1 Timothy 3:1

“This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.”

King James Version (KJV)

Other Translations

This is a true saying: If a man desire the office of a Bishop, he desireth a good worke.
- King James Version (1611) - View 1611 Bible Scan

It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires {to do.}
- New American Standard Version (1995)

Faithful is the saying, If a man seeketh the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
- American Standard Version (1901)

This is a true saying, A man desiring the position of a Bishop has a desire for a good work.
- Basic English Bible

The word [is] faithful: if any one aspires to exercise oversight, he desires a good work.
- Darby Bible

This is a true saying, If a man desireth the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
- Webster's Bible

Faithful is the saying, "If any one is eager to have the oversight of a Church, he desires a noble work."
- Weymouth Bible

This is a faithful saying: if a man seeks the office of an overseer, he desires a good work.
- World English Bible

A feithful word. If ony man desirith a bishopriche, he desirith a good werk.
- Wycliffe Bible

Stedfast [is] the word: If any one the oversight doth long for, a right work he desireth;
- Youngs Literal Bible

Bible commentary

Wesley's Notes for 1 Timothy 3:1


3:1 He desireth a good work - An excellent, but laborious, employment.


People's Bible Notes for 1 Timothy 3:1


1Ti 3:1 Bishops and Deacons SUMMARY OF I TIMOTHY 3: The Qualifications of Bishops. Of Deacons. Their Wives. The Reason for Writing to Timothy of These Matters. They Mystery of Godliness. If a man desireth the office of a bishop. Here, for the first time in the New Testament, is there a delineation of the qualifications and duties of bishops and deacons. Both offices have been alluded to in Acts (elders, Ac 11:30 14:23 15:2 16:4 20:17; deacons, Ac 6:1-6), and both are named in Php 1:1. To form a correct idea of the New Testament bishop we must get away from modern episcopacy. The New Testament bishop was not diocesan, but in charge of a single church. Each church had a plurality. Elders or presbyters, and bishops were only different designations for the same office. This arrangement was not changed until after the close of the first century and the death of the last of the apostles. Of these statements, admitted by the candid learned even of episcopal bodies, the following proofs may be submitted: (1) Paul summons the "elders" of the church at Ephesus (Ac 20:17), and calls them "bishops" ("overseers") in Ac 20:28. (2) In the church of Philippi the "bishops and deacons" are named as the officers (Php 1:1). (3) Paul in this Epistle names bishops and deacons as the officers (1Ti 3:1,12), but names "elders" as officers entrusted with the same duties already named as those of the bishops in 1Ti 5:17-22. (4) In the Epistle to Titus, Paul commands to "ordain elders in every city" (Tit 1:5), but in turn describing the qualifications of an elder he calls him a bishop (Tit 1:7). (5) Peter addresses "elders" and commands them to exercise the office of "bishops" over the flock (1Pe 5:1,2). The Greek word "episkope", as well as the word "bishop", etymologically means to act as an overseer, or to take the oversight. (6) I might add that Clement of Rome, who wrote to Corinthians about the beginning of the second century, uses the terms interchangeably. Desireth a good work. A very important duty.

Discussion for 1 Timothy 3:1

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