I am presently working on a paper and my professor listed your book, " Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible" as one of his "suggested reading" materials. I choose to do it for a class presentation this week...and I have a question.
Almost without exception, Christians believe that divorce is a "sin." In every discussion, teaching, sermon, it is referred to as such. A few weeks ago, in a class discussion, several students called it a "sin" that one must repent of but that can be forgiven. They also refered to it as the "lesser of two evils", when having to choose between slavery, or prostitution et. I wanted to do a report on your book because I believe it shows the true Biblical view. Dr. Brad Young in his book, "Jesus the Jewish Theologian," says, 'Divorce is not adultery (a sin). Remarriage after a divorce is not adultery (a sin). However, divorce can be employed to committ adultery (a sin.)" P.116 I cannot see that Moses would allow divorce if it were a "sin."
So my question is, of course, do you think it is Biblically correct for Christians to continue to place divorce in the catagory of a "sin"...I would appreciate your insight on this.
Reply: I can't regard all divorces as sinful, because the OT prophets describe God as a divorcee - He separated from Judah but divorced Israel. The sin in divorce is the breaking of marriage vows. Israel broke all her marriage vows and God, after trying many times to get her to repent, was forced to divorce her.
When Jesus said that remarriage was sinful, he was speaking in the context of a debate about the new divorce for 'Any Cause', which he regarded as non-Scriptural and therefore invalid. Unfortunately it was so common that virtually all divorces in his day were based on this new Hillelite law, so that anyone who got a divorce on this ground was not properly divorced (according to Jesus). In this case, if they remarried, they were committing adultery, because they were still married to their former partner.
Divorce always involves sin because it either occurs as the result of repeatedly broken marriage vows (which are sinful) or occurs without broken marriage vows (so that the divorce itself is sinful).
I hope you get an A !
For more see God the Reluctant Divorcee in Divorce & Remarriage in the Church