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1 Timothy 3:1-7

Context
Qualifications for Overseers and Deacons

3:1 This saying 1  is trustworthy: “If someone aspires to the office of overseer, 2  he desires a good work.” 3:2 The overseer 3  then must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, 4  temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, an able teacher, 3:3 not a drunkard, not violent, but gentle, not contentious, free from the love of money. 3:4 He must manage his own household well and keep his children in control without losing his dignity. 5  3:5 But if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for the church of God? 3:6 He must not be a recent convert or he may become arrogant 6  and fall into the punishment that the devil will exact. 7  3:7 And he must be well thought of by 8  those outside the faith, 9  so that he may not fall into disgrace and be caught by the devil’s trap. 10 

1 tn Grk “the saying,” referring to the following citation (see 1 Tim 1:15; 4:9; 2 Tim 2:11; Titus 3:8 for other occurrences of this phrase).

2 tn Grk “aspires to oversight.”

3 tn Or “bishop.”

sn Although some see the article with overseer as indicating a single leader at the top of the ecclesiastical structure (thus taking the article as monadic), this is hardly necessary. It is naturally taken generically (referring to the class of leaders known as overseers) and, in fact, finds precedent in 2:11-12 (“a woman,” “a man”), 2:15 (“she”). Paul almost casually changes between singular and plural in both chapters.

4 tn Or “a man married only once,” “devoted solely to his wife” (see 1 Tim 3:12; 5:9; Titus 1:6). The meaning of this phrase is disputed. It is frequently understood to refer to the marital status of the church leader, excluding from leadership those who are (1) unmarried, (2) polygamous, (3) divorced, or (4) remarried after being widowed. A different interpretation is reflected in the NEB’s translation “faithful to his one wife.”

5 tn Grk “having children in submission with all dignity.” The last phrase, “keep his children in control without losing his dignity,” may refer to the children rather than the parent: “having children who are obedient and respectful.”

6 tn Grk “that he may not become arrogant.”

7 tn Grk “the judgment of the devil,” which could also mean “the judgment that the devil incurred.” But see 1 Tim 1:20 for examples of the danger Paul seems to have in mind.

8 tn Or “have a good reputation with”; Grk “have a good testimony from.”

9 tn Grk “the ones outside.”

10 tn Or “be trapped like the devil was”; Grk “fall into the trap of the devil.” The parallel in 2 Tim 2:26 supports the rendering given in the text.



TIP #08: Use the Strong Number links to learn about the original Hebrew and Greek text. [ALL]
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