To listen to in-depth clear biblical teaching by Dr. Caldwell on marriage, divorce, and remarriage, consider listening to the series, podcasts, and sermons that are linked below:
Listen to the Audio Podcast
Did Moses and Jesus Disagree On Divorce and Remarriage?
This week on the Straight Truth Podcast, host Dr. Josh Philpot and Dr. Richard Caldwell discuss questions a listener has regarding divorce in the Bible. The listener writes that it seems as though the Bible has different ways to approach divorce. Dr. Philpot shares that we read about marriage and divorce from Moses, Ezra, Jesus, and Paul. Each one of them seemingly gives a different view on divorce. This is perplexing; these accounts appear conflicting and contradictory. How can we understand them? Is it possible to reconcile these different perspectives? Can we gain a better understanding of marriage and divorce in doing so?
Dr. Caldwell emphasizes that they are only seemingly different perspectives. He shares that some real differences exist in some of these cases, so we need to look at this subject from the whole of Scripture. When we do this, we will find the category where each one fits and the way to explain each of them. Dr. Caldwell does this for us with both Moses and Ezra explaining how these accounts relate to the nation of Israel, a people belonging to God who live under His Law. But, when we come to Paul, there is an acknowledgment that divorce is a reality in a fallen world. As a result of sin, there are all kinds of errors and distortions of God’s original design for marriage; divorce is one of them.
Dr. Caldwell’s position is that the Bible does not forbid all divorce. He does, however, hold to a more restrictive position on the remarriage side of the issue. His stance regarding remarriage comes from how he reads and understands 1 Corinthians 7:10. Dr. Caldwell shares that he has done two extended series on marriage, divorce, and remarriage. Additionally, he has also done several other series, sermons, and podcasts that touch on the many aspects of marriage.
He encourages anyone who listens to this podcast to go and listen to all those sermons. These series, along with the additional sermons and podcasts, will provide in-depth answers to the many questions about marriage, divorce, and remarriage. (All of these can be found on the sermonaudio website, the links are provided below.)
Beyond what Dr. Caldwell has already shared, he tells us that the most concise way he can answer the question regarding divorce comes from Matthew 19. He turns there and reads, explaining that Jesus is being asked a question about divorce by the Pharisees based on two schools of rabbinical teaching. These men have come to Jesus to test Him to see where He will align Himself. Dr. Caldwell explains that Jesus doesn’t align Himself with either side of the issue. We need to see and remember what the Lord Jesus does here.
He takes them back to the beginning, to the very first marriage, and points them to God’s design. In verses 3 through 9, Jesus does this twice, reemphasizing God’s design for marriage. That design from the very beginning is for one man, one woman married for life. Like the Pharisees, we also ask questions about divorce. Instead, we ought to be asking more questions about marriage before getting married. And if we are committed and desire to honor God’s design for it, we ought to go on asking after being married.
In Dr. Caldwell’s explanation of this text from Matthew 19, he points us back to his sermon series that includes a detailed exposition of these verses. There, in the sermons on this passage, he argues that the Greek word Jesus uses in verse 9, for sexual immorality, means sexual unfaithfulness. Dr. Caldwell says that unfaithfulness relates to the Jewish betrothal period. What he sees here in the statement Jesus gives, is something distinctive and uniquely Jewish.
An example of how he understands this comes through Mary and Joseph. Mary was found to be with child before she and Joseph married. Joseph being unaware of the divine circumstances, planned to quietly divorce her. The marriage has not been consummated. Joseph and Mary are still in the betrothal stage.
In verse 10, Jesus’ disciples are so shocked at the answer He gives they think it’s better not to get married then. If Dr. Caldwell were to state the commonly held and accepted teaching on divorce and remarriage today, people might agree with him; they might disagree with him. But no one would be shocked. However, if he says once you get married, that the only way you can ever get remarried is by the death of your spouse; that’s going to be shocking in our day and age. Now then, as the disciples saw, marriage is seen in a different light; it is revealed how serious it is to be taken.
About The Straight Truth Podcast
The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net
The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo. The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.
The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.
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