1 Timothy 3:8-13 ESV
1 Timothy 3:8-13
Qualifications for Deacons 8 i Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, 1 j not addicted to much wine, k not greedy for dishonest gain. 9 They must l hold the mystery of the faith with m a clear conscience. 10 And n let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. 11 o Their wives likewise must 1 be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, p faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons each be q the husband of one wife, q managing their children and their own households well. 13 For r those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.
1 Timothy 3:8-13 NA28
1 Timothy 3:8-13
8 Διακόνους ὡσαύτως σεμνούς, μὴ διλόγους, μὴ οἴνῳ πολλῷ προσέχοντας, μὴ αἰσχροκερδεῖς, 9 ἔχοντας τὸ μυστήριον τῆς πίστεως ἐν καθαρᾷ συνειδήσει. 10 καὶ οὗτοι δὲ δοκιμαζέσθωσαν πρῶτον, εἶτα διακονείτωσαν ἀνέγκλητοι ὄντες. 11 Γυναῖκας ὡσαύτως σεμνάς, μὴ διαβόλους, νηφαλίους, πιστὰς ἐν πᾶσιν. 12 διάκονοι ἔστωσαν μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρες, τέκνων καλῶς προϊστάμενοι καὶ τῶν ἰδίων οἴκων. 13 οἱ γὰρ καλῶς διακονήσαντες βαθμὸν ἑαυτοῖς καλὸν περιποιοῦνται καὶ πολλὴν παρρησίαν ἐν πίστει τῇ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ.
1 Timothy 3:8-13
Διακόνους ὡσαύτως σεμνούς,
i Deacons likewise must be dignified,
not double-tongued, 1
μὴ οἴνῳ πολλῷ προσέχοντας,
j not addicted to much wine,
k not greedy for dishonest gain.
ἔχοντας τὸ μυστήριον τῆς πίστεως
They must l hold the mystery of the
ἐν καθαρᾷ συνειδήσει.
faith with m a clear conscience.
καὶ οὗτοι δὲ δοκιμαζέσθωσαν πρῶτον,
And n let them also be tested first;
then let them serve as deacons
if they prove themselves blameless.
Γυναῖκας ὡσαύτως σεμνάς,
o Their wives likewise must 1 be dignified,
πιστὰς ἐν πᾶσιν.
p faithful in all things.
διάκονοι ἔστωσαν μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρες,
Let deacons each be q the husband of one wife,
τέκνων καλῶς προϊστάμενοι καὶ τῶν ἰδίων οἴκων.
q managing their children and their own households well.
οἱ γὰρ καλῶς διακονήσαντες βαθμὸν ἑαυτοῖς καλὸν περιποιοῦνται
For r those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves
καὶ πολλὴν παρρησίαν ἐν πίστει τῇ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ.
[EDIT] and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.
Paul gives a similar sort of requirements for those who would be deacons, those who serve the needs of the church body. Deacons are the feett-washers of the body of Christ; they exemplify the servant-heartedness of Christ towards his brothers. Because of this high calling, they must also be, among other things, dignified, not greedy, and rooted in right doctrine (3:8-9). Much for the same reasons as for the restrictions on potential elders in 3:6-7, deacons should be tested by the church in order to prove that they are “blameless,” qualified to enter into the ministry of the diaconate. Paul enters into the family life of the deacon a bit differently here than he does for elders. Here, he describes the character of the wife of the deacon in very similar terms to that of the deacon himself. Some have taken this to suggest that Paul is talking both about official deacons and deaconesses, but it seems, at least here, that he supposes that the office of “deacon” is reserved for men (so 3:12). So why then the focus on their wives (the interpretation of γυναῖκας followed here)? Possibly because the very nature of a deacon’s ministry invites the participation and partnership of his wife. Whereas an elder’s responsibilities are mainly teaching and overseeing the body, a deacon’s ministry is one of practical love and service, a task that all Christian women can joyfully join in. Therefore, the character of a deacon’s wife is especially important. This is not to suggest, however, either that the character of an elder’s wife doesn’t matter, nor that an elder’s wife has no place in his ministry. It is simply that the wives of deacons have “a special role” that “demands these characteristics” (Knight, The Pastoral Epistles , 1992, 171).