Here's some of the first one that come to mind.
- 1 Timothy 1:5
- Matthew 12:1-8
- Matthew 12:9-14
- Matthew 15:1-10
- Matthew 15:29-30
One thing these scriptures all state is that ministry is more important than tradition. We've forgotten this over the years as we take our traditions to foreign countries, and call it evangelism. Its good to bring the gospel to them, but it is not good to mix in our traditions and claim them as God's.
Deuteronomy 24:1-4, Moses' divorce laws.
Moses is taking up women's rights long before it became an issue of the 1970's in America. Remember that in ancient Hebrew society, only men had rights. Legal rights, economic rights, etc. That's one of the reasons the Old Testament refers to men in a way that some would call 'sexist language'. Women were due their rights but only through the man in their life. Daughters expected their fathers to take care of them until they married, then their husband would be responsible for caring for them. If a father did not take care of his daughter, he was chastised. If a husband did not take care of his wife, likewise.
If the husband died, the wife would go either to the husband's father, or back to her own. If her husband had a brother, she would go to him for legal protection, first. In fact, it was that brothers duty to provide heirs for the dead man through the wife if none existed! Then on to the next nearest male relative. Women were cared for in this manner. This system apparently worked until some men found a way around it, a 'loop-hole'. They were 'putting-away' their wives by giving them a hut on the corner of their property, but not allowing them into the main house. They did not divorce the woman, thus not allowing any other man to represent the woman in court or society. Then these men would take a second wife, a 'sweet young thing' as they got older. They forced their first wives to make do on their own, without legal rights or source of income or any hope.
Since these women's legal representative was the very man that was abusing them, they couldn't sue, nor get jobs, nor go to social services. They often turned to prostitution, or were at the least accused of it. They were truly trapped unless they were 'freed by a divorce'.
To prevent this, Moses allowed them to divorce the women, so the women would be set free. Free to either return to their father's household, or to remarry again. To not facilitate week-end wife swapping, Moses told them that the wife couldn't come back to her original husband. So now when a man divorced his wife, he could not take her back. Which means if she had any potential at all, he should think twice, or a million times, before divorcing her! Moses made divorce a very serious decision, not a convenient loophole around God's plan for marriage: "One man; one woman; one life-time."
- Matthew 5:31-32 Jesus teaches Deuteronomy 24:1-4 to (married?) men.
- Luke 16:18
- Matthew 19:1-12 Jesus answers Pharisees question on divorce
- Mark 10:1-12
- Luke 11:39-52 Jesus scolds religious leaders & lawyers
- Malachi 2:14-16 God hates divorce
- John 8:1-11 Jesus' reaction to woman caught in adultery
Note how in the Old Testament, stoning was the legal reaction to adultery. Jesus didn't choose that option. For those that believe that the only divorce allowed is in the case of adultery, I applaud you for not demanding stoning for the adultery. God's people were raised with belief in the death penalty for adultery. It was practical, because it freed the cheated person to remarry. Divorce is more merciful. It frees the cheated person to remarry without condemning the guilty one to death. It gives them another chance to live, to repent, to confess, and to continue. How like Jesus to offer so much to someone who deserves so little!
- Ephesians 4:28 How to treat a reformed thief
- 1 Corinth 8:1 Knowledge puffs up, love builds up
- 1 Timothy 5:1-16 Rules for ministry to widows
- Colossians 3:18-19 Guidelines for marital relationships.
- Ephesians 5:21-33.
- James 1:27 Pure religion is ...
Note again that widows and orphans are people that had a spiritual leader, and have lost him. Divorced women were in the same category, in that they also lost their man, but not to the death of his body, but to the death of his commitment to them!
- Colossians 2:20-23 List of "don'ts" doesn't work.
- Leviticus 21:7,13-15 Priests forbidden to marry divorcees.
Yes, the priests were forbidden to marry divorcees. Do you see the other side of the coin? Men who were not priests, were free to marry divorcees, weren't they?!
- Jeremiah 3:8 God divorces Israel! (Yes He did, go read that again!)
- Isaiah 50:1
- Ezra 10 Men forced to divorce heathen wives!
- 1 Timothy 4:1-3 Beware men who forbid marriage!
- 1 Corinth 7 Paul on Relationships
- 1 Corinth 7:1-7 Guidelines for all marriages.
- 1 Corinth 7:8,9 Guidelines for divorced & widows
"But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion."
Let's look closely at the actual Greek word that is translated 'unmarried', and see what it means. 'AGAMOS', comes from two other words; 'A' and 'GAMOS'. 'A' is a negative prefix, similar to 'un-' in English. 'GAMOS' is the Greek word for 'wedding'. Literally then, 'AGAMOS' is ... 'un-wedded' (used as an adjective) or an 'un-wedding' (as a noun). Note that the Greek word for a never-married woman is not used until later in the same chapter, as shown below.
Therefore, a person addressed as 'AGAMOS', may be someone that is un-wedded, or, to use another term ... divorced. Therefore, it is possible, that in this part of scripture, we have been using the wrong word! Since both widows and divorced women have lost their spiritual leader, it makes sense to offer them both the same advice. It is unfortunate that many people have taken this passage, which was always intended as guidance for a divorced person, and missed it altogether.
- 1 Corinth 7:10,11 Guidelines for those married to believers
I believe this section addresses believers married to believers because of the way the following section reads.
- 1 Corinth 7:12-16 Guidelines for those married to non-believers
Most of the Christians in Paul's time became Christians as adults, since they were older than Christianity! Many may have become Christians after they married. Hopefully they changed, and were no longer the same person that their spouse married. Paul is telling people here that if you have become a believer, whether or not you stay married is up to your spouse. If they complain you're not the person they married, and rather than follow you in conversion they want out, leave them in peace. If they don't mind the improvements in your character and life, and they want to keep you around, then you are to stay with them.
So much for those people that say that adultery is the only scriptural basis for divorce! Notice that YOUR conversion, allows your spouse to divorce you. Hmm, no adultery here, yet God says divorce is an option in this situation!
- 1 Corinth 7:17-24 General Guidelines
- 1 Corinth 7:25-38 Guidelines for the never yet married
The word translated 'virgin' is the Greek word 'PARTHENOS', which means 'maiden' or 'virgin'. It describes a never-married young woman. Some have taken this to mean physically virgin, yet it was also used to mean socially virgin. This was a practice common to both Greek and Hebrew.
Isaiah reads, "and the young woman will be with child", and is quoted in the New Testament as "and the virgin will be with child".
There is no contradiction nor conflict here. Those words always meant the same, and only recently, in the last few hundred years, have we started to make their meanings different.
The next page is my view of what God may have meant when Paul wrote. It is not a word-for-word translation, but I have learned that if you translate something word for word, you lose meaning. I have high respect for anyone that does translation work.
English is not my first tongue, Ukrainian is. I have formally studied English, Latin, German, Ukrainian and Russian. I have informally studied some Greek and Spanish. I have carried out conversations in English, German, Spanish, Ukrainian, Russian and have been spoken to in Portuguese, Italian, French, Greek, Hebrew along with a few others that I was completely unable to understand.
Again, what is next is mine, therefore it is not perfect. I hope that you will treat it like a grocery store. (More like a supermarket, read that article!) Take what you need, and ignore the rest. I have never condemned a store for carrying anchovies, and I have never bought them, either. The anchovies are there for other people, and so are the parts next that are not for you.