What did marriage mean in the bible?
Was marriage documented like it is today and had all of the same rules?
That varies depending on the Biblical culture you are speaking about and the time you are talking about. 'Marriage' in the Bible has far less to do with love or even sex than it did with legal and cultural traditions. At different times in the life of Israel, a man could have many wives, concubines (not legal wives, but sex partners), or at other times, the cultural tradition is to only have one wife (by the time of Jesus).
Of course, this opinion is based on a non-fundamentalist view of Scripture. This perspective sheds light on those Christian believers who understand marriage as a cultural norm and legal issue, not primarily a sexual one. In fact, Jesus (God) never even mentions anything about homosexuality, but speaks many times about heterosexual life (mostly about matters of the heart, not sexual activity).
The very few references in the Bible about homosexuality, taken only at surface level can seem to indicate that it is a huge sin. But when placed in the cultural and religious context of that time, one can see that the main point is that sexual infidelity, promiscuity and engaging in pagan rituals (which included heterosexual as well as homosexual orgies) is against God's morality for people. Combined, this brings the idea of marriage being only one man and one woman into logical question.
Marriage actually predates the bible and all of today's major religions, so the first thing to point out is that it isn't a specifically christian or religious tradition, but has been part of a wide variety of cultures and traditions.
As for marriage in the bible, it's not very consistent. This image covers some of the different types of marriage that appear in the bible and the specific verse(s) for each: http://i.imgur.com/N9O9W.jpg
Marriage is a covenant that can be broken only if either of the partners are dead. God is your husband... and that is the theme that runs trough the Bible from Genesis to Revelations. The theme is beautifully explained in Eph 5:22- 33... all the ten scriptures speak about Gods love for mankind and how we are expected to respond... This is the what the Bible has to say about marriage.
You were not supposed to be single and act upon your sexual urges with others, it was not considered moral. Marriage was a public demonstration of a couple's commitment to a covenant relationship. The man was responsible for provision of food, shelter and clothing for his wife, as well as caring for her emotional needs. The woman were to bear children, cook the food, and have a physical and emotional union with her husband.
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