From: David Moore (dvdmoore@dcfreenet.seflin.lib.fl.us)
Date: Wed Mar 06 1996 - 11:51:57 EST

        In considering the expression MIAS GUNAIKOS ANDRA (Tim. 3:2) and
trying to figure just what it means, I did a search for hEIS with a
genitive noun and an additional noun. The only other examples that were
similar in construction to the expression above were in the Pastorals
(i.e. I Tim. 3:2, 12; 5:9 and Titus 1:6). All are in reference to
candidates for posts of special responsibility or special consideration in
the church, and all apparently have reference to the person's matrimonial

        These passages have been severally interpreted to mean (1)
"married only once," (2) "not polygamous," (3) "not a womanizer," or (4)
simply expressing that the person should be (or have been) married. The
emphatic position in which we find hEIS appears to rule out number 4.
IMO, I Tim. 5:14 rules out number 1, since it seems doubtful that Paul (I
realize not everyone agrees Paul is author of the Pastorals) would
recommend (BOULOMAI) to anyone a course of action that would not be in
keeping with character desirable in leaders of the church. Also, if it
were an expression forbidding remarriage in church officials, why do these
contexts not mention unmarried celibates as may have been the case with
Timothy himself?

        For these reasons, mainly, I understand the expression as covering
cases number 2 (Polygamy is fairly well documented among Jewish upper
classes of that time [J. Jeremias, _Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus_, p.
93].) and number 3. A sensible translation might be something like "not a
polygamous, or promiscuous person." Even the quite literal "one-woman
man" might get at the meaning of the Greek.

        It would be interesting to know if any of the list members is
aware of constructions similar to this phrase with the number hEIS in
writings outside of the NT, as their context might shed additional light
on the meaning here in the Pastorals.

David L. Moore Southeastern Spanish District
Miami, Florida of the Assemblies of God
dvdmoore@dcfreenet.seflin.lib.fl.us Department of Education

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