2 He setteth out Bishops, 8 and Christian deacons with their wives, 12 children and family, 15 he calleth the Church the house of God.

This [a]is a true saying, [b]If any man [c]desire the office of a Bishop, he desireth a worthy work.

(A)A Bishop therefore must be unreproveable, the husband of one [d]wife, watching, temperate, modest, harborous, apt to teach,

Not [e]given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre, but gentle, no fighter, not covetous.

One that can rule his own house honestly, having children under obedience with all honesty.

For if any cannot rule his own house, how shall he care for the Church of God?

He may not be a young scholar, lest he being puffed up fall into the [f]condemnation of the devil.

He must also be well reported of, even of them which are without, lest he fall into rebuke, and the snare of the devil.

[g]Likewise must [h]Deacons be grave, not double tongued, not given unto much wine, neither to filthy lucre,

(B)Having the [i]mystery of the faith in pure conscience.

10 And let them first be proved, then let them minister, if they be found blameless.

11 [j]Likewise their wives must be honest, not evil speakers, but sober, and faithful in all things.

12 [k]Let the Deacons be the husbands of one wife, and such as can rule their children well, and their own households.

13 For they that have ministered well, get themselves a good [l]decree, and [m]great liberty in the faith, which is in Christ Jesus.

14 [n]These things write I unto thee, trusting to come very shortly unto thee.

15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest yet know, how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the [o]house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the [p]pillar and ground of truth.

16 [q]And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness, which is, God is manifested in the flesh, [r]justified in the Spirit, seen of Angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, and received up in glory.


  1. 1 Timothy 3:1 Having dispatched the treatise, as well of doctrine and of the manner of handling of it, as also of public prayer, he now in the third place cometh to the persons themselves, speaking first of Pastors and afterward of Deacons, and he useth a preface, that the Church may know that these be certain and sure rulers.
  2. 1 Timothy 3:1 A Bishopric or the ministry of the word is not an idle dignity, but a work and that an excellent work: and therefore a Bishop must be furnished with many virtues both at home and abroad. Wherefore it be requisite before he be chosen, to examine well his learning, his gifts, and ableness, and his life.
  3. 1 Timothy 3:1 He speaketh not here of ambitious seeking, than the which there cannot be a worse fault in the Church, but general of the mind, and disposition of man, framed and disposed to help and edify the Church of God, when and wheresoever it shall please the Lord.
  4. 1 Timothy 3:2 Therefore he that shutteth out married men from the office of Bishops, only because they are married, is Antichrist.
  5. 1 Timothy 3:3 A common tippler, and one that will sit by it.
  6. 1 Timothy 3:6 Lest by reason that he is advanced to that degree, he take occasion to be proud, which will undo him, and so he fall into the same condemnation that the devil himself is fallen into.
  7. 1 Timothy 3:8 Likewise the Deacons must first be proved that there may be a good trial of their honesty, truth, sobriety, mind, void of covetousness, that they are well instructed in the doctrine of faith, and to be short, of their good conscience and integrity.
  8. 1 Timothy 3:8 These are they that had to see to the poor.
  9. 1 Timothy 3:9 The doctrine of the Gospel, which is a mystery indeed: for flesh and blood do not reveal it.
  10. 1 Timothy 3:11 Regard must be had also to the Pastors’ and Deacons’ wives.
  11. 1 Timothy 3:12 They that have more wives than one at one time, must neither be called to be ministers, nor to be Deacons.
  12. 1 Timothy 3:13 Honor and estimation.
  13. 1 Timothy 3:13 Bold and assured confidence without fear.
  14. 1 Timothy 3:14 Paul purposing to add many peculiar things pertaining to the daily office of a Pastor, speaketh first a word or two concerning his coming to Timothy, that he would be so much the more careful, lest at his coming he might be reproved of negligence.
  15. 1 Timothy 3:15 The Pastor hath always to think, how that he is occupied in the house of the living God, wherein the treasure of the truth is kept.
  16. 1 Timothy 3:15 To wit, in respect of men: for the Church resteth upon that cornerstone, Christ, and is the preserver of the truth, but not the mother.
  17. 1 Timothy 3:16 There is nothing more excellent than this truth, whereof the Church is the keeper and preserver here amongst men, the ministry of the word being appointed to that end and purpose: for it teacheth us the greatest matters that may be thought of, to wit, that God is become visible in the person of Christ by taking our nature upon him, whose Majesty notwithstanding in so great weakness was manifested many ways, insomuch that the sight of it pierced the very Angels: and to conclude, he being preached unto the Gentiles was received of them, and is now placed above in glory unspeakable.
  18. 1 Timothy 3:16 The power of the Godhead showeth itself so marvelously in that weak flesh of Christ, that though he were a weak man, yet all the world knoweth he was, and is God.

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