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  #31  
Old 03-06-2018, 03:59 PM
Originalist Originalist is offline
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Re: The Divorcee:

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Originally Posted by Aquila View Post
I feel you. I'm a divorcee. I know that there are cases wherein a divorcee might be able to be found "blameless" and be more than qualified. What I'm saying is that the Scriptures appear to be clear...
1 Timothy 3:2 King James Version (KJV)
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
Since polygamy wasn't legal in Rome, and was even denounced by Jewish authorities by the time of Christ, I don't see how this would have been a shot at polygamy. There were "concubines" during this time. It might be a denunciation of married men who had concubines (or what we might call mistresses today). But that isn't explicitly stated. However, there was a rather big problem beyond concubines in 1st Century Rome and Judaism. Divorce and remarriage. It was even a hot button issue brought before Christ.

Regarding divorce and remarriage, Jesus stated:
Mark 10:11-12
And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.
And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

Luke 16:18
Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.
Based on these texts, remarriage after divorce is adultery. These texts provide no wiggle room or exception whatsoever. The marriage bond appears to be indissoluble. But some believe that there is an "exception clause" in Matthew's Gospel:
Matthew 5:32
But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

Matthew 19:9
And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

Now, what I'm about to say might seem harsh. But up front, I want to try to explain that I'm not condemning anyone, and I know there are other interpretations of this. But my studies have led me to see what I'm about to explain. Understanding my position on this might help you understand my position on I Timothy 3:2, even if we disagree on the best interpretation of the text.

My issue with these "exception clauses" is that they don't read, "except it be for adultery". It reads "fornication". Which is a sin that is classically understood as being a sin committed by the unmarried. When the married sleep around, it is "adultery".

So why did Jesus use the term "fornication"? In ancient Judaism the betrothal was just as legally binding as a marriage. In fact, a betrothed woman was called a "wife" and the betrothed man a "husband". In addition, if one of them were unfaithful, it required a divorce decree to terminate the betrothal. However, if one was unfaithful during the time of betrothal, it was not called "adultery"... it was called "fornication". Why? Because the marriage wasn't official yet. We see this in the story of Mary and Joseph. When Joseph discovers that Mary is with child during their betrothal, he desires to "put her away" (meaning divorce her):



Mmm, actually, the Greek word for "fornication" used by Jesus is Porneia which means......"adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc." So any unlawful sex is fornication, including adultery.
Matthew 1:18-20 King James Version (KJV)
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
Notice, Joseph would have had to get a divorce decree to end the betrothal. And had Joseph put Mary away for "fornication" (because the marriage wasn't official yet), he would have been able to marry another without committing adultery.

Matthew's Gospel took this Jewish custom into consideration. The other Gospels, written to more general audiences among the Gentiles, don't. And so this is why the texts from Mark and Luke don't contain the exception clause. It only applies during betrothal, as was in accordance to Jewish custom. However, once a marriage is official, to divorce and remarry is adultery.

That's my take on it. I could be wrong. But that's the most consistent interpretation of the issue I've studied out and so it is the one I've chosen to embrace. With that in mind, I hope you can see why my take is what it is regarding I Timothy 3:2. With divorce and remarriage running rampant through their culture, I feel Paul's admonition regarding bishops/pastors/elders as relating to divorce and remarriage.
1 Timothy 3:2 King James Version (KJV)
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
So, I believe that men who are divorced and remarried are disqualified from the office. I don't condemn anyone to Hell over this. And I'm a big boy, I can accept disagreement! LOL And a divorcee is a pastor and they are "blameless" and "above reproach", I don't begrudge them their ministry. I will celebrate it with them. Because the entire premise is to prevent reproach and bringing shame to Christ's name and His body. But, this is what I believe the Scriptures to teach based on my studies.

Last edited by Originalist; 03-06-2018 at 04:02 PM.
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  #32  
Old 03-06-2018, 04:24 PM
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Aquila Aquila is offline
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Re: The Divorcee:

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Originally Posted by Tithesmeister View Post
Aquila,

I think you are meaning well with the information that you have presented. I have a little different take.

You seem to be correct that Romans and Greeks practiced monogamy. However the Jews did not. It is my understanding that when the Romans conquered the Jews that they made a pact with them that they could worship their own God, and have their own legal system. Their law was limited in that they could not LEGALLY impose capital punishment, hence Jesus was crucified (a Roman punishment) and not stoned as the Jews practiced. (If this is the case then the stoning of Stephen as well as the attempted stoning to death of Paul would have been an act of vigilantes.) The Sanhedrin court was Jewish and the comparison would be to our Supreme Court.

Having said that, the Jewish law said that if your married brother died without children, you were to take his wife to be your own and raise up children to your brother. The first born son would bear your deceased brother's name. To NOT fulfill your duty to your deceased brother was a very shameful thing. God killed the brother in law of Tamar (Genesis 38:1-10) because he tried to shirk this duty. There is no obvious exception made in the case of being married already, hence if you were already husband to one wife and your brother died, you inherited another wife (polygamy). Here is the passage of scripture . . .

Deuteronomy 25 5-10 KJV

[5] If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her.
[6] And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.
[7] And if the man like not to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband's brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother.
[8] Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her;
[9] Then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother's house.
[10] And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.

We also have the hypothetical example of the Pharisees to Jesus of the seven brothers who married the same wife until they all died. This story illustrates that this law was still being observed in the New Testament. So in spite of the fact that the Romans and the Greeks were not practicing polygamy, I would have to conclude that the Jews still were.

I believe that the scripture you are referencing, as is the case with all scriptures should be interpreted literally first, unless it obviously meant to be interpreted figuratively as in the case of allegories or types in the Bible.

Having said that, you are a divorcee. You have divorced at least one wife. So is she still your wife? I would say probably not. Maybe you should ask her? My guess is that she could likely clarify the situation for you.

I believe Vaugn Morton is a man that continued to pastor after a divorce. I think most would consider him to be blameless and above reproach, possibly even qualified to marry again. It is complicated, but words have meanings and husband of one wife does not mean to me that you have never been divorced.

I admire your attitude but I think you may be wrong on this. It appears that by your definition, even a widower would be disqualified from being pastor if he remarried. Just because his wife died doesn't mean that he is a one woman man if he remarries. I understand that he is allowed to remarry according to scripture, but he still would not be qualified to pastor according to your definition.

It's complicated, and I may well be wrong but I thought I'd try to make it even more confusing.

I sure don't want to be known as the man who had his shoe loosed; Who could bear the shame?
Tithe,

Good points. You've given me some things to think about.

I'll share my initial thoughts, but obviously this is worth me looking at the issue again. So, bear in mind, these initial thoughts may prove to be in transition.

If the Jews were still practicing polygamy, which is permitted by the Torah, by permission from Rome, why would Paul prohibit it among Christian leaders? Why wouldn't Paul permit polygamy in accordance to Torah?

I believe the story of the woman with seven husbands who had died was only a hypothetical to demonstrate a point about the resurrection, not evidence that polygamy was still being practiced.

My ex would definitely deny still being my wife. Lol But I'm more concerned about what God might think.

I believe that death terminates the marriage bond. Widowers would be eligible, remarried or single.

If 1 Timothy 3:2 is a prohibition against polygamy, it only applies to bishops and deacons. Wouldn't this imply that polygamy would be acceptable for those uninterested in the office of Bishop or deacon?

But you're post gives some good food for thought. I'm going to study it out more.

Would you be willing to elaborate on your take regarding 1 Timothy 3:2?

God bless,

Chris
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  #33  
Old 03-06-2018, 04:30 PM
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Aquila Aquila is offline
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Re: The Divorcee:

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Originally Posted by Originalist View Post
Interesting point. And I see the logic.

But that doesn't explain why such a broad and universally applicable exception wouldn't be mentioned in any Gospel except Matthew, which was written to a Jewish audience.
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  #34  
Old 03-06-2018, 04:52 PM
Tithesmeister Tithesmeister is offline
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Re: The Divorcee:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquila View Post
Tithe,

Good points. You've given me some things to think about.

I'll share my initial thoughts, but obviously this is worth me looking at the issue again. So, bear in mind, these initial thoughts may prove to be in transition.

If the Jews were still practicing polygamy, which is permitted by the Torah, by permission from Rome, why would Paul prohibit it among Christian leaders? Why wouldn't Paul permit polygamy in accordance to Torah?

I believe the story of the woman with seven husbands who had died was only a hypothetical to demonstrate a point about the resurrection, not evidence that polygamy was still being practiced.

My ex would definitely deny still being my wife. Lol But I'm more concerned about what God might think.

I believe that death terminates the marriage bond. Widowers would be eligible, remarried or single.

If 1 Timothy 3:2 is a prohibition against polygamy, it only applies to bishops and deacons. Wouldn't this imply that polygamy would be acceptable for those uninterested in the office of Bishop or deacon?

But you're post gives some good food for thought. I'm going to study it out more.

Would you be willing to elaborate on your take regarding 1 Timothy 3:2?

God bless,

Chris
As far as the seven brothers, I do believe that the Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus. His response to them was NOT that they were pontificating about a law that was outdated. It is for this reason that I believe it was still being observed. My post was perhaps a little TIC but it does provide food for thought doesn't it?

As for the verse you are referencing, I believe it is a prohibition for bishops to be polygamous, just like it says. It may mean never divorced but I don't believe so. BTW deacons are held to the same standard regarding polygamy later in the chapter. It is perhaps significant that these instructions appear to be specific to leadership. This is further proof that all are NOT held to the same standard. To whom much is given, much is required.

Just another thought. The Originalist, I believe referred to the trend that someone in their past life can be a drug dealer, alcoholic, horse thief etc. and still be a pastor. (I am ad-libbing, maybe not his exact words.) If however, he has been married before he is not qualified. Somehow it seems that he is not a "new creature". I'm pretty sure there is something wrong about this inequity. Not saying what, just something.

If you really are interested in having the TRUE true answer, you might ask Esaias. I'm pretty sure he knows everything.
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  #35  
Old 03-06-2018, 05:11 PM
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Re: The Divorcee:

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Originally Posted by Tithesmeister View Post

If you really are interested in having the TRUE true answer, you might ask Esaias. I'm pretty sure he knows everything.
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  #36  
Old 03-06-2018, 08:50 PM
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Re: The Divorcee:

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Originally Posted by Tithesmeister View Post
If you really are interested in having the TRUE true answer, you might ask Esaias. I'm pretty sure he knows everything.
I'll Amen that
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  #37  
Old 03-07-2018, 08:31 AM
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Aquila Aquila is offline
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Re: The Divorcee:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tithesmeister View Post
As far as the seven brothers, I do believe that the Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus. His response to them was NOT that they were pontificating about a law that was outdated. It is for this reason that I believe it was still being observed. My post was perhaps a little TIC but it does provide food for thought doesn't it?
I do believe that the Law was applicable all the way up to the death and resurrection of Christ. Of course, the Jews continued on in obeying the Law even after Christ fulfilled it for the sake of the elect. So, I can see your point regarding Jews practicing polygamy throughout the period. I had read about rabbinical opinion prohibiting polygamy at one point. However, upon revisiting that, I discovered that it was far later (like between the 1000's and 1200's) that this was the case. Side note, in revisiting this I discovered that there is actually a movement right now among certain rabbinical scholars to revive polygamy in modern day Israel. Their logic is that single women outnumber men significantly, and marriages to Arab men appear to be rising. They're concerned that they will lose their homogeneous identity if the trend continues. Their logic is... by allowing Jewish men to marry more than one woman, and encouraging the practice, they can reduce the number of single Jewish women who have no other option than to marry non-Jewish partners. In addition, it will boost distinctly Jewish birth rates Of course, traditional Jewish authorities are aghast at the notion. I just thought it was interesting seeing that demographically some have voiced concern over birthrates among Americans rates and the growing Islamic demographic presented by Muslim immigrants. Wouldn't it be ironic if having a couple side-chicks saved Western civilization? LOL

Quote:
As for the verse you are referencing, I believe it is a prohibition for bishops to be polygamous, just like it says. It may mean never divorced but I don't believe so. BTW deacons are held to the same standard regarding polygamy later in the chapter. It is perhaps significant that these instructions appear to be specific to leadership. This is further proof that all are NOT held to the same standard. To whom much is given, much is required.
I assume you realize that this interpretation implies that polygamy (and even perhaps concubinage) could be acceptable among the laity. I've heard the case for Christian polygamy, but I'm in disagreement. According to my interpretation being the husband of one wife (Greek: "man of one woman") would rule out:
Polygamy
Concubinage/Mistresses
Remarried Divorcees
So, I believe the more expansive interpretation guards from more than one abuse of power and protects the reputation of the church by keeping leadership above reproach.

Quote:
Just another thought. The Originalist, I believe referred to the trend that someone in their past life can be a drug dealer, alcoholic, horse thief etc. and still be a pastor. (I am ad-libbing, maybe not his exact words.) If however, he has been married before he is not qualified. Somehow it seems that he is not a "new creature". I'm pretty sure there is something wrong about this inequity. Not saying what, just something.
In contemplating this, I've noticed that general crimes (drugs, theft, and even murder) do not involve a one flesh relationship with another human being. I'm sure this can be elaborated upon, but I do see it as a unique element to having more than one wife (sequentially or currently) that distinguishes it from other sins such as theft and even murder.

Quote:
If you really are interested in having the TRUE true answer, you might ask Esaias. I'm pretty sure he knows everything.
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  #38  
Old 03-07-2018, 09:44 AM
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Scott Pitta Scott Pitta is offline
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Re: The Divorcee:

If Pauls' statement is a ban on polygamy, all the chatter about divorce is a moot point. May I point out, he does not specifically mention divorce.

Or does Paul mean deacons must be married and have a family ? In that case, divorce is also moot.

What did Paul mean ? Did he mean something else we have not discussed ?
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  #39  
Old 03-07-2018, 09:59 AM
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Re: The Divorcee:

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Originally Posted by Scott Pitta View Post
If Pauls' statement is a ban on polygamy, all the chatter about divorce is a moot point. May I point out, he does not specifically mention divorce.

Or does Paul mean deacons must be married and have a family ? In that case, divorce is also moot.

What did Paul mean ? Did he mean something else we have not discussed ?
Well, I don't know. My opinion is that the Greek is key. In the Greek it reads, "the man of one woman". This will no doubt rule out polygamy, concubinage, etc. However, given Christ's admonitions against divorce and remarriage, it could also include remarried divorcees. Thus the language would address all those issues in one fell swoop. In addition, such an understanding would be consistent with historic interpretations of the text, and it's practical application in most theologically conservative churches today.
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  #40  
Old 03-07-2018, 10:11 AM
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Re: The Divorcee:

The Greek reads much the same as it does in English. It provides no additional insight.

μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρα

"faithful to his wife" NIV

"the husband of one wife" is how many other translations translate it.

I really don't think it has anything to do with divorce.
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