Married Only Once? (Box 22.7)

The letter of 1 Timothy indicates that bishops (3:2) and deacons (3:12) are to be married only once (or, literally, to be “the husband of one wife”). What does this mean? Four suggestions:

They are not to remarry after being divorced. This seems consistent with Paul’s teaching elsewhere (1 Cor. 7:10–11; cf. Mark 10:11–12).

Most scholars assume that at least the first two ideas would be included in what is intended here; the third and/or fourth ideas might be intended as well.