1 Timothy 3:2
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,

New Living Translation
So an elder must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. 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.

English Standard Version
Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,

New American Standard Bible
An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,

King James Bible
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
An overseer, therefore, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, self-controlled, sensible, respectable, hospitable, an able teacher,

International Standard Version
Therefore, an elder must be blameless, the husband of one wife, stable, sensible, respectable, hospitable to strangers, and teachable.

NET Bible
The overseer then must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, an able teacher,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And an Elder ought to be one in whom no fault is found and is the husband of one woman, is of a vigilant mind, sober, orderly, loves strangers and is a teacher;

GOD'S WORD® Translation
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.

Jubilee Bible 2000
It is expedient, therefore, that the bishop be blameless, the husband of only one wife, vigilant, temperate, of worldly affections mortified, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

King James 2000 Bible
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

American King James Version
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

American Standard Version
The bishop therefore must be without reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, orderly, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

Douay-Rheims Bible
It behoveth therefore a bishop to be blameless, the husband of one wife, sober, prudent, of good behaviour, chaste, given to hospitality, a teacher,

Darby Bible Translation
The overseer then must be irreproachable, husband of one wife, sober, discreet, decorous, hospitable, apt to teach;

English Revised Version
The bishop therefore must be without reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, soberminded, orderly, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

Webster's Bible Translation
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

Weymouth New Testament
A minister then must be a man of irreproachable character, true to his one wife, temperate, sober-minded, well-behaved, hospitable to strangers, and with a gift for teaching;

World English Bible
The overseer therefore must be without reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, modest, hospitable, good at teaching;

Young's Literal Translation
it behoveth, therefore, the overseer to be blameless, of one wife a husband, vigilant, sober, decent, a friend of strangers, apt to teach,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

3:1-7 If a man desired the pastoral office, and from love to Christ, and the souls of men, was ready to deny himself, and undergo hardships by devoting himself to that service, he sought to be employed in a good work, and his desire should be approved, provided he was qualified for the office. A minister must give as little occasion for blame as can be, lest he bring reproach upon his office. He must be sober, temperate, moderate in all his actions, and in the use of all creature-comforts. Sobriety and watchfulness are put together in Scripture, they assist one the other. The families of ministers ought to be examples of good to all other families. We should take heed of pride; it is a sin that turned angels into devils. He must be of good repute among his neighbours, and under no reproach from his former life. To encourage all faithful ministers, we have Christ's gracious word of promise, Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world, Mt 28:20. And he will fit his ministers for their work, and carry them through difficulties with comfort, and reward their faithfulness.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 2. - The for a, A.V.; therefore for then, A.V.; without reproach for blameless, A.V.; temperate for vigilant, A.V.; sober-minded for sober, A.V.; orderly for of good behavior, A.V. The bishop (see note on ver. 1); "a bishop" is better English. Without reproach (ἀνεπίληπτος); only here and 1 Timothy 5:7 and 1 Tim 6:14 in the New Testament; not found anywhere in the LXX, but used by Thucydides, Euripides, and others, in the sense of "not open to attack," "blameless." The metaphor is said (though denied by others)to be from wrestling or boxing, when a man leaves no part of his body exposed to the attack of his adversary. The husband of one wife (comp. Titus 1:6). Three senses are possible. The passage may be understood

(1) as requiring a bishop, (or presbyter) to have a wife, and so some took it even in Chrysostom's time (though he does not so understand it), and so the Russian Church understands it;

(2) as prohibiting his having more than one with at a time;

(3) as prohibiting second marriages for priests and bishops. Bishop Wordsworth, Bishop Ellicott, and Dean Alford, among English commentators, all agree in thinking that (3) is the apostle's meaning. In spite of such consensus, it appears in the highest degree improbable that St. Paul should have laid down such a condition for the priesthood. There is nothing in his writings when treating expressly of second marriages (Romans 7:2, 3; 1 Corinthians 7:8, 39) to suggest the notion of there being anything disreputable in a second marriage, and it would obviously cast a great slur upon second marriages if it were laid down as a principle that no one who had married twice was fit to be an ἐπίσκοπος. But if we consider the general laxity in regard to marriage, and the facility of divorce, which prevailed among Jews and Romans at this time, it must have been a common thing for a man to have more than one woman living who had been his wife. And this, as a distinct breach of the primeval law (Genesis 2:24), would properly be a bar to any one being called to the "office of a bishop." The same case is supposed in 1 Corinthians 7:10-13. But it is utterly unsupported by any single passage in Scripture that a second marriage should disqualify a man for the sacred ministry. As regards the opinion of the early Church, it was not at all uniform, and amongst those who held that this passage absolutely prohibits second marriages in the case of an episcopus, it was merely a part of the asceticism of the day. As a matter of course, such writers as Origen and Tertullian held it. The very early opinion that Joseph, the husband of Mary, had children by a former wife, which finds place in the Protevangelium of James (9.), is hardly consistent with the theory of the disreputableness of second marriages. In like manner, the phrase in 1 Timothy 5:9, ἐνὸς ἀνδρὸς γυνή, is best explained in accordance with the apostle's doctrine about the lawfulness of a woman's second marriage, as meaning that she was the husband of one man only, as long as her husband lived. (For the chief patristic opinions on the subject, see Bishop Wordsworth's note, and Bingham's 'Christian Antiquities,' bk. 4. 1 Timothy 5.) Temperate (νηφάλιον); peculiar to the pastoral Epistles (see ver. 11 and Titus 2:2), but found in classical Greek. The verb νήφειν means "to be sober" (1 Thessalonians 5:6; 2 Timothy 4:5; 1 Peter 1:13; 1 Peter 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8). It denotes that temperate use of meat and drink which keeps the mind watchful and on the alert, and then the state of mind itself so produced. The opposite state of mind is described in Luke 21:34. Sober-minded (σώφρονα); in the New Testament only here and in Titus 1:8; Titus 2:2, 5. But σωφρονέω is found in the Gospels and Epistles; σωφρονίζω σωφρονισμός σωφρόνως, in the pastoral Epistles; and σωφροσύνη in 1 Timothy 2:15 (where see note). Orderly (κόσμιον; see 1 Timothy 2:9, note). Given to hospitality (φιλόξενον; as Titus 1:8 and 1 Peter 4:9). The substantive φιλοξενία is found in Romans 12:13; Hebrews 13:2. Apt to teach (διδακτικόν); only here and 2 Timothy 2:24, and Philo, 'De Proem. et Virt.,' 4 (Huther). The classical word is διδασκαλικός, though chiefly applied to things. In the above-quoted passage in 1 Peter 4. the gifts of speaking and ministering are, as here, placed alongside that of hospitality.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

A bishop then must be blameless,.... Or "an elder", as the Syriac version renders it; not that it can be expected that such an one should be entirely free from sin, or be blameless in the sight of God; but that he should be one, who is so before men, and has not been guilty of any notorious and flagitious crime; and particularly, is not chargeable with the vices hereafter mentioned or hinted at. So the priests under the law were to be without blemish, even in their bodies, Leviticus 21:17 to which the apostle may here allude.

The husband of one wife; which is not to be understood in a mystical and allegorical sense of his being the pastor of one church, since the apostle afterwards speaks of his house and children, that are to be ruled and kept in good order by him, in distinction from the church of God; but in a literal sense of his conjugal estate; though this rule does not make it necessary that he should have a wife; or that he should not marry, or not have married a second wife, after the death of the first; only if he marries or is married, that he should have but one wife at a time; so that this rule excludes all such persons from being elders, or pastors, or overseers of churches, that were "polygamists"; who had more wives than one at a time, or had divorced their wives, and not for adultery, and had married others. Now polygamy and divorces had very much obtained among the Jews; nor could the believing Jews be easily and at once brought off of them. And though they were not lawful nor to be allowed of in any; yet they were especially unbecoming and scandalous in officers of churches. So the high priest among the Jews, even when polygamy was in use, might not marry, or have two wives, at once; if he did, he could not minister in his office until he divorced one of them (u). For it is written, Leviticus 21:13, "he shall take a wife", , "one, and not two" (w). And the same that is said of the high priest, is said of all other priests; see Ezekiel 44:22, likewise the Egyptian priests might not marry more wives than one, though others might have as many as they pleased (x): and so the Flamines among the Romans (y). An elder or pastor must also be one that is

vigilant; or wakeful and watchful, who is diligent in his business, and attends to his care and charge; is watchful over himself, his words, and actions; and watches for the souls of men, to do them all the good he can; and is sober in body, is temperate, and uses moderation in eating and drinking; and in mind, is modest, humble, and prudent; and so the Vulgate Latin Version renders the word "prudent": and the Ethiopic version, "a wise man", one of a sound judgment, a good understanding, and prudent conduct; is not wise above what is written, but thinks soberly of himself, as he ought. The Syriac and Arabic versions render it, "chaste", as free from intemperance, so from uncleanness: and

of good behaviour: neat and decent in his apparel; modest in his whole deportment and conduct, and affable and courteous to all; beautiful in his life and conversation, being adorned with every thing that is graceful and comely:

given to hospitality: to the love of strangers, and to the entertainment of them; and especially the saints and fellow ministers, who are exiled, or are travelling for the sake of spreading the Gospel, or upon some lawful and laudable account. These he is to assist by his advice and counsel, and with the necessaries of life, according to his abilities. Abraham and Lot are noted instances of this virtue.

Apt to teach; who has a considerable store of knowledge; is capable of interpreting the Scripture to the edification of others; is able to explain, lay open, and illustrate the truths of the Gospel, and defend them, and refute error; and who is not only able, but ready and willing, to communicate to others what he knows; and who likewise has utterance of speech, the gift of elocution and can convey his ideas of things in plain and easy language, in apt and acceptable words; for otherwise it signifies not what a man knows, unless he has a faculty of communicating it to others, to their understanding and advantage.

(u) Maimon. lssurc Bia, c. 7. sect. 13. & Cele Hamikdash. c. 5. sect. 10. (w) T. Bab. Yebamot, fol. 59. 1.((x) Diodor. Sicul. l. 1. p. 51. vide Tertull. de monogamia, c. 17. & Exhort. castitat. c. 13. (y) Alex. ab. Alex. Genial Dier. l. 6. c. 12.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

2. The existence of Church organization and presbyters at Ephesus is presupposed (1Ti 5:17, 19). The institution of Church widows (1Ti 5:3-25) accords with this. The directions here to Timothy, the president or apostolic delegate, are as to filling up vacancies among the bishops and deacons, or adding to their number. New churches in the neighborhood also would require presbyters and deacons. Episcopacy was adopted in apostolic times as the most expedient form of government, being most nearly in accordance with Jewish institutions, and so offering the less obstruction through Jewish prejudices to the progress of Christianity. The synagogue was governed by presbyters, "elders" (Ac 4:8; 24:1), called also bishops or overseers. Three among them presided as "rulers of the synagogue," answering to "bishops" in the modern sense [Lightfoot, Hebrew and Talmudic Exercitations], and one among them took the lead. Ambrose (in The Duties of the Clergy [2.13], as also Bingham [Ecclesiastical Antiquities, 2.11]) says, "They who are now called bishops were originally called apostles. But those who ruled the Church after the death of the apostles had not the testimony of miracles, and were in many respects inferior. Therefore they thought it not decent to assume to themselves the name of apostles; but dividing the names, they left to presbyters the name of the presbytery, and they themselves were called bishops." "Presbyter" refers to the rank; "bishop," to the office or function. Timothy (though not having the name) exercised the power at Ephesus then, which bishops in the modern sense more recently exercised.

blameless—"unexceptionable"; giving no just handle for blame.

husband of one wife—confuting the celibacy of Rome's priesthood. Though the Jews practiced polygamy, yet as he is writing as to a Gentile Church, and as polygamy was never allowed among even laymen in the Church, the ancient interpretation that the prohibition here is against polygamy in a candidate bishop is not correct. It must, therefore, mean that, though laymen might lawfully marry again, candidates for the episcopate or presbytery were better to have been married only once. As in 1Ti 5:9, "wife of one man," implies a woman married but once; so "husband of one wife" here must mean the same. The feeling which prevailed among the Gentiles, as well as the Jews (compare as to Anna, Lu 2:36, 37), against a second marriage would, on the ground of expediency and conciliation in matters indifferent and not involving compromise of principle, account for Paul's prohibition here in the case of one in so prominent a sphere as a bishop or a deacon. Hence the stress that is laid in the context on the repute in which the candidate for orders is held among those over whom he is to preside (Tit 1:16). The Council of Laodicea and the apostolic canons discountenanced second marriages, especially in the case of candidates for ordination. Of course second marriage being lawful, the undesirableness of it holds good only under special circumstances. It is implied here also, that he who has a wife and virtuous family, is to be preferred to a bachelor; for he who is himself bound to discharge the domestic duties mentioned here, is likely to be more attractive to those who have similar ties, for he teaches them not only by precept, but also by example (1Ti 3:4, 5). The Jews teach, a priest should be neither unmarried nor childless, lest he be unmerciful [Bengel]. So in the synagogue, "no one shall offer up prayer in public, unless he be married" [in Colbo, ch. 65; Vitringa, Synagogue and Temple].

vigilant—literally, "sober"; ever on the watch, as sober men alone can be; keenly alive, so as to foresee what ought to be done (1Th 5:6-8).

sober—sober-minded.

of good behaviour—Greek, "orderly." "Sober" refers to the inward mind; "orderly," to the outward behavior, tone, look, gait, dress. The new man bears somewhat of a sacred festival character, incompatible with all confusion, disorder, excess, violence, laxity, assumption, harshness, and meanness (Php 4:8) [Bengel].

apt to teach—(2Ti 2:24).

1 Timothy 3:2 Additional Commentaries
Context
Qualifications for Overseers
1It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. 2An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money.…
Cross References
Luke 2:36
There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage,

Romans 12:13
Share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

1 Timothy 3:8
In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain.

1 Timothy 3:11
In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.

1 Timothy 3:12
A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well.

1 Timothy 5:9
No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband,

1 Timothy 5:10
and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord's people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.

1 Timothy 5:22
Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.

2 Timothy 2:24
And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.

Titus 1:6
An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.

Titus 1:7
Since an overseer manages God's household, he must be blameless--not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.

Titus 1:8
Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.

Titus 2:2
Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.

Hebrews 13:2
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

1 Peter 4:9
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
Treasury of Scripture

A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

bishop.

Titus 1:6-9 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children …

blameless.

1 Timothy 3:10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office …

Luke 1:6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments …

Philippians 2:15 That you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without …

the husband.

1 Timothy 4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats…

1 Timothy 5:9 Let not a widow be taken into the number under three score years …

Hebrews 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of …

vigilant.

Isaiah 56:10 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb …

1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be you therefore sober, and …

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring …

of good behaviour. or, modest. given.

Romans 12:13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

Titus 1:8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;

Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained …

1 Peter 4:9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

apt.

2 Timothy 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle to all …

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Apt Behavior Behaviour Bishop Blameless Character Dignified Discreet Freely Good Hospitable Hospitality House Husband Irreproachable Minister Modest Opening Order Overseer Prudent Reproach Respect Self-Controlled Sensible Serious-Minded Sober Sober-Minded Strangers Teach Teacher Teaching Temperate True. Vigilant Wife
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