1 Timothy
Chapter 3

+     Text Size    

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

2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

14 These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:

15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

Commentary for 1 Timothy 3

The qualifications and behaviour of gospel bishops. (1-7) And of deacons and their wives. (8-13) The reason of writing about these, and other church affairs. (14-16)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.

8-13 The deacons were at first appointed to distribute the charity of the church, and to manage its concerns, yet pastors and evangelists were among them. The deacons had a great trust reposed in them. They must be grave, serious, prudent men. It is not fit that public trusts should be lodged in the hands of any, till they are found fit for the business with which they are to be trusted. All who are related to ministers, must take great care to walk as becomes the gospel of Christ.

14-16 The church is the house of God; he dwells there. The church holds forth the Scripture and the doctrine of Christ, as a pillar holds forth a proclamation. When a church ceases to be the pillar and ground of truth, we may and ought to forsake her; for our regard to truth should be first and greatest. The mystery of godliness is Christ. He is God, who was made flesh, and was manifest in the flesh. God was pleased to manifest himself to man, by his own Son taking the nature of man. Though reproached as a sinner, and put to death as a malefactor, Christ was raised again by the Spirit, and so was justified from all the false charges with which he was loaded. Angels ministered to him, for he is the Lord of angels. The Gentiles welcomed the gospel which the Jews rejected. Let us remember that God was manifest in the flesh, to take away our sins, to redeem us from all iniquity, and to purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These doctrines must be shown forth by the fruits of the Spirit in our lives.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for 1 Timothy 3

  • KJV Only
    If he can't take care of his own house/household then how is he supposed to take care of the church.
  • Ss
    To Wayne Hoffman
    For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
  • Wayne Hoffman
    What if a candidate for elder has an adopted child that was a believer(?) but is denouncing God and his christian belief. Does this disqualify this candidate?
  • A disciple
    Hi Zeti; I don't understand your mentioning of Martin Luther and the Pope, in relation to your first point about money? But as far as the creation and use of money; God has put the world's business into the hands of men. From the first pronouncement of dominion over all things to the naming of the animals to tending and tilling the ground; so too the knowledge and working of Government of society.
  • Zeti
    Money was not made by God. Jesus himself, when asked about paying taxes, said 'render unto Caesar which is ceasar's.
    Martin Luther identified the pope
  • A disciple
    It is a very popular notion that Catholicism is the New Testament Babylon; and many have taken great pains to "prove" that. But I think more accurately, it should be likened to the Church in Thyatira; as it is the leadership that is unrepentant and is committing fornication. It has been given to us by Jesus to know all things and to judge; and that our judgment on earth shall be done in heaven.
  • Eutychus
    "behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." Vs 15. Some have said the catholic church meets this verse...They are wrong. It must be the pillar and the ground of the truth, that determines what the church is. It is not for the church, never has been for the church, to determine what constitutes the pillar and ground of the truth.
  • Ray321
    God gave Paul a mystery. 1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. No body new anything about manifest in the flesh until Paul wrote it in his epistles. Paul also started churches with Bishop and Deacons. Amen to .

View All Comments for 1 Timothy Chapter 3...

What Do You Think of 1 Timothy 3?

Share your own thoughts or commentary here...
Remaining characters: 400

Bible Trivia

What are two qualifications of a bishop or elder?
  • Blameless and a husband of one wife
  • A man of prayer and good works
  • Has a good sense of humor and has many friends
  • Loves people and prays for others
  • Cares for orphans and widows and heals the sick