In view of this, the attempt on the part of some to change the meaning of the original — making it say what it does not say — is inexcusable. In harmony with the views of some Church Fathers (for example, Tertullian and Chrysostom), and in disagreement with the explanations favored by others (for example, Jerome and Origen), these translators and commentators are of the opinion that Paul is here referring to men who, having been widowers, remarried. The translation (?) then becomes, “An overseer must be a man who was married only once.” One can understand how men who reject or soft-pedal Scripture’s infallibility — who, accordingly no longer feel obliged to accept as most certainly true the words, “Paul … to Timothy” (I Tim. 1:1, 2) — can also take the next step, and, assuming that the Pastorals reflect conditions which prevailed after Paul’s departure from this earth, at a time when by many celibacy and the virgin-state began to be exalted above marriage, can read their private reconstruction of the formation of these letters into the text, so that they think of the author of the Pastorals as a man who considered marriage and certainly remarriage to be sinful or nearly so. One cannot excuse an attempt to make a text say what it does not actually say in the original. The original simply says, “He must be … one wife’s husband” (δεῖ — μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρα).
The real author of the Pastorals, namely, Paul, did not oppose remarriage after the death of the marriage-partner (see especially I Tim. 5:14; then 4:3; cf. Rom. 7:2, 3; I Cor. 7:9), though under certain specified conditions he considered continuation in the unmarried state to be wiser than marriage (I Cor. 7:26, 38). Paul, we may be sure, was in entire agreement with the author of Hebrews, who said, “Let marriage be held in honor among all.” (Heb. 13:4).
Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953-2001). Vol. 4: New Testament commentary : Exposition of the Pastoral Epistles
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