More Insights on
Miā Gune, Part 2
Click here for Part 1
The more I get into New Testament discussions with people about polygamy, the more I realise how central to the issue for most Christians the MIĀ GUNE issue is.
Recently a fellow patriarch pointed out something that I hadn't noticed before which adds fresh insight into this important question. It seems that the more we delve into the issue, the more the scales tilt in favour of the polygamist interpretation. This is what he said:
An opponent of plural marriage conceeded in the light of these comments:
"We must return to the original language of the scripture to determine if it indeed means that there should ONLY be a singular pair consisting of Husband and one wife.
"First for clarification, let me re-quote the scripture found at 1 Corinthians 7:2: "Nevertheless, [to avoid] fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband."
"If we examine the original language, (Greek) it says, "dia de porneia echo hekastos echo heautou gune kai echo hekastos echo idios aner"
"I find it interesting as you probably will also, that in searching for the truth, we find that the Greek word used in this verse for wife is "gune" which in verses (such as Matthew 11:11, 14:21, 15:28,38 and 27:55; Mark 15:40,41; Luke 1:28,42, 7:28, 8:2, 17:35, 23:27,49,55 and 24:10,22,24; Acts 1:14, 5:14, 8:3,12, 9:2, 13:50, 16:13, 17:4,12 and 22:4; Romans 1:26; 1 Corinthians 14:34,35; Philemon 4:3; 1 Timothy 2:9,10 and 5:2,14; 2nd Timothy 3:6; Titus 2:3,4; Hebrews 11:35; 1 Peter 3:5; As well as Revelation 9:8 and 14:4) is translated as "women" (plural). In Addition to those there are such verses as Matthew 19:8; Luke 17:27; Acts 21:5; 1 Corinthians 7:29; Ephesians 5:22,24,25 and 28; Colossians 3:18,19; 1 Timothy 3:11, 4:7 and 1 Peter 3:1 that translated the word as "wives" (again, Plural). Meaning that the verse, even in it's context, could have been literally and rightly translated as "wives"; i.e.; "Nevertheless, [to avoid] fornication, let every man have his own wives, and let every woman have her own husband."
Given that the Greek cannot unambiguously be translated in only one way in this and other key passages on marriage, we must either opt for the hardly satisfactory (from the monoagmist-only's point-of-view) statistical approach (which favours the polygamy translation 6:4 in favour), or we must simply allow the whole corpus of scripture speak on the subject. And since the monogamy-only positionists are really clinging desperately to only one or two passages in the New Testament which may be translated either way, it seems pretty conclusive that the evidence is decisively in favour of the polygamists.
"Thanks for the interesting facts ... The Greek 'gune' is actually used 221 times in the New Testament. 92 times it is translated singular. 129 times it is translated plural. So its about a 40/60 split."
The debate will no doubt continue to rage, which is good and healthy because the more you delve into the Word, the clearer the truth must inevitably become to all but those who choose to be willfully blind.
First created on 14 March 2001
Updated on 27 January 2016
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