Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Early Christian Quotes on Divorce

Early Christian Quotes on Divorce


The Shepherd of Hermas 

(1st or 2nd Century)

Commandment 4, Chapter 1:


I said to the angel, "Sir, if anyone has a wife who trusts in the Lord, and if he suspects she has been unfaithful, does the man sin if he continues to live with her?"


And he said to me, "As long as he remains ignorant of her sin, the husband commits no transgression in living with her. If the husband knows his wife has been unfaithful, and if the woman does not repent but persists in her sexual relations outside her marriage, and the husband continues to live with her, then he is also guilty of her crime and has a sharer in her adultery."


And I said to him, "What then, sir, is the husband to do if his wife continues in her unholy practices?"


And he said, "The husband should divorce her and remain by himself. But if he divorces his wife and marries another, he also commits adultery."


And I said to him, "What if the divorced woman repents and wants to return to her husband: will she not be taken back by her husband?"


And he said to me, "Surely. If the husband does not take her back, he sins and brings a great sin upon himself; for he ought to take back the sinner who has repented. But not many times; for there is but one repentance to the servants of God. The husband should not remarry, in the event that the divorced wife repents. In this matter, man and woman are to be treated exactly the same. Also, adultery is committed not only by those who pollute their flesh, but by those who imitate the heathen in their actions. So, if anyone continues in adulterous affairs and does not repent, remove yourself from them and do not live with them. Otherwise, you are a sharer in their sin.”


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