Mixed Marriages

Mixed Marriages, i.e., marriages between Jews and Gentiles, were strictly prohibited by the Mosaic law. The New Testament, if it be thought to contain no positive prohibition of the intermarriage of Christians and heathens, yet, to say the least, strongly represents such a proceeding as inconsistent with a Christian profession (1Co 7:39; 2Co 6:14). The early fathers denounced the practice as dangerous and even criminal (Tertullian, Ad. Uxor. lib. 2:c. 2-9; De Coron. Mil. c. 13; Cyprian, Ad Quirin, lib. 3:c. 62; Ambrolius, De Abrahanmo, lib. 1:c. 9; Ep. lib. 9, ep. 70; De Fide et Oper. c. 19; Jerome, In Jovin. lib. 1:c. 10); and it was afterwards positively prohibited by the decrees of councils and the laws of the empire (Conc. Chalced. c. 14; Arelat. 1.c. 11; Illiberit. 15,16,17; Aurelian, 2, c. 18; Cod. Justin. lib.i, tit. 9, 1, 6; Cod. Theodos. lib. 3, tit. 7,1, 2; lib. 9, tit. 7, 1, 5; lib. 16, tit. 8, 1, 6). These prohibitions extended to the marriage of Christians with Jews, Pagans, Mohammedans, and certain heretics, namely those whose baptism was not admitted as valid by the Church. The first interdiction of marriage with heretics on record is one which was made about the middle of the fourth century (Cone. Laodic. c. 10, 31; see also Conc. Agath. c. 67; Chalced. c. 14). It does not appear that such marriages, although prohibited, were declared null and void whenever they had actually taken place; and we read of some illustrious examples of the breach of the rule, as in the case of Monica, the mother of Augustine (Augustine, Confess. lib. 9, c. 9), and Clotildis, the. queen of Clovis (Gregorius Turon. His. Fraanc. lib. 2, c. 28), who became instrumental in the conversion of their respective husbands to Christianity. See Riddle, Christ. Antiquities, pages 745-749. SEE DIVORCE; SEE MARRIAGE.

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