After I posted my response to the question on polygamy, I received this
I realise that you have many, many e-mails and many, many questions coming in from all over the place, but I saw your recent addition to the Tank on polygamy.
I am in the process of disassociating myself from a small church known as the XXX. The XXX believes in polygamy. I never made it known to them, but I was somewhat disturbed by the Church's practice of "patriarchal marriage," as they called it.
I had thought that Titus 1:6 and 1 Timothy 3:2,12 outlawed polygamy.
Here is what their leader YYY writes in response:
The 'short' answer is that this YYY teacher cannot know Greek
This is IMMEDIATELY apparent from the bizarre assertion that mia
is not heis...they are the SAME EXACT word in the Greek ('one')...mia
is the FEMININE form of the numeral heis. For example, in the lexicons
words with variable gender endings are always listed in the Masculine,
Feminine, and Neuter forms (e.g, heis, mia, hen).
And, as for his first point, it is confused as well:
2. If you wanted to say 'first' in the Greek NT, you would use protos. Examples:
"but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first" (John 20.4)
"I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia" (Acts 20.18)
"because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now" (Php 1.5)
"I am the First and the Last" (Rev 1.17)
"The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox" (Rev 4.7)
"The first day of the month or week is designated in the NT as in the LXX, not by prote, but by mia...The model was Hebraic where all the days of the month are designated by cardinals." (Blass/Debrunner/Funk, topic 247, 'syntax of numerals").
"'He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?'" (Mk 2.7)
"He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all" (Mr 12.6)
"On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues" (Lk 13.10)
"So he called in each one of his master's debtors" (Lk 16.5)
"since there is only one God, who will justify..." (Rom 3.30)
[6. One minor point: what would 'first' mean in the elder-qualification
lists under this scenario: "the husband of a first wife"? (Or more accurately,
"a first-wife kind of man"?] Would this require elders to be polygamous?]
I hope this helps,
August 2, 1999