mwpastor wrote: ↑Tue Jan 24, 2023 1:21 pm
MrMarried wrote: ↑Tue Jan 24, 2023 5:51 am
Why would a legal divorce (in a secular sense) be necessary to keep her physically safe, especially in our legal environment?
I don't know enough about what the legal ramifications are to remaining married indefinitely while separated, so I won't comment on that part.
MrMarried wrote: ↑Tue Jan 24, 2023 5:51 am
Where is there any provision at all in the Bible for a woman to divorce her husband? The Old Testament required the man to give the certificate. Jesus mentioned a woman putting away her husband only once in scripture to forbid it, in a verse that does not contain the exception clause. This was after a conversation about the Deuteronomy 24 passage about a man giving his wife a certificate. The Jews Jesus was speaking with would not have accepted a divorce certificate from a woman to be legal, nor would Orthodox Judaism today.
Should we consider the social architecture of the ancient world? Why are these laws around divorce, etc. significant? Who did the existing structures benefit, and who was most vulnerable in the existing system? Who does the OT law and Jesus protect that otherwise might not be protected?
This gets back to the questions about how we understand scripture. Is it wooden? Do we believe "God said it, I believe it, that settles it," or is it more complicated than that? Does understanding and applying scripture as the inspired word of God require us to ask some more questions? What does it mean for scripture to be living and active? Does the historical context mean anything to our understanding and application? Is God simply protecting the institution of marriage with these words, or are the biblical instructions about marriage and divorce first about protecting actual people in actual situations?
Lots of questions that are really important, (and a worthy discussion for this board, which is why I'm still interacting on this thread today after I said I would probably be done). The theology we hold on to, and insist on, and proclaim to others will shape the picture of God that they see. How does insisting on using the translation "God hates divorce" help others see the love and grace of God revealed in Jesus?
I'm not text expert, but it seems like translators are split over whether the verse in question says that the LORD says that He hates divorce/putting way, or where Yahweh speaks a message to him who hates his wife and covers his garment with violence or various other readings. If there is ambiguity in the Hebrew, we should also be open to the idea that both interpretations are true. We use plays on words in English that can have a double meaning.
But even if the verse isn't saying that the LORD hates divorce, we have no right to say that He does not if He hasn't revealed it. A lot of divorced people hate divorce, also. God's anger was against Job's friends who did not speak truth about them.
How do we interpret scripture? I wonder if you are coming at this from the perspective that we are to arrive at interpretations that benefit people in temporal and practical ways that we can observe? I think about this in terms of God's standards of holiness.
God wants His people to be holy, no necessarily comfortable. Our living lives free off suffering do not seem to be high on God's agenda. I don't know that it is on His agenda at all. My wife and I have taught our kids that if someone holds a gun to their head or threatens to shoot, harm or kill them if they don't deny their faith, that they still do not deny their faith. 'But if not....' as it says in Daniel.
Have you ever seen the movie Silence, where Andrew Garfield plays a Roman Catholic priest being compelled to step on an icon of Christ as a way of denying his faith. He refuses, but when they torture Christians by hanging them upside down with a slight cut to drain the blood so it doesn't quickly kill them or render them unconscious by the blood going to their head, he eventually relents and steps on the icon because he cannot stand their suffering and wants to free them, apostasizes, and works for his tormentor to keep Christian influences out of Japan. What do you think is the right thing to do in that scenario?
Christ's answer to the Pharisee's question about divorce did not touch on the issue of the injustice to the divorced woman, except as it relates to future adultery. Matthew 5 comes to mind--- in regard to causing her to commit adultery. His response had to do with the principle of marriage, established a very long time before, and dealt with marriage law from a later time at the law of Moses, drawing a principle that was still valid in His own day. Why would the principals of divorce and remarriage not apply today?
I see a kind of social-historical type reasoning in Bible interpretation that says such and such a command, teaching, etc. was given under X set of circumstances that are not the same as today, and therefore the scriptures do not apply. I see this with interpreting roles of men and women in marriage, also, for example. But same type of reasoning could be used to make the following argument.
"'Thou shalt not kill' in scripture was spoken and written to Jews and in some case Gentiles living before the second century. Therefore it does not apply to those of us who live after the second century."
"'Thou shalt not kill was' given as a command to those who lived in a time when people were killed violently with swords, spears, blunt instruments, and excruciating poisons. But now, we have near painless lethal injections and other substances that can be painlessly administered, so therefore this teaching does not apply to those of us who lovingly go around giving people lethal injections and painless poisons to end their lives."
It's reductio ad absurdum, maybe, but it is the same sort of reasoning I see on these other topics.