1 Timothy 3:3 MEANING

1 Timothy 3:3
(3) Not given to wine.--Drunkenness is scarcely alluded to here. It is rather a warning against choosing for the sacred office one given to frequenting noisy banquets, where wild and imprudent words are often spoken.

No striker.--Probably something more than merely brawling and fighting may here be included. Not only must the pattern minister of the Lord never smite his brother believer, but he must also never wound his soul with cutting, unkind words.

Not greedy of filthy lucre.--The Greek word thus translated does not occur in the older MSS. in this place.

But patient.--God's minister must be considerate toward the prejudices of others, forbearing, and gentle.

Not a brawler.--Better rendered, not contentious. He must not be easily vexed; but must exercise a steady command over his temper, avoiding all wordy strife.

Not covetous.--Literally, not a lover of money. The disinterested minister, who cares nothing for money for money's sake, would ever stand out in all societies a strangely attractive figure.

Verse 3. - No brawler for not given to wine, A.V.; the R.T. omits the clause μὴ αἰσξρερδη; gentle for patient, A.V.; contentious for a brawler, A.V.; no lover of money, for not covetous, A.V. No brawler (μὴ πάροινον); only here and Titus 1:7; but, as well as παροίνιος, common in classical Greek, in the sense of "quarrelsome over wine." In Matthew 11:19 and Luke 7:34 "wine-bibber" is οἰνοπότης. In 1 Peter 4:3 the word for "excess of wine" is οἰνοφλυγία. No striker (μὴ τλήκτην); only here and Titus 1:7. It is used, though rarely, in classical Greek for a "striker," "brawler." There is but weak manuscript authority for the reading in the T.R., μὴ αἰσχροκερδῆ, not given to filthy lucre, which is thought to have been derived from Titus 1:7 (q.v.). The internal evidence, however, is in its favor, as something is wanted to correspond to ἀφιλάργυρον, just as πάροινον and πλήκτην correspond to ἐπιεικῆ and at, ἄμαχον respectively. Gentle (ἐπιεικῆ); as Titus 3:2. So also it is rendered in the A.V. of James 3:17; 1 Peter 2:18. It is very common in classical Greek, in the sense of "fair," "meet," "suitable," of things; and of "fair," "kind," "gentle," of persons. The substantive ἐπιεικεία means "clemency," "gentleness," (Acts 24:4; 2 Corinthians 10:1). Not contentious (ἄμαχον); only here and Titus 3:3 in the New Testament, and in Ecclus. 19:5 in the Complutensian edition. It is also used in this sense in AEschylus, 'Persse,' 955, though its more common meaning in classical Greek is "invincible." No lover of money (ἀφιλάργυρον); only here and Hebrews 13:5. Ἁφιλαργυρία occurs in Hippocrates. The positive φιλάργυρος, φιλαργυρία, occurs in 1 Timothy 6:10; 2 Timothy 3:2; Luke 16:14. Neither the A.V. nor the R.V. quite preserves the form of the original sentence, where the three negative qualities (μὴ πάροινον μὴ πλήκτην μὴ αἰσχροκερδῆ, T.R.) are followed by three positive qualities (ἐπιοικῆ ἄμαχον ἀφιλάργυρον - "gentle," "peaceful," and "indifferent about money").

3:1-7 If a man desired the pastoral office, and from love to Christ, and the souls of men, was ready to deny himself, and undergo hardships by devoting himself to that service, he sought to be employed in a good work, and his desire should be approved, provided he was qualified for the office. A minister must give as little occasion for blame as can be, lest he bring reproach upon his office. He must be sober, temperate, moderate in all his actions, and in the use of all creature-comforts. Sobriety and watchfulness are put together in Scripture, they assist one the other. The families of ministers ought to be examples of good to all other families. We should take heed of pride; it is a sin that turned angels into devils. He must be of good repute among his neighbours, and under no reproach from his former life. To encourage all faithful ministers, we have Christ's gracious word of promise, Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world, Mt 28:20. And he will fit his ministers for their work, and carry them through difficulties with comfort, and reward their faithfulness.Not given to wine,.... One that does not sit at it, or is continually drinking it, and is intemperate in the use of it; otherwise it is lawful for persons in such an office to drink wine, and sometimes absolutely necessary; see 1 Timothy 5:23 it signifies one that is not given to much wine, as in 1 Timothy 3:8 is not addicted to it, or a follower of it; the Syriac version renders it, "who does not transgress over wine", or go beyond due bounds in the use of it, who is not immoderate in it; the Arabic version renders it, "not insolent through wine", as one that is heated with it is fierce and furious, and wrangling and quarrelsome, and often very mischievous and injurious; and this sense is followed by some.

No striker; either with his hands, so the Syriac version, "whose hand is not swift to strike"; not one who is nimble and ready at it, who no sooner is abused or injured, but he lifts up his hands and strikes; is but a word and a blow: or with his tongue; so the Arabic version, "not wounding with his tongue"; being too sharp and severe in the admonitions and reproofs of weak brethren, or fallen believers; and especially, he ought not to use scurrilous, reproachful, and contumelious language to any; see Jeremiah 18:18.

Not greedy of filthy lucre; not covetous of getting money, of amassing wealth and riches together; or desirous of popular applause and glory from men. This clause is not in the Alexandrian copy, nor in five of Beza's manuscripts and other copies, nor is it in the Vulgate Latin version, nor in any of the Oriental versions; it seems to be transcribed from Titus 1:7. And indeed it is unnecessary here; since the same is expressed by the word "covetous", at the end of the verse, and makes that a tautology; and moreover, by leaving out this clause, the opposition appears more manifest, between "no striker" and what follows,

but patient; one who patiently bears all reproaches and injuries, puts up with affronts, and gives up what is his right and due, rather than contend, quarrel, and strike; who is patient towards all men, and does not bear hard on those that have offended, but is moderate and mild, and gentle in his censures, reproofs, and admonitions:

not a brawler; not a quarrelsome litigious person, given to fighting, either with the fist or sword, or any other weapon:

not covetous; or a lover of money in an immoderate way, greedy of worldly substance and riches, and insatiable in his desires after them; stubborn, sordid, and illiberal; acting a mercenary part; seeking his own things, and not the things of Christ; his gain from his quarter, and not the good of souls; and withholding from himself, from his family, and the poor, what ought to be enjoyed by them. Whereas, on the other hand, he ought to be generous and liberal, hospitable and charitable, and ready to communicate on all occasions, according to his abilities.

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