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1 Timothy 3:8–13

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We now move into the discussion of deacons in 1 Tim 3:8–13. There is much overlap between elders and deacons, and yet deacons are more involved in the day-to-day service of the church and are not required to be able to teach. The major interpretive decision is in v 11 as to whether it refers to women (i.e., deaconnesses) or wives (of the deacons).


Introduction to 1 Tim 3:8–13

Basic message is clear

How are deacons and elders different?

1. Deacons are not required to be teachers

2. Titles — elders (”overseers”) have general oversight

3. None in Titus

3:8 gives us 4 of the 9 qualities


“Double-tongued” is an interesting and rare word

3:9 gives the fifth quality — 2 parts

a. Firm grasp on the gospel

b. Conscience not tainted by guilt

3:10 — Sixth quality — Proven spiritual maturity

“Blameless” is not perfect

Formal examination

Period of testing

3:11 — Major interpretive decision

1. “Women” meaning “deaconesses” (διακονίσσα)

2. Wives (commentary) — 7th quality

Preach: Church leadership is not a right, but a privilege

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