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Christian Polygamist: Does the New Testament Allow More Than One Wife?


More Than One Wife for the Male Saints of Old

It cannot be denied that men of God, under the Law, were permitted to have more than one wife. The question that many people have has to do with permission to practice the polygamy of the Bible of the Old Testament, under the New Testament. It is, therefore, New Covenant scripture that is under attack to be twisted when it comes to this subject.

Jesus Didn't Come to Destroy the Law

It has been argued that Jesus did not come to destroy the law (Matthew 5:17). Therefore, since having more than one wife was allowed under the Law, we cannot say that bigamy and polygamy has ceased to be permitted by God under grace (the New Covenant). The people who present this argument must choose to ignore that the Bible plainly says that there had to be CHANGES in the law because of coming under grace. Hebrews 7:12 teaches, "For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law." This is precisely why the apostle of Christ did so much teaching; Israel had to be taught the new things of the New Covenant and the gentiles had to be taught. If the things of the Law all remained, there would be nothing new to warrant having to issue in a NEW Testament. The apostles clearly deal with those changes in the Law. This argument fails in light of scripture.

Let Every Man Have His Own Wife, Let Every Woman Have Her Own Husband

The apostle Paul wrote, "...Let every man have his own wife and let every woman have her own husband" (1 Corinthians 7:2).

Those who want to believe in having more than one wife and in practicing polygamy in the Bible according to the Old Testament choose to ignore that "wife" is in the singular. Nevertheless, the word "own" cannot be ignored. Now, although it can be said that if a man has multiple wives, they are all his own wives, it cannot be said that each of those wives can say that she has her own husband. "Own" is defined as "belonging to oneself." It denotes ownership. The wives, in order to be Godly women, would have to each get their own husbands; not even two could share a husband and say that they have their own husband. This leaves the husband with one wife--his own wife. This is not difficult to understand.

Some argue that Paul, in 1 Corinthians, speaks not only of what he received from the Lord, but his opinion. Firstly, Paul, when he said let everyone have his or her own spouse, he doesn't say that he is speaking his opinion. Furthermore, the same exact teaching is repeated in Ephesians 5:24, which tells women to have their own husbands.

They Twain Shall Be One Flesh

In Matthew 19:5, the Lord Jesus teaches, "...For this cause shall a man leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife and they twain shall be one flesh." Some have said that this scripture does not speak against a man having more than one wife because he can become one flesh with all of his wives.

This is another argument that quickly crumbles in light of the scripture of 1 Corinthians 6:15-16, which says, "Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? Know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh." The important truth taught in this scripture is that if a man is joined to Christ and also joins himself to a harlot, he is not just simply one with Christ and one with the harlot. He has joined Christ with a harlot. This scripture is not limited to speaking in spiritual terms or to speaking about prostitution. The scripture asks, "Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them the members of an harlot?" It's as plain as day that the members that have already been joined as one cannot be joined as one to different members. If a man is joined with one wife and joins himself with another wife or a harlot, he is joining his wife with another wife or with a harlot. This is what a man with more than one wife would be attempting to do. He is not a Christian polygamist; he is not a Christian at all.

Is the "Christian" Polygamist Blameless?

The scripture of Titus 1:6 reads, "If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not striker, not given to filthy lucre...." The first truth in this scripture is the revelation of what it means to be blameless: faithful children who are not accused of riot or unruly, not selfwilled, not striker, not given to filthy lucre, and the husband of ONE WIFE. The definition of what is means to be blameless is right before our eyes, which is why the elements of blamelessness are clearly mentioned, and the list is longer if the entire passage is read.

Some argue that only those who aspire to be a bishop need be blameless. This, however, is not what scripture says. The Bible says that ALL believers are to be blameless. Jesus' apostle Paul wrote, "I thank my God always on your behalf for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ, that in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance and in all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that ye come behind in no gift, waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ who shall also confirm you unto the end that ye may be BLAMELESS in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 1:4-8).

No man with more than one wife, though he may call himself a believer, is a "Christian" polygamist. Bigamy and polygamy in the Bible, as it was permitted by God, is limited to the Old Covenant. Anyone who chooses to practice it is not blameless.

Recommended reading:

Bigamy and Polygamy: What Does the Bible Say?

King David Had More Than One Wife: A Prime Example of Polygamy in the Bible

Christian Wife: In Bondage or Freedom?

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