Bible Answer Man Archives
Audio Recording, September 25, 2000
When the episode of the program had previously been available online, the show was, in minutes and seconds, 52 minutes and 58 seconds long, i.e., 52:58.
This transcript is for portion from 28:56 until 34:57. (The URLs are no longer valid.)
We're gonna go to Gina in Missouri. Hi Gina.
How are you?
I'm fine. Thanks for taking my call.
You kinda touched on my question with a previous caller. It's concerning polygamy.
And um... If polygamy is a sin, can you explain to me, ah, 2_Samuel 12:8 where it says that God
gave David wives into his bosom. It's just the whole ideal of several men in the Bible, holy
men, um, living as polygamous, and I can't find anything specific that says 'this is wrong'. I
know there are a lot of things that focus on monogamy...
Yeah! Let me, uh, let, let me point out that you're absolutely correct that you find that
polygamy is practiced in the Old Testament, but it's never commended. In fact, in Deuteronomy
17:17 uh, the Scripture tells us that you ought not to multiply wives.
But isn't that for specific people, I think, kings, doesn't it say specifically for kings, not
to have multiple wives?
No, no.... uh...
[Gina tries to interject]
Let me just
...Certainly that DOES refer specifically to kings, but there's a principle there that involves
ALL of us. And, and, let me point that out in broader fashion. In the New Testament, Jesus makes
it clear that a man leaves his father and his mother and is united to his wife, not wives, and
then the two, not three or more, become one flesh. And then Jesus even relates this to Genesis
chapter 1 to make the point. So, in fact, He says anyone who divorces his wife,
[Gina in background]
...except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman, commits adultery. And, and Paul
picks up on the same theme by saying, Each man should have his own wife, not wives, and each
woman should have her own husband, not husbands. And a wife must not separate from her husband.
Again, it's not husbands.
[Gina interjects in background]
[Hank continues, uninterrupted]
So, I, I think the whole tenor of Scripture is very clearly pointed away from polygamy. Uh, and,
and in 1_Timothy chapter 3, you have an Overseer or an Elder who must be the husband of one
wife. And I think that's what you picked up from my earlier conversation.
Again, it seems like to me that it's to specific people. And I, I don't condone it, I'm against
it. I have somebody...
[Gina is interrupted while she is still saying]
who is near and dear to my heart
[Hank interjects mid-sentence]
Why would you say, 'specific people'?
Y', y', y', you s', like, categories of people, like kings or something like that?
Right. I, I've felt that that, 1_Timothy, the Timothy verse was, um, regulation to elders, or
bishops, or deacons, that were ordained or selected to do that type of work.
And, and, in the other, and in the other case, you have 'kings'. Yeah. I see what you're saying.
So you're saying that if you look at, uh, the Timothy passage, you can easily say, 'well that
has to do with elders or deacons or overseers.'"
And that's what this person says, who is near and dear to me. He said, 'Show me in the Scripture
where God says it's a sin'. He says that David was the "apple of his eye", and that "David kept
all of my commandments" other than with the issue of Uriah and with, uh, his wife. And I
understand, that was adultery and killing a man for his wife. But he says he never did condemn
about having multiple wives.
Well, again, I would disagree with that because, while the point MIGHT be made, if you look in
isolation, to 1_Timothy chapter 3 and Deuteronomy 17, and I think 1_Kings chapter 11 if I recall
correctly. Ah, if that is the case, and those are verses in isolation, perhaps he can make his
case. But I give you a whole lot of other verses which make it EXPLICIT that this does not have
to do with categories of kings, or elders, or, or pastors, but has to do with every man and
every woman. And that's why I gave you the passages so I could fill out the context.
One more follow-up question, please.
So if a husband is determined, bound and determined, that he is Scripturally led to do this,
what is the wife's position? Is she, should she leave? Is she, is she doing wrong because God
says that a wife should not depart from her husband, that she should submit?
Well, I don't think that a man can be married to more than one woman. So let's say you are
married to a man and he decides to marry two or three other women, he has irrevocably closed the
door to reconciliation. He's become an adulterer, and, you know, you, you can't, ultimately, say
that you are bound to such a person. The whole polygamy idea, you know, has, uh, come into
forefront, in, in the Mormon Church. They, they, not only practiced it, but in the process of
practicing it, caused great misery for women, and thus it's, uh, it's something that was
ultimately, uh, done away with, within the Mormon Church, not because they wanted to, but
because the U.S. government threatened them to exile. And, and, by the way, it's uh, not only
condemned by the U.S. government, but more importantly, condemned by God, as I pointed out."
Right. There is a, a group of Christians, have you heard of 'The TruthBearers'?
Have you heard of a group of Christians called
[Hank, making sure she heard him this time]
Ok. Well, they have a web-site that promotes polygamy and they're supposedly Christians but not
Mormon. And, I just wanted to know had you ever heard of them.
Well, I just brought up the Mormons as a case and point of the great misery that was foisted
upon women as a result of this practice. But, again, I think, as I said earlier and more to the
point, the problem is, uh... that God has condemned it, so if we ratify it, we're, we're
ratifying something that God clearly condemns.
Ok, if you could give me one verse, to show this person?
Well, I gave you a whole BUNCH of verses.
[Gina, in background]
From 1_Corinthians chapter 7, to Matthew chapter 19, to Genesis 1:27. Uhh, I, I think that if
you look at the whole tenor of Scripture, it clearly condemns it. Hang on, I'll send you more
information. Time for a station break, be right back.
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