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The Bible and Polygamy

Polygamy gives the man advantage over women.  A man can treat one wife as an equal but he cannot treat two more wives as an equal.  He may admit he does not love them the same but he cannot ask us to believe it does not affect the wife who is the least loved.  Polygamy leads to women being married without being loved.  Polygamy is not necessary for what does a man need more than one wife for?  It can cause situations where too many children have the same father and end up marrying each other with all the attendant genetic and health problems.

While God does not clearly command polygamy in the Jewish law, he forbids adultery and its thought that adultery means, for example, taking a new wife when you have one.  God does speak of the rules a man must use if he has more than one wife.  So it is claimed that the Bible God just tolerates polygamy for the people were too stubborn to stop doing it.  But there is no evidence that it is merely tolerated.  We don't know either way.  When God was able to force Israel not to worship idols though it wanted to it is clear that the Bible readers are lying to cover up why God's people were polygamists.  If we had a statement saying, "Thus says the Lord, a man is for one woman and a woman is for one man and I let men marry more than once and have a number of wives for you will not admit it is bad" then we could argue for toleration by God.

2 Samuel 12 has God informing David through Nathan that polygamy is okay. God said he gave Saul’s wives into David’s arms. He said he would do twice that for David. But as David killed Uriah to get his wife and marry her God accused him of ingratitude. God says that the sword will never be far from David and his house for that sin. David says to Nathan he has sinned and Nathan tells David that God forgives him and he will not die. What can all that mean?

It means that though God allows polygamy he is very vicious if you commit adultery!  How noble!

Christianity has produced polygamists in its ranks - eg during the reformation Luther condoned bigamy.  It is luck not faith that is the reason for that not being the case today except in Africa when priests live with multiple wives.  Mormonism is not Christian but it took its polygamy from the Christian faith though Jesus clearly repudiated polygamy in the gospels.

We must not forget that we cannot say that the Bible teaches only monogamous marriage when it says one thing and then says another.  Contradictions are a way of telling people to not take the teaching seriously.  Politicians and religionists both use contradictions to further an agenda and they know it works.