Why didnt Paul use the word Divorce?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, May 15, 2010.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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  2. Pastor Larry

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    No one will ever know, but likely for several reasons of which I will list two:

    1. There is no one word for divorce. Divorce is an idea that is represented by a number of words in the NT, all of which can refer to things other than divorce. (Look it up.)

    2. Because the issue is bigger than divorce/marital status. It is about character. A man can be undivorced, but still be a man who is not a "one woman man." If Paul had said divorce, he would not have been excluding a man who commits adultery. If Paul had said divorce, he would not have been excluding a polygamist.

    As I have said several times (and been largely ignored, it seems), the issues is bigger than divorce. To narrow it down to that is inadequate. "One woman man" is a description of a man's character in relationships. It is not a statement about his marital status per se. The question is not "Is the man divorced?" The question is, "Is the man blameless in his relationships with women?" Divorce certainly impacts that in multiple ways. But "one woman man" is far from excluding divorce as a qualifier, or being a synonym for divorce.

    "One woman man" certainly has implications for divorce, but there are other qualifications in the list that deal with his marriage and family as well.
     
  3. Cutter

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    Probably because he thought that it would never get to a point in time where divorced men would ever believe that they were qualified to be a Pastor. I'm sure he and his contemporaries could never have imagined how immoral and perverted the ideas and inventions of men could be and thought that the Lord would return before things got this bad, both inside and outside the church.
     
  4. HankD

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    There was also a form of polygamy in the world (especially Roman culture which was technically "monogamous") called concubinage where one or more women were kept in the household as undocumented wives. The biblical semitic culture as well.

    Roman citizens were allowed by law to have concubines.
    A concubine and even her children had limited rights while under the roof of her benefactor.

    A man with concubines (present or past tense) could, strictly speaking, claim to be monogamous.

    But Paul's term a "one-woman-man" covers it all.

    In today's society many "monogamous" men (and women) have or have had "concubines" or multiple partners.

    So, I agree with Pastor Larry, although I suspect any such "snooping" on the part of an ordination committee into past indiscretions of the candidate (though never having been divorced) would be met with outrage.

    It is a complex issue. e.g. What about those pecadillos committed before salvation.

    The bottom line is that in today's society, if we stick to the letter of the law (epistles), many men would be disqualified from the pastoral-deacon ministry though never divorced because of the term "one-woman-man".

    IMO.

    HankD
     
  5. Havensdad

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    This would be unusual indeed, considering the general acceptance of divorce among the Jews tat made up the early church. The idea of divorce disqualifying a man for the pastorate, would be completely foreign to the Jewish mind (and the Roman/Greek one, for that matter). If Paul wanted to express this, he would have needed to be very strong and very specific. He, on the contrary, did not mention divorce.

    I am sure Paul would weep over the extra-biblical commands which would prevent Christ's man from serving in the pulpit. Former murderer? Yep he can serve. Former thief? Yep, he can serve. Former adulterer? Yep, he can serve. Oh, he married a woman who was divorced? NOPE.

    How sad.
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    The qualification of an elder is to be above reproach from within the Church and to not have anything bad that could be pointed to from outside the Church.

    If someone were a murderer (before salvation), it would take years/decades before anyone would - if ever - trust them to be "above reproach".

    The issue isn't Paul talking about "divorce" (I Tim 3, Tit 1 do NOT speak of that). It is talking "reputation" from both the believers and the outside world. And divorce - neither party is innocent - is a very real issue in the matter of reputation.
     
  7. Jerome

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    Completely foreign?
    Are you serious?
    According to the Jewish Scriptures, marriage to a divorcee was unacceptable for religious leaders.
     
  8. preachinjesus

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    I looked up the history of interpretation on this one. Most historical
    commentators (Calvin, Chrysostom, Aquinas, Augustine, Luther, etc) all mention that Paul was using general concepts to cover a multitude of issues.

    Specifically in this passage he is speaking to several issues at once. He didn't need to mention divorce (probably because he didn't mean it explicitly) becuase the idea is fidelity to one's wife (singular.)
     
  9. Humblesmith

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    Because he was probably talking against polygamy, in spite of what is currently the most popular view on this passge.
     
  10. ccrobinson

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    I seriously doubt this is it. Paul dealt with immorality in the Corinthian church, for instance.
     
  11. Crabtownboy

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    He probably was not thinking of divorce as we do in this day and time. I believe he meant that a man was not married to more than one woman at a time. Otherwise a man whose wife had died would be disqualified to be a leader.

     

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