Abrogation in the Bible

Christian apologists often try to cast doubt on Islam because of the issue of abrogation.

In this article we will turn the tables on Christian apologists, by bringing up abrogation taking part in the Bible. Bear in mind, Christian apologists try to argue against the Quran because of abrogation, therefore if they are consistent and follow their own criteria, the should now argue and doubt the Bible because it too contains abrogation.

Can you marry your sister?

In the Bible, we read that Abraham married his half sister:

Genesis 20:11-12: And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife’s sake. And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.

Later on in the Bible we read that such a marriage is forbidden, and the one who practices it is cursed:

Deuteronomy 27:22: Cursedbe he that lies with his sister, the daughter of his father, or the daughter of his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen

So this is a clear example of a change in ruling, previously there was no command against marrying your sister, as Abraham (pbuh) practiced such an act. Afterwards however, in the law of Moses (pbuh), marrying your sister was forbidden, and the person who would do such a marriage would be cursed.


Can you get a divorce?

In the law of Moses (pbuh) we see that people were allowed to get a divorce:

When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife. (Deuteronomy 24:1-2)

So not only are people allowed to divorce according to the law of Moses (pbuh), women who are divorced can get married to another man after they get divorced.

In the New Testament however, this ruling is changed and forbidden:

Romans 7:2-3

For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress.

1 Corinthians 7:39

A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord


Can a man marry his brothers wife?

According to one part of the Bible, a man may not marry his brother’s wife:

If a man marries his brother’s wife, it is an act of impurity; he has dishonored his brother. They will be childless. (Leviticus 20:21)

Later on in the Bible, we read that a brother may in fact marry his brothers wife:

If brothers are living together and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Her husband’s brother shall take her and marry her and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her. (Deuteronomy 25:5)


Can you eat pork or not?

In the Old Testament, eating pork is clearly forbidden:

“And the pig, though it has a split hoof completely divided, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you.  You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you.  (Leviticus 11:7-8)”

Yet in the Gospel of Mark, this has been changed and abrogated:

Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a man can make him ‘unclean’ by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him ‘unclean.’ “After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him ‘unclean’? For it doesn’t go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods “clean.”) He went on: “What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’(Mark 7:14-20)



We have seen quite a few examples of abrogation in the Bible, so by the standard and set criteria of Christian apologists, they must now argue against their own Bible, somehow we doubt that they’re going to do that, and expect them to come up with a whole load of excuses.

Categories: Christianity

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5 replies »

  1. Interesting points.

    First of all I would reply that there was no ruling against marrying your sister or brother before Abraham. In this sense there was no abrogation of the law. If there had been a law the human race would not been allowed to propagate itself as the children of Adam and Eve had to marry their siblings.

    As for divorce there was no abrogation there either in terms of the strict letter of the law. It was still allowed under the law but Jesus classified it as a form of adultery which was not punished as a crime but nonetheless a sin.


    If a man marries his brother’s wife, it is an act of impurity; he has dishonored his brother. They will be childless. (Leviticus 20:21)

    Later on in the Bible, we read that a brother may in fact marry his brothers wife:

    If brothers are living together and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Her husband’s brother shall take her and marry her and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her. (Deuteronomy 25:5)”

    I reply:

    The first example, I would say, is when both brothers are still living. The first brother divorces his wife. She then goes on to marry the second brother. This is condemned. In the second example both brothers are not living obviously. So this is not an abrogation because it is a different situation.

    As for eating pork there is no abrogation there either because Gentiles were never under the law forbidding the eating of pork. Muslims can not “project” themselves in to the Mosaic covenant either in my view. It has been superseded or abrogated by the new covenant.

    • Is not the Introduction of the New Testement a Abrogation of the Old Testement laws?

      Christians argue that the laws in the Old Testement no longer apply for them because now they have the New Covenant.

      So nice try in trying to avoide Abrogation.

      The Desciples of Jesus were following the O.T until the New Testement arrived hence the Followers of Jesus moved from the Laws of the O.T to the New Testement. That is clear Abrogation

  2. Seriously who writes these misunderstood articles? Seriously you guys need a bible study. Imwill get back on this on one of these days.

  3. The New Testament is not an abrogation of the Old Testament but the fulfilment of the Old Testament under the New covenant. Is a new covenant that bring the gentile world into the commonwealth of God’s children as against the Old covenant which God made with the Israel of Israel only. The Old covenant was ratified with Animal blood, but the New covenant was ratified by the blood of Jesus Christ as shed it on the cross of Calvary. Moses was the mediator of the Old covenant, but Jesus is the only mediator of the New Covenant. Jesus alone fulfilled all the law demands from the Old covenant before he could introduce the New commandment John 13:34 so it was not abrogation of the Old but fulfilment and enactment of the New. This different from Islam abrogation rules. Where whenever Mohammed forgets his recitals Allah allow him to come up with a new one that is similar and may be better refines, that was how the quran kept on changing until it was finally written by the second Khalif Uthman

  4. In regard to the marrying of your sister. You listed an instance in which Abraham, a sinner, married Sarah, his half sister. This is simply telling a story, not giving a command. Abraham is not perfect and the Bible does not try to portray him as such. Look at Genesis 20. Also, in regard to divorce, Moses allowed for divorces because men would come to him pleading for permission. Nevertheless, this is just a story, Moses too, is not perfect. And the Bible doesn’t try to portray him as such. God has said that what what he joins together, no man shall separate.

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