep anyway in case something happened), then why would the disciples respond to Jesus' statements by saying it would be better to be married.

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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 [apolusai]
privily.

Wiley,

Do you think Joseph would want to put his wife away without a writ of divorce because he was just? Wouldn't your interpretation of this verse contradict Jesus' teaching on divorce?
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Unread 20th March 2012, 02:44 PM
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A marriage can be dissolved by divorce, and God does recognize this fact. God Himself put away Israel and gave her a bill of divorce. God said, "And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce" (Jer. 3:8). Indeed, God Himself is a divorcé (masculine is divorcé, feminine is divorcee).
But he also reconciled. Romans 12 disagrees with the idea that God has cast away his people, Israel.

A marriage can indeed be put asunder. The Scriptures do not say that man cannot put asunder what God has joined together, but rather "let not" man put it asunder (Mt. 19:6). Is God forbidding people to do that which is impossible to do?

No.
Jesus also warned that if a man divorces his wife, except it be for fornication, and marry another, he commits adultery.

But isn't a marriage still binding even if a couple gets a divorce? Aren't they still husband and wife in God's eyes?

No.
But if they did it wrongly, and remarried, they could be committing adultery, but wouldn't be committing adultery if they reconciled.

The word 'binding' reminds me that Romans 7 says a woman is bound by the law to her husband as long as her husband lives, so that, if as long as he lives, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress.


God did not say He hates divorce. God hates putting away. Giving a certificate of divorce so that the one put away may remarry without being in an adulterous relationship was a merciful act allowed by God.

Is there a difference between "putting away" and "divorce"?

Divorce at least falls into the category of putting away if it is not used exactly synonymously. See my previous post from a conversation on another forum. A man divorcing his write with a writ of divorcement, except it be for fornication, and marrying another, is still adultery. A careful examination of Matthew 19 demonstrates this.

Jesus wasn't just reiterating what Moses said. He was going back to Genesis, requiring a higher standard than what Moses allowed because of the hardness of people's hearts. Matthew 5 is full of higher standards for people than what they had been living by.


Yes. One can put away or send out his or her spouse without giving a bill of divorce. Deuteronomy 24:1-3 and Jeremiah 3:8 speak of giving a bill of divorcement and sending out of the house or putting away. Some wrongly claim that "putting away" and "divorce" are synonymous, but the fact that a wife can be put away without having been given a bill of divorcement clearly refutes that false teaching. There are many wives who are legally separated from their husbands, but are not divorced.

No. Her former husband may not take her again to be his wife. "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; 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" (Deut. 24:3-4).
I recall reading that Orthodox Jews only apply this scripture to cases where the first and second husband were Jewish. If she marries a Gentile second husband, they may let her return. My memory is a bit fuzzy so apologies to all Orthodox Jews if I recall incorrectly.

But this does raise an interesting point. God gave this law to Israel. Is this one that applies to all the nations? It isn't listed among the sexual sins that the Gentiles were driven out of the land for, is it? Still, I'm not comfortable with the idea of going back to the first spouse after a second because of this verse. I'm one of these guys who believes in choosing carefully and staying together till death do us part. We need to be teaching young people how to choose mates and to have no tolerance for anything related to adultery or divorce.

The Lord commanded, "Let not the wife depart from her husband: but and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband" (1 Cor. 7:11). She must remain unmarried. The clear implication here is that if she does not remain unmarried and marries another man, then she cannot be reconciled to her former husband because this is still an abomination to God.
But this verse says nothing about that. This verse tells her to either go back to her husband or remain unmarried. No second husband.

It should be noted here, that, while God allowed men to divorce their wives in the Old Testament because of their hard hearts, nowhere in the entire Bible is a woman allowed to divorce her husband.
I can't find anything about that either. All I can find is a verse prohibiting women divorcing their husbands. I've heard that Herodias had divorced Philip, but of course a prophet of God said to Herod, her former BIL and then present husband, "It is unlawful for thee to have her."
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Originally Posted by Isakutkaruuchu View Post
DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE---
What Does The Bible Really Say?

Harry Bethel
BethelMinistries.com
I had a look at Bethel Ministries website and it seems just a bit exclusivist to me.

While I am not saying that Bethel Ministries is heretical, I would recommend you look at what a respected orthodox (i.e. non-heretical) scholar like John Piper has to say in his position statement on marriage.

Divorce & Remarriage: A PositionÂ[bless and do not curse]Paper - Desiring God

I hope this helps.
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