The word divorce only appears 33 times in the entire Bible but few topics are as controversial in the church. The Bible discusses divorce in clear terms in the Old Testament, in the teachings of Jesus, and by the Apostle Paul. Despite thorough instruction on divorce in the Bible, there are still some questions that people have.
Far more than a lack of knowledge concerning divorce is the problem of the emotional side of divorce. Marriage is the closest personal relationship with family coming second. Anytime divorce is discussed it raises intense personal feelings on the topic because it affects the two deepest personal relationships in life. For this reason we will stick strictly to what the Bible says on the topic.
There are three main passages in the Bible that address the subject of divorce. Malachi 2 addresses how divorce had affected the Israelite’s relationship with God. Throughout the gospels Jesus addresses divorce and remarriage. We’ll examine Matthew 19 as it contains all of Jesus’ teaching on the subject.
Finally Paul speaks on the subject of marriage in 1 Corinthians 7. This is the most thorough examination of the rules of marriage in the Bible and ironically comes from a bachelor. Nevertheless, Paul is writing with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and his words should be considered as coming from God.
All three passages are looked at in more depth on the following pages.