An Evangelical scholar has reinterpreted Jesus’ teachings on divorce!
As the article’s author, the British Evangelical scholar David Instone-Brewer, points out, for most of 2,000 years Christians have viewed divorce through two scriptural citations. […]
Instone-Brewer radically reinterprets the first passage using, of all things, quotation marks. The Greek of the New Testament didn’t always contain them, and scholars agree that sometimes they must be added in to make sense of it. Instone-Brewer, an expert in Jewish thought during Jesus’s era, writes that Christ’s interlocutors were not asking him whether there was any cause at all for divorce, but whether he supported something called “any-cause” divorce, a term a little bit like “no-fault” that allowed husbands to divorce wives for any reason at all.
Makes you wonder why the literal word of God would be given to us without proper punctuation. Maybe The Almighty requires a better editor?
Still, the controversy suggests that even the country’s most rule-bound Christians will search for a fresh understanding of scripture when it seems unjust to them. The implications? Flexibility on divorce may mean that evangelicals could also rethink their position on such things as gay marriage, as a generation of Christians far more accepting of homosexuality begins to move into power.
Or Evangelicals could decide that basing one’s life on a poorly-written, inconsistent, intolerant screed is simply a stupid way to go about living.
In any case, I’m excited about this whole punctuation deal. It brings us to this week’s SexySecularist Reader Challenge!
In order to play, simply apply punctuation marks as you choose to any Biblical selection in order to create a better Bible (or, barring that, one in which God communicates to us using more emoticons) and reply with the quote as a comment to this post. The person who submits the funniest entry will receive a hand-crafted, high-quality gift courtesy of SexySecularist!