1 Timothy 3:2
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
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(2) A bishop then must be blameless.—Now follow the various social and moral characteristics of the appointed and recognised officers of the Christian Church—the presbyters or bishops, and the junior ministers, the deacons. The second chapter had treated of the duties of congregations collectively in the matter of public prayer; the third chapter speaks of the special character and qualities necessary for the rulers of these congregations. These “elders” must, in the first place, be men whose character is unimpeachable—men who stand high in public estimation, known for their pure life and spotless integrity. Not only must believers reverence the character of the superintending and ruling elders of their community, but even those outside the brotherhood of Christ must respect the life and conversation of these prominent and conspicuous members of a society which, from the nature of things, would be sure to provoke distrust and jealousy.

The husband of one wife.—The general opinion of the most ancient writers—the decisions of Church councils when the question seems to have been placed before them—the custom of the great Greek Church, which, while permitting a single nuptial, still regarded the repetition of the marriage relation as a disqualification for the higher grade of the episcopate—tell us in general terms that the opinion of the Church from the earliest times interprets this saying of St. Paul as a declaration against second marriages in the case of those seeking the office of presbyter or deacon. The Greek Church evidently accepts this interpretation, though it relaxes the rule in the case of the inferior orders.

There seems, however, good reason for doubting the accuracy of this popular interpretation, which appears, by thus casting a reproach upon second marriages, to urge a spirit of asceticism on all Christian society, very foreign to St. Paul’s usual teaching, which was content with gently inculcating a higher and a purer life as alone in accordance with the mind of his pitiful and loving Master. It was only by slow degrees that he hoped to raise the tone of society and public opinion in this world.

Inspired Christian teaching was careful not to distract the everyday life of men and women by insisting on sudden and violent changes. The behaviour of the great Christian teachers in the matter of that terrible and universal practice of slavery should be especially noted.

When we ask, What then did St. Paul mean by these words? we must picture to ourselves the state of society in the empire at the time when the Apostle wrote to Timothy. An inundation of Eastern luxury and Eastern morals had submerged all the old Roman habits of austere simplicity. The long civil war and the subsequent license of the empire had degraded the character of the people. The period when St. Paul wrote was especially marked by an extreme depravity. A great and general indisposition towards marriage at all, and the orderly restraints of home and family life, had become so marked a feature in Roman society, that we find Augustus positively enacting laws against celibacy. Another cause which helped to undermine the stability of home life and those family ties which ought to be deemed so sacred, was the ease and frequency of divorce, which Seneca, who may be considered almost as the contemporary of St. Paul, alludes to as incidents no longer looked upon as shameful in Rome. He even, in his indignation at the laxity of the morals of his day, cites cases of women who reckoned their years rather by their husbands than by the consuls. Martial writes of a woman who had arrived at her tenth husband. Juvenal speaks of one who, in five years, had had eight husbands. Among the Jews we know polygamy was then prevalent. St. Paul, fully conscious of this low and debased moral tone which then pervaded all society in the empire, in these few words condemned all illicit relations between the sexes, and directed that in choosing persons to fill holy offices in the congregations of Christians, those should be selected who had married and remained faithful to the wife of their choice, whose life and practice would thus serve as an example to the flock, and to whose homes men might point as the pattern which Jesus loved, while the heathen world around them would see that the hated and despised Christians not only loved and honoured, but lived that pure home life their own great moralists pressed so earnestly upon them, but in vain. This direction, which requires that those to be selected to fill holy offices should be known for their purity in their family relations, of course does not exclude—should any such offer themselves—those men who, while contracting no marriage ties, still were known to lead upright, moral lives.

Vigilant.—The Greek word here is more accurately rendered sober. The presbyter or elder should be soberminded, self-restrained, temperate (not merely in wine, but in all things).

Sober.—Better rendered, discreet.

Of good behaviour.—Rather, orderly. This word refers to outward conduct, to behaviour in public.

The Christian office-bearer must not only be wise and self-restrained in himself, but his outward bearing must in all respects correspond to his inner life.

Given to hospitality.—In the early days of Christianity, when Christians travelling from one place to another, were in the habit, when it was possible, of resorting to the houses of their brethren in the faith, to avoid consorting with idolaters in the public inns. It was of no slight importance that the presiding elders in a congregation should be men who loved to entertain strangers and others, from whom nothing could be expected in return.

Apt to teach.—The elder should possess something more than a willingness, or glad readiness, to teach the less instructed the mysteries of the faith. He ought also to have the far rarer qualification of a power to impart knowledge to others. Zeal is not by any means the only, or even the principal, qualification to be sought for in a minister of the Word.

1 Timothy 3:2-3. A bishop then — Or an overseer of the flock of Christ, that he may be capable of such an office; must be blameless — In every respect with regard to his moral character, since any thing which might be amiss in that would tend to bring a reproach upon his office, and greatly obstruct his usefulness; the husband of one wife — This neither means that a bishop must be married, nor that he may not marry a second wife; which is just as lawful for him to do as to marry a first, and may, in some cases, be his bounden duty. But whereas polygamy and divorce, upon slight occasions, were both common among the Jews and heathen, it teaches us that ministers, of all others, ought to stand clear of those sins. Macknight’s reasoning on this subject is very conclusive. “That the gospel allows women to marry a second time, is evident from 1 Corinthians 7:9; 1 Corinthians 7:39. By parity of reason it allows men to marry a second time likewise. Wherefore, when it is said here that a bishop must be the husband of one wife, and (1 Timothy 5:9,) that the widow, who is employed by the church in teaching the young of her sex, must have been the wife of one husband, the apostle could not mean that persons who have married a second time are thereby disqualified for sacred offices. For in that case, a bishop whose wife dies while he is young, must lay down his office, unless he can live continently unmarried. The apostle’s meaning, therefore, in these canons, is, that such persons only were to be intrusted with sacred offices who in their married state had contented themselves with one wife, and with one husband at a time; because thereby they had showed themselves temperate in the use of sensual pleasures; through the immoderate love of which the Asiatic nations universally practised polygamy. In like manner because, according to our Lord’s determination, persons who divorced each other unjustly were guilty of adultery when they married themselves to others; also because such really had more wives and husbands than one at a time, as was the case with the woman of Samaria, (John 4:18,) the apostle, to restrain these licentious practices, which were common among the Greeks and Romans, as well as among the Jews, ordered that no widow should be chosen to instruct the younger women, but such as had been the wife of one husband only at a time.” Vigilant — Intent upon his duty, ready to resist temptation, and careful to preserve his flock from seduction; sober — Greek, σωφρονα, prudent; or, as the word also implies, one who governs well his passions, and whose mind is well regulated. He must be lively and zealous, yet calm and wise; of good or comely behaviour — As κοσμιον might be properly rendered; implying that his conduct, in all respects, must be such as becomes his office: his discourse, his dress, his visage, his gait, his manners being all suitable to the gravity of his functions. The former word respects the inward man, and this the outward. Given to hospitality — Literally, a lover of strangers. As the primitive Christians took a particular charge of orphans, widows, sick people, and of such as were imprisoned for their religion, or spoiled of their goods, so also of strangers; to the care of whom they were led by the manners of the age, and the peculiar circumstances of the times. For many of the first converts, having devoted themselves to the preaching of the gospel, often travelled from one place to another; and as there were no inns in the eastern countries like those used now with us, it was customary for travellers to lodge with their acquaintance, or with such persons as they were recommended to. But all the disciples of Christ, considering themselves as brethren, and as engaged in one common cause for the benefit of the world, they made each other welcome, though unacquainted, to such food and lodging as they could afford. And therefore, when travellers were not acquainted with the brethren in any particular place, all they had to do was to make themselves known as Christians, by declaring their faith, (2 John 1:10,) especially to the bishops, who had a liberal maintenance given them to enable them to be hospitable. Yet the bishop’s hospitality was not to be confined to the brethren: he was to extend it, on occasion at least, even to such heathen strangers as, agreeably to the manners of the times, came to him, drawn by his reputation for wisdom or beneficence. The reason was, by receiving such into his house, he would have an opportunity of recommending the true religion to them by his conversation and example. From this account it is evident, that the hospitality anciently required in a bishop was not what is now meant by that word, namely, the keeping a good table, and an open house for one’s friends and others, who are able to make him a return in kind; but it consisted in entertaining strangers of the character just now described; the poor also, and the persecuted for the sake of religion. Apt, or fit, to teach — By having a thorough knowledge of the things he is to teach, a clear manner of expressing his thoughts, and an earnest desire to instruct the ignorant; or one that is himself well instructed in the things of the kingdom of God, and is communicative of what he knows; is both able and willing to impart to others the knowledge which God hath given him. Not given to wine — Or any other kind of strong liquor; no striker — Not of such a hasty temper as to have so little government of himself as to be ready to strike those who provoke him; or one that is apt to use violence to any one, but who does every thing in a spirit of meekness, gentleness, long- suffering, and love. For the servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle toward all men, 2 Timothy 2:24; not greedy — Or desirous, rather, of filthy lucre — That is, who does not make his ministry subservient to any secular design or interest; that uses no mean, base, sordid ways of getting money; who is dead to the wealth of this world, and makes it appear by his conduct that he is so, and that he lives above it. It is remarkable that the phrase αισχροκερδης, which is here used, and signifies a person attached to sordid gain, is seldom or never used in the New Testament to express any gain, but that which is made or procured by the covetousness of Christian ministers; and “never surely,” as Doddridge observes, “does an eagerness in pursuit of money appear more dishonourable and sordid than in persons of that noble, but, alas! too often prostituted profession.” But patient Επιεικη, gentle, yielding, or moderate; one that does not insist upon the extremity of his right, but is ready to give it up, in some degree, for the sake of peace; not a brawler — A contentious person; not covetous Αφιλαργυρον, not a lover of money, or of riches, but who, having food and raiment for himself and those dependant upon him, is content therewith.

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.A bishop - A minister of religion, according to the foregoing remarks, who has the charge or oversight of any Christian church. The reference here is doubtless to one who had the government of the church entrusted to him 1 Timothy 3:4-5, and who was also a preacher of the gospel.

Must be blameless - This is a different word (ἀνεπίλημπτον anepilēmpton) from that rendered "blameless" in Luke 1:6; Philippians 2:15; Philippians 3:6 (ἄμεμπτος amemptos); compare however, Luke 1:6 note; Philippians 3:6 note. The word here used does not mean that, as a necessary qualification for office, a bishop should be "perfect;" but that he should be a man against whom no charge of immorality, or of holding false doctrine, is alleged. His conduct should be irreprehensible or irreproachable. Undoubtedly it means that if "any" charge could be brought against him implying moral obliquity, he is not fit for the office. He should be a man of irreproachable character for truth, honesty, chastity, and general uprightness.

The husband of one wife - This need not be understood as requiring that a bishop "should be" a married man, as Vigilantius, a presbyter in the church at Barcelona in the fourth century, supposed, however desirable in general it may be that a minister of the gospel should be married. But, while this interpretation is manifestly to be excluded as false, there has been much difference of opinion on the question whether the passage means that a minister should not have more than one wife at the same time, or whether it prohibits the marriage of a second wife after the death of the first. On this question, the notes of Bloomfield, Doddridge, and Macknight, may be consulted. That the former is the correct opinion, seems to me to be evident from the following considerations:

(1) It is the most obvious meaning of the language, and it would doubtless be thus understood by those to whom it was addressed. At a time when polygamy was not uncommon, to say that a man should "have but one wife" would be naturally understood as prohibiting polygamy.

(2) the marriage of a second wife, after the death of the first, is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as wrong. The marriage of a widow to a second husband is expressely declared to be proper 1 Corinthians 7:39; and it is not unfair to infer from that permission that it is equally lawful and proper for man to marry the second time. But if it is lawful for any man it is right for a minister of the gospel. No reason can he assigned against such marriages in his case, which would not be equally valid in any other. Marriage is as honorable for a minister of the gospel as for any other man (compare notes on Hebrews 13:4); and, as Doddridge has well remarked, "Circumstances may be so adjusted that there may be as much reason for a second marriage as for the first, and as little inconvenience of any kind may attend it."

(3) there was a special propriety in the prohibition, if understood as prohibiting polygamy. It is known that it was extensively practiced, and was not regarded as unlawful. Yet one design of the gospel was to restore the marriage relation to its primitive condition; and though it might not have seemed absolutely necessary to require of every man who came into the church to divorce his wives, if he had more than one, yet, in order to fix a brand on this irregular practice, it might have been deemed desirable to require of the ministers of the gospel that they should have but one wife. Thus the practice of polygamy would gradually come to be regarded as dishonorable and improper, and the example and influence of the ministry would tend to introduce correct views in regard to the nature of this relation. One thing is clear from this passage, that the views of the Papists in regard to the celibacy of the clergy are directly at variance with the Bible. The declaration of Paul in Hebrews 13:4, is, that "marriage is honorable in all;" and here it is implied that it was proper that a minister should be married. If it were not, why did not Paul prohibit it altogether? Instead of saying that it was improper that a bishop should have more than one wife, why did he not say that it was improper that he should be married at all? Would not a Romanist say so now?

Vigilant - This word (νηφάλεος nēphaleos) occurs only here and in 1 Timothy 3:11; Titus 2:2. It means, properly, "sober, temperate, abstinent," especially in respect to wine; then "sober-minded, watchful, circumspect. Robinson." A minister should have a watchful care over his own conduct. He should be on his gaurd against sin in any form.

Sober - σώφρονα sōphrona Properly, a man of "a sound mind;" one who follows sound reason, and who is not under the control of passion. The idea is, that he should have his desires and passions well regulated. Perhaps the word "prudent" would come nearer to the meaning of the apostle than any single word which we have.

Of good behaviour - Margin, "modest." Coverdale renders it, "mannerly." The most correct rendering, according to the modern use of language, would be, that he should be "a gentleman." He should not be slovenly in his appearance, or rough and boorish in his manners. He should not do violence to the usages of refined conversation, nor be unfit to appear respectable in the most refined circles of society. Inattention to personal neatness, and to the rules which regulate refined contact, is indicative neither of talent, learning, nor religion; and though they are occasionally - not often - connected with talent, learning, and religion, yet they are never the fruit of either, and are always a disgrace to those who exhibit such incivility and boorishness, for such men "ought" to know better. A minister of the gospel should be a finished gentleman in his manners, and there is no excuse for him if he is not. His religion, if he has any, is adapted to make him such. He has usually received such an education as ought to make him such, and in all cases "ought" to have had such a training. He is admitted into the best society, and has an opportunity of becoming familiar with the laws of refined conversation. He should be an example and a pattern in all that goes to promote the welfare of mankind, and there are few things so easily acquired that are suited to do this, as refinement and gentility of manners. No man can do good, on the whole, or in the "long run," by disregarding the rules of refined contact; and, other things being equal, the refined, courteous, polite gentleman in the ministry, will always do more good than he who neglects the rules of goodbreeding.

Given to hospitality - This is often enjoined on all Christians as a duty of religion. For the reasons of this, and the nature of the duty, see the Romans 12:13 note; Hebrews 13:2 note. It was a special duty of the ministers of religion, as they were to be examples of every Christian virtue.

Apt to teach - Greek, "Didactic;" that is, capable of instructing, or qualified for the office of a teacher of religion. As the principal business of a preacher of the gospel is to "teach," or to communicate to his fellow-men the knowledge of the truth, the necessity of this qualification is obvious. No one should be allowed to enter the ministry who is not qualified to impart "instruction" to others on the doctrines and duties of religion; and no one should feel that he ought to continue in the ministry, who has not industry, and self-denial, and the love of study enough to lead him constantly to endeavor to "increase" in knowledge, that he may be qualified to teach others. A man who would "teach" a people, must himself keep in advance of them on the subjects on which he would instruct them.

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).


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).

In the following description there is the complete character of an evangelical bishop, with respect to the virtues wherewith he must be adorned, and the vices from which he must be exempt, and as to the conduct of his person, and the government of his family, and his carriage to the church, and to those that are without.

A bishop, whoever hath the office of oversight in the church of God,

must be blameless, such a person as none can truly blame for any notorious or conspicuous errors in his life.

The husband of one wife; none who at the same time hath more wives than one, as many of the Jews had; nor was polygamy only common amongst the Jews, but amongst the other Eastern nations; but this was contrary to the institution of marriage. Some interpret this of successive marriage, as if it were a scandalous thing for a minister to marry a second time; but for this they have no pretence from holy writ, or reason, or the practice and custom of nations. Many persons lose their first wives so soon after marriage, that, were not second marriages lawful, all the ends of marriage must be frustrate as to them. The apostle commanding ministers to be the husbands but of one wife, doth not oblige them to marry, if God hath given them the gift of continency, but it establisheth the lawfulness of their marrying, against the doctrine of devils in this particular, which the Church of Rome teacheth.

Vigilant: the word here translated vigilant signifieth also sober, but for that awfrona is after used. He must be one that watcheth his flock, and is attentive to his work; one that will neither be long absent from his flock, nor vet sluggish while he is with them.

Sober; one that is prudent, modest, temperate, that can govern his affections and passions.

Of good behaviour; a man of a comely, decent behaviour, kosmiov, no proud, supercilious man, that despiseth others, nor a morose man, who cannot accommodate himself to others.

Given to hospitality; one that loveth strangers, that is, who is ready to express his love to strangers (especially such as for the truth have left their country) by all courteous offices.

Apt to teach; one that is able to instruct others, and who hath a facility or aptness to it, neither an ignorant nor yet a lazy man.

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.

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

(b) Therefore he that shuts out married men from the office of bishops, only because they are married, is antichrist.

1 Timothy 3:2. Δεῖ οὖν τὸν ἐπίσκοπον ἀνεπίληπτον εἶναι κ.τ.λ.] τὸν ἐπίσκοπον, as a name for the superintendent of the congregation, only occurs in the Pastoral Epistles (here and at Titus 1:7), and in Acts 20:28; Php 1:1 (the verb ἐπισκοπεῖν is found in 1 Peter 5:2). There can be no doubt that in the N. T. the ἐπίσκοποι and the πρεσβύτεροι denote the same persons. The question why these different names should be given to the same persons has been differently answered.


Baur supposes that every single town had originally one superintendent, who in his relation to the congregation was called ἐπίσκοπος, but that when several ἐπίσκοποι over single congregations were taken together, they were for the most part designated by the co-ordinate name of πρεσβύτεροι. He finds the chief support for his opinion in the passages, Titus 1:5 : ἵνα καταστήσῃς κατὰ πόλιν πρεσβυτέρους, and Acts 14:23 : χειροτονήσαντεςπρεσβυτέρους κατʼ ἐκκλησίαν; but the form of expression here used does not necessarily imply that every single town (or congregation) received or was to receive only one presbyter. Since κατὰ πόλιν (ἐκκλησίαν) means: by cities, i.e. in every city, and the plural (πρεσβυτέρους) is herewith joined with it, it may be taken in Baur’s sense, but it may also be as well taken to mean that the plural refers to each single city. The passage in Acts 15:21, to which Baur appeals, proves nothing for his view, since it is well known that there were several synagogues in each city of the Jewish country.

According to the view of Kist (Illgen’s Zeitschrift f. hist. Theol. II. 2, pp. 47 ff.), the Christians in any one place formed originally several house-congregations, each of which had its particular superintendent. The college of presbyters then consisted of the superintendents of those house-congregations in one city, which, taken together, were regarded as a congregation. The passage in Epiphanius, Haer. lxix. 1,[114] shows that in later times such an arrangement did exist; but there is no passage in the N. T. to prove that that was the original arrangement. In the N. T. the presbyters are always named as the superintendents of one congregation, and there is nowhere any hint that each house-congregation had its special superintendent. Even when James (1 Timothy 5:14) enjoins that a sick man is to summon τοὺς πρεσβυτέρους τῆς ἐκκλησίας,—and not the presbyter of the house-congregation of which he was a member,—his words are clearly against Kist’s view.

The most probable theory is, that originally the superintendents of the single congregations—according to the analogy of Jewish custom—bore the name of πρεσβύτεροι, but that, in so far as they were ἐπισκοποῦντες in reference to the congregation, they were called ἐπίσκοποι; comp. Acts 20:17; Acts 20:28.

There are, however, two striking facts to be noticed. In the first place, Paul in his epistles (the Pastoral Epistles excepted) makes use of the word ἐπίσκοπος only in Php 1:1, and of the word πρεσβύτεροι not at all. Nay, he almost never mentions the superintendent of the congregation except in Ephesians 4:11, where he calls them ποιμένες καὶ διδάσκαλοι, and 1 Thessalonians 5:12, where he mentions them as προϊστάμενοι ὑμῶν (comp. also Romans 12:8 : ὁ προϊστάμενος); comp., however, the passages quoted above from Acts. From this it is clear that at first his attention was directed to the congregation only in its indivisible unity, and only by degrees does he give more prominence to its leaders. We cannot, however, conclude from this, either that the congregations in the earlier period had no leaders, for it lay in the very-nature of a congregation to have some kind of leading; or that the Pastoral Epistles were not written by Paul, for why in the later period of his career should circumstances not so have shaped themselves that he thought it necessary to give the leaders more prominence?

The second striking fact is, that both in this passage and in Titus 1:7 the singular ἐπίσκοπος and not the plural ἐπίσκοποι is used, though in the latter passage the plural πρεσβύτεροι immediately precedes, and here at 1 Timothy 3:8 we have the plural διάκονοι (comp. also 1 Timothy 5:17 : οἱ καλῶς προεστῶτες πρεσβύτεροι). Is there any reason for this in the nature of the episcopate? The fact certainly might be interpreted to favour Kist’s view; but it may more simply and naturally be thus explained. Both times a τις precedes, and this almost by necessity compels the use of the plural after it.

[114] Ὅσαι ἐκκλησίαι τῆς καθολικῆς ἐκκλησίας ἐν Ἀλεξανδρείᾳ ὑπὸ ἕνα ἀρχιεπίσκοπον οὖσαι, καὶ κατʼ ἰδίαν ταύταις ἐπιτεταγμένοι εἰσὶ πρεσβύτεροι διὰ τὰς ἐκκλησιαστικὰς χρείας τῶν οἰκητόρων.

Οὖν] is not simply a particle of transition. From the fact that the ἐπισκοπή is a καλὸν ἔργον, the apostle deduces the necessity of a blameless character on the part of the ἐπίσκοπος; Bengel: bonum negotium bonis committendum.

ἀνεπίληπτον εἶναι] In enumerating the qualities which an ἐπίσκοπος must possess, the apostle begins appropriately with a general idea; so also Titus 1:7 : ἀνεπίληπτος, equivalent to μὴ παρέχων κατηγορίας ἀφορμήν, Schol. Thucyd. v. 17. It is important that they who stand at the head of the church should lead an irreproachable life in the opinion both of Christians and of non-Christians.

μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρα] This expression cannot here be properly referred to polygamy; for, although polygamy might at that time be still found among the civilised heathen, and even among the Jews (comp. Justin Martyr, Dialog. c. Tryph.; Chrysostom on the passage; Josephus, Antiq. vii. 2), it was as a rare exception. Besides, there is an argument against such an interpretation in the phrase ἑνὸς ἀνδρὸς γυνή, 1 Timothy 5:9; for similarly such a phrase ought to refer to polyandry, which absolutely never occurred.

Most recent expositors (Leo, Mack, de Wette, Heydenreich, Wiesinger, van Oosterzee, Plitt) take the expression as referring to a second marriage after the death of the first wife. Heydenreich quotes many testimonies from the earlier Fathers to justify this view. The results which these give are the following:

Firstly, Many held marriage after the death of the first wife to be something immoral. Athenagoras (Leg. pro Christo, p. 37, edit. Colon.) calls second marriage a εὐπρεπὴς μοιχεία; and Tertullian repudiates it utterly, as do the Montanists. Secondly, This was, however, by no means the view that generally prevailed. It had many decided opponents, but even opponents of the view regard[115] abstinence from a second marriage as something praiseworthy, nay, meritorious. Hermas (Past. mandat. iv. chap. 4 : dic, Domine, si vir vel mulier alicujus discesserit et nupserit aliquis eorum, num quid peccat? Qui nubit, non peccat; sed si per se manserit, magnum sibi conquirit honorem apud Dominum) and the later Fathers, as Chrysostom, Epiphanius, Cyril, all write in this strain.

Clement of Alexandria (Stromata, iii. p. 461) says, that he who marries a second time does not commit sin: οὐ γὰρ κεκώλυται πρὸς τοῦ νόμου· οὐ πληροῖ δὲ τῆς κατὰ τὸ εὐαγγέλιον πολιτείας τὴν κατʼ ἐπίτασιν τελειότητα. Thirdly, As to those who held office in the church, it was a general principle that they should not marry a second time. The proof of this is the objection which Tertullian puts in the mouth of his opponents against his condemnation of second marriages: adeo, inquiunt, permisit Apostolus iterare connubium, ut solos qui sunt in Clero, monogamiae jugo adstrinxerit (de Monogamia, chap. 12). Origen’s words are in complete accordance with this: ab ecclesiasticis dignitatibus non solum fornicatio, sed et nuptiae repellunt; neque enim episcopus, nec presbyter, nec diaconus, nec vidua possunt esse digami.

On the other hand, there is a weighty counter-argument in the fact that the earlier expositors of the Pastoral Epistles (Theodoret, Theophylact, Jerome, Oecumenius) do not share in this view,[116] though the practice prevailing in their day must have made the interpretation to them an obvious one. Besides, nowhere else in the N. T. is there the slightest trace of any ordinance against second marriages; nay, in Romans 7:2-3, and also in 1 Corinthians 7:39, Paul declares widows to be perfectly free to marry again; in 1 Corinthians 7:8, he even places widows and virgins on the same level; and in this epistle, 1 Timothy 5:14, he says: ΒΟΎΛΟΜΑΙ ΝΕΩΤΈΡΑς (ΧΉΡΑς) ΓΑΜΕῖΝ. It would certainly be more than strange if the apostle should urge the younger widows to a step which would hinder them later in life from being received into the class of church-widows (see on chap. 1 Timothy 5:9).

Appeal has been made to the facts that the nuptiae secundae were held to be unseemly for women even among the heathen (comp. Rein, Das römische Privatrecht, pp. 211, 212, and the Latin word univira); but it is to be observed, on the other hand, that it was considered in no way objectionable for a man to marry again after the death of his wife, and that there exists no trace of the opposite principle. (There is no ground for Heydenreieh’s opinion, that the priests highest in rank, e.g. the Pontifex Maximus, could only be married once.) Hence, neither Christians nor non-Christians could be offended if the presbyters of the churches were married a second time, and Paul would have laid down a maxim which in his day had never been heard of. The undecided opposition to second marriages appeared among the Christians only in the post-apostolic age, when asceticism was already taking a non-Pauline direction, and was therefore inclined to give its own interpretation to the apostle’s words. Besides, the expression here, as also in Titus 1:6, stands in the midst of others, which denote qualities to be possessed not only by the bishop, but also by every Christian as such. Accordingly, there is good ground for taking the disputed expression simply as opposed to an immoral life, especially to concubinage. What he says then is, that a bishop is to be a man who neither lives nor has lived in sexual intercourse with any other woman than the one to whom he is married (Matthies, Hofmann[117]). Thus interpreted, the apostle’s injunction is amply justified, not only in itself, but also in regard to the extraordinary laxness of living in his day, and it is in full harmony with the other injunctions. The expression under discussion might also be possibly referred to successive polygamy, i.e. to the re-marriage of divorced persons, but its terms are too general to make such a reference certain.[118]

ΝΗΦΆΛΙΟΝ] only here and in 1 Timothy 3:11 (Titus 2:2). In its proper meaning it is equivalent to ΜῊ ΟἼΝῼ ΠΟΛΛῷ ΠΡΟΣΈΧΟΝΤΑ, 1 Timothy 3:8; but it is also used in a kindred sense (like the Latin sobrius) to denote one who is not enchanted nor intoxicated by any fleshly passion. It is used, therefore, of sobriety of spirit. This is the meaning of the word here, where it is joined immediately with σώφρονα, and where the original sense follows in the word ΠΆΡΟΙΝΟς, 1 Timothy 3:3. Even the root-word ΝΉΦΩ occurs in the N. T. only in the figurative sense, as in 1 Thessalonians 5:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:8, where it is joined with ΓΡΗΓΟΡΕῖΝ, and stands in opposition to the spiritual ΚΑΘΕΎΔΕΙΝ and ΜΕΘΎΕΙΝ; and in 1 Peter 4:7, where it is also connected with ΣΩΦΡΟΝΕῖΝ.

] see 1 Timothy 2:9.


] in special reference to strangers who were Christian brethren; comp. 1 Peter 4:9; Hebrews 13:2; Romans 12:13.

1 Timothy 3:2. With the qualifications of the episcopus as given here should be compared those of the deacons, 1 Timothy 3:8 sqq., and those of the episcopus in Titus 1:6 sqq.

δεῖ οὖνἀνεπίλημπτον εἶναι. The ἐπισκοπή being essentially a good work, “bonum negotium bonis committendum” (Bengel). The episcopus is the persona of the Church. It is not enough for him to be not criminal; he must be one against whom it is impossible to bring any charge of wrong doing such as could stand impartial examination. (See Theodoret, cited by Alf.). He must be without reproach (R.V.), irreprehensible (Trench), a term which involves a less exacting test than blameless (A.V.); the deacon (and the Cretan episcopus) must be ἀνέγκλητος, one against whom no charge has, in point of fact, been brought.

No argument can be based on the singular τὸν ἐπίσκοπον, here or in Titus 1:7, in favour either of the monarchical episcopate or as indications of the late date of the epistle; it is used generically as ἡ χήρα, ch. 1 Timothy 5:5; δοῦλον Κυρίου, 2 Timothy 2:24.

The better to ensure that the episcopus be without reproach, his leading characteristic must be self-control. In the first place—and this has special force in the East—he must be a man who has—natural or acquired—a high conception of the relations of the sexes: a married man, who, if his wife dies, does not marry again. Men whose position is less open to criticism may do this without discredit, but the episcopus must hold up a high ideal. Second marriage, which is mentioned as a familiar practice (Romans 7:2-3), is expressly permitted to Christian women in 1 Corinthians 7:39, and even recommended to, or rather enjoined upon, young widows in 1 Timothy 5:14.

μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρα, of course, does not mean that the episcopus must be, or have been, married. What is here forbidden is digamy under any circumstances. This view is supported (a) by the general drift of the qualities required here in a bishop; self-control or temperance, in his use of food and drink, possessions, gifts, temper; (b) by the corresponding requirement in a church widow, 1 Timothy 5:9, ἑνὸς ἀνδρὸς γυνή, and (c) by the practice of the early church (Apostolic Constitutions, vi. 17; Apostolic Canons, 16 (17); Tertullian, ad Uxorem, i. 7: de Monogam. 12; de Exhort. Castitatis, cc. 7, 13; Athenagoras, Legat. 33; Origen, in Lucam, xvii. p. 953, and the Canons of the councils, e.g., Neocaesarea (A.D. 314) Song of Solomon 7. Quinisext. Song of Solomon 3).

On the other hand, it must be conceded that the patristic commentators on the passage (with the partial exception of Chrysostom)—Theodore Mops. Theodoret, Theophylact, Oecumenius, Jerome—suppose that it is bigamy or polygamy that is here forbidden. But commentators are prone to go too far in the emancipation of their judgments from the prejudices or convictions of their contemporaries. In some matters “the common sense of most” is a safer guide than the irresponsible conjectures of a conscientious student.

νηφάλιον: temperate (R.V.). A.V. has vigilant here, following Chrys.; sober in 1 Timothy 3:11, and Titus 2:2, with vigilant in margin. As this quality is required also in women officials, 1 Timothy 3:11, and in aged men, Titus 2:2, it has in all probability a reference to moderate use of wine, etc., and so would be equivalent to the μὴ οἴνῳ πολλῷ προσέχοντας of the diaconal qualifications, 1 Timothy 3:8. ἐγκρατῆ is the corresponding term in Titus 1:8. The adj. only occurs in these three places; but the verb νήφειν six times; in 1 Thessalonians 5:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:8, and in 1 Peter 4:7, it is used of the moderate use of strong drink.

σώφρονα: soberminded (R.V.), serious, earnest. See note on 1 Timothy 2:9. Vulg., prudentem here and in Titus 2:2; Titus 2:5; but sobrium in Titus 1:8. Perhaps σεμνός (1 Timothy 3:8) is the quality in deacons that corresponds to σώφρων and κόσμιος in the episcopus.

κόσμιον: orderly (R.V.), perhaps dignified in the best sense of the term. ordinatum ([264]47). “Quod σώφρων est intus, id κόσμιος est extra” (Bengel). The word is not found in Titus.

[264] Speculum

φιλόξενον: This virtue is required in the episcopus also in Titus 1:8, but not of the deacons, below; of Christians generally, 1 Peter 4:9, 1 Timothy 5:10 (q.v.), Romans 12:13, Hebrews 6:10; Hebrews 13:2, 3 John 1:5. See Hermas, Sim. ix. 27 (“Bishops, hospitable persons (φιλόξενοι), who gladly received into their houses at all times the servants of God without hypocrisy”). This duty, in episcopi, “was closely connected with the maintenance of external relations,” which was their special function. See Ramsay, Church in the Roman Empire, p. 368.

διδακτικόν, as a moral quality would involve not merely the ability, but also the willingness, to teach, such as ought to characterise a servant of the Lord, 2 Timothy 2:24. The notion is expanded in Titus 1:9. The deacon’s relation to theology is passive, 1 Timothy 3:92. A bishop] R.V. The bishop, as St Mark 4:3, ‘the sower’: so George Herbert, ‘The country Parson’: ‘A bishop’ is however quite idiomatic too.

blameless] R.V. without reproach; twice again, ch. 1 Timothy 5:7 and 1 Timothy 6:14, nowhere else in N. T.; ‘giving no handle’ is exact, though rather colloquial, implying in Greek and in R.V. the absence of definite acts or habits to give occasion for reproach. See note on 1 Timothy 3:7.

the husband of one wife] A regulation apparently very simple, but one that has much exercised both ancient and modern commentators. We may pass by the view (1) ‘husband of a wife,’ i.e. ‘a married man,’ as ungrammatical; because the definite numeral has not lost its force ‘one’ in N.T.; in all the 36 or 37 passages where it might be thought to approach the sense of the indefinite article there is something in the context which draws attention to the singleness, the individuality of the person or thing named in a way which is lost by simply rendering ‘an’ or ‘a.’ This is virtually the view of the Greek Church, which requires all priests to be married, but forbids a second marriage, and requires the priest who has lost his wife to cease from exercising his functions.

We may pass by also view (2), that of the Mormons, though at least grammatical, ‘husband of one wife if not more.’

The weight of authority is divided between (3) ‘not a digamist’ and (4) ‘not a bigamist.’

Alford, Wordsworth and Ellicott adopt (3) and understand a second marriage after the loss of the first wife, however happening, to be forbidden, digamia; relying on (a) the very early interpretation by many Greek and Latin Fathers, the action by many bishops and the enactment of some councils, (b) the supposed propriety of greater strictness for officers of the Church.

But as to (a), the more general interpretation by the prevailing ‘voice of the Church’ in the first and second centuries was for (4), and St Paul has express statements on this point, Romans 7:2; 1 Corinthians 7:39, countenancing second marriages; as to (b), St Paul’s usage is not to make laws of a ‘higher life’ for ministers than for people, but to expect the same laws kept in a way to serve for ensample to the flock. We adopt (4) therefore—which is the prima facie meaning, and was the view of the Antiochene fathers (though Chrysostom seems to have changed his mind when he came to annotate Titus 1:6), and was acted upon by some of the Eastern bishops. Many converts to Christianity would have more than one wife. They are nowhere commanded to put away all but one; but it was not seemly that a man in such a position should be a Christian minister, who ought in all respects to be an ensample to the flock. See further on Titus 1:6. The parallel passage in ch. 1 Timothy 5:10 need cause no difficulty: then as now many a woman would change her partner and with or without a so-called re-marriage feel no scruple so long as she was faithful to the new partner. The elementary principle of Christian relationship needed then to be taught in Christian Asia, and needs teaching now in many still half-heathen circles of Christian England.

vigilant, sober] Rather sober, pure; the first word, from which nephalism comes, occurs only here and in 1 Timothy 3:11 of the ‘women deacons,’ and in Titus 2:2 of ‘the aged men,’ and is rendered by R.V. ‘temperate’; while the verb with which it is connected, occurring 1 Thessalonians 5:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:8, 2 Timothy 4:5, and 1 Peter 1:13; 1 Peter 4:7, is rendered ‘be sober.’ The second word here and usually in the Pastoral Epistles, where it and its connexions occur nine times, is rendered by R.V. ‘soberminded’: in the passage however where both the verbs occur, 1 Peter 4:7, we have ‘be of sound (not sober) mind and be sober unto prayer.’

‘Sober,’ not indulging the desire of ‘winebibbings, revellings, carousings’; ‘pure,’ not indulging in the thought of ‘lasciviousness and lusts.’ See 1 Peter 4:3 compared with 7. Cf. also 1 Thessalonians 5:6, and Titus 2:2.

of good behaviour] R.V. with Conybeare and Lewin orderly; the same word describes the ‘modest’ dress of the women above 1 Timothy 2:9, and occurs nowhere else in N. T. The root-idea of the word is the ‘beauty of order,’ such as made it an appropriate word to describe the world, ‘kosmos,’ created out of bare blank chaos. Our word ‘decent’ had originally a somewhat similar force; see Prayer-Book rubrics in Communion Service, directing the alms to be received in a decent, i.e. fair and fitting bason, and the priest so to place the bread and wine that he may with the more readiness and decency, i.e. fair and holy order, break the bread.

Here the word expresses the character of the presbyter in his outward behaviour, ‘modest’ but not ‘shy,’ ‘genial’ but not ‘noisy’—that of a Christian gentleman.

given to hospitality] The adjective occurs (excepting in the parallel account of the presbyter, Titus 1:8) only in 1 Peter 4:9, the same passage from which we have just drawn two other of the characteristic words of the Pastoral Epistles. The subst. occurs however Romans 12:13 and Hebrews 13:2. ‘Brethren in their travels could not resort to the houses of the heathen, and would be subject to insult in the public deversoria.’ Alford.

apt to teach] The only specially ministerial qualification, enlarged in Titus 1:9, ‘able both to exhort in the sound doctrine, and to convict the gainsayers.’

1 Timothy 3:2. Δεῖ, must) Paul shows what Timothy ought to look to in the appointment of bishops, 1 Timothy 3:15; wherefore he so in particular describes the virtues as they meet the eye.—οὖν, therefore) A good office must be entrusted to good men.—τὸν ἐπίσκοπον, the bishop) Deacons are directly opposed to bishops, 1 Timothy 3:8; therefore the presbyter is included in the bishop; Acts 20:28, note.—ἀνεπίληπτον, blameless) without crime, bad report, and just suspicion; comp. Titus 1:6.—εἶναι, be) not only during the time of discharging his duty, but at the time when he is being appointed: 1 Timothy 3:10. The order of the virtues, which follow, should be attended to.—μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρα, the husband of one wife) So 1 Timothy 3:12, ch. 1 Timothy 5:9; Titus 1:6. This element of the blameless man’s character is put in the first place. It is the ancient nature of marriage, that one man should have one woman. The husband (man) of one wife (woman) is therefore a simple periphrasis of husband; ch. 1 Timothy 5:9, note. The opinion as to successive polygamy[20] being forbidden here to bishops, seems formerly to have been drawn from “the Canons of the Apostles;”[21] since the 17th Canon runs thus: “Whosoever after baptism enters into a second marriage[22] or keeps a concubine, he is disqualified from being a bishop.” Some have understood it, as if second marriages were forbidden, and certainly the old translation gives this meaning:[23]If any one after baptism is joined in wedlock for the second time, etc.; whence the unfavourable interpretation of the Canon was easily transferred to Paul. But of what importance is it, whether a man has for his help one woman during twenty years, for example, or two after a term of widowhood? But why does Paul, rather taking for granted than requiring that the bishop should have one wife, not add ἢ ἄγαμον, or be unmarried? Unmarried persons were then rare, nor does he exclude the latter from the sacred office, but yet he assumes that the father of a family was somewhat better fitted for the discharge of these duties: and that, of two candidates, if they be equal in other respects, he who has a wife and virtuous family, is to be preferred to a bachelor, who has less testimony from actual practice (experience), 1 Timothy 3:4-5; for he who is himself bound to discharge the domestic duties, which are here so frequently mentioned, is likely to be more attractive to those who are in like manner attached by ties to the world, and is of advantage to the community by a more popular example: 1 Timothy 3:4. It is to be added to this, that indiscriminate celibacy has rendered many open to blame. The Jews also teach, that a priest should be neither unmarried nor childless, lest he should be unmerciful.—νηφάλιον) vigilant in mind; so 1 Timothy 3:11 [νηφαλίους, which Engl. Vers. renders sober]; Titus 2:2; for νήφω is to watch. See on Chrys. de Sacerd., p. 428. This is opposed to slumbering and sloth, which are sins in defect. Νήφω, when it is used alone, denotes both watchfulness and sobriety, and by Metonymy the one is put for the other (comp. 1 Thessalonians 5:8, Let us be sober, νήφωμεν); but when ΓΡΗΓΟΡΈΩ and ΝΉΦΩ are joined (as at 1 Thessalonians 5:6), the latter verb has the strict signification, to be sober, and is opposed to μεθύσκεσθαι, to be drunk. σώφρονα) of sound mind [‘sober’,] under self-control. It is opposed to vehemence (impetuosity) of mind, which sins in excess. The derivatives, σωφρονῶ, ΣΩΦΡΟΣΎΝΗ, Κ.Τ.Λ., have a consonant signification. Comp. Titus 1:7-8, where ΠΆΡΟΙΝΟς (which in Greek implies a bold and rash man, such as drunkards usually are) and ΣΏΦΡΩΝ are opposed to each other.—ΚΌΣΜΙΟΝ, decorous, orderly [of good behaviour]) What the σώφρων is within, the ΚΌΣΜΙΟς is without. Hesychius defines ΚΟΣΜΊΟΥς as ἈΝΕΠΙΛΉΠΤΟΥς; Plato, ΚΌΣΜΙΟΙ ΚΑῚ ΕὔΚΟΛΟΙ, men moderate and good-natured. The new man bears somewhat of a sacred-festival character, and is at variance with every species of pollution, confusion, disorder, excess, violence, laxity, assumption, harshness, depravity, mutilation, meanness; he sparingly and in private obeys the necessity of nature, and of the material food, which is put in motion by ingestion, digestion, and egestion, and keeps all the traces of the corruptible body concealed; Php 4:8.—φιλόξενον, hospitable) to strangers, especially to the needy and exiles, whom many treat with disdain.—διδακτικὸν, apt to teach) See 2 Timothy 2:24, note.

[20] That is, the marrying a second time after the death of the first wife, which was forbidden by the subsequent canons of the Church in less pure ages.—ED.

[21] A work of later ages, wrongly so called.—ED.

[22] ὁ δυσὶ γάμοις συμπλακεὶς.

[23] Si quis post baptisma secundis fuerit nuptiis copulatus.

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. 1 Timothy 3:2Blameless (ἀνεπίλημπτον)

Or without reproach: one who cannot be laid hold of (λαμβάνειν): who gives no ground for accusation. oP. Only in 1stTimothy.

The husband of one wife (μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρα)

Comp. 1 Timothy 3:12; Titus 1:6. Is the injunction aimed (a) at immoralities respecting marriage - concubinage, etc., or (b) at polygamy, or (c) at remarriage after death or divorce? The last is probably meant. Much of the difficulty arises from the assumption that the Pastorals were written by Paul. In that case his views seem to conflict. See Romans 7:2, Romans 7:3; 1 Corinthians 7:39; 1 Corinthians 8:8, 1 Corinthians 8:9, where Paul declares that widows are free to marry again, and puts widows and virgins on the same level; and comp. 1 Timothy 5:9, according to which a widow is to be enrolled only on the condition of having been the wife of but one man. The Pauline view is modified in detail by the writer of the Pastorals. Paul, while asserting that marriage is right and honorable, regards celibacy as the higher state (1 Corinthians 7:1, 1 Corinthians 7:7, 1 Corinthians 7:26, 1 Corinthians 7:34, 1 Corinthians 7:37, 1 Corinthians 7:38). In this the Pastoral writer does not follow him (see 1 Timothy 2:15; 1 Timothy 3:4, 1 Timothy 3:12; 1 Timothy 4:3; 1 Timothy 5:10, 1 Timothy 5:14). The motive for marriage, namely, protection against incontinency, which is adduced by Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:2, 1 Corinthians 7:9, is given in 1 Timothy 5:11-14. As in Paul, the married state is honorable, for Bishops, Deacons, and Presbyters are married (1 Timothy 3:2, 1 Timothy 3:12; Titus 1:6), and the honor of childbearing conferred upon the mother of our Lord is reflected in the Christian woman of later times (1 Timothy 2:15). While Paul advises against second marriages (1 Corinthians 7:8, 1 Corinthians 7:9, 1 Corinthians 7:27, 1 Corinthians 7:39, 1 Corinthians 7:40), in the Pastorals emphasis is laid only on the remarriage of church-officers and church-widows. In the Pastorals we see a reflection of the conditions of the earlier post-apostolic age, when a non-Pauline asceticism was showing itself (see 1 Timothy 4:3, 1 Timothy 4:4, 1 Timothy 4:8; Titus 1:15). The opposition to second marriage became very strong in the latter part of the second century. It was elevated into an article of faith by the Montanists, and was emphasized by Tertullian, and by Athenagoras, who called second marriage "a specious adultery" (εὐπρεπής μοιχεία)

Vigilant (νηφάλιον)

Only in the Pastorals. See 1 Timothy 3:11, and Titus 2:2. olxx. The kindred verb νήφειν means to be sober with reference to drink, and, in a metaphorical sense, to be sober and wary; cool and unimpassioned. Thus Epicharmus, νᾶφε καὶ μέμνας ἀπιστεῖν be wary and remember not to be credulous. See on 1 Thessalonians 5:6. In N.T. the meaning of the verb is always metaphorical, to be calm, dispassionate, and circumspect. The A.V. vigilant is too limited. Wise caution may be included; but it is better to render sober, as A.V. in 1 Timothy 3:11 and Titus 2:2, in the metaphorical sense as opposed to youthful levity.

Of good behavior (κόσμιον)

oP. Only here and 1 Timothy 2:9, see note. Rend. orderly.

Given to hospitality (φιλόξενον)

oP. Comp. Titus 1:8; 1 Peter 4:9. See note on pursuing hospitality, Romans 12:13.

Apt to teach (διδακτικόν)

oP. Only here and 2 Timothy 2:24. olxx, oClass. In the Pastorals the function of teaching pertains to both Bishops and Elders (see 1 Timothy 5:17; Titus 1:9). It is at this point that the tendency to confound and identify the two reveals itself. Bishops and Presbyters are not identical. Earlier, the teaching function does not seem to have attached to the position of ἐπίσκοπος. The office acquired a different character when it assumed that function, which is not assigned to it in Clement's Epistle to the Corinthians. In the Didache or Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (about 100 a.d.) the ministry of teaching is to be assumed by the Bishops only in the absence of the Prophets and Teachers (xiii., xv).

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