Friday, November 9, 2007

What Did Luther Say About Polygamy?
Martin Luther said polygamy is permissible:

I confess that I cannot forbid a person to marry several wives, for it does not contradict the Scripture. If a man wishes to marry more than one wife he should be asked whether he is satisfied in his conscience that he may do so in accordance with the word of God. In such a case the civil authority has nothing to do in the matter. (De Wette II, 459, ibid., pp. 329-330.)

Martin Luther once advised an inhabitant of Orlamunde to take a second wife, in addition to the one then living. Luther also reluctantly approved of a bigamous marriage in the case of Landgrave Philip of Hesse, who was united to a secondary wife, Margarethe von der Saale, on March 4, 1540. Since this advice was given in a confessional, Luther refused to acknowledge his part in sanctioning the marriage.