|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.
Verse 7. - Good testimony from for a good report of, A.V.; that for which, A.V. Good testimony (μαρτυρίαν καλήν; see 1 Timothy 5:10). So it is said of Timothy himself that ἐμαρτυρεῖτο, "he was well reported of by the brethren" (Acts 16:2). In accordance with this rule, letters testimonial are required of all persons to be ordained, to the importance of character in a clergyman (comp. 2 Corinthians 6:3). Them that are without (τῶν ἔξωθεν); used in Matthew 23:27; Luke 11:39; 1 Peter 3:3; Revelation 11:2, etc., of that; which is outside or external literally, as the outside of the cup, the outer ornament of the body, the outside of the sepulcher, the outer court of the temple. It is synonymous with the more common form, ἔξω. (For the phrase, "they that are without" (οἱ ἔξω), as applied to those who are not members of the Church, see Mark 4:11; John 9:34, 35; 1 Corinthians 5:12, 13; Colossians 4:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:12.) The opposite is ἔσω ἔσωθεν (1 Corinthians 5:12; Matthew 23:25, etc.). So exoteric and esoteric, of doctrines intended respectively for the outside world or the inner circle of disciples. Reproach (ὀνειδισμόν); the reproaches and revilings cast upon him by unbelievers (Romans 15:3; Hebrews 10:33; Hebrews 11:26; Hebrews 13:13). The verb ὀνειδίζειν has the same sense (1 Timothy 4:10; Matthew 5:11; Mark 15:32; Luke 6:22; 1 Peter 4:14), and so in classical Greek. This reproach is further described as the snare of the devil (comp. 1 Timothy 6:9; 2 Timothy 2:26), because it is through these revilings that the devil seeks to impair the power of his ministry and frighten him from the exercise of it. The genitive τοῦ διαβόλου depends only upon πασίδα, not upon ὀνειδισμόν. The καὶ does not indicate that there are two separate things into which he falls, but adds, as a description of the ὀνειδισμός, that it is "a snare of the devil." The idea in 1 Peter 5:8 is analogous. There it is by afflictions that the devil seeks to devour the disciple who is weak in faith. Those afflictions might well be described as παγίδα τοῦ διαβόλου," a snare of the devil," set for weak souls.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Moreover, he must have a good report of them which are without, That is, "without the church", as the Arabic version reads; for wicked men, though they dislike the principles and profession of godly ministers, and despise their office, yet cannot but speak well of their becoming life and conversation. And this part of their character is necessary to invite persons to hear them, and to recommend their ministry to them, as well as for the reasons that follow:
lest he fall into reproach; into the reproach of men; not only of the world, but of professors of religion; who may be apt to upbraid him with his past sins; especially such that may fall under his censures, admonitions, and reproofs, which hereby will become in a great measure useless and ineffectual:
and the snare of the devil; lest Satan should take encouragement from hence to tempt him to other and greater sins; or lest finding himself slighted and despised by the people of God, because of his former sins, he should break out into anger and revenge against them; or into despondency and despair in himself; or should be negligent of his duty, and timorous of exhorting and reproving others, lest they should retort upon him, and reproach him with his former crimes. The Jews have a regard to the wisdom, prudence, gravity, and manners, of a man they appoint as a minister of a congregation. Their rule is this (z):
"they do not appoint a messenger or minister of a congregation, but he who is the greatest in the congregation for wisdom and works; and if he is an elderly man, it is the better; and they take care that the messenger or minister of the congregation be a man whose voice is pleasant, and he is used to read: but he whose beard is not full grown, though he is a very considerable man, he may not be a minister of the congregation, because of the honour of the congregation.''
(z) Maimon. Hilchot Tephilla, c. 8. sect. 11.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. a good report—Greek, "testimony." So Paul was influenced by the good report given of Timothy to choose him as his companion (Ac 16:2).
of them which are without—from the as yet unconverted Gentiles around (1Co 5:12; Col 4:5; 1Th 4:12), that they may be the more readily won to the Gospel (1Pe 2:12), and that the name of Christ may be glorified. Not even the former life of a bishop should be open to reproach [Bengel].
reproach and the snare of the devil—reproach of men (1Ti 5:14) proving the occasion of his falling into the snare of the devil (1Ti 6:9; Mt 22:15; 2Ti 2:26). The reproach continually surrounding him for former sins might lead him into the snare of becoming as bad as his reputation. Despair of recovering reputation might, in a weak moment, lead some into recklessness of living (Jer 18:12). The reason why only moral qualities of a general kind are specified is, he presupposes in candidates for a bishopric the special gifts of the Spirit (1Ti 4:14) and true faith, which he desires to be evidenced outwardly; also he requires qualifications in a bishop not so indispensable in others.
1 Timothy 3:7 Parallel Commentaries
1 Timothy 3:7 NIV
1 Timothy 3:7 NLT
1 Timothy 3:7 ESV
1 Timothy 3:7 NASB
1 Timothy 3:7 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible