FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Dissertations, online materials

Pages:   || 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |   ...   | 6 |

«A response to AnswersinGenesis.org and their Monogamy only position. In a recent debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye, Ken Ham affirmed his belief ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

A response to AnswersinGenesis.org and their Monogamy only position.

In a recent debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye, Ken Ham affirmed his belief that Genesis

insists upon one man and one woman.

Previously available on Ken’s website, Answers in Genesis.org, the following question was

submitted and a response posted by Dr. Jonathan Sarfati

Does the Bible clearly teach monogamy?

This question and Dr Sarfati’s response doesn’t seem to be available on the AIG website, however, it is included at the top of this response.

We did find this article by Roger Patterson on AIG, here;

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2011/05/24/polygamy-in-the-bible While this response addresses the points made by Dr Sarfati, the new article by Roger Patterson varies little to it and so most of the important points are rebutted in our response.

Mr. Andrew Amelang wrote this refutation to a friend whose mother had used the AnswersinGenesis article of Dr Sarfati to oppose polygyny. We have edited the article to make it less personal.

2 November 2005 The original Q&A from AnswersinGenesis.org Does the Bible clearly teach monogamy?

by Dr. Jonathan Sarfati


‘Ken Ham often says that Genesis shows that “God intended one man for one woman.” While I agree with monogamy, the Bible has many examples of men with more than one wife, and appears not to condemn this. Could you please explain how Genesis clearly teaches monogamy as Ken says.’


The clearest evidence that monogamy is God’s ideal is from Christ’s teaching on marriage in Matt. 19:3–6. In this passage, He cited the Genesis creation account, in particular Gen. 1:27 and 2:24, saying ‘the two will become one flesh’, not more than two.

Another important biblical teaching is the parallel of husband and wife with Christ and the Church in Eph. 5:22–33, which makes sense only with monogamy — Jesus will not have multiple brides.

The 10th Commandment ‘… You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife [singular] …’ (Exodus 20:17) also presupposes the ideal that there is only one wife. Polygamy is expressly forbidden for church elders (1 Tim. 3:2). And this is not just for elders, because Paul also wrote: ‘each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.’ Paul goes on to explain marital duties in terms that make sense only with one husband to one wife.

The example of godly people is also important. Isaac and Rebekah were monogamous — they are often used as a model in Jewish weddings today. Other examples were Joseph and Asenath, and Moses and Zipporah. And the only survivors of the Flood were four monogamous couples.

Polygamy’s origins and consequences A very important point to remember is that not everything recorded in the Bible is approved in the Bible. Consider where polygamy originated — first in the line of the murderer Cain, not the godly line of Seth. The first recorded polygamist was the murderer Lamech (Gen. 4:23–24). Then Esau, who despised his birthright, also caused much grief to his parents by marrying two pagan wives (Gen. 26:34).

God also forbade the kings of Israel to be polygamous (Deut. 17:17). Look at the trouble when they disobeyed, including deadly sibling rivalry between David’s sons from his different wives;

and Solomon’s hundreds of wives helped lead Solomon to idolatry (1 Kings 11:1–3). Also, Hannah, Samuel’s mother, was humiliated by her husband Elkanah’s other wife Peninnah (1 Sam.


What about godly men who were polygamous?

Abraham and Sarah would have been monogamous apart from a low point in their faith when Hagar became a second wife — note how much strife this caused later. Jacob only wanted Rachel, but was tricked into marrying her older sister Leah, and later he took their slave girls at the sisters’ urging, due to the rivalry between the sisters. Jacob was hardly at a spiritual high point at those times, and neither was David when he added Abigail and Ahinoam (1 Sam. 25:42–43).

Why did God seem to allow it, then?

It is more like the case of divorce, which God tolerated for a while under certain conditions because of the hardness of their hearts, but was not the way it was intended from the beginning (Matt. 19:8). But whenever the Mosaic law had provisions for polygamy, it was always the conditional ‘If he takes another wife to himself …’ (Ex.21:10), never an encouragement. God put a number of obligations of the husband towards the additional wives which would discourage polygamy. It is no wonder that polygamy was unknown among the Jews after the Babylonian exile, and monogamy was the rule even among the Greeks and Romans by New Testament times.


Geisler, Norman L., Christian Ethics: Options and Issues, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, pp. 280–281, 1989.

Archer, Gleason L., Jr., Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, pp.

121–124, 1982.


Available online at:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/4074.asp COPYRIGHT © 2005 Answers in Genesis

Response to AnswwersinGenesis’s stand on monogamy only.

The AnswersinGenesis response to polygyny is what I call “the usual stuff”, by which I mean that it is the conventional approach in Western churches to discussing the subject of polygamy. The tradition of legally enforced monogamy is so entrenched in the West (that is, basically all the cultures influenced by the Roman Empire and Roman Church) that typically not much attention is given to the argument, so typically some fairly lightweight inferences and analogies are thrown out there with a “that settles it” attitude, and that’s pretty much the end of the conversation!

And really, for most of the people you’ll ever meet, why bother with building or refuting a well researched and thoroughly thought out argument? There just aren’t that many polygamous families in our culture, and not that many more that want to be, so it just isn’t a real hot item for most people. What passes for discussion in most church circles is merely two people who already thought polygamy was wrong reassuring each other that it really is wrong, so it doesn’t take much convincing. Hence the lackadaisical approach to the subject and the sloppy arguments.

The only things that make this a hot topic for anyone, then, are either (a) for whatever reason starting to think that maybe plural marriage is or should be a reasonable lifestyle for one’s family, or (b) meeting an actual polygamous family, which is so outrageous and such a curiosity in our culture that it causes people to re-examine their beliefs about marriage and the sources or foundations of those beliefs.

I’m going to take this essay apart piece by piece and show you the difference between how I and others like me look at this and how this guy and others like him look at it. This really is one of those “which end of the telescope are you looking through?” deals, where the way you choose to look at things has a way of determining what you will see. However, I think you’ll agree with me at the end that there’s one way of looking through the telescope that works and one way that doesn’t work too well.

I’m a lawyer and teacher by training, so I have a particular approach to ethics, logic, and hermeneutics (the rules that govern our study and interpretation of the Bible). I stick to what the text says, and I am not all that interested in analogies, metaphors, and inferences. Those things can be interesting, but they can also be extended in all kinds of ways that may or may not have anything to do with the original text or the rest of scripture. Better to stick to the straight up stuff.

With that in mind, let’s get going!

1. Language: Note the way the language of the piece is loaded.

The title of the piece suggests and it is flatly asserted later on in the piece that the bible “clearly teaches monogamy” (meaning, I guess, that the author thinks that the bible clearly teaches that having more than one wife is SIN). It’s not as clear as our author thinks it is; it is only clear to him because he is not taking the other side seriously. I think you’ll see what I mean by the time we’re finished here.

The opening question (that section that kicks off the piece) says that “the Bible … appears not to condemn this”. That’s a weird way to put it, isn’t it? It “appears” not to condemn it because in fact it does not condemn it. There is no prohibition of polygamy in the scriptures, and no condemnation by God of any polygamist or of polygamy per se. It’s good to keep that in mind while we go through all these inferences that get thrown up in support of the monogamy–only argument.

One of the headings in the article says “why did God seem to allow it?” Can you guess what I’m going to say? He “seemed” to allow it because He did in fact allow it. As I just said, there is no verse in the scriptures wherein God states a negative opinion of polygamy or polygamists. Everything you’re ever going to hear against it is based on inferences drawn from examples, not from any negative statements by God himself or any apostle or prophet.

Are you getting a feel for this yet? Sticking to the plain text of the scriptures would give you one impression on this subject, but you are being told that God “appears” not to condemn it, and the He only “seemed” to allow it, and that in fact the scriptures “clearly” teach what they do not actually teach at all!

This is an important point, because many teachers want you to believe that things in the Bible “seem” or “appear” to be one way, but they are really another way altogether. (I guess you have to go to seminary to be taught what the scriptures “really” mean….) My contention (and believe me, I’m not the only one that thinks this) is that the scriptures mean what they say, and once we get past our cultural prejudices, it’s not that hard to figure stuff like this out.

Again, just be advised that Dr Sarfati is doing a pre-emptive strike on any kind of rational discussion of scripture, because anything I point to in scripture is going to be said to just “seem” or “appear” to be the case. Oh, well. Let’s soldier on, anyway.

2. “One flesh” – Matthew 19:3-6 Okay, he says this is “the clearest evidence” he’s got, so it had better be good, right? He’s taking his best shot first, right? You tell me….

–  –  –

The Pharisees also came unto him [Jesus, that is], tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

So let’s notice first that this has nothing directly to do with polygamy at all. The context is a conversation about divorce (and later, remarriage), not polygamy. Jesus’s point is that married people become one flesh, so we shouldn’t rip that one flesh apart. It’s not exactly clear here (or anywhere else in the Bible, for that matter) what “one flesh” means, but Jesus says whatever it is, we shouldn’t mess with it. God puts married people together, and we shouldn’t split them up.

Okay, so there’s the text: Jesus is asked a question about divorce, and he says, “Don’t do it, it is separating what God has joined”. Simple, right? So what does our author want to make of this? He says that two become one flesh, “not more than two”.

First, there is no textual support for that either way; he is simply making an unsubstantiated assertion, and assuming that we will follow him. He is assuming, not discussing or teaching, what the significance of “one flesh” is, and based on that assumption, he infers that “one fleshness” (whatever that is) is only available to two people.

Now, there’s a school of teaching in polygamous circles that says that the “oneness” of marriage applies to three or four or however many people are in the family. I think they call it “echad” polygamy (“unity” polygamy). I don’t subscribe to that myself, and as far as I know most polygamists don’t.

The thing is, though, there’s nothing about “one flesh” that says that it can’t apply to each marriage relationship. Jacob was “one flesh” with Leah, and he was “one flesh” with Rachel, and he was “one flesh” with Bilhah, and he was “one flesh” with Zilpah.

In fact, apparently a man is one flesh with any woman he sleeps with, whether they’re married to each other or not. In his first letter to the Corinthian church, Paul is discussing sexual immorality, and he says, “Or do you not know that he being joined to a harlot is one body? For He says, The two shall be one flesh.” (1 Cor 6:16) Apparently Paul thinks that any sexual relationship can be described by the term “one flesh”, even if a married guy is sleeping with someone else, so whatever we think “one flesh” means, we have to take that into account.

To sum it up, there’s nothing the Bible teaches about what it means to be “one flesh” that requires that a person can only be “one flesh” with one other person. “One flesh” is obviously a consequence of sexual activity, and not as obviously but a serious position taken by many commentators and teachers over the years is that it has to do with children, where the mix of DNA from the father and mother really does, in fact, produce “one flesh” out of the two.

So on analysis, our author’s “clearest evidence” is really just a trick, a kind of sleight of hand like magicians use to focus your attention on one thing while they’re doing something else.

Pages:   || 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |   ...   | 6 |

Similar works:

«LYON COUNTY AUDITORS OFFICE ROCK RAPIDS, IOWA May 9, 2016 Chairman Randy Bosch convened the adjourned session with Peters, Bosch, Behrens, Koedam and Michael present. Motion carried assumes unanimous vote unless otherwise stated. The minutes of the April 25, 2016 meeting were reviewed. Motion made by Behrens to approve minutes, seconded by Peters. Motion carried. Veteran Affairs quarterly report was reviewed and approved. Motion by Behrens, second by Peters to appoint Glen Geerdes as Dale...»

«The Powers of Grayskull Bible 2.0 A six-issue prequel miniseries possibly developing into a regular series This Bible also contains materials for Volume Three of the regular Masters of the Universe series, Heroic Icons miniseries, and Captain Randor prequel series.Contents:  Series information and outline  Heroes  Villains  Places  Creatures  Magical Artifacts  Timeline 1 Series Info and Outline The POG miniseries will expand upon the concepts that are going to be...»

«UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 12-4563 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff Appellee, v.COREY THOMAS JONES, Defendant Appellant. No. 12-4565 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff Appellee, v. WILLIAM LOUIS COLE, JR., Defendant Appellant. Appeals from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, at Alexandria. Claude M. Hilton, Senior District Judge. (1:11-cr-00530-CMH-2; 1:11-cr-00530-CMH-1) Argued: May 17, 2013 Decided: July 18,...»

«IMPACT: International Journal of Research in Engineering & Technology (IMPACT: IJRET) ISSN(E): 2321-8843; ISSN(P): 2347-4599 Vol. 2, Issue 6, Jun 2014, 133-142 © Impact Journals LOCATION BASE-MONTHWISE ESTIMATION OF PV MODULE POWER OUTPUT BY USING NEURAL NETWORK WHICH OPERATES ON SPATIO-TEMPORAL GIS DATA B. C. SURVE1, AMIT KELOTRA2 & MANOJKUMAR DESPANDE3 1 Assistant Professor, Department of IT, MPSTME, SVKM’s NMIMS, Shirpur, Maharashtra, India 2 Assistant Professor, Department of CE, MPSTME,...»

«Graduate Recruitment – Frequently Asked Questions 1. Working for Hertfordshire What are the working hours? The standard hours are 37 hours a week Can you explain flexi working? HCC supports its employees working flexibly where possible, as a part of ensuring a healthy work life balance. Your graduate scheme will be hard work. Sometimes you will need to work longer hours to deliver your objectives, and sometimes you will be able to take some time back. Employees are encouraged where possible...»

«1 SESSION 1 Prep: Email/call/text each participant before this session to remind them about the time and location of the first group. Materials: Pictures of models from fashion magazines Whiteboard or flip chart Markers Video camera Topic Areas: I. Introduction II. Group Rules and Expectations III. Definition of the Thin-ideal IV. Costs of Pursuing the Thin-ideal V. Home Exercise Assignment Session Overview: The focus of Session 1 is to provide an overview and introduce participants to the...»

«SERIES IZA DP No. 8238 PAPER Are Public Sector Workers Different? Cross-European Evidence from Elderly Workers and Retirees Mirco Tonin DISCUSSION Michael Vlassopoulos June 2014 Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit Institute for the Study of Labor Are Public Sector Workers Different? Cross-European Evidence from Elderly Workers and Retirees Mirco Tonin University of Southampton, CEU, CESifo and IZA Michael Vlassopoulos University of Southampton Discussion Paper No. 8238 June 2014 IZA P.O....»

«Modularity in Process Models: Review and Effects H.A. Reijers1 and J. Mendling2 1 Eindhoven University of Technology P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands h.a.reijers@tue.nl 2 Queensland University of Technology Level 5, 126 Margaret Street, Brisbane QLD 4000, Australia j.mendling@qut.edu.au Abstract. The use of subprocesses in large process models is an important step in modeling practice to handle complexity. While there are several advantages attributed to such a modular design,...»

«Ayal Zaks Contact IBM Haifa Research Lab Voice: +972 4-829-6499 Information Haifa University Campus Fax: +972 4-829-6116 Mount Carmel E-mail: zaks@il.ibm.com Haifa, 31905, Israel https://researcher.ibm.com/researcher/view.php?person=il-ZAKS Research Compiler Optimizations; Parallel Architectures, including Thread-Level, Data-Level and InstructionInterests Level Parallelism; Compiler Middle-End and Back-End Analysis and Transformations targeting architectures to exploit such parallelism....»

«D. R. DOSSETOR LECTURE “Home Ownership A Dream Worth Fighting For” Friday 2nd April, 2004 Sydney Bob Day AO Home Australia When John D Rockefeller died in 1937 he was reputedly the richest man in the world. As you’d expect, at his funeral were a huge number of people – family, friends, employees from all his companies and a large contingent from the press. Seeing Rockefeller’s chief accountant in the crowd, a young journalist approached the accountant after the funeral. “Weren’t...»

«CARE Cambodia GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE IN ETHNIC MINORITY COMMUNITIES Ratanak Kiri Province Robin Mauney August 2015 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This research was funded by the Patsy Collins Trust Fund Initiative under CARE’s Bending Bamboo project. The contents of this research can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the Patsy Collins Trust Fund Initiative. CARE would like to thank the Australian Government, the Patsy Collins Trust Fund Initiative and many other private donors for their support of...»

«eality and Ethnic ­Minorities ­ hallenges and ­Regional ­ Development ­in ­Asia ­ Reality and Challenges Edited by Huhua Cao Ethnic Minorities and Regional Development in Asia Publications Series General Editor Paul van der Velde Publications Officer Martina van den Haak Editorial Board Wim Boot (Leiden University); Jennifer Holdaway (Social Science Research Council); Christopher A. Reed (The Ohio State University); Anand A. Yang (Director of the Henry M. Jackson School of International...»

<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2016 www.dissertation.xlibx.info - Dissertations, online materials

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.