Can the Divorced Marry Again?
I saw an article concerning divorce and also heard a man preach on divorce. It was very unfortunate that both the person writing the article and the man preaching did not understand the difference between the words "put away" and "divorce" in scripture. This is a very common problem. The two words are translated from different Greek words and those Greek words have different meanings. While they have a similar root word, apo, they do not share the same etymology. The two words are not the same.
"Put away" (Greek: apoluo) in scripture means to separate or separated in the sense that it is used today. A couple that is only separated are still married. The marriage contract still stands until it is broken by adultery, death or a written divorce document. You could read the phrase "put away" as "separated" or "separated, not divorced". I have had some say that put away is the same as divorce however this is not the case. One of the best examples is when Christ was with a crowd of people in Matthew 15:32, Mark 6:36 and Mark 8:3. When it came time to send the people away the Greek word apoluo is used. Christ did not divorce the crowd, but rather physical separation is what was discussed.
"Divorce" (Greek: apostation) in scripture means that a bill of divorcement has been written and that the couple is no longer married. They then separate as part of the divorce. The bill of divorcement ends the contractual ties.
Most instances of apoluo have been mistranslated when associated with marriage. If you see the phrase "put away" or "send away" then that is correct. However when you see the word "divorce" you should check the Greek. If the Greek word is "apostasion" or very close to that then the word "divorce" is correct. Usually you will find the Greek word "apoluo" or a word that is close to that. That is when the phrase "put away" or "separated" should have been translated. In the Greek "apostasion" is only found in three verses, Matthew 5:31, Matthew 19:7 and Mark 10:4. In each case it is preceded by the phrase "a writing of" or "a bill of". All other instances of the word divorce in the new testament are mistranslations and should be understood as the opposite meaning, "only separated, not divorced"!
When one carefully examines the Hebrew and Greek it is easier to see that the Bible teaches one unified teaching on marriage and divorce. The new testament and the old testament do not teach different doctrines. The Bible teaches one unified doctrine that one may divorce.
One who is scripturally divorced may remarry. There are limitations and a proper way for things to be done. When one becomes aware of the translation errors then one can understand from whence came the "once you're divorced you can't remarry" false doctrine. Mistranslations have also promoted the false doctrine that states that one can only divorce because of adultery. For more information look for other articles at this site concerning divorce and adultery or write.
This article ends with an example. Notice that verse 32 is not talking about divorced people, but those still married.
(Mat 5:31 MKJV) "It was also said, Whoever shall put away (apoluo G630) his wife, let him give her a bill of divorce (apostasion G647)."
(Mat 5:32 MKJV) "But I say to you that whoever shall put away (apoluo G630) his wife, except for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery. And whoever shall marry her who is put away (apoluo G630) commits adultery."
(Mat 5:32 Modified MKJV) "But I say to you that whoever separates [without divorcing his wife], except for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery [when she marries another]. And whoever shall marry her who is [only] separated commits adultery."
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