I Tim. 3:2 Not About Polygamy

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Jerome, May 22, 2010.

  1. Jerome

    Jerome
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    With all the dogmatic pronouncements here about this verse recently, I was surprised to read the following on the website of CBMW (the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary):
    Thoughts?:laugh:
     
  2. preachinjesus

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    Not in the history of interpretation. Polygamy is at the top of the list for most significant commentators across the history of the church.
     
  3. Dr. Bob

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    Text says an elder is to be a "one woman" man and that has nothing to do with polygamy? What is the opposite of a "one woman" man? A "two woman" or "multi-women" man.

    My evaluation of that site would be to encourage them to get some of their great biblical scholars at Southern on board instead of sucking ideas out of their thumb.
     
  4. Major B

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    Polygamy was not normally practiced in the Greco-Roman world. There was plenty of messin' around, and there were many divorced and remarried citizens of Rome--some uppper class people had marriages in double figures, but outright polygamy was not practiced in Roman Greece--it was, to a certain degree in the East, but not in Greece.
    And, among the Jews at this time, polygamy was not practiced--that is why devout Jewish men were so interested in what was a permitted divorce, as according to Shammai or Hillel. That is the backdrop to Jesus' verbal battle with them in Mat 19.

    Ref: NIDNTT, volume 2, page 575
     
  5. Major B

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    I know lots of guys that are not one-woman men, but who have only been married once. As I wrote in my earlier post, polygamy was not a Greco-Roman thing at that time. Divorce and remarriage most certainly WAS a Greco-Roman thing at the time the NT was being written. Paul was most certainly thinking about married men who were NOT one-woman men in either way (serial adultery or serial marriage). This was a very big deal indeed in Rome. Mark Antony divorced Octavia (Octavian's sister) to marry Cleopatra, and there was a "world war" over THAT business. Later on, Augustus (Octavian) had his own daughter exiled because she was too much into this sort of thing. Personally, I think Augustus was a bit light in the loafers, but never mind that.
     
  6. Havensdad

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    This is 100 percent untrue, as I have cited before. Polygamy was quite common on the outskirts of the empire where Titus and Timothy were working. Crete, in particular, was quite into polygamy. D.A. Carson addresses this, for those who are interested.

    The discussion on Shammai or Hillel is moot. It is not involved here, particularly because Paul and his disciples were not sent to the Jews; they were sent to the Gentiles. Titus and Timothy both were sent to set up and minister to Churches which were 100 percent, or nearly 100 percent, gentile (Ephesus, Crete, Corinth, etc.).

    So, again, the context is polygamy, not divorce. Jesus recognized divorce, although He did not approve of it. So a man who divorces, and remarries, is still a "husband of one wife."
     
    #6 Havensdad, May 22, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2010
  7. Major B

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  8. Jerome

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    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia:
     
    #8 Jerome, May 22, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2010
  9. Havensdad

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    Paul was writing to Timothy and Titus, and giving THEM instructions. These men were working on the outskirts of the Empire, and they were working almost exclusively with Gentiles.

    The idea that polygamy was not practiced is ludicrous. We have many accounts of polygamy from this time; even Herod had multiple wives. Many of the peoples Timothy and Titus were working with were known for it. So your statement has absolutely no bearing on this verse. "One wife" forbids polygamy, not divorce.
     
  10. Major B

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    A man with two or more living wives is a man with more than one wife, no matter how he got there. Even if one posits polygamy as part of it (and that is the most you can get, unless you are willing to say there were no divorced and remarried men in the mix), any divorce outside the very narrow confines given in the Bible is not valid in the eyes of God, so the couple is still married, no matter what the state says.
     
  11. Havensdad

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    That, my friend, is not true. Jesus did not condone divorce (it was a sin), but He nevertheless recognized it. As has already been pointed out, the woman at the well, though she had been married five times, was said by Jesus to have "no" husband, not "five" husbands.
     
  12. Jerome

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    What He actually said was that she had had five husbands and the man she had now was not her husband.
     
  13. Alcott

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    Maybe she killed all 5? I have sometimes wondered if Chaucer considered this passage when he created the "Wife of Bath."
     
  14. Jerome

    Jerome
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    Maybe she was married to them all at once:laugh:

    Well, we do have a parallel verse later in the epistle:

    I Tim. 5:9
    Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man,

    Since 3:2 is purportedly all about polygamy, because polygamy was quite common, what is 5:9 is all about?

    Has to be polyandry, right?

    There were many church women who had taken multiple husbands at once. Really, they were. It was quite common.
     
    #14 Jerome, May 24, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2010
  15. Havensdad

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    And he also said that she was right when she said "I have no husband."

    If Jesus says something is true, it is.
     

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