Tuesday, March 23, 2010

These are not the droids you're looking for.

Today I saw a comment on 1 Timothy 3:2 "Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife ..." (ESV)
He wrote: "In the Greek it literaly [sic] means 'one woman man.'"

I've heard this before, but is it true?

Well, no, not really, especially not in the way it's implied. The implication is that "man" & "woman" are more "literal" translations than "husband" & "wife."

But, "woman" & "wife" and "man" & "husband" are the same Greek words* (gynē & anēr respectively). So, the context would have to guide the use of woman or wife and man or husband.

Literally, it's anēr (man/husband) of one gynē (woman/wife), but the context in this instance would pretty soundly give you "husband" of one "wife."

I think the "man of one woman" bit is an unfounded way to try to say that a man really needs to be into his woman. I agree with that sentiment, but one cannot appeal to the original language to get there as a superior translation.
*My apologies for using the sloogey transliterated bit, but my blog doesn't seem to like the Greek font. But, if yours can read it, the Greek words are γυνή & ἀνήρ for woman/wife & man/husband respectively.

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At 23 March, 2010 16:39, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the Greek words, alone, in this verse may not decisively argue the commentator's point, but that the concept of a married man restricting his desires/affections toward the opposite sex, to his wife, is Biblically valid.

At 23 March, 2010 17:51, Blogger GUNNY said...

As I stated in the post, I agree with the sentiment, but I would go elsewhere for the biblical support.

"the concept of a married man restricting his desires/affections toward the opposite sex to his wife"

Thanks for the good verbiage.

At 23 March, 2010 19:42, Blogger Chris Barnes said...

The commentary and discussion I have seen around this verse has concerned itself with the issues of divorce and polygamy. Specifically, which of these is being discussed in the text?

At 23 March, 2010 20:43, Anonymous Chris Brauns said...

Thanks Gunny. This was helpful (as in it saved me from making a wrong statement) in something I wrote today for my forthcoming book. In my world this was conspicuously providential.


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