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Bible Dictionaries

1910 New Catholic Dictionary

Divorce in the New Testament


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God's will in regard to the important matter of indissolubility of marriage was first revealed to man in Paradise, when God created man and woman and united them in marriage so that "they shall be two in one flesh" (Genesis 2). God did not withdraw His will by permitting divorce in the Law of Moses, for divorce was merely tolerated. A husband could divorce his wife (not vice versa) because of some indecent deed by giving her a "bill of divorce." The rabbis and their schools disputed as to what constituted an indecent act, whether adultery or something less evil.

"And there came to him [Christ] the Pharisees tempting him, and saying: Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? Who answering, said to them: Have ye not read, that he who made man from the beginning, made them male and female? And he said: For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. They say to him: Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorce, and to put away? He saith to them: Because Moses by reason of the hardness of your heart permitted you to put away your wives. But from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away committeth adultery." (Mattahew 19)


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Entry for 'Divorce in the New Testament'. 1910 New Catholic Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/ncd/d/divorce-in-the-new-testament.html. 1910.

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