Saturday, December 09, 2006

Divorce and Remarriage in the Gospel of Mark

Remember that this is subject of debate and I will listen to all arguments.

Let's start with the Gospel of Mark. Verses 10:1-12 are an account of the questioning of Jesus by the Pharisees regarding divorce. In verses 11-12 Jesus states (KJV):

11: And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.

12:And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

Who are the adulterers in these passages? In verse 10 it is the man who "puts away", i.e. divorces his wife. In verse 11 it is the wife who divorces the husband.

Now a question remains what becomes of the innocent wife in verse 10 and the innocent husband in verse 11? The Gospel of Mark is not clear on this. If they were to remarry do they commit a sin?

Many conservative interpretations would have the innocent spouses sin if they remarry because God hates all divorce. However I don't see that in Mark's account. I don't think that Mark addresses this question because he appears to be preventing the sin of divorce and less concerned with the aftermath.

Also note that Mark's account is the only one that considers the 'wife divorces husband' scenario in the Gospels.

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