Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The one woman man

Peter Kirk has a good post on 1 Tim. 3;2, citing Bill Mounce. As Mounce puts it, this phrase means
    if married, he would have (δει) to be a “one-woman" man.
Peter adds,
    if male and married, he would have to be a “one-woman” man.
Read Peter's full post.

4 comments:

mike said...

"one-man woman" appears later on in the letter.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Yes, of course. My sense also is that Paul assumed that elders would be male, but he did not state that maleness was a requirement for an elder.

I believe that all through history there have been women of exceptional status, who for some reason have been included in the ranks of leaders.

So I don't really see that the early church was egalitarian, but I also don't think that there was a sense that God restricted women. I have the impression that leadership was a status quo kind of thing. Leaders were in general male. Some women were also leaders. There was no interdiction against women in leadership.

Peter Kirk said...

Thanks for the link. I agree with your analysis in your comment.

Don said...

The second qualification: “Faithful spouse” (3:2)
The second qualification in the list deals with the
overseer’s married life. Careful research has shown that
this qualification means that whether one is a husband or
a wife it is important to be a “faithful spouse.” It requires
that an overseer, if married, be faithful and be “a one-spouse
kind of person.”

According to Lucien Deiss (notes to the French
Bible, the TOB, Edition Intégrale, p. 646, note a), this
Greek phrase was used in Asia Minor, on both Jewish
and pagan gravestone inscriptions, to designate a woman
or a man, who was faithful to his or her spouse in a way
characterized by “a particularly fervent conjugal love.”

When I read Deiss’ comment about how this phrase
was used on ancient grave inscriptions in Turkey, where
Paul and Timothy ministered, I confirmed it with him
myself, reaching him by telephone in Vaucresson, France.
Some might find this insight into 1 Timothy 3:2
surprising because modern versions of the Bible
translate this Greek phrase as – “husband of one wife” –
making this qualification appear to be restricted to men
only! Instead, rightly understood, this qualification is
about faithfulness in marriage by a Christian spouse. It is
not saying that oversight is “for men only.”

Pages 87-88
Think Again about Church Leaders by Bruce C. E. Fleming