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Qualifications of Bishops

The saying is sure: If any one aspires to the office of bishop,[a] he desires a noble task. Now a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, dignified, hospitable, an apt teacher, no drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and no lover of money. He must manage his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way; for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how can he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may be puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil;[b] moreover he must be well thought of by outsiders, or he may fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.[c]

Qualifications of Deacons

Deacons likewise must be serious, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for gain; they must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 And let them also be tested first; then if they prove themselves blameless let them serve as deacons. 11 The women[d] likewise must be serious, no slanderers, but temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons be the husband of one wife, and let them manage their children and their households well; 13 for those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

The Mystery of Our Religion

14 I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these instructions to you so that, 15 if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth. 16 Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of our religion:

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


  1. 3.1 bishop: At this time an office probably not distinct from that of priest.
  2. 1 Timothy 3:6 Or slanderer
  3. 1 Timothy 3:7 Or slanderer
  4. 3.11 women: i.e., deaconesses.
  5. 1 Timothy 3:16 Greek Who; other ancient authorities read God; others, Which
  6. 1 Timothy 3:16 Or justified

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