Does I Tim 3:12 Refer to Remarriage After Divorce, Polygamy, or Both?

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“A deacon must be the husband of but one wife . . .” (1 Tim. 3:12). Does this refer to remarriage after divorce, to polygamy, or to both?

 Most Bible students understand this text to address and prohibit polygamy among the church’s leaders, not to deny one who has been divorced for valid cause and remarried. When a divorce is granted, both in ancient and modern times, the marriage is dissolved and the divorcee is no longer married (Deut. 24:1, 2; 1 Cor. 7:15). One who marries again after divorce, then, has only one wife, not two. The man or woman who is divorced for a valid, biblical reason has a right to remarry.

— Elder Calvin Burrell, July, 2009

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    Calvin Burrell
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    Calvin Burrell is former editor of the Bible Advocate and former director of G. C. Missions. He retired in 2015 and lives with his wife, Barb, in Stayton, OR. They attend church in Marion, OR.