Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on 1 Timothy 3:8-16

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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).

Covenant Community: Timothy's Covenant Responsibility - 1 Timothy 3:14-16

Paul Summarizes the Church's Identity and Mission to Show-and-Tell the Gospel. This section provides a clear purpose statement for the letter and reiterates Paul's earlier instructions to Timothy (see note 1:18-20). The character and mission of the church is narrated by the bigger story of the gospel, the truth about God and humankind revealed by Christ.

How to behave in God's household- 1 Timothy 3:15

how to behave in God's household. As those who have been joined to God's household, the church is called to bear true witness to Christ by its way of life. Paul is concluding a section in which he has outlined the church's conduct in public worship (2:1-15) and in the character of its leaders (3:1-13). and support of the truth. Amidst a city of temples and their idols, Paul described the church at Ephesus as the household of the one, true God, who lives. That confession of truth is supported by their public piety in corporate worship, the character of their leaders and their own conduct.

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