B 19 Divorce and Remarriage in the 1st and 21st Century


The New Testament teaching on divorce and remarriage appears to be impractical and unfair at first sight, allowing divorce only for adultery and forbidding remarriage until the death of the former spouse.

But new insights into the world of the first century suggest that both Jesus and Paul affirmed four Old Testament grounds for divorce and allowed remarriage, though they rejected no-fault divorce and emphasised that divorce should be avoided if at all possible.

This is an excellent example of the latest biblical research being applied clearly, helpfully and relevantly to an important pastoral concern.

Extra resources

The author's own web site gives a broad selection of online resources, including:

  • Academic and popular books looking at how New Testament believers understood this issue
  • Traditions of the Rabbis from the Era of the New Testament - Texts which can be dated before 70 CE from the Mishnah, Tosephta and other rabbinic works Library of Bible Background - Books by Phil, Josephus and other authors who wrote during the time of the Bible
  • Visual Sermons - Full text together with pictures for projection while preaching
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Author: Revd Dr David Instone-Brewer

David is a Baptist minister and Research Fellow at Tyndale House in Cambridge. He has written extensively on the first-century context of the divorce texts in the New Testament.

Books by Revd Dr David Instone-Brewer

View all books by David Instone-Brewer

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