People Die

In the comments of a recent post I wrote:

I understand divorce to be something like killing. It is sometimes necessary and moral, but those times are strictly limited within a few circumstances. And saying someone isn’t divorced is like saying someone wasn’t killed, or isn’t a killer.

which struck sympathizers and members of the Roman Catholic Church as not only wrong, but wrong-headed. Also, Scott has posted on the topic of sacramental marriage and, as I wrote this, he asked me to expound on a comment I left there.

Some discussion followed which, at the time, I thought was distracting from my point, and our collective points of agreement. Now it seems to me like I may have been wrong on both those secondary points; that the teachings of the RCC, the confusion and ignorance of the laity across all denominations, and what is manifest–what is real–may a rather large component of the engine which grinds modern marriages..but particularly the once-married-always-married teachings of RCC.

Possibly, I said.

I intend to handle this subject with care, and it is my hope that I won’t bruise anyone too bad. For now, I’m just going to state my beliefs, and upon what they are based.

The crucial statement is from Jesus in Matthew 19

He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”

Earlier, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said:

31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

So divorce should not happen, but can. Divorce was allowed previously according to a writ, but no marriage was intended to end in divorce. Divorce is only allowed as an exception if there is sexual immorality.

There are still a lot of specific questions one could ask What is meant by sexual immorality? Whose sexually immoral offense creates an exception? How should this adultery be treated? Is it an instance of adultery, or a perpetual state? What do we mean by adultery: desecration, or betrayal?[1]

My next source is a long passage in 1 Corinthians 7 on marriage, marital relations, its ends, and its endings. The key point is here:

10 To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband 11 (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.

Generally, I fully trust the translators of the Bibles I use because I have done some research on them before I choose the translation. And I don’t like the practice of sifting and isolating words in the Bible as if I were a necromancer and the words entrails. In this case, I looked up the word translated as unmarried and I learned that this particular word is only used in 1 Corinthians 7, and it is used three times; v. 8, 11, 32. In v. 8 it is referring to never-married people, in v. 11 to those divorced, and in v. 32 to who–by not being married–“is anxious for the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord.”

The point being: It seems there is no distinction here. That is: Divorced people really are divorced. They are unmarried. They are not metaphysically married, but only visibly separated; nor metaphysically married but living in an adulterous remarriage.

This seems like a good time to remind everyone that the beginning of this was my statement that I viewed divorce as something like killing. It is sometimes necessary and moral, but those times are strictly limited within a few circumstances. And saying someone isn’t divorced is like saying someone wasn’t killed, or isn’t a killer. I believe this is a fair judgment and in keeping with the spirit of the Sermon on the Mount.

[1]The difference of desecration and betrayal is an interesting point; related to our modern confusion, and a great contributor to the practice of divorce.

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61 thoughts on “People Die

  1. Several of the early Church fathers, including both Augustine and John Chrysostom, also believed that marriages could “die” in certain limited instances. At the same time, they did not hold that a new marriage could be created (by one or the other) while the original spouses both lived. Rather, the divorce allowed the parties to be free of the obligations inherent in marriage, some of which Paul discussed in 1 Cor 7.

  2. Your post is accurate based on my knowledge and reading.

    In the Catholic church, if you are civilly divorced, but do not remarry, you aren’t excommunicated and can still receive the sacraments, though it might be either prudent or be a grave sin to divorce depending on the circumstances.

    There is also some obscure legal separation I can’t remember the name of that is not a divorce, but is functionally one as the couple are legally separated – they just can’t remarry civilly without it being bigamy in the eyes of the states. When people were more concerned about divorce being evil it was used as a substitute in cases where there was a big enough problem to warrant it.

    The word Jesus uses translated “sexual immorality” is porneia and Catholics look at it as an invalid or defective marriage – no sacrament, no one-flesh. E.g. incest, or where there is not free will but coercion, or if either party hasn’t been baptized. Annulments declare that no marriage occurred, not that a marriage is dissolved – the church has no power to do that. There was (is?) a similar problem when polygamous pagans convert – which wife is the one true wife?

    In any case you can think of three realms. Pagans, who aren’t held to this except as their own reason dictates, lukewarm, apostate, or simply ignorant Christians who aren’t really in the body of Christ even if they are in church so are pantomiming instead of following the Gospel, and those who consciously decide to follow Christ and obey. It is the latter category which is most important and where things are clear that there is a valid sacramental marriage and cannot be annulled and it would require a grave unequal yoking to make even civil divorce proper.

    The question should never be how close we can get to the edge without it being sinful, it is how far can we go away from it and toward righteousness and still function in our state of life.

  3. I think your basic argument stands even if you hold the view that divorce doesn’t change one’s state of being married. Theft doesn’t change the rightful owner of an object. This is why if you purchase stolen goods you are not the rightful owner, even if you bought the goods in good faith. They still belong to the rightful owner, and if he can locate you he can take them from you. Yet the crime of the thief, and the harm caused by the theft is no less real.

  4. Theft doesn’t change the rightful owner of an object. This is why if you purchase stolen goods you are not the rightful owner, even if you bought the goods in good faith. They still belong to the rightful owner, and if he can locate you he can take them from you.

    That sounds familiar.

    Then David sent messengers to Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, demanding, “Give me my wife Michal, whom I betrothed to myself for the price of a hundred Philistine foreskins.”

    So Ish-Bosheth gave orders and had her taken away from her husband Paltiel son of Laish.

  5. The question should never be how close we can get to the edge without it being sinful, it is how far can we go away from it and toward righteousness and still function in our state of life.

    This remark takes the quivos out of the equivocations on the matter. I was reminded that I fell to this same cliff proximity thinking during the months that I was extruded into the parison of the divorced man ….which is that holding pattern prior to the date of finality when the parison is blown into something only useful thereafter for carrying water once, then discarded.

  6. Well, if the topic is the R.C.C., I would only say that R.C.C. is notorious for saying that verses about marriage don’t mean what they say they do. For example, and I think an especially good example at that, are those verses pertaining to married clergy…

    A.J.P.

  7. @Dalrock

    Good point.

    However; in some cases the comparison of divorce to theft will cut the other way. It makes marriage a property and property can be set aside.

    @Empath

    Parison

    You brought the metaphor A-game.

    @Alan

    I would only say that R.C.C. is notorious for saying that verses about marriage don’t mean what they say they do.

    That is something I struggle to understand about the RCC. The notion is that everyone under the magisterium can’t properly understand the text. I can accept that. What I find unacceptable is that they then turn around and ask those same people to understand them using the same words. If I can’t know what “Do this” means when Paul writes it, how is it that I should understand what “Do this” means when published in an encyclical?

  8. If I can’t know what “Do this” means when Paul writes it, how is it that I should understand what “Do this” means when published in an encyclical?

    There is a disconnect within the upper levels of the Church that has been persistent for a while now, sadly. Frankly, it is going to take some particularly forceful and insightful bishops to start to turn that around. And it will be an uphill struggle all the way.

    As for why the problem is there… I could probably write a series of posts on that.

  9. “There is also some obscure legal separation I can’t remember the name of that is not a divorce, but is functionally one as the couple are legally separated – they just can’t remarry civilly without it being bigamy in the eyes of the states. When people were more concerned about divorce being evil it was used as a substitute in cases where there was a big enough problem to warrant it.”

    Orders of Protection. I think though if you google the term you get info on restraining orders. I reckon now folks so inclined stay in the legally separated and don’t finalize the divorce

  10. Interesting idea, CC. Thanks for writing this.

    I had been thinking that we should define terms. “Divorce”, a word with Latin roots, historically meant separation from bed and board without respect to the validity of remarriage. The Catholic Church used “absolute divorce” to refer to the idea that a valid marriage could be dissolved (this is what “divorce” now means in our language). We now use “separation” to mean separation from bed and board without remarriage. In the KJV, Jesus’ words are translated as “put away” indicating he was speaking of the separation part.

    First, I do not like the killing analogy because killing someone in self defense does not necessitate murder as a continuing sin. One doesn’t reincarnate the person one killed and keep killing him. If you violate Jesus’ commandment on marriage, you are perpetually committing adultery.

    Also, I do not think “porneia” should be translated as “sexual immorality.” That phrase is too nebulous. Porneia meant illicit sex acts and every time Jesus said “porneia” he distinguished it from adultery in the same sentence.

    It’s a perpetual state of adultery. “Husband” and “wife” are real things. Jesus told the woman at the well that the man she was with was not her husband (I don’t think he was making a technical point about four being ok but five not being ok).

    The mixed use of “unmarried” is a language thing, I think, avoiding awkward phrases like “in a spouse-like relationship.” I believe Christians are commanded to remain faithful to their marriages until death and we should use the phrase “civilly divorced” to refer to divorced Christians.

  11. AJP, I think the RCC reading of the marriage verses are pretty literal readings.

    I don’t know the history of Catholic reading of clergy marriage verses (e.g. Timothy). As far as I know, the sacrament of Holy Orders does not create a defect in form and matter in the sacrament of Holy Matrimony and vice versa. The Church has the power to bind and loose and has decided that clergy (both bishops and priests) in the Western rite must remain celibate so it’s an issue of obedience to the magisterium.

  12. CC,

    The RC idea isn’t necessarily or just that people can’t understand straightforward verses. There are many hard to understand teachings, many teachings that may not have been recorded (as scripture hints at), people do the eisegesis thing, people are illiterate in Greek, etc. The Catechism isn’t something written in simpler language so that dummies can understand. I believe you are going in a wrong direction with your understanding of marriage and you certainly are not a dummy.

  13. [CC: You sounded bored.]

    Yes. During yesterdays flurry of blog comments and emails I was the only one in the office, because everyone had left early. I could have run around with my pants off. (The security footage would have been difficult to explain).

    When I saw the title of this post, and knowing it was related to sacramental marriage, I was immediately transported back to the circumstances of my own divorce.

    I remember feeling that it would have been easier had she died. Not because I want anyone dead, but because I could have understood and processed the fact that “people die.”

    However, she chose to leave. So it was like my wife had “died,” but she was still out there–actively choosing to be “dead” rather than be married to me.

    The Orthodox position, which you mentioned on my site, is a little less refined (which is baked into the Orthodox cake) but it is pretty clear. It is applied logistically differently however. The various jurisdictions websites (Greek, Serbian, etc) have different formulas for applying it. But the basic gist is the same–that is to say, it basically protects the “victim” (the one who was cheated on, or abandoned, etc).

    In fact I was just having this conversation with our priest last Sunday. He described the form/algorithm that they use when they are trying assess each couples canonical status. It is, as you say, applied consistently in most cases.

  14. “Bruce”, one of the consequences of this policy must be that the R.C.C. priest can’t
    be held up as a role-model in this regard. The Magesterium might say that the priest is married to the church, but then that makes the thing much less plain.

  15. For example, and I think an especially good example at that, are those verses pertaining to married clergy…

    But the Catholic Church doesn’t say that there can’t be married clergy, and in any case verses on celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom also exist. Unless I’m misunderstanding you?

  16. While I am inclined to believe that a marriage can be temporarily severed and your argument for not changing words is important…

    we are left with the unbolded “husband”. A husband can not exist without marriage.

  17. Why look at an ambiguous passage that seems to have multiple possibilities of meaning when there’s a non-ambiguous passage:

    “Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them.

    2 Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”

    3 “What did Moses command you?” he replied.

    4 They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”

    5 “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. 6 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’[a] 7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,[b] 8 and the two will become one flesh.’[c] So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

    10 When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. 11 He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12 And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.””

    There’s possible ambiguity in the interaction with the Pharisees, but when his disciples ask about it, Jesus sets his meaning out plainly. Why not resolve possible ambiguities elsewhere the way Jesus resolved them for his disciples?

  18. In the case of Catholic priests, it may be helpful to draw distinctions. It is not a dogmatic teaching that priests must be unmarried men: Eastern-rite Catholic priests can be married prior to ordination (though not after) and priest-converts from (e.g.) the Anglican and Lutheran denominations are often ordained as married men (I know of at least four of these in my diocese). It is, on the other hand, a dogmatic teaching that women cannot be admitted to Holy Orders.

    Among Latin-Rite Catholics (the great majority), the restriction of Holy Orders to celibate men is a discipline, though one with solid Scriptural backing (eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom, Eph 7:32, etc.). It is therefore in principle possible that the Church may decide to open the priesthood to married men in the future. But given the practical difficulties and the longstanding tradition of celibate priests in the Latin Rite, it seems highly unlikely she will choose to do so.

  19. @GKC

    And didn’t we do this same discussion last year? Or something?

    Somewhere, probably. Though, I don’t think I’ve been down the specific road I have in mind.

    One of the things I regret most concerning this blog is that it’s the information is desperately disorganized.

  20. Here is an interesting question. Let’s say you marry a divorced woman and then become a Christian. Are you bound as “one flesh” the same as if it was a first marriage?

  21. I assume he isn’t referring to ambiguity in your writing but rather to ambiguity in interpreting Matt. 19.

  22. “Let’s say you marry a divorced woman and then become a Christian. Are you bound as “one flesh” the same as if it was a first marriage?”

    No, I don’t believe so. Another man’s wife.

  23. Cane:
    When his disciples ask him about divorce, following his answer to the Pharisees, Jesus teaches them that if a man divorces his wife and marries another, he commits adultery, and that if a woman divorces her husband she commits adultery.

  24. Cane:
    You wrote that a man or woman can divorce and remarry without committing adultery. That’s the opposite of what Jesus taught his disciples in that passage.

  25. Or at least that’s how I understood you saying that divorced people really are divorced, that is that they aren’t married metaphysically, in which case it wouldn’t be adultery to marry again.

  26. @Patrick

    Thanks. That’s not what I meant. Your assumption gets at why I am writing these posts. Metaphysical explanations, in my experience, confuse instead of explicate.

  27. Pingback: I Was Wrong About the Trees | Things that We have Heard and Known

  28. CC & Patrick, I think you are talking past each other. The meaning of Patrick’s initial comment seems to be that the potentially ambiguous Matthew 19:9 is clarified by Mark’s description of Christ’s interaction with his disciples.

  29. From your new post:
    “What is marriage like?”
    “Well, it’s like Christ’s relationship to the Church.”

    Doesn’t this argue for the indissolubility of marriage? Christ doesn’t divorce his Church.

  30. @Bruce

    I think you are talking past each other.

    Agreed.

    Doesn’t this argue for the indissolubility of marriage? Christ doesn’t divorce his Church.

    It argues that we who would be Christ-like ought not dissolve marriages. It doesn’t argue that it couldn’t be done, and it doesn’t argue that there are “natural marriages” and “sacramental marriages” and that the former are dissolvable while the latter aren’t, or that the former aren’t real in the way the latter are.

    Jesus didn’t criticize the pharisees for having “natural marriages”. He criticized them for divorce.

  31. This is de facto the stance of the East that is, that we _ought_. I’m not a fan of thinking of oughts as it leads to excuses. Pastoral care may very but that’s after you have explained The Way Things Just Are(tm).

    Marriage should be a permanent state since it is modeled on a permanent state. Full stop. This is why the apostles react so shocked to Jesus description of marriage.

  32. Well, I’ve already wrote on my take:

    https://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2015/09/02/on-divorce-part-2/

    Generally speaking, most of the confusion comes in from the apparent “mistranslation” of apoluo — put away — replacing it with the word divorce.

    It’s significant because divorce in the OT required both putting away and a letter of divorce. You have to look into the specific historical context of the time because “putting away” was how Gentiles divorced and many of the Jewish people at the time were not being obedient to the Torah (see: Malachi 2 on “putting away”) and putting away their wives without divorcing them (putting away + bill of divorcement.

    Then there is also the context of divorce for any reason which is another issue which Jesus is addressing within that passage which muddles up the conversation.

    Anyway, it’s too boring to argue since most people can’t understand all of the fine complexities and just argue what they want to exist.

    ———————-

    However, I do agree that man can actually separate. That’s what Jesus implies by saying “What God has placed together let man not separate.” IN other words, man can separate [by free will] what God has been placed together. However, it is not good to go against God.

    This is why in 1 Cor 7 Paul clarifies this by saying if the unbelievers consent to live together then the believers should not leave because they are sanctified by their unbelieving spouse. Likewise, if they choose to leave you are not under the obligations [of marriage] any longer.

  33. @DS

    Anyway, it’s too boring to argue since most people can’t understand all of the fine complexities and just argue what they want to exist.

    Do I detect a bit of dejection? There is a need for men like you who have the passion to dig into the etymologies and uses. However; if the Bible is meant for the everyman (and I believe it is), then the story must prevail and speak on its own merit as a true story and not merely a collection of correct words. I believe it does.

    If anyone ever gets it I don’t think it is because they finally understood all the fine complexities. It seems to me that one finally understands to what It is that the sign of marriage is pointing, i.e., “Christ is this direction”.

    Anyone, then, who does not go that direction…

  34. Yeah, I’m a firm believer that “What God has put together let man not separate.” It’s simple and clear and straight from the mouth of Jesus.

    The verses Jesus says about adultery describe particular instances which the translators don’t do a good job with which puts a lot of confusion into the whole issue. However, the overriding message is straight forward as quoted above.

  35. “IN other words, man can separate [by free will] what God has been placed together. However, it is not good to go against God.”

    If man could, in actual reality, separate what God, in actual reality, placed together, such that there is no distinction, as Cane wrote, between a never-married person and a divorced person, how could it possibly constitute adultery for the divorced person to remarry? Since a never-married person literally can’t commit adultery by marrying another never-married person, if there is no difference between a divorced and a never-married, it couldn’t constitute adultery. Again, to break it down syllogism style:

    (major premise) If there were no difference between someone divorced and someone never-married, neither would be capable of adultery by marrying a never-married.

    (minor premise) But a man, says Jesus, who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery.

    (conclusion) Therefore, there is a difference between someone divorced and someone never-married.

    That’s a very easy-to-follow syllogism. I invite anyone to correct me if he sees an error.

  36. @ Patrick

    (major premise) If there were no difference between someone divorced and someone never-married, neither would be capable of adultery by marrying a never-married.

    (minor premise) But a man, says Jesus, who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery.

    (conclusion) Therefore, there is a difference between someone divorced and someone never-married.

    Your minor premise is incorrect.

    Jesus says those who “put away” his wife and marries another commits adultery. There are synonymous words in the Hebrew and the Greek:

    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.

    “Putting away” without an “Bill of divorce” means you’re still married. Hence, if the other person “remarries” they would be still married to you which means it’s adultery.

    The reason why this is an issue is that Hebrew culture had been getting diluted by foreign cultures. This started happening even before the Romans were on the scene, and God mentions this abomination in Malachi 2 where he says he hates putting away (not hates divorce). Husbands were putting away their wives and without the bill of divorcement they couldn’t get back the possessions that were given by the father of the bride.

    Additionally, in Greek and Roman times “putting away” without a “bill of divorce” was the common way to divorce. Jesus, as the fulfillment of the law, aims to correct the popular misconceptions of the culture because they were being diluted.

    Jesus speaks of 3 different topics in Matthew 19 in particular answering:

    1. The “Any cause” divorce refutation of Deut 22
    2. Mentioned God’s desire
    3. Mentioning the only reason you can “put away” [implied: without a bill of divorcement] which is shown by fraud as an example in Deut 22

    I go into more detail on this here. If you want to read the long research article I believe I linked it at the top of bottom of the post.

    https://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2015/09/02/on-divorce-part-2/

  37. Additionally, the actual abomination is shown in Deut 24.

    If a husband divorces his wife (putting away + bill of divorce) she can marry another. If she marries another and is divorced again then she cannot remarry the same man again as that’s an abomination against the Lord.

    Paul clarifies in 1 Corinthians 7 that God’s desire is that you don’t divorce, especially if the unbelievers are married to you and consent to live with you. Under no bond likely specifies that you’re not under the roles and responsibilities of marriage if they leave.

    Additionally, those that are divorced/separated/or what have you should remain single or reconcile. This is where it’s a “sin” to remarry specifically, but it is not considered “adultery” because you are actually not still married to the other person.

    Remember, Jesus speaks about “putting away” specifically which means he is NOT talking about divorce (putting away + bill of divorcement). The only thing Jesus speaks on divorce is “What God has put together let no man separate” which means it’s obviously a sin to divorce.

    Therefore,

    1. Sin to divorce — Per Jesus’ words ‘let no man separate’
    2. Sin to remarry — the optimal is single or reconciliation in 1 Cor 7
    3. But remarriage is not adultery or constant adultery as Matt 19 does not speak to this

  38. I don’t think minor premise is incorrect, since “putting away” is an essential element of divorce, according to your research. No legitimate divorce exists, then, without legitimately “putting away” the spouse and also producing a writ of divorce. Forbidding one essential element, as Jesus does, is the same as forbidding the whole. And if no legitimate divorce exists, attempting to remarry would be adultery.

    Syllogism:

    If “putting away” and “writing a bill of divorcement” are both essential elements of divorce,

    and “putting away” isn’t permitted in a legitimately contracted marriage, as per Jesus,

    then there is no valid divorce.

    Corollary:

    If there is no valid divorce,

    and a person who once legitimately contracted a marriage attempts to contract another marriage,

    that person commits adultery.

  39. Your new statement is correct and what I’m saying. The other point I am raising is the ramifications of understanding what Jesus is saying and isn’t saying.

    If “putting away” means “divorce” then that means you commit adultery if you remarry.

    However, Jesus does not specifically speak on divorce but rather putting away which means that if you remarry it’s not necessarily adultery. Though we know from 1 Cor 7 that the Lord says that those who are separated should reconcile or stay unattached. Thus, we can infer that it’s a sin. However, it’s not adultery just like remarriage in Deut 24 is not adultery.

  40. D.S.’s idea doesn’t make sense to me. Christ is responding specifically to and clarifying the give-her-a-certificate of divorce teaching. He uses apolyō in 19.8 to describe the Mosaic Law. He then uses it in the next verse to describe the act that constitutes adultery.

    Divorcing and remarrying isn’t a onetime sin. It’s a continual commission of adultery.

  41. DS’s explanation also fails to account for the disciples reaction of dismay in Matt. 19:10 and Christ’s talk of eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven.

  42. Bruce,

    1. False. The specific phrasing is:

    “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.”

    Putting away is not divorce. Thus, if you put away a wife [without a certificate of divorce] then she’s still married to you and you to her. Thus, the next man who marries her commits adultery because she is still married to you.

    Jesus is NOT talking about divorce. Thus, He absolutely does not say that remarrying is committing perpetual adultery.

    2. The exception is for fornication in putting away is Fraud because fornication (porneuo) describes illicit sexual acts. Deuteronomy 22 describes how a case of fraud is mediated where a woman claims to be a virgin. Since she was not a virgin and there is no proof of non-fraud which is the blood on the sheets, she is not actually legally married to him.

    This is what the exception clause describes which makes sense. Since she married by fraud then she is not legally married to the man…. THUS he can put her away and if she marries another it’s not adultery.

    3. The disciples reaction of dismay is due to the fact that Jesus did not give any exceptions for divorce given the statement above. Hence. what He said about “What God has put together let no man separate” was His final word on divorce which is very hard to take. No one likes no recourse.

    Hence, the Catholic Church is right that marriage is supposed to be forever with no exceptions which is a very difficult word which the disciples rightly understood.

    It all ties together nicely with the passages from Malachi, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the lack of so-called “divorce” exception clauses in Mark 10 and Luke 16. It also unifies what the Lord says through Paul in 1 Corinthians 7. Putting away is not divorce and if you treat it as divorce then Matthew 19 does not agree with Mark and Luke nor Malachi.

    Alright, I’m done. If you don’t believe me then read the research article on this:

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

  43. 1. “False. The specific phrasing is:….. Putting away is not divorce.”

    But in the verse that immediately precedes the one you quoted, Jesus summarizes the Mosaic teaching as “putting away.”

    2. The “exception” is for an invalid marriage. It could be false vows indicated by fornication. It could be prohibited marriage between close relatives e.g. 1 Cor 5, Acts 15:29.

    3. There wouldn’t be a reaction of dismay and the talk about celibacy if one could just repent of the onetime sin of divorce. The reason why it’s a hard saying is because of the implication that you’re bonded for life.

    Matthew harmonizes with Luke and Mark if you realize that Jesus was speaking of marital invalidity. Also, Matthew was the Gospel written for Jews – in the Sermon on the Mount the exception is also given. Matthew seems to include this for his audience.

  44. “Putting away is not divorce. Thus, if you put away a wife [without a certificate of divorce] then she’s still married to you and you to her. Thus, the next man who marries her commits adultery because she is still married to you.”

    Again, by your own statements, Jesus forbids “putting away,” while Moses allowed it. If, as you say, “putting away” and “a writ of divorce” were both required for divorce, then Jesus, in forbidding “putting away,” an essential element of divorce, made divorce illegitimate. If a divorce isn’t legitimate, the marriage still exists. If the marriage still exists, it is adultery to attempt to marry again.

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

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

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