A New Testament hermeneutic for divorce and remarriage in the Catholic tradition

Moloney, Francis J Jesus' teaching on divorce is a question of central importance to the Christian churches. The ministry of Pope Francis, and the agenda of the Synod of Bishops on the Family, has again drawn attention to the issue. Given the paucity of material on marriage and divorce in the entire Bible, it is not surprising that very little material in the New Testament is dedicated to Jesus' attitude to the issue. But what is found in Paul, Mark, Matthew and Luke is confronting to contemporary sensitivities, and calls for clear analysis. An uncritical affirmation that Jesus prohibited divorce does not do justice to what is recalled in our inspired Scriptures. The fact that he did so must be given its due importance, but Jesus' prohibition of divorce and remarriage is not the only word on marriage and divorce in the pages of the New Testament. A neglect of the subtleties expressed across the pastoral and theological reinterpretations of Paul, Mark, and Matthew, accepted by the church as the inspired Word of God, call for close attention.
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