Was Paul Divorced?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Convicted by the Spirit, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. Convicted by the Spirit

    Convicted by the Spirit
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    The other day I was chatting with my men's theology group and one of the younger guys made the comment that Paul was divorced after he became a Christian. He reasoning behind this was that Paul would have had to been married to be a Pharisee. Also some of his comments on marriage were some what anti-marriage. Comments or scriptures you can provide would be helpful.
     
  2. exscentric

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    Wife could just as easily have died. It's easy to accept a premise that makes sin seem okay - an apostle being divorced.
     
  3. preachinjesus

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    He reasoning behind this was that Paul would have had to been married to be a Pharisee.

    I'm interested in figuring out where this is codified as law for the Pharisees. If Paul was a fairly young man (his late 20s in keeping with the reading of Acts 7:58) when he was converted than it is more likely that he was single still. Yet I don't recall reading anything that Pharisees had to be married and am interested in finding out otherwise if that is the case.

    Paul was more than likely single 1 Cor 7:7, maybe widowed.
     
  4. 4His_glory

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    I believe it is true that Paul was married as a Pharisee, but there is no reason to believe that he would have been divorced, more likely his wife died.

    Remember his own testimony was that he was a "Hebrew of the Hebrews", he was a strict follower of Judaism and the law. He would have had a high view of marriage and understood that the law only allowed divorce under very limited circumstances, no of which Paul would have qualified.

    Paul was not anti-marriage in his writtings. Keep his comments in context and you see that he was very pro-marriage. (1Cor. 7:1-9)

    Paul encourged believers not to divorce their unbelieving spouses.

    "Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife. But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy." 1Cor. 7:10-14 (NKJV)

    Sounds like your friend may be looking for an excuse for divorce.
     
  5. Convicted by the Spirit

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    the friend has never been married. It was more just topic of conversation between us and also on this board.

    I don't know if Paul was divorced or not, but I will just say it was possible that maybe his wife left him. Or died.
     
  6. Ransom

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    He reasoning behind this was that Paul would have had to been married to be a Pharisee.

    That's silly. Pharisaism was a theological/political position, not a club with particular membership requirements. It's like saying that you have to be married to be a conservative or a Baptist.

    There's no direct evidence one way or the other, except that Paul seems to insinuate in 1 Cor. 7:7 that he was unmarried.
     
  7. webdog

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    The word Pharisee is found only a dozen times throughout the Bible, and I find no reference to marriage as a requirement.
     
  8. mountainrun

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    The fact that not all of the hundreds of Pharisaical laws are referenced in the Bible doesn't prove that they don't exist.

    Paul was either widowed or divorced, or possibly just celibate.

    MR
     
  9. webdog

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    Goes both ways. The fact that not all of the Pharisaical laws are referenced, including marriage, in the Bible makes it eisegesis to plainly state the Paul was either widowed or divorced. We do know for fact he was not married. Speculating whether he was widowed or divorced is just that...speculation.
     
  10. Scott J

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    My understanding is that the Jews had become fairly liberal on divorce by the time of Christ. A man could divorce a woman for no reason at all- thus Jesus' tightening of the standard.
     
  11. mountainrun

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    If you will recall in Matthew 19, Jesus upbraided the Pharisees because they thought you could divorce your wife for any reason at all.

    The Pharisees actually had a low view of the law.
    It is Jesus who explained the true meaning of the lawto them. "But I say to you..."

    MR
     
  12. Brother James

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    Duet 24 outlined the rules concerning divorce that why in Rom. 7 Paul say that he "speaks to them that know the law". Here is the law concerning divorce:


    Deu 24:1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give [it] in her hand, and send her out of his house.


    Deu 24:2 And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's [wife].


    Deu 24:3 And [if] the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth [it] in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her [to be] his wife;


    Deu 24:4 Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that [is] abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee [for] an inheritance.
     
  13. PastorMark

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    This thread brings up a situation that someone I know is suffering through. I have tried to answer these questions myself from scripture, but I thought I would look to others, especially other Pastors, for their thoughts. Please, I am sincerely looking for answers to these questions for him. I am not trying to stir up any trouble or be a smart alec, and I KNOW that he is not looking for any excuses for divorce. He is trying to keep things together. So here goes:


     
  14. SAMPLEWOW

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    :confused:exscentric if Paul was divorced is that ok?
     
  15. Salamander

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    Could you please show me where the Law allowed divorce due to any reason than the hardness of a man's heart towards his new wife?

    Many refer to the "exception clause", but even Jesus said that he who marries her that has been put away commits adultery, and he that put her away causes her to commit adultery. So could anyone please show me how a hard heart prevails over the command to forgive?
     
  16. mountainrun

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    Salamander, I don't know if this fits what you asked for or not.

    Deu 24:1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.

    It still looks like hardness of heart to me, probably to you as well.

    MR
     
  17. Ransom

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    There were two schools of thought in Pharisaism concerning the proper interpretation of the divorce laws in the Torah.

    The more "liberal" of the two was that of the rabbi Hillel, who said that divorce was permissible for any cause. The other was the view of Shammai, who said that the only cause for divorce was sexual immorality.

    Jesus' teaching on divorce opposes the school of Hillel and comes down on the side of Shammai.
     
  18. Salamander

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    But there are also other schools of the Pharisees, but that still doesn't amount to the truth.

    According to Deuteronomy 24, "may go" is not permissive. it only states that she could possibly become another's wife but that still results in adultery, all hinging on the hardness of the man's heart for putting her away, and this due to his self-righteous and unforgiving heart.

    Paul was at best widowed.
     
  19. Brother James

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    Forgive me brother but I don't understand what you are trying to say. If he said you may it implies she could. In any case if the second husband divorced her or dropped dead she couldn't go back to the first one.
     
  20. mountainrun

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    Anyhow...
    I just ventured onto a Jewish BB to find out if they had any information on whether a Pharisee was required to be married or not.

    I asked politely and respectfully and was chastised for being ignorant and silly, was referred to another board and the thread was promtly locked.

    The main concern of the second board was how to deal with evangelizing xians, as Christians are called.

    I didn't find out anything except that Jews twist and bend scripture to get the meaning that best agrees with their position.

    The feeling seemed to be that non-jews are some lower form of life to be scraped off their shoes.

    I guess all religions are the same, aren't we?

    Seriously, I felt like a guest of honor at a lynching and I didn't even post on the second board, just lurked.

    Do we seem like that to others?

    MR

    {I'm going to start a new thread with this post.}
     

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