Mark 10 and Divorce

Mark 10 is another passage that is misunderstood due to translation. There is also much to be learned in the language used and the differences in the phrasing between verses 11 and 12. Here is the English KJV.

Mark 10:11-12
11 "And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.
12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery."

The first thing to keep in mind about this passage is the setting. The incident had started with a question from the Pharisees trying to discredit and embarrass Christ through a public test. Later inside a house the apostles continued to ask Christ for an explanation for the sake of clarification. This is where this article starts in Mark 10:11-12. Remember that the scripture can be viewed as a legal document. It is very exact in it's language and meaning. The phrase "put away" is separation with out divorce. The same is seen today as a couple that is only separated is still married.

Verse 11 begins with the idea that a man has separated himself from his wife without giving her a proper divorce. In reality there was no legitimate reason for the man to divorce her so he just removed her from his life. His purpose for doing this was in order to marry another woman. This is a violation of God's law. Remember that in the Hebrew and Greek there are no covenantal differences in God's laws. It is only the confusion found in the English translations that give that appearance. Our God does not change or change his morals.

When the woman found herself on the street she often resorted to living with or marriage to another man in order to survive. This of course is adultery since her first husband did not give her a bill of divorcement. Since this entire problem was created by the first husband he shared in the guilt of adultery. This is partly explained by the legal phrase, "against her".

Now in verse 12. It appears as if Christ is just repeating the same information from the woman's perspective. Notice however that the phrase, "against her" or even "against him" is not found. This is because there is a difference in how adultery is counted against a man and a woman. There is a fundamental understanding of the term adultery that is lacking today. Adultery comes from the word adulteration. This means to mix. In the act of marital adultery there is a mixing of seed between a woman's husband and another man in the woman. Marital adultery does not occur unless there is a married woman involved in the act of intercourse with a man who is not her husband.

In verse 12 notice that the woman's husband was not counted guilty of adultery. That is because he did not cause her to be separated from him, but rather she was the one who left. So the guilt was on her and any man that mixed his seed in her.

God's law permits a man to divorce a woman by doing two things. The man had to write her a bill of divorcement and then he had to physically separate her from himself. This is exactly what the Pharisees quoted in verse four.

This writing on Mark 10 is intended to be read along with the other articles at this site on this subject. Hopefully this will give you a more thorough understanding as to the truth on marriage, divorce and remarriage in scripture.

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