Accepting the Bible as the authoritative revelation of the will of God, this project set out to make a hermeneutically sound and contextually valid investigation of the passages and pericopes related to polygamy. Linguistic, grammatical, theological, historical, and cultural contexts were taken into account in order to determine which interpretation of the texts under consideration proved to be the most reliable based on the weight of evidence. The writings of Ellen G. White were given serious consideration throughout this study. In addition, the many books, articles, and unpublished documents related to a biblical perspective on polygamy, as produced by Christians, Jews, and Muslims, were critically assessed and discussed. However, accepting the Bible as the final norm, none of these extra-biblical sources was given any authority over the text of Scripture itself. Following an examination of the original institution of marriage in Eden and the form of marriage evident at the flood, the following Old Testament passages were sequentially analyzed: Exod 21:7-11, Lev 18:18, Deut 17:17, Deut 21:15-17, Exod 22:16, 17 and Deut 22:28, 29, Deut 25:5-10, Gen 38, Ruth 4, and Ezek 23:1-49. The accounts of the marriages of the antediluvians, Lamech, Abraham, Jacob, Esau, Moses, Gideon, Elkanah, David, Solomon, and Joash were examined. After a discussion of passages from Matt 19 and 22, Acts 15, 1 Cor 7, 1 Tim 3, and Titus 1, a synopsis of the principles arising from the research was made. Based on these biblical principles, missiological implications for a sound policy on polygamy were outlined.
Five articles from the Journal of Religious Ethics from O’Donovan, Attridge, Bernstein and Weithman and Wolterstorff’s response