1 Tim 5:11-14 What do widows do?

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satz

Puritan Board Senior
1 Timothy 5:11-14 But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith. And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.


In verse 11 Paul seems to be telling the church to deny financial support for younger widows because they will want to marry. Yet in verse 14 he says that younger women should marry.

What is going on here?

Am i missing something?
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
Originally posted by trevorjohnson
I am studying through I Timothy too.....these widows are giving me grief. I don't know what Paul is saying in many regards!

Here's some more questions:

(1). Was the "widow's roll" an official ministry of the church (like the food pantry,etc)?

(2). Only older widows can be on the list?

(3). It seems there is a written list, does it not?

(4). Verse 9 - she can only have been the wife of one man....what's with this? She will be denied financial support when old because 2 lawful husbands both died before her? I do not understand. I have some friends who point to this as proof that we are to marry as swans...remaining single after a spouses death.

I haven't studied this lately, but it seems there was a list, and that older widows were on it (and especially those with no family to support them) and that younger women generally were to remarry. I think "wife of one man" is probably to be taken the same way as "husband of one wife" in 1 Tim 3:2 i.e. not engaging or marked by immorality, faithful to one's spouse. The NGSB note at 3:2 reads
This difficult expression (v. 12; Titus 1:6; cf. 5:9) has been understood to prohibit polygamy, remarriage after a divorce or marital infidelity. Given the widespread immorality in the Greco-Roman world, the last would seem to fit Paul's focus the best.
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
Originally posted by trevorjohnson
Aaarrrgghhhh!!

And here is yet more that I do not understand (perhaps I shouldn't post on this board right after my bible studies...too many questions stirred up).....


"But refuse to enrol younger widows; for when they grow wanton against Christ they desire to marry, and so they incur condemnation for having violated their first pledge. (1 Timothy 5:11 RSV)"



Having violated their first pledge? Huh?


Did they take a vow of celibacy after the end of their marriage? What is wrong and what is "against Christ" if they choose to marry again?


Do we have here evidence of an "order" of set-aside celibate women to serve the church (i.e. the proto-nuns)?

Some commentators think their "first pledge" refers to their basic commitment to Christ, others think the widows who were enrolled may have pledged their lives in service to the Lord and the church.
 
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