Divorce and Remarriage in the Church
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Gives clear guidance about biblical grounds for divorce and remarriage which are both practical and fair in today's imperfect world.
To many people, the Bible appears to have nothing sensible or relevant to say about divorce and remarriage. Its teaching often seems harsh and in saying that the only ground for divorce is adultery, it appears to condemn the victims of marital abuse to a lifetime sentence with their partner.
New research into the background literature of the Bible, the ancient Near East and ancient Judaism shows that the original hearers of these teachings would have understood them very differently. It has revealed that:
* Jesus and Paul rejected no-fault divorces and emphasised that divorce should be avoided if at all possible.
* 1st century Jewish men and women could get divorced for neglect or abuse as well as for adultery. Jesus did not reject these grounds and Paul specifically affirmed them.
* In the 1st century, remarriage was the right of every divorcee and neither Jesus nor Paul taught otherwise.
288 pages, from Paternoster.
The Rev. Dr. David Instone-Brewer (Ph.D., Cantab) is senior research fellow in Rabbinics and the New Testament at the Institute for Early Christianity in the Graeco-Roman World, Tyndale House, Cambridge, and a member of the Divinity Faculty at the University of Cambridge and the British Association of Jewish Studies.
He previously served as a Baptist minister. He is now engaged in a five-year project to identify and explain rabbinic traditions before A.D. 70. Previous publications include Techniques and Assumptions in Jewish Exegesis Before 70 C.E. (Mohr, 1992), Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible (Eerdmans, 2002), Divorce and Remarriage in the Church (Paternoster, 2003); Traditions of the Rabbis from the Era of the New Testament (Eerdmans, 2004) and Traditions of the Rabbis from the Era of the New Testament, Volume 2A: Feasts and Sabbaths - Passover and Atonement (Eerdmans, 2009).
Koorong -Editorial Review.