Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on 1 Timothy 3:7-13

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He must have a good reputation- 1 Timothy 3:7

He must have a good reputation with those outside. Most of the qualifications for leadership are widely recognized dimensions of good character both inside and outside the church, and are vital to the church's witness in society. the trap of the devil. Paul is aware that church officers are targets of the devil's destructive schemes, because their fall into disgrace hurts the faith of those inside the church and stains the church's witness outside the church

Deacons in the Church - 1 Timothy 3:8-13

Select Men & Women of Exemplary Christian Character as Deacons. Whereas the role of 'overseer' was limited to mature men, the role of 'deacon' (diakonos) includes mature women and men. The apostle Paul also pairs these leadership roles in Phil 1:1. Perhaps, he does not include a description of duties for 'supervisors' or 'servants,' because the names themselves are functional. While 'elders' were well established in the Jewish community from the time of Jethro (cf. Ex 18), 'deacons' acted in the Graeco-Roman patronage economy as 'go-betweens' or 'agents' of those they were authorized to represent. They filled a wide array of roles from food service and tutoring within the household to courier and transactional services outside it.

Deacons, likewise - 1 Timothy 3:8

Deacons, likewise. The biblical role of 'deacon' is rooted in the example of Jesus himself (cf. Mark 10:45), who came not to be served, but to serve (diakoneō), but also in the work of Phoebe (cf. Rom 16:2), and 'the seven' men of Acts 6:1-6, who were chosen by their community. Deacons represent Christ, and the congregation, not the elders or overseers. Their primary work is to preserve the integrity of the gospel by insuring 'acts of grace' accompany words of grace (cf. 2 Cor 8:4; 9:1, 12-13), particularly towards those in the community, who are most vulnerable to material want.

Revealed Truth- 1 Timothy 3:9

the revealed truth of the faith. The clear overlap in character requirements between 'overseers' and 'deacons,' as well as this requirement that deacons 'hold the mystery of the faith,' makes it plain that deacons are not mere social workers. Rather, to hold the words and deeds of the gospel together, they must possess and integrate them in their own households (3:12), as well as in their service to Christ's social body and witness to their neighbors.

Women - 1 Timothy 3:11

Women, in the same way. Paul follows the same pattern of address in the matter of selecting leaders, as he had with his instructions for corporate worship. He addresses the men and women together, first the men, then the women (see notes 2:8 and 2:9). Moreover, the grammar of his list of qualifications for leaders holds the section together (see note 3:2). Three identifications have been offered for these women, who are being tested for a leading role in the congregation: 1) they are the wives of diaconal candidates; 2) irrespective of their marital status, they are female assistants to the deacons; and 3) they are women candidates for the office of deacon. Given the lack of a pronoun or article, the translation 'their wives' is highly improbable. Sandwiched in between diaconal qualifications listed in vv8-10 and vv12-13, it is clear that these 'women' are also being tested to serve as deacons.

husbands of one wife- 1 Timothy 3:12

husbands of one wife. Though Paul listed the requirement of marital faithfulness for 'overseers' as the first example of being 'without reproach' (see note 3:2), he delays listing the requirement for male deacons because he is addressing a mixed group of male and female candidates for the office in 3:8-10. Having listed the requirement that women candidates 'be faithful in everything' (3:11; cf. 5:9), he also requires male candidates to be 'one-woman-men' and to manage their households well (see notes 3:2 and 3:5).

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