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1 Timothy 3 English Standard Version (ESV)

Qualifications for Overseers

The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer[a] must be above reproach, the husband of one wife,[b] sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

Qualifications for Deacons

Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued,[c] not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. 11 Their wives likewise[d] must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. 13 For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

The Mystery of Godliness

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

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

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Timothy 3:2 Or bishop; Greek episkopos; a similar term occurs in verse 1
  2. 1 Timothy 3:2 Or a man of one woman; also verse 12
  3. 1 Timothy 3:8 Or devious in speech
  4. 1 Timothy 3:11 Or Wives likewise, or Women likewise
  5. 1 Timothy 3:16 Greek Who; some manuscripts God; others Which
  6. 1 Timothy 3:16 Or justified
  7. 1 Timothy 3:16 Or vindicated in spirit
English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

ΠΡΟΣ ΤΙΜΟΘΕΟΝ Α΄ 3 SBL Greek New Testament (SBLGNT)

Πιστὸς ὁ λόγος· εἴ τις ἐπισκοπῆς ὀρέγεται, καλοῦ ἔργου ἐπιθυμεῖ. δεῖ οὖν τὸν ἐπίσκοπον ἀνεπίλημπτον εἶναι, μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρα, νηφάλιον, σώφρονα, κόσμιον, φιλόξενον, διδακτικόν, μὴ πάροινον, μὴ [a]πλήκτην, ἀλλὰ ἐπιεικῆ, ἄμαχον, ἀφιλάργυρον, τοῦ ἰδίου οἴκου καλῶς προϊστάμενον, τέκνα ἔχοντα ἐν ὑποταγῇ μετὰ πάσης σεμνότητος· (εἰ δέ τις τοῦ ἰδίου οἴκου προστῆναι οὐκ οἶδεν, πῶς ἐκκλησίας θεοῦ ἐπιμελήσεται;) μὴ νεόφυτον, ἵνα μὴ τυφωθεὶς εἰς κρίμα ἐμπέσῃ τοῦ διαβόλου. δεῖ [b]δὲ καὶ μαρτυρίαν καλὴν ἔχειν ἀπὸ τῶν ἔξωθεν, ἵνα μὴ εἰς ὀνειδισμὸν ἐμπέσῃ καὶ παγίδα τοῦ διαβόλου.

Διακόνους ὡσαύτως σεμνούς, μὴ διλόγους, μὴ οἴνῳ πολλῷ προσέχοντας, μὴ αἰσχροκερδεῖς, 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.

14 Ταῦτά σοι γράφω, ἐλπίζων ἐλθεῖν πρὸς σὲ [c]ἐν τάχει, 15 ἐὰν δὲ βραδύνω, ἵνα εἰδῇς πῶς δεῖ ἐν οἴκῳ θεοῦ ἀναστρέφεσθαι, ἥτις ἐστὶν ἐκκλησία θεοῦ ζῶντος, στῦλος καὶ ἑδραίωμα τῆς ἀληθείας· 16 καὶ ὁμολογουμένως μέγα ἐστὶν τὸ τῆς εὐσεβείας μυστήριον· [d]Ὃς ἐφανερώθη ἐν σαρκί, ἐδικαιώθη ἐν πνεύματι, ὤφθη ἀγγέλοις, ἐκηρύχθη ἐν ἔθνεσιν, ἐπιστεύθη ἐν κόσμῳ, ἀνελήμφθη ἐν δόξῃ.

Footnotes:

  1. ΠΡΟΣ ΤΙΜΟΘΕΟΝ Α΄ 3:3 πλήκτην WH Treg NIV ] + μὴ αἰσχροκερδῆ RP
  2. ΠΡΟΣ ΤΙΜΟΘΕΟΝ Α΄ 3:7 δὲ WH Treg NIV ] + αὐτὸν RP
  3. ΠΡΟΣ ΤΙΜΟΘΕΟΝ Α΄ 3:14 ἐν τάχει WH Treg NIV ] τάχιον RP
  4. ΠΡΟΣ ΤΙΜΟΘΕΟΝ Α΄ 3:16 Ὃς WH Treg NIV ] θεὸς RP
SBL Greek New Testament (SBLGNT)

Scripture quotations marked SBLGNT are from the The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Copyright © 2010 by Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software

1 Timothy 3 New Living Translation (NLT)

Leaders in the Church

This is a trustworthy saying: “If someone aspires to be a church leader,[a] he desires an honorable position.” So a church leader must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife.[b] He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. He must not be a heavy drinker[c] or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?

A church leader must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall.[d] Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil’s trap.

In the same way, deacons must be well respected and have integrity. They must not be heavy drinkers or dishonest with money. They must be committed to the mystery of the faith now revealed and must live with a clear conscience. 10 Before they are appointed as deacons, let them be closely examined. If they pass the test, then let them serve as deacons.

11 In the same way, their wives[e] must be respected and must not slander others. They must exercise self-control and be faithful in everything they do.

12 A deacon must be faithful to his wife, and he must manage his children and household well. 13 Those who do well as deacons will be rewarded with respect from others and will have increased confidence in their faith in Christ Jesus.

The Truths of Our Faith

14 I am writing these things to you now, even though I hope to be with you soon, 15 so that if I am delayed, you will know how people must conduct themselves in the household of God. This is the church of the living God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth.

16 Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith[f]:

Christ[g] was revealed in a human body
    and vindicated by the Spirit.[h]
He was seen by angels
    and announced to the nations.
He was believed in throughout the world
    and taken to heaven in glory.

Footnotes:

  1. 3:1 Or an overseer, or a bishop; also in 3:2, 6.
  2. 3:2 Or must have only one wife, or must be married only once; Greek reads must be the husband of one wife; also in 3:12.
  3. 3:3 Greek must not drink too much wine; similarly in 3:8.
  4. 3:6 Or he might fall into the same judgment as the devil.
  5. 3:11 Or the women deacons. The Greek word can be translated women or wives.
  6. 3:16a Or of godliness.
  7. 3:16b Greek He who; other manuscripts read God.
  8. 3:16c Or in his spirit.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


1 Timothy 3 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Guidelines for Leaders in the Church

This is a statement that can be trusted: If anyone sets his heart on being a bishop,[a] he desires something excellent. A bishop must have a good reputation. He must have only one wife, be sober, use good judgment, be respectable, be hospitable, and be able to teach. He must not drink excessively or be a violent person, but he must be gentle. He must not be quarrelsome or love money. He must manage his own family well. His children should respectfully obey him. (If a man doesn’t know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a new Christian, or he might become arrogant like the devil and be condemned. People who are not Christians must speak well of him, or he might become the victim of disgraceful insults that the devil sets as traps for him.

Deacons[b] must also be of good character. They must not be two-faced or addicted to alcohol. They must not use shameful ways to make money. They must have clear consciences about possessing the mystery of the Christian faith. 10 First, a person must be evaluated. Then, if he has a good reputation, he may become a deacon.

11 Their wives must also be of good character. They must not be gossips, but they must control their tempers and be trustworthy in every way.

12 A deacon must have only one wife. Deacons must manage their children and their families well. 13 Those deacons who serve well gain an excellent reputation and will have confidence as a result of their faith in Christ Jesus.

14 I hope to visit you soon. However, I’m writing this to you 15 in case I’m delayed. I want you to know how people who are members of God’s family must live. God’s family is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

16 The mystery that gives us our reverence for God is acknowledged to be great:

He[c] appeared in his human nature,
    was approved by the Spirit,
    was seen by angels,
    was announced throughout the nations,
    was believed in the world,
        and was taken to heaven in glory.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Timothy 3:1 English equivalent difficult.
  2. 1 Timothy 3:8 English equivalent difficult.
  3. 1 Timothy 3:16 Some manuscripts read “God.”
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of God's Word Mission Society.

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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