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1 Timothy 3 Lexham English Bible (LEB)

Qualifications for Overseers

The saying is trustworthy: if anyone aspires to supervision, he desires a good work. Therefore the overseer must be irreproachable, the husband of one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, skillful in teaching, not addicted to wine, not a violent person, but gentle, peaceable, not loving money, managing his own household well, having children in submission with all dignity (but if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), not newly converted, lest he become conceited and fall into the condemnation of the devil. But he must also have a good testimony from those outside, in order that he may not fall into disgrace and the trap of the devil.

Qualifications for Deacons

Deacons likewise must be dignified, not insincere, not devoted to much wine, not fond of dishonest gain, holding the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience, 10 and these also must be tested first; then let them serve if they[a] are above reproach. 11 The wives[b] likewise must be dignified, not slanderous, temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Deacons must be husbands of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. 13 For those who have served well acquire a good standing for themselves, and great boldness in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

The Mystery of Godliness Described

14 I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you in a short time. 15 But if I am delayed, I am writing[c] in order that you may know how one must conduct oneself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and mainstay[d] of the truth. 16 And most certainly, great is the mystery of godliness:

Who was revealed in the flesh,
    was vindicated by[e] the Spirit,
was seen by angels,
    was proclaimed among the Gentiles[f],
was believed on in the world,
    was taken up in glory.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Timothy 3:10 Here “if” is supplied as a component of the participle (“are”) which is understood as conditional
  2. 1 Timothy 3:11 Or “The women”
  3. 1 Timothy 3:15 The words “I am writing” are not in the Greek text, but are an understood repetition from the previous clause
  4. 1 Timothy 3:15 Or “basis”; or “support”
  5. 1 Timothy 3:16 Or perhaps “in”
  6. 1 Timothy 3:16 Or “nations”; the same Greek word can be translated “nations” or “Gentiles” depending on the context
Lexham English Bible (LEB)

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1 Timothy 3 New International Version (NIV)

Qualifications for Overseers and Deacons

Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full[a] respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.

In the same way, deacons[b] are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.

11 In the same way, the women[c] are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.

12 A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well. 13 Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.

Reasons for Paul’s Instructions

14 Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, 15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. 16 Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great:

He appeared in the flesh,
    was vindicated by the Spirit,[d]
was seen by angels,
    was preached among the nations,
was believed on in the world,
    was taken up in glory.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Timothy 3:4 Or him with proper
  2. 1 Timothy 3:8 The word deacons refers here to Christians designated to serve with the overseers/elders of the church in a variety of ways; similarly in verse 12; and in Romans 16:1 and Phil. 1:1.
  3. 1 Timothy 3:11 Possibly deacons’ wives or women who are deacons
  4. 1 Timothy 3:16 Or vindicated in spirit
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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