59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2002
"Divorce. A Gift of God's Love", Walter Callison, Leathers Publishing, 4500 College Blvd., Leawood, KS 66211.
In today's society divorce is common and accepted. In Christian circles it is just as common, but hardly accepted. The reason being that Matthew 5:32 (KJV) and Malachi 2:16 (KJV) speak against divorce as being prohibited by God. Callison argues logically and forcefully that this is not so. He marshals the language, the culture of the day, Moses' law, as well as the teaching of Jesus, to show that divorce and remarriage both are permitted of God.
Granted that this is not what God originally intended for marriage, as He ordained it, but also acknowledging the humanness of mankind and his sinfulness. Therefore, God made allowances for divorce and remarriage. The problem, as interpreted by many, using the King James Version of the Bible, is flawed in the translation. Callison argues from both the Greek and Hebrew that God hated a man "putting away" his wife, rather than giving her a "bill of divorcement". Therefore, though she was separated from him, she was still legally married. This is what Jesus detested, since if she remarried she was living in adultery. But, if a man gave her a "bill of divorcement" then she was legally divorced and now free to marry again. The mistranslation of Matthew 5:32 (KJV) in which in the last phrase the word "divorced" should read "put away" is what caused the problem among Christians.
Callison clarifies the whole problem with his clear and forceful argument, which is Biblically sound. He points out that other translations have made the correction in the Matthew passage, which should clarify any misunderstanding.
His conclusion is that God accepted divorce, when done properly according to the law, and freed up to remarry. This, as he so cogently points out, is the gift of God's love and grace. Properly understanding the biblical way should be a comfort to all Christians who are experiencing or have gone through divorce and have remarried, or are contemplating it.
This review was published in the ASK, inc., Minneapolis, MN NEWSLETTER (3rd Quarter, 2002) by John H. Stoll, Ph.D., Executive Director. Used by permission.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2008
I typed this up for another site where the controversy rages and hoped I could offer it here without being redundant in respect to what others have submitted.
The word translated "putting away" in Malachi 2:16 is not keriythuwth, the Hebrew word for divorce, but is shalach. See Malachi 2:14-16 in the American Standard Version, 1901, (google for this ). The practice of putting away was cruel and adulterous, but it was not a legal divorce. It was much worse for it ignored the wife's welfare. She was cast aside and not lived with as a true spouse. (It can apply to both genders).
Scholars today say you can make no distinction between the two words because they were used synonymously. Yes, they were by hard-hearted men. That is what Deut. 24:1-2 and Matt. 19:7-8 were all about. They are not synonymous words; they are actually antonymous. They are the difference between slavery and freedom for one-half of humanity, women, (or as happens in our society, either gender)
Many of us have heard numerous sermons on "God Hates Divorce" based on this passage in Malachi on "putting away." My thought is that God wants the situation legal. If you are living together, you should be legally married. If you are not living with each other as true spouses, then make it legal by getting divorced so that real marriage can occur with someone else.
In Leviticus 21:14, 22:13, and Numbers 30:9, some isolated references to divorced women. The word translated divorce in all these cases is another word, the Hebrew word garash, meaning "to drive out from a possession," and was divorce only in the sense that the women had been driven out. The word used is the very same word used repeatedly in Exodus 6:1, 23:28, 29, 30, 31, 33:2, 34:11, when the Bible spoke of driving out the Canaanites and Hivites from the land. It also, like shalach, is a harsh word, "to thrust out," containing none of the protection for women of Deut. 24:1-3, and the word for written divorce, keriythuwth, in her hand.
Luke 16:18, Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery. The New Testament word translated "put away" is a form of the Greek word, apoluo. It is the Greek word apostasion which is the technical term for a bill or writing of divorce as far back as 258 BC. Again, many, who are hard-hearted, and don't believe in the rights of both spouses, use these two terms as synonyms. The distinction between "put away" and "divorce" between these Greek words is critical. Apoluo dismissed the woman, but left her married, put away, with no rights, no recourse, and deprived of the basic right to monogamous marriage. Apostasion ended marriage and permitted a legal subsequent marriage.
In 1611, the KJV inconsistently translated apoluo in Matt. 5:31-32,"...and marrieth her that is divorced committeth adultery. In the New Testament, forms of apoluo appear 69 times but only in this one instance, (in KJV) is it translated divorce. If it had been translated in harmony with the rest of the KJV, it would say, "And whosoever shall marry her who has been put away (or abandoned or dismissed, etc.) committeth adultery."
The Holy Bible from the Ancient Eastern Text, Matt. 5:32b reads, "And whosoever marries a woman who is separated, but not divorced, commits adultery." Luke 16:18b reads, "He who marries the one who is illegally separated commits adultery." This translation highlights the misunderstanding made possible by that inconsistent KJV translation of Matt. 5:32.
The translation error was corrected in the American Standard Version of the Bible, 1901. Imagine overcoming 270 years of reading "divorced". that 1611 KJV mistranslation in this one instance has so dominated our thinking that virtually all modern translations say "divorced," not just in that one place, but in ALL 11 places. They completely ignore the correction provided by the 1901 American Standard Version, and ignore the distinction between the two words.
With "divorced" in our minds instead of "separated, but not divorced" or "put away" we have assumed that anyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery. We have assumed "divorced" was said in these passages when in every instance the Greek text actually says "put away." Would our theology be different today is that word had been translated "put away?"
I haven't looked at the NASV on this subject. In Young's Analytical Concordance, the following verses use "putting away." or apoluo
Mtt.1:19, 5:31,32, (but not at the end of the verse), 19:3, 7,8,9,9, Mark 10:2,4,11,12, Luke 16:18, 18(compare this to Matt. 5:32
In the Old Testament, shalach, "to send forth" is found in
Deut. 22:19, Isaiah 50:1, Jer. 3:1, 8
Whosoever shall put away (separate from) his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her when she is put away (separated) committeth adultery.
This verse says nothing about WHY one can get divorced. It simply says not to marry someone who is (separated) not legally divorced.
It told the men that they had to obey rules, just like the court does with my ex-husband today.
You have to read it with the use of the phrase putting away, which is in the original and which you will NOT find in most modern translations.
Part of our problem here is that we can't allow for the possibity that our beloved theologians could be wrong.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2007
I've decided to come back and modify my review. I still stand by what I said before/below, but I want to add this... I am currently deciding whether to loan my copy of this book to a friend... or to buy a copy for my friend. I've never done that with a book I'd rate a 3 (as I originally did). I have come to respect and agree with the authors academic points. As a result I believe his comments to the "Church" really should be listened to. I agree... collectively we(the church) have not treated divorced people properly (with the love they deserve).
All of this reinforced my position that this book deserves a 5 on the level of emotional healing that it brought me, and can bring to others.
That said, below is my original review:
First let me say,
I would have given this book a 5 on the level of emotional healing that it brought me.
I would have given this book a 4 on the level of academic novelty... novelty from the perspective of presenting something new (to me), with a basis presented in reason, rather than touchy-feely emotion. The book has it's emotional side, which is tied into why I would have given the 5 mentioned above.
I (originally) gave it a 3 because I feel the author found one thing to say and said only that, with brief moments of new spin. To be honest, I felt that this 111 page book could have been writen in 40-50 pages, and would have been of greater value because of it. It would have made it less boring by making it less repetative.
All that said... If you are thinking of divorce, or know a christian who is thinking of it, or someone who is guilt-riden because of their divorce... This book is worth buying... because of the healing aspect I 1st mentioned!
The author should consider coming out with a companion booklet (15-20 pages), that could present just the healing/comforting side (a brief comment about the Hebrew and Greek, and the real life and scriptural examples of God's love).