Few New Testament texts have had their meaning debated so vigorously as those in which Jesus discusses divorce: Matthew 5:32, Matthew 19:6, 9; Mark 10:9-12; Luke 16:18; and 1 Cor 7:11. From the early Church, through the Reformation, and into the present day, they have continued to rouse debate within the Churches and among believers.
This work focuses on one aspect of that debate; namely, what Jesus has to say regarding divorce when his sayings are interpreted in their literary and historical context. To aid in this contextual understanding, the sayings are studied in the order in which they were written down in ancient times. Not every aspect of the debate therefore is addressed—nor could it be on an issue of such personal and pastoral complexity. Yet it is the challenge of biblical scholars to study the Word of God—in all its complexity—and to try to make that Word understandable. This work is offered to scholars and believers alike in the hope of adding to that understanding.
Raymond F. Collins is a Roman Catholic priest and a New Testament scholar. Most of his academic career was spent at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, the world's oldest Catholic university, and at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, where he taught and served as the dean of the School of Religious Studies. Among his twenty books are major commentaries on Paul's First and Second Letters to the Corinthians and the Pastoral Epistles, 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus.