The Unjust Law of Divorce in the New Testament: Especially for the Woman


Bassam Zawadi

Let's see what the Jesus of the Bible allegedly said:

Matthew 5:32

But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.

Matthew 19:9

I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery."

Luke 16:18

"Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Mark 10:10-12

When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. He answered, "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery."

When someone reads the gospel of Mark and Luke, he might get the impression that divorce is completely prohibited. However, we see that in the gospel of Matthew, there is an exceptional reason for justifiable divorce, which is marital unfaithfulness on the part of one spouse towards the other. 

Taken from

The aforementioned Scriptures about divorce and remarriage were given by the Lord Jesus. Clearly, He stated marital unfaithfulness (sexual immorality) is the only cause for a divorce! Hence, if one divorces his spouse for any other reason besides sexual immorality, regardless what that reason is, he is indicted by these verses! If such a person would then "marry" another, not only would he be committing adultery, but the person he "marries" would likewise be committing adultery! All people, who have never been married, need to know these facts before they consider marrying someone who might not be eligible for marriage again, namely a divorced person. When we consider passages like 1 Cor. 6:9,10 and Rev. 21:8, we can only conclude that an adulterous marriage, as referred to in Matt. 5:32 and 19:9, will result in both parties being thrown into the lake of fire, that is, unless that ceases and they find forgiveness for their adultery.

What honor is this to the woman? Let's say that a husband divorces his wife for no good reason. That means she automatically becomes an adulterous.  What if her husband becomes sterile and can't meet her sexual needs? What if her husband was in a coma? What if her husband went to prison? She needs a man to take care of her, but she is not allowed to marry again until her husband cheats on her (or dies) so that she can divorce him. Also, the man who marries this woman would also be committing adultery. 

This also shows that if a woman happens to be beaten up by her husband, she has no right to divorce him. Or if she marries him and then realizes that he is not what she expected him to be and she is not happy with him, she is forced to stay married! If they happen to separate, she is not allowed to marry anyone else. 

Also, a husband cannot divorce his wife unless she cheats on him. What if he marries her, and she turns out to be a really horrible and disobedient wife? He still has to stay married to her until she cheats on him so that he can legitimately divorce her! 

Also, Paul says:

1 Corinthians 7:13

"And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him."

So, a believing woman is forced to stay with her unbelieving husband. She has to risk having her spiritual beliefs affected by her unbelieving husband.

So it's the unbelieving man's choice to leave the believing woman.  She can't leave him, even if she fears that the kids are going to be negatively affected by the father's "non-Christian" spiritual beliefs. 

So, according to Christianity, women are not even allowed to protect their children's spiritual beliefs from their unbelieving husbands!



Recommended Reading (Sheikh Munajjid discusses the woman's right to divorce in Islam)



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