Interracial Marriage and the Bible: Exploring Biblical Teachings and Contemporary Views.

Marriage is a fundamental institution in Christianity, and the concept of interracial marriage has been an issue of debate for a long time. How are we supposed to interpret the Bible’s teachings in this regard? Is there approval for interracial marriages within the Bible? In this article, we discuss what the Bible says about interracial marriage, explore key passages, and consider contemporary views on the subject.

What Does the Bible Say About Interracial Marriage?

Interracial Marriage and the Bible: Exploring Biblical Teachings and Contemporary Views.

Interracial marriage is a topic that can be sensitive for some people, but it is important to explore what the Bible says about it. As Christians, we need to understand and accept that race and ethnicity are part of God’s diverse creation. Here are some key points related to interracial marriage in the Bible:

  1. Interracial Marriage in the Old Testament
    The Old Testament does not explicitly prohibit interracial marriage. In fact, Moses married an Ethiopian woman (Numbers 12:1) and Rahab, a Canaanite woman, is part of Jesus’ genealogy (Matthew 1:5). However, the Israelites were told not to intermarry with the Canaanite tribes in order to avoid the risk of being led astray from God (Deuteronomy 7:3-4). This was more of a spiritual concern than a racial one.

  2. Interracial Marriage in the New Testament
    In the New Testament, there are no clear indications one way or the other on the issue of interracial marriage. However, the message of love and acceptance is clear throughout the Gospels. Jesus himself challenged social norms and cultural barriers by interacting with and embracing people from different races and backgrounds.

  3. Biblical Teachings on Race and Cultural Diversity
    The Bible teaches us that all humans are created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27) and that we are all equal in Christ (Galatians 3:28). This includes people from all races and ethnicities. We are also instructed to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31) and to treat others as we would like to be treated (Luke 6:31).

  4. Contemporary Views on Interracial Marriage
    In modern times, interracial relationships and marriages have become more common and accepted in many cultures and societies. However, there are still some who hold prejudices and discriminatory views towards interracial couples. As Christians, it is important to challenge these attitudes and promote racial harmony and unity.

  5. Challenges and Benefits of Interracial Marriage
    Interracial marriages can face challenges related to cultural differences, family and societal pressures, and discrimination. However, there are also many benefits to interracial marriages, such as the opportunity to learn and grow from each other’s backgrounds and to break down cultural barriers.

In conclusion, the Bible does not explicitly condemn or condone interracial marriage. However, the teachings of love, acceptance, and racial diversity in the Bible encourage us to embrace and celebrate our differences. As Christians, we should strive for racial harmony and unity in our relationships and communities.

[List of Sources]:

  • Numbers 12:1-8 (NIV)
  • Deuteronomy 7:3-4 (NIV)
  • Matthew 1:5 (NIV)
  • Galatians 3:28 (NIV)
  • Mark 12:31 (NIV)
  • Luke 6:31 (NIV)

couple standing near fence

Interracial Marriage in the Old Testament

In the Old Testament, there are several references to interracial marriage. One of the most famous examples is the marriage of Moses to his wife Zipporah, who was a Midianite woman. However, this marriage was initially met with disapproval from Moses’ sister Miriam and his brother Aaron, who criticized him for marrying outside of their culture.

Despite this disapproval, however, God affirmed Moses’ marriage by appearing to Miriam and Aaron and rebuking them for their prejudice. This serves as an important lesson on the importance of loving and accepting people of all races and ethnicities, even if it means going against traditional cultural norms.

Another example of interracial marriage in the Old Testament can be found in the book of Ruth, where an Israelite woman named Ruth marries a man named Boaz, who was a member of the Moabite tribe. Although there were initially concerns about whether or not this marriage would be accepted by the Israelite community, Ruth and Boaz were ultimately able to overcome these obstacles through their love and dedication to each other.

Despite these examples of interracial marriage in the Old Testament, however, some scholars argue that there are other passages that seem to suggest that God preferred that people marry within their own culture. For example, in Deuteronomy 7:3-4, there is a prohibition against marrying people from certain tribes, which some interpret as a commandment against interracial marriage.

Ultimately, however, the Bible’s teachings on interracial marriage are somewhat ambiguous, and it is up to individual interpretation. What is clear, however, is that the Bible is a book about love and acceptance, and that these values should be the guiding principles for all our relationships, regardless of race or ethnicity.

Interracial Marriage in the New Testament

The New Testament does not contain as many references to interracial marriage as the Old Testament. However, it does contain important teachings about love and acceptance that apply to all aspects of our lives, including our relationships.

Below are some Bible verses from the New Testament that address the topic of interracial marriage:

  1. Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)

This verse is often used to discourage Christians from marrying non-Christians. While it is not necessarily about race or ethnicity, it does emphasize the importance of shared values and beliefs in a marriage.

  1. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)

This verse underscores the idea that there is no inherent difference or superiority between different racial or ethnic groups—they are all equal in the eyes of God.

  1. “So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” (Romans 14:19)

This verse encourages Christians to work towards unity and harmony in all areas of their lives. In the context of marriage, this could mean embracing diversity and overcoming cultural barriers to build a strong, loving relationship.

While the New Testament does not explicitly endorse or condemn interracial marriage, it does provide a foundation of love, acceptance, and unity that can guide our relationships with people of different races and ethnicities.

Challenges and Benefits of Interracial Marriage:

Interracial marriage can come with its own unique set of challenges and benefits. Below are a few potential benefits:

  1. Greater diversity in perspectives and experiences.
  2. Ability to learn from and appreciate different cultures.
  3. Opportunity to break down barriers and promote racial harmony.
  4. Creation of a unique family culture that embraces diversity.

However, there are also potential challenges, such as:

  1. Cultural misunderstandings and conflicts.
  2. Negative reactions from family members or society at large.
  3. Difficulty in finding a community that embraces diversity.
  4. Additional complications in navigating issues like religion, tradition, and family expectations.


While there may not be a clear-cut biblical stance on interracial marriage, there are important teachings in the Bible about love, acceptance, and unity that can guide our relationships with people from different races and ethnicities. Ultimately, the decision to pursue an interracial relationship should be based on love, mutual respect, and a commitment to building a strong, healthy relationship.

Biblical Teachings on race and Cultural Diversity

The Bible does not provide a direct teaching on interracial marriage. However, it does often address themes of race and cultural diversity, providing insight into God’s plan for unity among all people.

Throughout the Old Testament, God’s people were instructed to love and care for the foreigners living among them. In Leviticus 19:34, God commands the Israelites to “treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” This verse demonstrates God’s concern for cultural differences and the importance of accepting and loving those who are different from us.

In the New Testament, Jesus reinforces these teachings, and the message of love and acceptance is woven throughout his teachings. In John 13:34-35, Jesus commands his followers to love one another, saying, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Paul likewise emphasizes the importance of unity among believers in Galatians 3:28, stating that in Christ, “there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Biblical teachings on diversity extend beyond race as well. In Acts 10:34-35, Peter learns that God shows no partiality, and that those who fear Him and do what is right are acceptable to Him, regardless of their nationality or background. In the same way, the Bible teaches that diversity of gifts and talents is a part of God’s plan for the Church (1 Corinthians 12:12-13).

In summary, while the Bible does not directly address interracial marriage, it does provide insight into God’s plan for unity among all people. Through various verses in both the Old and New Testaments, we see that love and acceptance of those who are different from us are central to God’s teachings. It is a call to embrace diversity and cultural differences as a beautiful part of God’s plan for His people.

a book sitting on top of a table next to a laptop

Contemporary Views on Interracial Marriage

Interracial marriage has become more common in contemporary society than ever before. Despite this, there are still opposing opinions and beliefs on this topic, some of which are based on derogatory views and outdated beliefs. Nevertheless, the questions of what the Bible says about interracial marriage and how it aligns with contemporary views continue to emerge.

Here are some contemporary views on interracial marriage:

  1. Love is Colorblind
    Many people who support interracial marriage argue that love has no color or ethnic backgrounds. What matters is the connection shared by the two individuals, and not the race or ethnicity they belong to. To them, just because someone is of a different race or ethnicity doesn’t mean they cannot fall in love with them.

  2. Racial Harmony and Unity
    Contemporary views support interracial relationships as a way of promoting racial harmony and unity. By welcoming diversity and differences, people can learn to appreciate one another and develop a deeper sense of empathy for others.

  3. Tolerance and Acceptance
    Tolerance and acceptance of other people’s culture and tradition are vital contemporary values in a multicultural society. People should be allowed to choose whom they love and get married to. Interracial marriage can be seen as a way of breaking down social norms and cultural barriers while promoting a more inclusive and tolerant society.

  4. Discrimination and Prejudice
    Sadly, there are still people who oppose interracial marriage based on their own beliefs and prejudices. They often view it as a violation of cultural norms or traditions and see it as a threat to their race’s purity. However, this kind of thinking is outdated and promotes discrimination and prejudice, which have no place in contemporary society.

  5. Overcoming Challenges
    Interracial marriage can have its challenges, including dealing with racial bias from individuals or families. However, contemporary views argue that overcoming these challenges can strengthen relationships and help individuals grow in love, forgiveness, and understanding.

In conclusion, while there are still opposing opinions on interracial relationships, contemporary views weigh more on love, unity, and a more inclusive and tolerant society rather than outdated beliefs and prejudices. Ultimately, the decision to pursue an interracial relationship should be based on love, commitment, and respect for one another, regardless of race or ethnicity.

Challenges and Benefits of Interracial Marriage

Interracial marriage has always been a subject of controversy throughout history. It’s not just an issue within society but within the church as well. Nonetheless, there are unique challenges and benefits that come with interracial marriage.

Social Norms and Cultural Barriers: One of the biggest challenges of interracial marriage is the social norms and cultural barriers. Interracial couples can find themselves facing discriminatory attitudes, and even ostracism from their own families, communities and religious institutions.

Racial Harmony and Unity: Though faith ought to bring people together, social constructs can divide us, and sometimes an interracial union can cause tension between races. There may be a significant need for the couple to serve as ambassadors for racial harmony and unity.

Loss of Family Traditions and Beliefs: Interracial couples often have to deal with losing some of the family traditions and beliefs that come with belonging to a single race. They have to find a way to embrace each other’s customs and ideations, especially as they raise children in a blended family.

Introspection and Personal Growth: Interracial couples tend to be more reflective on their personal biases and stereotypes concerning people of other races. Thus, as they navigate the challenges that come with the terrain of an interracial union, they tend to grow significantly in their level of introspection and personal growth.

Experience Diversity and Cultural Education: Being in an interracial marriage gives couples the opportunity to experience each other’s traditions and cultures. They learn and are exposed to new ideas, beliefs, and practices they might not have had access to otherwise. This is not only enriching but brings them closer to understanding each other in their unique differences.

Shedding Prejudice and Discrimination: Interracial couples who face discrimination and saber-rattling from external sources can end up forming an even stronger bond with each other. Instead of focusing on society’s opinions, they put their trust in each other, and love continues to blossom.

Interracial marriage is not much different from other marriages, there are bound to be challenges no matter what the makeup of the couple is. Understanding the challenges and benefits of interracial marriages can help break down the barriers of discrimination and bring more tolerance and acceptance.


In conclusion, the topic of interracial marriage continues to be a controversial one, with diverse opinions and views. However, as a Christian, it is essential to remember that our primary focus should be on God’s teachings of love, acceptance, and cultural diversity. The Bible does not provide a clear stance on interracial marriage, but it does teach us to love and accept people from different backgrounds and cultures. As followers of Christ, we are called to promote racial harmony, unity, and respect above all else.

Interracial marriage can be challenging, especially when cultural norms, traditions, and beliefs clash. However, it also comes with its benefits. It offers an opportunity to break down social norms and cultural barriers and cultivate tolerance and acceptance. In a diverse world, interracial relationships can be an avenue to promote cultural understanding, love, and respect.

It is important to acknowledge that prejudice and discrimination still exist in our society and our churches, and these can manifest in different forms, including racism towards interracial couples. As Christians, we need to stand against any form of prejudice or discrimination and promote love, acceptance, and unity.

As a community, we must continue to have conversations about interracial relationships, encourage education on race and culture, and promote diversity and acceptance. We must be intentional about building meaningful relationships across racial and cultural lines and promoting racial harmony in our churches and communities.

In conclusion, God’s plan for marriage is one that is built on love, respect, and unity, regardless of race or ethnicity. As Christians, we must strive to embody these traits and promote love, acceptance, and cultural diversity in all aspects of our lives.