Is Monogamy in the Bible a Sin?
In the Bible, monogamy is considered to be God’s ideal for marriage. Paul and Jesus both upheld this ideal. Jesus referred to God’s original plan for marriage in Gen. 2:24. The apostle Paul also assumed that monogamous heterosexual marriage was the norm. Peter upheld this ideal, too.
Polygamy is a practice of having more than one spouse at a time. It is a practice that has historically been practiced by men, with the goal of having many wives. It is legal in 58 countries, and it is very common in Africa and the Middle East. While polygamy is not inherently wrong, it is not a wise way to live.
The Bible clearly condemns polygamy. Polygamy was not God’s design for marriage. It is the result of self-dependence and the desire to control life. This is one of the main reasons why Jesus urged us not to practice it. It is a sin against the Creator to deviate from God’s plan.
Polygamy was forbidden in the Old Testament, but is not forbidden in the New Testament. The Old Testament contains specific prohibitions against polygamy, including that a man should only take one wife at a time. God also said that a king should not have more than one wife.
The Old Testament records a lot of examples of polygamy, and the consequences were tragic. It is not a good idea to have more than one wife, as this can lead to a crowded family and infidelity. Moreover, it is highly unlikely that polygamy is a Christian practice.
Modern skeptics often point to the Bible’s uncritical complicity in polygamous cultural practices of the ancient Near East. These scholars point out that Scripture promotes monogamy in some instances, while opposing it in other passages. The New Testament polygamists’ claims are not supported by Scripture, and this leads to the conclusion that polygamy is not a Christian practice.
The early Christians were against polygamy outside of Palestine. However, they did take action when they saw the need to address this issue. They took the issue to the Greek-speaking widows, and this action was one of the first actions of the church. Paul also wrote a chapter to help young Timothy deal with widows in Ephesus.
God’s condemnation of polygamy
Polygamy is a sin that is condemned by God in the Bible. The practice is defined as “having more than one wife.” This practice is a direct violation of the law and cannot be tolerated. The Bible cites a number of examples where polygamy was practiced.
The earliest reference to polygamy is in the context of a sinful society. Those who practiced it were warned of the consequences. The Bible never commands polygamy, but it allows it in some cases when it solves a specific social problem. Many modern societies outlaw polygamy. The Bible also teaches us to obey laws that govern government.
Polygamy has its origins in biblical history. Biblical narrators accurately recount the disastrous consequences of polygamy. King David and Solomon both had wives, and Moses had two wives. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Clearly, polygamy is not a good practice in God’s eyes.
While 2 Samuel 12:7-8 has often been quoted in favor of polygamy, the passage is full of presumptions. David’s wives were given to him by God, and he had responsibility for them. Therefore, he was not required by God to marry Bathsheba. Moreover, he was still responsible for settling the estate of his deceased father.
When asked about polygamy by the Pharisees, Jesus addressed the issue by citing arguments from other Jews and a key Bible verse. Genesis 1:27 states that God created male and female. Genesis 2:24 also says that God created two people. The Qumran community interpreted the phrase “male and female” as “two” to refer to two people.
In the Bible, Polygamy is viewed as a sin. It is an extreme form of marriage that violates God’s covenant. In the Garden of Eden, marriage was God’s intended relationship. However, the first polygamists were Lamech and his wives.
Several ancient Christian scholars condemned polygamy. Justin Martyr and Irenaeus both condemned the practice. Tertullian addressed this objection explicitly. Tertullian argued that polygamy was permitted to patriarchs. However, the polygamous practice was never universal. In other words, polygamy could not exist in a community with many wives.
Paul also gave an example. If a husband dies, a living partner may join another partner. If the condition of the original marriage are met, the new bond is acceptable. Nevertheless, the original marriage bond with the original spouse is not recognized by God as a true marriage. This practice is condemned by God as immoral and contrary to the law.
God’s condemnation of polygamy goes deeper than David’s abominable behavior. He commands his people to do better. He reminds them that they are not to emulate the Lamanites who had multiple wives. Moreover, he tells them that they have not followed the commandment the Lord gave to Lehi.
Problems with monogamy
The biblical commandment against polygamy is quite clear and the Bible has a history of condemning such practices. The Bible does not explicitly condemn monogamy or divorce, but it does condemn polygamy. This is because it destroys God’s ideal of marriage and family. The Bible is clear that God has a preference for covenantal monogamy.
Some modern critics point to the Bible as embracing polygamy, but this is not true. Both the Old and New Testaments condemn polyamory and show the devastating results of concubinage and polygamy. It is important for Christians to understand how Scripture advances monogamy while reconciling it with the saints of the Old Testament.
The Bible teaches monogamy, but there are also countless examples in the Old Testament where people abandoned monogamy. Many patriarchs and kings had multiple wives. In fact, many of God’s chosen leaders multiplied their wives during their reigns. However, this does not mean that polygyny is acceptable, as God’s original intent was to provide for the needs of one wife.
In the Bible, monogamy is a lifelong union between one man and one woman. God’s design for man may change over time, but his design will remain the norm of biblical relationships. In his Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, Gerald F. Hawthorne wrote an article on marriage.
While Scripture is clear that the two people in a relationship are in it for the long haul, this concept cannot be reconciled with the idea of serial monogamy. People who are Christian serial monogamists should seek counseling. This way, they can work through their beliefs about relationships.
Biblical accounts of multiple wives often involve conflict. This conflict was often the result of a dysfunctional family. For example, the story of Abraham and Sarah demonstrates the consequences of polygamy. The younger woman, Hagar, was able to get pregnant while the elder, Sarah, was barred from having a child. In addition, the biblical accounts of multiple wives often contain a love triangle. In addition, the author of 1-2 Samuel does not shy away from listing the names of David’s wives.
While the New Testament teaches that marriages must be monogamous, many Christians do not know Scripture very well. Some Christians have a distorted view of Scripture or simply ignore its truths. In addition, many Christians compartmentalize their lives and are unaware of the truth behind the Scriptures.
In Genesis, Adam and Eve did not have multiple wives. As a result, God’s intention for marriage was to be monogamous. Adam and Eve’s first marriage was monogamous. The seventh commandment also prohibits adultery. These laws emphasize the importance of monogamy.
Another problem with monogamy in the Bible involves the story of Lamech and his two wives. According to Moses, Abram and his wives imitated the wickedness of Pharaoh. In Genesis 12, Pharaoh took Sarai into his harem. In contrast, Abram took Hagar for his wife in Canaan.