1 Timothy 3:1-7

Qualifications for Overseers and Deacons

1 Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task.
2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.
4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full[a] respect.
5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)
6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.
7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.

1 Timothy 3:1 in Other Translations

KJV
1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
ESV
1 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.
NLT
1 This is a trustworthy saying: “If someone aspires to be an elder, he desires an honorable position.”
MSG
1 If anyone wants to provide leadership in the church, good!
CSB
1 This saying is trustworthy: "If anyone aspires to be an overseer, he desires a noble work."

1 Timothy 3:1-7 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 1 TIMOTHY 3

In this chapter the apostle treats of the qualifications of officers of churches, bishops and deacons, and of their wives; and points at the principal reason of writing this epistle to Timothy: and first, he commends the office of a bishop, as a good and desirable one; and asserts it to be such in the strongest manner, 1Ti 3:1 and then follow the qualifications for it, some of which are of the economical or domestic kind, and regard him as an husband and parent, and the head of the family; others of a moral nature, and relate to sobriety, hospitality, temperance, patience, and liberality; and others of the ecclesiastical sort, as aptness to teach, and that he should not be a novice in religion; and in general, that he should be a man of a blameless life, and of good report in the world, 1Ti 3:2-7, next an account is given of the qualifications of deacons; some which concern their moral character; others their soundness in the faith; and others their domestic affairs, and their conduct in their families; about which they should be first examined, before they were put into their office; the characters of their wives are also given; and for their encouragement in the faithful performance of their office, it is observed, that they hereby obtain a good degree of honour and boldness in the faith of Christ, 1Ti 3:8-13. And the end of the apostle's writing this epistle, and particularly of giving Timothy this account of the qualifications of the officers of the church of God, is, that he might know whom to appoint over it, and how to conduct himself in it; which he commends from its being the house of God, the church of the living God, and the pillar and ground of truth, 1Ti 3:14,15. Of which truth he gives a summary, in several particulars of it, which open the great mystery of godliness, 1Ti 3:16.

1 Timothy 3:1-7 In-Context

1 Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task.
2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.
4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect.
5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)
6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.
7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
8 In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain.
9 They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.
10 They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.
11 In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.

Cross References 16

  • 1. S 1 Timothy 1:15
  • 2. Acts 20:28; Philippians 1:1; Titus 1:7
  • 3. Titus 1:6-8
  • 4. ver 12
  • 5. ver 11; Titus 2:2
  • 6. S Romans 12:13
  • 7. 2 Timothy 2:24
  • 8. Titus 1:7
  • 9. 2 Timothy 2:24
  • 10. Luke 16:14; 1 Timothy 6:10; 2 Timothy 3:2; Hebrews 13:5; 1 Peter 5:2
  • 11. ver 12; Titus 1:6
  • 12. S 1 Corinthians 10:32
  • 13. 1 Timothy 6:4; 2 Timothy 3:4
  • 14. S 2 Peter 2:4
  • 15. S Mark 4:11
  • 16. 2 Timothy 2:26

Footnotes 1

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