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1 Timothy 5:8-11

5:8 But if someone does not provide for his own, 1  especially his own family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

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  5:11 But do not accept younger widows on the list, 7  because their passions may lead them away from Christ 8  and they will desire to marry,

1 tn That is, “his own relatives.”

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.”

7 tn Grk “refuse younger widows.”

8 tn With a single verb and object, this clause means “pursue sensuous desires in opposition to Christ.”

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