Qualifications for Overseers and Deacons

Here is a trustworthy saying:(A) Whoever aspires to be an overseer(B) desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach,(C) faithful to his wife,(D) temperate,(E) self-controlled, respectable, hospitable,(F) able to teach,(G) not given to drunkenness,(H) not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome,(I) not a lover of money.(J) 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.(K) (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)(L) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited(M) and fall under the same judgment(N) as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders,(O) so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.(P)

In the same way, deacons[b](Q) are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine,(R) and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.(S) 10 They must first be tested;(T) and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.

11 In the same way, the women[c] are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers(U) but temperate(V) and trustworthy in everything.

12 A deacon must be faithful to his wife(W) and must manage his children and his household well.(X) 13 Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.

Reasons for Paul’s Instructions

14 Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, 15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church(Y) of the living God,(Z) the pillar and foundation of the truth. 16 Beyond all question, the mystery(AA) from which true godliness(AB) springs is great:

He appeared in the flesh,(AC)
    was vindicated by the Spirit,[d]
was seen by angels,
    was preached among the nations,(AD)
was believed on in the world,
    was taken up in glory.(AE)

Footnotes

  1. 1 Timothy 3:4 Or him with proper
  2. 1 Timothy 3:8 The word deacons refers here to Christians designated to serve with the overseers/elders of the church in a variety of ways; similarly in verse 12; and in Romans 16:1 and Phil. 1:1.
  3. 1 Timothy 3:11 Possibly deacons’ wives or women who are deacons
  4. 1 Timothy 3:16 Or vindicated in spirit
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

14 These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:

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

16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

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