Review of Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the Bible by Jay Adams

Adams reviews what marriage is. He focuses on the promises that each person made to each other before God, and reviews a lot of what is known about marriage in Jewish culture. He spends much time sharing about Moses’ regulations for divorce and what that meant. He also discusses about the legally binding nature of divorce certificates.

One thing Adams brings out about marriage is, that even more than reproduction, God’s purpose in marriage was for companionship. In discussing the Corinthians passage about divorce he points out that if a person divorces their spouse without Biblical reason they must stay unmarried or preferably reconcile to their mate. He says the word for separation in that passage is the same as the word divorce, and that in the first century there was nothing known as a legal separation.

One point I struggle with that he makes is that in Deuteronomy Moses said that if a couple got divorced and one of them married someone else and then that marriage ended in death or divorce the first partners couldn’t remarry, and he seems to believe that applies to today. I would think that since we are not under Mosaic law those instructions would not apply today. Adams makes a strong case that both Jesus and Paul forbid Christians to divorce, except for what Jesus called fornication.

He talks about how to utilize church discipline procedures to encourage reconciliation, which I think is a good thing to review and it is seldom used.

In the case of a believer being married to an unbeliever, Adams makes a good case that it should not be the Christian pursuing any divorce; only if the unbeliever departs and is unwilling to reconcile should the marriage end.

The author does a good job of trying to tie together a lot of the threads between the Old Testament and what Jesus and Paul said. He has some helpful insights into how God looked upon Israel as a wife, divorced her, then took her back. (Hosea)

Another insightful chapter was about circumstances for remarriage.

I think overall this is a good book to have to really spark some serious thinking and study about issues of marriage and divorce.

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