Marital Imagery in the Bible: An Exploration of Genesis 2:24 and its Significance for the Understanding of New Testament Divorce and Remarriage Teaching

Marital Imagery in the Bible: An Exploration of Genesis 2:24 and its Significance for the Understanding of New Testament Divorce and Remarriage Teaching

by Colin Hamer

Paperback

$30.99
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Thursday, April 22

Overview

It can only be imagined that when the New Testament writers made their (albeit brief) comments on divorce and remarriage that they assumed they would be understood. So what has gone wrong?

In the years after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE, when Graeco-Roman culture was at its height, the Jewish perspective of marriage and divorce, and thus the context of those brief New Testament comments was lost. The Christian church of that era was influenced by the neoplatonic ideas of the day, and an idealised concept of marriage developed from on Adam and Eve’s marriage recorded in Genesis 2:23—it was love at first sight, a marriage made in heaven. These concepts frame an understanding of marriage in much of Western culture even today.

However, that was never the understanding of ancient Israel. Instead they looked to Genesis 2:24: ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh’—so a naturally born man chooses a wife for himself, and their union was based on a ‘covenant’—in other words an agreement. The Old Testament makes it clear what the basis of that agreement was. Furthermore, it is clear, if that agreement was broken, there could be a divorce and a remarriage. All the Bible’s marital imagery (where the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures imagine that God is married to his people) is based on that understanding of human marriage.

But so strong is our concept of marriage, that when Genesis 2:24 is referred to in the New Testament, it is thought that the reference is to Adam and Eve’s marriage. It is a paradigmatic marriage that for many excludes (or greatly restricts) the possibility of divorce and remarriage.

This study looks to challenge that paradigm—and to suggest that the New Testament writers would not have employed an imagery which had at its centre divorce and remarriage, only to deny the possibility of such in their own human marriage teaching.

Colin Hamer's thesis represents the only recent work on metaphor theory in biblical scholarship. It challenges centuries of academic scholarship and ecclesiastical assumptions about divorce. Hamer's detailed and well researched analysis challenges the consensus view that the marriage of Adam and Eve in Gen 2:24 represents an ontological unity, suggesting important implications for contemporary Christian teaching on marriage and divorce.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781910942253
Publisher: Apostolos Publishing Ltd
Publication date: 11/09/2015
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Colin Hamer (PhD, University of Chester) served for many years as an elder of a Grace Baptist Church in the UK. He has degrees from the University of Liverpool and the University of Wales. He studied for the PhD on which this study is based at the Wales Evangelical School of Theology (WEST).

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Cross-Domain Mapping and Genesis 2:24
1.1 Cross-Domain Mapping
1.1.1 Metaphor Theory
1.1.2 Large-Scale Conceptual Metaphors
1.1.3 Cross-Domain Mapping and Theology Today
1.2 The One-Flesh Unions of Genesis 2:23 and 2:24
1.3 The Cross-Domain Mapping of Genesis 2:24 in the Old Testament
1.3.1 Yahweh: The Husband of Israel
1.4 Cross-Domain Mapping of Genesis 2:24 in the New Testament
1.4.1 Jesus: The Bridegroom of the Church
1.4.2 Sin: The Husband of Unredeemed Humanity
1.4.3 The Body of Christ
1.4.4 The Body of a Prostitute
1.5 Reverse Cross-Domain Mapping
1.6 Genesis 2:24 and the People of God
1.7 Summary: Cross-Domain Mapping and Genesis 2:24
Chapter 2: Literature Review
2.1 Marital Imagery in the Old Testament
2.2 Marital Imagery in the New Testament
2.3 Divorce and Remarriage Teaching in the New Testament
2.4 Summary: Literature Review
Chapter 3: Methodology
3.1 Introduction
3.2 An Approach to the Biblical Text
3.3 Metaphor versus Other Literary Forms
3.4 The Social and Literary Context
3.5 Cross-Domain Mapping as a Hermeneutical Tool
3.6 Summary: Methodology
Chapter 4: Marriage and Divorce in the Ancient Near East
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Ancient Near East Principal Relevant Source Materials
4.3 Specific Marital Practices in the Ancient Near East
4.4 Provision and Protection for the Woman
4.5 Summary: Marriage and Divorce in the Ancient Near East
Chapter 5: Marriage and Divorce in the Old Testament
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Marriage in the Early Narrative Accounts
5.3 Mundane Marriage-Contract or Covenant?
5.4 The Importance of Virginity
5.5 Betrothal Arrangements
5.6 Forbidden Marriages
5.7 Polygyny and Concubinage
5.8 Marital Obligations
5.9 Adultery
5.10 Divorce
5.11 A Husband's Right to Divorce
5.12 A Wife's Right to Divorce
5.13 Other Divorces
5.14 Summary: Marriage and Divorce in the Old Testament
Chapter 6: Marital Imagery in the Old Testament
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Some Definitions
6.3 The Ancient Near East Background to Old Testament Marital Imagery
6.4 The Marriage at Sinai
6.5 The Sinaitic Covenant and Genesis 2:24
6.6 Betrothal Arrangements
6.7 Marital Obligations
6.8 Adultery
6.9 Divorce
6.10 Remarriage
6.11 Inferred Cross-Mapping
6.12 Marital Imagery in Eden
6.13 Summary: Marital Imagery in the Old Testament
Chapter 7: The Literature of the Second Temple Period
7.1 Introduction
7.2 The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha
7.3 The Old Testament Apocrypha
7.4 Qumran
7.5 Rabbinic Writings
7.6 Philo and Josephus
7.7 Summary: The Literature of the Second Temple Period
Chapter 8: The Documents of the Second Temple Period
8.1 Introduction
8.2 The Elephantine Documents
8.3 The Judaean Desert Documents
8.4 The Graeco-Roman Documents
8.5 Summary: The Documents of the Second Temple Period
Chapter 9: Marital Imagery in the New Testament
9.1 Introduction
9.2 Marital Imagery in the Gospels
9.3 Marital Imagery in the Apocalypse
9.4 Marital Imagery in the Pauline Corpus
9.5 A Second Divorce
9.6 Adam and Eve as Types in the New Testament
9.7 Summary: Marital Imagery in the New Testament
9.8 New Testament Marital Imagery and Traditional Teaching
9.9 Some Implications for New Testament Exegesis
Chapter 10: Divorce and Remarriage in the New Testament
10.1 Introduction
10.2 Marriage in the New Testament
10.3 Divorce and Remarriage in the Gospels
10.4 Separation, Divorce, and Remarriage in First Corinthians 7
10.5 Adam and Eve
10.6 Summary: Divorce and Remarriage in the New Testament
Conclusion
Appendix A: Cross-Domain Mapping Diagrams
Appendix B: Judaean Desert Documents Chart
Appendix C: Judaean Desert Documents Translations
Judaean Desert Documents Select Bibliography
Abbreviations
Bibliography

Customer Reviews