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Mobile Ed: BI390 Biblical Sexual Ethics (6 hour course)

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Dr. David Instone-Brewer examines how marriage, divorce, polygamy, homosexuality and other topics are addressed in the Bible by looking at both the text of Scripture and the context in which Scripture was written. “Translating from Hebrew or the Greek into English is only half of the job of translation,” he says. “You also have to translate the context that it came from.”

From ancient Near Eastern marriage laws that were literally written in stone to the sexual practices that were accepted and not accepted in Rome, Dr. Instone-Brewer paints a picture of how Old and New Testament Jewish culture compared to other cultures of the time. He shows how understanding this context illuminates the truth of Scripture and helps us discern what ethics God had for His people in the past and what He has for us today.

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Course Outline


  • Introducing the Speaker and the Course

Unit 1: Marriage

  • Introduction to Marriage
  • Marriage in the Bible
  • Marriage in Genesis
  • Searching Cultural Concepts for Ancient References to Sexual Regulations
  • Marriage in the Ancient Near East
  • Marriage Covenants/Contracts
  • Using the Lexham Theological Wordbookto Find Related Terms
  • Marriage in the Law
  • Marriage Certificates
  • Marriage in the New Testament
  • Marriage Today
  • Addition of Obedience
  • Biblical Marriage Is Different
  • Using a Proximity Search to Find Instances of God as Witness

Unit 2: Divorce in the Old Testament

  • Breaking a Contract
  • Grounds for Divorce
  • Examples of Divorce
  • God’s Divorce Certificate
  • Grounds for God’s Divorce
  • God Forgives Judah’s Adultery

Unit 3: Divorce in Jesus’ Teaching

  • Divorce Should Never Happen
  • Grounds for Divorce in the Old Testament
  • Divorce for Infertility
  • Infertility in the New Testament
  • Comparing Jesus’ View on Divorce with First-Century Jewish Views
  • Divorce for Unfaithfulness
  • Jesus on Divorce for Adultery
  • Rabbinic Divorce for Any Cause, Part 1
  • Rabbinic Divorce for Any Cause, Part 2
  • Different Versions in Mark and Luke
  • Jesus’ Silence on Divorce for Neglect
  • Other Interpretations of Jesus’ Teaching

Unit 4: Divorce in Paul’s Teaching

  • Putting Jesus and Paul Together
  • Divorce for Material Neglect
  • Material Neglect in the New Testament
  • Divorce for Sexual Neglect
  • Sexual Neglect in the New Testament
  • How Men and Women Divorced for Neglect
  • Divorce for Neglect in the New Testament
  • Roman Divorce by Separation in Paul
  • Jesus and Paul’s Perspectives on Divorce

Unit 5: Remarriage

  • Remarriage in the Ancient Near East
  • Remarriage in the Old Testament
  • Remarriage for Priests
  • The Divorce Certificate Allows Remarriage
  • Paul Quotes the Remarriage Formula
  • Paul Allows Divorcées to Remarry
  • Studying 1 Corinthians 7:15 with a Custom Guide and Proximity Search
  • Does Jesus Forbid Remarriage?
  • Does Paul Forbid Remarriage?
  • Married till Death?
  • Remarriage in the New Testament World
  • Conclusions from Relative Silence

Unit 6: Intermarriage

  • Marriages of the Patriarchs
  • The Mixed Population of the Exodus
  • Moses’ Wives
  • Using the Guides to Preach a Topically Based Sermon on Racism
  • Continuing Foreign Marriages
  • The Seven Nations
  • After the Exile
  • Divorcing Foreign Wives
  • The Jewish and Roman World
  • Paul’s Warnings
  • Intermarriage: How Does This Apply Today?

Unit 7: Polygamy

  • Polygamy in the Old Testament
  • Understanding Polygamy in the Bible with Biblical People Diagrams
  • Marrying Prostitutes
  • Samson: A Possible Example
  • Polygamy in New Testament Times
  • Old Testament Monogamy According to Qumranic Judaism
  • Old Testament Monogamy According to Diaspora Judaism
  • Polygamy Criticized by Jesus
  • Problems with Widows in the New Testament
  • Polygamy: How Does This Apply Today?

Unit 8: Abortion and Child Abuse

  • A Personal Note
  • Roman Child Abuse
  • Researching Child Prostitution in the First-Century Roman World
  • The Warren Cup
  • Jesus on Child Abuse
  • Researching Millstones with Power Lookup and Media Searching
  • The Crime of Skandalizō
  • Jewish Safeguards
  • Roman Abortion and Infanticide
  • Jews and Christians on Infanticide
  • New Testament Summary on Ethics for Gentiles
  • Blood and Bloodshed?
  • The Meaning of Pniktos: Snuffing Out
  • A Note on Bible Translations
  • Applying Ancient Rules to Modern Life

Unit 9: Homosexuality

  • Introduction to Homosexuality
  • Sodom and Gibeah
  • Ancient Near East Background
  • Levitical Laws
  • Greek and Roman Background
  • Jewish Condemnation of Homosexuality
  • Paul on What Is Natural
  • Discovering Influences on Paul’s Theology of Sexuality in Romans
  • Paul’s Vice List
  • What Is “Lying with a Male” (Arsenokoitēs)?
  • Modern Application


  • Course Summary

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About David Instone-Brewer

Dr. David Instone-Brewer graduated from South Wales Baptist College with the highest marks in that college’s history, and later earned his PhD from Cambridge University, where he studied early rabbinic exegesis. Dr. Instone-Brewer ministered at the Llanishen Baptist Church in Cardiff for five years, and is now research fellow and technical officer for Tyndale House, which is, arguably, among the three best libraries in the world for biblical studies.

Specializing in rabbinic studies, Dr. Instone-Brewer has been a regular contributor to Christianity magazine, and has written several books, including Traditions of the Rabbis from the Era of the New Testament (2 vols.).


Getting the most out of Mobile Ed


Logos Mobile Education is a highly effective cross-platform learning environment that integrates world class teaching with the powerful study tools and theological libraries available in Logos Bible Software. Every course provides links to additional resources and suggested readings that supplement the lecture material at the end of every transcript segment.

This course was produced with screencast videos. These videos provide tutorials showing you how to use Logos Bible Software in ways that are tied directly into the content of the course. We are now producing Activities resources as a replacement for screencast videos. We plan on updating this course to include this additional Activities resource in the future for no extra charge.



2 ratings

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  1. Nancy Ho

    Nancy Ho


  2. Joshua



    Dr. David Instone-Brewer is truly masterful in this course. He is humble, and pastoral towards those who grapple with the topics covered. Regarding the issue on indissolubility of marriage, Dr Instone-Brewer carefully thread on this matter, revealing historical background to illuminate the reasons why Jesus and Paul responded as they did respectively. Furthermore, he reveals laws unmentioned which formed the background for proper understanding of divorce and remarriage. The other topics on intermarriage, polygamy, abortion and child abuse, and homosexuality are well-covered. His other ME course NT390 Jesus as Rabbi: The Jewish Context of the Life of Jesus is also very illuminating for those who are interested in Jewish-related topics.
  3. Raymond Daniel Kruk
Save extra on academic resources through June 7


Regular price: $219.99
Save $154.01 (70%)