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1 Timothy 3:11

Context
3:11 Likewise also their wives 1  must be dignified, not slanderous, temperate, faithful in every respect.

1 Timothy 5:9-10

Context

5:9 No widow should be put on the list 2  unless 3  she is at least sixty years old, was the wife of one husband, 4  5:10 and has a reputation for good works: as one who has raised children, 5  practiced hospitality, washed the feet of the saints, helped those in distress – as one who has exhibited all kinds of good works. 6 

1 tn Or “also deaconesses.” The Greek word here is γυναῖκας (gunaika") which literally means “women” or “wives.” It is possible that this refers to women who serve as deacons, “deaconesses.” The evidence is as follows: (1) The immediate context refers to deacons; (2) the author mentions nothing about wives in his section on elder qualifications (1 Tim 3:1-7); (3) it would seem strange to have requirements placed on deacons’ wives without corresponding requirements placed on elders’ wives; and (4) elsewhere in the NT, there seems to be room for seeing women in this role (cf. Rom 16:1 and the comments there). The translation “wives” – referring to the wives of the deacons – is probably to be preferred, though, for the following reasons: (1) It would be strange for the author to discuss women deacons right in the middle of the qualifications for male deacons; more naturally they would be addressed by themselves. (2) The author seems to indicate clearly in the next verse that women are not deacons: “Deacons must be husbands of one wife.” (3) Most of the qualifications given for deacons elsewhere do not appear here. Either the author has truncated the requirements for women deacons, or he is not actually referring to women deacons; the latter seems to be the more natural understanding. (4) The principle given in 1 Tim 2:12 appears to be an overarching principle for church life which seems implicitly to limit the role of deacon to men. Nevertheless, a decision in this matter is difficult, and our conclusions must be regarded as tentative.

2 sn This list was an official enrollment, apparently with a formal pledge to continue as a widow and serve the Lord in that way (cf. v. 12). It was either (1) the list of “true widows” who were given support by the church or (2) a smaller group of older women among the supported widows who were qualified for special service (perhaps to orphans, other widows, the sick, etc.). Most commentators understand it to be the former, since a special group is not indicated clearly. See G. W. Knight, Pastoral Epistles, 222-23 for discussion.

3 tn Grk “let a widow be enrolled if she has reached not less than sixty years.”

4 tn Or “a woman married only once,” “was devoted solely to her husband” (see the note on “wife” in 1 Tim 3:2; also 1 Tim 3:12; Titus 1:6).

5 tn Grk “if she raised children.” The phrase “if she raised children” begins a series of conditional clauses running to the end of the verse. These provide specific examples of her good works (v. 10a).

6 tn Grk “followed after every good work.”



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