Why did God allow people in the Old Testament to have more than one wife?

He didn’t. God established the standard for marriage on the day He created man. God made one man and one woman. He put them together in the garden as man and wife. The Bible tells us because of God’s created design, “A man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:25) The design of marriage, one man with one woman, has not changed since creation. The Bible also tells how man sinned and soon began to operate in opposition to God’s design for marriage. As a result, we find in the Bible men like Jacob, David and Solomon who had multiple wives and concubines. This fact is often brought up in arguments to show that Christians who insist marriage is a permanent union between one man and one woman are being foolish. According to this line of arguing, the Bible does not insist on one man-one woman marriage. Does the Bible allow for a different definition of marriage? Absolutely not. Certainly there were men in the Bible who did not marry according to God’s plan and design. Those men were not always condemned in the Bible for their disobedience. The lack of direct condemnation of a person’s example does not prove God did not view that action as sin. We can find in the Bible a number of examples of disobedience that are not directly condemned. For example, in the book of Judges a man killed a woman and cut her into pieces. The Bible does not explicitly condemn that specific act of murder, so are we to assume that the Bible actually approves of murder despite it’s clear commands to the contrary? Of course not. That would be foolish. Because people in the Bible do things that are forbidden elsewhere in the Bible does not mean the Bible has changed and now God approves of their actions. Second, those who make the case that God somehow approves of polygamy because he allowed it in the Old Testament make it sound like the Old Testament is filled with polygamists. The fact is, there are very few saints in the Old Testament who were polygamists. Two very common examples are David and Solomon. God did not approve of David’s sin, nor did He excuse it. God had commanded in Deuteronomy 17:17 that the kings of Israel were not to have multiple wives. David is called a man after God’s own heart, yet we know he had several wives. David and Solomon were in clear disobedience of that command and they paid an awful price for their disobedience. Because of David’s polygamy, his family was ripped apart and he had to deal with open rebellion by one son and covert rebellion by one of his generals. Solomon’s case was even worse. Solomon’s many wives led him away from the worship of God into idolatry. One other example is the patriarch Jacob. Jacob’s multiple wives are actually a part of his punishment for deceiving his father Isaac and result in great turmoil within his family. The Bible clearly defines marriages as one man permanently joined to one woman. The Bible never approves of polygamy and shows abundant examples of the dire consequences when we fail to follow God’s design.

Advertisements

Was Paul Married

No. Paul was not married. We know this from 1 Corinthians 7:7-8. In 1 Corinthians 7 Paul discusses several questions the church had about marriage and singleness. In that discussion he tells them, “I would that all men were even as I myself. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.” Paul is stating that he is single. Paul is not giving a command to never get married. Paul goes on in that chapter to teach that it is not wrong to get married, and if one is already married they should not leave their spouse. In other books Paul highly praises marriage and teaches some of the most wonderful truths about marriage. Paul is not giving a command that church leaders should remain single. In the book of 1 Timothy Paul teaches that pastors should be “the husband of one wife” and later Paul says teaching that forbids marriage is a “doctrine of devils”. Paul does not place any restriction against marriage for those who are church leaders. If anything, it seems preferable for the pastor to be married. Paul himself was single and recommended singleness as a great way to serve the Lord, but singleness is not required of anyone by the Bible.

Did Jesus have brothers and sisters?

Yes he did. All four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, mention Jesus’ siblings. For example, Matthew 13:54-56 says, “And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?” The people of Nazareth refused to believe that Jesus is God the Son sent to save men from sin. They said instead, “Is not this the carpenter’s son?” They knew Joseph and knew that Jesus had grown up as Joseph’s son. They also knew Jesus mother, Mary. And then they looked around the crowd and began to identify Jesus’ siblings. These names cannot be names of cousins and distant relatives, because the people are talking about Joseph and Mary and the children of Joseph and Mary. Te people said of Jesus, “His brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us?” Jesus grew up in a family with at least seven children, himself, four brothers and at least two sisters. After Jesus birth, Mary and Joseph had children together, the half-brothers and half-sisters of Jesus.