Concordia Theological Monthly

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celibacy, polygamy, divorce, adultery, desertion, marriage, separation, intercourse, catholic, christians, dissolution, polygamous

Submission Type

Bible Study; Lecture; Sermon Prep


"Successive" polygamy-remarriage after the death of one's spouse-is licit for all Christians, but simultaneous polygamy is not.

Both polyandry and polygyny are wrong, but the former is even less defensible.

In the Old Testament, God bore with the polygamy of the patriarchs. While their polygamous unions contradicted the monogamous ideal of the divine institution, the patriarchs were not adulterers, and their wives were not whores. They must have had a revelation, or at least a consciousness, that God had dispensed them from the requirement of monogamy. The prophets do not condemn polygamy. Not fleshly lust, but the ardent desire for the birth of the promised Seed of the Woman motivated the polygamous patriarchs and kings.


Practical Theology

Scripture References in this Resource (separated by semi-colons)

Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5-6; Mark 10:7; Romans 7:2-3; 1 Corinthians 7:39; Malachi 2:14; Matthew 19:6; 1 Corinthians 7:10; 1 Corinthians 7:15;

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Laity; Ministers; Scholars