What does the Bible say about interracial marriage?

In the Old Testament, the law prohibited the Israelites from marrying individuals from other nations, not because of race but because of religious differences. The command against interracial marriage aimed to prevent the Israelites from being influenced by the false gods worshipped by foreign peoples (Deuteronomy 7:3–4). The concern was that marrying idolaters would lead the Israelites away from their faith (Malachi 2:11).

New Testament Principle on Spiritual Purity

Similarly, in the New Testament, believers are urged not to be romantically involved with unbelievers. This principle emphasizes the importance of spiritual compatibility over external differences: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14). Just as the Israelites were cautioned against marrying idolaters, Christians are advised against marrying those who do not share their faith.

Biblical View on Race and Marriage

The Bible does not condemn interracial marriage. Instead, it emphasizes the importance of character over external traits. As Martin Luther King, Jr. emphasized, individuals should be judged by their character rather than their race. The Christian perspective rejects favoritism based on race (James 2:1–10) and recognizes only one human race descended from Adam and Eve.

Choosing a Spouse According to Faith

When considering marriage, Christians are encouraged to prioritize faith in Christ over external differences like ethnicity (John 3:3–5). While interracial couples may encounter discrimination, the Bible teaches that marriage is honorable (Hebrews 13:4) and emphasizes the equality of all believers in Christ (Romans 10:12).

Conclusion: Embracing Equality in Christ

While ethnicity should not be ignored in a relationship, it should not be the sole determinant of marriage. Interracial couples may face challenges, but their union can serve as a powerful testament to equality and unity in Christ within the church and society.

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