What does Paul intend when he instructs that an overseer must be a husband of one wife in 1 Timothy cf. Titus and 1 Timothy ? Here is a quick walk-through this somewhat complicated expression. There are four main historical approaches to interpreting this expression. I think two of them are quite unlikely.
Supporters of this view emphasize that the proper role of the elder is to be a good example to all the church. Doctrinal Matters. Are Noe Religions The Same? It Husband one wife also often said that the awkwardness of the expression argues against a specific interpretation, but that argument can be applied to all interpretations. Indeed, this restriction would help to eliminate any embarrassing situations which could result in the disgrace of the church.
Model shop london uk. The context
Pre-Babel Confusion? However, there is reason to doubt that the prohibition of divorce is what Paul intended to communicate. Since an elder must be a good steward of his family, a recent divorce disqualifies a man from serving as an elder. He wanted everyone to be single Asian american baseline essay he was Hueband they could serve God without being distracted by serving a wife. Kevin L. It must also be Inata naruto that Paul was Husbxnd single perhaps a widoweralthough he was definitely Husband one wife of the church leadership. Have always, even as an unbeliever, not been violent or quarrelsome. This is not a comment on the quality of your answer, but rather a standard welcome message. The answer depends. Should the Pope Be Celibate? The reasoning behind this view is usually that divorce represents a failure in the home, so that even though a man may be forgiven for any sin involved, he remains permanently disqualified for leadership in the congregation cf. Supporters of this view emphasize that Husband one wife proper role of the elder is to be a good example to all the church. Have always, even as an unbeliever, not been a drunkard. Christ's Church.
More is required of an overseer than mere willingness to serve.
- What does Paul intend when he instructs that an overseer must be a husband of one wife in 1 Timothy cf.
- Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
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- Michael L.
More is required of an overseer than mere willingness to serve. In verses Paul listed 15 requirements for a church leader: 1 above reproach. He must be blameless in his behavior. The question is, how stringent a standard was Paul erecting for overseers? Virtually all commentators agree that this phrase prohibits both polygamy and promiscuity, which are unthinkable for spiritual leaders in the church.
Many others hold, however, that the phrase further prohibits any who have been divorced and remarried from becoming overseers. The reasoning behind this view is usually that divorce represents a failure in the home, so that even though a man may be forgiven for any sin involved, he remains permanently disqualified for leadership in the congregation cf.
The most strict interpretation and the one common among the earliest commentators second and third centuries includes each of the above but extends the prohibition to any second marriage, even by widowers. Their argument is that in the first century second marriages were generally viewed as evidence of self-indulgence. Though Paul honored marriage, he also valued the spiritual benefits of celibacy 1 Cor.
Thus he considered celibacy a worthy goal for those who possessed the self-control to remain unmarried. Now for my thoughts on this passage. If Paul meant married only once in rather than referring to a woman who had been faithful to her husband, then he would have been excluding these younger widows from ever being able to be included in the list of widows should they be widowed again.
Further, if the passage means married only once, regardless of the reason, even in the case of the death of the spouse, then this is the only qualification in the list that is an absolute. Here is what I mean. Even the most mature and godly man is going to fall short to some degree in this life in these qualifications. Who, for instance, is perfectly temperate in all areas of his life? I see many elders, deacons, and well-known preachers who are thirty, forty, fifty pounds over weight because they are not temperate in their eating habits and disciplined in exercise.
Yet, we never think twice about selecting such men to these offices. The point is, these are characteristics that should be generally evident to a large degree in an elder or deacon. Obviously, this can be abused as can any aspect of grace.
Church leaders and all believers should maintain high standards in their marriage relationships so they promote purity and commitment. But the ultimate issue ought to be, at least in my perspective, a track record that has demonstrated faithfulness in all the qualifications mentioned.
If divorce occurred in the past, but the man has demonstrated growth, maturity, faithfulness to his wife and family for a sufficient time to give solid evidence of the reality of this, then I question whether we are truly acting biblically to hinder such a man from leadership. Finding men or women, for that matter, who were married only one time, could have been as difficult as it is becoming in our day. This is an argument from silence, but maybe it is one we should consider.
Concerning divorce and remarriage, Ephesians 5 and 1 Corinthians 7 are key Pauline texts. Having said all this, one still ought to look into any pattern of behavior that might reveal a character flaw e. In other words, the fact that there is not necessarily a disqualification does not of itself endorse a particular candidate. Latest Articles 5. The Place Where Everyone is Welcome. Are All Religions The Same? You are here Home.
The comments from the BKC somewhat trace the historical arguments on the passage:
Further, 1 Corinthians , states that accepting this truth is a test of spiritually and obedience to God as this was not given as a suggestion or guide line, but a commandment from God. Origin and History of Catholicism [Part I]. Again, problems do not equate with an incorrect approach. Defend the Truth Hell and the Omnipresence of God. Whilst this interpretation has great merit it is not without problems either. Cats and Dogs Reigning at Communion.
Husband one wife. Your Answer
Titus and 1 Timothy ? Here is a quick walk-through this somewhat complicated expression. There are four main historical approaches to interpreting this expression. I think two of them are quite unlikely. Also, could Paul or Timothy be overseers? This leaves me with two main possibilities, either that: 1 Paul requires that overseers—if they are married—to only have one marriage in their lifetime , or 2 that he is enjoining marital faithfulness in a more general way.
There is a tendency among early church fathers to show preference for an unmarried, unencumbered ministry. Furthermore, there are some statements in the patristic writings that suggest that celibacy—even after the death of a spouse—is preferable. Since Paul himself indicates some preference for single ministry for someone who has previously been married cf. Still, most of these writings are too late to be of much value in the discussion i. In this view, the overseer must be known to be a man who is faithful and committed to his present wife and who does not commit adultery thus including both marital fidelity and sexual fidelity.
Philippians That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;. Hebrews For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;.
Isaiah His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Romans Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Titus But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;. Hebrews Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
New International Version Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, New Living Translation So a church leader must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach.
They must be self-controlled, sensible, well-behaved, friendly to strangers, and able to teach. Good News Translation A church leader must be without fault; he must have only one wife, be sober, self-controlled, and orderly; he must welcome strangers in his home; he must be able to teach; Holman Christian Standard Bible An overseer, therefore, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, self-controlled, sensible, respectable, hospitable, an able teacher, International Standard Version Therefore, an elder must be blameless, the husband of one wife, stable, sensible, respectable, hospitable to strangers, and teachable.
He must have only one wife, be sober, use good judgment, be respectable, be hospitable, and be able to teach. Luke There was also a prophetess named Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher, who was well along in years. She had been married for seven years, Romans Share with the saints who are in need.
New officers, including elders and deacons, must be selected. Brother Jones would make a good elder. Brother Jones is on his second marriage, and Sister Smith is a woman. A study of the biblical material on the topic is in order. What does 1 Timothy mean today? In 1 Timothy , Paul lays out for Timothy the qualifications of church leaders.
In verses , he describes the episkopos, the overseer or bishop, who must be above reproach, especially in moral matters verse 1. Verses give the details of his godliness. Verses speak of the deacons, concentrating again on character qualifications. These church leaders were expected to display Christian virtues, which, according to the rest of the New Testament, are to be found also in common Christians.
Over the centuries, scholars and church people in general have come up with five basic interpretations, all of which have defenders today. Not single. According to this position, a church elder could not be a single man. He suggested that single people could minister more effectively than those who were married 1 Cor. Finally, the widow in 1 Timothy could not be a widow if she had been single.
Not polygamous. Some have interpreted that this passage means that the elder could not be polygamous, while the rest of church members could practice that form of marriage.
While polygamy did exist among Jews, it was rare and not practiced outside of Palestine. Herod the Great had nine wives, and some passages of the Mishnah presuppose polygamy, 3 yet there are no polygamists in the New Testament.
Nor is polygamy condoned. Concubinage was common in the Greco- Roman world, but in the first century, monogamy was the only legal form of marriage in the empire. If the phrase referred to polygamy versus monogamy, the widow would need to have abstained from polyandry—which does not seem to have been known in the first century. Not divorced. Some have understood that the elder could not be a divorced person. It would seem appropriate enough that a church leader should not have been divorced.
The Bible clearly opposes divorce Matt. Yet divorce was common in the first century, among Jews as well as Romans. Paul and even Christ taught that under certain circumstances divorce was appropriate Matt. Among Jews, one who had divorced was not forbidden to remarry. In the case of the widow, divorce is not envisioned. Not remarried after becoming a widower. Several scholars, among them some Seventh-day Adventists, have maintained that a widower who remarries cannot be a church elder.
The laudatory remarks about the prophetess Anna Luke , 37 would suggest that having been a widow for so many years was evidence of her piety.
A few verses later he admits that a widow is free to remarry but would do better to remain single 1 Cor. Thus to follow Old Testament rules on the marriage of priests makes no sense, because ministry in the New Testament is never tied to those rules.
In the Roman world, remarriage after the death of a spouse was not only common but obligatory. Emperor Caesar Augustus ordered that all widows under fifty years of age should remarry within two years. Remarriage is never forbidden in the New Testament. Forbidding bishops to remarry would seem similar to the advice of the false teachers who prohibited marriage 1 Tim. The analysis of these four positions leads to the conclusion that none of them is particularly convincing.
We turn, then to a fifth option. Marital faithfulness. Theodore of Mopsuestia ca. Several twentieth-century writers agree that marital faithfulness is the best interpretation of the text.
Because sexual activity outside of marriage is condemned throughout the New Testament, it would follow naturally that church leaders should, when it comes to these things, be examples to the believers and to their community. Clearly the elders at Ephesus were men—so we read in Acts They were to be faithful in their current marital relationship.
Only in this way could they be blameless examples for the congregation. And there is little doubt that most deacons were male. Interesting epitaphs show that later women were called diakonos also. So the Bible does not address the question of whether or not women should be elders. Both Brother Jones and Sister Smith fit or qualify for the office of bishop or elder.
The nominating committee will surely see the point! Dibelius and H. The context In 1 Timothy , Paul lays out for Timothy the qualifications of church leaders. While the last interpretation best fits the widow in 1 Timothy , it still presents problems. Zion Quarterly Review : 8.