Author Topic: Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?  (Read 522 times)

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Offline Lectus

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Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?
« on: July 10, 2014, 08:58:41 PM »
And these days Christians are so obsessed with marrying only one woman?
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Offline eh!

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Re: Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2014, 09:37:14 PM »
Mormons? henry the eighth. the nuns at my school all wore a wedding ring to shos they were married to god, hundreds of them.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2014, 07:41:17 AM »
Mormons?

mormons are not xians. try as they might, it is just for social reasons they make the claim.

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Offline Energized

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Re: Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2014, 09:40:25 AM »
I remember being told by a youth pastor that the bible was god's revelation to man. Because man was so stupid and incapable of anything, he had to introduce moral concepts over time. Plus, given that he had made only Adam and Eve, he had to allow incest and multiples wives and concubines to populate the earth.

Uh huh... sounds great.

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Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2014, 04:38:31 PM »
And these days Christians are so obsessed with marrying only one woman?

The godless Wikipedia has this observation:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygamy#Judaism

The God fearing Conservapedia somehow ties this into same sex marriage and also says this:  http://www.conservapedia.com/Polygamy

What say you?

As always,

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Offline Add Homonym

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Re: Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2014, 04:20:23 AM »
What say you?

I'm not a deacon. I should have two bisexual wives by now.
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2014, 04:25:47 AM »
I'm not a deacon. I should have two bisexual wives by now.

Pro-tip: Don't ever say that to a bisexual w0man. She will kick your ass.
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Offline Add Homonym

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Re: Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2014, 06:41:00 AM »
I would say that I need two women, so that they can both go out to work, and I can stay at home and play PS3.
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2014, 10:12:56 AM »
And these days Christians are so obsessed with marrying only one woman?

The godless Wikipedia has this observation:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygamy#Judaism
That's fair enough. In a male dominated society, the more wives you could afford to keep, the more sons you had and, as a consequence, your genes went forth in greater numbers for the benefit of the species - your parents' genes were saved by marrying your brother's widow (a bit unfortunate if she had a face like a badger's arse and poor hygiene.)

That you had become wealthy enough in the first place to buy and support multiple wives indicated that your genes were useful and were worth carrying forward.

If you were poor and couldn't afford to buy a wife, well, tough, your genes were rubbish anyway, so it's good they're out of the pool.

Now we imagine 20 families of man + 20 wives. This gives 200 sons per family and 4,000 sons. Now all of those require land, so only one or two of them will make it in conquest and chicanery to breed with 20 wives themselves - we are now looking at a "master-race" and a fitting leader to progress our tribe (mainly because he owns all the land.)

Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2014, 11:15:27 AM »
So in other words the Christian doctrine of 1 wife was so the losers could breed as well?
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2014, 08:47:15 AM »
The God fearing Conservapedia somehow ties this into same sex marriage and also says this:  http://www.conservapedia.com/Polygamy

What say you?

just an FYI, conservapedia proves Poe's law.  It is extreme to the point of absurdity, and impossible to tell if it is satire.  Trust not conservapedia.
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Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2014, 10:05:05 AM »
The God fearing Conservapedia somehow ties this into same sex marriage and also says this:  http://www.conservapedia.com/Polygamy

What say you?

just an FYI, conservapedia proves Poe's law.  It is extreme to the point of absurdity, and impossible to tell if it is satire.  Trust not conservapedia.

Totally agree.  As near as I can tell, their cause is sincere.  Their purpose, as I understand things, is to present an alternative source of information for those who dislike Wikipedia.  Sort of like Fox News only Conservapedia is for referencing a literalist view of the Bible. 

I use them as I like to present at least two sides of an issue so people can make their own decisions.  Plus, at times, they are quite funny without intending to be so. 

Sincerely,

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Offline One Above All

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Re: Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2014, 10:10:27 AM »
Sort of like Fox News only Conservapedia is for referencing a literalist view of the Bible.

So... exactly like Fox News.
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Offline YRM_DM

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Re: Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2014, 10:24:38 AM »
I think largely issues of inheritance and tying families together were an issue.

But I don't know... personally, I've always been a relationship kind of guy.  I prefer a fun, loving, monogamous relationship to anything else.   There are great benefits to a couple who have the will and skill to make it work.
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Offline Airyaman

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Re: Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2014, 10:31:06 AM »
Sort of like Fox News only Conservapedia is for referencing a literalist view of the Bible.

So... exactly like Fox News.

You have Fox News in Spain?
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2014, 10:45:18 AM »
I use them as I like to present at least two sides of an issue so people can make their own decisions. 

That is a terrible way to try to find the truth.  Psychological biases aside, you are doing the "he said/ he said" thing lazy reporters often try to get away with (and often do).  It is a fallacy to think "the truth is somewhere in the middle." 

No.  There is truth.  It can be found.  It might be in the middle, or it might be way far over on one side (rarely on the right).  Or it might be no where near either side.  In any case, the important thing is to find it.  Don't present conflicting accounts, then tell other people to figure it out.  That is not informative.  That only works when both sides have reasonably good information or can at least agree on the facts.  Which brings me to the next problem...   

On top of that, the two sides you have chosen to be represented are the "probably mostly right" side (that has references) and the "clinically insane" side.  "Faux news"/ conservapedia really should be off the table since they are straight up propaganda by the crazed. 

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Offline One Above All

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Re: Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2014, 10:49:17 AM »
You have Fox News in Spain?

Dunno, for two reasons.
1: I don't watch TV.
2: I don't live in Spain.
However, where I do live, we have Fox (the channel where the series owned by Fox can air) in regular format and HD. How cool is that? For you guys in the USA, you have to wait one or more years for reruns after a series is cancelled. Here, we get to see them twice per day after they've been cancelled - the previous episode during the day, and the current one at night - while knowing that they've been cancelled and can take advantage that we can watch a great series twice without having to wait or resort to watching online. ;D
« Last Edit: July 14, 2014, 10:54:59 AM by One Above All »
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2014, 10:54:13 AM »
I use them as I like to present at least two sides of an issue so people can make their own decisions.

I would've missed this if not for screwtape's newest post.

This is just retarded, plain and simple.
The Earth is round. We know this to be true. It was suggested long ago. Yet, up until about 500 years ago, many people believed it was flat. Does this mean that the Earth is neither round nor flat, but rather a curved surface that is somehow midway from flat to sphere? No.
Time is relative. We know this to be true. It was suggested relatively recently. Yet, up until before then, everyone believed otherwise. Does this mean that time is somehow relative but also not relative? Is there a middle ground between "relative" and "not relative"? No. Something is either relative (depends on the circumstances) or it's not (doesn't depend on circumstances). If something were either relative or not relative depending on the circumstances, that, in and of itself, makes it relative.
Need I go on?
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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Offline Airyaman

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Re: Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2014, 11:28:17 AM »
You have Fox News in Spain?

Dunno, for two reasons.
1: I don't watch TV.
2: I don't live in Spain.
However, where I do live, we have Fox (the channel where the series owned by Fox can air) in regular format and HD. How cool is that? For you guys in the USA, you have to wait one or more years for reruns after a series is cancelled. Here, we get to see them twice per day after they've been cancelled - the previous episode during the day, and the current one at night - while knowing that they've been cancelled and can take advantage that we can watch a great series twice without having to wait or resort to watching online. ;D

My bad. I was working from (faulty) memory, you started a thread about our poor home construction and I thought I recalled that the houses in your country (which I thought was Spain) were made from concrete and such. That thread was deleted with the forum data loss some time back.
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Offline flapdoodle64

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Re: Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2014, 12:56:47 PM »
In the Old Testament, women pretty much equal livestock...(note: I personally do not view women as livestock).

In a couple stories, there is a gang of men who show up at a household demanding to sodomize the man of the household.  The man's response is offer up his virgin daughter to the gang-rapists to do with as they choose, but please don't rape the man. 

In a society where offering your young daughter to a gang of gang-rapists is acceptable, this is a society where women are considered to be property. 

Though he created women, Yahweh doesn't like them much.  He declared that when they are menstruating, for instance, a man needs to keep well away from them, and if a man marries a woman and he finds out she is not a virgin, then the man can have the woman executed. 

It's funny, I think in 21st century USA, where I reside, women are more churchified then men, overall...despite the fact that the Abrahamic religions are all pretty misogynistic.

Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2014, 09:27:37 PM »
I use them as I like to present at least two sides of an issue so people can make their own decisions. 

That is a terrible way to try to find the truth.  Psychological biases aside, you are doing the "he said/ he said" thing lazy reporters often try to get away with (and often do).  It is a fallacy to think "the truth is somewhere in the middle." 

No.  There is truth.  It can be found.  It might be in the middle, or it might be way far over on one side (rarely on the right).  Or it might be no where near either side.  In any case, the important thing is to find it.  Don't present conflicting accounts, then tell other people to figure it out.  That is not informative.  That only works when both sides have reasonably good information or can at least agree on the facts.  Which brings me to the next problem...   

On top of that, the two sides you have chosen to be represented are the "probably mostly right" side (that has references) and the "clinically insane" side.  "Faux news"/ conservapedia really should be off the table since they are straight up propaganda by the crazed.

I am confused.  If I understand things correctly, the truth on a given issue is out there and one must search for it.  The truth might be here or it might be there.  Yet, presenting two interpretations of truth is lazy. 

I think the idea of presenting two opposing ideas goes back some decades back to high school debate.  The debate forum taught me there are two sides to almost every issue and that learning an alternate viewpoint is beneficial.  I may not agree with it, but at least I will have some idea as to why I disagree with it. 

But, that is me. 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy 
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Offline skeptic54768

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Re: Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2014, 01:30:27 AM »
I guess only God knows the answer to this question.

I would be interested to know exactly which verses the OP is talking about. Please post them here.
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Online natlegend

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Re: Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2014, 03:13:25 AM »
I guess only God knows the answer to this question.

What?? You mean YOU don't know?? But... but... you know we all turn to YOU when we want something explained about your god because YOU KNOW EVERYTHING about your god. Like, stuff that NO ONE ELSE ON THE WHOLE PLANET knows.

I would be interested to know exactly which verses the OP is talking about. Please post them here.

Uh, you're kidding, right?
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Offline Timo

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Re: Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2014, 03:26:26 AM »
I would be interested to know exactly which verses the OP is talking about. Please post them here.

Are you familiar with the patriarchs, my good man?  Israel and Abraham are depicted as having two wives.  They were pretty chill.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2014, 08:27:25 AM »
I am confused.  If I understand things correctly, the truth on a given issue is out there and one must search for it.  The truth might be here or it might be there.  Yet, presenting two interpretations of truth is lazy. 

Which part is confusing? 

A reporter gets a quote from a scientist about climate change.  Then a reporter gets a quote from an Exxon paid lobbyist about climate change.  He then reports, "some say the earth is warming, but others strongly disagree." [1] How does that actually help?  He did not verify what either of them said.  He did not find out which was more likely to be accurate and which is being paid to flat out lie.  In what way does that bring anyone closer to truth?

I think the idea of presenting two opposing ideas goes back some decades back to high school debate.

Possibly.  But that format too is a terrible method for finding the truth for several reasons.  For one, what if both perspectives are wrong?  For two, debates are not won or lost on the merits of the data presented.  The person with the best debate skills does not necessarily have the most knowledge.  And the way to decide who is right, if anyone, is not to argue, but to go observe reality.

The debate forum taught me there are two sides to almost every issue and that learning an alternate viewpoint is beneficial.  I may not agree with it, but at least I will have some idea as to why I disagree with it. 

How does presenting conservapedia's perspective give you any idea as to the merits of what it said?


 1. When reporters begin with "some say", you can be sure they failed to do any actual reporting.  You should immediately ask, "who, specifically, says that?"
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Offline skeptic54768

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Re: Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?
« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2014, 11:49:57 AM »


Uh, you're kidding, right?

Dead serious.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)

Offline Timo

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Re: Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?
« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2014, 10:33:29 PM »
What kind of citation are you looking for exactly?

As I see it, it's obvious that polygamy is kosher in the Hebrew Bible.  Important figures ranging from the early patriarchs to judges to the mighty kings of Israel are depicted as having had multiple wives.  For example:

Quote from: The LORD Thy God
And Gideon had threescore and ten sons, his own offspring: for he had many wives. [Judges 8:30]

Along the way, God commands these men to take on all sorts of practices and to eschew others, but he never weighs in on polygamy.  Furthermore, there are passages in the Law which detail some of the ways in which men are to treat their wives:

Quote from: The LORD Thy God
If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated. Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn.  But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his. [Deuteronomy 21:15-17]

What are your thoughts?
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Offline skeptic54768

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Re: Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?
« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2014, 10:40:42 PM »
What kind of citation are you looking for exactly?

As I see it, it's obvious that polygamy is kosher in the Hebrew Bible.  Important figures ranging from the early patriarchs to judges to the mighty kings of Israel are depicted as having had multiple wives.  For example:

Quote from: The LORD Thy God
And Gideon had threescore and ten sons, his own offspring: for he had many wives. [Judges 8:30]

Along the way, God commands these men to take on all sorts of practices and to eschew others, but he never weighs in on polygamy.  Furthermore, there are passages in the Law which detail some of the ways in which men are to treat their wives:

Quote from: The LORD Thy God
If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated. Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn.  But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his. [Deuteronomy 21:15-17]

What are your thoughts?

My thoughts are nothing much, to be honest. Polygamy doesn't seem to be a problem to me. As long as no harm is being done, it was OK.

Obviously, that was rendered obsolete after Jesus. But, this isn't one of the atheist's best points against Christianity.
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Offline Timo

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Re: Why did God allow polygamy in the old testament?
« Reply #28 on: July 15, 2014, 10:50:22 PM »
I understand.  I don't see it as a point against Christianity, either--only the notion, put forth by some Christians and other religious people, that marriage is and and always has been one man and one woman making a life together.

Can you elaborate on what you mean by this all being obsolete after Christ?
Nah son...