Holy Polygamy: Men of the Bible with Multiple Wives

When you think of polygamy, what do you think of? The Mormons? Islam or Muhammad? Maybe you think of Big Love or the Yearning for Zion Ranch?

If you are a Christian, though, I want to give you something else to think of when the subject of polygamy comes up. You see, a Christian’s mind shouldn’t instinctively be drawn to the world, other faiths, or entertainment.

Instead, the Christian’s thoughts should gravitate to the Scriptures, to those men throughout the history of the Bible who lived out their lives with multiple wives, some with two or three, others with wives numbering in the hundreds.

I want to introduce you to these men.

For simplicity, I’ll present this list alphabetically. Also, I will from now on be referring to these men with the more specific term polygynist. Polygyny is the practice of one man having multiple wives; it is a type of polygamy.

The Biblical Polygists


And after him Abdon the son of Hillel, a Pirathonite, judged Israel. 14And he had forty sons and thirty nephews, that rode on threescore and ten ass colts: and he judged Israel eight years.

Judges 12:13–14, King James Version

Alphabetically, we start our list with a man, Abdon, who isn’t explicitly said to be a polygynist. However, due to the large number of children he is said to have had, it is possible that multiple wives bore these children to him. If that is a correct assumption, then it is also worth noting that no negative remarks regarding Abdon’s relationships are made.


But Abijah waxed mighty, and married fourteen wives, and begat twenty and two sons, and sixteen daughters.

2 Chronicles 13:21, King James Version

You should read the rest of chapter thirteen to get the full picture of Abijah; when you do, you’ll come away with the distinct impression that God was on his side.

You’ll find out that while Abijah was ruling over the kingdom of Judah, Jeroboam and the kingdom of Israel rose up against them. Jeroboam and his men stood under the careful, watchful protection of their golden calves and idols; Abijah and his men rose up under the watch, care, and protection of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

And what happened? “…God smote Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah” (v. 15).

Despite all that we’re told about Abijah, it is telling that we’re never given a hint of disapproval regarding his having multiple wives.

Abram / Abraham

Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. 2And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. 3And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.

Genesis 16:1–3, King James Version

Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah.

Genesis 25:1, King James Version

The ESV Study Bible says of Genesis 16:3, “While the OT records occasions when particular individuals have more than one wife, such instances are almost always fraught with complications and difficulty. The taking of multiple wives is never encouraged in the Bible and usually arises out of peculiar circumstances.”

I wonder if the authors of that note have paid much attention to marriage in general: even monogamy is “almost always fraught with complications and difficulty.” That’s just the nature of human relationships!

Did any of those polygamist unions found in the Scriptures end in divorce? What about today’s monogamous marriages? I’m willing to bet that monogamous societies have a much higher rate of divorce than do polygynous ones. Why that would be, I cannot say for certain.

In any event, Abraham had at least three wives — two of which for certain were concurrent. An additional curiosity of this family was that Abraham’s taking of a second wife the idea of Sarai, his first wife.

That is a curiosity because it shows a great lack of self-centeredness on the part of Sarai; she knew the promise that Abraham would have children despite his age, and feeling as though the promise could not be fulfilled in her, she arranged for her own servant to be Abraham’s second wife, so that the promise could be fulfilled through her.

The study Bible notes that polygamy is never encouraged; notice here, though, that the angel of the Lord intervenes to mend the relationship between Hagar and Sarai but in no way expresses any sort of disapproval at the polygynous unions between Abraham and the two women (vv. 9–12)!


And Ben-hadad the king of Syria gathered all his host together: and there were thirty and two kings with him, and horses, and chariots: and he went up and besieged Samaria, and warred against it. 2And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and said unto him, Thus saith Ben-hadad, 3Thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine.

1 Kings 20:1–3, King James Version

We aren’t given details regarding these marriages, just that they exist: Ahab, king of Israel, had multiple wives, and a disapproving word from the prophets or God himself cannot be found.


Also Vashti the queen made a feast for the women in the royal house which belonged to king Ahasuerus.

Esther 1:9, King James Version

Ahasuerus’ situation, like Abdon‘s, is a bit speculative. Were all the women wives of Ahasuerus? Or were they handmaidens of the king? Or concubines?

In any event, we know that Ahasuerus was married to Vashti, and that later, she would lose her royal position to Esther (ch. 2). Were both women concurrent wives of Ahasuerus?

Whatever the situation, at the very least we can be certain that no disapproving words regarding polygynous marriages are spoken by God or his prophets in this situation.


And Ashur the father of Tekoa had two wives, Helah and Naarah.

1 Chronicles 4:5, King James Version

Appearing in a much longer list of the descendants of Judah, we are told simply that Ashur had two wives. No disapproval. No stated need for repentance.


Belshazzar, while he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein.

Daniel 5:2, King James Version

I admit that Belshazzar isn’t the best possible example, but he is a “biblical polygynist” nonetheless.

We are told of his drunkenness, of his idolatry — things which elsewhere are revealed to be against the Law of God.

That Belshazzar had multiple wives, though? That was a common practice among many cultures, just as it is today, and there is no sign that the practice of polygyny violated the law of God, nor is it within the context of this passage that his having multiple wives was in any way problematic to God.


We can infer that when Ben-hadad would take Ahab‘s wives, he would take them to be his own wives.


And Caleb the son of Hezron begat children of Azubah his wife, and of Jerioth: her sons are these; Jesher, and Shobab, and Ardon. 19And when Azubah was dad, Caleb took unto him Ephrath, which bare him Hur.

1 Chronicles 2:18–19, King James Version

And Ephah, Caleb’s concubine, bare Haran, and Moza, and Gazez: and Haran begat Gazez.

1 Chronicles 2:46, King James Version

Maachah, Caleb’s concubine, bare Sheber, and Tirhanah.

1 Chronicles 2:48, King James Version

Caleb had at least two concurrent wives plus some concubines, and there is no sign that this wasn’t a normal, expected family structure.

The study Bible notes mentioned above said that polygyny was never encouraged; how is portraying something as perfectly normal not at least implied encouragement?


Wherefore David arose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins and they gave them in full tale to the king, that he might be the king’s son in law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife.

1 Samuel 18:27, King James Version

And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be the Lord, that hath pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and hath kept his servant from evil: for the Lord hath returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head. And David sent and communed with Abigail, to take her to him to wife.

1 Samuel 25:39, King James Version

David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel; and they were also both of them his wives.

1 Samuel 25:42, King James Version

And the sixth, Ithream, by Eglah David’s wife. These were born to David in Hebron.

2 Samuel 3:5, King James Version

And David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem, after he was come from Hebron: and there were yet sons and daughters born to David.

2 Samuel 5:13, King James Version

And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; 8And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.

2 Samuel 12:7–8, King James Version

And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the Lord loved him.

2 Samuel 12:24, King James Version

David is the most significant man on this list thus far; not only was he the king of Israel, he is also the penman behind hundreds of chapters of Scripture.

And he was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22).

Make no mistake that there was sin in David’s life. He committed adultery and murdered to get away with it. He was as human as the rest of us, yet he was highly favored by the lord.

And he was a polygynist.

It’s easy enough to attribute David’s problems to some sort of insatiable lust, but the Scriptures do not point us in that direction.

On the contrary, 2 Samuel 12:7–8 (quoted above) and the surrounding context show that David rebelled against the lord despite having multiple wives. The Scriptures go so far as to say that God himself gave David multiple wives and that, if they were not enough, he would give David even more!

According to the Bible, does God sin? Can iniquity be found in the him? Does God change?

Keep in mind that the ESV Study Bible said that the Scriptures never encouraged polygyny. What does it have to say about God giving multiple wives to David? “There is no other record of David marrying Saul’s wives, but he was certainly in a position to do so.”

Basically, they avoid the issue. When confronted with undeniable, incontrovertible evidence that polygyny is an acceptable practice, rather than admit such, the editors of the study Bible sidestep the issue. I hope you won’t make the same mistake when coming to your own understanding of what the Bible says regarding marriage.


And the sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, and Gatam, and Kenaz. 12And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz Esau’s son; and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek: these were the sons of Adah Esau’s wife.

Genesis 36:11–12, King James Version

We are only told the name of one of Eliphaz’s wives, but what we are not told is that God disapproved of his family structure. We should not read into the Scriptures disapproval where none in fact exists.


Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite: 2And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

1 Samuel 1:1–2, King James Version

The ESV Study Bible actually makes sense in its handling of this passage, so I’ll defer to it: “Probably Hannah was Elkanah’s first wife, since she is named first. Presumably he married Peninnah because Hannah was barren; lack of an heir was a major problem in the ancient Near East, as in many other societies. Taking a second wife was one way to try to solve the problem (Gen. 16:2), as was levirate marriage. Elkanah’s pedigree suggests that it would be important to him to have an heir to continue the family and also that he was prosperous enough to afford a second marriage.”

If marriage was the only legitimate avenue of fulfilling the command to procreate, then how much more does polygyny allow this command to be fulfilled? We saw this sort of thing earlier in the case of Abraham; so that Abraham may have a child, his wife Sarai encouraged him to take Hagar to be his second wife.

Seems to me that polygyny is in fact an encouraged alternative to remaining childless. Curious, no?


And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite:

Genesis 26:34, King James Version

Multiple wives with no disapproval. Are you noticing a pattern yet?


And the sons of Ezra were, Jether, and Mered, and Epher, and Jalon: and she bare Miriam, and Shammai, and Ishbah the father of Eshtemoa. 18And his wife Jehudijah bare Jered the father of Gedor, and Heber the father of Socho, and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah. And these are the sons of Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh, which Mered took.

1 Chronicles 4:17–18, King James Version

Verse 17 lists the sons of Ezrah with one wife; verse 18 details his family with his wife Jehudijah (or as some translations render it, his Judahite wife).

There are family details aplenty but not a word of divine disapproval.


And Gideon had threescore and ten sons of his body begotten: for he had many wives.

Judges 8:30, King James Version

This passage doesn’t mince any words: Gideon had many wives. Plain. Simple. Unpunished.


























Polygamy is Biblical

What comes to your mind when you think of polygyny? If this post was successful, you’ll now think of any of a number of men from the Bible. Perhaps most significantly, you should think of David, who not only was a man after God’s own heart, but was also a man to whom God gave multiple wives with the promise of more if desired.

I fully recognize that polygyny is a foreign concept to many people today, but in the midst of a society in which I see Christians using the Bible to browbeat homosexuals or anyone else who is “alt” or “other” in their sexuality, when we view the having of multiple spouses as bigamy, a crime with real punishments, it is all the more important to understand that the Bible which so many people point to in favor of their moral high grounds isn’t at all what the multitudes assume it is.

Yeah, the Bible (extremely unfortunately) condemns homosexuality. Yes, it uses (extremely unfortunate) misogynistic language.

But it also freely allows the having of multiple wives. (Unless you’re a Christian, in which case the only reason given for you to marry is if you can’t keep your pants on, but that’s another topic for another time.)

Featured image: The Wise & Foolish Virgins by Peter von Cornelius

347 thoughts on “Holy Polygamy: Men of the Bible with Multiple Wives”

  1. Thanks for your comments, Armen; I have posts planned on just about every topic you mentioned, so I’ll only briefly touch on the points here:

    “Having been humbled by Saul, they were not eligible women for other men. But, someone needed to care for them.” — Saul was dead; the women would no longer be bound to him and would be free to remarry.

    “The law of Moses regulated polygamy, but never approved of it. In fact, if your support is from David and you think God gave him multiple wives, then God contradicts his own word. Read Deut 17 concerning any king over Israel, ‘Neither shall he multiply wives to himself…'” — If the Law is what defines sin, then it is notable that polygyny is not condemned, even while a vast array of other sexual sins are.

    Likewise, the command to not multiply wives doesn’t forbid having more than one wife anymore than the neighboring verse forbids having more than one horse. Do you believe that a king was only allowed one horse?

    “God’s order is that a man should take one wife. It was instituted as such in the garden of Eden. Polygamy then originated with the son of rebellious Cain (Gen. 4:16-19). Not a good example.” — Actually, God’s order was that a woman would leave her parents to cleave to her husband. Nothing inherent in that precludes multiple women cleaving to the same husband; indeed, we see multiple examples of that in Scripture. Also, if you want to make polygyny evil by association with Cain’s descendants (who are not called “ungodly” at all in the Scripture), then I hope you likewise avoid cities, animal husbandry, metalworking, and so on, all of which were pioneered by Cain or his descendants.

    “Many godly men had one wife (Adam, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, Boaz, Job, etc) and those who had many wives had much heartache as a result of it.” — I would argue that their heartaches were the result of other problems, not the multiple marriages. Also, if that’s the argument you want to use, then wouldn’t the high rate of divorce within the church be a fine argument against monogamy? Note that despite the common practice of polygyny in the Scriptures, there is not one divorce.

    “Why is it important that a man only have one wife? It’s almost impossible to raise a godly family in any other environment.” — I fail to see how you can establish that. Children are raised by parents, and that is no less true in a polygynist situation.

    “On top of all that, no man with multiple wives can hold office in the church, and there are no godly examples of post-conversion polygamists in the NT.” — Arguments from silence are hardly arguments at all; likewise, simply because a man may only be the husband of one wife to be an elder doesn’t mean that others are likewise limited. Bear in mind that having children is also a requirement of being an elder; is it likewise to be enforced upon all members of the church that they have children?

    1. “Saul was dead; the women would no longer be bound to him and would be free to remarry” — True, but that doesn’t prove that David’s duty wasn’t just to look after them.

      “Likewise, the command to not multiply wives doesn’t forbid having more than one wife anymore than the neighboring verse forbids having more than one horse. Do you believe that a king was only allowed one horse?” — In 1 Kings 11, is not Solomon’s testimony shown to be tainted, and his “many wives” painted in a negative light? I see no sign of blessing from God clearly indicated in the form of having many wives. I see children seen as a sign of blessing, but not multiple wives.

      “Actually, God’s order was that a woman would leave her parents to cleave to her husband.” — Are you just going to ignore the order instituted in Eden, when God pronounced everything as “very good”? You can’t ignore that by quoting a verse which deals with a completely different aspect of the subject.

      “Also, if you want to make polygyny evil by association with Cain’s descendants (who are not called “ungodly” at all in the Scripture), then I hope you likewise avoid cities, animal husbandry, metalworking, and so on, all of which were pioneered by Cain or his descendants.” — True point.

      “Wouldn’t the high rate of divorce within the church be a fine argument against monogamy?” — No. Just because something is abused, doesn’t make it wrong (or right).

      “I fail to see how you can establish that. Children are raised by parents, and that is no less true in a polygynist situation.” — Go and read Mal 2. To paraphrase, it states that God could have made more than one woman for Adam, but he didn’t. His order in creation was designed to aid in the raising of a godly seed.

      “Arguments from silence are hardly arguments at all; likewise, simply because a man may only be the husband of one wife to be an elder doesn’t mean that others are likewise limited. Bear in mind that having children is also a requirement of being an elder; is it likewise to be enforced upon all members of the church that they have children?” — True. But, if a man doesn’t have children yet, it doesn’t disqualify him from holding office in the future, because God may give him children in coming days. However, if I take multiple wives now, I’m immediately disqualified for future service as an elder. So they’re not really comparable situations.

      1. Welcome back. :)

        “True, but that doesn’t prove that David’s duty wasn’t just to look after them.” — Perhaps not, but “into his arms” seems quite personal. In any event, he had multiple wives whether or not Saul’s widows are taken into account.

        “In 1 Kings 11, is not Solomon’s testimony shown to be tainted, and his ‘many wives’ painted in a negative light?” — I see his marrying *foreign/pagan* women painted in a negative light, not the simple fact that he had plural wives. It was their pagan faith which caused Solomon problems, not their number.

        “True point.” — Finding good information on the line of Cain is a bit of a difficult task. Far too many assumptions have been passed down generation after generation as if they were actually logical doctrines. I’m not saying my beliefs are foolproof — I’m just the fool to prove they aren’t! — but you might enjoy The Line of Cain, a post I made on the subject some time ago.

        “No. Just because something is abused, doesn’t make it wrong (or right).” — But isn’t that the same argument you’re using by pointing out problems supposedly caused by polygyny?

        “Go and read Mal 2. To paraphrase, it states that God could have made more than one woman for Adam, but he didn’t. His order in creation was designed to aid in the raising of a godly seed.” — That passage is an argument against divorce, that God united Adam and Eve so that they could raise godly offspring. The passage goes on to address divorce directly. A husband and wife certainly become “one,” but there is nothing that limits a husband from being “one” with a plurality of women. The Scriptures attest to that fact repeatedly, else plural wives would not be called “wives” for they would not properly be wives in the sight of God.

        “However, if I take multiple wives now, I’m immediately disqualified for future service as an elder. So they’re not really comparable situations.” — Perhaps not. Note that some polygyny advocates point out that there is a translational point in the passage which may cause it to mean “husband of his first wife” rather than “husband of one wife.” If that’s the case, then an elder may have more than one wife and be qualified, provided his marriage to his first wife is still going strong.

        1. I might be wrong, but it appears you’ve made up your mind on the matter.

          I just mention Mal 2 again. It doesn’t matter if the passage is about divorce, the statement still stands. Why does it say, “he had a residue of the spirit. And wherefore one?” What does that mean if it doesn’t mean God could have made Adam more than one wife, but didn’t because His purpose was that they as one flesh, should raise godly offspring?

          A man has no need for multiple wives. If man needed more than one, God, who was to give Adam a “help meet”, would have made him more than one wife.

          “let every man have his own wife” 1 Cor 7:2

          1. “I might be wrong, but it appears you’ve made up your mind on the matter.” — I spent months attempting to defend monogamy on an old message board I once administered; over the course of those few months, I watched as every defense of monogamy-only brought up by me and several others was soundly and logically taken apart. It’s only recently that I have made the decision to trust that what the Scriptures say on the matter of polygyny is true and that I had no reason other than staying within my “comfort zone” to continue to hold the indefensible position of monogamy-only.

            “A man has no need for multiple wives.” — That statement can’t be defended from the Scriptures. Adam needed at least one wife in order to get the human race off the ground; however, it is clear from the Scriptures that there are men who don’t even need one wife. “Need” is not an argument.

            When determining whether something is a sin or not, we turn first to the Law of God which not only does not forbid polygyny but positively accounts for it — and in the case of Levirate marriages, may very well mandate polygynous marriages in certain circumstances.

            With no condemnation in the Law, we turn to the broader Scriptures regarding the matter, and there are still no mention of polygyny being condemned.

            God could have done certain things, men may or may not need certain things, but these are little more than arguments from assumption. They are far from logically defensible. A “Scripture alone” method of establishing doctrine all but requires us to accept polygyny as an acceptable practice. Martin Luther knew it. The early church knew it.

            Actually, “monogamy-only” is a rather recent invention from what I’ve read, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was somehow related to the feminization of America and the church. But I’m out of my league when discussing history, though. :P

            1. “”Need” is not an argument.” — Yes it is. Arguing from the exception doesn’t hold. The general rule is that a man needs a wife, because most of us “cannot contain” 1 Cor 7:9. But, that ‘need’ doesn’t require any more than one wife.

              “A “Scripture alone” method of establishing doctrine all but requires us to accept polygyny as an acceptable practice.” — Obviously, I disagree. “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife…” Note, the singular.

              Also, the theology and teaching of Eph 5 doesn’t match with having multiple wives, if it’s properly understood. There is one head, and one body. There is Christ, and the Church; and it’s represented in marriage with man as the head. Should he have many bodies?

              Also, that passage tells us that men are to love their wives as Christ loved the Church. How did Christ love the church? Sacrificially and particularly. You cannot properly sacrifice yourself to one wife, without minimising the sacrifice made to the other(s). Impossible. Neither can you love each one particularly as Christ loved the Church.

              1. “But, that ‘need’ doesn’t require any more than one wife.” — I agree that some (many?) men need marriage. The Scriptures do not state that any polygynist was overstepping his bounds, so I will not make that assumption on their behalf.

                “Note, the singular.” — The verse isn’t arguing for or mandating polygyny but is instructing husbands how to treat wives. Not every husband has multiple wives, after all, so there’s no reason to expect regulations concerning marriage to always be plural. Further, the second half of the verse, after “the wife,” states that “they” are joint heirs. That’s interesting, if only one wife is in view.

                I appreciate that you have pragmatic reasons based on certain biblical precepts, but the Bible makes no attempt to apply those against polygynist families. No one is ever criticized, ostracized, or otherwise called out by God, His Christ, or His apostles for being a polygynist, and I suggest, Armen, that you are treading unwise tracks in forcing a monogamy-only viewpoint into the pages of Scriptures when in fact the Scriptures allow for pologyny.

                I’ve been saving this for its own blog post as it’s bit of a coup de grâce in defending polygyny, but God Himself is described as being in a polygynist relationship.

            2. There are 2 things that i would like to address here ” the feminization of America” & Martin Luther’s approval of polygamy . Being female in the old testament left you no choice in matters of marriage ….who you would marry & also if your husband wanted to have more wives & also consubines. Men had total control over women …..they were their “property” to do with what they wished…..just like owning cattle or horses. If a man wanted to divorce his wife under the Mosiac law he could without any good reason & Jesus said this law was given by Moses because of “the hardness of his heart” but it was’nt from the beginning ….you know what scripture i am going to quote “he made them male & female & a man shall leave his father & mother & cling to his wife & the 2 shall become 1 flesh”. God intended that the man be the leader in the family & to “love his wife as his own flesh”. If a “christian man demands the approval or forces his wife to “submit to polygamy”using the scripture “wives submit to your husbands in everything”….i believe he is a hypocrite because he is not loving his wife as his own flesh because he is forcing her to accept something he would never endure himself. I know the subject is not about forcing your wife to accept polygamy but it is related to women rights & God’s will for women. Did God our father intend for women to be treated like cattle? No he loves us as much as he loves men. Do we have a choice as far as polygamy is concerned?We do under the “feminization in America” as you call it. Feminist is a dirty word to some people because they associate it mainly with abortion. But in the beginning it had to do with equal pay for women & the right to vote. Feminism is a woman’s voice in matters …..our right to be equal with a man as far as making our own choices in life. It can be good choices or bad choices but it is freedom to choose just like a man can choose to make choices for his life. I thank God that we live in a free nation …..that women are not cattle….that we can vote….that we have EQUALITY & can choose who we want to marry or not marry. “You shall know the truth & the truth will set you FREE”. Polygamy started as a “custom from man” not God. God allowed it & even commanded it in one occasion (to keep his brothers name & inheritance alive by marrying his sister-in-law & having children with her). That is the only instance where it was a command. That was a “tribal thing”. Each tribe had their own land under their fathers name……no one wanted to loose their inheritance. This woman had no children so to preserve her dead husbands name & inheritance she was to marry her brother-in-law. Do you think that God has commanded polygamy today in any way shape or form? I say no…..but there are “cults”…..christian cults & also Muslims who through their “false prophets” who force women into polygamy saying it is “god’s commandment” that they submit to it. Joseph Smith was married to his first wife Emma when he had the “hots” for the 16 year old maid in the house in which he had an affair with & got her pregnant. Emma wanted to keep this horrible scandal a secret & get her out of the house when suddenly Joseph gets a revelation from God that all men should be polygamist & that all women must submit to it or burn in hell. That my friend is the beginning of polygamy in the Mormon faith. Started by Joseph Smith to make it approved by god his going out on his wife & not giving her or any other woman a choice in the matter.Yeah just make them all your wives & take their rights away & tell them that not only does god approve but he commands it.
              Ok 2 subject……Martin Luther’s approval of polygamy…i forgot the mans name but remember the whole story of him coming to Luther for “god’s approval” of polygamy. First off this man’s marriage was “arranged by his family ” (forced) to have an alleince & keep or add power & property in the family(sound familiar?) Old testament customs…..anyway it was said that he did’nt love his wife even though they had a lot of children together. We are talking forced marriage here no choice for the man or the woman. This man did the exact thing that Joseph Smith did……he was having sex with the “lady in waiting” (maid) who was 16 years old ……commiting adultery under his wife’s nose. He loved this girl & did not love his wife but divorce was not an option under the Roman Catholic rule so he goes to Luther to get approval for his actions . He was cornered under the laws of that time so he found a way out by Luther’s famouse saying “i do not see any disagreement in scripture as to having more than one wife”. So Luther is the hero for those who are “pro polygamy” (mostly men in that camp)…..the only women that i hear about that are pro-polygamy are those who were raised in a cult by the words of a false prophet who claim to be a “voice from god”. Both Joseph Smith & Mohamid claim to be THE ONLY true way & voice of God. They are both liars & false prophets. Here is a little history on Luther…..he approved of polygamy & he also wanted to kill the Jews because they rejected Christ Jesus. You know if a man went to Luther back then & used scripture to approve of slavery you can bet that he could find scriptures to back up the approval because just like polygamy there were laws about how to treat your slaves in God’s word so that means that god allowed it & it is’nt against God’s laws so slavery has god’s stamp of approval also……see how that logic works? To me polygamy is a form of slavery.

              1. Yes, God commanded polygyny. Because polygyny isn’t a sin.

                Yes, polygyny is a form of slavery — all biblical marriages are. The husband is the head of the wife just as Jesus is the head of the husband; and how are believers in Jesus described? As slaves to a master.

                If you really don’t like the “slavery” aspect of it, the problem isn’t with polygyny — it’s with the Bible. Period. (Remember, this is a book that says women can be raped into marriage because the rape takes away the only thing of value a woman has in the view of the Lawgiver: virginity.)

                1. Yes …..i know what scripture you are talking about & i was horrified when i read that the woman who was raped was forced to marry her rapist. I personally have had a hard time with the way some scriptures put down , degrade & abuse women. I thought…..”how can a loving god let this be?” It shook my faith & i was very depressed. I have noticed that you left Christianity & are an atheist now. I haven’t read your article yet but i was wondering if the reason was ……did you think the god of the Bible is unfair?
                  Me personal view is that it is’nt God who is unfair……it is sinful man (including sinful woman) & i know there is a devil (father of all lies)….i have had a real frightening event happen to me that showed me of his reality. There is a god & there is a devil who wants to be “god”. My faith in Jesus Christ is the only thing that keeps me going in life…….knowing that God loves me & accepts me when i did’nt even love myself. If there is no God that loves me then there is no purpose in life . We are our own god then……doing the same thing & believing the same lie that lucifer started …….you are god.

          2. It seem the subject keeps going back to the garden where everything was perfect, once adam and eve sinned the plan for Jesus was set in place.
            it was Gods intension for adam and eve not to sin and live in obedience to him, one request dont eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they could have had any other fruit from any other tree,especailly the tree of life, but they didnt.
            now it was Gods desire for adam and eve to walk in obedience from the beginning, now the question is before christ did you walk in total obedience since adam and eve did not? or after you came to Jesus have you walked in perfect obedience?
            I am sure the Father would have desired total obedience from the beginning but it didnt happen, as long as we are in this sinful bodies we will fall short . even being a chrisitan we fall short.
            notice God never mentions to solomon the way it was in the beginning with adam and eve. when he had 700 wive and 300 concubines , also he was not to collect horses,or gold and silver yet he was the wealthiest king ever, but God did rebuked him because the wives turn his heart away from him and brought idolatry to israel.
            and david a man after Gods own heart , told david after him bringing many wives and concubine from heron by the prophet, if you wanted more wive you should have asked i would have gave them to you .but why did you take another mans wife. and have him killed. God rebuked david for adultry and murder, and why is david call an adulter ? because he took another mans wife, not once because he had many or had concubines.
            so lets get off this religious soap box. also God said be fruitful and multiply, why do we have birth control pills,
            and please read in hebrew languege the ture meaning and understanding of malachi 2:16, every translation is mans own understanding according to his conviction, be very careful.

      2. “Go and read Mal 2. To paraphrase, it states that God could have made more than one woman for Adam, but he didn’t. His order in creation was designed to aid in the raising of a godly seed.”

        God first made Lilith for Adam. So he did indeed give Adam multiple wives.

      3. All of these MEN look at their LIVES and YOU want to say there was no DISAPPROVAL from GOD. You’re an IDIOT trying to TEACH your OWN FALSE DOCTRINE. Take a LOOK at LAMECH in the CAUCASIAN GENEALOGY refer to (GEN. 4:19 & GEN. 4:24) where his Polygamy resulted in LAMECH murdering his own BLOOD RELATIVE “CAIN” the first CAUCASIAN MAN. Look at what HAPPEN to ABRAHAM that fathered a CHILD by HAGAR his BONDWOMEN and the CHILD were CAST-OUT refer to (GEN. 21:10) which GOD agreed with SARAH and “NOT” ABRAHAM which was TOLD by GOD to “HEARKEN unto THY WIFE” and do as she COMMANDED. Even King DAVID
        “MURDERED” a WOMAN’S HUSBAND just so he could COMMIT POLYGAMY. I DISAGREE just because GOD didn’t say he DISAPPROVED doesn’t mean that he DIDN’T and you can TELL by the WAY the CURSES in their LIVES developed as a result of this SIN. DEBUNK these BIBLICAL SCRIPTURES because there are many more.

  2. I would propose, Rick, that 2 Sam 7-8 is not necessarily suggesting that David was to take Saul’s wives to be his own, but rather that he should become their guardian. Having been humbled by Saul, they were not eligible women for other men. But, someone needed to care for them.

    Your position on polygamy is clearly incorrect. The law of Moses regulated polygamy, but never approved of it. In fact, if your support is from David and you think God gave him multiple wives, then God contradicts his own word. Read Deut 17 concerning any king over Israel, “Neither shall he multiply wives to himself…”

    God’s order is that a man should take one wife. It was instituted as such in the garden of Eden. Polygamy then originated with the son of rebellious Cain (Gen. 4:16-19). Not a good example.

    Many godly men had one wife (Adam, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, Boaz, Job, etc) and those who had many wives had much heartache as a result of it.

    Why is it important that a man only have one wife? It’s almost impossible to raise a godly family in any other environment. “And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed.” Mal 2:15

    On top of all that, no man with multiple wives can hold office in the church, and there are no godly examples of post-conversion polygamists in the NT.

    I trust these scriptures may be used to help you reconsider your postion.

    1. Interesting Armen.

      You have the bravado to compare the righteous men of the Bible with rebellious Cane the murderer of his righteous brother on account they married more than one wife legally and with Yahweh’s Blessing? Because with Yahweh there is no silence it is Yeah or Nay, right or wrong, no grey areas.

  3. Prohibition against polygamy will be legally indefensible if gay marriage becomes legally recognized. Yes, it’s a slippery slope argument, which doesn’t make it any less valid.

    The War on Drugs on the other hand continues unabated due to obscene profit margin.

  4. “… monogamous societies have a much higher rate of divorce than do polygynous ones. Why that is, I cannot say for certain.”

    I think I know why. When you have only one wife and you happen to fall in love with another woman/girl and want to marry her, you have no option, but to divorce the first one. However, if you were allowed to marry more than one, then you would keep the old one, and get a new one.

    If you have your wife who you not pleased with (either sexually or due to other issues), you have no other option but to divorce and get another one. However, if you were allowed to have more than one wife, then you would find a better one, and keep the old one to see on rare occasions.

    In my opinion it is not good that men are not allowed to have more than one wife, because they have them anyway, they just either do not call them wives, but girlfriend (concubines), or they get “real” multiple wives by a way of divorce, divorcing one and marry another, then another, and another. Probably 60-70% of men get divorced multiple times so they can have multiple wives; the only difference is that they have them on at different times. The “single wife” system hurts women and children the most.

    1. The single wife system hurts woman & children most???? Ah no it is just the reverse my friend. Women get a knife in their heart & back when they know that their husband is having sex with another woman telling their 2nd wife that they love them “with all their heart”……the same words that they told their first wife. How can that not hurt? Also the children get hurt because now they have a “part time dad” because their is competition with “other children from another wife”. Then there is the matter of inheritance …..when daddy dies…..who gets what. It is because of polygamy that we have the biggest family fued in history……Abraham Sarah & Hagar . One father 2 wives turned into 2 nations & 2 different faiths fighting over the inheritence of the land. They hate each other & the whole world will & is involved over this one……all because of polygamy.

      1. You’re saying polygyny is wrong because of the ill effects of one family’s decisions… That isn’t how sin works in the Bible, though. You’re defining sin not based on God’s Law but instead on your own judgment of events. In other words, God didn’t condemn the polygyny; you are.

        Also, “I love you with all my heart.” Are you saying parents with more than one kid can’t say that to each kid as it would somehow be a lie? You’re making a lot of assumptions about love.

        1. Rick the subject is not sin the subject is the effects of polygamy & your statement of “monogamy being worse & more hurtful on woman & children then polygamy”. Can a man love all his children with all his heart equally? Yes of course Rick. Can he love more then one woman at the same time? Yes of course Rick. Should women have to submit to polygamy Rick? Is it a commandment from God Rick? The only advantages of polygamy are for the men & the only people i see who are polygamist are either Mormon or Muslim except for a few Christian polygamist groups. It is a form of slavery ……..God did allow it but never except for 1 time commanded it in the Bible…..since you are pro polygamy…….are you practicing yourself? Are you married Rick? Can i talk to your wife & get her views on this subject?

          1. I’m reading all the views of others on this post & i’m only hearing the men’s views…..some against but most for polygamy………stupid me! Of course most men are in favor of owning & having multiple sex partners LOL! Oh & they have God’s approval of course. Well lets hear some views from the women. I wish i could talk to Sarah & Hagar…….wish i could talk to the 1000 wives & lesser wives of King Solomon. ( there are 365 days in a year & 1000 women to have quality time with 1 husband)……lets see…..that means Solomon has sex with 3 a day…..no rest he needs viagra LOL! some men are never satisfied with one wife but women have to be satisfied & are commanded to be with one husband or they are called a whore. What a joke ! Man created polygamy not God

            1. Read the list of biblical polygynists above; God gave wives to David. So well, whether you like it or not, God “created” at least one polygynous union.

              Abraham is mentioned above too; his taking a second wife was, well, Sarah’s idea.

              Solomon is a special case; he violated the law given to kings about multiplying wives unto himself, but even then, he was never condemned by God for it, nor was any other person in the Bible.

              And yes, I agree, the one-sided nature of the Bible is wrong — women should be free to take as many husbands (or wives!) as they want. However, if you want that, you need to break free from bronze age religions and step into modern humanism that allows adults to make their own decisions without thinking there’s a sun god staring at their genitalia at all times to make sure it doesn’t touch the wrong person’s special places.

          2. Yes, I’m married. But I’m also not a Christian. I’m in favor of people having any sort of relationships that they want, so long as it’s consensual. For all I care, a woman can have ten husbands, and each of those husbands can have a variety of wives. Love is a wonderful thing. For me, I choose monogamy. I have friends who choose poly, and I have friends who choose polygyny (the wives of which are also my friends and defend the practice as well).

            You’re arguing that polygyny is a form of slavery, but biblically, that’s basically what marriage is — the wife becomes property of the husband. “Love” isn’t even a biblical reason to get married (in the New Testament, the only valid reason to get married is uncontrollable lust, for example). If you have a problem with the marriage-as-slavery/women-as-property thing, congratulations, you’re more moral than God (most people are, but typically only atheists/humanists are wise enough to admit it).

            You argue that the only advantages of polygyny belong to the men; that’s subjective. In such a relationship, there are sister wives who can support one another, who can help each other in raising families, and so on. You cite a few “bad examples” in the Bible, but “bad examples” don’t define sin. The Law of God does. You’re attempting to add new sins to the Law could be tantamount to “adding unto the words of God,” which Revelation says results in not so very good things, for what it’s worth.

    2. Alyssa O'Donnell

      In reality, according to Jesus, a man who divorces a faithful wife to get another wife is commiting adultery. So, he does not have multiple wives, he has multiple adulterous relationships. Mathew 19:9

      1. Of course he doesn’t have “multiple wives”; the passage specifically says he leaves one to marry another.

        The passage doesn’t say anything about multiple simultaneous wives.

  5. Excellent post Rick…

    I am always amazed at your turnabout on this issue. The real question becomes why is this so hard for men to understand?

    Those of us who debate this are accused of ear tickling, but the truth is it is not an attractive topic.

    God Bless,


  6. Hello,
    I like your page, and have been enjoying it. AMEN! (to most of it). I have been a Spirit filled Christ follower for 13 years, and in the past 5 years I have REALLY began to question “society’s” or “religious” view point of a man only having one wife. I agree with most of what your saying, and will continue to read and comment, BUT, in all fairness to the readers who do NOT read, or understand the Holy Scriptures, don’t you think you should disclose the FACT that when Abraham married Keturah, it was way after Sarah was dead? I’m just sayin’.
    Anyway, keep up the good work, and if your going to speak about those who I will call “the scissor Christians”, then I suggest that you don’t be one by omitting important FACTS to prove your point of view on such an ENORMOUSLY controversial, and HORRIBLY misunderstood issue.
    Moto Jeff

    1. Thanks for the comment, Jeff, and for fact-checking for me. And you’re right, Keturah came into the picture after Sarah’s death, but was it after Hagar’s also? I’m not sure. If not, then Keturah’s inclusion above is still valid, I think.

      1. Your welcome, and I enjoy doing it. In order to answer your question, I must first ask if you understand Hagar to have been a wife to Abraham, or just a concubine? Which raises another question about a similar, and highly flammable issue; what is a concubine? Why did God allow it (or overlook it) in the O.T.? And why aren’t men of God today allowed to have “concubines”? I’m not saying I think it’s a good thing, but maybe it’s simply situational? These are very sensitive issues that I don’t see in black or white yet.

  7. A Proudly Christian Feminist

    How self serving – yet another group of men above quoting outdated, antiquated verses from the Old Testament. These proponents of “Christian” Polygamy tell us that men are entitled to multiple wives, but women are entitled to only one husband. They tell us that a man can never commit adultery unless he has sex with a married woman, so any single woman is “game” – but a woman is a harlot, or worse, an adultress, doomed to hell, no matter whom she has sex with if she is not married to the man in question. These “Christian” Polygamists are quick to cite verses to justify gratification of their sexual appetites with multiple women, but recall these verses were written in an era when women were nothing more than CHATTEL, without education or the ability to provide for themselves, totally dependent on men for their survival – and their only possession which apparently had any value was their HYMEN. Since you seem to have such an interest in antiquated Old Testament regulations, perhaps you should weigh in on another permitted, but regulated Old Testament institution – SLAVERY

    1. Hey “Proudly Christian Feminist”, your feminist pride has blinded and concetrated you on a totally different issue than what I talk about.

    2. More interesting is how one squares “feminism” with “Christianity,” let alone the practice of polygyny. Feminism is indirectly responsible for all sorts of errors in today’s church — the weakening of God, who is a “man of war,” to that of a kind, caring cosmic fairy; the negative view of alcohol (even when viewed separately from drunkenness) that still hasn’t dissipated nearly a century after prohibition; egalitarianism in marriage and leadership, despite the very clearly defined gender roles throughout the Scriptures (not just the Old Testament); and so on.

      If the issues of gender relations, slavery, or anything else in the Scriptures bother you, I can only counsel you to take the matters to God in prayer if you are indeed a Christian. God does not change. Either it was His will to never say a harsh word about polygyny but to allow it in nearly 1/3 of his exampled saints in Hebrews 11, or it was not. And if it was not, then can we really trust the Word of God for painting a different picture of God than what really exists?

      Jesus looked to the Old Testament and praised it as pointing to Him, as advocating it as saying that it shall never pass away, and as glorifying it by holding everyone accountable to it. He did not look into it and say, “Except for this, this, this, and this.” If we are Christian, then we cannot excise teachings from the Old Testament just because we do not like them. We must conform our minds to it rather than forcing our pride upon it. If this was an easy thing, Jesus wouldn’t have been crucified with only a handful of disciples still following Him. Thousands walked away from Him because of what He taught. I’m convinced that true, biblical doctrine isn’t supposed to appeal to us. Yahweh’s ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. Indeed, they are more precious than gold, whereas ours are utterly worthless, of less value than a used menstruation cloth (or “filthy rag” as the King James Version renders it).

      1. A Proudly Christian Feminist

        If you buy the whole Old Testament baggage, you will then have to :
        1) admit slavery is acceptable
        2) admit that you are COMMANDED to EXECUTE:
        Persons who have sex with animals
        Disobedient Children
        3) admit that in biblical warfare, God “commanded” biblical patriarchs to kill all the survivors including men, women and children.
        That’s alot to swallow.
        Open wide.

        1. The command to execute sinners is one that the New Testament shares. Paul affirms it in the Book of Romans, and Jesus affirms that in the End Times, all who would have not His rule will be executed before Him. This is not “Old Testament baggage,” this is Scripture, through and through. Although, it must be pointed out that only civil authorities have the right to execute sinners, as Paul and the Old Testament affirm and as Jesus affirms when He stopped individuals from taking upon themselves the execution of an adulteress woman.

          Slavery is still practiced today — the American military is a form of it, actually. Slavery has a negative connotation because Americans screwed it up royally. In ancient Israel, there were slaves who would choose to remain with their owners for protection, provision, and so on. It was not a wholly bad situation.

          As for the Scriptures being anti-woman, there are numerous women who were very prominent, who operated outside the home, and so on and so forth. Likewise, the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 pictures a woman who is not only a wonderful wife and homemaker but is also involved in local economy and so on.

          It is telling that “the voice of sanity” is the one which rejects over half of Yahweh’s holy Word as being “baggage.” That isn’t sanity, that’s flirting with disaster.

          1. Since you suddenly demonstrate an interest in the “civil authorities ” who rule over us, I would remind you that the Scripture admonishes us to submit to the authorities which govern us … and if you live in the United States as I do, the civil authorities have spoken – polygamy is ILLEGAL . So what was the purpose of this discourse in the first place ? Advocating for illegal activity ?

            1. Attaining multiple marriage licenses in America is illegal. Biblical marriage does not require the purchase of a civil marriage license, so biblical polygyny is allowed and practiced in America. The only pitfall is that because civil marriage licenses were not obtained, certain rights would not be bestowed upon the spouses.

              That is unfortunate indeed, which is why there are those who advocate that polygyny be recognized under the law.

              Also, claiming that it is against the “law of the land” is a cop-out. If it is a biblically acceptable practice, we should push for it to be allowed under freedom of religion. When preaching the Gospel is outlawed — or preaching against homosexuality or other pet sins — will you quietly accept the “law of the land”?

              The test of sin isn’t whether America says it is so, it is whether the Law of God says it is so, for sin is transgression of the Law. Because no one can go to the Law of God and say, “Polygyny is a sin,” I contend that it is thus not a sin. It isn’t for everybody — I’m in a monogamist relationship and plan to stay that way for the rest of my life — but the fight for truth isn’t a fight for what is practical or pragmatic “for me right now,” it’s a fight for What Saith the Lord.

              1. We are commanded to follow the law of the land in which we live.
                We are not commanded to engage in polygamy.
                Does the name Tom Green mean anything to you ?
                He was prosecuted for bigamy and he spent time in jail.
                Any woman who engages in your version of “biblical polygamy” has no legal rights is a fool.

                1. Were the wives of David fools? Or of Abraham? Just curious. The Scriptures don’t tell us whether they are or not, so I’d appreciate your expert opinion on the matter.

                  And yes, the Law does command polygyny in at least one instance: Levirate marriage. If polygyny is a sin, then that particular law makes no sense.

                  Also, if I were to live in a culture where polygyny is allowed under the civil authority, your arguments lose what little weight they carry. “It’s illegal” doesn’t answer the question of whether “it’s biblical” or not. As I said earlier, when the day comes that preaching against homosexuality or false religions is a sin, we are either going to obey the law of the land or rebel against it. The law of the land is only as worthwhile as its ability to not contradict the Law of God.

                  Also, it should be pointed out that we’re probably within ten years of polygyny being legal in America anyway — unfortunately not thanks to Christians who want to recover the biblical practice but instead because of those following in the footsteps of the rapidly advancing homosexual movement.

                  So once polygyny is legal (the day is coming, I promise you), what will your argument against it be? It will no longer be against the law of the land, and it is not in any way against the Law of God…

                  1. Levirite marriage was not mandatory.
                    A man was not REQUIRED to marry his brother’s wife.
                    He could refuse – this is known as halizah in Judaism. Halizah is referenced in Deuteronomy. Look it up.
                    Hillel wrote in Pirkei Avot that most men in ancient Israel invoked halizah and refused to marry their brother’s wife.
                    Besides when was it that you ever saw one of these polygamists marry their brother’s wife ?
                    They never do – they are always interested in the younger, hotter model.
                    Telling me that we must have polygamy in the US because the bible permits it is like telling me that we must have slavery in the US because the bible permits it.

                    1. Nobody is saying we must have polygyny. What I am saying is that we must not demonize those who choose to practice it. The Scriptures are very clear about what is and is not a sexual sin.

                      Everything from homosexuality to incest, fornication to adultery is pointed out and marked very clearly as sin. Why not polygyny? Why, when a third of the Hall of Faith practiced it? Why, when the Father Himself is described as having two brides at once? Why?

                      The logical answer is that polygyny is not sinful and that men are free to have more than one wife if they so desire.

                      Levirate marriages were part of the Law; those who chose not to participate were essentially spitting in their brother’s face. There was shame associated with it. That’s in the Bible too. (What the Jewish rabbis turned it into is of little concern to me; there was a lot that was embellished in Judaism that isn’t “Sola Scriptura,” just as there is a lot within Christianity that has little to do with the Scriptures.)

                      Given the primary impetus behind marriage — that being procreation — it actually makes perfect sense for men to have married younger women. Provided she was of marrying age and her father consented, the marriage was allowed. That’s in the New Testament, by the way. I suppose it’s sexist too, when viewed from a culture-colored perspective.

                    2. Polygyny is not a commandment – it was not mandatory. Most ancient Jewish men in Jesus’ time invoked their right to decline Levirite marriage thru halizah, as documented by Hillel in Pirkei Avot. Polygyny is an ancient practice which evolved to enable women who outnumbered men in the population to have a spouse who provided with them food, clothing, and shelter. These women were largely uneducated, were not permitted employment, and had no means to support themselves, thus their dependency on men. Polygyny is not commanded, it is permitted and regulated, just as slavery was. It is no longer necessary as women have the ability to obtain an education and employment. We can marry for love, not economics.
                      I regret to inform you that most reputable New Testament scholars do not agree with you – they emphatically state that polygamy was condemned by the apostles and New Testament scripture. They base their objections on the scriptures in the original Greek text. Their view is that polygyny is not permitted by Christian scriptures and is sinful. Not one of the apostles was a polygamist. Not one of the early church fathers was a polygamist, and all of the early church fathers to a man (not catholic church) spoke out against the practice.
                      Why did the Apostle St. Thomas teach the ancient Persian converts that polygamy was sinful if polygamy is indeed still permitted ? You do realize that ancient papyri have been found which document his teaching on the subject.
                      Only the lunatic fringe cultists will tell you that polygyny is permitted to Christians.
                      You unfortunately have been duped by a group on male fanatics with zipper problems.
                      Any woman who involves herself in “Biblical Polygamy” has no legal rights and is a fool. Read “God’s Brothel” or any one of a number of books written by women who were involved in the practice.

                      Polygyny is a hold over from a day and an age where

                    3. I wonder if you have actually read anything I’ve written or are just pasting in rehashed arguments from elsewhere?

                      The “biblical arguments against polygyny” don’t exist. There are none. The Bible never condemns anyone for polygyny, nor does it ever even portray it in a negative light.

                      I realize that not many people teach that, but frankly, who cares? Very few Christians preach a true Gospel (the entirety of the Roman Catholic Church teaches a false gospel, for example), the vast majority of Christians believe that Satan was a fallen angel named Lucifer (none of which is taught in the Scriptures), and so on.

                      If you want to deal with polygyny on a strictly biblical level, I welcome it. Appealing to teachers, books, and so on is a logical fallacy. Deal with the scriptures themselves or leave the conversation.

                    4. So who is the great biblical scholar who believes the New Testament supports polygamy – other than you of course ….apparently you know more than St. Thomas who was an apostle ? He lived with Christ for three years.

                    5. Uppity, I’m not going to answer that because it is not a real argument. Look up “appeal to authority” on a logic website. It’s a fallacy, and one which I’m not going to fall into here.

                      There are people who quote Jesus’ discussion of Adam and Eve, stating that it precludes polygyny. But that discussion was about divorce, not polygyny.

                      Now you’re quoting Paul, but that passage is about fornication and the benefits of marriage, not polygyny.

                      Do you have any argument against polygyny that is based on a biblical passage that is actually about polygyny? Bonus points if the passage comes from the Law of God, which again, is the determining factor in whether something is sin or not, for (again) sin is transgression of the law. You seem content to make up a sin and force it into the Scriptures, and if so that is fine for you (although God has nothing nice to say about those who would add to His Word), but please do not teach such traditions here without something more substantial to back them up.

                    6. I’ll start with something kinda funny; Why a man would even want a wife is a mystery, why a man would want a second wife is a bigamistry! Now let’s be serious, not delerious.
                      “Lunatic fringe cultists with zipper problems”? Bravo, BRAVO! What an entertaining display of education, feminism, and of course, my personal favorite, the work of Satan himself; ACCUSATIONS. However, the FACTS remain; FEMINISM was never God’s plan. In Genesis (look up the “outdated antiquated, Scripture for yourself, and, in case you have trouble finding Genesis, it’s the first book in The Holy Bible) Eve was conversing with the serpent, and you will see that she got confused, and apparently was even unsure of God’s intentions for her. Then, once she was deceived to the serpent’s way of thinking, and quite certain she was missing out, uneducated, not allowed to work, and definitely not permitted to drive a car, she believed that by going against the original commandment of God, she would be ‘enlightened’. So, as we all know, she took a bite or two. But then something unexpected happened, she gave some to her husband, who was WITH her, and he ate also. Well, I think we all know what happens after that. So much for women knowing what’s best about what God’s Heart on an issue is. See, Adam wimped out. He followed his wife. He was led astray some how, and ate also. Well ladies, I won’t eat. Not the world’s ways.
                      Finally, we read in I Corinthians 11:9 (New Testament) women WERE created from men, for men! How DARE you say that The Word of GOD is antiquated! Are you a Darwinist? Do you believe in some convoluted Christian evolution or something? God is the SAME yesterday, today, AND FOREVER! Now, try out dating THAT!
                      And I am not necessarily a “proponent” of having more than one wife, but I’m not (nor is God) an opponent. It really is situational. Obviously, it’s not God’s best for us, and, it’s certainly not his favorite subject, but what if a man (and woman) wants to have children, and the wife is barren? If she agrees, and the man meets another woman, and they also marry, what do you think God’s heart is on that? Of course, the man must not be an Apostle, Pastor, or Deacon, that’s made pretty clear in the N.T.
                      Any further nonsense on these issues should be able to be backed up with SCRIPTURES. Not hearsay, opinions, or what “St Thomas” said. Let’s get real here, ok?

                    7. King Henry VII married his brothers wife. Then divorced her. Then murdered some. Divorced more. He is known for his many wives. Had polygamy been allowed most would have no idea whom he was. A forgotten king in history.

      2. A Proudly Christian Feminist

        Sorry, I believe that Adam and Eve was a parable written by MEN for the benefit of MEN.
        Mitochondrial DNA studies have shown that the forerunners of the human race were 7 females, not men.
        I don’t believe the earth was created in six days either – science has proven otherwise. So much for your education in science.
        I don’t believe that I, or any other woman, was created for MEN .
        I believe I was created equal to MEN, for the purpose of serving God.
        I don’t believe that God ever ordered Biblical Kings to kill their enemies, to the last man, woman, and child, nor do I believe that God wants you to have multiple wives while a woman is entitled to one spouse alone, unless it was absolutely necessary to continue the human race. You don’t need to marry a second wife today to guarantee progeny – there is always adoption, as well as fertility treatments .
        Most reasonable Christian scholars do not believe the New Testament supports polygamy. They cite the scriptures I and others have mentioned. Apparently you don’t agree with them, nor do you agree with all the early leaders of the Christian Church, who specifically condemned the practice. So you have some special revelation. Continue in your delusions. Good night

        1. I hope you realize the logical inconsistency of your belief. You’re essentially saying, “I believe that a great deal of the major themes of the Word of God are false legend invented by men for men, and to reinforce just how anti-man I am, I’m going to actually believe a few Bible verses here and there so strongly that I can apply them to polygyny, even though the context has nothing to do with that.”

          The Scriptures stand and fall as a whole; picking and choosing what you want to believe is destructive. The Lord Himself affirmed the Old Testament — including the Creation account — (and why shouldn’t He, for He was present during the events being described) and one cannot in truth call themselves a Christian if they reject those Scriptures which the Christ declared testified of Him.

            1. The difference is that I’d rather trust what God said rather than what men (or women, I suppose) nearly 2,000 years later think He said.

              I was merely pointing out the irony of using any Scriptures to argue against polygyny when you have come out into the open as not believing just about anything the Bible says. So why should we believe what you think regarding a few verses regarding marriage? Once you reject what the Scriptures mean, then you can make them mean anything. So why bother arguing for anything?

        2. Dear P.C. Feminist:

          I’m just new to this conversation but I found your comment very interesting and thought I’d respond to it.

          — “Sorry, I believe that Adam and Eve was a parable written by MEN for the benefit of MEN.” —

          Why is it you later in your comments, call on the credibility of New Testament scholars concerning polygamy, yet here you say that you believe Adam and Eve was a parable, which is not held by any credible Old Testament Scholar.

          Also you say it was written for the benefit of men? How?

          Eve was created a “help-meet” (ezer), she was a helper, she wasn’t a servant, and that was never the intention. They needed and relied on each other.

          If the book was written as well to favour men, we sure seemed to get a bad deal out of it in Genesis 3:17-20. Also the woman experienced pain in child birth because of her sin, yet she also received an amazing blessing, the promise of the Messiah coming through the seed of the woman.

          I could go on, but this alone makes me wonder if you have a miss-placed hate on for men considering there is no favour given to one over the other in the Genesis account.

          — Mitochondrial DNA studies have shown that the forerunners of the human race were 7 females, not men. —
          Have you ever actually looked closely at mitochondrial DNA, and you’re just chucking that line in there hoping that no one will figure it out and buy into your views, or did you just read a blurb of it somewhere and like it so quoted it here?
          mtDNA , if looking for it in males is found mainly in the base of the sperm’s tail and helps propel the sperm into the egg, and it is then destroyed. mtDNA is extremely rare in males and found in possibly only one male case and was linked with infertility. If you wish to trace paternal lineage then using mitochondrial DNA is not the case, now if you want to trace your maternial heritage back then using mtDNA is the way to go, hence the reason you find the “7 ancestoral women” all which would have had men who fathered their children. In fact if we wish to speculate, it is believed that Japeth is the father of all Europeans and in Genesis 10, he had 7 grandsons, so maybe they were the husbands of the 7 women.

          — I don’t believe the earth was created in six days either – science has proven otherwise. So much for your education in science. —
          The Hebrew language found within Genesis would state that the earth was created in 6 days. Science has not proven otherwise. Evolutionary scientists attempt to say that the earth is billions of years old, but even honest evolutionists will tell you that they hold to a philosophy that they are attemption to hold to at any cost. You have not denied the creation story based off science, but off naturalistic philosophy and the fear that you may have to face up to the fact that there truly is credibility to the Genesis account.
          — I don’t believe that God ever ordered Biblical Kings to kill their enemies, to the last man, woman, and child —
          The Bible says that it happened, and a close study of the passages would give you a very clear reason why it happened based off Genesis 6, not to mention that the credible, New Testament scholars that you would refer to later in your comment would be the same ones that would accept the Old Testament stories that speak of the execution of nations.

          I have no interest in joining in on the polygamist debate, but couldn’t help but say something when I saw the inconsistencies in your accepting of scripture only when you feel it suits your views, and with your partial scientific evidences mascarading as absolute truths.

          The Biblical Fundamentalist

          1. FOOL! Polygamy is ALLOWED by GOD! Get over it! A MAN has a right to as many wives as he wants! No wo=MAN, is a victim of polygamy, if she agrees to it, it’s NO ONES business!

        3. what about birth control ? where does it say it .
          the bottom line is jealious is a factor, woman are very jealous and want things there way, they want to wear the pants in the home, and part of the curse would be for the woman would be the desire for the man, and not a love or a sexual desire , but a desire to control him. and he is to put here on check ,he is to control her , sorry femenist it in the word.

    3. At last ! A voice of sanity on this string ! Brava ! Thanks Proudly Christian feminist! The ability of women to vote, get an education, hold a job, drive a car, have her own husband who is not shared with anyone, and even venture outside the household are accomplishments of feminism, and we as women should be proud.

  8. There are three rules to interpreting passages, such as 1 Cor. 7.

    1. Context
    2. Context
    3. Context.

    I haven’t read all the comments, but if “uppity” is against polygamy, I would love to read answers to verses that are showing polygamy, right now the intelligent, logical, side of the conversation is for polygamy, the other side unfortunately is just a large amount of random thoughts with verses quoted out of context.

  9. 1 Corinthians 7:2
    Let each man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
    That is clear enough to me.

    1. First Corinthians 7:2 is an argument against fornication, not polygyny. The text is not intended as a limiting factor against polygyny. It is, rather, an affirmation of the Law of God. If it was a declaration that polygyny is a sin, where in the Law of God was that declared, for sin is the transgression of the Law?

      1. In your opinion it is an argument against fornication.
        In the opinion of most biblical scholars, it is a condemnation of polygamy.

        1. Where in the Scriptures does Thomas teach what you say? If it isn’t Scripture, it isn’t infallibly authoritative.

          The context of 1 Corinthians 7 is fornication. The Corinthians had been told that it would best to just not touch women at all; Paul says that not touching them at all would lead to sexual temptation — built up sexual desires and such — and for that reason, marriage should be allowed and is a good thing.

          Polygyny isn’t even mentioned at all in the passage. What “most biblical scholars” are you talking about? Any that can actually read the passage/context?

          1. The Scripture states that each man should have his own wife, and each wife her own husband. It does not state that you are permitted multiple wives.
            Who exactly are the biblical scholars who support your position ?

      2. In relation to 1 Cor 7:2 – the word “own” is translated from two different words in the Greek. The difference in them is significant, I think. This has been very nicely treated here:


        Here a quote of the relevant section:

        “Own Wife” Versus “Own Husband”

        Another common objection to polygyny in the New Covenant is found in 1 Corinthians 7:2.

        But because of whoring, let each one have his own [1438] wife, and let each woman have her own [2398] husband. (1 Corinthians 7:2, The Scriptures)

        and because of the whoredom let each man have his own [1438] wife, and let each woman have her proper [2398] husband (1 Corinthians 7:2, YLT)

        Some critics of polygyny believe that the wording “his own” and “her own” in this verse suggests monogamy over polygyny. It is sometimes argued that the phrase “let each woman have her own husband” implies that she must have ownership of her husband. Therefore, they reason, the husband couldn’t be “owned” by another wife at the same time, since he would then be shared property.

        However, as we can see above, there are actually two different Greek words being translated as “own” in this verse. In fact, in the Young’s Literal Translation, the original Greek word idios is more accurately translated as “proper”, rather than “own” as in most English translations, signifying the different meaning. Again for clarity, let’s refer to the Strong’s Concordance for the definitions of these Greek words:

        1438. heautou, heh-ow-too (incl. all the other cases); from a reflex. pron. otherwise obsol. and the gen. (dat. or acc.) of 846; him- (her-, it-, them-, also [in conjunction with the pers. pron. of the other persons] my-, thy-, our-, your-) self (selves), etc.: -alone, her (own, -self), (he) himself, his (own), itself, one (to) another, our (thine) own (-selves), + that she had, their (own, own selves), (of) them (-selves), they, thyself, you, your (own, own conceits, own selves, -selves).

        2398. idios, id’-ee-os; of uncert. affin.; pertaining to self, i.e. one’s own; by impl. private or separate:- x his acquaintance, when they were alone, apart, aside, due, his (own, proper, several), home (her, our, thine, your) own (business), private (-ly), proper, severally, their (own).

        There is a distinction between these two Greek words, signifying two types of ownership. Heautou implies sole “exclusive” ownership, that is, one entity solely owning a particular thing without sharing that ownership with another. Idios, by contrast, implies shared joint ownership, that is, ownership of a particular thing by more than one person. There is no word in the English language for exclusive ownership (heautou) versus non-exclusive ownership (idios), which is why they are both usually translated into English as “own”.

        We have previously seen in Scripture that a wife is “owned” (heautou) exclusively by her husband and is not shared with other men, whereas a husband is “owned” (idios) jointly by his wives and is shared by each of them. To gain a clearer understanding of how this applies here, consider the same verse in context:

        But because of whoring, let each one have his own [1438] EXCLUSIVE wife, and let each woman have her own [2398] NOT NECESSARILY EXCLUSIVE husband. (1 Corinthians 7:2, The Scriptures)

        Another way to look at this is that Heautou stresses the exclusivity of the possession (the “owning”), whereas idios stresses the exclusivity of the relationship (the “being owned” or the “belonging to”, as it were). In other words, a man might say, “That is MY wife, she belongs to me and me ALONE”. A woman, on the other hand, might say, “That is MY husband; I belong to him and him ALONE”.

        For a clearer understanding of the usages and meanings of these terms, we’ll need to see how these words are actually used elsewhere in Scripture. First, let’s look at some examples of heautou:

        “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, and his own [heautou] life too, he is unable to be My taught one.” (Luke 14:26, The Scriptures)

        And not having grown weak in belief, he did not consider his own [heautou] body, already dead, being about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb (Romans 4:19, The Scriptures)

        Love is patient, is kind, love does not envy, love does not boast, is not puffed up, does not behave indecently, does not seek its own [heautou], is not provoked, reckons not the evil (1 Corinthians 13:4-5, The Scriptures)

        For each one shall bear his own [heautou] burden. (Galatians 6:4, The Scriptures)

        “His own life”, “his own body”, “seek its own”, “his own burden” – all implying exclusive ownership of the object in question. Now let’s look at some examples of idios:

        And entering into a boat, He passed over, and came to His own [idios] city. (Matthew 9:1, The Scriptures)

        For Yahushua Himself witnessed that a prophet is without appreciation in his own [idios] country. (John 4:44, The Scriptures)

        And when this sound came to be, the crowd came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own [idios] language. (Acts 2:6, The Scriptures)

        Who are you that judges another’s servant? To his own [idios] master he stands or falls. But he shall be made to stand, for Elohim is able to make him stand. (Romans 14:4, The Scriptures)

        And the messengers who did not keep their own principality, but left their own [idios] dwelling, He has kept in everlasting shackles under darkness for the judgment of the great day. (Jude 1:6, The Scriptures)

        In each case of idios, the concept of a shared, common or joint ownership is understood. When Yahushua went to his own city, he jointly “owned” it with the other inhabitants of that city. Other residents also termed that city their own (idios). The same is true in each of the examples, whether country, language, master or dwelling. Each of these was jointly “owned” by others, which they shared. It is clear from the context of the verses that these people didn’t exclusively “own” the country, or the languages, or the master, or the dwelling. These things were obviously shared with others.

        Therefore, the clear implication of 1 Corinthians 7:2, as determined from the usage of the Greek words heautou and idios in various Scriptures, is that while a wife is not allowed to be owned by more than one husband, a husband, on the other hand, is allowed to be owned by more than one wife. If a husband were owned by more than one wife, the ownership of him by those wives would be shared, common or joint ownership, as demonstrated by the term idios in 1 Corinthians 7:2.

        We understand that a master can have more than one servant, but a servant can only have one master. We also understand that the husband is called to be the leader of his family. But just as “no man can serve two masters”, no wife can serve two husbands. A woman cannot have two husbands because she cannot follow two leaders. But a man can have two wives because it is perfectly possible to lead more than one person. This principle can be easily understood using the imagery, “A head can have more than one member, but a member cannot have more than one head”.

        We’ve already established that the Greek word ‘gune’ (Strong’s #1135) can be properly translated into English as either “woman”, “women”, “wife” or “wives”, depending on the context. This is relevent because 1 Corinthians 7:2 could just as correctly be translated as:

        But because of whoring, let each one have his own wives, and let each woman have her own husband. (1 Corinthians 7:2, The Scriptures)

        In light of the correct understanding of this passage, the original Greek word gune could legitimately be translated into English as either “wife” or “wives”, given the established context of ownership.

  10. Rick, I’m actually behind you on the old testament being in support of multiple wives (polygyny). I may not think it is a good thing, but I do think you are right in your premise.

    In the end, what is really wrong with polygyny? What’s wrong with polyandry? The problem from a feminist or equalist point of view is the idea that Gender A is entitled to relations with multiple members of Gender B, while Gender B is bound to one member of Gender A. In Western cultures, Gender A is generally male while Gender B is generally female. It unbalances the sexes and gives more value to one than the other. It also gives more right to one than the other.

    Right now, what our world needs is equality among all people. Striving to broaden the gender gaps will only increase frustrations and tensions. The consequences could potentially lead to repetition of past atrocities (witch burnings, slavery, and unnecessary wars, anyone?). Do we really want a negative outcome on our heads? Equality is definitely the way to go. If polygyny is allowed, polyandry should also be allowed. In a world where neither man nor woman is superior to the other, and other bigotry and hatred is no more, we may finally put petty differences behind ourselves and advance the human race. Until then, we will continue to keep fighting our way out of the dark ages.

    (Sorry for the pseudo-poetic tones near the end.)

    1. But that isn’t going to solve anything. People aren’t equal, at least not in the way that feminists want us to think. Equal in standing before God? Absolutely — in Christ there is no Gentile or Jew, male or female, Greek or barbarian. But that doesn’t change the fact that God’s different standards for the genders are inherently built into Creation. The New Testament affirms this repeatedly and hammers it home with the affirmation that the woman was made from man for man.

      Church leadership? That burden falls on men.

      Head of household? Again, that burden falls on men.

      Men will be held accountable for what takes place in their household. God spared women that responsibility.

      Rejecting the gender roles as inherent in Creation and codified in the Scriptures isn’t going to solve anything. It could be argued rather easily that egalitarianism has done much more harm than good. There was a time that marriage very rarely ended in divorce. Nowadays, that’s an everyday occurrence. I’ve seen people give others flowers and balloons in congratulations of their divorce. It’s ridiculous, it’s abominable, and it cannot be tolerated in the churches of God. We are bound to the Scriptures.

      And may they define the people of God.

    2. @ David : Unfortunately Rick believes that polygyny is permitted, however, women who engage in polyandry are headed straight to hell. It doesn’t matter if polygamy is against the law in the US, nor does it matter if every Christian denomination, as well as all the apostles, taught against the practice of having multiple spouses. All the apostles taught that polygamy and polyandry were wrong. Apparently the text “the two shall become one flesh” and Paul’s exortation “let each man have his own wife, and each woman have her own husband” does not preclude a man having more than one wife in Rick’s opinion.

      1. It also wasn’t a preclusion of polygyny in the eyes of Abraham, father of God’s chosen nation… of David, a man after God’s own heart… and Solomon, the wisest man who has ever lived… and Jesus, who depicted Himself in parable as a bridegroom marrying ten virgins… and the Father, who depicted Himself as being married to two separate nations… and so on.

        If “two became one” precluded the possibility of multiple marriages, Abraham would have only had one wife and would have been committing fornication with others. Ditto David. Ditto Solomon, and so on. But the Bible calls multiple wives what they are: wives.

        And you have no logical reason why that would be the case.

        Also, please quote from the Scriptures teaching from all fifteen or so apostles their teaching that both “polygamy and polyandry were wrong.” If you can’t do that, please stop filling this thread with lies. Thank you.

  11. Your concerns are certainly valid, but I disagree that the non-egalitarian family model shown in the Scriptures should be replaced by egalitarianism. Remember that Paul declares ties the headship of the husband over his household directly to the headship of Christ over the churches. In other words, the household ought to be a picture of Christ and the church; to change the picture by making the wife equal to her head (husband) would be to imply that the church is somehow equal to its head (Christ).

    I agree that women were often treated badly. But simply because sinful man can’t play nicely with others within a polygynous family doesn’t make the concept itself bad anymore than the cancer of divorce in today’s churches makes monogamy (or marriage itself, as some I have heard argued) antiquated, flawed, or otherwise “not for today’s society.”

    And I further agree that Christ changed things, but in reality He didn’t change as much as some people think. He fulfilled the ceremonial or ritual Law and in uniting the Gentiles and Jews under one church removed the necessity for the Jews to remain a separate nation. So while I don’t have to go do Israel to sacrifice animals and I don’t have to circumcise any future sons that I may have, I’m not free to murder or commit adultery or anything else. The rest of the Law still stands, and Jesus even revealed that when He judges, He is a stricter judge than we would have thought, for it is not just the letter of the Law which we are judged by (adultery, for instance), but also the spirit (lust, for instance).

    I disagree that 1 Corinthians 7 precludes polygyny. In essence, Paul is saying, “To avoid fornication, let every man have a wife and every woman have a husband.”

    That’s like saying, “To avoid hunger, let every man have a sandwich.”

    Does that statement preclude the man from ever having more than one sandwich? In ordinary conversation, we’d have to admit “no,” so why do we impose a restrictive element upon the text of Scripture when it makes no sense to do so?

  12. Rick: You’re very right on many more points. Men and women aren’t equal. Men cannot house a developing fetus like (most) women can. And, I’m sure there is something that women physically can’t do that men can, although I’m not sure what that would be–women can’t grow beards like most men.

    The burdens of church and household leadership falling on men is simply a philosophical idea generated in the bible, and many of the different religions inhabiting the globe today. I don’t understand how you can claim that equality is responsible for many of society’s ills. You say that it could be argued easily, yet you give but one argument in this favor. I would like to counter it by stating the horrors surrounding the women in those marriages of the past. Polygyny allowed by modern-day religions (Mormonism, as an example) has a profound effect on the physical and mental well-being of women. This idea is supported in the documentary “The God Makers”, formerly available on Google Video. It is currently available on Veoh, but they’ve had some major blocks on Canadian viewers recently. It is also backed up by a wonderful book I recently read A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Both of these sources are easily dismissed. I admit that. However, doing some actual digging it shouldn’t be difficult to find actual sources showing the harm that polygamy has committed.

    As for the claims that equal households leads to greater a greater divorce rate, I believe you are incorrect. The divorce rate would increase with the philosophical equality of women in society because women would have more control. Men, accustomed to being the dictators of the household would fight and strain for every last ounce of power. People in these situations haven’t learned to communicate and compromise. Hitler, Stalin, Castro, and Mao are all nice examples of a grand scale dictatorship. Why would we want a model of society, that has failed the individual so many times, to be the ideal model of the household?

    It should also be pointed out that the bible is consistent in its support of polygamy in some places, while also supporting monogamy in other places (1 Corinthians 7). The full chapter is given in multiple different versions–editions–incase anyone wishes to blame me of reading it out of context. The average Christian tends to give more weight to the new testament because “Christ changed things”, and it is usually the old testament where polygamy is implied. Meanwhile, the average Jewish person gives more weight to the old testament (particularly the Torah) because he/she does not believe that there ever was a Christ. If Christ did change the rules, as implied by the writings of Paul, wouldn’t it make more sense for a Christian to seek out where those rules have changed and apply the changes to him/her-self?

    I still think that both polygyny should be equally as valid in today’s society as polyandry.

  13. I, like “Proudly Christian” am not a fundamentalist.
    Most Christians are not.

    Jesus, however, affirmed the truth and eternality of the Old Testament. I rest comfortably knowing that I am of like mind with the Lord of Creation rather than modern philosophers who would seek to make the Old Testament mean anything they want or nothing at all.

    The Bible is not 100% accurate on every account, but that does not mean everything in it should be disregarded either.

    Paul said that all Scripture is inspired by God; if the Scriptures are wrong, wouldn’t that imply that God can be wrong? Likewise Jesus said that the Old Testament testified of Him. If Jesus is the Truth, could a lie really testify of Him? I mean, really? What you’re saying is nice if it was being said by an atheist, but for someone who calls themselves a Christian, the conclusions reached by following such statements logically are indefensible.

    David, Solomon, Abraham, and the polygamist patriarchs of Old Testament scripture are not exactly my idea of Christian role models.

    Then you must answer why the events of the Old Testament are said to be examples to us in the New Testament. Likewise, you must answer why the author of Hebrews considers at least five polygynists to be role models for Christian believers. Truth isn’t malleable; if you want to reject the Old Testament, you must have a reason based in truth to do so. Now, that’s a funny situation: the Old Testament is truth, truth does not contradict, and so you’ll never have a reason grounded in truth upon which to reject the Old Testament.

    Of King David ,while the Bible said he was a man after God’s heart, but he was an adulterer and he arranged the death of Uriah the Hittite. So he was both a murderer and an adulterer.

    Abraham married his half sister and then gave her away to a king without informing the king Sarah was his wife. So he not only committed incest, but he as also a liar, and he gave his wife away to another man so that the King could ostensibly have sex with her. How many commandments were violated here ?

    Solomon’s involvement with his wives and concubines apparently led him to allow them to construct temples to their foreign Gods . Not my idea of a role model either.

    Suffice it to say that Old Testament patriarchs don’t impress me.

    Agreed that those men didn’t leave perfect lives. I can think of only a handful of men in the Scriptures who lived lives who were above reproach. Jesus, of course. Enoch comes to mind.

    But you should note that the sins weren’t polygyny but were murder, deceit, idolatry, and so on. The Scriptures never call Solomon out for the number of wives he had; rather, he is called out because he married outside of Israel, his faith tribe. That principle is carried over into the New Testament in the principle of not being unequally yoked.

    God called David a man after His own heart. Abraham is called a friend of God. You admit to rejecting much of God’s Word, so you may not want someone role models who were “buddies” with God, but such is what the Old Testament presents to us. We are not free to reject it while calling ourselves Christians for in doing so we make a mockery of He who was testified of in the Old Testament.

    Jesus’ parable about the wedding of the ten virgins is nothing more than a parable. He also said that if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can move mountains. He did not mean it literally obviously.

    I agree that the parable is not literal. In reality, Jesus bride is comprised of thousands upon thousands upon thousands of believers, not just ten virgins. There’s still a plurality there, though. Nothing figurative about that.

    Jesus taught us that divorce was allowed in the Old Testament due to the hardness of men’s hearts. Most Christians believe polygamy was permitted for the same reason.

    I’ll believe that too, if you can show me the Scriptures which teach it. Why was God so explicit about divorce while ignoring from Genesis to Revelation the polygynous unions of so many of his prominent followers?

    Jesus gave us a new teaching : that divorce is not permitted unless adultery has taken place. Jesus was a member of the Essene sect of Judaism which taught that polygamy and divorce were wrong because the biblical ideal was that you were married to one person only for life. Many of his parables, teachings, and stories come from the Essene literature.

    What the Essenes believed is of little concern unless it has been codified in the Scriptures. We are bound to the Scriptures alone as the Word of God, plus or minus nothing. If the Essenes believed that polygyny was wrong, good for the Essenes. Until it can be demonstrated from the Scriptures, I’ll continue to accept that it was correct.

    Every pastor, priest, and minister I have ever encountered attested to the “two shall become one flesh” and 1 Corinthians 7:2 as sufficient evidence that both Paul and Jesus taught monogamy as the ideal.

    Something in the neighborhood of a billion people believe that the Pope is the highest Christian authority alive today. Millions of people teach that infants should be baptized. Millions believe that God wants you to be rich. I don’t care about any of those teachings, nor do I care how many people you can point to and say, “See, see, I’m right!”

    Stick to the Scriptures. In them is truth and life. However, I will answer your challenge with two prominent examples.

    Augustine, perhaps the most prominent church father after the completion of the New Testament canon taught that polygyny was not sinful but that it should not be practiced simply because it was against Roman custom.

    Martin Luther, which the Bible-believing community owes a huge debt of gratitude to this day, said that he could not “forbid a person to marry several wives, for it does not contradict Scripture.”

    Source for both bits of info.

    You feel differently, and I don’t know of any Christians who would agree with you, unless you consider David Koresh a Christian. All the apostles were monogamous, and anicent texts teach us that the apostles who actually lived with Jesus taught that monogamy was the ideal taught to them by Jesus.

    “All the apostles were monogamous” doesn’t mean anything anymore than saying that “All the presidents of the United States have been men.” Does that mean that all United States citizens must be men? Nope. And neither does the apostles’ marital status have any normative status on all other Christians.

    What “ancient texts” do you have from the apostles that aren’t recorded in the Scriptures? I hope you’re not referring to any of those nutty “lost gospels.” Sure, they’re a huge boon for feminism due to their obsession with Mary Magdalene, but they were lost for a reason; the church didn’t use them, didn’t reproduce them, and tried to let them be forgotten until archaeologists dug them up.

    That speaks volumes to me – I take the testimony of those taught by Jesus any day over the example of corrupt Old Testament patriarchs.

    Given that the testimony you are referring to isn’t in the Scriptures while the example of the Old Testament patriarchs is in the Scriptures… and given Jesus’ and Paul’s and others’ insistence that the Old Testament is perfect… I’ll stick with the Old Testament saints. :)

  14. I, like “Proudly Christian” am not a fundamentalist.
    Most Christians are not.
    The world was not created in 6 days, nor is the world less than 6000 years old.
    The Bible is not 100% accurate on every account, but that does not mean everything in it should be disregarded either.
    David, Solomon, Abraham, and the polygamist patriarchs of Old Testament scripture are not exactly my idea of Christian role models.
    Of King David ,while the Bible said he was a man after God’s heart, but he was an adulterer and he arranged the death of Uriah the Hittite. So he was both a murderer and an adulterer.
    Abraham married his half sister and then gave her away to a king without informing the king Sarah was his wife. So he not only committed incest, but he as also a liar, and he gave his wife away to another man so that the King could ostensibly have sex with her. How many commandments were violated here ?
    Solomon’s involvement with his wives and concubines apparently led him to allow them to construct temples to their foreign Gods . Not my idea of a role model either.
    Suffice it to say that Old Testament patriarchs don’t impress me.
    Jesus’ parable about the wedding of the ten virgins is nothing more than a parable. He also said that if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can move mountains. He did not mean it literally obviously.
    Jesus taught us that divorce was allowed in the Old Testament due to the hardness of men’s hearts. Most Christians believe polygamy was permitted for the same reason. Jesus gave us a new teaching : that divorce is not permitted unless adultery has taken place. Jesus was a member of the Essene sect of Judaism which taught that polygamy and divorce were wrong because the biblical ideal was that you were married to one person only for life. Many of his parables, teachings, and stories come from the Essene literature.
    Every pastor, priest, and minister I have ever encountered attested to the “two shall become one flesh” and 1 Corinthians 7:2 as sufficient evidence that both Paul and Jesus taught monogamy as the ideal. You feel differently, and I don’t know of any Christians who would agree with you, unless you consider David Koresh a Christian. All the apostles were monogamous, and anicent texts teach us that the apostles who actually lived with Jesus taught that monogamy was the ideal taught to them by Jesus.
    That speaks volumes to me – I take the testimony of those taught by Jesus any day over the example of corrupt Old Testament patriarchs.

  15. Paul said that all Scripture is inspired by God; if the Scriptures are wrong, wouldn’t that imply that God can be wrong?

    No sir, it does not. If A is inspired by B, that simply means that someone looked at B, thought of B, or something of the like, and produced A with B in mind. I can inspire you to make a sandwich, but you are the one who decides what the sandwich is like. But, it will still be a sandwich. Now, I could also inspire you to make a roast beef sandwich with mustard and rye bread, but did I tell you to make that? No. I said or did something, or you thought about me and it reminded you of a roast beef sandwich with rye bread. That is what “inspired” means. Faults within scriptures would imply faults in god if the scriptures were dictated unerringly. However, by your own admission, they were inspired, meaning there is room for error without implying error on the part of the subject.

    Another example is painting (hunger led to the food analogy) of the sunset. I look out my window each night and, if the weather is correct, I see a beautiful sunset. Seeing the sunset inspires me to paint the sunset. Is my painting perfect? No. There are flaws, but overall it is a decent representation of the beautiful red glows and the orange ball disappearing beyond the horizon. But, I’m a crappy artist. It isn’t nearly as wonderful as the actual sunset. Does my failure to make a perfect representation of the sunset mean that the sunset itself is flawed? No. It shows that I am flawed and my painting is flawed.

    Inspiration != Dictation

    (I apologize for any html issues. This is, believe it or not, my first time trying out blockquotes.)

  16. Charlene T, MSW

    Anyone who has ever observed the effect of polygamy on women and children involved in the practice would not advocate for it to be labeled as Christian, nor would they advocate for it to be declared legal. I speak as someone who has actually treated patients who are victims of this system.

  17. Charlene T, MSW

    Re : Divorce Rates : The reason why the divorce rate is lower in countries which have widespread polygamy is simply because the women in these cultures do not have the legal or religious right to file a divorce action. Only the men do. These women are usually uneducated, have no marketable skills, or lives in cultures where they are forbidden to exit the home without a male escort. Any woman who is has lived in a polygamous society will relate this to you.

  18. The Bible says that God is just. If the Bible is inerrant in the text we currently have, how do you explain a just Deity ordering the slaughter of innocent children in the following verses :
    Numbers 31:17-18 “…now therefore kill every male among the little ones and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.”
    1 Sam 15:3 “Slay both man and woman, infant and suckling.”
    Ezek 9:6 “…neither have ye pity, slay utterly old and young, both maids and little children, and women.”

  19. David: Inspiration does mean “dictated.” Holy men of old were moved as the Holy Spirit gave them the words to write. This is the historic, orthodox understanding of inspiration. It has never meant that God was a cosmic muse, imperfectly communicating His Word through men. If that were the case, the Scriptures wouldn’t be that useful at all as it would require us to pick and choose which bits we think are actually true and which were misunderstandings or mistranscriptions.

    Charlene T, MSW: If you don’t like polygyny, you don’t have to engage in it. That doesn’t change the fact that many people throughout the world even today are very happy in a polygynous situation. Judging an ideology by the abuses thereof is by no means a sound method of reasoning.

    Logic: First of all, I unapproved your comment regarding “errors” in the Bible. It’s a distraction to the issue at hand here, and while I will respond to you via e-mail (or an appropriate post here if you want to track one down to comment upon), you are also welcome to bring the issues up at the Fellowship Hall.

    Regarding God being just while ordering those “atrocities,” when you have a full understanding of just how sinful mankind is, then you can ask that question. God is perfectly just in killing any one of us, regardless of age, creed, or anything else. We deserve it. And beyond that, this life is not all there is. Given that, God ordering the deaths of someone is just Him transferring them from one life to another. They’re going to die anyway, remember.

    And what David says is accurate. If God orders an army to wipe out a nation, then that is just and must be done. He is sovereign over all of our lives, after all. Our lives are His to increase or decrease as He sees fit. When we object to it in a way that isn’t honest before God but is instead a method of testing God or putting Him on trial, our objections amount to nothing more than a pot backtalking to the potter. The pot, like us, isn’t going to get very far with the objections.

    Now, can we please keep this on topic? There are other posts on this blog, there’s my message board, and there’s a thousand other Websites out there that can serve as discussions for how just God is or whether the Bible is inerrant or not. If you’re “smart” enough to debate theology, philosophy, and so on, let’s be smart enough to stay on topic, shall we? Thanks.

  20. Logic: I asked that of a minister one time. How can any god be just if he orders/sanctions this or that atrocity. The answer was a lot simpler than the question, but it wasn’t an actual answer. I will give you what he said, hoping that Rick will come up with something better.

    “God is more powerful and knows more than we do. How can we say that anything is wrong without God telling us it is wrong. If God says it is right, it must be right for God knows all and we just know the action.”

  21. Charlene T, MSW

    David cited his concerns regarding the welfare of children and women in polygamy in a previous post. You responded : “I agree that women were often treated badly. But simply because sinful man can’t play nicely with others within a polygynous family doesn’t make the concept itself bad.”
    Perhaps I agree with you. Maybe the concept in itself isn’t bad. “The reality” in terms of health outcomes, unfortunately, is bad for both women and children.
    You are assuming however that outcomes for women and children of polygynous families are equivalent to health outcomes in monogamous family units. The medical literature does not support this.
    When comparing women in polygynous families with women in monogamous family units, women in polygyny :
    a) have 5 X higher rates of serious mental illness than mongamous women, especially severe depression with suicidal ideation, necessitating psychiatric admission for suicide watch.
    b)have higher rates of suicide
    c) have higher rates of domestic violence, including husband on wife, wife on wife, and wife on children. In particular, the children of a wife who is perceived to be a rival are frequently abused. Death of the child of the rival spouse is not uncommon and has been described in all polygamous cultures, including the United States.
    d) Polygynous women have higher rates of stress, anxiety, and phobias on standardized psychological testing.
    e) Women in polygynous household have higher rates of somatization disorder, a serious mental illness which manifests itself in myriad physical complaints which have no organic basis. (symptoms of peptic ulcer disease, back pain, abdominal pain, headaches, neck pain, and unexplained muscle pain) all of which cause these women significant physical and psychological suffering.
    In terms of health outcomes for children, when one compares children of polygynous family units with children in monogamous family units, children of polygynous units :
    a) have poorer academic performance
    b) have higher school drop out rates
    c) have higher rates of use of illicit drugs
    d) have higher rates of alcoholism
    e) have higher rates of depression and serious psychiatric illness.
    These health outcomes were not derived from anecdotal reports. These research studies were performed using standardized testing, anonymous surveys, and reviews of patient’s medical records, arrest records, substance abuse treatment records, and school attendance records. These studies were performed in Canada, the US, Israel, United Arab Emirates,Africa and Turkey. Christian, Mormon, Moslem, and Sephardic Jewish polygynous families were studied.

    1. I don’t agree with these results you just presented sir. First, I would like to say that the outcome of these results could have been influenced by contextual factors. In societies where polygamy is a crime these outcomes could well be true but in societies where polygamy is a normal way of life and accepted as normal, I don’t see all these differences you just discussed above. I, being an issue from a polygamous home can assure you that it all goes wrong when people believe that it is a bad thing and the women start looking for ways of protecting themselves and their children against each other. Polygamy in itself is not the issue, it is the societal perception of the concept that posses problems hence leading to all these ills you have outlined above. A UNESCO study has also shown that 87% of couples in Cameroon admitted having problems of conjugal rape and 97% of these families were in monogamous marriages. The divorce rate in Africa is higher in monogamous families than in polygamous families, do you know why? because the concept is normal and even included in the constitutions of most African countries. Whilst the Bible tells us that God didn’t condemn polygamy or punish any of the men that practised it, it nonetheless tells us that Sodom and Gomorrah were two cities that were destroyed by God because of homosexuality and other sins. So the bible clearly tells us that homosexuality is a sin. And yet most of the western powers are legalising this sin and criminalising polygamy. Let us begin by asking our Christian governments to follow the Preachings of the book we are supposedly basing our foundations on “The Holy Bible”.

  22. Pretty sure there was like a hugely publicized raid on a polygynous community last year, yet pretty much none of those evils you mention were found there. I can absolutely understand how those evils would arise in a bigamous situation — when one wife doesn’t know about the other. When the revelation drops, that can ruin lives. But in an open, honest polygynous situation, there’s no reason why any of those things should be true.

    I doubt societal pressures against the families help things any either.

    And because of that, those “results” aren’t really worth anything for they don’t tell us what would happen if polygyny were a completely acceptable form of marriage. That day is coming in America rather quickly, so whether you agree with it or not, you’ll have to deal with it then.

    Those studies also do nothing to determine whether the Scriptures allow for polygyny or not, which is the crux of my argument and quite frankly the only thing that matters to me in this discussion. If anyone wants to debate the practical aspects of polygyny, there are better places online to discuss it. Thanks.

  23. Keep in mind I dismiss far “bigger” scientific studies. Old-earth geology? Rubbish. Evolution? A lie. Global warming? Modern myth.

    There is nothing in the Wisdom Literature of the Scriptures which would discourage polygyny. As a matter of fact, if the Song of Solomon was really about Solomon and one of his wives, then it’s very telling that the Bible’s most important exposition of love is based on the life of the Bible’s “biggest” polygynist.

    Whatever practical reasons you have against it, that’s all well and good, but it doesn’t answer the questions as to whether it is a sin or not, whether God blesses or just merely “allows” it, and so on. The reasons you give are good reasons to be active politically arguing against homosexual marriage (which will inevitably lead to the allowance of polygynous marriages, as some groups are already fighting for in some states). But what you have presented isn’t convincing on a doctrinal level.

  24. Charlene T, MSW

    The results of the studies which I cited were not related to the raid in Utah last year.
    Of note, the raid in Utah did reveal higher rates infant mortality in the compound than one observed in the general population in the area (>20% infant mortality)
    The results of the multiple studies (>25) which I referenced were not related to bigamous situations wherein the women were not aware of the existence of a “sister wife”. All of the women in the studies knew their “sister wives.” and they lived proximate to each other, or in the same household.
    These studies were performed anonymously in communities around the world where the polygamous lifestyles were not subject to government / legal sanctions at the time the study took place. The religious communities in which these women lived accepted polygyny as legitimate lifestyle which was valued as highly (if not more highly) than monogamy. I am surprised that you dismiss the relevance of the studies out of hand, without reviewing them first.

  25. That’s quite an awkward jump from polygyny to some sort of homosexual group marriage. Keep in mind that polygamy has been quite common throughout history, whether homosexuals are involved or not. I’m afraid I don’t see any logical connection between homosexuality and polygamy. Care to explain?

    I never mentioned homosexual group marriages, David. What I meant was that there are people out there who, on the basis of homosexual marriage being legal in some states, are arguing that polygyny should be legal as well. I believe that homosexuality is abominable, but I’m not ignorant enough to not see what would happen if marriage is redefined at the civil level to include homosexual unions. It will soon follow that polygyny (and polyandry… if not entirely open, group marriages) will be fought for as well and will be legalized as well. After all, far be it for the government to dictate moral principles upon groups of people who want to have sex with each other.

    Charlene T, MSW: Then in a conversation meant to determine the status before God of polygyny, what do you intend to add? I appreciate your sharing the medical data which you’re aware of, but it doesn’t answer any of the questions being raised here.

  26. Rick: That’s quite an awkward jump from polygyny to some sort of homosexual group marriage. Keep in mind that polygamy has been quite common throughout history, whether homosexuals are involved or not. I’m afraid I don’t see any logical connection between homosexuality and polygamy. Care to explain?

    Charlene T, MSW: To assist with your understanding of fundamentalist readings of scientific studies, I will clarify with showing the difference between a scientific read and a fundamentalist read. The scientific means is to come up with an idea. Formulate a hypothesis from that idea for testing. Run the test to see if it is supported by reality. Repeat the test multiple times, reformulating the hypothesis to better match the expected results as data is acquired. After performing numerous tests and collecting numerous data, formulate a theory based on the hypothesis, which is now well-founded in the workings of reality.

    The fundamentalist means (any religion) is to wait for the scientific results to come forth, or sometimes just read the hypothesis. If the scientific results are supported by sacred teachings, it must be true. If the scientific results are not supported (or outright rejected) by the sacred teachings, it must be false no matter how much support nature, society, or reality gives the theory and/or hypothesis. This is how we get the flat earth society, people who believe that there is a god of some kind in the centre of the earth running things, a magic man in the sky, a flying spaghetti monster holding us to the ground with noodly appendages, and many other ideas which are not supported by observable reality.

    I speculate (and forgive me for putting words in your mouth) that Rick is rejecting the data collected by these studies because there is no support nor mention of any horrible outcomes of polygamy in the bible. And, there is no mention of Yahweh (or anyone in the Elohim) saying it is wrong. Since there is no objection in the bible, it is not against God’s law and therefore not immoral. This is similar to the beating of slaves not being wrong or immoral because the bible says we may beat our slaves so long as they don’t die from the beating within a day or two. (Exodus 21:20-21)

  27. Charlene T, MSW

    Mr. Beckman,
    You said : There is nothing in the Wisdom Literature of the Scriptures which would discourage polygyny.
    At no time in any of my postings have I rendered an opinion regarding the Wisdom Literature of the Scriptures. I have no opinion on this subject, and therefore cannot comment.
    You stated : Whatever practical reasons you have against it, that’s all well and good, but it doesn’t answer the questions as to whether it is a sin or not, whether God blesses or just merely “allows” it, and so on.
    At no time in any of my postings have I rendered an opinion regarding the “sinfulness” of polgyny, nor do I intend to. I am a health care professional who practices at an academic medical center. I restrict my discussions to matters regarding health care and health care outcomes, as well as research regarding health outcomes. I leave discussions regarding biblical standards to qualified theologians, such as yourself.
    Lastly you said : The reasons you give are good reasons to be active politically arguing against homosexual marriage (which will inevitably lead to the allowance of polygynous marriages)
    At no time in any of my preceding postings have I discussed the existing medical literature regarding medical outcomes of domestic homosexual partners and / or their offspring. My comments were limited to a review of the medical literature on health outcomes in polygynous couples, which is unfortunately not positive.
    For information regarding the health outcomes of children raised by homosexual partners, I would refer you to the recent summary article published by American Academy of Pediatrics, which identified health outcomes for these children which were superior to those described in polygynous unions. I did not write the article – I’m just quoting it.

  28. Never heard of him. Please don’t try to associate me with some group you disagree with just because you disagree with me. I’m not a member of any polygynist group (nor am I a polygynist myself), any cult, or any other “fringe” group. Thanks.

  29. Charlene T, MSW

    Mr. Beckman :
    I am familiar with the Christian polygyny movement which was started by Steve Butt. Are you a member of his group ? Mr. Butt was an evangelical Christian who began the movement about 15 yrs ago, while working as a mental health counselor working with female victims of abuse. He decided he was “divinely inspired” to have sex with one of his patients, to bring about her healing. He then took her home to his wife and announced he had a revelation that Christian men could have plural wives and he would thereafter be married to his patient as well and his wife.
    This is a violation or abuse of professional trust. It is a violation of state licensure regulations which prohibit counselors, nurses, physicians, etc which is punishable with license revocation, fines, and in some states, required jail time.

  30. Well, you asked if I was a member of his group, and then went on to say that your comment was little more than a common on his professional behavior or lack thereof.

    And since none of that has anything to do with the topic at hand, that makes him irrelevant and I see no reason why you would have brought him up other than to take the opportunity to ask if I was somehow a part of his group.

    So, that makes him irrelevant. Like, for example, David Koresh, who was mentioned earlier by Uppity.

  31. Charlene T, MSW

    Mr. Beckman :
    I didn’t say I disagreed with Mr. Butt.
    I never said I disagreed with you.
    I never suggested that you were a “cult ” or “fringe” group member.
    These are your assumptions.
    I did however comment on Mr. Butt’s professional behavior ( or lack of same)

  32. Charlene: Actually, I have no idea about David Koresh. History isn’t my strong suit, unfortunately.

    As far as mainstream Christian denominations are concerned, I doubt any of them advocate or allow polygyny. Actually, I’m pretty sure none of them do. I’d like to consider myself a Presbyterian/Baptist, but I admit that my beliefs don’t align perfectly with either of those groups. I aim to believe the Bible, not follow a group, so on some things I fit in here, while others I fit in there.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there are groups which identify themselves by polygyny, but I have noticed that when a group splinters away and puts so much emphasis on one area, they end up being way off base on other, more important issues.

    I’ve interacted with very few people who actually believe that polygyny is acceptable, and that only via the Internet. Hugh is one of them. I learned most of what I know about polygyny from him, and I learned it by doing my best to prove him wrong. Well, I failed, and after months of reflection on that failure, I determined that I was holding onto a “monogamy-only” doctrinal position out of preference only and had no biblical reason to do so, so I now defend the “biblical polygyny” position.

    Not that you asked for all that… but you did ask for advisement, and that’s all I know. :)

  33. David: Actually, that question, being part of the post introduction, was rhetorical in nature. Now, had it come at the end of the post. ;)

    Still, kudos on working in the Gummi Bears. I miss that show. :)

    And to an extent, yeah, it is important to understand the impact on society. Christians are told not to offend each other or cause each other occasion to sin. Perhaps introducing polygyny would cause men to sin by abusing multiple women. But that same point could be leveled against monogamous marriage. Ditto most arguments of that nature.

    There are a number of issues to address, but if polygyny is a sin, then there is no reason to go any farther. Arguing the practicality or usefulness of, for example, murder is a moot point — it’s an undisputed sin. So arguing that polygyny is morally neutral and is inherently not a sin, then are people free to move on to discussions of practicality.

  34. Charlene T, MSW

    I am unsure how many of polygynous Christian groups or denominations there truly are now. Is one required to be a member of a group ?
    I was under the impression that there was only one, associated with Reverend Butt, which I mentioned in the previous posting. I should read more on the topic. Please advise me. I did not mean to offend you by suggesting this possible association. My sincerest apologies. In contrast to the opinion of the “Uppity Woman” I do not think that David Koresh was a member of a Christian polygynist sect. Wasn’t his group associated with the Seventh Day Adventists at one point?

  35. … I’m entirely not sure where the idea that husband and wife becoming one soul in the afterlife comes from. That issue would seem to affect a variety of situations, not just polygyny. Think of the widower who remarries or the widow who remarries. In levirate marriages, is the wife to become one with both brothers?

    The Scriptures are explicit that husband and wife become “one flesh,” and that in the afterlife they are like unto angels, not marrying. I’ve never heard of the “one soul” idea before, nor does it seem biblical, based on my understanding of things.

    1. I have always though of 1 flesh meaning to have children. The individual flesh of the man and woman become 1 flesh is represented as child/children.

  36. The “Branch Davidians” were a break away group of 7th Day Adventists. They came into being in the late 1920’s and Koresh sort of took the group over. They were and are apocalyptic in nature, and still exist today.

  37. Rick: Charlene made her statements about the medical findings of polygamous relationships. You stated that you reject these claims, questioning what this has to do with the asserted topic of whether or not polygamy is sanctioned or allowed according to the biblical texts. This is clear. Charlene then pointed out that she is aware of a Christian-based movement started by Butt. She also asked if you were a part of this organization. You accused her of attempting to associate you with this group. Rightly so. Had you been associated with this group, she would have more information of where your ideological standpoint lies, allowing her to make comments that you would find more relevant. This makes Butt and his movement relevant to the conversation, as it is an attempt to understand more about where you stand on the subject, and whether or not you are making the assertion that polygamy should be put into practise.

    It is also important to note that questioning the morality and possible impact on society that polygamy may have is not outside the boundaries of the subject. To you, it may seem so. Your view, as I understand it, is that the bible at points makes reference to polygyny, and therefore may sanction it. You do not call into question whether or not it is morally valid, as I understand your logic, because the ideas are not stated as morally unjust in the bible. However, when bringing up a subject like polygamy, it is difficult (if not impossible) for some to reason it purely based on scripture, without thinking about the impact it may have on society, health, and what have you. Since your clearly stated question after the numerous biblical passages referencing polygyny is:

    What comes to your mind when you think of polygyny?

    you have clearly opened the doors of discussion on any topic or field that may come to the reader’s mind when s/he thinks about polygamy. If I were to think of gummy bears (bouncing here and there and everywhere) when I think of polygamy, it would not be off-topic to mention it. And, when questioning whether or not any god sanctions anything, it is always relevant to ask whether or not it is moral. If the discussion becomes one of the societal impacts of polygamy, how can we ignore it? Surely, since the bible states that god placed the holy spirit into every man, and with it knowledge of the law, we can rely on our own senses of morality when it comes to such topics, as well as the scriptures when looking at it from a biblical perspective. (Hebrews 8:7-12)

  38. Rick: It wasn’t hard to work in the show. I’ve been thinking about them for a while, as I am craving gummy bears.

    It has already been established, at least in my mind, that the bible makes no claim to polygamy, of any kind, being a sin. Had it been considered a sin, it would be clearly stated thus. You made many (and I’m still struggling to finish reading them all) quotes of men who took multiple wives through various methods. God hated none of this behaviour. God also gave multiple wives to different men, according to scripture. Therefore, since no measure is made (in the bible–mormons may disagree) to make polygamy either sinful nor a requirement or sign of good graces of god, we may make the assumption that it is morally neutral according to the bible. Hence, we are free to discuss practicality, according to your own words.

    However, there are people, Christians, who read 1 Corinthians and think this means the rules have changed and the statements about a man being with his wife and a woman being with her husband means monogamy is the new chic thing to do.

    I do wonder how you get around the idea of the man and the woman, married, becoming one soul in the afterlife. If there are multiple wives, does this mean that the one man becomes one with his (for example) 40 wives? And, what of the concubines? They may be of lower social status, but are they not also his wives, as concubines differ from mistresses in this case? If a man has 40 wives and 20 concubines and they all die, does that mean that all 61 people are joined into one soul? Or, does this only apply to the first wife? Does it apply to a wife chosen for bondage after death? Does the man pick a favorite wife while alive, and that’s the one he joins? In questioning the afterlife, the biblical take on polygamy becomes more complex.

  39. You’re right. It does say “flesh”. No matter anyway. Multiple souls inhabiting one body is still troublesome. Would they have a timeshare system on the body, or would they all constantly fight over its control. Presumably they would do the same thing as each other in the afterlife, anyway, so it may be that they’re all looking out of the same automaton-like body. Since I’m not familiar with the particular verse off the top of my head and I’m not really all that keen on doing any research at this time of night, unless it is a metaphor for sexual relations, I can still see how the very notion would cause mental havoc in the minds of anyone thinking of polygamy.

    It is similar to this question: “What if a man is on a road to Hell, as is his wife, while they were still married in the eyes of God? His wife dies and goes to Hell. Then, the man marries a Christian woman, on her way to Heaven. The man converts (to save headaches in argument) and is now on his way to Heaven. If the man is supposed to become one flesh (or one soul, as I originally heard this question) with his wife, and one is in Heaven while the other is in Hell, does that mean that half the man’s soul goes to Heaven while the other Hell?”

    The “one soul” idea comes from one of the many different churches I’ve experienced. It may have been that dreadful Queensway Cathedral. I’d prefer to blame them for anything erroneous over any other church I’ve attended, but I’m honestly not sure which one made that statement.

    Thank you for the correction.

  40. With regard to 1st Corinthians 7:2 which says:

    “Let each man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.”

    I have this to observe:

    The Greek words for “own” are different. This makes the sentence construction not parallel, but contrasting. Let me explain that difference. In parallel construction, there is one variable and the formulation is to compare, and say a thing is like another. Rick mentioned this obliquely in an earlier comment regarding the King with One Horse. In Hebrew the sentence construction of Deuteronomy 17:16 is parallel to the sentence structure of Deuteronomy 17:17. What is said about horses is also said about wives. It says “don’t ‘rabah’ your wives or horses.” Thus what is true about horse possession is true about wife possession (yes, I used a “chattel” term).

    In 1st Corinthians 7:2 Paul is saying that what is true about “wife ownership” is not true about “husband ownership.” This is crucial. I am not word wrangling here because we must always remember that the English word “own” has nearly opposite potential meanings. When you refer to “your master” or “your own master” as a slave, you’re not talking about possessing your master, you’re speaking of being possessed by your master. When you speak of your slave, or “your own slave” you’re talking about possessing them.

    I do not dream of dictating to you what you should derive from that little explanation, except this one thing. If you think the passage is comparative, parallel and stating that the duties and relationship of wife to husband are identical, the passage does not say that. It in fact says that the relationship is not identical and the duties are not identical, depending on which side of the coin you represent.

    Rick said:

    “Levirate marriages were part of the Law; those who chose not to participate were essentially spitting in their brother’s face. There was shame associated with it. That’s in the Bible too. (What the Jewish rabbis turned it into is of little concern to me; there was a lot that was embellished in Judaism that isn’t “Sola Scriptura,” just as there is a lot within Christianity that has little to do with the Scriptures.)”

    I would point out that Rick is being mild here. The fact that the punishment of the man who refused to take his dead brother’s wife was not severe does not change at all that it was a punishment. You punish someone for doing something wrong. Thus a man COULD refuse his dead brother’s wife, but he was wrong to do so and he was publicly shamed for doing so. Being taken into a “chattel” societies city gates, then having your face spit in, and a shoe removed (attestation and insult) and it proclaimed that “this is done to the man that doesn’t raise up his brother’s house in Israel,” is not the equivalent of “Hey, whatever floats your boat.”

    Israel in the period between Sinai and Saul had no prisons, do not forget. Punishments were shaming, banishment, fines, mutilation and death. It wasn’t a death penalty offense to refuse your brother’s wife, but it was an offense.

    I should also note that no one in particular is EVER commanded to marry by a law of God unless that law also could and frequently DID require their polygynous marriage. Indeed, Adam was married, but his wife was created AS HIS WIFE, he didn’t marry her.

    One of Adam’s sons HAD to marry one of his daughters, but scripture does not record that Abel married. Someone had to marry to carry out God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply” but no one in particular did. The commands to marry in particular are confined to “Levirate Law” and the laws concerning the seduction of an unbetrothed virgin. Neither of those laws involved discussion of the prior marital state of the man so a man would just as easily be compelled to marry polygnously as monogamously. In fact, in Israel, it was almost certain that the command caused more polygynous situations or additions to existing polygynies than it created monogamies.

  41. Charlene T, MSW

    It appears that the Christian polygynous fundamentalist belief system incorporates many practices of ancient Judaism which are not currently practiced in most Christian denominations. Is this belief system also called Messianic Judaism ?
    For example :
    Does your sect require women to undergo ritual immersion 7 days after completion of the menstrual cycle ?
    Does your sect require special garments for women, such as head coverings, or the fringed undergarment worn by Jewish men, called tzizit?
    Does your sect refrain from eating those foods which are considered unclean in Judaism, including pork, and shellfish?
    Do you refrain from mixing milk and meat products at mealtime in obedience to Jewish dietary laws ? are separate utensils and dishes required for milk and meat products?
    Do you keep the laws regarding observation of the Sabbath ?
    Is the observance of Passover, Succoth, Shevout and other Jewish festivals required ?
    Does your sect engage in special grooming practices with regard to trimming the beard or sideburns which was commanded in the Torah ?
    Sorry I have so many questions.

  42. Charlene, we are not Israelites but whose values to you suppose the Jerusalem Church refers to in acts when advising the gentile churches? Romes? Those of Greece? No, those of Moses:

    Acts 15: “Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood. For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.”

    It is a red herring to suggest that we propose the whole law be followed in every aspect, or to propose that this was necessary, or to propose that it must be to be consistent. Even the law itself never required universal adherence by all to all the laws in the same way.

    Deuteronomy 14:

    “You shall not eat anything that has died naturally. You may give it to the sojourner who is within your towns, that he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner. For you are a people holy to the Lord your God.”

    The law of God was never egalitarian, yet you appeal to that ethic. I am not a proselyte to the faith of Judaism. I do not have to follow the laws particular to Jews. Jews were even told this in the law as I point out above. We are told to follow their laws of sexual morality, and immorality.

  43. Charlene T, MSW

    Charlene, we are not Israelites but whose values to you suppose the Jerusalem Church refers to in acts when advising the gentile churches? Romes? Those of Greece?

    I didn’t refer to “acts” and I don’t know what that means.

    The law of God was never egalitarian, yet you appeal to that ethic :

    I am not appealing to any ethic.
    I simply am unfamiliar with your sect, and I am making inquiries.
    If I have given you the impression that I am appealing to that “ethic”, I apologize.

    It is a red herring to suggest that we propose the whole law be followed in every aspect, or to propose that this was necessary, or to propose that it must be to be consistent.

    I didn’t suggest or propose that these laws be followed in any way.
    I did inquire about the practices of your sect, with which I am unfamiliar.

    It appears that you have taken offense to my questions, when none was unintended.

  44. Biblical Cherry Picker

    Welcome to the wide, wonderful world of polygynous fundamentalist Bible cherry picking!
    Multiple wives ? Its a full go !
    Consistency in adherence to Biblical principles which require effort or sacrifice on their part ?
    Forget about it!

  45. Charlene, I am taking no offense. Acts is a book in the Bible in the New Testament. You asked questions regarding which laws I should or should not follow in a rhetorical way. I responded that the questions had no meaning for a well versed Christian.

  46. Cherry Picker..

    Cherry Pickers are in the set of things that Biblical Christians are not. I do not follow some laws and not others. It COULD be argued that I follow the whole law, because certain parts of the law have a flag on them that asks who I am, and then tell me whether to give regard to them or ignore them.

    The laws of Sexual Practice have a big flag on them from the Book of Acts that says “FOLLOW THESE.”

  47. Biblical Cherry Picker

    Hugh :
    The Biblical laws regarding sexual immorality dictate that a man refrain from having sex with his wife / wives during the time they are menstruating and seven days thereafter.
    So is it the recommended practice or your practice to follow this guideline ?

  48. That is a cleanliness law that relates to sex. What is your point though? That I would not follow it if I thought it applied? All you will be able to do in the final analysis is show that I am hypocritical. If you wish an admission to hypocrisy, let us go no further, I will offer that admission to you now.

    I am not consciously hypocritical in this area in general. If I transgress consciously, I clearly sin in both my eyes and in the sight of God. I owe God my repentance. Again, what would be your point? I do not ADVOCATE the transgression of God’s laws as they pertain to me.

  49. Biblical Cherry Picker

    All you will be able to do in the final analysis is show that I am hypocritical. If you wish an admission to hypocrisy, let us go no further, I will offer that admission to you now.

    Exactly. You do not follow the laws regarding sexual immorality dictated by biblical law.
    You choose to do what is convenient and serves your interests.
    How convenient it is that you as a man can have multiple spouses, but a woman must share you.
    You have made my point.
    You pick and choose what you want to follow.

  50. Now you simply are lying about what I said. It does no good to be honest and forthcoming with the dishonest. I made no such point as you declare, I do not willingly cherry pick a law, and if shown to do so, I will repent.

  51. Thanks as always, Hugh, for your comments.

    David: You misunderstand. People don’t share a spirit, soul, or even a body when they become married. Rather, they are “one flesh.” They are still each very much their own persons with their own body, soul, and spirit. When they die, they are very much individuals, for there is no marriage in the afterlife. The “one flesh” aspect is bore out via sexual relations, and if I’m not mistaken, anytime man and woman have sex, they become “one flesh” in a sense. Polygyny doesn’t complicate this, really — there’s no blending of the souls or anything else of that nature.

    Charlene: The Law present in the Pentateuch is composed of three distinct features: moral laws, laws which set Israel apart from other nations, and ritual (including ritual cleanliness and holy days) laws. The New Testament affirms that Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice put an end to the necessity of the ritual laws; likewise, the blending of Gentile and Jew within the Church brought an end to the separation laws. The moral law has never been repealed and is still in force today. Those things which you mention fall into the two fulfilled aspects of the Law, and so no, we do not observe those things today.

    Biblical Cherry Picker: We’re not picking and choosing verses to believe and verses not to believe. We strive to believe the whole Bible, so yes, I do believe in the laws that Charlene mentioned. However, I believe in what the New Testament has to say as well, which reveals that a great part of the Law was specific to Judaism. If we’re guilty of picking and choosing laws to believe, then the Scriptures are guilty of the same mistake: nowhere is a Gentile punished for failing to observe Jewish ritual or separation laws. The moral laws, however, are binding upon every one. The law regarding menstruation had to do with ritual cleanliness; in Jesus, we are made clean. I suggest you take some time to review basic biblical theology; what we are teaching here isn’t something we came up with; it’s been the practice of Christians for nearly 2,000 years and is taught by the New Testament.

    Robert: Right on!

  52. “I did inquire about the practices of your sect, with which I am unfamiliar.”

    You are unfamiliar, because there is no such sect. There are only individuals who have come to the same conclusion through prayer and study of the word of God. The only “sect” to which we belong, is the one described in the Bible…

  53. Heh, after looking through the comments panel, it looks as though at least four different usernames used in comments on this thread (and at least one other post here) belong to the same person.

    Ain’t anonymity fun?

    (Anyone else find it a little weird that the proponents of polygyny here in this thread are doing nothing to disguise their identity? Openness equals accountability.)

  54. It’s okay. Sooner or later it was bound to come out that you, Glen, David, and myself were all the same person. The only reason I’m replying to you this way is to keep up the illusion of separate persons.

    Or maybe we’re schizophrenic. That must be it.

  55. Keep in mind I dismiss far “bigger” scientific studies. Old-earth geology? Rubbish. Evolution? A lie. Global warming? Modern myth.

    While I agree with you that the Bible clearly and obviously both demonstrates polygyny among its patriarchs and has no problem with it, the first of the three above “points” are spurious, and cause me not to take much of what you say seriously. I actually agree with you about the last point, at least so far as man has little if anything to do with it and the Earth has natural, and somewhat random, climatic variations.

    But the Earth is old and your denying same doesn’t do you any good. And evolution seems to have more evidence behind it than not.

    Anyway, I further agree with you that what we know of biological and genetic science shows us that complete 100% social and sexual monogamy is not natural.

    It can be made to work through voluntary (or involuntary, for that matter, but I’m not advocating that) application of the will (or possibly occasionally through low libido, or massive cultural programming while young)… but it isn’t natural.

    Social monogamy may be a natural thing: Several species exhibit it. Complete sexual monogamy not so much. What we now know of modern genetics (the same genetics that make evolution a near certainty) shows us that it isn’t natural in neither the animal nor certainly the human kingdom.

    Should polygamy (polygyny and polyandry) be legal? Sure. As long as it involves consenting adults. I can’t think of a serious religious freedom argument against it… how can one honestly pretend it isn’t tolerated by the Judeo-Christian scriptures themselves escapes me. It clearly is by the three main (allegedly) “monotheistic” religions. And many others.

    The fact that modern Christians (and Mormons, interestingly) are usually fanatically opposed to polygamy is amusing — and so utterly predictable — where modern culture and legal practice replace their scriptural “beliefs”… if I can use that term to describe what is clearly a highly fluid thing in their case.

    I am talking about mainstream Christians (and Mormons), not fundamentalists obviously. While I disagree with both mainstream and fundamentalists, I have more respect for the fundamentalists… while at the same time acknowledging the mainstream are more fun at parties.

    Interesting discussion. Carry on.

  56. While I do agree with all three of Ricks sentiments which Christof denies at least two of, I would rather ask Charlene to actually present the study she is referencing. It seems for all the hubbub and debate about weather such a study is important the poly opposition has neglected to actually cite a place to find this study or link too it. Its kind of like the concept of the haberedes corporus, show me the accuser. The study may indeed say a lot about polygamy, but odds are good that its subjects are too broad to pin their ilks to polygamy alone, and odds are great that good polygamists are not represented at all, as they are usually sensible enough not to be on the bad side of the law and not about to be participating in such studies. The countries listed that would yeaild the highest education levels and lowest abuse levels have polygamy illegal.

    There are a number of important inquiries that must be made before such a survey could be accepted as demonstrating a valid link and being unbias. It seems that David in all his trumpeting for the scientific method neglected to point out that proper analysis procedure was not being followed here.

    I seriously question the person who said that the Polygamist FLDS people had a higher infant mortality rate, I followed that atrocity closely and one of the key things that irritated the state was the lack of birth records. The state did not have them and unless something very new has come out they did not find any, where does the statistic of 20% higher infant mortality come from? The only place I could guess would be that they had higher infant mortality after the raid due to the documented gross mishandling of infants by the Texas CPS noted by such groups as the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform. I have a link from early on where they lost some of the children they where kidnapping http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695274226,00.html and if I recall at least 3 infants where sent to emergency care about a week into their holding, though I don’t have a handy link for that one, its not a stretch to say that children died because of anti-polygamy sentiment, it is a certain that they where injured both phyiscally and emotionally.

    It worth noting that there was a very low incidence of broken bones among the children examined, lower than the Texas standard, and the teen pregnancy rate was tiny, less than one tenth the Texas averedge (when you take the later data, when the tests came back that most of the women in their 20’s where indeed in their 20’s). This is of course quite astounding when you remember that the whole premise for this massacre was teens having sex.

    Bah, I don’t like sympathizing with Mormons but you kind of have to here.

    What I always find amusing is that silly women somehow think polygyny is against them, its not too likely they are familiar with history beyond their ‘everything was against women till now’ tripe. Really, Monogamy, is very very misogynist both in origin and practice. Rick had already noted that Augustine said monogamy was a custom of Rome, and it was from c 150 B.C. I wonder if these feminists are familiar with the abortion crisis in India? Specifically the fact that it is the baby girls that are being selectively eliminated. Well, such a thing was again a well documented custom of Rome (though they left the girls to die of exposure immediately after birth, not being as enlightened as us and not knowing that it is really a baby at that point and that they should have done it sooner {Its all been done before, eh?}) It appears in extant letters from officers and other extant scripts, and Aristotle looks favorably upon it in one of his works.

    The link between killing girls and monogamy is not often made, but it is quite compelling, how is it that a warlike culture with many men dieing in battle also a monogamous one? It came because they killed their own daughters faster than the enemy could kill their sons. Of course it was not monogamous as we know it, they still had concubines ect from conquests and slavery, but the reason you could only have one citizen wife was that there where not enough to go around.

    Monogamy is greatly misogynist, and not only in origin, but in practice. When the Anabaptist Leaden captured Munster and set up ‘New Jerusalem’ polygyny was part of his vision, and while it lasted it is recorded (In John Carnicos’s book, After Polygamy Became a Sin, for one place) that the women where so happy with the setup that they actively searched for wives for their husband (as my dear wife does for me :) ). The next major occurrence is when it was allowed after the 30 years war, and much debate ensued then, but if we are talking about the state of women we really must talk about Thelyphthora, literally translated On the Ruination of Women. It was published in 1780 by Martian Madan, a freind of the Weasly brothers and Godfather of Samuel Weasly. He worked most his life as chaplain of Lock’s hospital in London, a place that specialized in vernal disease (STD’s). While his work is many volumes, very detailed, and available for free digitally, one of its key points is that men should man up and take care of the women they screw, monogamy gives them an out, and polygamy should be allowed for accountability sake. Of course there is much more too it than that, but it does very much say that monogamy is ruining European women and backs with scripture and experience in detail. Over the next 20 years a great number of counters came out, but it is very well worth noting that the most prominent and successful counters was essentially ‘women are not worth keeping, polygamy would be an economic burden on men’.

    Once again, who is the misogynist?

    Even more recently, it is interesting to note that many of the Mormon women where very much involved in womens lib, Utah women got the right to vote early, they where expected to be against polygamy, but of course they where not. A side note of the 1887 Edmunds-Tucker Act which was an anti-polygamy motion took away womens right to vote in Utah, and they didn’t get it back for over a decade.

    So, right up till the 1900’s Polygamy has a history of helping and protecting women, and has a history of women favoring it. Now ‘feminists’ absolutely hate it, it shows how disconnected they are.

    Ah, I noticed before I posted that this post was just resurrected, probably no one left to make this point too, but anyway, if you want some recent Poly history Rick there is a short bit of it. Thanks again for you’re work on polygamy. I half wish some of these objectors knew real polygamists, so many of them are helping single moms ect and taking on huge amounts of responsibility and work to make a big difference in some injured and rejected womans life…

  57. “I half wish some of these objectors knew real polygamists, so many of them are helping single moms ect and taking on huge amounts of responsibility and work to make a big difference in some injured and rejected womans life…”

    Good job, Jair.

    It is interesting how many people have an opinion of polygamy, and have never seen it first hand, or known anyone that lived this type of marriage structure, have never asked the women if they like it, love it, or have benefitted from it at all. It is also interesting to see the arguments against Biblical polygamy and how the arguments tend to go toward verses that can be interpreted different ways, and the interpretation is chosen without regard to how grossly it conflicts with the rest of scripture.

    Hang it there, Rick. Have no fear, the Bible is with you. I too struggled for 3 years with the arguments against Biblical polygamy, and finally had to change my beliefs to be submissive to God and not man. The only position that is not contradictory to God’s Word is the one that says polygyny is not sin. I do not want to go back to trying to live my spiritual walk thinking or preaching that God changes, causes sin, or is an adulterer Himself. The more appropriate attitude would be that “I don’t have to engage in polygyny, but I definately will not condemn those that do, in accordance with the Bible.”

    I have met polygynists, spent time with them in fellowship and prayer, seen their families, and talked with the husbands, wives, and children. I would suggest that others do not make judgements or assume that they know what is good, bad, or the norm in those families without seeing for themselves. If anyone is interested in learning more about the practical lives of spirit-filled believers that support and/or practice Biblical polygyny, send me an email, and I will get you the info to a website founded for the purpose of supporting those families that choose to live in this lifestyle. You will be able to ask questions, and be able to know for yourself what this is all about for today’s believer.


  58. That’s a good point, Paul; I do think it would help if polygynists and the ladies they marry were more known. They’re not all cult members, Muslims, or whatever else.

    But of course, the comeback retort would be, “I don’t need to know a murderer to know that murder’s a sin.” Ultimately, it still comes down to how much respect one gives to the Word of God, which I’m sad to say, isn’t much these days. Following the “party line” is just as much a problem in denominations as it is in politics.

  59. True.

    It is interesting for the people that say they don’t need to know one to know it is sin; the Bible is clear that murder is sin, we can easily find that. But marrying more than one woman is never called or described, or implied as sin. One interesting facet is that in all of the opportunities for God to say that it was sin, or show his displeasure at any man that engaged in it, or any woman, or in giving His Law, He remained silent. It is interesting that today’s church and the church throughout the centuries has seen fit to “upgrade” God’s Law, and call this type of marriage “sin” when He did not. It was idolatry for me to maintain the stance of polygamy=sin. I had too much fear of the first commandment and the Almighty God that wrote it. Why would I dare to act or believe that something is good that He calls bad, or say that something He calls beautiful is sin. Thanks for being strong enough in your fear of the Lord to post what you know to be the truth.


  60. Hi,
    It is interesting to see how many people have concluded that polygyny is acceptable after *investigating* the bible. Its is frustrating to hear people who haven’t studied the issue just wave Matthew 19 and Genesis 2 as some kind of trump card (even though they do not address polygyny at all). I suppose it is cultural conditioning, which is understandable.

    One of the clearest examples of Godly men with multiple wives (and I guess you’ll cover this in the future) is Joash:
    “1 Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem forty years. His mother’s name was Zibiah; she was from Beersheba. 2 Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the years of Jehoiada the priest. 3 Jehoiada chose two wives for him, and he had sons and daughters.” – 2 Chron 24

    Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, and the *priest* choose two wives for him. In context, it is almost as if God gave Joash 2 wives. I can’t see how people can honestly look at this and think that Genesis 2 somehow condemns Joash.

  61. I’ve been enjoying the conversation on this post too much to actually put “pen to paper” on the second edition of this series, so thank you for mentioning Joash. It’s amazing how often God Himself is involved (directly or indirectly) with men becoming polygynists. If polygyny is a sin, then God tempts man to sin; that’s the problem that monogamy-onlyists must face.

  62. There were too many posts on here for me to read each one carefully, so tell me if this was already brought up. The example of Abraham has glaring omissions. The whole thing with Hagar was because Abraham and Sarah were trying to fulfill God’s promise on their own…they weren’t trusting Him to do it. So now we live with the consequences…all of the trouble in the Middle East. David’s life was scarred by murder, exile, and bloodshed by his own sons. Solomon’s wives led his heart astray from God. Yes, there were patriarchs who had multiple wives. They were all sinners, too. The point of the Old Testament is not to glorify them, but to point to the need for a sinless Savior. I personally think you need a good smack to the head, Rick! I also think that if I was your wife, I would feel very hurt and betrayed. The problem is when people start thinking they have to come up with some “novel” idea to show how clever they are. (it’s obviously not novel if they were doing it thousands of years ago.) The Gospel is to admit that you are a horrible wretch who deserves eternal judgment, repent of your sin, and turn to Christ…not to find your favorite patriarch and live exactly like he did.

  63. Marta,

    Are you maintaining that the patriarchs we maintain were monogamous (very few) who are not actually said to be monogamous, were free from sin? It is the amount of detail we have about the lives of each individual man in the Old Testament, that determines in general, whether or not we know of grievous sin in their lives.

    Would you content, for instance, that Isaac was better off than Abraham? “Castle Intrigue” reigned among Isaac’s tents. One brother (just like Adam and Eve) attempted to kill the other, with the primary difference being he didn’t succeed. Son deceives father and brother, mother deceives husband and based on the telling of the story, there was considerable distance (literally) between the tent of Isaac and Rebekah allowing her and Jacob to carry our their deceptions.

    You note correctly that Abraham’s sin was to try to do it himself. You neglect to emphasize that it was Sarah’s idea. You neglect to mention that it wasn’t polygyny for which David was punished, but for MURDER and ADULTERY, the murder being a second sin meant to cover up the adultery of David, which was against Uriah and God. You neglect to mention that Solomon is NEVER chided for his literal number of wives and NEVER chided for his polygyny, but for the UNBELIEF of the wives he took. Context suggests this large number of wives he took was towards the latter part of his life, and comprised mostly of unbelievers. At the time of Song of Songs for instance, his number of wives was less than a 5th of what he ended up with. Nehemiah, the word of the LORD, chides him only for his wives of unbelief.

    Rick, to my knowledge, takes seriously his promise to his own wife that he be monogamous, just as I do. Beyond that, it isn’t important, ultimately, in the decision making process, what she FEELS about it. IF polygyny IS NOT WRONG, then a wife resisting the addition of another wife becomes literally as childish as one of your sons or daughters complaining that you have decided to bring yet another son or daughter into the family. It really isn’t any of her business. I’m not going to sugar coat it for you. If Rick were free from promises not to marry others, and if he took another wife, his present wife could only argue the contract God says he has with her in Exodus 21. Namely, that he not deprive her of consort, clothing and food as a result of taking that other wife. Those would be her ONLY legitimate complaints.

  64. My point, if you re-read it you will see it, was that they were ALL sinners.

    BTW, Genesis 2:24 says, “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” (which involves so much more than just sex)

    The onus is on the man to leave and cleave (which according to Webster’s, means, “to adhere firmly and closely or loyally and unwaveringly.” The two examples God gave us specifically were the garden of Eden and the flood. Each man had his own, singular wife.

    Once you open the door to this evil practice, you give yourself permission to be unhappy with the wife of your youth. This whole discussion is foolish, and I plead with all of you who are advocating this to get yourselves into a sound, Biblical church, submit yourselves to the authoritative preaching of the Word, and repent of your arrogance. You will probably say I am the one being arrogant, but this is not a system that was set up by me…it was ordained by God.

  65. Marta,

    If you’re going to argue to a fine point, the meaning of words for instance, then you need to study the Hebrew, which is possible for even a novice, such as myself, in view of all the aids that are available for free on the internet. “Cleave” itself is an unfortunate word with which to make your point, since it has nearly polar opposite potential meanings, one being to divide with a sharp object, the other being to stick together. Webster wasn’t even around when that passage was so translated.

    I would interpret Genesis 2:24 which is a passage even the most conservative Bible Scholars and context say was written by Moses concurrently with Exodus 21 must submit to the actual words of God in Exodus 21. “Woody” Lauer, an Orthodox Presbyterian seminary HEBREW language professor says it is a “Mosaic interpolation.” He says this in the process of trying to REFUTE me.

    Cleaving would have to submit to the declaration of God that marital faithfulness on the part of the man consist of not depriving a woman of consort, food and clothing as the result of adding another wife. It cannot mean, as you strongly wish it means, that a man cannot have another wife. Contexts define and limit the word being used to some of it’s meanings, not all of them, otherwise as I point out, “cleave” itself is an impossible contradiction.

    I rebuke you OPENLY and STRONGLY for the undemonstrated LEAP that polygyny is an “evil practice.” You simply have not shown that and I DO NOT CARE, nor should I BE ASKED TO CARE what you “think” or “feel” about it in a discussion of truth. Demonstrate it, or withhold your judgment from me. You show yourself to be rash. You are certainly free to live in the light of that interpretation yourself, but really, this is an “I dunk, you sprinkle” argument at best, and you, like all intolerable busybodies, want to peer in my bedroom to see how I’m working out my salvation. Get the BEAM out of your eye I’ve lost patience with you and others jabbing mine with your thumbs, in search of that speck that bothers you so much.

    Faithfulness again, to the wife of my youth is in the context of ABANDONMENT of her through divorce, which is later clarified by Christ, as unjust divorce. Such abandonment would necessarily deprive her of consort, clothing and food and implicate her as an adulteress, the only valid reason for her status as divorced.


    You are supremely arrogant and deserve harsh, pointed, scoffing rebuke. Consider it done.

  66. Sorry, I messed up the hyperlink, the paragraph should read:

    I would interpret Genesis 2:24 which is a passage even the most conservative Bible Scholars and context say was written by Moses concurrently with Exodus 21 must submit to the actual words of God in Exodus 21. “Woody” Lauer, an Orthodox Presbyterian seminary HEBREW language professor says it is a “Mosaic interpolation.” He says this in the process of trying to REFUTE me.

    [update by Rick] Hyperlink fixed in this and previous comment.

  67. Hugh,
    My argument is not with you…you have shown your true colors and you will be humbled by God, either in this life or in eternity. I have no interest in what you do in your bedroom. My reason for writing is to call Rick, who is supposed to be in charge of this blog, to repentance. He took a vow to submit to the authority of the church, and to not forsake the assembly of the saints. Rick, I ask you to stop substituting electronic communication for submitting to Biblical authority. You have written that you do not know what you believe anymore, or something to that effect. (forgive me, I don’t have time to read everything on here, so I may have something out of context.) It is too easy in this setting to pick and choose, to hide from discipline, to not be REAL in front of others so you can forgive and be forgiven. You are in a very dangerous position spiritually, and you are setting yourself up to be carried away by false teachings. Please stop. I ask you in the love of Christ to return to the church. You know me…you know this is not the rantings of a mad woman with an ax to grind. I ask this for both you and your family, for whom you will have to give account to God…not to me.

  68. Hugh, I will make an attempt to post what I believe is your link.

    I would interpret Genesis 2:24 which is a passage even the most conservative Bible Scholars and context say was written by Moses concurrently with Exodus 21 must submit to the actual words of God in Exodus 21. “Woody” Lauer, an Orthodox Presbyterian seminary HEBREW language professor says it is a “Mosaic Interpolation“. He says this in the process of trying to REFUTE me.


    I have already stated my own point of view. The bible states it is alright, though it doesn’t take a hard moral line on whether or not a man should take multiple wives. It also does not state whether or not a woman should take multiple husbands. But, it does clearly show that polygamy is alright. The second half was having to do with society. Many people and many studies have found that polygymy can be likened to spousal abuse. On the other hand, humans have been shown to be a polygamous creature, most taking multiple different wives/husbands at different times over their lives. This is, of course, dependent on society.

    So, the bible says it’s alright and some individuals and groups say it is alright. If it’s not hurting anybody, why not?

  69. Marta,

    Where in the bible does it say that to be saved one has to go to the little (or big) quiet (or loud) church (or megachurch)? Nowhere. It says that you must believe in Jesus as a personal saviour and that your actions must be of god. How do you get “submit to the preacher” from the passages stating the way to heaven?

    What is going on here? A thought game is going on here. Rick brought up a controversial topic and asked whether or not it is allowable according to the bible, prohibited by the bible, or even promoted by the bible. When stating that he doesn’t know what to believe anymore (remember the context) he was speaking specifically about this one topic. Why would he be confused on this one topic? Well, there is a lot of stuff in the bible saying/showing it is okay. There are also passages about god giving out wives to people. But, contrary to this, we have a few which may be interpreted to sound like it is one man and one woman. And, we have a large societal point of view backing up this interpretation. Hence, it is easy to get confused on this one topic.

    If Rick went to church A and submitted to an authority figure for the truth, he would get answer A. At church B, he would get answer B. Repeat this going through the entirety of the alphabet. I went with a similar question to a United Baptist church (it had to do with divorce). I got an answer, which we may abbreviate as “yes”. I went to another and got a “no”. Finally, a third, to break the tie, gave me a “maybe”. The catholics gave me a “no, unless” and the anglicans gave me a “if necessary”. Rick doesn’t want the thousands of human interpretations he could get through searching church by church for an answer. (I realize you are saying to go to a specific church, but church by church is more dramatic.) Rick wants the unbiased opinions of god, as stated in the bible. Hence, I would state that Rick is submitting to biblical authority. In fact, he is submitting to the highest biblical authorities in existence. Rick is submitting to the bible and the word of god. Do you still think that Reverend Joe Anybody is better than the authority Rick seeks?

  70. Marta, I appreciate the concern — I do. But your comments are mostly emotional pleading, and that certainly isn’t sufficient to change my mind on the matter.

    The above post — the original blog entry at the top — is simply a list of non-chastised polygynists in the Scriptures, and it’s a woefully incomplete list at that (one can very easily add the Father and the Son to the list as well). I’ve written several other posts on the subject of polygyny that contain actual arguments for the practice, both here and at FriendOfPolygyny.com.

    I’m aware of the church’s beliefs on the matter; however, at this point, I wonder if that whole aspect might be academic: my current work schedule isn’t terribly friendly to Sunday morning services, which is all the church has. I’m aware of the Westminster Confession’s statements concerning marriage, which is what the church adheres to, that a person cannot be married to more than one person concurrently. That’s the very first point under the heading of “Marriage and Divorce,” and sadly all of the proof texts given are arguments against divorce, fornication, or polyandry… but not polygyny.

    As a Reformed woman, you’re well aware of the doctrine of “Scripture alone,” and the Scriptures state that sin is “transgression of the Law.” No one anywhere has shown from the Law that polygyny is a sin. Rather, such an interpretation must be read into passages which deal with fornication or divorce or something else entirely. The Law, in fact, contains allowances for polygyny (as Hugh has already mentioned) and even demands it in certain circumstances (levirate marriage).

    It’s also worth noting that not only are the Scriptures filled with incidents of polygyny, it’s a “sin” which is never repented of, never mind the fact that it is never rebuked. The problems in the lives of David, Abraham, and others are never tied directly to their polygyny — again, such interpretations must be read into the Scriptures.

    Indeed, the first instance of polygyny — the principal of First Mention being fairly useful to determine the Scripture’s standing on a matter — is that of Lamech’s, and it is out of his polygyny that we have musical instruments, metalworking, animal husbandry, and other activities which have been used and enjoyed by God’s people throughout the ages. (The matter of Lamech’s murder-in-self-defense is unrelated to his polygyny, despite the popularity of it as an argument against polygyny.)

    Even Jesus — the sinless Lamb — depicts Himself as a husband meeting ten virgins to wed. Ten! If polygyny were a sin, its endorsement by Christ as a symbol of the spotless Lamb makes little sense.

    Also, criticizing polygyny on the basis of the supposed abuses thereof in the lives of the patriarchs isn’t valid argumentation. Throughout history, there have been far more abuses of monogamy, and that shows no sign of slowing down, particularly here in America.


    David, a woman may only have one husband at a time. First Corinthians 7:39 states that a woman is only free to marry another if her current husband dies. There are other arguments, but that one’s the simplest, I think.

  71. Marta,
    I have to find it curious that the charge of novelty should come up here and now Marta, In the mid 100’s one of the earliest Christin\Gnostic (for the author had a foot in both puddles) works trying to promote monogamy (entitled, in fact, On Monogamy) was almost half spend trying to defend against the charge of novelty. The writers only defence against this charge was that he claimed direct special revelation from the holy spirit and that made the fact that monogamy was novel (to Christians and Jews) irrelevant. You said in you’re own post that polygyny wasn’t novel, but what do you say about the fact that monogamy was? Should, as St.Augustine opined, the customs of the land dictate Christians view of right and wrong?

    While you have re-asserted a generality concerning studies you have read, you still haven’t disclosed their source or method, nor have you attempted to explain how they could be accurate in the light that the majority of North American Polygynists are not open about their relationships. Only the most segregated and culturally different polygamists in NA are even represented in the public eye. Quite a bit of skepticism is in order when any study claims to accurately represent this issue.

    I do hope you’re wife knows you’re views here, and on every topic. Marta makes a good point that she should, but her insinuation that she didn’t and that she would be outraged was quite out of line.

  72. Yes, let me clarify — I’m sure I have somewhere already, perhaps not in this thread — that my wife certainly does know what I believe regarding the matter. She doesn’t feel like polygyny is a right thing, which is absolutely fine by me. I’ve no interest whatsoever in practicing polygyny myself, so it’s a moot point really. However, I want to be supportive of those men who do choose to have multiple wives and of those women who choose to be those wives.

    It’s only a matter of time before bisexuals argue their case in courts and get polygyny recognized by the state — it’s perfectly legal now, provided no more than one wife is a “civilly recognized” wife… otherwise, the state finds you guilty of bigamy. The minimum arrangement of a bisexual union is at least 3 people, wherein at least 2 are the same sex. So these folk will have polygamy in general “legalized.”

    Once that happens, the floodgates will be opened for all of the godly men who have been afraid to practice polygyny for fear of state retribution or whatever. At that point, the churches will *have* to deal with the issue. There’s not passage in Scripture which, in context and original intent, argues against polygyny. Most arguments boil down to “it’s illegal, so don’t do it.” That argument will soon be entirely null and void. (Well, it is already — I follow the blog of a young woman who recently became a man’s third [fourth?] wife — but it’s far too easy for objectors to polygyny to confuse it with bigamy.)

    Incidentally, a good deal of Christians would argue that marriage doesn’t require state recognition to be valid — indeed, I believe marriage should be made simpler (no big ceremonies, no government interference, etc.) — yet many of those same Christians will argue against polygyny on the only leg they can find to stand on: the legality of bigamy. So does the government decide what is or is not marriage or not? We should be “conscientiously objecting” to a lot of what the government requires of us. We’re obligated to pay our taxes and submit if we cross the government… but we are not obligated to buy into the world’s empires in every little way.

  73. Rick,

    In the face of legal Same Sex “Marriage” in Vermont, Carl Durham of the Covenant Orthodox Presbyterian Church has stated that they will just take marriage informal instead of legal if they are forced to in any way participate in a gay “marriage.”

    Unpack that.

    It means the churches already recognizes that the state is not a party to marriage. Of course, when it comes to polygyny, they simply state that it’s “illegal” meaning, “it’s illegal to register the marriage. The practical living arrangements involved in an unregistered monogamy are no more legal, or illegal than the practical living arrangements of an unregistered polygyny.

  74. Jair: Indeed I do not bother looking up the scientific studies. Doing so would be pointless. Rick has already stated that he is willing to reject any amount of scientific evidence if the bible contradicts it. Also, this is a thread about whether or not the bible allows polygamy. What does science have to do with the interpretations of a book? That’s more along the lines of literary criticism. Hence, proper referencing of any scientific study would hardly be required. Read it more as an anecdote which could be backed up if necessary.

    Rick: Thank you for correcting me. As I stated in an email (or I should have stated), I am always willing to be corrected and thankful of any person who does so kindly. But, now I must question your knowledge on the meaning of bisexual. A bisexual is a person attracted to both males and females for sexual encounters. When a bisexual person settles down with a member of either sex and makes a life-partner, it is just like any other person with a monogamous relationship. I, as is usual in the case where you bring up your gay conspiracy theories, do not understand in the slightest why you think bisexuals are or should be polygamists. Please explain.

  75. A bisexual could settle down with just one person, true. But if a person attracted to both men and women wants to marry both a man and a woman in order to express his desires toward both in marriage… then you got yourself a polygamy. It’s not a conspiracy theory at all.

  76. David,

    If you have missed my point I will make it concisely, you cannot have accurate study data of a group when the majority of the group is hidden. Any North American survey previous to 2005 would have to focus on the publicly known FLDS groups and a number of other fringe groups rather than mainstream polygamists. That hopelessly taints results making it silly that studies should be referenced in any discussion of Christian polygamy. Of course it is even more out of place in a discussion of scripture.

    My experience with ‘bi-sexual’ women, which is quite intimate, shows that they do have distinct, independent drives. Certainly this may not be universal, but I expect it is common. Men and women are so distinct in their intimacy, both emotional and physical, that it should not be surprising that a woman that wants both should want them each independently.

    I cannot comment concerning ‘bisexual’ men, I only know one and he will not discuss the matter.

  77. Bisexuality only applies to polygamy if the bisexual is a polygamist. If the person is a monogamist, he/she will prefer a relationship with whomever he/she has found as a suitable partner. My roommate is a lesbian but married a man because she genuinely loves him, despite his penis. She has no desire to marry a woman now that she has her man. Why? She has no desire because she is a monogamist. This is just an example to show what I am driving at. It has nothing to do with the complete and general population.

    I likened it to conspiracy theory because the logic is very off. Bisexuality means that the person is attracted to both sexes. If the person is a monogamist, he/she will want to partner with one person, regardless of gender. If the person is a polygamist, he/she may attempt to partner with one of each or two of one, depending upon the individual. Bisexuality is unrelated to polygamy. Likewise, using myself as an example, I would want to marry a woman because I am attracted to women. I am a monogamist. I have no desires beyond having the one partnership. If I were a polygamist, I would want multiple women. Heterosexuality also has no relation to polygamy. For an extrapolated example, it’s similar to saying that communists hate democracy. Although many may, communism is an economic system. Democracy is a system of government (or choosing a government, to be more specific). Communism and democracy are unrelated. To bring this back into context, bisexuality defines a person’s sexual preference. Polygamy defines a person’s desired number of partners. The two are unrelated.



    It is not difficult, nor is it impossible to perform a study of hidden members of society. Psychological, sociological, and anthropological studies may all be conducted with privacy and still retain accuracy. A person does not have to come out to society a polygamist in order to participate in the study. All that is needed for the studies is “subject 123” and “polygamist”.

    Furthermore, I’ve also noted that many studies have determined humans to be polygamists by nature. Seeing as I am no longer at the university, I cannot find articles as easily as once before. Google wants to give me information on Islam, so that’s what a lot of my results are.

    Success and Failure Among Polygamous Families: The Experience of Wives, Husbands, and Children

    There’s one. While I was reading these studies, or hearing of them, I was in an anthropology course at university. The subject of polygamy came up. (We were learning about family structure–it was a generic course on health.) I no longer have access to the various search engines for scientific articles. Google is littered with memes and personal statements. If you wish to find articles, they are there. Simply pay the fees for access to Anthrosource, PsycINFO, or another and pay the fees for access to the articles.

  78. You still have to suppose that the people that come forward for such a survey give a normal representation of the group as a whole, and you must suppose that you have a sufficient percentage of respondents to have an accurate sampling.

    I did not say it was impossible or even difficult to preform a said study, I said that such a study cannot assume any reasonable or scientifically valid accuracy.

    The problem with accuracy is aggravated because the people that tend to come forward are the ones that leave the fringe groups and identify polygamy with every aspect of their group, I can’t comment on the link you gave as it currently just complains about something concerning session cookies timing out.

    It is very safe to say that bisexuality with distinct drives for each gender is directly related to polygyny. While it seems probable that not all bisexuals have such a drive it can hardly be said to be unrelated.

  79. Rick –
    I will address this to you, because you are the only one I personally know on this blog. I don’t care what anyone else says because I don’t know them.
    I realize that there are seasons in life where schedules are wacky and things get dropped. You know our family and what we have been through the last few years. However, you stood up in church and pledged to 1. “…support the Church in its worship and work to the best of your ability.” and 2. “…submit yourself to the government and discipline of the Church, and promise to study its purity and peace.” You made a public oath, just like you made a public oath before God when you married to “forsake all others.” This whole thread shows the danger of “forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some…” Please study Hebrews 10. (and Ephesians 4) You are being carried away by false teachings and tossed about. If you study the two clear models, Adam and Noah, and put that together with the instructions for individual family members found in Ephesians 5, along with who God wants leading the church in I Timothy 3, I don’t see how you can continue to swallow this camel as you strain at the gnats. This is not an emotional plea…this is a deep concern that I have had about you and Alicia for a long time and have never had the courage to say it to your face beyond trying to with light humor. If you are a Christian, than you are a part of the body of Christ. The body can live without a hand, although not as well, but the hand will wither and die without the body. The same God who commanded us to not forsake our assembly did not put a time limit on that command, nor was He taken by surprise by the internet. This is not a Biblical substitution for attending church. There is too much room for anonymity, not being disciplined (which, according to Hebrews 12 happens to all true believers) and running after false teachings.
    As to the multiple wives issue, I do not see who it would benefit except for the husband, (and only sexually – certainly not emotionally) and if he is living Ephesians 5, I do not see how it is physically or spiritually possible. I think people’s hearts are very hard, and they will read anything into the Bible that they want, just as the pharisees did. I cannot think of a modern day motive that would make it pure, and I highly doubt if there are those today who are kings and need to marry for an alliance, or someone who consummated a marriage with the wrong bride, or have fought a battle in such a manner as to be rewarded with multiple women. This whole issue is a straw man argument and shows the need for you to be under the physical preaching of the whole Gospel. My fear is that your pride will not allow you to see how serious this is, and you will continue to think you can disobey God (about being in church) with impunity. This is a matter of faith, since you are tying it to your job. I say your soul is worth more than mammon. I am done commenting on this, so those of you listening in, feel free to blast away at me…I really don’t care. The anonymity afforded in this medium shows the weakness of it being on par with physically worshiping with others. Your rants mean nothing. You might as well be hollering at me from behind your steering wheel. But I do know Rick, and Rick, I will continue to pray that God humbles you and shows you what is important…especially in light of eternity, and in light of Alicia’s soul, for which you will give an account to God as her husband.

  80. This is such an interesting thread.

    My wife and I have been studying men’s and women’s roles in the Bible for 3 years, specifically the situations regarding marriage and authority. We are both interested in hearing your thoughts on if polygyny is a sin in God’s eyes, which sin it is, and what His punishment is, and the corresponding scripture references.

    We would also like to hear any thoughts that you have, with the appropriate scripture references, for the differences between oaths, covenants, and creeds, and how this effects the marriage vows, especially when we consider that they are created by man, and not from God at all.

    Also, if you are using Adam as an example of monogamy being Gods marriage intent, how do you feel about his marriage being monogamous, and also being the marriage relationship by which sin and death entered the world? Cain and Lamech were his descendants, polygamous, and often used as examples against polygamy, but their sin is directly descending from Adam’s sinful action. How do we excuse Adam’s sin as not being tied to his marriage structure, and not excuse his polygamous descendants sin, and then use that sin as condemnation for their marriage structure? Do you see this as a double standard of judgement, and if you do not, then can you explain why not?

    Also, 1Co 6:16 says, “What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.” Do you have any thoughts regarding your earlier statements about Genesis and God’s one flesh definitions? The above verse seems to contradict your stance of only one flesh with one woman, in that any man that has sex with any woman is one flesh with her. I do agree that marriage is about so much more than sex, but one flesh as defined in the Bible seems to be not how you are using it on this thread.

    Also, I would like to know what you mean by “modern day motives” that would make multiple wives “pure”. We think that it is a sin or not, and has nothing to do with modern or primitive cultures or lifestyles. Can you please clarify this for us? God did say to be fruitful and multiply, so one benefit for the single woman is to be able to be obedient to God in that she can be married and bear children. Also, in the context of marriage, does not every single woman have a right to the things that married women have? A man to tell her she is beautiful, to take walks with her, holding her hand? To have a man that listens to her and cares intently about the struggles and rejoicings of her day? To be with her during pregnancy and childbirth, to have special time on the bed with the newborn, to enjoy the relationships and special moments between father, mother and child? To have spiritual leadership and covering for her, to pray with her, to support her when she is sick, or feeling lost or emotionally low? And yes, does not every woman in her inner most being have the God given need to be desired by a man, and to have him desire her and enjoy each other during times of physical intimacy? And given the difficulty that Godly women have in finding a financially stable, handsome,

    We would also like to know if your belief that deacons and elders as the leaders of the church comes from a specific Bible passage, or if it an assumed or taught belief. There are references to the body being many parts, not all the same, but all equal, so why is it that requirements for deacons and elders are assumed to be applied to parts of the body that God did not apply them to?

    I will stop asking questions now, I hope that you believe that I am not being sarcastic with my questions, we are really interested in your responses. I do hope that you will comment. Posting and then saying you are done is like a slap and run, especially to those that are genuinely interested in what you have to say.

  81. In reply to Marta:

    I will address this to you, because you are the only one I personally know on this blog. I don’t care what anyone else says because I don’t know them.

    Well, I do appreciate the concern, but blog comments are very much public, and I can’t stop anyone else from taking part in the conversation. You’re, of course, welcome to ignore others’ responses, but that’s sorta like going to a party and ignoring everyone who speaks to you except for the one who invited you.

    I realize that there are seasons in life where schedules are wacky and things get dropped. You know our family and what we have been through the last few years. However, you stood up in church and pledged to 1. “…support the Church in its worship and work to the best of your ability.” and 2. “…submit yourself to the government and discipline of the Church, and promise to study its purity and peace.” You made a public oath, just like you made a public oath before God when you married to “forsake all others.”

    I did make those vows at the church, true, and my current position concerning them is being taken care of between Tom and I.

    This whole thread shows the danger of “forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some…” Please study Hebrews 10. (and Ephesians 4)

    As it happens, I prefer the company of Christians. It’s large, corporate, impersonal gatherings which I’ve been avoiding as of late.

    You are being carried away by false teachings and tossed about.

    You say “teachings”; I can assume one of these is polygyny, but are there others? If so, what?

    If you study the two clear models, Adam and Noah, and put that together with the instructions for individual family members found in Ephesians 5, along with who God wants leading the church in I Timothy 3, I don’t see how you can continue to swallow this camel as you strain at the gnats.

    Adam and Noah are never mentioned in Scripture as models of monogamy, only of marriage. Specifically, marriage was meant to be between a man and a woman and that for life. Given that polygyny is a man having multiple marriages, the archetype of Adam is not violated. I realize it’s easy to say that Adam only had one marriage, but that isn’t presented as an archetype in the Scriptures, whereas we have much written concerning divorce using Adam as the primordial example.

    Likewise, the argumentation you’re using is easily shown to be flawed when one considers every aspect of Adam and Noah’s lives: is everyone required to be married? is everyone required to have children? is everyone required to x, y, or z? (Keep in mind the requirements for church elders are that they be married and have at least one child…) If these aren’t requirements upon every man, then why is Adam’s monogamy? We must not assume archetypal elements that the Scriptures themselves do not.

    This is not an emotional plea…this is a deep concern that I have had about you and Alicia for a long time and have never had the courage to say it to your face beyond trying to with light humor. If you are a Christian, than you are a part of the body of Christ. The body can live without a hand, although not as well, but the hand will wither and die without the body. The same God who commanded us to not forsake our assembly did not put a time limit on that command, nor was He taken by surprise by the internet. This is not a Biblical substitution for attending church. There is too much room for anonymity, not being disciplined (which, according to Hebrews 12 happens to all true believers) and running after false teachings.

    Agreed. The same holds true for the churches, especially churches with more than a few dozen attendees. The issue of anonymity is a non-issue. Actually, by and large it’s the opponents of polygyny who have hidden behind anonymity here and elsewhere.

    As to the multiple wives issue, I do not see who it would benefit except for the husband, (and only sexually – certainly not emotionally) and if he is living Ephesians 5, I do not see how it is physically or spiritually possible.

    Calling motives into question is rather silly. Paul gives sexual fulfillment as a motive for marriage in 1 Corinthians 7. In the first biblical case of polygyny, no one called motives into question. It’s a non-issue in the debate of polygyny’s morality and is something which is between the prospective husband, prospective wife, and the prospective wife’s father.

    I think people’s hearts are very hard, and they will read anything into the Bible that they want, just as the pharisees did.

    Polygyny and the accepted nature thereof aren’t something read into the Bible; it’s something the Scripture assumes from start to finish without arguing its case. The sinfulness of polygyny, however, must be read into the Scriptures. This is why the vast majority of those seeking to point out polygyny’s sinfulness point to passages about divorce or fornication or church leadership — passages which don’t deal with general polygyny — to prove their point.

    There are passages which deal directly with general polygyny — things like levirate marriage or not reducing the marital care given to a first wife if another is added — in the Scriptures, but these are largely ignored by monogamy-onlyists. This is because when the Scriptures speak of polygyny, they do so positively.

    I cannot think of a modern day motive that would make it pure, and I highly doubt if there are those today who are kings and need to marry for an alliance, or someone who consummated a marriage with the wrong bride, or have fought a battle in such a manner as to be rewarded with multiple women.

    This whole issue is a straw man argument and shows the need for you to be under the physical preaching of the whole Gospel.

    Teaching the acceptance of polygyny includes a greater swath of Scriptures than does teaching polygyny as a sin. The latter school of thought makes the levirate marriage Law make no sense, if the Law of God is supposed to be holy.

    My fear is that your pride will not allow you to see how serious this is, and you will continue to think you can disobey God (about being in church) with impunity.

    Again, that issue is being handled privately (like it should be). Regarding pride, though, it was pride which caused me to fracture fellowship with a fellow Christian a few years ago because they taught the morality of polygyny. It was only after my pride was broken, when I realized there were no valid exegetical arguments against polygyny (a position shared by Augustine and Martin Luther, actually) that fellowship was restored.

    This is a matter of faith, since you are tying it to your job. I say your soul is worth more than mammon.

    Agreed, if I worked simply for gain. Work itself is a spiritual experience — one which is commanded — and because Jesus is my Sabbath, there is no one-day-a-week Sabbatical requirements upon me.

    I am done commenting on this, so those of you listening in, feel free to blast away at me…I really don’t care. The anonymity afforded in this medium shows the weakness of it being on par with physically worshiping with others. Your rants mean nothing. You might as well be hollering at me from behind your steering wheel. But I do know Rick, and Rick, I will continue to pray that God humbles you and shows you what is important…especially in light of eternity, and in light of Alicia’s soul, for which you will give an account to God as her husband.

    For most of the people here, the matter of polygyny is a matter of truth, the rejection of which has pretty far-reaching consequences. For example, if polygyny is a sin, Jesus likens Himself to a ten-fold sinner in the parable of the ten virgins. If polygyny is a sin, the Father likens Himself unto a sinner when He is said to be wed to multiple nations. If polygyny is a sin, it is evidently the one sin which doesn’t require repentance, rebuke, or even a Law against it, for it is never spoken negatively of in the Scriptures.

    For years, I’ve taught that Lucifer is not Satan — that Satan was never an angel but could only appear as one. For years, I’ve taught that demons are not fallen angels but are instead the disembodied spirits and/or souls of the giants. These things and more have I taught because I believed that traditional church views on these matters were unbiblical, so I chose to stick with the Scriptures. Today I teach that a man may have more than one wife if he so chose because I believe that to be in line with the Scriptures. This teaching, for once, has not been in a vacuum and has stirred up quite a few people for and against. I am not ashamed of the teaching, and until someone can present a valid exegesis against polygyny, I have no intention of turning. I spent several years attempting to come up with that exegesis myself; failing to do so, I conceded the argument.

  82. Jair,

    Sorry about the link timing out. This is what happens when you look for decent journals with Google and no direction in titles, authors, etc. But, a psychological study isn’t anywhere near impossible under these circumstances. Neither, I might add, is an anthropological study. It is the sociological study that has problems. Psychological studies can easily draw people who normally wouldn’t want anyone to know about their “conditions” (term used for ambiguity of study in context). I’ve seen psychological studies conducted on female to male transgendered non-smoker heroin addicts. There was no difficulty getting a decent sample size. What they do to make it best fit the general population is get more people to volunteer than necessary for the study (not difficult in a place like New York City, which has a population roughly similar to Canada). After getting a large applicable sample, they assign numbers and randomly draw those numbers. The sample size of the experimental group depends upon the type of testing being performed. Most samples, however, are 20-80 people. This isn’t difficult, once again, when you go to a city with a large population.

    An example of a very public (and greatly non-scientific) study is Penn and Teller’s show on ShowTime. They were talking about traditional families and involved a polygyny/polyandry group situation. They had to get consent forms to be on television from the four members of the relationship and their son. Think of the difficulty getting just one polygamous person on a national television series. Multiply that by the difficulty of another person, then another, and so on. If it is (lowballing for easy math) a 1/2 chance of getting one person, getting both becomes 1/4. To get the 4 people, it becomes 1/16 and the fifth makes it 1/32. As I stated, I was lowballing the odds. Consider that ti is likely much higher odds, then consider how many polygamists must be out there in order to find one family of 5 willing to sign release papers and open up their personal lives on camera. Now, taking this extremely large number of people, consider how many would be willing to fill out a questionnaire in a doctor’s office. It is surprisingly easy to get an accurate sample.

    Also, I think you’re confusing both and either with respect to bisexuals. I am a straight man who is attracted to women with red and blond hair. Does this mean I will be lobbying the government for the right to fully express my love and desire? No. Likewise, a bisexual person is attracted to men and women. This means they aren’t as limited in their choice of sexual/romantic partners. That is all. If they are polygamists, there is a chance they will want to marry a person of each gender, and I can see a few people saying that. However, polygamy is the issue, not bisexuality. Bisexuality is more of an either or situation when the person in question is a monogamist. “I can date either a man or a woman and not feel weird about either,” is a statement that could convey the general line of thought. It is the rare case where a bisexual would want to marry both a man and a woman in order to fully represent their love. That person would be thinking, “I can date a man or a woman, but I really want both at once.” No. Bisexuality is unrelated to polygamy.

    That being said, to bring this back to the topic of the thread, I fully agree that the bible is in support of polygamy, though it is not a commandment of all men. Some argument could be made in that respect with regards to the “go forth and multiply” thing. One could also make an argument about men having to marry his brother’s wife, should the brother die, but I’m not too sure on the exact wording of that statement in the books.



    I can think of a positive aspect to polygamy. Actually, I can think of several. If a woman’s husband dies and she is unable to care for herself, her husband’s brother might wish to take her on as a second wife so she can more easily survive. A really rich man might help out war widows unable to care for themselves. However, in today’s society where women are equally valued in the workplace, those reasons don’t pan out most of the time. It’s only in those times when a woman is unable to care for herself.

    Still, there are other benefits to polygamy, but most don’t fit in our society. Keeping up a population is one. Another may be, as in the case of some kings, to be lovers and consorts to the man, giving him pleasures that his betrothed wife cannot for whatever reason. It can also be said that it adds a bit of variety to the marriage, leaving people less bored, if they are the type to get bored. With that last example, I would recommend a group marriage.

    Some of the examples are meant to be humourous and some are meant to be serious. In any case, I give them to you as examples of practicality. You are correct that whether or not something is practical has no bearing on whether or not it is biblical.

  83. So much for not commenting any more. Sorry.

    I Tim. 1:3-11 “As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus, in order that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith. But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions. But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous man, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.”

    It is interesting that you are very happy to broadcast your beliefs in a public forum, but when someone who knows you points out your sin, (accountability) you cry, “Privacy!” You say you are a teacher, but to whom are you accountable? What authority do you have? I had thought at the beginning of this that I may have jumped to the “triple-dog-dare” by doing this publicly, but you are the one setting yourself up in this position, which is very dangerous. You say you are a teacher, but you have also publicly declared that you don’t know what effect the Gospel is to have on your everyday life. You base your position (on multiple wives) not on what the Bible says, but by what it doesn’t say. With that logic, should men have sex with their daughters like Lot did? He was called righteous in the New Testament…even though he TWICE got so hammered, he got his daughters pregnant without even knowing it. Yes, there is teaching against drunkenness, (which came after Lot’s day) but the specific law in Leviticus 18 never mentions daughters, although it talks about every other relation. Or what about phone sex with someone who isn’t you wife? You may think I am being silly, but the Bible only talks about what you look at, not about what you hear.

    You talk about hanging around Christians as though that is a substitute for assembling with the body of believers in corporate worship. There are marks of a true church…the administration of baptism and communion, the correct and authoritative teaching of the Gospel, the proper administration of discipline. Does this all happen when you meet with other Christians? Are you ever rebuked? Are you ever convicted of your sin and called to repent? God has decreed certain elements to be present for proper worship of Him. Please remember what happened when the sons of Aaron took it upon themselves to worship God in their own manner. (Leviticus 10:1-3)

    Paul…thank you for your questions. According to the notes in the Reformation Study Bible, (pg. 665) “Oaths are solemn declarations invoking God as a witness to statements and promises, inviting Him to punish anything false. Scripture approves oaths as appropriate on solemn occasions.” “Vows to God are the devotional equivalent of oaths, and must be treated with equal seriousness. What one swears or vows to do must be done at all costs. However, ‘no man may vow to do anything forbidden in the Word of God, or what would hinder any duty therein commanded.'” (that last part is a quote from the Westminster Confession, XXII.7) As to the doctrine of authority, I would refer you to an excellent blog, http://www.baylyblog.com, which has expounded on this infinitely better than I could ever do. Plus, I fear I have strayed into preaching with all of this, and I know that is wrong for me, being a woman.

  84. I write here. That does, in a way, make me a teacher, for better or worse. I have made mention here in the past that I haven’t been to church in a while. I know everything the Westminster Confession teaches, and in the year and a half at Christ Presbyterian, I didn’t really learn anything that I didn’t already know. I know what you’re telling me. I know what the Confession says.

    But I’m not accountable to the creeds and confessions. I’m accountable to the Bible — the Bible which teaches that a man (whether he already has a wife or not) may marry his dead brother’s widow. If polygyny is a sin, then the Bible is a confused jumbled mess. If transgression of the Law is what defines sin, then which Law is being violated?

    You keep saying I need to be held accountable. No one — here or elsewhere that I’m familiar with — has produced a biblical, valid exegesis against polygyny. If it’s the Scriptural position that polygyny is not a sin, then that is what I must believe. That is the discussion here, elsewhere on the site, and at FriendOfPolygyny.com. Anyone’s welcome to participate in that discussion, but pulling the discussion into an argument concerning my character or whatever is nothing but a straw man. Your concerns may be legitimate, but they are irrelevant to the theological discussion of the sinfulness (or not) of polygyny. You’re welcome to contact me via e-mail, Facebook, or elsewhere for that.

  85. Marta, thank you for responding.

    Do you have any thoughts on the other questions that we asked?
    And also, do you have any Bible passages that support your claim of accountability and the lack of being a sin?
    How do we know who we should be accountable to, and what if they teach false doctrine?
    Are we still accountable to them even if they teach falsely?
    Do you have any thoughts regarding your approaching Mr. Rick as sin, especially in light of God’s institution of men’s and women’s roles, specifically regarding preaching and the authority of men as the head or covering of women? I am referencing the same verses that you probably are regarding women not usurping authority over a man.

    We would appreciate any comment on the first set of questions.


  86. Paul, this isn’t a “formal” gathering of believers; there’s at least one woman in the Scriptures who, in a private context, helps her husband to rebuke a man. So it can happen.

    And Marta is right: I’m not currently faithful to a local gathering of believers, and that for a variety of reasons. Still, that issue is of no effect in this conversation and is doing little but distract the issue.

    At this point in my life, I feel like what I have been persuaded by the Scriptures to believe has caused me to appear as filled with leaven to many churches. The Baptists don’t want me because I’m a Calvinist. The Presbyterians don’t want me because I believe Paedobaptism is heresy. The liberal denominations don’t want me because of my strict adherence to the Scriptures. And I’d reckon nobody wants me because of my beliefs regarding polygyny. I realize that the body needs the hand and so on, but when my beliefs render me as useless as an appendix or a wisdom tooth, then no harm is seen when I’m excised from fellowship.

    I can only stand firm on what I believe the Bible teaches on every issue which I have had opportunity to learn.

  87. Just to clarify, I was not saying that Marta was in sin, I was asking that question because she made the comment on preaching and being a woman. No harm intended.

  88. David,

    I understand the methodology, the difficulty partially in how far you have to extrapolate data in any said study. The difficulty is mainly that it will always be a survey of polygamists who desire to take part in studies. In general that is going to be more extremist types than more libertarian live and let live types. The extrapolation of the limited set is naturally going to give bad results. But that’s not just with polygamy, thats statistical studies in general, ultimately its hard to prove causal correlations is sociological studies because they can only factor so many dimensions of the survey’es lives.

    Anyway, I appreciate the effort to provide a link.

    If you look back to when I first opined concerning bi-sexuality I think you will find that I was not in any way confusing ‘desires both’ and ‘desires either’, I was explaining how desires both is going to be common because the nature of the relationships are different and fulfill different needs. I think you are trying to homogenize bi-sexuals to their most base definition. Even the base definition I would object too, it is not defined merely by whom they would be comfortable around but whom they have an attraction for. It then follows that a woman who has an attraction for both men and woman would often have distinct attractions. A person whom is merely comfortable around either gender without attraction would be a-sexual per this terminology.

    I know Baptist groups that have Calvinist members or leaders, is that a general problem or just one with a certain Baptist group. Its a pity you don’t have a local church, but it can be difficult to find the right church.

  89. None of the Baptist churches in this area are Calvinistic in their soteriology, and most of them are knee-deep in heresies like King James Onlyism or No Rock Musicism…

  90. Thats sad, My pastor talks about his colleagues that are into that stuff but in our area I don’t know many that are. My church does not have a Calvinistic soteriology, but no one would be unwelcome over that.

    KJVO is really infectious to the baptist denomination, which to my experience is very reason oriented. Hard ceasation is not so good either, my church has a kind of ‘soft ceasation’ where they do not believe things have stopped but are going to put any supernatural event under severe scrutiny (which is not necessarily a bad thing). The view on the Gifts is probably where I vary from my church the most (except polygyny of course).

    I prefer hymns myself, but I like supertones too, and I think the no-rockism is backed by extremely desperate arguments.

    I hope you get Church via meeting up with friends to talk about God a lot. A structured Church is very nice, but as I’m sure you teach Church is about the people, however and wherever they meet.

  91. Every major step forward in my biblical understanding over the past half decade can be directly linked to three people I have never met in person.

    Accepting other Bible versions. Calvinism. Even polygyny.

    I hate to say this because it sounds so very negatively critical, but local churches overwhelmingly are *stuck.* Because of the overall apathy of believers, messages in churches are forced to be entry-level at best, relying on catchy mnemonics such as alliterated lists or word pictures. I don’t want that. I’ve never benefited from that. I spent years buying into King James Onlyism and militantly believing against Calvinism because I was involved in a church that didn’t teach in-depth stuff. No opportunity was given to think about higher things.

    I understand completely the importance of teaching the Gospel, but at some point, the rest of the Scriptures must be preached as well — even the hard parts… even the uncomfortable parts.

    It’s exactly that sort of “church” that I get from conversations with men like Shawn McGrath and Glen Harnish and Hugh McBryde. (For the record, none of us pretend to be anonymous.) In those men, I have found brothers willing to hammer out theology, no matter how deep it may get.

    As a result, I understand marriage better. I understand the Scriptures more thoroughly. I understand piety and polity better.

    And I understand Jesus so much more than I did prior to them.

    While I doubt I’ve taught Hugh much, the experiences with Shawn and Glen were mutual. We all “discovered” Calvinism within the Scriptures at around the same time, for example. Through weekly Friday chats, we learned what sovereign grace was all about. For me, that was church. And such is an experience largely unparalleled in my life in brick and mortar churches.

    I’ve started reading a stack of four books on organic, Pauline communities (or, house churches), as church itself seems like the next topic which is being reformed (Semper Reformanda) in my heart.

    I’m half convinced in my own thinking that any church registered with the government has taken the beast’s mark unto itself, registering with the beast so that it may exist within the empire’s economy. The church ought to stand out apart from all such systems. The church ought to be viewed as an enemy by the present empires, and that’s never going to happen in any meaningful way while church after church applies for the lucrative “tax-free” status. Of course, that wouldn’t be much of an issue at all if the world’s economics were left out of the churches — there is no reason to own a building, to have church bills, to have a paid staff, and so on. None.

    That’s the revolution that needs to take place in America. Not some socio-political, let’s-all-love-Ron-Paul nonsense. Let the world’s empire deal with itself. We have bigger problems to attend to, like the homogenizing of Christianity into American culture.

    The sooner we repent of that, the better off we’ll all be.

  92. Amen, Amen, Amen!

    Rick, you would fit in nicely with so many of our friends that we have met online regarding the situation of today’s church. I don’t think most churchgoers realize how indoctrinated they are by their denominations. The individuals know what they believe, they just don’t know why they believe it, or how to support it with scripture.

    Have you had a chance to study Isaiah 3 and 4 passages and if so, how do you see their relevance to the topic of polygamy?

    Do you see the homechurch or small group fellowships as the next fad in christianity? Or do you see those as a natural reaction to the frustrations of Churchiosity in America?

  93. Ahh, Glen Harnish I knew ye well.

    I remember a while back getting into an argument over marriage with Glen. My stance stated our government regulated marriage licenses and that these licenses were simply papers, not anything important to God. Glen’s stance stated that marriage before God required marriage before the government, in Canada, because of some biblical rule of being loyal to one’s country. That was many years ago. I’m sure he changed his mind by now.

    I must make the observation that, according to many of the things I’ve read on your site, you would fit in well with Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church. Incase you are one of the people who would be insulted by that comment, please do not take it as an insult. It is not meant as such.

  94. I hang my head in shame. I did indeed sin…I should have stated from the beginning that, since I am a woman, I have no authority either in preaching to or teaching men. I did not adhere to that in my heart. I do repent of that and ask forgiveness. I fully believe that is in Scripture for women’s protection and submission…it was Eve who was deceived. I also ask forgiveness for not being self-controlled in my remarks. That, too, is sin.

    Rick, believe me, I understand your frustration with the churches immediately around you. For 20 years, my husband and I have had to drive 30 minutes or more to find sound preaching. It wasn’t until we moved this June that we finally are literally 5 minutes from a church where God’s word is proclaimed faithfully, humbly, and with authority. I have heard of people who move specifically to be near a solid church, and trust God to provide a job. It sounds radical, but that may be necessary in some situations.

    I do ask (and I am really trying to not preach or teach) that people avail themselves of material for help with theological debates. The Westminster Confession, the study book on the Westminster Catechism by G.I. Williamson, blogs by pastors such as http://www.baylyblog.com all come to mind, but those are to be used with Scripture and church and not instead. These materials have been put together by godly men with much more wisdom (and Biblical authority) than I have. But we also need to realize (trying…not…to…preach…!) that God is infinitely above us, and we will never, even in eternity, fully comprehend Him. There is much mystery because we are creation and He is Creator. I realize I am saying things you probably already know.

    Just as an aside, there are churches in which differing views on certain subjects are welcome. Obviously, things like the deity of Christ, the total depravity of man, the exclusivity of Christ as the means of salvation, those things are central. But in our church, for example, there are paedobaptists who worship alongside credobaptists. I think any pastor worth his salt would welcome the opportunity to debate certain issues. AND, he would have the added benefit of having the Biblical authority. :)

  95. One more thing, and then I will stop. (I promise!)
    What safeguards should we apply to those who would be teachers of the Christian populace…especially in areas of theology? I believe the qualifications are limited to those of elder or overseer, although there are several passages about children listening to the teachings of their mother. Just a thought.

  96. So, Marta, as a Presbyterian, how do I question the leadership on areas of doctrinal dispute?

    Essentially they police formal membership to be in virtual 100% compliance with the church, by either not letting doctrinal variances into the church, or by casting them out when they are found.

    Thus you cannot talk about disputes with the church on Doctrine. Oddly this leaves the PCA and OPC in the exact same position the RCC was in regarding Luther.

  97. The state certified issue aside (perhaps is shouldn’t be aside) a change in form of churches wont be sufficient to solve the core problems with churchianity. Small groups can be extremely basic in their teaching, and can be prone to leadership issues. Like you said, the problem is apathy, that is where the advantage of house churches lie. Habit and tradition can continually draw people to dead places of worship, but they have to make an active decision to participate in small groups.

    Still, that decision does not necessarily beat apathy, I would venture to say that small groups get a good rap because they are small and its harder to see the ‘dead’ small groups. I’ve scouted a few, some are good, some are quite dead, not unlike the mainstream churches.

    A change in mode may be a component of the next step in reformation, the building and single speaker setup has some deep flaws, but home churches cannot continue equate to small, unaffiliated groups either. There needs to be some synergy and some balance. Either way, changing forms is only as good as changing channels when dealing with apathy, you can use it to help but you’ll need something better to make the change lasting.

    Just to note, my pastor has banned Ipods (touch and phone, with reference notes, strongs, ect) when he does his evening sermons so he can ask the church things about Greek word usage and see if they actually know it (as opposed to just being able to look it up). He does make a point to teach the Gospel once in a while, but the rest is usually not entry level. Church is more about who is there than how it meets.

    On the topic of good theological debate materials, have you seen Bernardino Ochino’s A Dialog on Polygamy? Its short but deals with the common objections very well (Bernardino himself was a contemporary of Calvin that was killed over this work) and actually gave me some improved responses to common objections (I’ve been supporting poly for a while, by response set is fairly set solid). Longer, and much more detailed is Thelyphthora by Martain Madan, a freind of the Weaslys. It details how monogamy hurt the women of his time, and much of it is still applicable. Perhaps you should check into those as well Marta, as these where works by reformers and men of God that dedicated their lives to service, and they deal with the objections very thoroughly and concisely.

    I had met Hugh some time ago, I haven’t talked to him much outside of backing each other on Poly though. And are you Paul Rollins Paul? If so we have talked a fair bit as well, if not forgive my mistake, but you have a similar writing style.

  98. I have a writing style? I need to stop now, I thought that I was just having some fun online in my spare time. I have spare time because I don’t have more than one wife.

    Yes, it is me, I saw your post so I commented as well, birds of a feather I suppose. I guess it is only fair to Marta and to everyone else, to let them know that I am on the advisory board for a christian poly friendly website, so I am not as innocent as I try to be. I guess that after years of researching and debating, I have found that the best approach is to make the forced monogamy crowd explain away, not explain (to quote Tom Shipley) God’s Law and instruction concerning this issue. I have had pretty good success with people after they bloody themselves trying to refute God and His character, and law. Many times they just ignore the questions (like has happened here).

    If anyone needs help or support, email me at paulrollins@windstream.net. Most persons that take a stand or even vocalize their beliefs regarding the lawfulness and application of multiple wives in a family encounter some very strong opposition. Support is offered for those that need it. After years of researching and watching this type of marriage structure firsthand, the only drawbacks for those that engage in this lifestyle (and live in a scripturally based manner) are the ungodly actions and reactions of those that oppose it.

    I do enjoy reading Jair’s posts, wherever I find them. I am almost through all of Josephus’ works, and might go on to tertullian if I can stomach his heresy and lunacy. I did also read thelyph 1 and 2, and need to get 3. Dialogue will be here a week so I can start on that. Thelyph is the best IMO, for those that just don’t get it. I like it because it covers Christ and the law of Moses. On a personal note, I did get my polygamy tshirt, a hybrid that combines the scripture references with the “two’s company, three’s allowed” slogan and a BF logo in the center. It gets some stares at Walmart.

    I might even send Rick my “I don’t go to church, I am the church.” tshirts if he keeps abstaining from corporate worship.

    Wow, I rambled.

  99. Dialouge is very good, I’ve only got four pages left, Thely is much better, I have volume one, Don Milton is going to release a restored version of V3 soon, he said it was mostly a chronology, but that is very good too. I have Thely V1 but its something I’m going to read on my trip (I’ve read some sections already online, but he bent some pages when he scanned it) I expect Thely will be the best and I’m very excited to read it.

    I want to finish Dialogue and memorize a few verses it quotes and then give it to a certain girl since its technical enough to address all the main points but its short enough that someone would have time to read it even if polygamy wasn’t their main thing. Prayers on that, I would like to be up to two girlfriends but I don’t know what she will decide about it in the end.

    Josephus sounds very interesting, Tretullin is hard on the soul to read as he is so extreme and ill tempered in everything. I don’t know if it would help or not, but try reading ‘On Soul’s Testimony’ first, it is actually quite good in some ways and it shows that he has a least some purity of intent even if his doctrine is often lost in madness.

    Good talking to you,

  100. Who is Robert and who invited him?

    Just kidding, I am a party crasher as well. I claim squatter’s rights on this thread, if not the whole site as well.

    I hope that your praises are aimed at our plural marriage support and not the polygamy is sin commentary. We would then have to play in an unfair manner with you like we do with all monogamy-only adherents, which means quoting scripture incessantly.

  101. I have been reading this site for a few days and have been quite interested in the ongoing conversations. I would like to join for a while and add some of my own insight into these matters.
    Just for starters…. Marta…
    Leviticus 18 does in fact forbid a man from having sexual relations with his daughter. My son questioned me on this point as he was having a conversation with another man about it and the other man pointed out to him the same thing you said.

    Read again: Leviticus 18 which says:
    LEV 18:6 ” `No one is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations. I am the LORD.
    There is no one much closer to a man than his own children.
    LEV 18:17 ” `Do not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter.
    Is this verse not clear? How can a man have sex with his daughter without having first had sex with her mother who gave birth to her?

  102. It is also the first use of an interesting word in Hebrew, זמה (zimmah), which is translated “wickedness.” This is a word that seems to indicate intrinsic evil, a sort of foundational wrong or obvious wrong. Having sex with a woman AND her daughter, at any time whether one dies or not, is considered foundationally wrong.

  103. Who is Bill Mikelait and who invited him? I know I already used that one. I should have left it out this time. This email notification thingy is pretty neat. Anyway….

    I thought the same thing about the close relative thing, but did not bring it up to Marta because I really wanted to hear her answers to the other questions. Good that you got that one.

    So….are you supportive of those that choose to live in a plural marriage structure? (not you, Hugh)

  104. I have been studying the matter of multiple wives for a few years now, off and on, much to the grief of most Christians I have spoken to. I have enjoyed reading your arguments and points on the subject. I do agree that there is no argument against multiple wives in Scripture and God blessed many men who had them.

  105. Wow, guys, great conversation going on here. Do a search for polygyny here if you want some other stuff upon which to discuss. There aren’t many posts, so if you start at the oldest (from ’07, I believe, entitled “The Great Polygyny Debate”), you can see my growing in understanding of the topic.

    Also, if I ever have more to post on the topic, I’ll be doing so at Friend of Polygyny, a site around which I hope to build a little community. I want to have little “Friend of Polygyny” badges for supporter blogs and sites and perhaps even tee-shirts for sale. Nothing like a little walking controversy, ya know?

    Paul, you mentioned a t-shirt? What’s “BF”?

  106. I have been studying the matter of multiple wives for a few years now. One country after another began outlawing multiple wives. The Jews were forced under Roman law to have only one wife. Rome was a pagan empire, not a holy righteous one. The Greek empire before it was filled with homosexuality. Men preferred men to women. I don’t think we should look to Rome and Greece for our training in righteousness, but to the Scriptures.

    A leading Rabbi in the 11th century pushed for and got passed into Jewish law the edict that forbade Jewish men from having more than one wife. This was mostly done to try and lessen the persecution they were enduring from Christians who considered them dogs. The edict was to last for 1000 years. (That time has passed, incidentally) This edict was never accepted outside of the Ashkenazi Jews. The Yemenite Jews continued to have up to 4 wives. And many Shephardic Jews had more than one wife as well.

    The Laws of Rome were incorporated into the corrupt Roman church and passed down to the Protestant churches which were simply Catholic churches who protested. Those laws came to the British Isles and North and South America. When Europeans came to North America they found many natives here married more than one woman. They began to preach and teach that in order for a man to baptized and saved he must only have one wife.

    Abraham Lincoln was responsible for passing the law outlawing Polygamy in the States. Canada passed the same law to prevent the Mormons from immigrating to Canada. One country after another over the years began to outlaw the practice.

    The Scriptures said this would happen.

    1TI 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry…

    Who is forbidden to marry? The single woman who wants to marry a man who already has a wife.
    A man is forbidden to marry an unmarried woman who does not have a husband, even if they love and want each other.

    The laws of our country and the Church of Jesus Christ says the man must divorce his first wife first.
    God says if he divorces his first wife to take the second one he commits adultery against his wife.
    No matter! Most churches will accept the divorce and remarriage, even if it is adultery in favor of the married man taking another wife and loving and caring for them both. They prefer him to abandon his first wife and let her fend for herself. The Scriptures say that whoever marries this divorced woman commits adultery and the woman also commits adultery if she remarries but the Church doesn’t care about that and most will not even believe it.

    A few people tried to tell me they believe the fulfillment of 1 Tim 4:1 is found in the Catholic priesthood who are forbidden to marry. For one thing, the Catholic Church does not forbid priests to marry. Being single is a requirement of the priesthood. If they want to marry they can go on with their lives and marry and get another job. The requirement for an Elder is that he have one wife. I would presume that if he wants two or more that he should step down from being an Elder. The Scriptures do not tell us anyone is evil who has two wives or that someone is holier if he has only one.

    There is no other event in history in the last 2000 years that come close to fulfilling 1 Tim 4:1 other than forbidding men and women to marry when two women are involved in the mix. If this is not what the passage is speaking of, then it is a passage that has never been fulfilled and I cannot even imagine that the time would ever come when men are forbidden to marry women in general.

  107. and the beat goes on……

    I will take that as a yes, you do support them. Because if you did not, then you would be going against what you believe the scripture says. Glad that you are supportive. to quote a dear polygamous friend, “you can’t show me in the Bible where it is condemned, but I can show you where it is commanded.”

    I made a polygamy friendly tshirt or two, and I wear them sometimes. I will have to get some printed up.

    BF is short for Biblical Families, which is a non profit that has a website and forums for the purpose of supporting biblical marriage, including those that have more than one wife. BF has the site, the forums, the fellowship, etc. and even retreats for fellowship and worship. I scammed my way onto the advisory board. The group has an advisory board to help handle the rapid growth that is occurring. Lots of people are coming around to the idea that this is biblical.

  108. Bill,

    If you look closely at your Leviticus quote above, about sex with a woman and her daughter, you did quote it as a woman and “her” daughter. You then go on to state something about a man having to have sex with the mother first to produce the daughter, and that’s all well and good. However, this passage prohibits more than what you’ve stated here. It means that if you have sex with a woman and she has a daughter from a previous man, you may not have sex with the daughter. That is how your English translation reads. The original Greek/Hebrew/Ethiopian will be more clear.

    Just as a note, there is a man who is either right now a priest or he will soon be a priest of the Roman Catholic Church and he has a wife. It is a rarity, but if a man is married and converts to catholicism and wants to become a priest, sometimes they will give special permission for this man to remain married to his wife while also joining the priesthood. I guess this one will be able to take his sexual frustrations out on his wife, instead of upholding the tradition of using the altar boys.

    Anyway, the guy is in P.E.I. The link to the CBC News article is below.


  109. I guess this one will be able to take his sexual frustrations out on his wife, instead of upholding the tradition of using the altar boys.

    Please keep that kind of gross generalization off of my blog. Thanks.

  110. I’d like to apologize for my comment. I mean no offense or insult to anyone, here or otherwise, but mainly here as I have grown to respect all involved in this thread. The comment was inappropriate and off-topic. I will be following up this response in email to Rick.

    To run my train of thought back to that of polygamy, I would like to state that in addition to the religious reasons for polygamy, a remarkable case may be made for polygamy in a mostly secular fashion.

    Many would argue that marriage is an open declaration of a bond among man, woman, and God. Even if we take the definition to remove God from the bond, it is still an open declaration of a bond between a man and woman (homosexual marriage of any kind being ignored for this argument). As such, it is a religious matter or a personal matter. In cases of religious matters, we are supposed to have, in North America, a separation of church and state. However, in the case of marriage, the government plays a part. They have no right. If they want to have their hands in marriage, they should restrict it to secular marriages and leave the religious marriages alone. If the government wants to give recognition to the marriage, they should respect their boundaries and not make comments on the religion of the individuals in question. This means that the government should, in keeping with a separation of church and state, make no laws prohibiting a polygamous marriage.

    If we view it as a personal matter, we get into the argument of the government removing the personal liberties of consenting adults. The government would be seen as interfering with a practice that (arguably) harms no person or persons. It then becomes an issue of an unnecessary regulation of the person’s harmless personal life.

    For those reasons I have been in support of the individual’s right to choose polygamy for many years. The fact that the biblical scriptures support polygamy only goes to bolster my support in the case of the marriage as a religious ceremony. I would be willing to wear the t-shirt and view the parade. However, as I am a monogamist with respect to my own personal affairs, I would not march in the parade. It would be as inappropriate.

  111. You’re right, David, but the government will sooner listen to feminists who think that polygyny can only be acceptable to brainwashed, abused women than to a small but growing number of polygyny-accepting Bible believers. It is widely regarded in our culture that polygyny is harmful — even abusive — to women. That stigma could take decades or more to overcome.

  112. God’s Word tells us Abigail was a beautiful and “intelligent” woman. After her husband died, leaving her wealthy and free to marry anyone she wished, (or none if she wished) she immediately jumped at the chance of becoming David’s 2nd (actually 3rd wife…. His first one was taken away by King Saul and forced to marry another man.) From that point on the Word refers to David and his two wives.. Ahinoham and Abigail. (until he married more). Abigail was not forced to do anything against her will and there is nothing in Scripture that hints at her being unhappy with her situation.
    I do not believe that the bad press of multiple wives is something that will ever change, though. Unbelievers don’t care what God’s Word says and Christians interpret it to suit their beliefs.

  113. What? no more comments on this blog? Well… let me go back and review some things said a while back.

    “Uppity” wrote on July 6, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    “The world was not created in 6 days, nor is the world less than 6000 years old”.
    I am sure God is very happy to have that cleared up for him, but I would like to remind you that God was there at the beginning (Jesus was there also) and you and I were not. I would suppose that His record of the events which were written for our knowledge and instruction carries more weight that our speculations.

    “Abraham married his half sister and then gave her away to a king without informing the king Sarah was his wife. So he not only committed incest, but he as also a liar, and he gave his wife away to another man so that the King could ostensibly have sex with her. How many commandments were violated here ?”
    ___ Actually..none. Abraham did not marry his half sister. Sarah was his older brother’s daughter. There was no law against such a union. Don’t believe Sarah was Abraham’s niece? Look again:
    Gen 11:29 And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram’s wife was Sarai; (and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah,) the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.

    This passage is not saying “Milcah was the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah” as this would not make sense to write it this way.

    It is saying that Sarai who Abraham married was the daughter of Haran who also was the father of Milcah and Iscah. Haran was also the father of Lot. That means that Lot was Sarai’s brother. This makes Lot not only Abraham’s nephew but also his brother in law.

    Read on:

    Gen 11:31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees
    If as most Christians want to believe… Abraham married his half sister, why is she called Terah’s daughter in law. What I am saying is if both Abraham and Sarai are Terah’s children (albeit by different mothers) Why is Abraham called Terah’s son whereas Sarai is called his daughter in law. Why is Abraham not called his son in law? The erroneous belief that Sarai was Abraham’s sister is not based on this record but on the words that came out of Abraham’s mouth later when he was in fear of his life.

    “Abraham told Sarai to say she was his sister when asked” is not exactly accurate. Such is the problem with translating Hebrew to English. The word translated “sister” means “a close kinswoman”. She was in fact a close kinswoman as she was his niece. This was not a lie. To say that Abraham thought nothing of giving his wife to Pharaoh so he could have his sexual way with her is kind of stretching it a bit. The Bible never says that. It simply gives us an outline of the events and not all the details. The turn of events that caused Pharaoh to take Sarai might have come as a complete surprise and disaster to the mind of Abraham. One thing quickly led to another and he got boxed into a corner from which there was no escape. Whatever the case, God intervened for Sarai and brought her back to Abraham safe and sound and undefiled. Abraham received much recompense from Pharaoh because of the fear that God put in him.

    Abraham and Sarai encountered a similar event with King Abimilech. God had protected him and Sarai in Egypt so was there any reason for Abraham to believe he would not do so again? Remember… he left Eqypt quite wealthy as a result. To claim that Abraham was a heartless man who had no regard for the purity and safety of his wife is going a bit too far. Abraham did tell King Abimilech that Sarai was his half sister when pressed about it but I believe that was a lie to get himself out of a tight spot. Not much different than the midwives in Egypt fibbing to protect themselves from death when questioned about letting the Israelite boys live.
    “Solomon’s involvement with his wives and concubines apparently led him to allow them to construct temples to their foreign Gods . Not my idea of a role model either”.
    Many men in the history of the world have had only one wife and been led badly astray by her. Take Adam for instance and king Ahab with his wife Jezebel Not very good role models in my opinion but they would not prevent me from having one wife if I wanted one.

    “Suffice it to say that Old Testament patriarchs don’t impress me”.
    I don’t think God is too worried about what impresses you or I. At the end of the age it is not God who is going to be judged by us but it will be the other way around according to Scripture. What kind of role models would we make if all our sins were laid out on the table?
    “Jesus taught us that divorce was allowed in the Old Testament due to the hardness of men’s hearts. Most Christians believe polygamy was permitted for the same reason.”
    Again (and I believe Rick already commented on this somewhat) many Christians like to read a passage and then apply the logic from it to other situations for which there is no basis in Scripture to apply them to. For example the passage in Romans 7 which states: “by law, a woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, and if she marries another man while her husband is alive, she shall be called an adulteress” . Many look at this passage as say: “this also applies to men”. That is because they believe what ever applies to women also applies to men and vice versa. Good logic in their minds but unfortunately not Scriptural. There is nothing in Scripture to make us believe David committed adultery when he married Abigail, his third living wife and the commands given to men and women sometimes differ. Modern Christians have this warped idea on what “equality” means and how it applies. I know Christians who believe David committed adultery when he married Abigail but that is their words and not God’s.

    “Jesus gave us a new teaching : that divorce is not permitted unless adultery has taken place.”
    The Pharisees and teachers of the Law were constantly watching Jesus and trying to get him to contradict the Law so they could have a reason to accuse them and they were never able to do it. Do you honestly believe Jesus came along and starting making up new Laws to replace the Laws already given by God through Moses? Many Christians also believe that Jesus changed the Law of stoning for adultery to one of forgiveness. (stating the woman caught in adultery story). When the Jews said to Jesus, “the law says she must be stoned… what do YOU say, they were trying to get him to trap himself by His words. He never contradicted the Law and it was the LAW in fact that saved to woman in the final analysis. The Law stated that a woman caught in adultery must be stoned, along with the man she did it with, but on the testimony of two or more witnesses. When Jesus asked here where her accusers were, they had all fled the scene. No witnesses? Case is thrown out of court! Saved by the Law! If Jesus had tried to change the Law HE would have been stoned to death. The woman incidently was not brought to Jesus to be tried. Jesus had no authority to try anyone. He was simply a carpenter’s son from Nazareth. It was JESUS who was on trial here.

    Jesus never said that divorce was now permitted if adultery has taken place. The law stated the guilty parties must be stoned. Their deaths would allow their innocent spouses to remarry again. Jesus said: “if a man divorces his wife, save for the cause of fornication, and marries another, he commits adultery”. Most believe he means if a man’s wife commits fornication he can dump her and remarry. WRONG! “save for the cause of fornication” means “unless their marriage was one of fornication” (i.e. an unlawful marriage to start with) Such was the case with the marriage of King Herod with his brother’s wife and the man in 1 Corinthians who had taken his father’s wife. This was more properly translated in the American Bible. If Mathew 5 and 19 give a man permission to dump his wife and remarry if she commits adultery, then these passages are in contradiction of all the other passages that speak of divorce and remarriage.
    MK 10:10 When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”

    LK 16:18 “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

    Scripture teaches us that whoever does NOT divorce his wife and marries another does NOT commit adultery. Read it and weep.

    “Jesus was a member of the Essene sect of Judaism which taught that polygamy and divorce were wrong because the biblical ideal was that you were married to one person only for life. Many of his parables, teachings, and stories come from the Essene literature”.
    Many people and groups throughout history have held to some common ideals while not holding to all of them. This does not make a person a member of that group. Just believe I may believe a couple of things that the Mormons also believe does not make me a Mormon, for example. The Bible never says Jesus belonged to the Essene sect.
    “Every pastor, priest, and minister I have ever encountered attested to the “two shall become one flesh” and 1 Corinthians 7:2 as sufficient evidence that both Paul and Jesus taught monogamy as the ideal. You feel differently, and I don’t know of any Christians who would agree with you”,

    “All the apostles were monogamous, and ancient texts teach us that the apostles who actually lived with Jesus taught that monogamy was the ideal taught to them by Jesus”.
    Actually, Jesus and Paul both attested that it was better in some instances not to marry, but God had not given everyone this ability to stay single and the Scriptures never uses the phrase “it was the ideal” although many like to throw that phrase around.

    ”That speaks volumes to me – I take the testimony of those taught by Jesus any day over the example of corrupt Old Testament patriarchs.”
    You hold to the testimony of Jesus? Great! Listen to what Jesus said:”
    MT 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

  114. “save for the cause of fornication” means “unless their marriage was one of fornication” (i.e. an unlawful marriage to start with) This was more properly translated in the American Bible. If Mathew 5 and 19 give a man permission to dump his wife and remarry if she commits adultery, then these passages are in contradiction of all the other passages that speak of divorce and remarriage.
    MK 10:10 When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”

    I have never heard this take before, specifically the interpretation of the fornication clause. I will have to look at this again.

  115. Yes, I know I said I was done…

    Here’s the commandment: “For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” – Gen. 2:24

    That is stated in the positive…”…a man shall…”

    Fast forward to the New Testament: “And He answered and said, ‘Have you not read, that He who created them from the beginning male and female, and said, “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh”? Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.’ They said to Him, ‘Why then did Moses command to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?’ He said to them, ‘Because of your hardness of heart, Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.'” – Matt. 19:4-9

    This is stated in both the positive…the reiteration of the original command, along with the deeper, negative…”What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

    So, here’s the question…when does a divorced person commit adultery? Is it at the divorce? No, it is at the marrying another person part. Divorce is a sin in itself. The adultery part comes at the next marriage. God joined the original two people together. That does not change in His eyes until one of them dies.

    So was David an adulterer? Yes. Solomon? Yes. Abraham? Yes. Were these men blessed by God? Yes. Was it because of their sin? No, it was in spite of their sin. We cannot earn God’s blessing any more than we can earn salvation. If we could, who in all of history would have earned God’s blessing over all? Jesus. Yet we are told that He was cursed. (Gal. 3:13)

    I have seen in this thread several times where Scripture was either taken incorrectly, or just misquoted and then an argument for sin based on the misquote. (comment #2 is the worst offender) That is a tactic that has been employed through the ages by the enemy of God. Satan can probably quote Scripture better than any human alive…he’s had much time to practice this. This is why it is essential to interpret Scripture with Scripture. This command is straight from the mouth of Jesus Christ…”Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

  116. So, a man shall not do that again? A widower may not marry again? What part of this “A man SHALL” “Commandment” states that he can’t do it when he’s still married to the first one? Where is it said in this “Commandment” that the procedure cannot be repeated, ad infinitum?

    Marta, Matthew 19 has nothing to do with polygyny, since if a man does not divorce, he does not incur the negatives cast by the rest of this passage.

    David was an adulterer, yes. But ONLY after he stole another man’s wife.

    Solomon was NOT an adulterer.

    You keep confusing the concept of “one flesh” with monogamy. This is simply not so since a man is one flesh with his wife, however many he may have.

  117. Hugh, you only see what you want to see. The fact that a child stands with his eyes shut and says. “You can’t see me!” doesn’t make it so. You also don’t read very carefully, or else you would have seen the part about “That does not change in His eyes until one of them dies.”

  118. And characterizing me as a child isn’t a case of “I said it first, so it’s true,” nor is claiming that I see “what I want to see” first, tantamount to making that description fit me, because you said it first. We don’t get “dibs,” we have to build arguments.

    The fact is you have been led to believe Matthew 19 and Genesis 2:24 amount to a command to monogamy. Fascinating that no one took it that way until thousands of years later.

    Your problem is that “one flesh” is not synonymous with “monogamy” nor is it synonymous with marriage. Thus saying “The two become ‘one flesh’ ” doesn’t do anything more than describe what inevitably happens. Nowhere is it said that “the two become one flesh that’s the end of that.”

    Since you are unable to show me where this verse description exists, then I reject it as proved. I read as carefully as I need to, your declarations are not scripture.

  119. It should also be pointed out at this point going forward that “adultery” is not a man “cheating on his wife.”

    Actually, there is no term in Scripture given to the act of one man taking more than one wife over and above the terms used for taking his first wife. Valid marriages, spouses, and so on all around. That’s how Scripture portrays it.

    A man can *fornicate* with an unmarried woman, whether he’s married to someone else or not.

    A man can also commit adultery by taking another man’s wife, causing her to become an adulteress.

    But there is no sin descriptive of one man having one wife taking another wife.

    Or to put it another way, there is no commandment which says that a man may not have multiple marriages — each fitting well within the “fundamentalist” definition of “1 man + 1 woman = marriage.” The question is whether a man may have more than one such marriage concurrently, and the Scriptures testify repeatedly that he can. (Otherwise, the patriarchs didn’t have more than one wife, they had one wife plus [whatever the word is for an extra wife… if “wives,” then that renders their marriages as valid].

  120. Yes, and Deuteronomy 21:15 does not establish the first or second wife’s son as having inheritance status based on her true status as wife, while the other “isn’t really a wife.” It states that whichever wife has the first born, that son gets the inheritance right.

    Similarly, Josiah’s sons did not become disqualified from the thrown as bastards because both marriages WERE LEGITIMATE. They were also concurrent. Both sons ascend to the throne.

    Solomon ascends to the throne. They’re legitimate wives, not partners in an adulterous ongoing sin.

  121. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” – Matt. 5:27 Jesus shows that adultery goes WAY deeper than any of us would admit.

    The point is this…God’s view of marriage is very specific. Once you have become one with someone, in His eyes (and He wrote the rules) you are no longer free to become one with another until your spouse dies. The two are one, and that is not to be separated either physically by divorce, or in your heart by keeping the other one around while you commit adultery.

    Another point is this…we are law-breakers, every one. That is why Jesus came. He didn’t discard the Law, he pointed out how much deeper it goes than anyone thought…how much more guilt we have before God than we could ever imagine…and then proceeded to fulfill the Law perfectly. He is our only hope, and there is nothing we can do to save ourselves. It is God who grants the mercy to see the depth of our sin so we can plead for forgiveness and pray for the grace and faith to repent.

  122. Yes, and if translated “woman” to the Greek, then it was almost certain that Christ said ” ‘ishshah” in the Hebrew. (Psssst, he didn’t speak these words in Greek.)

    As an Israelite preaching to the “lost sheep of Israel” (his words, not mine) and only quoted directly in Aramaic or Hebrew, Christ would have probably chosen Hebrew or Aramaic words to speak.

    A woman was a sexually experienced female human being.

    Where did this idea come from that “you are no longer free” to become one with someone else? God legislated that in his own law, the first such instance of that coming IMMEDIATELY after giving the Ten Commandments. You are CLEARLY wrong.

  123. Marta,
    I can see that you are familiar with Scripture and are concerned about believing and doing what is right in the eyes of the Lord. That is wonderful. You are also very passionate about what you believe and your beliefs are backed up by many, many Christians worldwide, not to mention respected teachers and preachers of the Word of God, but I want to point out that many people sticking together on an issue against the very few (or even one) does not always make the many right. A reading in the book of Jeremiah and some of the Kings will confirm that. Men of God have often stood alone against a prevailing belief. That is not to say that people who believe like Rick, Hugh and Paul (and I) are alone. We are also concerned about believing what is right as far as the Scriptures and God’s will go and constantly search the Scriptures to see if what is taught is actually in keeping with what the Scriptures say. I urge all who are concerned about these issues to do the same.

    Many of the teachings of today are based on preconceived notions, brought about by a paradigm shift in people’s thinking down through the ages and it has clouded peoples’ minds.
    From what I can determine, this is how your logic goes:
    1. Man can only have one wife at a time. (God’s will according to you and many others).
    2. If any man or woman has a sexual relationship with someone other than their spouse, they commit adultery.
    3. Therefore the conclusion follows that all the men in Scripture who had more than one wife committed adultery.
    Some have variations on this belief system that may admit that more than one wife was “tolerated” by God in the Old Testament but Jesus changed that in the New Testament.

    Whatever the case, Jesus said He did not come to change the Law and He said the Law continues.

    Back to the Law God (not man) made, back in Lev 18:18: “Do not take your wife’s sister as a rival wife and have sexual relations with her while your wife is living.

    The hearers of this law would have interpreted it as saying there was no law against taking a woman as an extra wife who was NOT her sister, otherwise the command is stupid. Do you think God has some Law in mind against taking an extra wife but He can’t quite find the words to describe it? Maybe He should have waited and taken a course at one of our seminaries! I’ll bet if you were God, you would have made sure this anti-second wife law was spelled out in such a way that there would have been no doubt in anyone’s mind, eh? Why couldn’t God do it? Not smart enough? Well let me assure you that the Israelites who were given the Law had every possible question to ask about it and were careful to know what was acceptable and not acceptable to God. They, after all were under the Law of curses and blessings and reaped terrible curses when they transgressed. Why was no one ever punished for the “terrible sin of polygamy” if it indeed is a sin? People were put to death for breaking the Sabbath for crying out loud!

    I would like to bring you back to a couple of verses that were mentioned way back in this blog. (It is no trouble for me to mention them again since they are vital to this discussion.)

    1KI 155 For David had done what was right in the eyes of the LORD and had not failed to keep any of the LORD’S commands all the days of his life–except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.

    Apparently you and all the other “anti multiple-wife” proponents do not believe this verse. Read it again!

    “Done what WAS RIGHT in the eyes of the Lord…….

    Not failed to keep ANY of the Lord’s commands ALL the days of his life….
    EXCEPT in the case of Uriah the Hittite.”
    (but I think YOU add… “also in the case of Abigail”)
    (ALL Scripture is God’s breathed and given by inspiration of God and is useful for our instruction).

    Another verse:

    2CH 24: 2 Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the years of Jehoiada the priest. 3 Jehoiada chose two wives for him, and he had sons and daughters.

    Jehoiada the priest was a godly man who rescued Joash as a baby from death and raised him as his own under the instruction of God. “Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord during the whole lifetime of Jehoiada the priest.
    While Jehoiada the priest was still “ALIVE”………..he chose two wives for Joash!
    Does the reading of this verse, in your mind not tell you that Joash marrying these two women constituted Joash doing “what was right in the eyes of the Lord”? How can you call what he did “adultery” if it was right in the eyes of the Lord?

    Back to Jesus……
    The Jews of Jesus’ day understood that it was not unlawful for a man to have more than one wife. Just because they were under Roman occupation and Rome had their own laws did not negate God’s laws in their minds. They already knew that if a man divorced his wife and send her away and she married another man they were causing her to become an adulteress, based on the Law which said:

    DT 24: “and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man, and her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, or if he dies, then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled.”

    Jesus was not telling them anything new, here. The woman was defiled by her second husband.

    They also knew that adultery as far a man was concerned, was having sex with another man’s wife, and that it was impossible for a man to commit adultery with his own wife.

    Jesus did in fact say: “Mat 5:27 You have heard that it was said, `Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

    Does this verse, in your mind say that if a single man looks at a single woman and desires earnestly to have her for his wife and dreams about making love to her is an adulterer as a result of that? Then every godly man who has ever desired his wife prior to having her has been and is an adulterer. There is a difference between pure desire and lust.
    To “lust after” or “covet your neighbour’s wife means to have the desire to have her, not to simply look at her and admit in your mind that she is a beautiful and desirable woman.

    JAS 1: 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

    This verse says desire has to “conceive” in order for it to become sin.

    In the context of their knowledge, the Jews that Jesus was speaking to would have interpreted his Words like this: “Don’t think that just because you have not had sex with your neighbor’s wife you have not committed adultery. If you covet her and desire to have her in your heart, the seeds of adultery are already within you”. They would not have confused his words to mean that they could never desire anyone other than their one wife. A woman, on the other hand, can only have one husband while her husband lives. (Romans 7:3 and 1 Cor 7:39). (Not too popular a verse for the “modern” woman).

    I want to assure you Marta, that I say all these things to you with the utmost of respect. If you are truly a child of God, than you are my sister in Christ, and as the Scriptures say: “dearly loved”.

  124. Marta,
    Not only can a man have multiple wives, he can also have concubines and SLAVES, even if it is against the law – because God’s law is greater than man’s law.

  125. I covered Jesus’ teachings regarding lust and adultery a few weeks ago.

    In short, the passage is irrelevant to the discussion; Jesus forbade even coveting after your neighbor’s wife as adultery rather than letting people think that only the actual *taking* of the neighbor’s wife was forbidden. In effect, Jesus linked “do not commit adultery” with “do not covet,” emphasizing the heart’s role in sin.

  126. Jair,

    Chatelaine (another user) has been so kind as to give me some abstracts of studies on polygamy. I’ll put the one abstract at the bottom of this (below the response to PJP). I believe she gave three. The other two abstracts are on my web log.


    I really hope someone makes you his slave so that you can re-evaluate how good “god’s law” is in comparison to “man’s law”.

    Here’s the abstract as promised:

    A Comparison of Family Functioning, Life and Marital Satisfaction, and Mental Health of Women in Polygamous and Monogamous Marriages

    Alean Al-Krenawi
    Ben-Gurion University

    John R. Graham
    University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada

    Background: A considerable body of research concludes that the polygamous family structure has an impact on children’s and wives’ psychological, social and family functioning.

    Aims: The present study is among the first to consider within the same ethnoracial community such essential factors as family functioning, life satisfaction, marital satisfaction and mental health functioning among women who are in polygamous marriages and women who are in monogamous marriages.

    Method: A sample of 352 women participated in this study: 235 (67%) were in a monogamous marriage and 117 (33%) were in a polygamous marriage.

    Results: Findings reveal differences between women in polygamous and monogamous marriages. Women in polygamous marriages showed significantly higher psychological distress, and higher levels of somatisation, phobia and other psychological problems. They also had significantly more problems in family functioning, marital relationships and life satisfaction.

    Conclusion: The article calls on public policy and social service personnel to increase public awareness of the significance of polygamous family structures for women’s wellbeing.

    International Journal of Social Psychiatry, Vol. 52, No. 1, 5-17 (2006)

  127. Don’t think of slavery like Americans did slavery. Think of slavery as the Scriptures describe it. Slaves were well enough off that they could volunteer after a certain number of years to either be free or remain on as a slave for the rest of their life. Paul mandates that a master treat their slaves properly — and likewise that a slave should properly obey and respect his master.

    Slavery is still practiced today, endorsed unknowingly by a great deal of people. Forcing prisoners to work, for instance, is slavery, and so is military service, until restrictions on going absent-without-leave are lifted. If a draft is ever instituted, well, that just reinforces the fact that soldiers are slaves of the state.

    Slavery is by no means “bad,” we’ve just been culture-colored by America’s tragic abuses.

    America is really only good at one thing, if I may be so bold, and that’s screwing things up, though I’d expect that people from every nation would say the same about their own homelands. It’s no wonder man was never meant to rule.

  128. Yeah. Fine. You can live with your rationalization that military service is slavery. It is very different. It is a paid service, wherein people are taken to perform the duty to keep their country safe. Slavery, even according to the bible, is invading a neighbouring country, taking the able-bodied men and virgin women, selling the women as sex slaves and concubines, selling the men as labour slaves, to be used until they die (unless they are Hebrew). It’s also fine to beat the slaves, so long as they don’t die within a day or two of the beating. And, if it is a Hebrew slave being set free and he wants to stay with his family (because the family is still property, held hostage, and only the male head of the family is freed), he is to be permanently marked by having an awl drilled through his ear. American slaves didn’t have it that much worse. The bible teaches how much to charge for your daughters, and all the archaic, cruel, and terrible laws surrounding slavery. The slaves got diminished amounts of food, clothing, and were still owned as property. They were not volunteers but were captured subjects.

    Appealing to the military is not acceptable. If there is no draft, the people in the military treat it as a job and can leave at (pretty much) any point. If there is a draft, it is for the defense of the country. Not participating weakens the military capabilities of the country and puts everyone in jeopardy. It is a passive form of treason. This is very different from entering into a foreign land, capturing able-bodied people, killing their very young children (as liabilities), taking their women as sex slaves, and forcing them to work with no chance of pay or freedom. It’s also not buying them from the foreigners within your country already. That was what America did, and the English, and it is sanctioned by the bible.

    I agree when it comes to criminals, and I don’t think they should be forced to work just because they are in jail. A work program should be implemented, but the prisoners should be paid (either in cash or for extra privileges) for working and it should be optional.

    Look, I shouldn’t have to tell you why this stuff is wrong and inhumane. Here’s a link to a few of the rules of slavery. It has pictures of figures in poses to represent the biblical references. It might help. (There’s even a little in there about sex slavery, which somewhat ties into the arguments of polygamy.)


  129. to uppity woman. you need to study the bible not juist read it. i corint. 7 is talking about the christians being sexually corrupt with the people in the city of corint that worshipped the goddess of fertility or other gods which is considered fornication in the real greek term. maybe you should hold a conversation on what if fornication next since we never have an account of being between two single people in the bibly to my knowledge. it was only when people of God entaggled themselves with idols and other gods.

  130. to david there are bondservants in the new testament. however Jesus told those that owned slaves to treat them fairly with fair wages, and without ill treatment. and reminded the slave owners that they too are slaves to Him. so can everybody stick to facts instead of our own view about different issues. we are all enslaved to the governing system right now, we just choose not to look at it that way. to prove my point to be a slave is to be under bondage to someone or some thing. now ask yourselves or we slaves or not.

  131. to all the women i am not that much of a male shovenist, however why do most women have a problem with things that God ordained. was it not God that said a wo man will be under man. was it not said in the bible that a man wasn’t made for woman, but a woman for man. any thing that is labeled as sexual immorality in the bible comes from the book of lev. you can start at chapter 17 and read through chapter 22 for a full overview of wrongdoings. i never even seen the law address the topic of two single people having sex in the this book, which is the book of law. if you read these chapters and then go to the new testament and read 1 corint. i think 6:1-10, what paul calls sexual immorality is the same thing the law calls immorality. sleeping with your fathers wife. please study both old and new so we can get the true revelation of Gods word, not a practice pattern.

  132. Interesting post filled with venom and lacking Godly love. And, per usual, without any scripture supporting the assumption that Rick is a heretic, no reasoning, no proof, and not a shred or hint at exactly what makes his views heretical. And the insinuating comment that his wife does not know what his views are, or that he has hidden something about himself from his wife= Lashon hara, and is an attempt to drive a wedge between a husband and wife. As the heathens say, “you are making baby Jesus cry.”

    If you were really being sincere, you would have used Scripture to explain why his views are heretical, with patience and understanding, not by being sarcastic and rude.

  133. I answered Stephen’s questions elsewhere, so I won’t be doing so here again.

    Stephen’s definitely not the first to ask what Alicia thinks, and I’m curious as to the motivation there. When I embraced Calvinism, I got that question a lot too. Am I accountable to my wife for my beliefs? If not, then the question is entirely irrelevant. Allow me, as head of my household, to manage our marriage, under the headship of Christ, mmmkay?

    If I am truly in error on an issue, I trust that someone can show me Scripture to the contrary. I’ve been waiting nearly two years for Scripture to the contrary regarding polygyny, and it’s yet to be brought forth. Twice in this thread people I know to represent a mainstream denomination (or at least a church thereof) have come forth and simply said “heresy!”

    I’m sorry, but judge for yourselves: Is it better to submit to man or to trust what the Scriptures say?

    If the latter, then let that be where the discussion remains, and let’s leave our opinions out of it. The Scriptures repeatedly encourage, allow, mandate, or otherwise endorse polygyny, and having multiple wives is something which was associated with the Father at least once in the prophets and with the Son through His parable of the ten virgins.

    I submit that if I am a heretic on this issue, then it is on the basis of an unbiblical god that I am being judged.

  134. I too am disgusted by a representative of a Church asking a question like “what does your poor wife think?”

    Rick is monogamous in practice. What he THINKS and does not do, does not offend the sensibilities of his wife. In fact, I would think a woman would be honored to be married to an honest man who said what he believed and worked it through, as opposed to a man who bent to the insistence of others, even in his thought life, to things he did not truly believe.

    Both Rick and I are monogamous by vow to our wives. I took my vow KNOWING that there was no sin in polygyny, but instead out of love for my wife who only recently has come to understand that it is acceptable. It is much harder for her to take that next step and actually practice what would still be an entirely optional thing, so we remain, monogamous for that and other excellent reasons, not the least of which is, there is no one else I would want to marry.

    Rick takes a higher road, believing (if I may speak for him) that even a vow taken in ignorance of the truth, is still a vow that binds. Rick does not sin to be monogamous, and he has vowed TO be monogamous, so he remains, as an HONORABLE MAN, monogamous. I am sure a great part of the reason is his deep love for his wife.

    When Israel vowed to the men of Gibeon, that they would not slay them, even though the vow was based on a LIE by those men, they kept that vow. Rick keeps the vow he can keep, even though taken in ignorance, and he is more of a man to do that, than you are.

  135. It is interesting when asked what the wife thinks. It does give interesting insight into the marriage of the person asking the question, and how the marriage might be inproperly aligned and not structured according to God’s Word. It is similar to the statements that it is only about sex for the husband. It again gives insight into the thought process that marriage is only about sex for the person asking.

  136. I have seen that in some cases, when the person opposing polygamy says “what does your wife think” in a rude manner, that their own marriage structure is one that allows the woman to be the head of the household, and the wife’s attitude and desires are the ruling party.

    I have also seen in some cases, whent he person opposing polygamy says “it is all about sex for the husband” in a rude manner, that their own views on marriage are focused on an improper understanding of sexual relations between husband and wife.

  137. are you guys still covering if it’s biblical to have more than one wife or not. if so i would like to add, for these very reasons non-believers a pushed away from Christianity. as body we make God ways to unstable (which are not) by adding our intellect to the situation, as jack it all up. in the old we see several cases of Godly men with more than one wife, that God himself said they were of Him.so when we tell people that it’s not of God it makes God appear to be unstabl, changing in His ways. we use this lame excuse that the new testament say one wife. well guess what in the old testament the person that had several wives. think about it. so if i get married in sept. i took to myself a wife. then i get married in january, i took to myself a wife again. find a wife means see has prepared herself and understand the requirements that comes along with being a wife. however, the way of this culture has governed how we understand the scriptures by making it fit the era. fyi, pologamy wasn’t always illegal in the u.s.a. so here we go again making God appear to be ever changing. when His word says he is the same yesterday, today and forever. either thats the truth or it’s a lie. i know it to be true. Don’t just take other religious beliefs, or teachings as the good book says, study to show yourselves approved.

  138. I, too, am deeply disturbed with many of the comments on here, especially from the women. I don’t want people to think I’m chauvinistic, but the truth is, there is no BIBLICAL evidence that polygyny was somehow abolished. All I can gather is that Tertullian personally did not like the idea (read On Monogamy) and it became church practice since.

    As for the women, this is all I have to say:

    Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.


    As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.

  139. Rick –
    You are a false teacher. If you are a child of God, you will be disciplined to bring you to repentance. If you are not disciplined, then it is because you are not His child. You have repeatedly said for people to show you in the Bible where you are wrong. Then when it occurs, your hard heart refuses to submit…even to the direct command of Jesus. You are in grave danger. I ask to have my email removed from this site. I want to further fellowship with you, electronic or otherwise, unless you repent. I do not say this in anger, but in much sorrow and fear for your soul. Do not trust in your own knowledge…your heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Remember the warning in Matt. 7:15-23.

  140. Rick, if I were you, I’d save the headache and just block the people who want to argue and call down accusations on you, your family and character.

    As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned (Titus 3:10-11).

    And then I would continue preaching the Word of God.

  141. Disclaimer: I have no idea whether Marta will ever read this due to her request for her e-mail address to be removed, resulting in her no longer being subscribed to new comments.

    In any event, she has branded me a false teacher — at least with a little more of a foundation than when Stephen earlier called me a heretic — and so I wanted to address what she said briefly.

    In short, if Jesus’ teachings regarding divorce somehow precluded polygyny, then the Scriptures are not internally harmonious. Levirate marriage being commanded in a righteous Law shows that polygyny (at least in that one form) is not only not sinful but is wholly righteous.

    Further, Jesus’ depicted Himself as the polygynous bridegroom, taking unto Himself the five wise virgins in marriage simultanously. (And that would have been 10 were half of them not foolish!)

    These and many other positive arguments for polygyny do not vanish simply because someone claims a man cannot be one flesh with more than one woman simultaneously. Indeed, the above examples show that a man can in fact do so.

    A hard-hearted heretic anyone may think I am, but it is only from the Scriptures that I’ll be convinced otherwise. (And I should hope that Moses, Jesus, Augustine, Luther, and myriads of others who taught that polygyny is okay are all rejected as heretics too… You know, for consistency’s sake.)

  142. “I confess that I cannot forbid a person to marry several wives, for it does not contradict the Scripture. If a man wishes to marry more than one wife he should be asked whether he is satisfied in his conscience that he may do so in accordance with the word of God. In such a case the civil authority has nothing to do in the matter. (De Wette II, 459, ibid., pp. 329-330.) ” – Martin Luther

    I can understand how someone could conclude that monogamy is the only way today, but to call Martin Luther a false teacher (an unbeliever) is arrogant and reckless.

  143. A great quote that I agree with 100%, but I can’t find it in context anywhere… Everyplace that has it, including Wikipedia, includes the exact same citation as you did. What is “De Wette II”? Is there an online text somewhere?

  144. Pastor Stephen (if you are indeed a pastor and not someone who is just putting that designation in front of his name to somehow give it spiritual clout)…I speak to you in the words of Jesus: “are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures?”

    If you read this whole blog and carefully consider what Rick and others have said and how they have correctly “divided the word of truth” in regard to this topic of multiple wives, how can you just blurt out that he has “heretical views” Heresy is a serious allegation to make against someone; and Christians who claim to be led by the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Truth) should not be slandering brothers in Christ in front of the unregenerate world. This does no good to the gospel message and only serves to drive people away from Christ. Your pet beliefs are not what are important here. It is truth that must prevail. I know a former missionary to Nigeria and he told me that many Muslims refuse to consider Jesus for salvation because the missionaries are telling them they have to divorce their wives in order to do so. Where do you see in Scripture that this was a command of God? He also told me of one man who came to Jesus with two wives but they refused to baptize him until he divorced one of them. They finally convinced him to do so “for the sake of his eternal soul” and convinced another single man in the congregation to take his wife and children. In the words of the missionary: “It was not the ideal solution but the best one they could come up with”. Isn’t that sweet? They caused the man, his wife and the man who married her to commit adultery in a situation where adultery did not exist. And they called this the best they could do!

    Sobering Words of Jesus:
    LK 11:52 “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.”

    JAS 3:1 Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.

    By your words Stephen, you are condemning all the godly men in history who have had two or more wives by also calling them heretics because of their views on the matter. I surmise that you also believe David was an adulterer because of his wife Abigail. Many other Christians and many pastors also believe this. They and you are quick to call unclean something the Lord has never called unclean.

    Regarding your statement: “what does your poor wife think”….. Let me bring you back to what other wives have thought. The Lord shut up Rachel’s womb so she could no not conceive. She gave her handmaid to Jacob to be his wife so she could bear children for her. After the handmaid bore Jacob two children the Lord opened Rachel’s womb and she conceived and bore children. After the Lord shut up Leah’s womb so she could no longer bear she gave her handmaid to Jacob to be his wife also. This handmaid also had two children, after which the Lord opened up Leah’s womb and she bore more children. After a couple of years (which is the minimum time it takes to have two children…and Leah had a long time to think about the whole situation) Leah declared: “the Lord has rewarded me more giving my handmaid to my husband to be his wife”. That means she had no problem with Jacob having sex with woman number four. She did not feel cheated or threatened in the least but was contented and happy in the Lord and what He had done for her.

    Now…Stephen (or Pastor Stephen if that is what you prefer to be called) ….since you are a man who should know the Scriptures and how to apply it to our lives and the Scriptures themselves tell us that “all these things were written for our instruction”, What do you learn from this story and what do you teach others about it? Let me guess! You teach that this was a sad case of multiple adultery and gross sexual sin, right? Well apparently God did not think so. It was after all of this that God appeared to Jacob and promised again to make him into a mighty nation. He told him to be “fruitful and multiply”. With whom, pray tell did God mean for him to be fruitful and multiply with, if it were not with his four wives?

    As far as what “many wives think” in our society today….they have been victims of bad teaching and brainwashing down through the ages like the men also. It is not their fault that they have unbiblical views since they were taught these things by men who were supposed to know the truth.

    Marta…..if you are still reading this blog. You also sit in condemnation of all the godly men and women in history who have simply desired to have wives and husbands they could love and be loved in return.

    Your attitude, in which you are certainly not alone is also responsible for condemning many single women down through the ages to remain single when they have truly desired husbands to love them when no “single” appropriate man was available. They remain single, not by their own will nor by the will of God but by the Will of the Church and the godless governments that have been established.
    It is a known fact that many more women than men are called to the Lord through Jesus Christ and there is a sexual imbalance in the Church. There is a sexual imbalance in the whole world! It is reported that there are 1 million more women in New York than men and 1 third of the men are homosexual. Delete from the rest what would be pathetic marriage material and what are you left with? What is a woman who desires a husband supposed to do? Many despairing Christian women wind up marrying unbelievers to their hurt and against the very commands of God because there are not enough Christian men to go around. Others wind up giving in to their sexual urges and engaging in sexual immorality. The Word says: “ it is better for a person to marry than to burn” but what does one do when they can not find a spouse? Some single Christian women wind up having “illicit” relationships with married men in the church, often even with their best friend’s husbands, destroying their own lives and the lives of their friends. There was a time when a married woman had no problem bringing her best friend to her husband and allowing him to also take her as his wife. How could they do this? They were secure in the love that their husbands had for them. I repeat….Leah said: “the Lord has rewarded me for giving my handmaid to my husband to be his wife”. Not: “my jerk of a sex hungry husband has had sex with my servant girl and I want a divorce!”
    Now the husband is given the choice…it is either her or me, but not both! What does the husband do when presented with this choice? He will either give up the extra woman he truly loves and wants for his other wife and leave her to wallow in her despair of singleness or he will give up his present wife in favor of the other one or sometimes carry on a relationship with the other woman in secret
    This is the way the Law has fashioned it. It is illegal in Canada for a man to marry two women at once. It is punishable by 5 years in prison, although no one has been prosecuted in over 60 years. He can marry 1,000 women though if he agrees to divorce each one of them! This is also the way the Church likes it. If they didn’t like it they would not be holding wedding showers and parties for the divorced entering into remarriage and calling adultery “Holy Matrimony”.
    Godly people as well as unbelievers from Biblical days would call us idiots.

    There have been some interesting studies out there.
    Most of them show that most men are polygamous in nature wheras women are generally monogamous. No great surprise there!
    Ninety percent of the single women in an Oklahoma State University study were more interested in dating a man who was already in a relationship than a single man. This new study, published in the current issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology shows that most single women actually prefer men who are already in a committed relationship. Dr. Melissa Burkley, an assistant professor of social psychology at Oklahoma State University and one of the researchers behind the study suggests that the reason behind this is that single women are more interested in pursuing unavailable men (now, there’s some shocking news) possibly because they are more interested in a guy who’s already shown he can commit by being in another relationship, indicating he’d be a reliable mating partner.
    Go figure!

  145. Just a thought:
    Rev. 21:12: “Also she (the New Jerusalem in Heaven–D.E.) had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.” (NKJV)
    Israel is another name for Jacob.
    Jacob had four wives.
    These four wives bore him twelve sons.
    These sons are called the “tribes of Israel” throughout the Bible.
    John “saw” the New, Eternal, Jerusalem, which seems to be God’s eternal dwelling place. He saw that the twelve gates in the wall of God’s eternal dwelling place are named for Jacob’s/Israel’s twelve sons.
    I think it’s interesting and instructive that God would name the gates of His eternal dwelling place after the sons of a man most of the world considers a vile sinner because he had more than one wife at the same time.
    Do you think God knows something we don’t? (tongue planted firmly in cheek).
    In His service and yours,
    David in Bulgaria

  146. dear Bill M. we are not twisting the Word. First off, where in the bible can you show us that what was called a sin in the O.T is not A sin in the N.T. You guys give people the indication that God is not the same yesterday today and forever. If you guys read Isaiah 3&4 4:1 explains our convo. her today. this is a prohesy that take place right before the second coming of Jesus, and the rest of 4 talks about the new heavan. yeah seven women to one man in that day.they have their own money and clothes. you do the math buddy. please i am waiting any non-believers response, because we are entitled to the truth, because it will set us free. “(mind and spirit). for those that don’t know Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah. ric i would love to hear from you also. good work, as fair as studying to show yourself approved.

  147. I’m not sure what you’re talking about, Damian, nor am I entirely certain what position you take — are you a friend of polygyny or not? If you are, then I wonder why you are challenging Bill M., who has also strongly demonstrated his position as a friend of polygyny as well. Regarding the passage in Isaiah that you refer to, it’s a great pro-polygyny passage.

  148. As a bit of closure regarding what Stephen said earlier, I contacted the others pastors of his church regarding the matter (yes, Stephen is a pastor, and his church is linked to from his name on his comment; I have met Stephen in person), and the head of staff wrote back defending Stephen, praising what he said here as a great “contribution” to the conversation. I’m still unclear what it is Stephen contributed other than divisiveness, but I’ve also yet to receive any clarification on that from his church.

    If a church is willing to allow someone to speak on its behalf (Stephen linked to the church and used his pastoral position in signature) who makes rash judgments and refuses to offer anything in the way of admonishment or edification… Well, you can draw your own conclusion.

  149. my apologies to bill m. i was directing my comments to martha, committing to Bill’s statements. i agree with the word of God, that never spoke against multiple wifes. if lust was considered to be a sin by itself. explain the event that took place with abram in phaoroah, obviously he lusted for her, but he didn’t sleep with her. same thing with the other abraham deceit story. God told the king if they touch her they would surely die. and same with issaac.

  150. Rick,
    First of all thanks for the good work.

    Its amazing how many people have a foot in the WORD of YAHWEH and another foot in the socio/religious philosophy of EGYPT, which later bacame the philosophy of GREECE and ultimately ROMAN philosophy (or should I write theology). By the way currently, according to the dream of Nebuchadnezzar we are living in the age of Iron and Clay (Roman and ????) What most people do not realise is that the fabric of the current ‘organised’ church is dated way back to Moses and his duel with Satan acting through Pharaoh. Satan didn’t give up then and he still hasn’t settled his score even todate (most people do not realise this – its sad). So you now have ‘christians’ who really do not believe in what Christ/Mashiach believed in, or what HE prescribed.
    Its amazing when I read through many comments above that take no respect to the wirtten WORD or YAHWEH (yet they claim the name Christian – what a shame)neither to the languages in which both the Older and the New testaments were written; because if they did, then they would realise that:
    i) Marriage is honourable in all – whether monogamy or Polygyny
    ii) None of the Apostles nor Jesus spoke against polygyny but rather against the evil of divorce ( I would be happy to take on anyone with fact that Jesus was against it – for starters – HE is the Alpha and Omega).

    But for you my brother, no man is greater than his master; if “the teachers of the law” persecuted your master even unto death, who are you not to face such a vented out anger from readers not deligent enough to do their homework ? (by the way they are not on their own) It does not suprise me in the least when I read their comments because even Jesus was not accepted by the very highly theological pharisees and their intricate Sanhedrin.The very doctors of the law wanted HIM dead ! because what HE taught was just as radical ! He never wasted a minute apologising to them. John the Baptist was killed just for standing up for the truth (by the way, that Herold had more than 1 wife – some say atleast 8; but it was not until he married his brother Phillip’s wife – Herodias, that John took issue with him – isn’t that surprising !)

    Now to those that have lifted up the issue of the law of the land; wasn’t it Apostle Peter that challenged the Sanhedrin on such issues and said point blank that if he had to choose between God and the law of the land he would rather he broke the law ? (read your book of acts – I hope they still keep it in their bibles).

    The ancient ( and notice I said ancient) spirit, the harlot of Babylon has not gone to rest. The Kingdom of God suffers Violence and the violent take it by force. Do not think the freedom of the WORD of God has been delivered peacebly down through out the ages; some men and women have laid down their lives just to make sure the WORD, the TRUTH was know; at times it took generations to accept this WORD, many times after they were long gone.

    I pray for you that the Blessing of YAHWEH that makes rich and adds no sorrow with it shall surround you ever; for HE watches over HIS WORD to perform it.


  151. I have been traveling quite a bit and may not be back to post for a while, but I just had to come in and thank David for referencing such a wonderfull study on polygamy. Mr. Grahams study certainly does sound terrible for polygamy when read from the abstract, but his analysis is spectacular and would like up exactly with what we would say problem poly relationships are.

    “Jealousy and competition among co-wives, and an uneven distribution of household resources have been reported as problems among women in polygamous marriages (A1-Krenawi, 1998b; Al-Krenawi & Graham, 1999d; Borgerhoff-Mulder, 1992; Kilbride & Kilbride, 1990; Ware, 1979). For many, polygamy is associated with greater capacity for love and propensity of choice. Hence, second and subsequent wives often experience an elevated position within the marriage with respect to economic resources, social support, and attention (Al-Krenawi, 1998b; Al-Krenawi, Graham & Al-Krenawi, 1997). Differences have been noted concerning senior and junior wives in a polygamous marriage. For example, junior wives, compared to senior wives, often perceive themselves as having a better relationship with their husbands (Al-Krenawi, 1999). Senior wives may attribute their marital dissatisfaction to their husband’s remarriages (Chaleby, 1985). ”

    And problems for children, certainly, becasue
    ” The fewer economic resources associated with senior wives may negatively impact the scholastic performance of their children. ”

    He does not damn polygamy at large but suggests that “The first consideration for improving practice is for the social worker to become knowledgeable about the cultural and personal significance of polygamy to family members.”

    Also note that he does his studies in the middle east, Jordan, Egypt, and the UAE. These are not places where women have the voice to get out of undesirable relationships and there is not much motive for men to consider their first wife in any case.

    Of course we are specifically forbidden to diminish both material resources and sexual intamacy on account of takning a second wife, we could have said from the get go that shorting senior wives and their children would cause serious problems. The problems related to polygamy outlined in this study are peculiar to an environment without the rules and safegaurds we acknowledge when taking a second wife. The only one that is not nessisarily elimitated is jealousy, and that is mitigated by the fact that women do have a say in relationships here. The problem lies in the extreme legal control over women in said countries and polygamy simply multiplies bad situation by adding quantity.

    And that is why it is good to analyze a report for ones self and not take for granted the conclusions of an abstract.

  152. Hi
    I am a new believer in God. I had a huge spiritual awakening in my bedroom in april 2009 of this year and I believe that I have become born again in the spirit. I would love to share with you exactly what happened but maybe this is not the right thread to do so. But, to put it bluntly, I was visited by Christ in Spirit when I was suicidal in April 09, He delivered me from a demonic force that was within me and He told me to follow Him and watch.
    After major repentance and study of the scriptures I am still battling one major issue within my life. This is that I love my Wife, but, I also adore the beauty of other women and I have prayed and read and prayed and read and I’m still battling.
    I came across this thread which has been very interesting for me. I can only comment regarding the topic of ‘polygamy’, that I agree that it is not a sin but I do not find an answer in the scriptures (as of yet) for my situation. I am confused and it is frustrating for me that I cannot find a black and white answer as to what I should do with this feeling of mine. Am I to follow my adoration for beautiful women and see what happens? Should I talk to my Wife? If I was in my unsaved state I would just fornicate and commit adultery so I defintely choose not to do those things, but, where do I go from here? Any ideas, any advice? Polygamy sounds interesting for me but what do I do about my marriage? How would my Wife who has also recently found faith in God react? More importantly, how would God deal with this situation I am in if He was me?
    Steve ( a new believer in Christ and our Creator, God)

  153. Steve, I’m going to reply to you via e-mail, if that’s okay. Given the potential — for lack of a better word — delicateness of the situation, I encourage you to keep it out of the public arena, as the tumultuous nature of the conversation you’ve stepped into is really not the best place for a young believer, especially given the rather less-than-desirable response of those who are opposed to the practice of polygyny.

    1. So thoughtful Rick. I get the distinct impression that you are one of the people God Almighty has called on me to support, yet you have never asked for a single penny? You are truly chosen and if by any means we shall meet,

  154. Hi Rick,
    Yes, I do realise that this may have been the wrong place to post in the way I have, sorry for that but please feel free to email me. But saying that, it would still be interesting to see the views of the commentors in this thread (be them for or against polygyny). I will not take offence as I am open to people’s opinions regarding the topic and my situation, but yes, it may get messy!

  155. Steve,

    More important than additional wives would be the following:

    Being a member and a regular attender of a church. I recommend denominations that are “Reformed” and national in their organization. This is for doctrine. You will not find acceptance of your acceptance of polygyny. In any case, find one that is Bible Believing.

    Your acceptance of Polygyny will open the Old Testament to you, as you will not degrade the fallible “Heroes” of the faith as most others do. When you encounter their family situations, you will not say “Sinful!” because they are polygynists. This will help you to a greater understanding of the word. Embrace the word, read it often, get to know it. It is living.

    Be mindful of this, if you have children, it will not matter that in God’s more perfect order of the family, that you should have been in charge and that your wife ought not leave you. If you jam this understanding down her throat, she probably will leave you and when she does, she will take your children with you. This is very destructive.

    If you love your wife, remember why you took her as a wife. Much of what you wanted in a wife the first time, is not as burning an issue in an additional wife. You have a wife. Support her, love her, and if another comes, praise God for it, but seek in a second or additional wife, a GODLY woman. She should build up your house, not destroy it.

  156. Hi Hugh,
    Thank you for the reply and advice. After my experience in April this year I ran to the nearest church which was Pentacostal. After a few months I walked out. I have finally, after 5 months, found a baptist church with which I feel comfortable. The Pastor is great and sticks to the Word. The problem is is that I am 33yrs old and they are all over 70yrs old! But it is a minor problem. I will speak to my Pastor about my feelings but I should imagine that he will condem them, that is why I’m searching elsewhere first for some advice.
    I have read a lot of the Bible and it was exactly the Old Testament’s heroes that got me scratching my head. These amazing men of God and how God had chosen them, yet they had many partnerships/relations/wives during their time with God.
    I do love my Wife, massively, that’s exactly the reason that I am battling plus my faith in Christ. I just want clarification regarding my feelings I suppose and how I should go forward with them instead of letting it take some kind of negative control or in turn, end up as sin.
    We don’t have children but would like some. I do not know how my Wife would respond if I told her that I would consider having another Wife in the future, I should imagine she would want to leave me. Therefore, I feel that I may have to battle this out to the very end unless there is another way forward..

  157. Steve,

    We will pray for you. Go slowly. I find that in considering at times, an additional wife, I probably put the brakes on as much if not more so than my wife does. I have love in her, I can easily see love with and for another, but she must bring something to the family.

    We will gladly serve as support outside the church. Feel free to contact me, and others in this group of people. We are all Bible Believing. You will find fervor for our LORD among us. We can encourage you.


  158. Thanks Hugh,
    Patience is something I am learning at the moment. I will continue asking the Lord for guidance with my feelings towards women other than my wife. Basically, I am not worried, just a bit confused and uncertain, but I’m sure the Lord will show me the best way forward. I regulary thank Him for saving me, and for my wife, and all the things He has done and will do in mine and many other’s lives. I’ll drop you an email also for some more advice as it is much appreciated.

  159. Here’s an exercise Steve.

    Relax. Concentrate on eligible women, namely, women of the faith, who have not destroyed their own eligibility for marriage through things like ungodly divorces. Women who are not other men’s wives. Then contemplate that you have them, forever, and what practical effects that will have, completely apart from how it might affect your existing wife and your relationship with her. You’ll slow down to school district speed in a hurry. :)

  160. Hehe!
    I think you may have just put me off!
    I can imagine it right now….more headaches, more petty arguments, more moaning over what to eat tonight!
    Yip, one wife is ample!!!!! ;-P
    Nah seriously, I get where you’re coming from. But, out of all of my amazing transformation and regeneration so far though, this is the one factor in my life that still captivates me. I have a lot of love to give, and I have a lot of passion towards the beauty of the female, that our Lord so amazingly created. I just do not know how to express it all, I suppose. I shall trust in the Lord to show me the correct way forward and I shall give my wife a big huge hug and kiss when she comes home tonight!

  161. Dear Steve,

    I would like to add my comments to this conversation also.
    If you read back to what I already wrote you will see that I do not believe having two wives is a sin.

    Having said that…..our society as a whole does not readily accept a man taking two wives and most wives in general kind of freak at the idea. Many Christians also believe it is adultery or worse. In Canada it is a criminal offense punishable by 5 years in prison. I am not saying the law is in keeping with Scripture but it IS the law.

    This is not something you can push on your wife, nor should you live your life as to be miserable if you can never have more than one wife

    Let me share a bit of relevant scripture with you.
    The Apostle Paul said:

    RO 14:13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way. 14 As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. 15 If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died. 16 Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.

    RO 14:19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.

    RO 14:22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

    RO 15:1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2 Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” 4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

    Yes there are a lot of beautiful women out there and you probably would not have been attracted to your wife if you did not have the ability to notice. This simply proves that you are a normal man. But what if you take another wife and you notice all the beautiful women that you do not have yet? You surely will! Are you not going to be happy until you have them all? Is 300 going to be enough?

    There is the danger that you will hurt your wife and the law of love through Christ compels you not to hurt her or cause her grief. This is not something you can do unless your wife wants it and you should not try and coerce her into it. If the Lord wills it for you, He will bring it to pass.

    Again Paul says:

    1CO 8:9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, won’t he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? 11 So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12 When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.

    You see the principle here? You are not only responsible by your actions for your wife’s emotional and spiritual welfare but for your fellow believers as well.
    You have been given one wife and therefore have received blessing from the Lord. Many do not have even one.

    PR 5:18 May your fountain be blessed,
    and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.

    PR 5:19 A loving doe, a graceful deer–
    may her breasts satisfy you always,
    may you ever be captivated by her love.

  162. Hi Bill
    Thanks for the comment and scriptures. Since coming across this topic this morning, I have learnt quite a few things already and posters such as yourself have really helped me by pointing out interesting scriptures for me to study and different aspects of the whole situation I am in. Therefore, I am pleasantly surprised and thankful that I was led to this site this morning and will continue to read the information on here. I feel that Rick has an interesting gift that he is using here and the added comments from various people have also become a great read for me.
    300 wives, hmmm, I see where you’re coming from there, where would it stop?
    Even though I respect the views and ideas here, it does not stop the fact that I have these feelings for females other than my wife. I definitely would not force anything on here and if that means that I have to stay feeling this way, married to her only until I die, then so be it. I’m just curious as to what others feel on the matter and I will just wait for the Lord to show me the best way forward with this feeling of mine..

  163. Steve,
    If you made a monogamy-only vow to your wife, you are still bound to that. Laban enforced a similar vow on Jacob, forcing him not to take other wives than his daughters (Genesis 31:50).

    I’m pro-poly, but I think you can be honest about it, without sacrificing your marriage, due to your vow. Vows are sacred and Scriptures teaches a man is bound to his vow (Numbers 30).

    Be blessed.


  164. Steve…
    Here is another good verse to consider in regard to your marriage vows

    ECC 5:4
    When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, “My vow was a mistake.” Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God.

    If your marriage was like most…. This is what was said in the sight of God and the witnesses in the pews


    Do you GROOM’S NAME take BRIDE’S NAME to be your wife – to live together after God’s ordinance – in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, in sadness and in joy, to cherish and continually bestow upon her your heart’s deepest devotion,
    forsaking all others, keep yourself only unto her as long as you both shall live?

    GROOM: I will.

    In view of the above verse, I would expect that the Lord is looking to see if you stand by your word.

  165. I spoke to my wife last night, briefly, about what I had been reading about (not feeling) and mentioned the big debate on here. She was actually and surprisingly quite open to the topic but ended the conversation with a kind of ‘whatever’..
    I told her I would like for us to talk more about it as it was ‘interesting’, she said OK!

    I spent a while in bed imagining how it could ever work and there were quite a few negatives in there. But, there were some really nice positives too, not regarding sex, more like a large, God loving and fearing family with lovely little children all going about our business where the Lord was at the centre. It was nice, very nice and quite appealing to be honest.

    ‘It’s a good thing biblical marriages don’t require ministers to be present… let alone vows. (That’s not to say my marriage didn’t follow all the traditions, though.)

    ‘Hey Rick, my marriage sounds a bit biblical! We rushed it though! We didn’t take vows or have ministers, it was at a registry office. Saying all of this, I will definitely not be rushing out to find a second wife should my wife be willing for me to have one! I really don’t think I would actually find a suitable second wife who loves the Lord, in my locality anyway. People here in Wales could do with a revival in fact, like that of 1904! Should one come along(2nd wife)that I feel blessed with then we shall see. I may as well keep you all posted on the outcome of my wife and I and our chat regarding ‘Men of the Bible with Multiple Wives’.
    Thanks for your comments and advice, much appreciated..
    God bless you and yours.. :-)

  166. Hmmm,

    Interesting and deep postings about “what you eat” not stumbling your weaker brother and the vows issue. I do agree that we ought to be responsible with how we handle this truth however there is also a place for truth to be taught without apology nor fear – this way it ceases to be a matter of hiding identities but rather who will accept the truth and who won’t. So I think its kind of both ways: first if you keep your views a secret then you will stumble those that ‘stumble upon your belief in the poly truth’. That’s where most of us lie. The others though that have chosen the way of openness will take a public stand and as such there is no need to apologise for what they believe in. so to me if its TRUTH we ought to pray for strength to walk the walk when the time for it comes. sometimes its just not the time and in such cases you need to be careful how you walk.

    About VOWS, I have looked at this subject for a while now though possibly not in much detail. Numbers 30 deals a bit with the issue of vows and it seems there are some revockable Vows ? ! That in itself raises some important questions.
    Also secondly should we be bound by un-biblical Vows ? e.g in the part of the world where I come from some people make demonic vows with the devil and evil forces – then they come to the LORD. Do we submit that they should not break those un-biblical vows simply because they gave a word of honour in ignorance ? On this one still, the common wedding vows recited by many as quoted earlier on say “… to live together after God’s ordinance…forsaking all others…” I find the two statements existing in one contradictory – bacause as many of us have discovered late in life YAHWEH the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was never against Polygyny so HIS ordinance already prescribes it as relevant and Holy; but then the same vow in the same breath appends ” forsaking all others ? ! can that be considered a Godly stand, a Godly vow ?

    Now the issue of vows can be quite a tricky mine field and I would appreciate some good cousel on these matters because I am just being honest with the type of questions that have arisen in my mind.

    But to settle it for me, with or without Vows, marriage is Holy and sacred and is not to be taken lightly for Jesus said “let your YES be a YES and your NO be a NO”. So if you ask a woman to marry you and she says YES, the rest is just good traditions but our words seal us just as it is written “death and life are in the power of the toungue”. So, I guess I am saying for now I think the Vows may have a binding effect and as such thats the personal position I have taken until possibly my queries above on un-Godly/un-holy/un-biblical vows are confirmed. I think it is safe to loose than gain the whole world and then loose your soul.


  167. Steve,

    You have received a lot of good counsel from the others about how to handle your feelings of attraction to Gods wondrous, amazing creation called Woman ! The truth is that:

    i) God intended it this way that women would appear attractive to men. So there is nothing wrong with seeing woman after woman as being attractive. You should be worried if you didn’t.
    ii) When all is said and done, even with 300+ women you will still see even more attractive women. so there will always be an attractive woman you cannot or do not have. So will you marry the whole world ? thats never been on God’s intended list/menu for any man, however Holy he may be and since we have been called to holiness and will not commit fornication, this means that as a man thinketh in his heart so is he i.e if your thoughts go beyond “wow, she’s beautiful” to the more graphic stuff in your mind then you need to watch out for you have crossed the line into fornication territory.
    iii) You are not alone – Infact Solomon, the wisest man ever confessed he could not understand the way of a man with a maid !
    Pr 30:18 ¶ There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not:
    Pr 30:19 The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.
    If Solomon failed to decode this, I do not think any of us will; we just need to accept it and respect it, and learn how to deal with it correctly. It will take some work.

    I personally had the same challenge when I first got into the Poly discovery. I however had to beat myself back into shape and understand that I cannot marry all women and yet atractive women will always exist outside my domain.But as a man of God I control myself and keep my attraction in check. I also learn to respect those attractive women both in what is seen and what is not seen i.e the mind.Let me use a gross example to drive my point home:- The difference between date rape and consential sex is exactly that: consent of both parties to do it – You may feel sexually attracted to a woman but you do not have to take it by force otherwise it becomes evil. In the same vein, you can be attracted to a woman but you need to keep this attraction in check unless she has consented to your attraction to her – even then holiness demands that the WORD of God reigns.
    iv) Lastly, I always tell the Holy Spirit whenever I see one of them s.exy, attractive, wonderful women. I tell HIM so, then I ask for strength to walk according to God’s Holy Word. And it always works for me. On this Psalms 62:8 is my favourite. I do not hide anything for HIM for he already knows – so I can as well just tell HIM the way it is….I pour out my heart to HIM.


  168. In my personal subjective experience (I know, redundant), I have found that when you allow yourself to realize that you may have every girl on earth, provided they are not already encumbered or forbidden in some way (your wife’s mother/daughter, your sister, your wife’s sister, your mother, your father’s wife) you start to look in a different way.

    Some fascinating things happen. Women become even more beautiful, not less. You appreciate them all. If their nose is crooked, it’s charming, if they’re a little plump, it’s ok, if they’re Asian, or African or Polynesian, dandy.

    Big chests, little chests, big or little whatever, it’s all good. You also hesitate for different reasons. Instead of saying to yourself, “what if there were another that I loved more” and not taking a single wife for that reason or “what if there were one more beautiful” or “what if I want a blond” or the host of other superficial questions we all know as men that we ask ourselves in doubt when we focus on one woman, we smile on them all.

    What we start to ask is “can I afford another wife?” “How will she affect home life?” “Is she Godly?” Etc.

    Believe me, that’s what happens, at least for me. All eligible females became better looking and I began to think of who they were, not what they looked like. When it’s not wrong to look on a maiden who is not betrothed, and who is eligible to marry, you really don’t think about the supposedly salacious aspects of desiring a sister in Christ who is not your wife.

    They become Sisters, People, not objects.

  169. Ungodly vows can definitely be broken, but it must be born in mind that monogamy is not exactly against God’s law (Isaac was monogamous). Polygyny is permitted and in some cases, commanded. One is also free to take a wife if other vows aren’t in place.

    I’m not entirely sure where the line is drawn, but I think if your wife releases you from your monogamy-only vow in front of witnesses, you are permitted to take other wives. Of course, I also believe God can release you from a vow, but that would take a revelation and in order for that to happen, you must believe prophets exist in this day and age (I, for one, do, but only under the rules of 1 Corinthians 12-14).

    Be blessed.

  170. Only if the ungodly vow forces you to do something, ungodly. It’s not ungodly to be monogamous, or even single. There is no compulsion to take another wife, unless it is seduction (which you should not do) or Levirate marriage, which I doubt any of us have to engage in, as we are not racial Israelites preserving a heritage.

  171. If there were no vows, the wife has slightly come into the faith but does not accept polygyny, would divorce be acceptable? Just a thought..

  172. Divorce ! another interesting subject. It was Jesus that said “…save for the reason of fornication (all sexual perversion including adultery)…” all other reasons to divorce were not acceptable. God hates divorce because of the violent spirit behind it (it leaves all those involved bleeding). So if wife refuses to accept the truth of polygyny, let the LORD deal with her, and let the peace of God that passes all understanding reign with you. The WORD of God is meant to build us not break us and like someone said earlier in this post, what you know now is that you have one wife, take care of her well. If God wishes another for you, it only takes a whisper from HIM to soften your wife totally toward this truth.


  173. Marital relations are meant to mirror that of Christ and His church. Just as He will not divorce the church despite her adulteries with this world, so too should we never divorce our wives, despite what they may do. Love keeps no record of wrongs. Malachi 2:16 says that the man who divorces his wife “covers his garment with violence” — whereas we ought, as Christians, to “put on Christ” — and is “faithless.” Romans 14:23 says that whatsoever is not of faith is sin: divorce is sin.

  174. I would disagree Rick, as Joseph, husband to Mary, Christ’s earthly parents is said to be a “just” man in the act of seeking to divorce Mary. He does so for entirely correct reasons, obedience to God’s law.

    Divorce is a punishment, and a merciful one at that, since the alternative was death.

    It is interesting that in following God’s commands, like Abraham did with Isaac, he is also stopped from doing as God’s law directed him to do by divine intervention.

  175. I would add that divorce for the wrong reasons (adultery of the wife being the only one for believers) is a sin indeed. The law says the punishment for false witness, which essentially a divorce would be, brings the punishment intended for the unjustly accused on the one who bore false witness.

    It might explain (among other reasons) why Christ says a man who divorces his wife for no cause, and replaces her with another wife, is said to “commit adultery against her.”

    Deuteronomy 19:

    “If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong; And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother; Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you. And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you. And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.”

    Note that it also says of those that falsely accuse their wives:

    Deuteronomy 22:

    “If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel’s virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: And the damsel’s father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her; And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter’s virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him; And they shall amerce him in an hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days. But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.”

  176. ‘That sounds an awful lot like maneuvering for the ability to sleep with other women.’

    I know it does and knew it would. I am in a difficult predicament so I have come on here with total honesty to try and get some advice.
    Maybe I should explain my predicament more. I got married for the wrong reasons in 2004. We have had our ups and downs since then. My wife was buddhist, I was born a catholic. In april 2009 I came to Christ for help and He appeared to me in my bedroom that night and saved me. My wife came to Christ a few months later only after we had an argument and I advised her that she should put her faith in God, and that He could help us and our messy marriage. I pointed her to a prayer to call Jesus, just like the one I used. She did and things have been a lot better. But, I am not feeling confident that she understands the concept of the faith even though I have bought her books and have tried to encourage her to learn more and grow in her faith, she seems to prefer to put her worldly habits infront of the Lord. Therefore, I am concerned that she may well be unsure about it all, even though she has told me she believes it all on a few occassions. Ontop of all of this. Before I was saved I lusted after women terribly. Since I was saved I completely stopped. The other day though, I felt very attracted to a young woman on the bus, first time for quite some time, I started glancing more often and was wondering a lot about this person. I came home and questioned myself and I prayed to the Lord to give me strength to understand my feelings. The answers I have been getting are why I have been on this website. It leads me back to the question of whether I could have more than one wife.
    Since reading here I have spoken to my wife twice regarding my feelings and what I should do about them. The first time we spoke, towards the end she became iritated and did not want to talk about it. She said she felt it was sin and lust. I argued the case that it is not a sin and I did not lust after the other woman although I had some feeling stirred up about her. We left it at that.
    Today, with a more calm conversation, we spoke about it again. We looked at it from all aspects and the result is, for me, not good. She still believes it is a sin and caused through lust. She said she believes in God and Jesus but in her own way. It started getting a bit messy so I’ve left it there. She doesn’t feel like she has to read the Word or the books I have bought her. She prefers to stay the way she was before I introduced her to Christ. She also said that most Christians do not read the Bible often so why should she! I laughed and said that that was one of the biggest problems within the church today; ‘My people suffer through lack of knowledge’.
    I gave this analogy to her ‘ If you had a new computer game that was very difficult to play, wouldn’t it be better to check the instruction manual before turning it on and jumping straight in? so that you kind of know what you’re doing and how to be better at it at an early point in your time of playing it..’

    We love eachother, we married in the wrong circumstances though, and I am battling.
    That’s the score!

  177. Thanks for that Hugh. I need to have some help here and you guys are helping, it is eternally appreciated! :)
    I will go slowly. I am concerned for my wife, but I need to leave her to the Lord, I know. I trust in my Saviour and I know I will prevail with His help. If I am to stay married to my wife and have to battle it out until the end then I will. I am praying for the Lord to help me through this as it is the only one thing left that I have a strange uncertainty about. Everything else has fallen into place, nicely and gracefully.
    Thanks again and please, if you don’t mind, pray for me when you get a chance.

  178. Please don’t butcher your wife’s heart by placing what isn’t necessary before what is necessary. Do you think God’s going to be merciful to you on the day of judgment if you push her away from Him because of polygyny, just because she wasn’t ready for it?

    But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea (Matthew 18:6 ESV).

  179. derek, i hope you know that matthew 18:6, is talking about children, not adults. that’s why we are in this situation now. people sticking a scripture in a conversation so they can appear correct. when it is clear that the scriptures is talking about children. the bible does say don’t add or take away from my word. you may want to read the consequences for that on the day of judgement. and fyi, i may be wrong but i thought the real harsh jugdement was for the non-believers, and our judgement would consist more of which level of heavan we will enter into and the different gifts and growns, etc. since we are saved my the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ.

  180. To Derek,
    I totally agree with you to not put my wife off her faith due to this topic of polygyny. We do finally have a better understanding of the whole issue now. I realised through my wife’s reaction that it was something that she did not initially agree with.
    I wanted to be honest with her and said ” If one day darling, I should ever feel this way and want to pursue it…”.
    Basically, I just wanted to know my options and what the Bible says about it. After a few in depth discussions with my wife she actually, in a humorous way, said “see what happens if it ever happens” and we went on joking about how we would live on a farm with a large God loving family. She said I should become a muslim! and we both laughed. After the discussion, we hugged and realised that nothing or no-one will ever come between us, and all of this was worth the honest approach that I a maintained.
    As far as butchering her heart with things that are not necessary I must disagree. Since my meeting with the Lord I tell my wife everything, absolutely everything, even if she does not agree with it. I found it necessary to try and understand the feeling I had towards another female the other day which was not lust and it led me to realise that, yes, I may well want another wife in the future, so, I wanted to know what the Bible and other God loving people say about it and that led me here.
    If I had not spoken to my wife about it then I believe that it may have become a problem, whereas now, I and my wife feel more comfortable with it and we have more insight and understanding should it ever arise in our lives.

    It has been surprisingly helpful coming here, (great site Rick!) I have got the understanding that I wanted, and it results in this;

    If, in the future, I was to fall in love with another woman who obviously loves the Lord and could bring more happiness and positive elements to mine and my wife’s lives, it seems that there would be a possibility that I could marry her with my wife’s consent. On the understanding that my first wife would always be the most important in my life and that my second wife would be totally understanding of this, would make every effort to be a loving sister in Christ to her, and would not be a hindrance to our God loving family. Also, if it was totally affordable to do so!
    If it were any way other than the above guidelines then it would not happen, we would not divorce and I would just have to live with the fact of it not being possible.
    So, once again, thanks for all your advice regarding my situation, it has helped tremendously as it’s not easy being new in the faith and being unable to discuss certain issues that one could be facing in their walk..
    I’m just wondering what the Pastor at the Baptist church I’m attending would advise regarding all of this! As I have only been going there a few weeks I find it a bit awkward to jump in and lay this on him! He’s quite an old fellow too so I’m not sure if I should burden him incase it conflicts with how he feels on the matter!!

  181. “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

    “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:3-6 ESV).

    It is spoken within the context of becoming like a little child. I believe from that discourse, based on both context and the way the language is utilized, He is referring to believers who have become like children.

    As it stands, it doesn’t matter if I am right or wrong, Damian. There are clearer Scriptures, such as Mark 10:11, which says:

    And he said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her.”

    So no, I won’t say polygyny is a sin, but I will say a man who divorces his wife to live polygynously commits adultery, because he dishonored his word.

  182. Girl's opinion?

    Fine Polygamy appears to be acceptable and the ‘norm’ during ancient biblical times. Just tell me then, that the equal option for WOMEN, that is polyandry, is likewise ALSO acceptable and not discouraged. Because if it isn’t then that implies massive double standards on God’s part. God said not to be ‘unfaithful’ to your wife, yet he never accused Solomon of being unfaithful when he had 300 wives. It would only be fair if that norm applied to women as well ( I’m sure hoping as hell it does otherwise I’m reconsidering Christianity). If people cannot find a biblical argument against polygamy then don’t they dare condemn the idea of polyandry. ;) – not that I want to practice it anyway.

  183. Girls Opinion,

    It’s time to reconsider. God does not meet your standards of fairness. His ways are not your ways.

    Reconsider your commitment to God, especially if it is on such shaky ground. Do you believe in the God of the Bible? The creator of heaven and earth?

    Is Christ Lord? Have you declared that with your mouth? Have you believed that in you heart?

    2Co 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

    Destroy your idol of a “fair god”, and accept God as He is.

    God Bless,


  184. Dear Girl’s Opinion

    I truly hope that the truth of God’s Word is not something that will ultimately turn you away from Him. You said that you would consider dropping Christianity if it does not fall in line with your perceived notion of what is right. This leads me to believe that you may well have a god that you have fashioned yourself. (i.e. in your image). Christianity is not something God has offered to you as an option among other good options for you to consider. Jesus said: “no one can come to the Father except through me”. “There is salvation found in no one else”.

    Now concerning Polyandry being acceptable if Polygny is….
    I can assure you that according to God’s Word it is not. These are not my words but the Words of God.
    Please consider…..

    1CO 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

    RO 7: 2 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 of marriage. 3 So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man.

    There are no clearer verses than these.

    A woman marrying another man while her husband is still alive is an unfaithful wife. She becomes defiled. This disallows polyandry as far as the Gospel is concerned.

    Scripture teaches us that a man marrying another woman while his wife is still alive is NOT being unfaithful if he remains faithful to his wife in that he does not divorce her but continues to love her and care for her. If you draw any other conclusion from Scripture than this you are allowing your clouded opinion of the matter guide you.

    If you read back in this blog you will see much of the explanation for this and many verses and examples to prove this from Scripture.

    A man commits adultery if he divorces his wife to marry another……. or if he has sex with another man’s wife….not if he takes a single available woman as his wife.
    Human laws and the distorted idea of “equality of the sexes” does not reflect the teaching in Scripture in this matter.

    If this does not line up with your conviction of what Christianity, God and the Bible should be (or IS in your opinion) then it seems you have not only refashioned God in your image but you have also rewritten the Bible to suit your perceived notion of what constitutes morality. You have placed yourself in a position of being the Judge of God instead of Him being your judge.
    I would counsel you to not only read the Scriptures again but to meditate on them a bit harder. Jesus said: “the truth will set you free”.

    I say these things soberly and with respect and not in any way to put you down.

  185. A wife’s commitment to her husband is like the church’s commitment to Christ.

    Just as the church can have no other Lord than Christ, than so can a wife have no other husband than her one husband. You cannot serve two masters.

    Or to put it another way, if you want to believe that polyandry is acceptable, then the burden of proof is upon you to prove it. No one here is claiming it is acceptable, nor does our acceptance of polygyny require us to accept polyandry.

  186. The Bible has a different standard for men and women, not a double standard. A double standard implies that 2 like types of persons are treated differently for no reason. A different standard is one that supports 2 different types of persons being given two different purposes, roles, and instructions.

    The instructions for men are to love their wives as christ loved the church. Women are instructed to submit to their husbands as unto the Lord. It is interesting to note that men are not to domineer or rule their wives with an iron fist, but to LOVE them with sacrifice, while not bending or giving in to anything that compromises the role that God has given the man as the spiritual covering of his household. The man is also responsible for his wife’s sin and actions, as per Adam being attributed with original sin instead of Eve, who ate first of the forbidden fruit. Not very “equal” for the man, correct? But, that is the role of man in marriage, protector, defender, covering, laying down his life. That is quite chivalrous, not chauvinistic.

    It only seems unfair if you have been taught that men and women are “equals” regarding their roles and responsibilities, instead of equal unto the Lord, with different callings and authorities. Just like a woman loves her own children equally, the man loves his wives equally. And just like any parent gives children different chores or jobs to do during the day, the Lord has given men and women different roles. We don’t want our kids going out and cutting the lawn two days in a row, or washing dishes if we tell them to do the laundry. We have a purpose behind why we give different instructions to different children. The younger ones certainly do not use sharp knives or run the chainsaws. They are given different responsibilities based on what we know to be the best things for them. Our Heavenly Father does the same for us, in giving men and women the roles that are for them based on His perfect knowledge of how he created all of us.

    I can understand your feelings. But, upon closer glance, the rules and laws of God are loving and caring, not cruel and demeaning. I admire you for speaking your mind on this public forum. Please give God a chance to speak to you and teach you of His undying love. It is all in His Word, if given the chance and studied with an open mind, He will reveal it to you. Seek and you will find, Knock and the door will be opened unto you.

    Blessings to you in the name of the Father

  187. Paul:
    That’s a bad analogy. When you give kids chores to do, do you subject those chores to their gender? Probably not. As a society, we used to do that. But, today, the notion of “woman’s work” and “man’s work” is pretty much gone. A better analogy would be that you wouldn’t send your son to do the dishes while you send your daughter to mow the lawn.

    Girl’s Opinion:
    Really? Polygamy is the topic that will cause you to reconsider your faith? What about slavery, misogyny, genocide, racism, and any of many other issues the modern world would take with the biblical world? If you’re seriously reconsidering the Christian religion, read Deuteronomy 21:18-21 and listen to how hollow apologist arguments become when you bring it up. Polygamy is pretty much a non-issue when you put it up against a law, apparently dictated by god, to kill unruly children.

  188. I don’t think its a bad analogy, inasmuch as it breaks down a bit toward the end. I also think its slightly misogynist to say women can’t use “sharp knives” or “chain saws” — and while I know that isn’t probably what isn’t meant, it presents women as weak children and I know that people are going to take it like that.

    I see it more along the lines of the military (I don’t know much about military structures, so correct me if I’m wrong ;)). Each soldier has a different rank and within those ranks are differing areas of authority. We have Jesus, who is the Head of State and under Him are the apostles, who are the Secretary of Defense, and under them, the pastors, who are lieutenants. Finally, we come to the man, who as, head of household, are the sergeant generals, their wives the generals and the children the soldiers. Each part is necessary. This is what I think Paul means when he says to both “submit to one another” and “wives, submit to your husbands” in Ephesians 5:21-22. The Greek for submit, hupotasso, is actually a military term that means “to arrange in a military fashion under a leader”. You can read more about it and its uses here.

    Of course, the analogy breaks down when you realize the church is a little more organic than that, with everyone having something to contribute, but I think it makes sense. :) Even the prophets were subject to their leaders (and the wives to their husbands) in the worship pattern of 1 Corinthians 11-14.

    Hope this helps. :)

  189. David, you said:

    Polygamy is pretty much a non-issue when you put it up against a law, apparently dictated by god, to kill unruly children.

    Every one of us is worthy of death. God is within His rights to determine whether certain sins mandated a more immediate capital punishment or if in this world they were only to be met with retribution or corporal punishment. Ultimately, everyone will die anyway.

    Your objection assumes without basis that we all deserve to live life to the fullest. We do not, for the wages of sin is death.

    No “hollow” apologetics are required to understand that. What is required to misunderstand it, though, is a limited understanding of not only the sinfulness of man but also of the holiness of God.

  190. Rick:
    I guess you’re right, Rick. You don’t need hollow apologetics to understand the idiotic dogma of the bible. You just need to believe that children deserve to die, raped women deserve to be trapped with their rapists for the rest of their lives, slaves deserve to be slaves, and a finite crime deserves an infinite punishment.

    Your military analogy still has an arbitrary separation where men are superior to women, based solely upon gender. It may be more accurate to what the bible teaches, but that doesn’t make it good.

  191. David: Just curious, upon what basis are you making these judgments? Is there another absolute religious truth you hold to, or do you accept the requisite nihilism that comes with atheism or humanism? If so, then on what basis is *anything* in the Bible better or worse than *anything* in your life and beliefs?

    I’ve been told the doctrine of the Bible is immoral by plenty of people. Most of them, though, if they were to follow their beliefs to the *only* logical conclusion, must believe that killing a human is no more or less tragic than stepping on an ant or eating a carrot.

    Given the Scriptures as an absolute authority, I rest assuredly on them. I assume you’re arguing from the standpoint of some other absolute rather than your own desires?

    1. Rick:
      I don’t understand why you think morals have to be objective or else there is an inevitable nihilism. If morals do not come from any unquestionable and objective source, as we develop and learn more about our interactions we can change our mores and folkways. So, we get the result that people thought it was a good thing to have slaves and treat them in this way and in that, but now we know it is wrong to own slaves. Owning slaves then becomes immoral. I like to think of it as a collective moral system, as opposed to a subjective or objective system of morals. Also, it doesn’t require me to make statements like “children deserve to die”, like you’ve already stated about your biblical morals.

      1. Rephrasing the question to make it absurd is about the most idiotic thing I’ve ever heard. You could rephrase anything science tells us in such a way as to make it absurd. (Taking your comic book theme, the X-Men do this with mutations all the time!)

        If there is no absolute morality, there is only majority rules. Killing trees is wrong. Eating meat is wrong. Nazis are bad. Nazis are good. Abortion is fine. Euthanasia is evil.

        Anything and everything goes provided it gets enough votes. That, my friend, is nihilism — ultimately, those making those votes are going to die. They’re lives just do not matter. Ultimately, in an atheistic world, humanity doesn’t matter. That is the only logical conclusion of rejecting an absolute God and/or morality. Where you get your sense of entitlement that you deserve life is something you need to reconsider. Either we deserve life and murder is wrong because we’re created in the image of God… or we’re nothing more or less than ants — the product of millions of years of processes that science tells us have been going on. How can anyone rightfully say that humanity is deserving of anything more than ants? We’ve all come just as far in the history of the earth, after all.

        However, as this has gotten entirely off-topic (doesn’t take long for the opponents of polygyny to either give up or obscure the topic by launching every possible attack they can against the Bible), so I’m going to close this topic. There are other polygyny-centric posts on this site that anyone is welcome to take part in.

  192. Given that God knows the beginning from the end, and that He is a Holy, Loving God, would it not be safe to say that whatever happens, He knows what is best?
    Since being saved earlier this year I have written a Testimony. A friend of mine who read it and is into Buddhism had questioned why God allows bad things to happen. I could not give him a definite answer but I went back to scripture and the fact that the ‘wages of sin is death.’
    But I have also been feeling that we do not have the ability to comprehend how God feels towards His creation. I came up with quite a few – ‘ what ifs ?..’
    What if God knew that the young population that have died in the past were going to be evil to the bone, follow Satan and cause more misery than they were worth?
    What if by dying, they were actually saved from terrible atrocities later in life, caused by man and/or Satan?
    What if God knew they would be going to hell unless He had them killed at that point in their lives, so that they would be saved and go to stay with Him in all His glory?
    What of God allowed slavery because slaves would become humble people and would follow Him, be saved and in turn cause a revival and save their masters?
    What if, through all of this, believers of Him were killed? How can that be justified?
    Maybe, through a believer’s death, many turned to God as they saw the assurance within the family’s lives and hearts that God had everything in control and a better place was yet to come for them.
    We will all discover exactly how and why God works when we die and until then I cannot see the point in feeling bitter or questioning His motives. I no longer have any what ifs? I now have a sense of, ‘Ah, ok, well we shall see, when the time comes’
    And I trust in the Lord’s eternal conclusion..

    I live in the UK and I cannot help to feel that women here are turning into men! They work like men, talk like men, drink like men, dress, act and look like men!
    This is not right with God. And here in this country, breast cancer, cervical cancer, ovary cancer are affecting nearly every family. These cancers were practically unheard of before WWII. What’s going on? Could it be that God is taking away the body parts that they are neglecting? Whatever happened to a real, husband loving woman?
    The same could be said for men, who are turning into women. Testicular and Prostrate cancers are escalating at a fast rate here..

    Being a baby Christian, I strive to make sure I am wrapped in the cotton wool of Truth out of scripture from the beginning. I am on milk but getting ready for the meat.

    Sexual equality goes against God’s plan of creation for us and given all of the warnings from the past in the Bible, whoever goes against this plan will go against God. We cannot have God on our terms.

    Polygyny – If my Lord wants me to have more than one wife then it will be. If He does not then it will not be, simple as that.

    I have recently uploaded my Testimony to a blog. It is harsh and to the point and I wrote it for my close ones. There are some areas in there that I would like help on as I keep learning more and more each day. I will be editing it and updating it as I continue in my relationship with the Lord. I wrote it during the few months after Jesus visited me in my bedroom earlier this year.
    I can only say that I feel that I have a cure for all the illnesses and diseases in the world and I need to share it, but will people believe me?
    I’m sending it out to my loved ones today, please, pray that it sows that most important seed in their hearts and minds.

    There is a sense of urgency in there and I would like to have it proof read by Christians on meat!

    Rick, I hope you do not mind me mentioning my Testimony here and adding a link?
    If it is a problem, you can take the link off, no problems. But I would really appreciate you having a look through it and maybe helping me to amend it if you have the time.


    1. Steve:
      I really want to respond to your “what if” list. It really is quite a fun list. Your quotes are given the “em” tag.

      What if God knew that the young population that have died in the past were going to be evil to the bone, follow Satan and cause more misery than they were worth?

      This question assumes that God knew it would happen and created them anyway. So, he creates them and kills them, instead of just not creating them. Obviously God isn’t that good at his pruning of the population because he let through Hitler, Stalin, and Ronald H. Paquin. So, we’re left with a god who does things in a roundabout and slow way, and then does those things really poorly. Your question makes god sound like an idiot.

      What if by dying, they were actually saved from terrible atrocities later in life, caused by man and/or Satan?

      So, God can kill them to save them from being evil, and to save them from later atrocities? Let’s just put a random atrocity that can happen to people in place of a variable. Let’s choose a violent rape at gunpoint, after which the victim is mutilated. We’re still left with the problem of people still being victim of the atrocities, despite the assumption that God is presumably saving people from this by killing them at birth. Wouldn’t a better approach to stopping these atrocities from happening to someone be to have the perpetrator die, instead of the victim? So, in this scenario, God is killing a potentially good person and letting a psychotic criminal go free. This question makes your god sound evil, on the side of evil, the perpetrator of evil, and the enabler of evil. It does not make your god sound kind and caring.

      What if God knew they would be going to hell unless He had them killed at that point in their lives, so that they would be saved and go to stay with Him in all His glory?

      Once again, we are left with the question of why God is creating people with the specific purpose of sending them to Hell? Yes, it is the specific purpose of eternally torturing them. God creates something, knowing every last intricate detail of the person’s life, and knowing exactly where they will go after death. So, instead of just not creating the person or choosing not to send them to Hell, God creates them and kills them as a loophole? That is, once again, backwards and requires many assumptions. Also, why would he want someone around who he knew wouldn’t pass his test? If your god gave these special favors to everybody, then nobody who is alive is going to Hell, no matter what we do. If he doesn’t give these special favors to everybody, he’s creating people with the purpose of torturing them forever. Now, that’s a loving god.

      What of God allowed slavery because slaves would become humble people and would follow Him, be saved and in turn cause a revival and save their masters?

      Please re-read the three above and apply it to this question. We have god creating a person with the specific purpose of living an unfulfilled life of slavery, abuse, and torment. Then, it is all turned around “for the better” by having the equivalent of a mormon elder stop by the person’s door. Why torture someone when it can be done in a benign manner?

      What if, through all of this, believers of Him were killed? How can that be justified? Maybe, through a believer’s death, many turned to God as they saw the assurance within the family’s lives and hearts that God had everything in control and a better place was yet to come for them.

      Or, maybe, it will cause people to see the truth that religion can be a poison as much as a panacea. I would like to cite the case of Andrea Yates who killed her five children, so they would go straight to Heaven instead of risking Hell.

      Maybe you were thinking of a martyr. Let’s take Jesus as an example. God creates people, knowing they will do things he doesn’t like. But, the prior knowledge that he’ll be creating people to be tortured forever doesn’t bother him. Instead, he creates a child, who is himself, and then makes it so his favourite evil sinner people kill his son (who is himself) as a backwards loophole and perhaps cause people to turn their lives around. But, it obviously didn’t work. There are still murderers, rapists, and lawyers in every nation. But, now he has his loophole and has an excuse to say “It’s not my fault you went to Hell” when he knew very well that he was creating people to send them there in the first place. This question assumes that the gamemaster sets up the rules, knowing beforehand exactly who the participants will be and what the outcomes will be for all participants. With 60-80% of the USA believing that this guy is kind and moral, it’s no wonder that the movie SAW was so popular.

      What if there is theistic kind of god (deistic gods still permitted) and the horrible things that happen are entirely because of people and nature, the great things that happen are entirely because of people and nature, and we’re holding ourselves back from making things better because of the 4000 year-old writings of people, not the sacred texts of gods?

  193. I assumed that for the most part the entries in this blog were being made by Christians who believed the Word of God and who sincerely wanted to know what it really teaches about Polygamy, Polygny and Polyandry. I guess my assumption may have been premature.

    When you make a comment such as “idiotic dogma of the Bible, etc. it leads me to believe that you disdain much of what has been recorded in Scripture and have no trouble trampling it underfoot, substituting a gospel that fits in more with your believe system, not being pleased with or accepting the one God has provided. (i.e. “since they did not accept the righteousness that comes from God, they went about to establish their own”.)

    The Apostle Paul said to Timothy….
    2TI 3: 12 ……everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.


    1TI 1:8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers–and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

    So tell me David…. Are you a believer in Jesus and have you trusted in Him for Salvation? I don’t see how you could be and despise the Word of God because it is written that Jesus was the Word. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us”. You can not love Jesus and hate the Word because they are one and the same.

    What do you think YOU deserve from God? His Word says “ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and “the soul that sins will die”.

    Any comments?

    A word for you that Paul also gave to Timothy….

    2TI 2:14 “Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly”.

    You are young in the faith so walk slowly and carefully. It is easy for you to take off on a wild tangent and get all screwed up in your doctrine and it is easy to get conceited when you start being able to properly discern the Word.

    PS 1:1 Blessed is the man
    who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
    or stand in the way of sinners
    or sit in the seat of mockers.
    But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.

  194. Bill M:
    Bill, when you say that God provided the scriptures, you have to give some evidence that it was provided by God. It could have just as easily been provided by the saucer people, or the lizardmen from the fifth dimension. But, most likely, it was written by people, chronicling their struggles and triumphs, attributing the ups and downs to an unseen force that didn’t exist. You see it as turning away from your god’s will because you believe it is your god’s will. I believe it is the will of grumpy old men who spent too much time wandering in the desert eating poisonous fungus.

    Am I a believer in Jesus of Nazareth, The Christ, Messiah, Lamb, Way, Truth, Word, and Light? I was. Did I trust in him for Salvation? I did. I don’t despise the bible as the book, although it isn’t very well written, has many grammatical errors, has continuity errors, has contradictions, and is very preachy. In the end, it’s a book like any other. I have on on my shelf. I have several in my home (my mother’s house). I find it interesting to know that people believe that children deserve to die and that no matter what torture happens to them, they deserved it just by being born. It’s not the text that I hate. It’s the misuse of that text. I like this forum because Rick is a fundamentalist. I believe that the bible should be read with a fundamentalist eye. But, I don’t believe the content should be put into practise.

    I don’t like quoting people directly when I respond (uncomfortable with blockquote). But, I am forced to now.

    What do you think YOU deserve from God? His Word says “ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and “the soul that sins will die”.

    I’d like to respond to this by rephrasing the question, renaming some of the characters, and posing it to you. Then, I will respond to your question.

    What do you think you deserve from Spider-Man? His word says “With great power comes great responsibility” and “my spider-sense is tingling”.

    See what I did there? I made the question absurd. Obviously Spider-man is fictional. How could I deserve anything from a fictional character? Oh! I get it. Obviously, I don’t think that fictional characters owe me anything, nor do I deserve anything from them. Likewise, I don’t owe anything to fictional characters.

    *** This reply was truncated due to fatigue. If anybody is interested in the short blurb I didn’t feel like posting tonight, I will post it.

  195. David – It is clear to me that you only read what you wanted to rip apart within my comment, is this what you do with the Holy Word of God? (Sounds like!)
    If you took the time to read MY comment properly it explains that my “What ifs”
    were given to a Buddhist friend of mine, within weeks of my meeting with Christ.
    I did not have the answers and guess what? I still do not have the answers, but hey, you sound like you do because you know everything right?
    I did go on to say that we shall all find out the answers when we die and go onto the next part of our existence and that there was no point in feeling bitter or frustrated about things. And that I TRUST in my Lord’s eternal conclusion.

    I can’t believe you spent so much of your time and energy ripping apart my “What ifs?”, when I stated ” I no longer have any what ifs? I now have a sense of,
    ‘Ah, ok, well we shall see, when the time comes’. Is there something wrong with you? Don’t use my “What ifs?” to TRY and justify your opinion, use something better will you?
    People like you are dangerous, and I HAVE what ifs regarding your types;
    How about..

    What if – David is blinded with his own intellectualism and proud heart and would prefer to put his faith in people like David Icke and Spider-man?

    What if – The atrocities that you point out that our evil God lets happen are
    because of people like you David?

    What if you are going to hell and because you opened your big mouth you took hundreds with you?

    Now those are interesting what ifs…

    You see, when you have the proof, conviction and FAITH that all of this is VERY real, including what those grumpy old men wrote with their grammatical errors etc.
    and people like you come along, it gets worrying, because impressionable people listen to people like you!

    “Father, please forgive him and open up his heart to the truth”

  196. Greetings

    I caught on to this long thread by accident and must point out that some scripture has been MISquoted, in error I`m sure,nonetheless it has been used for an argument/debate.
    Gen. 2:24 a MAN shall leave his mother and father and cleave to his WIFE (not wives).
    Math.19:3 the pharisees came to TEMP Christ.
    Math 19:8 Christ tells them MOSSES told them because of the HARDENING of their/YOUR heart, but from the BEGINING it was NOT soo.

    I pray that the GREAT COMMISSION be the #1 goal in our lives.

    Blessings bros.

  197. I’m sure this point has been made many times, but no time to read over everything.

    When God set up the temple, he never instructed the playing of musical instruments. It was not part of his initial plans. Yet He allowed David to bring them in, and David was not judged for it.

    The same seems to have happened as well with the marriage issue. God set up initially a one man, one woman plan. Men began marrying more than one wife, and God said nothing about it. He was quick to judge David when he committed adultery, yet is so quiet it’s screaming, on the fact that David had more than one wife….

  198. heres my thoughts..
    I dont feel the need to quote the same scriptures you kind folks have, it would be kind of redundent. The question of “Is having more than one wife a sin” can be difficult for people to swollow.
    The way the bible talks about marrage in all those many quotes, does not say that for a man to have more than one wife he is living in sin. But on the same hand, it tells us to Honor our wife above all else acept of corse Jesus and god. so if our wife isnt okay with the idea then we have to reframe from having mulitpull wifes.
    So its not a Sin to have more than one wife, but it isnt aceptable to break our vow to our first wife. but onto another topic I saw as i read this verry verry long thread, that relates to this whole topic.
    In the question of Gods goodness, if you beleave everything in the bible you will see, that only by gods command can we break his commandments, if you dont beleve that too be true, just look at how many times people were ordered too kill. We all know that commandment. but from what i remember the bible says something along the lines of “God is perfect” and sence we all fall short the glory of god, then only god would or could know when its aceptable too kill. With that said though, does this mean he is cruel or evil, i would natually think the god the bible talks about couldnt be evil. if anything he would be all knowing, and we would be the ones who didnt understand. so maybe we think its murder when he ordered the slaughter of babys, maybe it wasnt acording the the god the bible talks about. maybe it wasnt because God said it wasnt, if the bible is too be acepted then what ever God says cant be wrong, and we dont understand what evil really is.
    I am not a Christian, but that doesnt mean i havent poored over the bible for many hours, and my understanding isnt made invalid because of the fact. but I saw something in the earlyer hours it took me too read all this about Gospals that have been more recently discovered in tombs and such that bothered me. does the fact that Mankind lost them mean they are any less valid as the other NT gospals that are currently in the christian bibles?
    Remember the God makes no mistakes, thats the Christians way right, well if thats true, doesnt that mean that if god didn’t want those books found, then they wouldnt have been found? I could be wrong here, but did jesus only have the just the couple aposals that are acually writers of the bible, if i remember correctly he started with 12.
    i should get back to the whole poly talk i guess huh.
    i dont want too hit any nervers here, but from what I personally beleave and some of the hate ive had to endure in my life because of my way of thinking. I dont beleve in forcing anything like this on anyone. I also don’t beleave in a lot of actions being sins, and heres the shocker statement “I dont beleave everthing im told” like i was once told that God wrote the bible, when in all acuallity it was man who wrote it, by the will of God. The only Words that I can recall ever being etched by Gods hand are the commandments. Of which I cant help but to th