by Dr. D ~ June 7th, 2013
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Three College professors of religion in Iowa have recently written an article in the Des Moines Register challenging the perception that the Bible only supports marriage between one man and one woman:
The following are two poignant quotes that should be noted from their article.
In the first they acknowledge that regardless of their perception that the Bible may give out mixed messages on marriage it never supported same-sex marriage:
So, while it is not accurate to state that biblical texts would allow marriages between people of the same sex, it is equally incorrect to declare that a “one-man-and-one-woman” marriage is the only allowable type of marriage deemed legitimate in biblical texts.
In the second quote that I consider to be rather telling is their conclusion:
Accordingly, we must guard against attempting to use ancient texts to regulate modern ethics and morals, especially those ancient texts whose endorsements of other social institutions, such as slavery, would be universally condemned today, even by the most adherent of Christians.
So while these professors may be ‘Bible Scholars’ they demonstrate by this quote that they really do not believe in the teachings of the Bible or in the authority of the Word of God as a guide for ethics and moral teaching today in the 21 st century.
Response: There are so many distortions and Bible references taken out of context in their article that I really do question whether these professors of religion are all that knowledgeable about the Bible after all. Especially since they have violated so many basic hermeneutical rules (of Biblical interpretation) that most first year seminary students would easily avoid. I may write a separate article later detailing the obvious problems.
Nothing these professor write about is really news to any of the millions of Christians who have read the Bible and already know that many of the patriarchs and key figures like King David and Solomon in the Bible were polygamists. But the implications are far different than these College professors/ ‘Bible Scholars’ are trying to indicate.
The real question is this- were those different forms of marriage like polygamy really supported and encouraged by God? These scholars present a number of quotes that seems to indicate they were tolerated and maybe even condoned. Nevertheless here is the most important question of all:
What was the ideal form of marriage taught in the Bible?
Here are a few scriptures that I believe support a monogamous union between one man and one woman as the Biblical ideal.
First from the Old Testament
Right from the beginning God has this to say about marriage:
24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
Note that it is one man and one woman and not multiple partners that is supported in this very first passage in the Bible about marriage.
Now from the New Testament
In the first century Jesus quoted from Gen. 2:24 and put it forth as the ideal in his teaching on marriage and divorce in Matthew 19:4-6.
Even more telling that monogamy was to be the ideal form of marriage for Christians is the teaching found in I Timothy 3:2, 12 and Titus 1:6. These scripture teach that Christian leaders (Overseers, Deacons, & Elders) should be the husbands of only one wife. Early Christianity came forth in a world that had different forms of marriage including polygamy and diverse relationships including that between homosexuals but Christian leaders were called to be examples of the Biblical ideal and norm to their community.
Later when nearly all of Europe became Christian, marriage between one man and one woman eventually became the norm in all of Western civilization. It all started with the Biblical teaching in Gen. 2:24, as confirmed by Jesus in Matthew 19:4-6, and reinforced as a requirement for Christian leadership in I Tim.3:2,12 and Titus 1:6. *Top