What Jesus Really Said About Divorce - A Reply to Dan Knight

Dan Knight has written an interesting and well-argued paper: “What Jesus Really Said: Putting Away the Mistranslations About Divorce.”

In this short paper, I hope here to briefly critique the position Dan suggests.

Dan’s contention is that in the Gospels when Jesus spoke of divorce, he was only addressing the subject of a husband putting his wife away without a certificate of divorce. Dan argues that for a divorce there had to be a written certificate—without that certificate he believes that the previous marriage would still be in existence and if either partner remarried, they would be committing adultery. Thus, Jesus was not addressing on what grounds a divorce was permissible—for New Testament teaching about this Dan says we need to go to Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 7.

Dan cites the ASV of Matthew 19 where he believes apoluo is accurately translated as to “put away” (as in bold underlined below) rather than as “divorce” as in most Bible translations—and that the passage is referring to ‘putting away’ without a written divorce certificate—and that Jesus is teaching that without such there is no divorce.