Now I feel I've shown that the Old Testament doesn't joyfully endorse Harem Polygyny/Concubinism as much as people think. On the other hand, is the New Testament as anti-anything other then absolute monogamy as people assume?
Matthew 19:5-6 says "For this
cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife:
and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain,
but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put
It is common to insist that the "one flesh" emphasis
while not explicitly saying only one wife still would make it awkward to
involve more then two people. The poetic idea is the wife as the husband's
other half, and the word translated "twain" does imply duality. Still
the intent of the verse is against divorce.
Again as a Libertarian, I don't support divorce being legally
restricted either, Jesus' command was about the promise made before
God, not a legal contract.
Marriage references in Paul's Epistles
seem to assume monogamy, but Paul was writing to a Greeco-Roman
audience, for whom monogamous marriage was the norm well before Jesus
was born. (Though the Macedonian and Hellenistic rulers weren't as
strict about it). Indeed,
many would say that Western Christianity's devotion to monogamy is
another example of how it is really more Hellenistic and Roman in origin
Greek Monogamy still treated adultery as a one way street. To modern
readers it's outright annoying how the Odyssey treats the threat of
Penelope remarrying or being unfaithful as a horrible catastrophe, while
Odysseus has two affairs on his journey home without the slightest
condemnation. And also Euripides play Andromache revolves around
a conflict between a wife and her husband's mistress, and the narrative
is firmly on the "other woman's" side, (Of course Hermione is a spoiled brat Neoptlemus only married for politics, while Andromache is
the widow of Hector he took as a spoil of war, and yet they do seem to
have fallen in love somewhat). So I understand the points in the above
PDF I linked to.
The Church's marriage to Christ, is in how it's
treated a Monogamous marriage between a Bridegroom and a Bride, the
Church as a collective unit is The Bride.
1 Timothy 3:2, 12, 5:9
and Titus 1:6 refer to how an Overseer (Bishop is an unfortunate KJV
rendering, the most obvious area where it's Anglicanism is an issue)
should be the Husband of "One Wife" the word for "one" here is "Mia"
(Strong# 3391) which can be interpreted as meaning "only one", "Heis" or
"Monad" are the standard Greek words for "one". But these are special
guidelines for Overseers, the rule here could also mean no less then one (hence how Protestants use it against The Vatican) and elsewhere it's clear Christians can
choose to be single for life if they wish.
Polyandry is the term
for a marriage between one woman and plural husbands. The Wikipedia
page says the Bible condemns it simply by citing the adultery laws.
That's obviously flawed logic however. The Bible doesn't address it,
the Hebrew Bible is the product of a very Patriarchal culture that never
even heard of it as an option. In the New Testament Paul might have heard of it
from the examples in ancient Sparta, or Caesar's account of the Celts
practicing it, but if he did he chose not to address it.
common form that has actually been practiced is Fraternal Polyandry, a pair or group of brothers sharing a wife. The Torah does say that if a husband
dies before producing an heir, that his widow should marry his nearest
living kinsman (who would be a brother if there was one) to produce a
son that would in a sense legally be considered the son of the dead
husband. The reason for this is it is vital that the family line of
it was considered important for the tribe as a whole that no individual
family line perish. So, what if a Husband becomes unable to reproduce
but still lives? Like he becomes Sterile due to illness, or loses his
genitals in an injury? Given the intent of the law, I could imagine it
being allowed there if they'd have considered it.
On the other hand, Jesus condemns a man married to a divorced
woman who's husband still lives as adultery. But that needs again to
be understood in the context of the condemnation of divorce. As
I said in other articles, it's only reproductive sex God really wants
I frankly don't approve of the modern world's over
attachment to Monogamy for all romantic relationships, because it's
fueled by jealously which is a very unhealthy emotion. And as I've
explained elsewhere, not all sex outside marriage is a sin like is
commonly taught. Loving more then one person should not be inherently wrong.
But how do I morally view Marriage? Or rather
the Hebrew custom we associate with marriage? Everyone should agree
that marriage is about more then just sex, and many even that it's more
then just love. From my understanding of the intent of what the Bible
portrays about it, it's even more then just a "committed relationship",
it's the foundation of the family. To me it is implied in the function
of marriage that you will at least try to have and raise children. This
is why it annoys me how often on TV two people get married and have
apparently never discussed the children issue till they find out a week
after their honeymoon they're not on the same page there, sadly I'm sure
that does happen in real life too often, but it shouldn't.
believe ideally children should have both a father and a mother. But I
know we live in a fallen imperfect world where that option isn't always
possible, so I don't support single parents
having their children taken from them. And I certainly don't want adoption limited.
To people complaining about Gay
adoption I'd say two parents are still better then one, even if they're the same gender at least one has the option of staying home, and
certainly it's better then none. In fact I want adoption made a lot
easier in general, it's become a lot more complicated in recent decades,
they don't even have orphanages anymore. To me even the most
dysfunctional family is preferable to the state raising them in foster
As the Hebrew Scriptures demonstrate, Harem Polygyny
creates rivalry problems. So for the purpose of raising children I
consider a monogamous marriage best. But other people also being
involved doesn't have to be a problem. So I don't consider open
marriages a sin, so long as everything is done openly and honestly.
So in summery, legally I want marriage to have no
restrictions at all, morally I consider one husband and one wife best to
raise children, but will pass no judgment on those trying to do it