Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on 1 Timothy 3:2-13

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Without reproach - 1 Timothy 3:2

without reproach. This general qualification is listed first because it is most important in the Ephesian context where false teachers have damaged the church's reputation. The seven positive qualities and five negations which follow (3:2-6) elaborate its meaning in detail. These qualities sum up the 'good reputation' that is needed to bear true witness to the gospel before church members and 'outsiders' (3:7). He must. The Greek word (dei) provides the grammatical structure of the entire section of qualifications for testing church leaders in 3:2-12. The subgroups are clearly parallel: 'It is necessary that an overseer' (3:2-7); 'likewise, deacons' (3:8-10); and, 'likewise, women' (3:11) be exemplary. A husband of one wife. 'A one-woman man' translates the Greek more clearly and brings out Paul's emphasis on marital faithfulness, which prohibits polygamy or remarriage after a divorce not based on biblical grounds. The phrase cannot mean that only married men qualify as candidates, as the same sort of strictly literal reading would also demand that only fathers with multiple children can qualify. Hospitable, and able to teach. While most requirements of overseers are character qualities, three key practices are vital to their work—hospitality, teaching, and household management

He Should Manage His Own Household Well- 1 Timothy 3:4

He should manage his own household well. Overseers must welcome people into their lives and homes, that they may disciple them not only by their words but also by their loving deeds as they steward the relationships and material goods of their household

Care for a church of God- 1 Timothy 3:5

Care for a church of God. Good character produces good relations and practices. The purpose of testing and selecting good overseers is to care well for God's household. For candidates who are being tested for the office of elder/overseer, members of their own household are important witnesses to their character.

He must not be a recent convert- 1 Timothy 3:6

He must not be a recent convert. While the word 'elder' (presbeuteros) means older, mature man, the focus here is on spiritual maturity, not chronological age. See note 3:7 and 4:12.

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.

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