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Breaking Past the "One Wife" Barrier   [ Menu ]

Breaking Past the "One Wife" Barrier

Chapter 2
Looking Forward

My Experience
in Breaking Past the "ONE WIFE" Barrier

Originally authored by the Founder of this ministry, and first posted at the FAF Listservs of this ministry, on July 30, 1999.

How to STILL Break Past the Barrier,
Regardless of new "denominationalisms" within Christian Polygamy

-----Original Message-----
From: . . TRUTH BEARER <truthbearer@thestandardbearer.com>
To: FAF listserv
Date: Friday, July 30, 1999 8:38 AM
Subject: My experience in breaking past "one wife" barrier

Greetings in the love of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Dear FRIENDS,

Regarding the discussion about "one wife" in 1_Timothy 3:2,12 and Titus 1:6, I would like to add my own contribution here. I pray that it is of some edification, as I do not desire for there to be any factional disputations going on between us. Let us only talk WITH each other, that we all might learn and grow from each other, unto glorifying the Lord Jesus.

Rather than get into too much emphasis of my own particular inclination in this matter, I am here more going to share about application in terms of helping to bring the truth of Christian Polygamy to fellow Christians, to the churches.

For now, I will spare everyone here all the comprehensive reasoning (re: being anti-divorce) as to why I am inclined toward the "first wife" translation of "MIA wife". Instead, please permit me to share some of my personal experience in bringing the truth of Christian Polygamy to other Christians over these last years, and how I use that "first wife" translation to more effectively bring the Truth of Christian Polygamy to my fellow Christians.

"Double Negative" Approach

Actually, I tend to take a sort-of "double negative" approach with this.

You see, because my "ego" is not "on the line" in these discussions, it is not all that necessary about whether or not I myself believe "MIA" to actually be seemingly better translated as "first". As such, therefore,

I do NOT discuss with my fellow Christians that those three passages somehow

   *** HAVE to be *** translated as "first".

In these years of exegeting Christian Polygamy, I have discovered something about how many Christians "think" when it comes to Christian Polygamy. Oftentimes, the only thing holding them back from receiving the truth of it is a self-imposed barrier to which they hold tenaciously. That barrier to their acceptance is the "one wife" passages.

Yet, I have found a key to unlock that barrier, in order to get past it, and open their minds and spirit to receive the full revelation of Christian Polygamy.

As such, I have learned from experience that it is more important to help them get past this barrier of the "one wife" question, in order to then free the mind of the fellow Christian to listen to the rest of the Truth.

It is sad how truly closed the minds of so many of our dear brethren really are! Sadly, I am ashamed to admit, too many of our fellow Christians mistakenly fall into the human trap of talking AT others rather than speaking WITH others. And I know that I myself must also beware of doing so likewise. I pray for the Lord's work in me that I ever be and remain delivered of doing such a thing.

So, you see, I never approach such ones INSISTING that "'MIA" somehow "HAS TO BE" translated as "first".

I instead show my fellow Christians that
it is THEY who CAN NOT insist that
it HAS to be translated as "ONE"!

(That's the double-negative of which I was speaking.)

Mia & Protos
A pair of "COULD-BEs"


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Some suggest that if Paul had wanted to communicate "first wife" in those passages, he would have used "protos" instead.

Could be. Perhaps.

But that's not a definitive.

For indeed, there's no definitive basis to say that it HAD to be "protos".

Why so? Because it could indeed just as easily be that he could use "MIA" for first.

This is because other verses (e.g., Acts 20:7 and others) were also translated as "first" --and rightly so.

  • Matthew 28:1,
  • Mark 16:2,
  • Luke 24:1,
  • John 20:1,
  • John 20:19,
  • Acts 20:7,
  • 1_Corinthians 16:2,
  • Titus 3:10

Except for the last one there, all of those are about the "FIRST day of the week", translating "MIA" as "FIRST".

In Titus 3:10, it is truly clear and correct that "MIA" had been translated as "first":

To wit,

"A man [444] that is an heretick [141] after [3326] the first [3391] and [2532] second [1208] admonition [3559] reject [3868] (5737);" (Titus 3:10.)

So now while I fully understand language and use of feminines and all that, the fact remains that "MIA" CAN be translated as "first".

And likewise, one can not insist that the Greek word, "protos" (as it is indeed translated as "first" several times in other verses), is the only word which would have been used if to convey the meaning of "first". That is, one cannot exclude "MIA" from being translated as "first" by insisting that ONLY "protos" is the word which would have been used if the meaning of "first" was that which was being conveyed.

After all, if that were true, then what of those eight verses where "first" is NOT translated from "protos", but rather from "MIA"?

So what we have here is a pair of "COULD-BE's", with no definitive resolution.

It CAN NOT be definitively declared that "MIA wife" in 1_Timothy 3:2,12 and Titus 1:6

COULD NOT have meant "first wife".

Showing this to Christians

I do not try to get other Christians to INSIST that it does mean "first",

but rather I try only to get them to see that it COULD be "first" wife.

I do this in order to help them break past that "one wife" barrier.

As such, these fellow Christians indeed do HAVE to admit that it COULD be "first".

And what's fascinating is the way they react to it, not even realizing that they are almost persuading themselves!

For example, I just recently received the following retort from an anti-polygyny Christian who was also arguing against the "first wife" idea.

THEY SAID TO ME, QUOTE~~~

Titus 1:6 and I Timothy 3:2,12--There is a reason the translators chose the word "one" instead of "first," if the Greek forms do truly mean such a thing. If you use the word "first" in those passages, they make little sense except in the case that a man that has been divorced from his wife and then remarried cannot be considered for the position of elder or deacon.

~~~I REPLY

EXACTLY!     LoL    [ie., "Laugh out Loud"]

NOW.... those three passage make sense as to why they were given, in that the instruction there is excluding men who have put away a wife. (It is my anti-divorce beliefs which do indeed impact my reasoning for being so inclined toward the "first wife" position of these passages.)

And most fundamentalist Christians who are also anti-divorce then tend to think to themselves, "Hmmmm, this might just be something here..."

For indeed, now, you see, I've got them thinking.

The "one wife" barrier has now been brought down, even if they are not ready to concede it, they do at least see that "MIA" COULD be translated as "first".

They also realize that, if those verses had ever been translated as "first", then the doctrine of polygamy would have been so outright clear.

Which then makes them ponder possibilities.

Why Scholars would have missed this

For example, why would the translators and scholars "miss" this?

Pretty easily, actually, if one is indoctrinated in the so-called "monogamy" doctrine.

If one is in the so-called "monogamy" doctrine position, then they would automatically dismiss out of hand the possibility of "MIA wife" being translated as "first wife". They wouldn't even give it a second thought, automatically assuming it to supposedly be correctly translated as "one wife".

After all, the ramifications of "MIA wife" being translated as "first wife" are deep. Namely, it would establish the very principle of POLYGAMY, saying that even bishops, elders, and deacons can have more than one wife so long as they had not put away their FIRST wife.

Remember the person's quote above? They were unwittingly persuading themselves of the polygamy doctrine without even realizing it!

So now I've got them thinking

So, anyway, as I said, in my rather many experiences with other Christians in such discussions, my achieving this goal of breaking past the "one wife" barrier is indeed often thereafter sufficient to then help them seriously pray, ponder, and consider all the rest of the Scriptures in this matter of Christian Polygamy.

And so, in my love for them to be able to move past this "one wife" barrier, I simply show them that "MIA wife" in 1_Timothy 3:2,12, and Titus 1:6 COULD be "first wife".

In these things, my own "ego" is never "on the line" here. I simply see that it is more important to help my fellow Christians break past this particular self-imposed barrier of "one wife" (et al).

I will let them "move" to their own "denominational factions" later as to whether they choose to believe that "MIA wife" is to be translated as

"one wife", as "a wife", or as "first wife".

My goal is simply to help them get past that "one wife" barrier, and accept all the revelation of the truth of Christian Polygamy.

And that's really part of the Mission of TRUTH BEARER, which is to bring Christian Polygamy to all the Churches.

I recognize that others have reasonable yet differing views about "MIA wife", and that's okay. We're here in discussion, not battles anyway. This email here is simply my contribution to this discussion.

I just want to stay focused on bringing the truth of Christian Polygamy to others, without getting too caught up in our own factional positions.

Let us edify each other, bring Christian Polygamy to others, and glorify the Lord Jesus the Messiah. Hallelujah!

May the love of the Lord Christ Jesus be with us all.

YHWH bless...

---Mark
   Founder
TRUTH BEARER
  Acts 24:14
http://truthbearer.org
   Continuing the Reformation...
     Bringing Christian Polygamy to the Churches

© July 30, 1999, TruthBearer.org
P.O. Box 765, O.O.B., ME 04064

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