Married Only Once

John Chan hkchan at concentric.net
Wed Feb 24 15:18:47 EST 1999


Carl W. Conrad wrote:


> and claims UNIVIRA for herself
>while also suggesting the probability that her husband will never remarry,
>so devoted is he to her. While this poem is heavily colored by rhetoric, I
>personally think that it has to reflect a strong cultural admiration for
>marital devotion that cannot seriously contemplate remarriage after the
>death of a spouse.
>


I am sure Carl is right in stating a strong cultural admiration for UNIVIRA,
but I don't think Paul has that idea in his mind.  I usually lurk in the
sideline, and enjoy the discussions by the experts. (I only learned Greek
and Hebrew on my own), but here is just my 2 cents.

Since in 1Tim. 3 there is "MIAS GUNAIKOS ANDRA" for overseers, and in 1Tim.
5 "hENOS ANDROS GUNH" for widows on the list, I would identify these as
similar virtues to be honored.  In the widow case, Paul also said that they
must be over 60 years.  For the younger widows, he preferred the younger
widows to be married. (1Tim 5:14).  Therefore, first of all, this is not
UNIVARE.

Secondly, I don't think here Paul is putting the young widows into jeopardy
that later if this remarried widow became widow again, she would not be able
to get on the list, if "one-man woman" meant no remarriage after widowhood.

Some claimed that "one-woman man" is mainly against the prevalent polygamy.
I don't think so.  If that is true, then similarly, "one-man woman" in the
case of widows would be against polygamy of the widows.  I am no expert in
anthropology, but I don't think one-woman many-men polygamy ever was a
common social pattern.

So what I have left for "one-woman man" (or "one-man woman"), Paul is
prohibiting promiscuity or adultery, and possibly, divorce.  "One-woman man"
or "one-man woman" would definitely include "absolute monogamy" (one husband
and one wife for lifetime) and also remarriage after widowhood.

John Chan
hkchan at concentric.net






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