What is the Biblical View of Interracial Dating, Including Marriage

By: Rev. Sam Harris; ©1999
Rev. Harris explores what the Scripture has to say on this often controversial topic. He writes this article from a unique perspective: as the pastor of a church which has several interracial couples, and as the father of a racially mixed family.

What is the Biblical View of Interracial Dating, Including Marriage?


What is the Biblical View of Interracial Dating, Including Marriage?


This question hits close to home as our family is interracial. After our son was “biologi­cally” born to us, we adopted two daughters—one from Korea and one from Japan. Sev­eral years ago, our Korean daughter married a Caucasian young man, and they now have a baby boy, born in August 1999, who, obviously is bi-racial (and cute as a “bug”! That’s a grandfather talking!)

As I read through Scripture, I do not find that it either supports or condemns interracial dating or marriage. Certainly, the Old Testament law did not approve of marriage for the Hebrews outside their faith, but that was due to religious and cultural problems.

One example of an interracial marriage in the Old Testament was Ruth, from Moab, who married Boaz and was accepted into the community of believers. She can even be found in the genealogical line of Jesus (Matthew 1:5).

Even though there seem to be no strict rules against interracial dating and marriages, there certainly are commands not to marry, and, I believe by implication, nor dating be­tween believer and unbeliever. See Deuteronomy 7:3; 2 Corinthians 6:14-15.

As we know from Genesis 1 and 2, God has created all things which includes the color of our skin and Paul taught much the same in Acts 17:24-26, when he said, “The God who made the world and all things in it….” I am even reminded of the words of Paul in Galatians 3:28 where he stated that “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” I be­lieve that Paul might be willing to add: “There is neither black nor white nor Korean nor Mexican, etc., but we are all one in Christ.”

Certainly, a lot more could, and probably will, be said on this subject. As evidenced by some experience with folks in our church, there are serious social and cultural demands of interracial dating and marriage which require a spiritual and emotional maturity on the part of the couple. Only as God clearly leads in these areas will the marriage have the potential to be successful.

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