What is Biblical Marriage?
People often talk about marriage as one man and one woman, but what is Biblical Marriage?
The notion of one man and one woman united by bonds of love simply does not exist in the Bible. It is a modern invention. Let me emphasize the “united by love” part which is the basis for modern Western marriages. It is true that we see the unions of one man and one woman in Genesis, but those marriages were arranged and virginity was compulsory upon penalty of stoning.
It would be my guess that those proposing a modern day notion of marriage as one man and one woman are not intentionally endorsing stoning for pre-marital loss of virginity. Nor, I suspect, are they intentionally endorsing the other types of marriages that appear in the Bible: a man, his wife, and his concubines or a man, his wife, and his wife’s slaves or a man and multiple wives or a woman forced to marry her dead husband’s brother or a virgin forced to marry her rapist or a prisoner of war forced to marry her captor or a slave owner assigning a woman slave to a male slave. Yet these are what biblical marriages actually look like. Not one man and one woman united by love.