This question asks whether any Early Church Fathers condemned polygamy. The answer seems to be 'yes'. Did any Early Church Fathers approve of polygamy?

  • I wonder if Laban was a polygamist? And if so, how many wives he could have had? If so, Rachel and Lea might not have been sisters, but only half sisters. May 1, 2022 at 6:05

1 Answer 1


Did any Early Church Fathers approve of polygamy?

No Early Church Father wrote in favour of polygamy.

Polygamy simply was not an issue that deeply concerned the Early Church Fathers in the early Church. Jesus made it clear the monogamous nature and indissolubility of marriage as in Matthew 19:1-9.

19 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. 2 Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

What was an issue in Jesus’ time and in the early Church was not polygamy, but divorce and invalid remarriage, and the early Church Father cited Jesus’ aforementioned words to teach against such adulterous conduct. There are several written documents about marriage and divorce. Only a few Early Church Fathers wrote about polygamy and all of them disapproved of it.

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