Saturday, August 14, 2010

Forbidding to Marry

In the Old Testament the priesthood was hereditary and priests were expected to be married and have children, so their male child may become a priest. The New Testament has a different order; the ministerial priesthood is never passed on hereditarily, every man in order to be a priest must receive Holy Orders. Nowhere is it found in the New Testament that priests are REQUIRED to be married, but rather there is evidence from the Early Church Fathers proving otherwise that the Apostles were celibates or unmarried, though it St Peter was married at once, and St Paul was likely married at once. Before going on further I will address common so called verses that seem to require or expect priests in the New Testament to be married.
First is the verse where people claim St Paul required Bishops to be married.
1 Timothy 3:2:
"It behoveth therefore a bishop to be blameless, the husband of one wife, sober, prudent, of good behaviour, chaste, given to hospitality, a teacher," - Douai Rheims Version
"Therefore, a bishop must be irreproachable, married only once, temperate, self-controlled, decent, hospitable, able to teach," -New American Bible
"That is why the presiding elder must have an impeccable character. Husband of one wife, he must be temperate, discreet and courteous, hospitable and a good teacher;"- New Jerusalem Bible
"A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;" -King James Version
"A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach;" -New King James
"Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach" - New Internation Version
"Now a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, dignified, hospitable, an apt teacher," - Revised Standard Version
"An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach," - New American Standard Bible
*note the Greek word used is episkopos literally meaning "one who oversees" or "one who supervises," but since the second century it has come to designate the "bishop," the official who heads a local church.
Notice the NAB version and the NIV's words of choice they clarify St Paul's meaning. This is in NOT a command that they must be married but rather a command that they are not to be polygamists with multiple wives at once or by divorce and remarriage IF they were to be married at all. In the modern Church regardless of rite all bishops are unmarried (no worry about being a polygamy) even in the Orthodox Church, where it is not rare to appoint a monk to the office of bishop. Priests and deacons in the Latin Rite of the Church are almost all expected to be celibate, with the exceptions being converts who are already married. In Eastern Rites men are permitted to marry prior to ordaination alone, if not married they are to be celibate.
Here is St Jerome concerning this issue showing that whether or not the man is married in the issue but whether or not he is a bigamist
What the true effect of baptism is, and what is the real grace conveyed by water hallowed in Christ, I will presently tell you; meantime I will deal with this argument as it deserves. 'An ill knot,' says the common proverb, 'requires but an ill wedge to split it.' The text quoted by the objector,"a bishop must be the husband of one wife,"[1 Timothy 3:2] admits of quite another explanation. The apostle came of the Jews and the primitive Christian church was gathered out of the remnants of Israel. Paul knew that the Law allowed men to have children by several wives, [Exodus 21:10] and was aware that the example of the patriarchs had made polygamy familiar to the people. Even the very priests might at their own discretion enjoy the same license. [Leviticus 21:7, 13] He gave commandment therefore that the priests of the church should not claim this liberty, that they should not take two wives or three together, but that they should each have but one wife at one time. Perhaps you may say that this explanation which I have given is disputed; in that case listen to another. You must not have a monopoly of bending the Law to suit your will instead of bending your will to suit the Law. Some by a strained interpretation say that wives are in this passage to be taken for churches and husbands for their bishops.--St Jerome Letter 69 *notice the issue is not required having a wife, but not having 2.
Here is another common verse that people falsely claim and poorly translate (even in the so called Catholic Bible the NAB, which I use simply because of its readablity) Around 90% of bible poorly translate the verse.
St Paul according to poor translations of this verse declares that the Apostles have a right to marry.
1 Corinthians 9:5
numquid non habemus potestatem sororem mulierem circumducendi sicut et ceteri apostoli et fratres Domini et Cephas--Vulgate
"Have we not power to carry about a woman, a sister, as well as the rest of the apostles, and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?"- Douai Rheims Version
"Do we not have the right to take along a Christian wife, as do the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?" -New American Bible
“Do we not have the right to marry a believing woman like the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?”--New American Bible 1970
"And every right to be accompanied by a Christian wife, like the other apostles, like the brothers of the Lord, and like Cephas?" -New Jerusalem Bible
"Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?" - King James Version
"Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?"- New King James
"Don't we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord's brothers and Cephas?" - New Internation Version
"Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?" - New American Standard Bible
"Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a wife, as the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?" - Revised Standard Version
Have we no right to take about with us a Christian wife, like the rest of the Apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? --Bible in Basic English
Have we no right to lead about a wife that is a believer, even as the rest of the apostles, and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?-- American Revised Standard
have we not a right to take round a sister as wife, as also the other apostles, and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? --Darby's English translation
Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? --Noah Webster's
Have we no right to take along a wife who is a believer, even as the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?--World English Bible
Have we not a right to take with us on our journeys a Christian sister as our wife, as the rest of the Apostles do--and the Lord's brothers and Peter?- Weymouth
have we not authority a sister -- a wife -- to lead about, as also the other apostles, and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?--Young's Literal
"For have we not the power of leading about women, like the other apostles and Cephas?" - Tertullian's Rendering in "De Monogamy"
mh ouk ecomen exousian adelfhn gunaika periagein wV kai oi loipoi apostoloi kai oi adelfoi tou kuriou kai khfaV--Stephens 1550 Textus Receptus**

μη ουκ εχομεν εξουσιαν αδελφην γυναικα περιαγειν ως και οι λοιποι αποστολοι και οι αδελφοι του κυριου και κηφας -- The actual Greek text
**Scrivener 1894 Textus Receptus, Byzantine Majority, Alexandrian, Hort and Westcott are all exactly the same, so the issue is not in the texts themselves
This verse is a perfect example of an error in translation prevalent in the majority of Bible versions. The version best translating from the Greek is the Douai Rheims, which wasn't even translated from the Greek! The KJV decided to try both, likely because the KJV translators used either the DRV or Vulgate. The word usually translated as wife is the Greek word gunaika, which CAN mean wife, but it can also mean ANY woman who is betrothed, married or single. It is root word is gune, which is the word Christ even uses to address His Mother as woman. Sadly this issue was resolved nearly 1900 years ago by Tertullian prior to his heresy of Monatism, in his writing on Monogamy, in which he states he finds no evidence of the Apostles having been married, save St Peter, and even goes as far as to say they were all celibates, and even QUOTES 1 Corinthians 9:5, and defends that gunaika means woman in this instance and not wife, they were like the woman who helped Jesus. Furthermore the text of 9:5 shows it DID NOT MEAN WIVES, since it used the word "sister" rather than leaving it alone, yet MOST translation don't really consider this, they assume St Paul was relaying useless information by saying it was "a sister" or "believing sister," of course a believer would follow them, so why is "sister" necessary unless St Paul was trying to clarify the meaning of the word "gunaika." If one were to study the Aramaic/Syriac Peshitta text would find the same exact ambiguity in the word for "woman/wife" since they had the same custom as the Greeks in regards to it. Furthermore the word some translation as "marry" is just horrible work, it means take or carry, it is not the phrase used for take in marriage. Matt 27:55 uses a similar word for "women" that followed Jesus:
"And there were there many women afar off, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him:"-Douai Rheims Bible
ησαν δε εκει γυναικες πολλαι απο  μακροθεν θεωρουσαι αιτινες  ηκολουθησαν τω ιησου απο  της γαλιλαιας διακονουσαι αυτω --Actual Greek
hsan de ekei gunaikeV pollai apo makroqen qewrousai aitineV hkolouqhsan tw ihsou apo thV galilaiaV diakonousai autw--Transliterated of all texts
So does Luke 8:1-3
Afterward he journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources.
St Jerome in Letter 150 states Luke is related to 1 Corinthian 9:5 concerning "women/wives"
Here one could possibly translate it as wives.
Here is an excerpt of Tertullian’s writing "On Monogamy" on this issue:
"Peter alone do I find--through (the mention of) his "mother-in-law",--to have been married. Monogamist I am led to presume him by consideration of the Church, which, built upon him, was destined to appoint every grade of her Order from monogamists. The rest, while I do not find them married, I must of necessity understand to have been either eunuchs or continent. Nor indeed, if, among the Greeks, in accordance with the carelessness of custom, women and wives are classed under a common name--however, there is a name proper to wives--shall we therefore so interpret Paul as if he demonstrates the apostles to have had wives? For if he were disputing about marriages, as he does in the sequel, where the apostle could better have named some particular example, it would appear right for him to say, "For have we not the power of leading about wives, like the other apostles and Cephas?" But when he subjoins those (expressions)which show his abstinence from (insisting on) the supply of maintenance, saying, "For have we not the power of eating and drinking?" he does not demonstrate that "wives" were led about by the apostles, whom even such as have not still have the power of eating and drinking; but simply "women," who used to minister to them in the stone way (as they did) when accompanying the Lord." - "On Monogamy" Chapter 8
The St Jerome has his own commentary on the marital status of the Apostles, he says the same as Tertullian stated, but says it was possible the Apostles did in fact have wives, but had to separate from them once they were made Apostles of Christ. Then he further states that even if it were to be translated wives it must be understood that the wives were "related in spirit, not by wedlock." Nonetheless, St Jerome believes this verse not to infer the Apostles were married.
In accordance with this rule Peter and the other Apostles (I must give Jovinianus something now and then out of my abundance) had indeed wives, but those which they had taken before they knew the Gospel. But once they were received into the Apostolate, they forsook the offices of marriage. For when Peter, representing the Apostles, says to the Lord:[1] "Lo we have left all and followed thee," the Lord answered him,[2] "Verily I say unto you, there is no man that hath left house or wife, or brethren, or parents, or children for the kingdom of God's sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this time, and in the world to come eternal life." But if, in order to show that all the Apostles had wives, he meets us with the words[3] "Have we no right to lead about women or wives" (for gunh in Greek has both meanings) "even as the rest of the apostles, and Cephas, and the brethren of the Lord ?" let him add what is found in the Greek copies, "Have we no right to lead about women that are sisters, or wives ?" This makes it clear that the writer referred to other holy women, who, in accordance with Jewish custom, ministered to their teachers of their substance, as we read was the practice with even our Lord himself. Where there is a previous reference to eating and drinking, and the outlay of money, and mention is afterwards made of women that are sisters, it is quite clear, as we have said, that we must understand, not wives, but those women who ministered of their substance. And we read the same account in the Old Testament of the Shunammite who was wont to welcome Elisha, and to put for him a table, and bread, and a candlestick, and the rest. At all events if we take gunaikas to mean wives, not women, the addition of the word sisters destroys the effect of the word wives, and shews that they were related in spirit, not by wedlock. Nevertheless, with the exception of the Apostle Peter, it is not openly stated that the Apostles had wives; and since the statement is made of one while nothing is said about the rest, we must understand that those of whom Scripture gives no such description had no wives. - Book I Against Jovianius
St Augustine likewise interprets 1 Corinthians 9:5 use of the word gunaika as women:
"...for to this end did also faithful women which had earthly substance go with them, and minister unto them of their substance, that they might lack none of those things which pertain to the necessities of this life. Which thing blessed Paul demonstrates to be lawful indeed unto himself, as also the other Apostles did it, but that he had not chosen to use this power he afterwards mentions. This thing some not understanding, have interpreted not “a woman which is a sister,” when he said, “Have we not power to lead about a sister a woman;” but, “a sister a wife.” They were misled by the ambiguity of the Greek word, because both “wife” and “woman” is expressed in Greek by the same word. Though indeed the Apostle has so put this that they ought not to have made this mistake; for that he neither says “a woman” merely, but “a sister woman;” nor “to take” (as in marriage), but “to take about” (as on a journey). Howbeit other interpreters have not been misled by this ambiguity, and they have interpreted “woman” not “wife.”.."--Treatise 137:5
Some invoke 1 Timothy 4:3 “They forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.”
This refers to groups the condemn marriage as evil and dishonorable, the Catholic Church does not do this, but incidentally there are groups of heretics throughout the ages that considered marriage wicked and did not do it, some of these Protestants hold to as being orthodox, such as the Catharis, which the false prophetess Ellen G White considered to be “true” (Ellen White, Great Controversy, Chapter 6, paragraph 1, p97).  When commenting on groups that DO condemn marriage Church Fathers have said:
“Such also as "forbid to marry" he reproaches in his instructions to Timothy. [1 Timothy 4:3]  Now, this is the teaching of Marcion and his follower Apelles.”—Tertullian Prescription Again Heretics Chapter 33  c. AD 200
“For this leads me to remark of Marcion's god, that in reproaching marriage as an evil and unchaste thing, he is really prejudicing the cause of that very sanctity which he seems to serve.”—Tertullian Book I Against Marcion Chapter 29 c. AD 200
Likewise St Jerome (400):
"We are no disciples of Marcion or of Manichæus, to detract from marriage. Nor are we deceived by the error of Tatian, the chief of the Encratites, into supposing all cohabitation unclean. For he condemns and reprobates not marriage only, but foods also which God has created for us to enjoy”--St Jerome Letter 48
St Augustine similarly identifies a group as being the fulfilment of St Paul's prophecy:
"You [Manicheans] make your auditors adulterers of their wives when they take care lest the women with whom they copulate conceive. They take wives according to the laws of matrimony by tablets announcing that the marriage is contracted to procreate children; and then, fearing because of your [religious] law [against childbearing] . . . they copulate in a shameful union only to satisfy lust for their wives. They are unwilling to have children, on whose account alone marriages are made. How is it, then, that you are not those prohibiting marriage, as the apostle predicted of you so long ago [1 Tim. 4:1-4], when you try to take from marriage what marriage is? When this is taken away, husbands are shameful lovers, wives are harlots, bridal chambers are brothels, fathers-in-law are pimps"--Against Faustus the Manichaean 15:7  c.A.D. 400.
St Jerome further expounds:
A mother before she was wedded, she remained a virgin after bearing her son. Therefore, as I was going to say, the virgin Christ and the virgin Mary have dedicated in themselves the first fruits of virginity for both sexes. The apostles have either been virgins or, though married, have lived celibate lives. Those persons who are chosen to be bishops, priests, and deacons are either virgins or widowers; or at least when once they have received the priesthood, are vowed to perpetual chastity.--St Jerome Letter 48

Another writing which did not deal so much with having celibate priests but whether or not married priests should be celibate:

For we do not reject marriage, but simply refrain from it. Nor do we prescribe sanctity as the rule, but only recommend it, observing it as a good, yea, even the better state, if each man uses it carefully according to his ability; but at the same time earnestly vindicating marriage, whenever hostile attacks are made against it is a polluted thing, to the disparagement of the Creator.”—Tertullian Book I Against Marcion Chapter 29 c. AD 200

 “he reminded them, that according to the ancient tradition of the church, those who were unmarried when they took part in the communion of sacred orders, were required to remain so, but that those who were married, were not to put away their wives.”--- Ecclesiastical History Sozomen Book II, chapter 23
It demonstrates that that it is tradition for those who are ordained while being married are not to be required to not cohabit with their wives, but at the same time it calls it a tradition for celibates to be ordained and REMAIN celibates. Tertullian states celibacy is greater, and that we do not reject it, but we promote celibacy since it is regarded in scripture as greater. In Catholicism this high standard is expected of most priests, if a person cannot be celibate as a priest, he cannot become a priest, no one is forced to be a priest or forced to be celibate.  Celibacy is a vow to God and vows to God must be kept as scripture many things states.
Scriptures promoting celibacy:

“But the priest replied to David, "I have no ordinary bread on hand, only holy bread; if the men have abstained from women, you may eat some of that."”—1 Samuel 21:5

"Disciples said to him, "If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry." He answered,
"Not all can accept [this] word,  but only those to whom that is granted. For there are eunuchs, who were born so from their mother's womb: and there are eunuchs, who were made so by men: and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take, let him take it.”—Matthew 19:12

Now to the unmarried and to widows, I say: it is a good thing for them to remain as they are, as I do--1 Corinthians 7:8 NAB

Then Peter said to him in reply, "We have given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?"--Matthew 19:27

Further reading: here, here, SACERDOTALIS CAELIBATUS

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