One-Wife Pastor Question

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Arbo, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. Arbo

    Arbo
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    I've a question that's been nagging at me for a while.

    Years ago, Wifey and I attended a baptist church that went through a change of head pastors.

    One sunday, the new pastor (who was teaching our sunday school class) spoke of the qualifications of a bishop, citing:

    I Tim 3:2- "A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife..." NKJV

    According to him, what is meant by husband of one wife in the original language means husband of one wife at a time. This verse applies to polygamy. To be divorced and remarried is not a disqualification.

    We thought this had the appearance of being extrabiblical.

    Has anyone heard of this before? I've neither the books nor the training to verify his claim, so help is appreciated.
     
  2. Don

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    I've heard it quite a few times. Peter Ruckman is a huge proponent of the "one wife at a time" explanation, since he's been divorced and remarried at least once.
     
  3. webdog

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    I take it as literal given the fact Paul maintains the theme by someone capable of ruling over their home. A single man cannot fulfill this requirement.
     
  4. JesusFan

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    paul was stating here that a man who would be a pastor must be the Husband to one wife at a time, not multiple wives, and has no bearing on if single or not, as he states IF person is married and has a family, otherwise singles and childless could not be qualified, and that is NOT truth!
     
  5. Arbo

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    To be honest, we wondered if something similar was the case in our church.
     
  6. Arbo

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    I am hoping a few pastors, greek scholars, or seminarians could explain how this agrees/disagrees with the original language.
     
  7. JesusFan

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    basically, Paul was addressing Poligomyin that culture, not referencing divorce/remarriage, but thank the candidate needed to be Husband of just 1 wife at the time of pastoring!
     
  8. HAMel

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    In some circles the controversy continues to rage. I understand it as a man married to one woman.

    I know a man in Florida, now a pastor but at the time a cop, got married and two days later his wife was picked up for running the neighborhood naked. It all ended in divorce.

    He's now been remarried for about 25 years and still a pastor.
     
  9. preachinjesus

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    There isn't any special rendering in the originals that will add much to the discussion. The context (as I read it) refers more to the issue of polygamy in the contexts of Timothy and Titus than it does about the matter of divorce.

    I actually hold to the position that it is "one wife at a time" (which is not how I'd say it) wherein a divorce doesn't automatically disqualify a called man of God. That said I think each individual must be reviewed on a case by case basis. If the pastoral candidate went through a divorce because of reasons beyond their control (say a cheating spouse) and has since (and before) been faithful than i wouldn't have a problem. Of course each situation needs to be carefully weighed.

    Divorce is a touchy subject. I have served under a senior pastor who was divorced. He is a wonderful minister. Just because someone is divorced doesn't mean they are automatically disqualified. I've never accepted that.

    As I have studied these passages in the pastoral epistles I really do see these as speaking more to polygamy than divorce. Many disagree with me. :)
     
  10. Tom Butler

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    I lean toward this view, as well.

    But I understand webdog's view.
     
  11. Aaron

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    Yes, husband of one wife means he is presently married to only one woman—not in the eyes of man, but of God. What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

    A man who divorces his wife for any reason other than a biblically justifiable reason is in adultery in God's eyes, and that certainly disqualifies a man.
     
  12. webdog

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    The text does not have an "if", it has a "must". They must manage their children and household well. It was a given that in this union children would be present, it was the norm. The text doesnt say must have children , btw...but it does say they must manage their household well. Go look up what household meant. Never means a single man. How can a man manage an extension of Gods family with no experience with their own earthly family? I can tell you right now having a wife and children I would have no clue what this meant without having my own family, including the natural desires to find a mate.
     
  13. Jim1999

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    In that place it has the same qualifications for a deacon. In other passages, Paul refers to deaconesses. Must they also be married to one woman?

    Please learn to understand scripture in context, both cultural, locale and specific peoples.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  14. webdog

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    Already addressed this...please read.
     
  15. TCGreek

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    I go for "one woman man" to mean "faithful to his wife."
     
  16. TomVols

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    This is actually the consensus view throughout church history. I believe a more natural reading of mias gunaikis andra is "one woman man," a faithful person in his deportment towards women. This could apply to a single man, a married man, etc.

    To strain the text with the rather modern eisegetical "never divorced" is unsound.
     
  17. webdog

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    If it means one woman man, wouldn't a man with numerous wives and children have more experience in meeting the requirement of managing their households well? It's hard enough to manage one wife, if it could be done efficiently with numerous wives this would be ultimate manager! :)
     
  18. Deacon

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    I agree totally

    The phrase in Greek reads something like, "one woman man", which as noted doesn't resolve the problem.

    A parallel phrase, "one man woman" is found in 1 Timothy 5:9 and seems to me to be more explicit and limiting.

    Rob
     
  19. TomVols

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    This is double-speak. Can't have it both ways.

    Fallacy. The normal usage of oikou is a dwelling. So what if the pastor has an apartment? :laugh: Contextually, the household is the familial structure of the man in question. Would you disqualify a man whose adult children are not exemplary believers?

    There are logical implications of straining the text beyond its context that I fear are dire if we follow the explanation you offered.

    Using your logic, yes. But he'd be broke and in a poor frame of mind, what with all those mothers-in-law :)
     
  20. Arbo

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    I appreciate the input from all of you. Though the opinions are diverse, I think I may understand it a bit better than I did a few hours ago.
     

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