1 Timothy 3:1-7

Qualifications for Overseers

1 The saying is 1trustworthy: If anyone aspires to 2the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.
2 Therefore 3an overseer[a] must be above reproach, 4the husband of one wife,[b]5sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, 6hospitable, 7able to teach,
3 not a drunkard, not violent but 8gentle, not quarrelsome, 9not a lover of money.
4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity 10keeping his children submissive,
5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for 11God's church?
6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may 12become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.
7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by 13outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into 14a snare of the devil.

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 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.
2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife,sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.
4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive,
5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church?
6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.
7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.
8 Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued,not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain.
9 They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.
10 And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless.
11 Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things.

Cross References 14

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or bishop; Greek episkopos; a similar term occurs in verse 1
  • [b]. Or a man of one woman; also verse 12
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.