1 Timothy 3:8-6:21
New International Version
8 In the same way, deacons[a](A) are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine,(B) and not pursuing dishonest gain. 9 They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.(C) 10 They must first be tested;(D) and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.
12 A deacon must be faithful to his wife(G) and must manage his children and his household well.(H) 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(I) of the living God,(J) the pillar and foundation of the truth. 16 Beyond all question, the mystery(K) from which true godliness(L) springs is great:
4 The Spirit(P) clearly says that in later times(Q) some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits(R) and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.(S) 3 They forbid people to marry(T) and order them to abstain from certain foods,(U) which God created(V) to be received with thanksgiving(W) by those who believe and who know the truth. 4 For everything God created is good,(X) and nothing is to be rejected(Y) if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God(Z) and prayer.
6 If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters,[d] you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith(AA) and of the good teaching that you have followed.(AB) 7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales;(AC) rather, train yourself to be godly.(AD) 8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things,(AE) holding promise for both the present life(AF) and the life to come.(AG) 9 This is a trustworthy saying(AH) that deserves full acceptance. 10 That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God,(AI) who is the Savior of all people,(AJ) and especially of those who believe.
11 Command and teach these things.(AK) 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you(AL) because you are young, but set an example(AM) for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith(AN) and in purity. 13 Until I come,(AO) devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture,(AP) to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy(AQ) when the body of elders(AR) laid their hands on you.(AS)
15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save(AT) both yourself and your hearers.
Widows, Elders and Slaves
5 Do not rebuke an older man(AU) harshly,(AV) but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men(AW) as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.
3 Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need.(AX) 4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents,(AY) for this is pleasing to God.(AZ) 5 The widow who is really in need(BA) and left all alone puts her hope in God(BB) and continues night and day to pray(BC) and to ask God for help. 6 But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives.(BD) 7 Give the people these instructions,(BE) so that no one may be open to blame. 8 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied(BF) the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
9 No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, 10 and is well known for her good deeds,(BG) such as bringing up children, showing hospitality,(BH) washing the feet(BI) of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble(BJ) and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.
11 As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry. 12 Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge. 13 Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies(BK) who talk nonsense,(BL) saying things they ought not to. 14 So I counsel younger widows to marry,(BM) to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.(BN) 15 Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.(BO)
16 If any woman who is a believer has widows in her care, she should continue to help them and not let the church be burdened with them, so that the church can help those widows who are really in need.(BP)
17 The elders(BQ) who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor,(BR) especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. 18 For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,”[e](BS) and “The worker deserves his wages.”[f](BT) 19 Do not entertain an accusation against an elder(BU) unless it is brought by two or three witnesses.(BV) 20 But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove(BW) before everyone, so that the others may take warning.(BX) 21 I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus(BY) and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism.
23 Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine(CC) because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.
24 The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. 25 In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden forever.
6 All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect,(CD) so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered.(CE) 2 Those who have believing masters should not show them disrespect just because they are fellow believers.(CF) Instead, they should serve them even better because their masters are dear to them as fellow believers and are devoted to the welfare[g] of their slaves.
False Teachers and the Love of Money
These are the things you are to teach and insist on.(CG) 3 If anyone teaches otherwise(CH) and does not agree to the sound instruction(CI) of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 they are conceited(CJ) and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words(CK) that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth(CL) and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
6 But godliness with contentment(CM) is great gain.(CN) 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.(CO) 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.(CP) 9 Those who want to get rich(CQ) fall into temptation and a trap(CR) and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money(CS) is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith(CT) and pierced themselves with many griefs.(CU)
Final Charge to Timothy
11 But you, man of God,(CV) flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness,(CW) faith, love,(CX) endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight(CY) of the faith. Take hold of(CZ) the eternal life(DA) to which you were called when you made your good confession(DB) in the presence of many witnesses. 13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate(DC) made the good confession,(DD) I charge you(DE) 14 to keep this command without spot or blame(DF) until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,(DG) 15 which God will bring about in his own time(DH)—God, the blessed(DI) and only Ruler,(DJ) the King of kings and Lord of lords,(DK) 16 who alone is immortal(DL) and who lives in unapproachable light,(DM) whom no one has seen or can see.(DN) To him be honor and might forever. Amen.(DO)
17 Command those who are rich(DP) in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth,(DQ) which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God,(DR) who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.(DS) 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds,(DT) and to be generous and willing to share.(DU) 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves(DV) as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of(DW) the life that is truly life.
20 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted(DX) to your care. Turn away from godless chatter(DY) and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, 21 which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith.(DZ)
Grace be with you all.(EA)
- 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.
- 1 Timothy 3:11 Possibly deacons’ wives or women who are deacons
- 1 Timothy 3:16 Or vindicated in spirit
- 1 Timothy 4:6 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family.
- 1 Timothy 5:18 Deut. 25:4
- 1 Timothy 5:18 Luke 10:7
- 1 Timothy 6:2 Or and benefit from the service