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It is generally accepted that "having a concubine" = "not socially accepted." However,

  1. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines.
  2. Having concubines was mentioned in the Old Testament.
  3. I cannot find any New Testament verse against having concubines.

Thus, the question:

What is the scriptural evidence against a man having a concubine?

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Overseers and deacons are told to be a one woman man in the pastoral epistles, and Christians are told to model the behavior of these men. (1 Timothy 3:12)

Additionally, Ephesians 5 roots the institution of marriage in creation and demonstrates that its intent was always to point to the profound mystery revealed: Christ's marriage to the church. As a picture of a healthy monogamous marriage in pre-fallen creation, it demonstrates that the creation ideal of marriage applies to Christian marriages.

As Jesus said that certificates of divorce were allowed due to hardness of heart (Matthew 19:8) but in the beginning it was not so, he demonstrates that for a time, these non-ideal marriages were permitted though they were never a good thing. As people indwelled by the Spirit, they were expected to be in line with the restoration of creation, and the modeling of the Christ/Church marriage.

Finally, Calvin himself denounced Lamech and Laban as perverters of the original mandate for having one wife in his commentary on Genesis.

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    This answer would be improved by supplying references for its statements. – Lee Woofenden Apr 12 '15 at 14:04
  • Yes, especially this statement: «Overseers and deacons are told to be a one woman man in the pastoral epistles, and Christians are told to model the behavior of these men.» – user900 Jun 27 '16 at 18:52
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"Biblically, is there any scriptural evidence against a man having a concubine?" Yes, because sexual relations apart from a spouse are forbidden, and concubinage obviously falls outside of marriage. These verses don't speak of concubinage specifically, but they all speak against sexual relations outside of marriage. As such, concubinage is adultery.

Luke 18:20

You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.

1 Cor. 6:18

Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

1 Cor. 7:1-2

Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.

1 Cor. 7:8-9

To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

1 Cor. 6:9-10

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

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    ...you might want to check into laws in the old testament. Concubines weren't quite outside of marriage for the time period, and were often used as "backup" wives, essentially (that is, any children they had would be considered as being from some other wife - witness Jacob and Rachel/Leah, and their actions with their servants. Or for that matter, Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar). I don't know that having a concubine was really considered adultery, for the time period. You'd also likely have better luck pulling in one of the "husband of one wife" verses... – Clockwork-Muse Dec 15 '14 at 12:19
  • @Clockwork-Muse The "husband of one wife" was objected to because it limited application to a particular position in the church. I just used NT passages, assuming that the poster wanted modern sensibilities. – Steve Dec 15 '14 at 18:35
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Yes, Solomon had concubines. He also became greedy and chose to accumulate wealth and wives rather than nurturing his kingdom. If you read his story, you find that God was not pleased with his later actions, but spared him punishment during his lifetime because of his father. God told Solomon that his punishment for these things would come after his death by the taking of his kingdom from his son. Read I Kings 11, and this should shed some light on it all. Although the Bible might not directly speak the consequences "don't do this" in the case of Solomon (although "thou shalt not commit adultery" certainly does), an example is given through sin and consequence.

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