Biblical polygyny is a hot topic — and by that I mean, people tend to get passionate about it on either side of the debate. If you’d like to share what you think about it, come join our freshly launched (May 2020) polygyny forum!

po·lyg·y·ny (pə-lĭj’ə-nē) n.

  1. The condition or practice of having more than one wife at one time.
  2. Zoology. A mating pattern in which a male mates with more than one female in a single breeding season.

I believe that the majority of Christians today misunderstand the Scriptures’ teachings regarding marriage. Oh, certainly, they rightfully proclaim that homosexuality is a repugnant sin. They’ll also proclaim loudly that marriage ought to last a lifetime, their own track record notwithstanding.

And many will plainly state that polygamy in all its many forms is a sin. There was a time when I did. I argued furiously for what surely added up to scores of hours in offense on polygyny.

After a certain point, I realized I was repeating myself. The so-called biblical arguments against polygyny which I was devising and/or finding elsewhere were systematically dismantled by the defenders of the practice.

For months, I abstained from the debate, with the simple concession that I believed that polygyny was wrong… but I had no idea why it was. It was only a matter of time before my own pride would be broken regarding the matter.

I now stand in defense of polygyny just as I have always stood in defense of monogamy. I defend my brothers in the faith who have chosen to wed multiple women, and I defend the honor of those men whose polygynous practices were recorded for us forevermore in the Scriptures.

However, I am not a polygynous man; in fact, I’m happily married to one wife. My defense of the practice has absolutely no personal bearing on my own life. (Of course, that doesn’t stop those who would oppose polygyny from calling into question every aspect of my marriage.)

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  • Definition credit: “polygyny.” The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. Answers.com 10 Aug. 2010. http://www.answers.com/topic/polygyny
  • Featured image credit: Rossetti, Dante Gabriel. Dante’s Vision of Rachel and Leah. 1855. Watercolour on paper. Tate Gallery, London.

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