Divorce in the Bible

 A case of abrogation in the Bible

By Sami Zaatari

 

 

Christians are often fond of making arguments against the Quranic concept of abrogation, they also like to claim that the concept of abrogation does not exist in the Bible:

http://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/consummation1.htm

http://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/consummation2.htm

However so, in this article, we shall also see that abrogation does exist in the Bible. The New Testament abrogates the Old testament several times, one such case, is on divorce.

On the issue of divorcement the Old Testament states:

 

Deuteronomy
Chapter 24
KJV
1-5

1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. 2 And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife.


So note in the OT if a man finds no favor with his wife because of some reason, he can divorce her, and the wife can go marry another man. The divorced man can also marry another women:

5 When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken

However so when we read the NT, the law on divorce completely changes:


Romans 7:2-3

For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress.

 

1 Corinthians 7:39

A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord


So note Paul now comes and abrogates the former law in the OT, now women CANNOT get divorced or marry again unless their husband is dead!

 

Let us see what Jesus said on this topic:

Matthew 5:32

But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.


Matthew 19:9

I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery."


Luke 16:18

"Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.


Mark 10:10-12

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


So note, now Jesus states if you divorce your wife and marry someone else, then this is adultery, this is a clear abrogation of the previous law in the OT where women and man were allowed to marry again after divorce.

These verses from the NT clearly abrogate the NT.

However what makes this case more interesting is that Paul abrogates Jesus' law!

Paul now states that women are bound to their husbands as long as they are alive:

Romans 7:2-3

For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress.


1 Corinthians 7:39

A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord

So note for Paul women are bound to their husbands as long as they live, no divorce, this is contrary to what Jesus said:


Matthew 5:32

But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.

So Jesus states that divorce is permitted if the spouse has committed sexual immorality, hence if the husband committed adultery the wife is not bound to her husband anymore.

So as we see, not only does the New Testament abrogate the Old Testament, the New Testament also abrogates itself!

And Allah Knows Best!

www.muslim-responses.com

 

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