Posted by: celticanglican | June 18, 2007

Do the Scriptures Condemn and/or Mention the Subject of Two People Marrying That Are of Different Skin Colors?

Do the Scriptures Condemn and/or Mention the Subject of Two People Marrying That Are of Different Skin Colors?

No. Why, then, are there people who assert that there are Scriptures that forbid interracial marriage? I think this comes from a misunderstanding of an Old Testament passage.

Ezra 10:10 “Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have been unfaithful; you have married foreign women, adding to Israel’s guilt. 11 Now make confession to the LORD , the God of your fathers, and do his will. Separate yourselves from the peoples around you and from your foreign wives.” (NIV)

In times past, many have interpreted “foreign” wives to mean of a different skin color. However, there is no evidence to suggest that these women were of a different race, although they followed different religions. It was the religious, not ethnic, differences that were the problem. A study of the Old Testament shows that Jews who intermarried with pagans often followed pagan religious practices, and this is why such marriages were prohibited under Jewish law.

In the New Testament, there is nothing about interracial marriage, however, the issue of marrying outside the faith is addressed: 2 Corinthians 6: 12″To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 15But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?” (NIV)
Regardless of the race of either spouse, if the unbeliever chooses not to remain in the marriage, he or she is free to leave.

In conclusion, I think this passage sums things up the best: Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (NIV) God is more concerned about our relationship to Him than whether the person someone is married to is of the same race, and I believe He blesses all marriages where the spouses are in accordance with his will.

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