(Tap footnote number to read it; tap up arrow (↑) to scroll back up to verse. Old Testament quotations/allusions are underlined.)
Qualifications for Overseers
- This saying is trustworthy: if any man aspires to an overseer’s office,(1)overseer’s office” is one word in Greek which comes from a Greek word meaning “to stare intently”. While our English word “overseer” focuses on authority, the Greek word focuses on “keeping an eye on” those allotted to your charge, in the sense of caring for them. he longs for a good work.
- Therefore, it’s required for an overseer to be above reproach, a married man who isn’t promiscuous,(2)“a married man who isn’t promiscuous” is more literally “a one woman man”. Because the Greek word for “man” can also mean “husband”, and since “woman” can also mean “wife”, many take this to mean “husband of one wife”. However, that’s impossible because of 1 Timothy 5:9, which (using the same words) speaks of widows “having been – and being – a one man woman”. See note on that verse. A widow by definition can’t be the “wife of one husband” because her husband is dead. Others have suggested this is a prohibition on second marriages, but Paul explicitly allows remarriage in 1 Corinthians 7. Still others have suggested this is a prohibition on polygamy, but this is extremely unlikely because polygamy was already a serious criminal offense in the Roman Empire (our word “romantic” originally meant “to be like the Romans”; i.e. monogamous.) Despite the Roman aversion to more than one wife, they embraced the practice of having mistresses. The phrase “one woman man” was an idiom referring to a man who didn’t have mistresses, nor hire prostitutes. Note: this list would contain no prohibition on sexual sins if “one woman man” isn’t an idiom. The idiom implies the man is married, but doesn’t guarantee it; again, see footnote on 1 Timothy 5:9. temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, willing and able to teach,
- not given to wine, not pugnacious, but equitable, peaceable, without the love of money,
- managing his own house well, having his children in submission with all dignity,
- (but if a man didn’t – and doesn’t – know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of a church of God?)
- and not a new convert, so he doesn’t become puffed up and fall into judgement like the Accuser.
- And it’s also required for him to have a good reputation from men outside the church, so he won’t fall to slander and a snare of the Accuser.
Qualifications for Deacons
- Likewise, deacons must be dignified, not double-tongued, not turning to much wine, not fond of dishonest gain,
- but holding to the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience.
- And let these men be tested first, then let them serve after being found blameless.
- (Likewise, women must be dignified, temperate, not slanderous, and faithful in all things.)
- Deacons must be a married man who isn’t promiscuous,(3)“a married man who isn’t promiscuous” see note on verse 2. managing their children and own households well.
- For the men who served well acquire good standing for themselves and much confidence in the faith; the faith in Jesus the Anointed.
Why Paul wrote
- I write these things to you, hoping to come to you in haste.
- But I wrote so if I delay, you know how it’s required to conduct yourself in the household of God, which the church of the living God; a pillar and support of the truth.
- And as all agree: great is the mystery of godliness; He who was revealed in flesh, declared righteous in the Spirit, was seen by angels, was proclaimed among the nations, was believed in the world, and was taken up in glory.
Next: 1 Timothy chapter 4
Previous: 1 Timothy chapter 2
Up: BOS Bible Index
Note: If you think a word, phrase, or passage could be better translated - or is wrong - then Please Say Something. This is an open source Bible that's accountable to all Christians. See this link for details.
Legal Use: Please feel free to quote the BOS Bible, but follow the guidelines on the Legal Use page when doing so. They are easy and mostly common sense.