Bible Polygyny

But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth,
for the Father seeks such to worship Him.
Joh 4:23.

 


Josephus, a first century Roman-Jewish historian recorded that “it is the ancient practice among us to have many wives at the same time” Ant.17.2.

Polygyny was common in Jewish life in NT times but the Lord did not speak against it. If it was common, then the Lord would need to make very plain statements prohibiting  polygyny IF he abolished it. However The Lord said this;
Mat 5:17 Do not think that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to destroy but to fulfill.
Mat 5:18 For truly I say to you, Till the heaven and the earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle shall in any way pass from the Law until all is fulfilled.
Mat 5:19 Therefore whoever shall relax one of these commandments, the least, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of Heaven. But whoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven.

Till heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or tittle will pass from the Law. This includes the LAWs regarding polygyny.

In Matt.19 the Lord spoke against divorcing a wife for every cause but He did not speak against a husband taking another wife which was permitted under the Law.

History proves there were Bishops and church members with more than one wife for up to 300 years after the NT era closed. Obviously these early believers did not understand the usual passages used against polygyny as modern Christians understand them.

St Augustine was not anti polygyny since he claimed it was as also the principle of headship and subordination.

Tertullian opposed polygyny on the grounds that sex within marriage was sinful and polygyny "supposedly" provided more opportunities to sin. We would not agree with this man regarding his rejection of polygyny; it certainly wasn't based upon Scripture.

Origen, it is reported, castrated himself so he could not have sex with his wife.

Polygyny was finally rejected in the late 5th Century, not on any Biblical basis but on the "norms" of Roman culture and the arguments of the austere, monastic and ascetic early church "fathers".

Martin Luther said this;
"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 advised Philip of Hesse to keep his second marriage quiet. Martin Luther did not condemn Philip for it because Luther knew of the polygynous families blessed by God in the OT. Obviously Luther did not understand any NT passage as a cancellation of polygyny.

Martin Luther also advised King Henry 8th, to take Mary Queen of Scots as his second wife.

John Milton had 11 wives? Perhaps we should throw out his book "Paradise Lost". Certainly his hymns have no place in our worship services right?

Did you know John and Charles Wesley’ sister Martha married the polygamist evangelist  Reverend Westley Hall? Go here please.

Polygamy is a sanctified marriage and believers through the past have acknowledged this and many now live the lifestyle.
Go here www.biblicalfamilies.org


 

 

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