Unequally Yoke Definition

In the second letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul uses the symbol of the yoke to remind us that the union between human beings must be between equals to be fruitful. This biblical passage indicates that it is not advisable for two people of different religious beliefs to marry, since the mentality of both is hardly complementary.

Paul’s message did not refer exclusively to marriage but to any bond between people of different religions.

In this way, the advice not to be unequally yoked in the Bible is a way of remembering that Christians (at that time the Jews) should not allow themselves to be contaminated or influenced by non-Christians or infidels.

It must be remembered that the letter in which the statement “do not be unequally yoked” appears was addressed to the Corinthians and this community was characterized by mixed unions between Jews and Gentiles and this mixture of religious beliefs usually led to false doctrines and idolatrous practices.

A reference to mutual effort and work in unison

Technically, a yoke is an elongated piece of wood to which two oxen are joined so that they can both pull a plow and till the soil. In traditional agricultural activity, the yoke requires two animals with similar strength and working in unison, otherwise the plowing of the land would be unequal.

In the Catholic tradition, the reference to being unequally yoked has generally been used to suggest that Catholics should not associate with or marry those who profess other Christian beliefs, such as Evangelicals or Protestants.

A teaching that goes beyond the religious question

If two people come together on a business project, they create a work team and both have to act in a coordinated and complementary manner. If the relationship between the two is unequal in any way, for example a cheat associated with a fair man, it is more than likely that there will be problems between the two.

Paul’s words addressed to the Corinthians incorporate a teaching that can be useful in any context, since it is not advisable to establish bonds between people with conflicting interests and values.

Commonly used Biblical expressions

In everyday language we continue to use concepts and expressions whose origin is found in the Bible. If someone cries bitterly we say that they cry like a Magdalene, if we refer to a traitor we consider him a Judas and when someone is going through a bad moment in his life we ​​affirm that he is going through a Via Crucis.

Photos: Fotolia-wikemob/cartoonresource