Marriage and Divorce in the Judaean Desert Documents

A Key to New Testament Interpretation?

The Judaean Desert Documents (JDD) dating from the 1st and early 2nd century were discovered and published in the second half of the 20th century. They contain 10 marriage and divorce contracts which reflect the understanding of marriage and divorce in the New Testament. Although largely ignored by scholars from within the Christian community, it is suggested that the marriage and divorce teaching of the New Testament, which in its brevity has caused considerable debate throughout the Christian era, can be illuminated by a consideration of these documents.