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12. POLYGAMY IN THE BIBLE AND THE KORAN
Should a Christian man, who was a Muslim married to several wives, divorce his wives after he becomes a Christian?
Answers to a Question from Nigeria
9. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION
How the Koran has Changed God's Old Testament and New Testament Commandments on Monogamy and Polygamy
(by Salam Falaki)

a) TECHNICAL TERMS


We will here only look at physical relationships between male and female individuals, i.e. we will not consider any type of homosexuality or other sexual relationships, which are regarded as an abomination before the LORD in the Bible.

In contrast with monogamy, which literally means "one single marriage", the word polygamy literally means "multiple marriages". These multiple marriages can logically be of three kinds:

a) Polygyny (literally meaning "multiple women") is the case when one married man gets married to more than one wife. A married man is simultaneously polygynous (one man being legally married to several wives at the same time) or he is consecutively polygynous (a widowed man legally marrying a new wife after his last wife passes away, or a divorced man legally marrying a new wife after completing the divorce of his last wife, thus ending up being legally married to more than one woman during the course of his life). -- When a married man has a physical relation not only to his wife legally, but also illegally to another woman (irrespective if she is married or not), then we call this case male adultery. -- One additional qualification is necessary here. When the woman, whom the man marries legally, is free, then we call her his wife. But when the woman, whom the man takes legally by buying her or receiving her as part of booty of war, is a slave, then we call her his concubine.

b) Polyandry (literally meaning "multiple men") is the case when one married woman has physical relations to more than one man. A married woman is simultaneously polyandrous (one woman being legally married to more than one husband at the same time) or she is consecutively polyandrous (a widowed woman legally marrying a new husband after her last husband passes away, or a divorced woman legally marrying a new husband after completing the divorce from her last husband, thus ending up being legally married to more than one man during the course of her life). When a married woman has a physical relation not only to her husband legally, but also illegally to another man (irrespective if he is married or not), then we call this case female adultery.

d) Polyamory (literally meaning "multiple loves") is the case when one or several women and one or several men agree to have physical relationships with each other with all parties consenting to this. This is the case e.g. with prostitution or with fertility rites in sexually oriented heathen religions.

We will look at each of these 10 cases separately indicating what the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Koran say about them and how the Koran has changed the biblical commandments in each case. We order these 10 cases in such a way that from the point of view of the Bible we go from the decent to the more and more indecent. Whenever possible, we group together the cases that are similar.

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