1 Timothy

1611 King James Version (KJV)

1 Timothy 3:1

“This is a true saying: If a man desire the office of a Bishop, he desireth a good worke.”

1611 King James Version (KJV)

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Other Translations

This [is] a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
- King James Version

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

  • 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.

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