Book Reviews

Holy Matrimony

by D.E.T. Evenhuis

D. Evenhuis' book 'Holy Matrimony' is the best book I have read on the subject of marriage. This book is the result of many years of faithful service to the Lord. The focus is primarily on marriage but also covers remarriage in detail, this book is not a dry theological work, but a vivid revelation of God's plan in marriage, it has truly unique content. This book is like no other that I have encountered on this subject, it will change the way you see marriage. Anyone interested in studying marriage from a biblical perspective will be blessed by this work. This book is available from, as a free pdf file. The first print has all sold out so there are no more hard copies available, only the pdf. Holy Matrimony was first published in 1997. It is now available as a free Ebook, here is the link:   

Till Death Do Us Part?

by Joseph A. Webb

Joseph Web

Joseph A. Webb's book, 'Till death do us part?’ is also written from the betrothal-view [or espousal-view] perspective. And he is a great exponent of the permanence of the marriage bond. This book was first published in 1983 and despite his many critics this book is in its fourth printing, and Joseph A. Webb's message is needed more today than ever before. This book is a must for anyone wondering about second marriages. It is currently available from Amazon, and while your there check out some of amazing reviews about this book, Check it out

Divorce and Remarriage

The Trojan Horse within the church

by Joseph A. Webb

Joseph Web

This book is a fitting sequel to ‘Till Death Do Us Part’. Joseph A. Webb is one of the pioneers [if not the first to champion the cause] of the betrothal view, and this book doesn’t disappoint the reader. Joseph begins with some quotes from the early church fathers as compiled by Rev. Stephen Wilcox and adds some pointed commentary. Joseph then digs into the history of divorce apologetics, and sheds some much needed light on its untidy origins, this alone makes this book a valuable resource in understanding how we are in such a mess. Notable quote; “The Church must come to a new awareness of the seriousness of a vow made to God” [page 110]. The book concludes with a challenge to the churches to choose whom to believe Jesus, the Apostles and the early church fathers or Erasmus? Is is available from Amazon or Joseph’s web site.

Marriage Divorce & Remarriage

by John Coblentz

John Coblentz

This book was published in 1992 and explains the exception clause in the betrothal view. John calls it the “espousal view”, so now there are 3 different names for the same point of view. John Coblentz hails from the Mennonite church and I think this doctrine is well understood amongst the Mennonites although it doesn’t seem to be their official position. There were 2 things that I enjoyed about this book in particular, firstly John’s thoughts about the early church. And secondly John’s courageous attempt to address the difficult questions that arise for people who are faced with the discovery that their second marriage is adulterous. This makes this book essential reading.

Remarriage is Adultery unless...

by David Pawson

David PawsonDavid's honest approach to this subject is very refreshing. He doesn't mince words or cloud the issue when dealing with divorce and remarriage. David shares some of his depth of personal experience in this book making it both entertaining and accurate! A rare find these days. Page 42; "Few seem to realise the full implication of what Jesus was saying. Adultery is a sin committed by married people, when they engage in intercourse with anyone other than their spouse. This means that all those who have been divorced, however properly, are still married in God's sight." David Pawson. This book is available from David's web site [see links page] or from Amazon.

Except For Fornication

by Daniel R. Jennings

Daniel R. JenningsDaniel jumps straight into the Greek at the start of this book and if you enjoy Bible study you will enjoy this book. Daniel has done his homework and buttresses each point with a multitude of quotes from the early church fathers all the way to modern church history. Daniel demonstrates the meaning of the exception clause in the fornication view [betrothal view] with both theological and empirical evidence. I would hate to argue against this guy. This book is also available as a free download from Daniel's website click here. It has some excellent quotes.

Thelyphthora Volume 1

A Treatise on Female Ruin by Martin Madan

Martin Madan This book is the most comprehensive work on polygyny I have seen. It is a reprint of the original text nearly 230 years old, and it uses the old letter ’s’ which looks like an ‘f’ this makes it a bit difficult to read. But it is well worth persevering with. Before I read this book I was suspicious that this might be an appeal to ‘Man-up-and-marry-that-whore’, but I was very wrong. Martin Madan calls for a change in the legal system to penalise men that deflower girls and then forsake them. The damage done to these girls leaves them little option but to work as prostitutes and die early from disease. In his day there was a law against multiple wives, but no penalty for deflowering a girl and leaving her in ruin.

Madan presents a rock solid case for polygyny based entirely on the scriptures, and doesn’t appeal to sentiment. He refutes many learned scholars of his day, and presents polygyny as a better alternative than the no penalty system for deflowering a girl. He claims it would greatly reduce the number of ruined women working and dying as prostitutes. I assume he is correct in this regard.

In the 230 odd years since this book was written the imbalance in the law that he [Madan] has highlighted has unfortunately been addressed in the worse possible way. Instead of correcting the laws to better reflect the laws of God, we have strengthened the laws to “empower women”. The result is the destruction of the family. In Madan’s day they had a system that destroyed girls, today we have a system that destroys the family. I would encourage anyone interested in this subject to read this book.

If I had to critique this book at all it would be on the the fact that he doesn’t present the disadvantages of polygyny, and of his interpretation of the exception clause. I strongly disagree with him on this point. It can be purchased from Amazon.

Thelyphthora Volume 2

A Treatise on Female Ruin by Martin Madan

Four Christian ViewsIn volume 2 Madan picks up where he left off in Volume 1, and takes aim at Protestants, Catholics, Ecclesiastical courts and the Church Fathers for getting their marriage laws wrong. He critiques both the Council of Trent and the Marriage Act of 1753 [aka Geo11.C.33]. It is no surprise his views were rejected in his day. At the start of volume 2 he sounds almost like a divorce apologist but without the egalitarian nonsense. His views regarding the roles of men and women are biblically correct.

He goes on to contrast the differences between ‘Marriage-by-civil-contract’ Vs ‘Marriage-by-consummation’, and shows how these 2 don’t always scync together. And highlights how they can work against each other. He demonstrates that neither the Old Testament priests or the New Testaments disciples were commanded to marry anyone. And berates the churches for making marriage a commercial interest, as if God had ordained them as some kind of essential third party.

On page 32-33 of Volume 2 He states that if a man marries a previously deflowered woman he commits adultery: Quote from page 32 Volume 2: “Our laws and customs may be compared to the bill of divorcement, which put asunder those whom God hath joined together; so that if a man take a virgin, (not betrothed) and lie with her, he may put her away for every cause - she may go and be another man’s wife; and this, so far from being reckoned adultery, as be God’s law it certainly is, is accounted a virtuous action; it makes her an honest woman, as the phrase is; such a marriage (though doubtless adultery, in the sight of God, in the man who by putting her away caused her to commit it - in the man who marries her who is so put away…” Emphasis added.

He makes this claim with little or no clarification. The law [Torah] states that if a virgin, who is not betrothed, is deflowered while she is under her father’s house [jurisdiction], her father has power of veto regarding any union that she forms. So hypothetically: A virgin could be married [deflowered] without a covenant/contract. And divorced without a certificate. Any woman in such circumstances carries all the baggage of a divorcee, but without the legal status. Madan doesn’t address the problems with his views, I am convinced he is wrong on his understanding of the ‘exception clause’, and I suspect is he is also wrong regarding his position outlined above.

He also mentions that the women in the Turkish hareems [Seraglios] fare better than the women in the brothels of Western Europe, because the church got their laws wrong regarding polygyny.


Once married always married | Twice married always married