Qualifications For Deacon

Q. In First Timothy Chapter 3, Paul lays out qualifications for Deacons. I need a precise explanation of what it means to be a husband of one wife. I also need biblical grounds to defend my explanation.

A. The literal view of 1 Tim. 3:12 is that a deacon can only have been married to one woman. This eliminates both polygamists and divorced men from consideration. Some try to limit this to the time during which the person is actually a believer, but the Greek word translated “one” is used 79 times in the New Testament and overwhelmingly means “only one”. A man whose wife dies while they are still married is free to marry again without disqualification since death automatically dissolved the first union.

This qualification is given in 1 Tim 3:2 & 12 and in Titus 1:6 and applies to both Elders and Deacons. These are the Biblical admonitions.

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