What the Bible Says About Interracial Marriage
How We All Started
As a starting point, let us make it clear that there are no references in scripture that forbid interracial marriages, although some people take scriptures out of context to prove otherwise. Some background information is important. First, everyone on Earth descended from Adam and Eve and later through Noah and his sons. The text in Genesis chapter 11, which describes events that took place after the flood, reveals that the people on the Earth were together and spoke one language. At that time, God confused their languages and they became scattered from there all over the face of the earth. As a result, the different groups developed different physical characteristics, because of dominant characteristics in their shared gene pools. (This would include things like eye shape, skin color, hair texture, height, and so forth.) The point is that everyone came from one source.
A Solution to a Problem
As time went on, certain groups became quite corrupted morally and spiritually. Therefore, it helps to know that God originally set aside the Jewish people as a higher standard among the pagan nations, through whom the Messiah would come. As a result, many of their laws were given to keep them from pagan customs, habits, and appearance. It is this desire that led to passages the following:
1 When the LORD your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you,
2 and when the LORD your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them.
3 Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son.
4 For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the LORD will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly.
Notice that although certain marriages were forbidden, the reason was not a racial one. Similarly, the New Testament contains passages that call Christians to keep themselves pure from the influence of ungodly practices. Here is one example:
14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?
16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.
17 Therefore Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.
18 I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty.
Again notice that this passage has nothing to do with race. So, we see that God intends for His people to set themselves apart as a higher standard and avoid people who follow false gods or religions.
Although this is not an in-depth treatment of this subject, you should get the idea. The bottom line is that the Bible forbids marriages that would take people away from getting right (and staying right) with God. It has nothing to do with race.
Copyright © 1999 by Clarifying Christianity (SM).
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
All information contained in Clarifying Christianity is a resource for questions dealing with Christian issues. It is not to be taken as Christian counseling. Seek a qualified Christian counselor for help with all such issues. If you choose to work with a Christian counselor, it is your responsibility to ask pertinent questions before you begin, to assure yourself of their qualities and abilities.2440