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-   -   When did Polygamy (more specifically polygyny) become taboo? (http://www.christianguitar.org/forums/t211790/)

Ax 06-30-2015 09:32 AM

When did Polygamy (more specifically polygyny) become taboo?
 
With Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon, etc. all being patriarchs of our faith and all having multiple, concurrent, wives, when did this practice become taboo? I've seen several of the verses against it (cleaving to the wife to become one flesh, and church leaders being the husband to one wife) but I see no outright ban on it. Not that I'm interested in marrying more than one woman (one is more than enough, thank you), I just don't know that I buy the argument against it and want to know where it comes from.

The argument about becoming one flesh doesn't seem to hold up to me because that verse predates David for when it's written, and Abraham for when it was spoken. Furthermore, I'm pretty sure Adam had more than one wife, and realistically (if we believe him to be an actual historical figure) would have had to.

The other argument about the "husband to one wife" is very clearly about church leaders, ie, pastors, ministers, priests, etc.

Historically, it seems to me that it became taboo, post-exile, specifically more in the inter-testamental era, when the Romans (who were pretty staunchly monogamists, well, as far as marriage, extra-marital affairs aside) conquered Israel and began pushing their culture on the Jews of antiquity. So... real talk, why do we accept this as taboo now?

BillSPrestonEsq 06-30-2015 10:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ax (Post 3891756)
With Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon, etc. all being patriarchs of our faith and all having multiple, concurrent, wives, when did this practice become taboo? I've seen several of the verses against it (cleaving to the wife to become one flesh, and church leaders being the husband to one wife) but I see no outright ban on it. Not that I'm interested in marrying more than one woman (one is more than enough, thank you), I just don't know that I buy the argument against it and want to know where it comes from.

The argument about becoming one flesh doesn't seem to hold up to me because that verse predates David for when it's written, and Abraham for when it was spoken. Furthermore, I'm pretty sure Adam had more than one wife, and realistically (if we believe him to be an actual historical figure) would have had to.

The other argument about the "husband to one wife" is very clearly about church leaders, ie, pastors, ministers, priests, etc.

Historically, it seems to me that it became taboo, post-exile, specifically more in the inter-testamental era, when the Romans (who were pretty staunchly monogamists, well, as far as marriage, extra-marital affairs aside) conquered Israel and began pushing their culture on the Jews of antiquity. So... real talk, why do we accept this as taboo now?

It never really was mainstream.

There is no logical reason Adam would have needed more than one wife. All you would need are a girl and a boy child, and multiples thereof.

Other than kings who also get away with incest and other things, polygamy seems fairly rare in the ancient world from what I have read. Simple reason is, wives are expensive upkeep in the bronze age. You had to have substantial income to afford multiple bride prices, period.

The largest argument against it from scripture is simple. Look at God's pronouncement of marriage in Genesis 2. 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

It is a statement between one man and one woman.

Ax 06-30-2015 12:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BillSPrestonEsq (Post 3891757)
It never really was mainstream.

There is no logical reason Adam would have needed more than one wife. All you would need are a girl and a boy child, and multiples thereof.

Other than kings who also get away with incest and other things, polygamy seems fairly rare in the ancient world from what I have read. Simple reason is, wives are expensive upkeep in the bronze age. You had to have substantial income to afford multiple bride prices, period.

The largest argument against it from scripture is simple. Look at God's pronouncement of marriage in Genesis 2. 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

It is a statement between one man and one woman.

I think that's a logical fallacy using Genesis 2. It says become "one flesh", later in describing relationships with prostitutes, the infamous "body is a temple" passage, it says that sex with a prostitute would join that prostitute to Jesus as we are the bride of Christ. This would mean that one can become "one flesh" with multiple people. One flesh, does not necessarily imply one entity, in fact, I'm inclined to think of it more as a euphemism for sex. Basically saying that when you get married, you're expected to consummate that marriage.

BillSPrestonEsq 06-30-2015 12:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ax (Post 3891762)
I think that's a logical fallacy using Genesis 2. It says become "one flesh", later in describing relationships with prostitutes, the infamous "body is a temple" passage, it says that sex with a prostitute would join that prostitute to Jesus as we are the bride of Christ. This would mean that one can become "one flesh" with multiple people. One flesh, does not necessarily imply one entity, in fact, I'm inclined to think of it more as a euphemism for sex. Basically saying that when you get married, you're expected to consummate that marriage.

You are claiming it is a logical fallacy when frankly, it isn't. Also, it states, "they shall be one flesh."

It does not imply, it states that the husband leaves father and mother and cleaves to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. It does not imply it, it explicitly states that the husband and wife are a new family entity, which is actually a very revolutionary thought in the ANE. The Roman period would highly degrade the view of marriage, where bloodline was far more important than marriage bonds.

Jesus explicitly states in Mark 10, that this is the way it was from the beginning. 6 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ 7 ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

So essentially for your argument to work, you have to deny the words of Jesus. Jesus states that marriage has between a singular man and woman since the beginning and that the two are joined.

Basically your only accusation of this as a logical fallacy can only be made by ignoring the actual wording of the text which explicitly says something more restrictive than you claim it implies. The argument you are making is not really based on anything as best as I can see and does not match with Jesus' words.

athanatos 06-30-2015 12:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BillSPrestonEsq (Post 3891765)
Basically your only accusation of this as a logical fallacy can only be made by ignoring the actual wording of the text which explicitly says something more restrictive than you claim it implies.

So how do you take 1 Cor 6, where it says that a man (presumably possibly a married man) becomes "one flesh" with a prostitute? (as Ax brought up before)

Whatever Paul says, though, I am confident he is basically saying this is a very disordered/contra design situation.

BillSPrestonEsq 06-30-2015 12:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by athanatos (Post 3891766)
So how do you take 1 Cor 6, where it says that a man (presumably possibly a married man) becomes "one flesh" with a prostitute? (as Ax brought up before)

Whatever Paul says, though, I am confident he is basically saying this is a very disordered/contra design situation.

Pretty much, I would say there is a unitive factor in sex that I don't exactly understand. Paul makes a lot of statements that I don't think are fully fleshed out. There is clearly a point here that is not thoroughly fleshed out, that sexual sin is one of the most severe sins according to scripture. I would take it as a point that sexual sin is a perversion of marriage and family as intended. I also think it safe to say that society today has largely minimized sex which I think leads to an unhealthy view of "just sex."

Jesus makes it explicit that the intention from the beginning was one man and one woman.


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