1 Timothy 3:11

11 Women likewise must be serious, not slanderers, but temperate, faithful in all things.

1 Timothy 3:11 Meaning and Commentary

1 Timothy 3:11

Even so must their wives be grave
Some instead of "wives" read "women", and understand them of deaconesses, such as were in the primitive churches; whose business it was to visit the poor and sick sisters of the church, and take care of things belonging to them; but it is better to interpret the words of the wives of the deacons, who must be as their husbands, "grave" in speech, gesture, and dress, of an honest report, a good behaviour, and chaste conversation; which will reflect honour and credit to their husbands:

not slanderers;
or accusers, and so act like devils, as the word is sometimes rendered; for should they act such a part, and accuse either the poor, or any of the members of the church wrongfully, or on any trifling occasion, as persons addicted to this vice are wont to do, it would be of bad consequence: and they also should be

sober,
temperate, not given to wine; excessive drinking is very scandalous in the female sex; and is the rather mentioned here, because women in the eastern countries were too frequently addicted to it:

faithful in all things;
as in the marriage bed, so with whatsoever else they are intrusted with in the family, and civil concerns of their husbands; and this is the rather observed, because the wives of deacons may be sometimes intrusted with the church's stock in their husband's absence, to impart to the poor.

1 Timothy 3:11 In-Context

9 they must hold fast to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.
10 And let them first be tested; then, if they prove themselves blameless, let them serve as deacons.
11 Women likewise must be serious, not slanderers, but temperate, faithful in all things.
12 Let deacons be married only once, and let them manage their children and their households well;
13 for those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and great boldness in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or [Their wives], or [Women deacons]