SUMMARY.--The Qualifications of Bishops. Of Deacons. Their Wives. The Reason for Writing to Timothy of These Matters. The Mystery of Godliness.
11. Even so must their wives. The word in the Greek may mean women or wives. It is rendered wife in verse 12 . The Revision says, "Women must be, etc." I believe that the Old Version is nearer right. The duties of women generally are not spoken of in the midst of a discussion of elders and deacons. Either deaconesses are meant, or the wives of bishops and deacons; more likely the latter. We know that an injudicious wife may mar the work of a church officer. Not slanderers. Not given to tattling.
12, 13. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife. The same word is used in the Greek here for wife that is used in verse 11 . See notes on "one wife" under verse 2. Ruling their children. See notes on verses 4 and 5. 13. For they that, etc. These demands for the office are high, for those who exercise it well purchase a good degree. Secure a high position in the church and in God's favor. And great boldness in the faith. To fill these duties well gives strength, and often fits for higher duties. Stephen and Philip became evangelists.
14-16. These things I write, . . . hoping to come unto thee shortly. It is not certain that he was ever able to visit Ephesus again, though it is thought that he did on his way to Crete. 15. But if I tarry. In that case he wrote that Timothy might understand how to act. Behave thyself in the house of God. Conduct thyself in the management of the church. Which is the church of the living God. The house of God is not the temple of Diana, which stood there at Ephesus. The pillar and ground of the truth. The church is the pillar and support of the truth because it preaches it to the world, preserves it, and transmits it from generation to generation. 16. Without controversy. Undoubtedly. Great is the mystery of godliness. The mystery that God has revealed to us in the gospel in order to make men godly. The great things revealed in this mystery are next named, certainly wonderful things, well called great. God was manifest in the flesh. Was manifested in Jesus Christ. Justified in the Spirit. When, after his condemnation to death, the power of God raised him from the dead. Seen of angels. The angels were at the open tomb and told the women of his resurrection. Preached unto the Gentiles. A wonderful fact in the mind of a Jew like Paul, who had been trained to believe that the Gentiles were accursed. Received up into glory. At the Ascension. Six elements enter into this mystery of godliness, elements all of which were fully revealed in the gospel. The mystery is not something incomprehensible, but the hidden wisdom of God revealed in the gospel; a sense similar to that in which mystery is always used in the Scriptures. Compare Matt. 13:11 Revelation 1:20 Revelation 17:5 Revelation 1:7 .