By all means. For not only did priests in the Old Testament have their lawful wives, but Paul also writes, in the New Testament, that such a bishop and elder is to be chosen as is both of blameless life and the husband of one wife (l Ti 3:2; Tts 1:5-6).

But some say: Paul is to be understood allegorically, namely that a bishop is to be appointed over only one church, or that he indeed can be chosen bishop who formerly was the husband of one wife, but not he who still is, or he who still has his own wife.

Paul himself is his own clear interpreter, namely that by husband of one wife he means him who has children, and not only of the church, but also of a family, that is, he rules well a wife, children, and servants (1 Ti 3:4; Tts 1:16). So also some of the apostles had their own wives, not only before they became apostles, but they also lived in marriage with them at the very time when they were apostles (1 Co 9:5). So also Ignatius and Clemens explain that passage of Paul. Moreover, Paul does not say, He who was the husband of one wife, but: He who is. And if these words were to be wrested to the past tense, it would necessarily also follow therefrom that a bishop is to be chosen who was at one time sober and able to teach, but is no longer so.

Martin Chemnitz, Ministry, Word, and Sacraments: An Enchiridion (1593, 1603), ed., trans. Luther Poellot; St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1981; 148-149

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