The ESV Study Bible Notes Prohibit Divorce for Abuse (Crossway, Wayne Grudem, Editor)
UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.
In the Biblical Ethics section of my ESV Study Bible, edited by Wayne Grudem, I found the following under the heading, “Are There Other Grounds for Divorce?” (page 2547) –
“In addition to the two grounds of sexual immorality or desertion by an unbelieving spouse, are there any other legitimate, biblical grounds for divorce? Some interpreters have argued that repeated instances of physical abuse should be seen as an additional legitimate ground for divorce. Others would respond that many other means should be used to bring the abuse to an immediate halt, including separation (for the eventual purpose of bringing restoration along with the complete cessation of the abuse), church discipline, confrontation and counseling, police action, a court order, and other kinds of intervention by church members, family, and friends. But these would stop short of adding a reason for divorce that neither Jesus nor Paul specified.”
“Some have argued that a prominent school of rabbinic interpretation in the time of Jesus allowed divorce in cases where a husband did not provide enough material or emotional support to his wife. This was based on their interpretation of a law concerning a slave woman in Exodus 21:10-11. Since Jesus did not explicitly correct this view, they argue that he must have allowed the legitimacy of some other kinds of divorces, such as divorce for prolonged, unrepented physical or emotional abuse. But an argument from what Jesus did not say is of dubious validity, especially since Jesus’ words “whoever divorces his wife” (Matt 19:9) are so extensive in scope to rule out additional exceptions not specified in the Bible itself.”
Let me translate and interpret these paragraphs for you just so everyone is clear – The people who put the ESV study Bible together believe that a man can beat the living &^%$(* out of his wife and she CANNOT divorce him. He can terrorize her (oh, and note that he gets a free pass the first time he punches her lights out – it has to be “repeated” instances of physical abuse), but she can’t divorce him. She can separate, but always with the notion of reconciliation in mind.
What really fries my – whatever gets fried in these cases – is the way that these guys present their no divorce for abuse position in such a sneaky and deceitful manner. “Some interpreters have argued….. Others would respond.” Hogwash! Come out and say what you are saying. The writers of this article are the Others who say no divorce for abuse.
If any readers have quotes from Grudem that clearly define his position on divorce or no divorce for abuse, I would really like to see them if you would attach them to a reply to this post. I am rapidly coming to the place of totally re-evaluating any and all teachings on the subject of marriage and divorce by any of these well-known people who teach this nonsense.