The Great Divorce Debate (1)

Submitted by Doug Krueger

Doug Krueger, a member of Farrell Till’s Errancy II list, wrote an article critical of contradictory passages regarding divorce found in the Bible and forwarded it to Robert Turkel. Reproduced below is the original article authored by Mr. Krueger. J.J

Divorce Article

By Doug Krueger

Question: Is it possible for a person to get divorced and remarry without committing adultery?

First, we see that the bible tells us quite clearly that remarriage after divorce is prohibited because it is adultery. Jesus clearly says so.

Mark 10:2-5, 9-12

And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, “Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife?” tempting him. And he answered and said unto them, “What did Moses command you?” And they said, “Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.” And Jesus answered and said unto them, “For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept...What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter. And he saith unto them, “Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.”

Also see Luke 16:1, 18:

And he said also unto his disciples,... “Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.”

So the logical form of this is:

(x)(Dx & Rx => Ax)

where D is for "divorced," R is for "remarried," and A is for "commits adultery." It is read, "For anything x, if x is divorced and x is remarried, then x commits adultery." This is universal and applies without exception to any x, according to the above quotations from Jesus. "Whosoever" means "anyone," applying universally.

Other parts of the bible also state that if someone divorces, the person is not to remarry. Two examples from Paul:

And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord: Let not the wife depart from her husband: but and if she depart, let her remain unmarried... 1 Cor. 7:10-11

For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress... Romans 7:2-3.

So no one who divorces can remarry without committing adultery. But, on the other hand, the bible also says that_not_everyone who divorces their mate and remarries is committing adultery!

When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour 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. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife. Deuteronomy 24:1-2

And Jesus agrees that you can get divorced and remarry as long as you divorce because of fornication.

It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. Matt. 5:31, 32.

And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, _except it be for fornication_, and shall marry another, committeth adultery; and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. Matt. 19:9.

But if you can divorce and remarry without committing adultery (in case of fornication), then this implies:

~[(x)(Dx & Rx => Ax)]

If there is an exception, then the conditional cannot apply to any and all things x and it is NOT the case that whoever divorces and remarries commits adultery. This is a formal contradiction, since the bible, then, and even just the NT, endorses both sides of the issue:

(x)(Dx & Rx => Ax) & ~[(x)(Dx & Rx => Ax)]

So the bible contradicts itself on whether one can get a divorce and remarry without committing adultery.

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edited 2/28/04