Heaven's Point of View

1 Corinthians 7:10-16, Part 2

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Senez Rodriguez (Host), Tom Shepherd


Series Code: HPOV

Program Code: HPOV000046A

00:19 Welcome to Heaven's Point of View.
00:22 My name is Dr. Senez Rodriguez and we are discussing
00:26 the part of a Series on Love, Marriage, Sex, and Divorce
00:31 according to the New Testament.
00:32 Our special guest today is Dr. Tom Sheperd
00:36 who is a Professor of New Testament Interpretation
00:40 at Andrews University Seminary,
00:43 so, welcome, Dr. Sheperd. Tom: Thank you.
00:46 Last time, we noticed Paul's differences of describing
00:53 some teachings from the Lord and others from him.
00:59 Did he have different levels of inspiration
01:05 you think, when he used those terms?
01:08 Yeah, now we looked at that last time and we said,
01:12 he talked about... he said, "Not I, but the Lord,"
01:15 and then he says later on, "Not the Lord, but I... "
01:18 Hmmm... hmmm...
01:20 And so, it gives some people the idea that,
01:23 "Well, the ones that come from the Lord,
01:27 those are ones you have to follow
01:29 but when he just talks about... from him...
01:31 then it's... you know...
01:33 you don't have to take that as heavy...
01:35 it's still like... different levels
01:37 now we said last time that:
01:38 No, Paul had the same view of inspiration
01:41 but the reason he uses the term, "The Lord, not I... "
01:46 is because he is quoting or depending on a saying of Jesus
01:50 when he talks about this topic.
01:52 Now, when he says, "Not the Lord, but I... "
01:55 then he's talking about a situation
01:59 for which he does not have a saying of Jesus.
02:03 Now, what is the topic that he talks about
02:06 in quoting the Lord, specifically?
02:08 When he quotes the Lord, it's the question of divorce.
02:11 All Right.
02:12 Divorce among believers, well, let's read it again
02:15 in 1st Corinthians 7 verses 10 and 11,
02:18 this will be the focus of our study today,
02:21 1st Corinthians 10...
02:22 I'm sorry, 1st Corinthians 7 verses 10 and 11.
02:25 Ten and eleven... "And unto the married I command yet not I,
02:31 but the Lord,
02:32 Let not the wife depart from her husband:
02:36 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried,
02:42 or be reconciled to her husband:
02:45 and let not the husband put away his wife. "
02:49 Hmmm... hmmm... now we said last time,
02:52 that this parallels a saying of Jesus,
02:54 the question is,
02:56 "Which saying of Jesus does this parallel?"
02:58 The words of Jesus on divorce
03:01 are found in four different places.
03:05 Matthew 5, Matthew 19, Mark chapter 10 and Luke 16,
03:12 now we studied in detail Matthew 19,
03:18 in previous programs and so... we know there that
03:25 when Jesus talks about divorce that the Lord affirms marriage
03:31 between one man and one woman
03:33 and that he indicated that marriage was to be for life,
03:37 he said, "What God has joined together,
03:40 let not man separate. "
03:43 But we also noticed that in that same passage,
03:48 that Jesus talked about an exception
03:51 when there could be divorce because of sexual immorality
03:57 when a husband or wife had sexual relations
04:01 with someone not their spouse,
04:03 we noted too at that time when we studied that
04:07 that Jesus did not command that you had to divorce,
04:11 there is no text in the Bible ever
04:15 that commands that you have to have divorce.
04:19 Back in Deuteronomy, the divorce was already active,
04:25 already going, and Moses controls it some,
04:28 he says, "If you do this and you give her a divorce,
04:31 then, you cannot do certain things. "
04:33 Jesus never commands divorce so, the issue here is,
04:42 that when He gives this exception clause in Matthew 19,
04:50 also again in Matthew chapter 5,
04:53 that the innocent party had the right to divorce
04:57 if the person had been unfaithful to their marriage vow
05:00 they had slept with somebody that was not their spouse,
05:04 Jesus did not command that they had to divorce
05:07 but He indicated it was justifiable.
05:09 Now the interesting thing is that the same story,
05:13 I mean, it's fairly clear, it's the same story,
05:17 is found in Mark chapter 10
05:21 and in Luke chapter 16
05:23 but there's no reference to the exception clause,
05:26 when you read those two passages,
05:30 it pretty much sounds like Jesus is saying,
05:34 "No divorce, divorce is out,"
05:37 and in fact, Paul here, in 1st Corinthians 7
05:41 sounds much like that as well, he doesn't seem to suggest that,
05:45 "Oh... " except... except for...
05:48 if there is marital unfaithfulness,
05:50 he doesn't mention that.
05:52 So, let's take a look at Mark 10 and read the passage,
05:57 Mark 10 verses 2 to 12
05:59 and see how it compares with Matthew 19.
06:03 Mark chapter 10 verses 2 to 12:
06:08 And the Pharisees came to Him and asked Him,
06:13 "Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife?" tempting Him.
06:19 And He answered and said unto them,
06:22 "What did Moses command you?"
06:24 And they said,
06:26 "Well, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement,
06:30 and to put her away. "
06:32 And Jesus answered and said unto them,
06:35 "For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.
06:40 But from the beginning of the creation
06:43 God made them male and female.
06:45 for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother,
06:50 and cleave to his wife;
06:51 And they twain shall be one flesh:
06:56 so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.
07:01 What therefore God hath joined together,
07:04 let no man put asunder. "
07:06 And in the house his disciples asked him again
07:11 of the same matter.
07:13 And he said unto them,
07:14 "Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another,
07:19 committeth adultery against her.
07:21 and if a woman shall put away her husband
07:25 and be married to another, she committeth adultery. "
07:29 Hmmm... hmmm... now, this actually sounds
07:32 very similar to what we've read and studied over in Matthew
07:37 there are a few interesting differences between the two
07:41 sometimes people worry about these differences
07:44 they say, "Wait, you know, over in Matthew
07:46 the Pharisees said, 'command'
07:50 and Jesus said, 'allowed' and here it's reversed
07:52 and people say over in Matthew,
07:55 there's no exception clause, there's no exception clause here
07:59 and over in Matthew,
08:02 we noticed that when they come to Him
08:06 and ask Him the question they said,
08:08 "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?"
08:10 They say, "for any cause,"
08:12 and here in Mark it just says,
08:13 "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?"
08:16 And so they noticed these differences
08:18 in the details between the gospels
08:20 and it upsets them because they say,
08:22 "Wait, this should be the same shouldn't they?"
08:27 I mean, it's the same story, it's like,
08:29 "When Jesus goes to Jericho,
08:32 he meets a man named Bartimaeus. "
08:35 Hmmm... hmmm...
08:36 "Well is it one beggar or is it two?
08:38 Matthew says two, Mark says one"
08:40 "is he going into Jericho or is he going out of Jericho?"
08:44 Luke has him... mentions Him going into Jericho
08:48 and then Matthew and Mark talk of Him going out of Jericho,
08:51 so, people worry about that,
08:53 I mean, it's obviously the same basic story that's going on,
08:57 they say, "How can it be that these four different gospels
09:00 have these minor differences between them?"
09:03 Well, I tend to say it this way to people,
09:06 if you were to go to a Court Room,
09:11 and there had been an accident,
09:16 and there had been four people who had seen the accident,
09:20 and they were brought into the Court to give their testimony,
09:24 what did they see?
09:26 You would not be surprised
09:30 if they got up on the Witness Stand
09:31 and the man said, "Well, there was this black car
09:35 and it was coming... and it ran a red light
09:38 and it hit the white car, you know,
09:41 and it pushed it all the way across, over there. "
09:43 And you wouldn't be surprised if somebody else said,
09:46 "Well, there was a white car that came
09:49 and it hit the black car and pushed it over there. "
09:50 And you might have somebody else
09:53 give a little different kind of a thing...
09:55 and you can say, "Well, those aren't big issues"
09:58 but if they came in and every single detail of what they said
10:04 was exactly the same, you'd tend to say,
10:09 "They made a story up... they were out...
10:13 they were talking together and put their stories together
10:15 so that they were exactly alike. "
10:17 It's funny, in a Court of Law,
10:20 we expect four witnesses to have it a little bit different...
10:23 difference between their
10:24 testimonies and it doesn't bother us
10:25 but when it comes to the four gospels,
10:27 we want that to be exactly... exactly alike.
10:30 You know, no actually, the small differences...
10:34 the small differences between them
10:35 should encourage our faith not discourage our faith.
10:37 So we have the small differences,
10:39 the difference we note is, in particular,
10:42 that Mark has no "exception clause,"
10:44 and Mark refers to the wife divorcing her husband
10:47 that Matthew doesn't refer to,
10:49 we notice that Jesus affirms marriage
10:51 but noticed that people do divorce
10:54 even if for... inappropriate reasons, so...
10:58 So why does Matthew have the exception clause
11:02 but Mark does not?
11:04 Yeah, that's a good question, that's an interesting question
11:08 and it's related to something called the Synoptic Problem.
11:11 The Synoptic Problem is the question of
11:16 which gospel was written first
11:18 and did they use each other's writing
11:21 and if so, who used what writing?
11:24 Now, this kind of question, when I raise it in class
11:28 with students, you know, you get the feeling that
11:32 sort of... ahhh... people start to yawn
11:34 and they are like, "You know Dr. Sheperd,
11:37 that's a really interesting question... who cares?
11:40 Who cares who wrote their gospel first and everything?"
11:44 But, you start to realize there's more at stake
11:48 when you face a problem or a question like this, okay.
11:53 Here's what some liberal scholars say.
11:54 They'll say, "Jesus said, 'no divorce,'
11:58 just like it is in Mark," which was reported
12:02 in the earliest gospel, Mark, that's what they maintain,
12:06 Mark was the first one written and there are other...
12:09 other positions that say that Matthew was written first
12:12 and so on, all right, but they...
12:14 it's most common... people say that Mark was written first
12:16 and in Mark, Jesus said, "No divorce. "
12:19 But that was too hard for people to live with,
12:23 they just couldn't take it, so when Matthew came along
12:26 and wrote his gospel some decades later,
12:28 he modified things a bit, he put words into Jesus' mouth
12:34 saying, "Well, there is no exception for divorce
12:39 except if the person committed adultery, then it's okay. "
12:44 When you start to understand
12:48 that that's where people are going with these arguments,
12:51 you start to realize the Synoptic Problem is not
12:54 just a boring question for Scholars to think about,
12:57 it is a very important question that impacts the veracity,
13:02 the inspiration, the authority
13:05 and the applicability of the Word of God.
13:07 How do you answer the question of
13:10 "no exception clause" in Mark?
13:14 All right, so there's an exception clause...
13:16 the data is there, you know,
13:17 we should recognize and admit the data,
13:19 that the data is there, Matthew has an exception clause,
13:21 Mark and Luke do not.
13:23 So, here's how I answer that, we must remember
13:26 the context in which Jesus was speaking,
13:29 okay, it was a dispute with the religious leaders
13:34 not over whether divorce was possible,
13:36 they all held that it was possible,
13:39 but rather on what grounds could it be valid,
13:42 the Hillite... the School of Hillel said
13:48 you could divorce your wife for whatever cause
13:50 and the School of Shammai said,
13:51 "No, only for marital unfaithfulness"
13:54 so the new Hillite ruling...
13:57 this is from David Instone-Brewer's book,
14:00 "Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible"
14:03 he says, "The new Hillite ruling
14:05 did not require any valid grounds for the divorce
14:08 and allowed divorce for any reason,
14:11 therefore, when contemporary Jews heard the question,
14:14 "Is it lawful to divorce your wife?"
14:17 which is the question in Mark,
14:19 they would have mentally added the words,
14:22 "for any reason,"
14:24 similarly when they heard the reply,
14:26 "Whoever divorces his wife,"
14:29 they would have mentally added the phrase,
14:32 "except for valid grounds. "
14:34 It's similar to what we see in Matthew, actually,
14:37 when Jesus says that if a man
14:40 looks at a woman to lust after her,
14:42 he has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
14:44 Now, that' true for every woman except one
14:48 and that's your wife. Hmmm... hmmm...
14:50 And it's all right to have that desire and passion for her,
14:53 in fact, that's what you should do.
14:54 Senez: Hmmm... hmmm.
14:56 So there's an exception to Jesus' statement
14:57 but you understand that you know,
14:59 so, in this kind of context when people would be asking
15:03 this sort of question, "is it lawful to do this?"
15:06 They would have mentally
15:07 said that "exception clause" in their mind,
15:09 Matthew just makes it explicit,
15:11 Mark doesn't, Matthew makes it explicit.
15:14 Also, back to 1st Corinthians 7,
15:17 what is Paul teaching in verse 10?
15:20 All right, let's look at verse 10 again,
15:23 all right, 1st Corinthians 7 and verse 10,
15:26 he says this,
15:28 "To the married, I give this charge,
15:32 not I, but the Lord,
15:34 the wife should not separate from her husband. "
15:38 Paul emphasizes the importance of keeping a marriage intact,
15:44 staying together,
15:46 just like we saw Jesus does over in Matthew,
15:50 just like we've said, we read in Malachi,
15:53 "God hates divorce,"
15:55 it is like we read in those passages,
16:00 "What God has joined together, man should not separate. "
16:04 Now, you're a Clinical Psychologist
16:08 and... so I'd like to ask you a question here,
16:11 what ways have you found or have you emphasized to people
16:15 to help them keep their marriages intact?
16:17 The first step is:
16:20 Start right, from the beginning. Hmmm... hmmm...
16:24 Unfortunately many, many, many marriages these days
16:28 start out of passion...
16:29 rather than the principle of love.
16:32 Many people fall in love because of what they see,
16:35 but not for something else, and so, if you "begin right"
16:41 it is more likely that you would stay
16:43 because you are always going to find surprises,
16:48 and most people don't like
16:50 bad surprises,
16:52 we like the good ones but not the bad ones.
16:53 Okay, now, so if you start right,
16:57 you are more likely to continue in that path
17:02 but also, keep your love alive. Hmmm... hmmm...
17:07 And how do you do that?
17:09 Well, you do that by spending time together,
17:13 bringing up the good things about your wife,
17:16 the more good things you bring about your wife,
17:19 the more she falls in love with you
17:22 and the more she falls in love with you,
17:24 the more you feel this "closeness" and so...
17:27 it is a mutual kind of thing rather than...
17:29 If somebody says to you, Doc,
17:30 "Yeah Doc, that's all good... " he said,
17:32 "but I have to work three jobs in order to...
17:34 just to keep food on the table. "
17:36 Well, but you probably had to also do the same thing
17:40 when you fell in love...
17:42 you didn't care to walk ten miles,
17:45 if you didn't have a car, why now?
17:47 Hmmm...
17:49 So, it is a matter of, "What is your priority?"
17:52 Yeah.
17:53 And then you maintain that,
17:55 so if you were in love with your partner,
17:59 it is much more likely that it's going to be stayed together,
18:05 walk together, stay together,
18:07 pray together, eat together, spend time together.
18:11 So you focus on the importance of the relationship
18:14 between the two people, you put that primary
18:17 and there might be some
18:19 challenge or choices that you have to make
18:22 in order to make that happen,
18:24 maybe it's a matter of living in a smaller house
18:27 or maybe in an apartment,
18:29 maybe having one car instead of two or something
18:31 but putting the relationship
18:33 ahead of material resources sometimes
18:37 or material gain and saying,
18:40 "Look, maybe we should live below our means
18:43 so that we have a little more time for each other
18:45 and something like that. "
18:47 Correct because we are living in a competitive world...
18:50 Yes.
18:51 Everybody wants to be better than the other one
18:54 and that puts a lot of stress on a relationship,
18:58 unless you live within your means
19:00 and you understand that the most important thing is,
19:04 your relationship, then, you are opening the door
19:07 for serious problems that you don't need.
19:10 I like what you say about spending time with each other
19:13 because it seems to me that
19:14 our Society tends to soak up time,
19:17 there's so much media, there are so many things...
19:20 internet, there are all these phones with all kinds of Apps,
19:23 sometimes you see people sitting in a restaurant
19:25 and he's looking at his phone or something
19:27 and she's looking at her phone,
19:29 you think, "Wait a minute,
19:30 you're supposed to be here talking to each other. "
19:32 I was in a restaurant recently
19:33 where they have a little display thing there
19:36 you know, where you can swipe your card and stuff,
19:38 and my wife had gone to use the restroom
19:41 and I was looking at this thing, it was tapping and everything,
19:43 and they had games and Apps there, you know,
19:46 and you could pay $2 and it's like,
19:47 "Oh, my! we've come to the restaurant
19:50 to play these little Apps and stuff... " you know,
19:53 "you really should focus on... on talking
19:56 with the person that you're with instead. "
19:58 Exactly, the way that relationships start is by
20:01 maintaining closeness,
20:03 once... anything begins to increase the separation,
20:09 physical separation, communication,
20:11 then you're opening the door for other things,
20:14 all of a sudden... another woman calls your attention
20:16 and you say, "Wow! this is better than mine"
20:19 but then, you're getting into trouble,
20:20 even if you didn't have the plan to do that.
20:23 Hmmm... okay...
20:25 Now, verses 11...
20:30 verse 11 seems to go back on that and say,
20:36 "Well, but if you do divorce
20:39 or separate, then... what?"
20:43 Yeah, okay, let's look a bit, the question is kind of like...
20:47 does Paul contradict Jesus
20:48 because Jesus says,
20:51 "No divorce except for marital unfaithfulness"
20:55 and notice what Paul says in verse 10,
20:57 "To the married I give this charge, not I but the Lord,
21:00 the wife should not separate from her husband. "
21:01 That sounds like Mark 10,
21:03 in verse 11 he says, "But... but if she does... "
21:07 Hmmm... hmmm...
21:09 "but if she does," verse 11,
21:12 "she should remain unmarried
21:15 or else be reconciled to her husband
21:16 and the husband should not divorce his wife. "
21:21 Whereas, Jesus, in Mark 10 mentions no exception,
21:25 it sounds like, "no divorce,"
21:28 Paul refers here to "separation"
21:31 using the word, "chórizó"
21:33 which actually is one of those terms
21:38 that could be used for divorce, here... translated "to separate"
21:43 there is the...
21:45 the other word that he uses,
21:47 "the husband should not divorce his wife... "
21:49 is "aphiémi" which means to send away
21:52 so, you almost kind of get the idea of one going away
21:55 and one sending away, kind of a thing,
21:57 they were, sort of...
21:59 the "separate" being the wife's action
22:02 the later... the husband's...
22:04 "the send away" being the husband's action
22:05 "sending her away,"
22:07 the two terms, however, may have been fairly synonymous
22:09 that "separate" however, does not equal divorce,
22:13 it does not mean divorce here,
22:15 it's clear from Paul's advice because he says,
22:20 "if she separates, she should stay single or return. "
22:25 Hmmm... hmmm...
22:26 Be reconciled to her husband, however, the word "aphiémi"
22:31 is a common term for divorce and so, you know,
22:35 he says to the wife, "If you go away,
22:37 stay single or come back but...
22:41 otherwise... the husband... he should not divorce her,"
22:44 okay, so, he really is about the marriage staying together.
22:50 The parallelism is to Mark 10,
22:54 however, in Mark 10 verses 11 to 12,
22:58 Jesus said, "Whoever divorces his wife... "
23:01 now notice, he recognizes that divorce could happen,
23:05 "whoever divorces his wife and marries another
23:08 commits adultery against her,"
23:10 that is... against the first wife,
23:11 "and if she divorces her husband and marries another,
23:14 she commits adultery,"
23:16 this suggests that the definition for Jesus
23:20 of what divorce... of this whole...
23:25 put together... this whole thing put together,
23:27 adultery is defined in the following way,
23:29 "divorce... " we would say "without Biblical grounds... "
23:34 divorce plus remarriage equals adultery
23:37 okay, that's Jesus' kind of formula,
23:40 remember, he is very strong on keeping marriages together,
23:45 he said, "What God has joined together
23:47 people should not separate"
23:48 and so, he has this little formula,
23:52 if you have no Biblical grounds for divorce,
23:55 then if you divorce and then you remarry,
23:59 that's the same as adultery.
24:02 Divorce by itself, while tragic, is not defined as adultery,
24:09 it's important to repeat, "Divorce by itself,
24:13 though tragic, is not defined as adultery,"
24:16 thus Paul's statement about remaining unmarried,
24:19 or else being reconciled
24:22 is consistent with Jesus' words in Mark
24:27 because Jesus recognized that there could be divorce
24:33 but he doesn't, how shall I say it?
24:37 He doesn't describe... sort of... too much
24:39 the in between state,
24:41 if you just divorced and you didn't remarry.
24:42 He says, "if you divorce and you remarry,
24:44 and you didn't have Biblical grounds for that,
24:46 then that is equal to adultery. "
24:49 But it sounds though like Paul wants the person to stay single
24:56 is that really fair or healthy at all?
25:01 Yes, people wonder about that,
25:03 remember Paul is thinking of what Jesus said
25:06 about God's plan for marriage.
25:09 God's plan for marriage is for it to remain together,
25:13 for people to stay together,
25:15 the Apostle is not talking about
25:17 divorce or separation for valid grounds
25:19 which we've already described as: when a husband or wife
25:23 has sexual relations with someone other than their spouse,
25:27 he is talking about separation or divorce for other reasons,
25:31 and then, like Jesus, he says that the only valid
25:36 and moral thing for the Christian to do
25:38 is to remain single or to seek reconciliation.
25:43 But someone says, "Is that really fair?"
25:46 Hmmm...
25:48 Well, the word, "fair" is an interesting word,
25:51 you know, if you take a piece of chocolate
25:54 and break it in two, and give it to...
25:56 if you take a piece of it,
25:58 one piece of chocolate and you give it to two children
26:00 and say, "Share that... " and they break it in two
26:02 and one gives it to the other one,
26:03 and the other one will say, "It's not fair,
26:05 your piece is bigger than mine. "
26:07 The idea of fairness has something to do with
26:11 the concept of justice, what's right and moral
26:14 and according to Jesus, what is right and moral
26:18 is for people to be faithful to their wedding vows
26:21 and to seek a change of heart rather than a change of partner,
26:25 so "fair," you know, if someone says,
26:29 "Is it really fair that I can't remarry?"
26:32 That's probably the wrong question to be asking.
26:34 Is it healthy?
26:36 Well, that's another interesting question,
26:38 sometimes the healthiest thing is actually for a person
26:42 to remain single,
26:43 when people disregard the teaching of Jesus,
26:46 it does not bring health, it brings heartache,
26:50 so, some people... because of the situations
26:53 and circumstances and attitudes of their life,
26:57 will actually be healthiest and healthiest in a single state
27:01 rather than... in a married state,
27:04 so, here what we've seen so far
27:08 is that Paul takes very seriously... the words of Jesus,
27:11 here there's great parallel to what Mark has said
27:15 and we've already suggested that Mark's...
27:19 the context in which Jesus is talking in Mark,
27:22 would already imply the "exception clause"
27:25 that we fine explicit in the book of Matthew
27:28 but other than this explicit reason for sexual unfaithfulness
27:34 Jesus did not offer some reason
27:36 why people would be able to divorce.
27:38 Well, my friends, we have come to the conclusion
27:44 of this program today,
27:45 we thank you for staying with us
27:48 and I guarantee you that the next time
27:51 we will continue our look at what Jesus says about divorce
27:55 in this interesting passage that we have been discussing.
27:59 So, I invite you to be aware
28:03 of the continuation of this program
28:05 and I'm sure that you're going to enjoy it
28:08 as we have been doing so far.


Revised 2016-04-25