Instructions for the Church

(A)Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, (B)younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.

Honor widows (C)who are truly widows. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn (D)to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for (E)this is pleasing in the sight of God. She (F)who is truly a widow, left all alone, has set her hope on God and (G)continues in supplications and prayers night and day, but (H)she who is self-indulgent is (I)dead even while she lives. (J)Command these things as well, so that they may be without reproach. But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for (K)members of his household, he has (L)denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been (M)the wife of one husband,[a] 10 and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has (N)shown hospitality, (O)has washed the feet of the saints, has (P)cared for the afflicted, and has (Q)devoted herself to every good work. 11 But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when (R)their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry 12 and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. 13 Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also (S)gossips and (T)busybodies, saying what they should not. 14 So I would have (U)younger widows marry, bear children, (V)manage their households, and (W)give the adversary no occasion for slander. 15 (X)For some have already strayed after Satan. 16 If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those (Y)who are truly widows.

17 Let the elders (Z)who rule well be considered worthy of (AA)double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, (AB)“You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, (AC)“The laborer deserves his wages.” 19 Do not admit a charge against an elder except (AD)on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 20 As for those who persist in sin, (AE)rebuke them in the presence of all, (AF)so that the rest may stand in fear. 21 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels (AG)I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, (AH)doing nothing from partiality. 22 (AI)Do not be hasty in the (AJ)laying on of hands, nor (AK)take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. 23 (No longer drink only water, but (AL)use a little wine (AM)for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.) 24 The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. 25 So also good works are conspicuous, and (AN)even those that are not cannot remain hidden.


  1. 1 Timothy 5:9 Or a woman of one man

Widows, Elders and Slaves

Do not rebuke an older man(A) harshly,(B) but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men(C) as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.

Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need.(D) 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,(E) for this is pleasing to God.(F) The widow who is really in need(G) and left all alone puts her hope in God(H) and continues night and day to pray(I) and to ask God for help. But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives.(J) Give the people these instructions,(K) so that no one may be open to blame. Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied(L) the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

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,(M) such as bringing up children, showing hospitality,(N) washing the feet(O) of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble(P) 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(Q) who talk nonsense,(R) saying things they ought not to. 14 So I counsel younger widows to marry,(S) to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.(T) 15 Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.(U)

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.(V)

17 The elders(W) who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor,(X) especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. 18 For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,”[a](Y) and “The worker deserves his wages.”[b](Z) 19 Do not entertain an accusation against an elder(AA) unless it is brought by two or three witnesses.(AB) 20 But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove(AC) before everyone, so that the others may take warning.(AD) 21 I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus(AE) and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism.

22 Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands,(AF) and do not share in the sins of others.(AG) Keep yourself pure.(AH)

23 Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine(AI) 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.


  1. 1 Timothy 5:18 Deut. 25:4
  2. 1 Timothy 5:18 Luke 10:7