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Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible: The Social and Literary Context
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Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible: The Social and Literary Context


Eerdmans 2002

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.


To many, the New Testament’s teaching on divorce and remarriage seems both impractical and unfair. The plain meaning of the texts allows for divorce only in cases of adultery or desertion, and forbids remarriage until the death of one’s former spouse. But are these proscriptions the final word for Christians today? Are we correctly reading the scriptures that address these issues?

By looking closely at the biblical texts on divorce and remarriage in light of the first-century Jewish and Greco-Roman world, David Instone-Brewer shows that the original audience of the New Testament heard these teachings differently. Through a careful exploration of the background literature of the Old Testament, the ancient Near East, and especially ancient Judaism, David Instone-Brewer constructs a biblical view of divorce and remarriage that is wider in scope than present-day readings.

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Check out more Eerdmans Biblical Studies.

Key Features

  • Analyzes biblical texts regarding divorce and remarriage
  • Explores the background of these laws in the Bible, Judaism, and the ancient near east
  • Presents a revised view of biblical teachings on divorce and remarriage

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About David Instone-Brewer

David Instone-Brewer is senior research fellow in Rabbinics and the New Testament at Tyndale House, Cambridge, and a member of the divinity faculty at the University of Cambridge and the British Association of Jewish Studies.