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In 1 Tim. 3:4 KJV, regarding the qualifications of the elder, it states, "...having his children in subjection" (cp. Tit. 1:6).

The Greek text according to the Textus Receptus (Estienne, 1550) is as follows:

τοῦ ἰδίου οἴκου καλῶς προϊστάμενον τέκνα ἔχοντα ἐν ὑποταγῇ μετὰ πάσης σεμνότητος

(Alternatively, see the Greek text of the NA28.)

Is the Greek word translated into English as "children" actually declined in the plural number, thus meaning two or more children? Or is it declined in the singular number, thus meaning that the elder can have one child.

(Some say the Greek word can be understood as both plural and singular.)

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1 Answer 1

One early lesson in Classical Greek class is that neuter plural nouns in Greek function as a "collective" in the singular, and therefore can take verbs and their forms in the singular.

The Greek word in question in 1 Tim 3:4 is τέκνa, which is neuter plural.

Smyth, Herbert Weir (1918). Greek Grammar. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 264.

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