Does the Old Testament Condone Polygamy? (Lionel Windsor)

If you have ever read through the Old Testament, you’ve probably noticed that many of the heroes therein had more than one wife. It seems rather odd to have such a hero. First of all, I’m not sure we should consider these figures “heroes.” There is one hero in the Old Testament, God. What seems strange to many readers of the Old Testament is that the narrative seems to move along like there is nothing wrong with having multiple wives. Lionel Windsor addresses this very effectively in a recent article on the subject:

Like many good stories, the Bible’s stories can communicate deep moral truths without needing to resort to explicit commandments. Indeed, stories are often more morally powerful when there is no explicit moralising. Think of a movie like Schindler’s List, a powerful story telling us about one of the darkest moments in Western history. Now imagine, at the end of the movie, as you’ve been hit with the human horror of the holocaust, just before the credits, a commandment comes up on the screen: “The director would like to point out (in case you missed it) that you should not be racist.” Not only would this be unnecessary, it would destroy the power of the story.

Something similar happens when it comes to the Bible and polygamy. Sure, the narrators never pause to say, “Oh by the way, please, don’t be a polygamist.” But why should they? The stories make the point all by themselves.”

Great point! Read the full article HERE.

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