Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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Is priesthood a desire fulfilled; or an order from above carried out? How do we match what is in the Holy Book of 1 Timothy 3:1 with the church’s practices nowadays?

"This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work" (1 Tim 3:1). The desire here is not a desire for authority, honor or a high prestigious position, but a desire for hard and painful work that awaits a good reward in Heaven. Remember that in those times this position entailed a lot of danger, severe labor, want, persecution, and death, without any secular remedy whatsoever.

"A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife" (1 Tim 3:2). The keyword in this verse is the word "one" which means that "the husband of one wife" should not be understood as requiring a bishop "to be" a married man but that it prohibits the marriage to a second wife after the death of the first. The same St. Paul wrote in his letter to the Corinthians "For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that. But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion" (1 Cor 7:7-9).
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