1 Timothy 3:3
Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
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(3) Not given to wine.—Drunkenness is scarcely alluded to here. It is rather a warning against choosing for the sacred office one given to frequenting noisy banquets, where wild and imprudent words are often spoken.

No striker.—Probably something more than merely brawling and fighting may here be included. Not only must the pattern minister of the Lord never smite his brother believer, but he must also never wound his soul with cutting, unkind words.

Not greedy of filthy lucre.—The Greek word thus translated does not occur in the older MSS. in this place.

But patient.—God’s minister must be considerate toward the prejudices of others, forbearing, and gentle.

Not a brawler.—Better rendered, not contentious. He must not be easily vexed; but must exercise a steady command over his temper, avoiding all wordy strife.

Not covetous.—Literally, not a lover of money. The disinterested minister, who cares nothing for money for money’s sake, would ever stand out in all societies a strangely attractive figure.

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.Not given to wine - Margin, "Not ready to quarrel and offer wrong, as one in wine." The Greek word (πάροινος paroinos) occurs in the New Testament only here and in Titus 1:7. It means, properly, "by wine;" i. e., spoken of what takes place "by" or "over" wine, as revelry, drinking songs, etc. Then it denotes, as it does here, one who sits "by" wine; that is, who is in the habit of drinking it. It cannot be inferred, from the use of the word here, that wine was absolutely and entirely prohibited; for the word does not properly express that idea. It means that one who is in the habit of drinking wine, or who is accustomed to sit with those who indulge in it, should not be admitted to the ministry. The way in which the apostle mentions the subject here would lead us fairly to suppose that he did not mean to commend its use in any sense; that he regarded its use as dangerous, and that he would wish the ministers of religion to avoid it altogether. In regard to its use at all, except at the communion or as a medicine, it may be remarked, that a minister will do no injury to himself or others by letting it entirely alone; he may do injury by indulging in it. No man is under any "obligation" of courtesy or Christian duty to use it; thousands of ministers of the gospel have brought ruin on themselves, and disgrace on the ministry, by its use; compare Matthew 11:9 note, and 1 Timothy 5:23 note.

No striker - He must be a peaceable, not a quarrelsome man. This is connected with the caution about the use of wine, probably, because that is commonly found to produce a spirit of contention and strife.

Not greedy of filthy lucre - Not contentious or avaricious. Greek, Not desirous of base gain. The desire of this is condemned everywhere in the New Testament; but it is especially the duty of a minister of the gospel to be free from it. He has a right to a support (see the notes on 1 Corinthians 9); but there is nothing that more certainly paralyzes the usefulness of a minister of the gospel than the love of money. There is an instinctive feeling in the human bosom that such a man ought to be actuated by a nobler and a purer principle. As avarice, moreover, is the great sin of the world - the sin that sways more hearts, and does more to hinder the progress of the gospel, than all others combined - it is important in the highest degree that the minister of religion should be an example of what men "should" be, and that he, by his whole life, should set his face against that which is the main obstruction to the progress of that gospel which he is appointed to preach.

But patient - Modest, mild, gentle. See the word (Greek) in Philippians 4:5; Titus 3:2; James 3:17, and 1 Peter 2:18, where it is rendered "gentle." The word means that the minister of the gospel should be a man of mild and kind demeanor, such as his Master was.

Not a brawler - compare 2 Timothy 2:24. That is, he should not be a man given to contention, or apt to take up a quarrel. The Greek is, literally, "Not disposed to fight."

Not covetous - Greek, "Not a lover of silver;" that is, of money. A man should not be put into the ministry who is characteristically a lover of money. Such a one, no matter what his talents may be, has no proper qualification for the office, and will do more harm than good.

3. Not given to wine—The Greek includes besides this, not indulging in the brawling, violent conduct towards others, which proceeds from being given to wine. The opposite of "patient" or (Greek) "forbearing," reasonable to others (see on [2469]Php 4:5).

no striker—with either hand or tongue: not as some teachers pretending a holy zeal (2Co 11:20), answering to "not a brawler" or fighter (compare 1Ki 22:24; Ne 13:25; Isa 58:4; Ac 23:2; 2Ti 2:24, 25).

not covetous—Greek, "not a lover of money," whether he have much or little (Tit 1:7).

Not given to wine; the word signifieth a common tippler, whether he drinks to the loss of his reason or no; a wine-bibber, that makes bibbing at a tavern his trade: no sitter at wine.

No striker; no quarreller, that cannot keep his fists off him that provoketh him.

Not greedy of filthy lucre; one that abhors all filthy and dishonest gain, any kind of way.

But patient; epieikh, a fair, equal man, who will not exact the rigour of what he might; a patient, gentle, courteous man, so far from contention, that he will rather part with what is his right.

Not a brawler; amacon, one that will not fight, whether it be with his hand or tongue.

Not covetous; one that doth not love silver, that is, not with an immoderate, sinful love, so as to get it any way.

Not given to wine,.... One that does not sit at it, or is continually drinking it, and is intemperate in the use of it; otherwise it is lawful for persons in such an office to drink wine, and sometimes absolutely necessary; see 1 Timothy 5:23 it signifies one that is not given to much wine, as in 1 Timothy 3:8 is not addicted to it, or a follower of it; the Syriac version renders it, "who does not transgress over wine", or go beyond due bounds in the use of it, who is not immoderate in it; the Arabic version renders it, "not insolent through wine", as one that is heated with it is fierce and furious, and wrangling and quarrelsome, and often very mischievous and injurious; and this sense is followed by some.

No striker; either with his hands, so the Syriac version, "whose hand is not swift to strike"; not one who is nimble and ready at it, who no sooner is abused or injured, but he lifts up his hands and strikes; is but a word and a blow: or with his tongue; so the Arabic version, "not wounding with his tongue"; being too sharp and severe in the admonitions and reproofs of weak brethren, or fallen believers; and especially, he ought not to use scurrilous, reproachful, and contumelious language to any; see Jeremiah 18:18.

Not greedy of filthy lucre; not covetous of getting money, of amassing wealth and riches together; or desirous of popular applause and glory from men. This clause is not in the Alexandrian copy, nor in five of Beza's manuscripts and other copies, nor is it in the Vulgate Latin version, nor in any of the Oriental versions; it seems to be transcribed from Titus 1:7. And indeed it is unnecessary here; since the same is expressed by the word "covetous", at the end of the verse, and makes that a tautology; and moreover, by leaving out this clause, the opposition appears more manifest, between "no striker" and what follows,

but patient; one who patiently bears all reproaches and injuries, puts up with affronts, and gives up what is his right and due, rather than contend, quarrel, and strike; who is patient towards all men, and does not bear hard on those that have offended, but is moderate and mild, and gentle in his censures, reproofs, and admonitions:

not a brawler; not a quarrelsome litigious person, given to fighting, either with the fist or sword, or any other weapon:

not covetous; or a lover of money in an immoderate way, greedy of worldly substance and riches, and insatiable in his desires after them; stubborn, sordid, and illiberal; acting a mercenary part; seeking his own things, and not the things of Christ; his gain from his quarter, and not the good of souls; and withholding from himself, from his family, and the poor, what ought to be enjoyed by them. Whereas, on the other hand, he ought to be generous and liberal, hospitable and charitable, and ready to communicate on all occasions, according to his abilities.

Not {c} given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

(c) A common drinker and one that will often partake of it.

1 Timothy 3:3. The positive characteristics are now followed by two that are negative (or three, according to the Rec.): μὴ πάροινον] This word occurs only here and in Titus 1:7. Though it is used (comp. παροινέω, LXX. Isaiah 41:12) also in the wider sense, as equivalent to contumeliosus (Josephus, Antiq. vi. 10, where it stands opposed to the word σωφρονεῖν), yet there is here no sufficient ground for departing from its original sense. It is true that, as Bengel indicates, the ἀλλʼ ἐπιεικῆ afterwards seems to be in favour of the wider meaning here, without special reference to drunkenness; but the contrast is the same in the other case, if we only remember that πάροινος does not mean simply “drunken,” but “impudent, arrogant in intoxication.”[119]

μὴ πλήκτην] This word also may be taken in a narrower and a wider sense. Here, as in Titus 1:7, it denotes the passionate man who is inclined to come to blows at once over anything. With these two ideas there are three placed in contrast; not, however, in exact correspondence, for in that case the reading of the Rec., μὴ αἰσχροκερδῆ, would be indispensable, and for this reading there is too little testimony; but in such a way that the conduct denoted in the one case is opposed to that in the other.

ἀλλʼ ἐπιεικῆ, ἄμαχον ἀφιλάργυρον] In Titus 3:2, as here, the first two expressions stand together. Ἄμαχος does not occur elsewhere in the N. T. Ἐπιεικής does not mean “yielding,” for it does not come from εἴκω, but from εἰκός (ἔοικα).

The nearest meaning is “beseeming.” As used, however, it has mostly the sense of moderateness and gentleness (in Plutarch, Pyrrh. 23.

ἐπιεικῶς is used along with πρᾴως). Luther rightly: “mild.” Ἄμαχος is equivalent to peaceful; Luther: “not quarrelsome.”

ἀφιλάργυρον (only here and in Hebrews 13:5; φιλάργυρος, 2 Timothy 3:2 and Luke 16:14; the substantive φιλαργυρία, 1 Timothy 6:10) lays stress on a point of which no hint was given before. It is joined with ἄμαχος, since avarice necessarily brings strife with it.

[119] Comp. Aristophanes, Acharnians, 981, where the scholiast explains it μέθυσος καὶ ὑβριστής; see Pape on the word.

1 Timothy 3:3. μὴ πάροινον (no brawler, R.V., quarrelsome over wine, R.V. m.), and μὴ πλήκτην are similarly coupled together in Titus 1:7. παροινία means violent temper, not specially excited by overindulgence in strong drink. In the time of Chrysostom and Theodoret manners had so far softened that it was felt necessary to explain the term πλήκτης figuratively, of “some who unseasonably smite the consciences of their brethren”. But see 2 Corinthians 11:20.

ἀλλʼ ἐπιεικῆ, ἄμαχον: gentle, not contentious. This pair, again of cognate adjectives is repeated in the general directions as to Christian conduct, Titus 3:2. Compare 2 Timothy 2:24 (of the servant of the Lord). The corresponding episcopal virtues in Titus (1 Timothy 1:7) are μὴ αὐθάδη, μὴ ὀργίλον.

ἀφιλάργυρον: In Titus the corresponding episcopal virtue is μὴ αἰσχροκερδῆ. See note on 1 Timothy 3:8 and Titus 1:7.

3. not given to wine] Margin R.V. expresses exactly the usage of the word, ‘not quarrelsome over wine,’ like the term so painfully familiar in our police-courts, ‘drunk and disorderly’: again peculiar to these Epp., here and Titus 1:7. For the simpler word with St Paul, cf. 1 Corinthians 5:11, ‘a drunkard,’ Ephesians 5:18, ‘be not drunken with wine.’

no striker] The necessity for specifying this and the preceding qualification, so elementary as they seem to us, shews a state of society in which the plainest, most obvious meaning for ‘husband of one wife’ is the one most likely to have been meant, as argued above.

not greedy of filthy lucre] Omit as not having ms. support and having come in from the parallel passage Titus 1:7.

patient, not a brawler] R.V. rightly ‘gentle, not contentious,’ ‘patient’ being too weak an attitude of the mind, and ‘brawler’ going beyond the mental attitude; whereas both words express ‘an active attitude of the mind’ in contrast to the acts of quarrelling and striking; ‘gentle,’ i.e. ‘anxious to shew considerateness and forbearance’ according to the now well-known meaning of Php 4:5, ‘forbearance,’ margin R.V. ‘gentleness,’ (cf. 1 Peter 2:18), ‘offering to give up one’s just rights’: not contentious, not aggressive, averse to disputing, nearly as Conybeare renders ‘peaceable’; only here and Titus 3:2.

not covetous] Rather, with R.V. no lover of money; the word only occurs here and in Hebrews 13:5, and represents the ‘avaricious’ rather than the ‘covetous,’ which is pleonektês, a frequent word with St Paul in his other epistles; cf. 1 Corinthians 5:10, ‘with the covetous and extortioners.’ See Trench, N. T. Syn. § 24. The qualification interprets in a practical concrete form for daily life the Master s word, ‘He that loveth his life loseth it, and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.’

1 Timothy 3:3. Μὴ πάροινον, not given to wine) Ἀλλʼ ἐπιεικῆ, but patient, lenient, reasonable, is to be referred to this expression. For παροινία here, as everywhere else, not only signifies drunkenness, comp. 1 Timothy 3:8; Titus 2:3, but also the violent and unreasonable conduct towards others, proceeding from it.—μὴ πλήκτην, no striker) with the tongue or the hand. For there is nothing to prevent this word from being taken in its proper sense, 2 Corinthians 11:20, note.[24] Refer to it ἀλλʼ ἄμαχον, but no brawler, not using the fists; comp. 2 Timothy 2:24.

[24] “If any strike you on the face,” under the plea of divine zeal; Isaiah 58:4; 1 Kings 22:24; Nehemiah 13:25; Acts 23:2.—ED.

Verse 3. - No brawler for not given to wine, A.V.; the R.T. omits the clause μὴ αἰσξρερδη; gentle for patient, A.V.; contentious for a brawler, A.V.; no lover of money, for not covetous, A.V. No brawler (μὴ πάροινον); only here and Titus 1:7; but, as well as παροίνιος, common in classical Greek, in the sense of "quarrelsome over wine." In Matthew 11:19 and Luke 7:34 "wine-bibber" is οἰνοπότης. In 1 Peter 4:3 the word for "excess of wine" is οἰνοφλυγία. No striker (μὴ τλήκτην); only here and Titus 1:7. It is used, though rarely, in classical Greek for a "striker," "brawler." There is but weak manuscript authority for the reading in the T.R., μὴ αἰσχροκερδῆ, not given to filthy lucre, which is thought to have been derived from Titus 1:7 (q.v.). The internal evidence, however, is in its favor, as something is wanted to correspond to ἀφιλάργυρον, just as πάροινον and πλήκτην correspond to ἐπιεικῆ and at, ἄμαχον respectively. Gentle (ἐπιεικῆ); as Titus 3:2. So also it is rendered in the A.V. of James 3:17; 1 Peter 2:18. It is very common in classical Greek, in the sense of "fair," "meet," "suitable," of things; and of "fair," "kind," "gentle," of persons. The substantive ἐπιεικεία means "clemency," "gentleness," (Acts 24:4; 2 Corinthians 10:1). Not contentious (ἄμαχον); only here and Titus 3:3 in the New Testament, and in Ecclus. 19:5 in the Complutensian edition. It is also used in this sense in AEschylus, 'Persse,' 955, though its more common meaning in classical Greek is "invincible." No lover of money (ἀφιλάργυρον); only here and Hebrews 13:5. Ἁφιλαργυρία occurs in Hippocrates. The positive φιλάργυρος, φιλαργυρία, occurs in 1 Timothy 6:10; 2 Timothy 3:2; Luke 16:14. Neither the A.V. nor the R.V. quite preserves the form of the original sentence, where the three negative qualities (μὴ πάροινον μὴ πλήκτην μὴ αἰσχροκερδῆ, T.R.) are followed by three positive qualities (ἐπιοικῆ ἄμαχον ἀφιλάργυρον - "gentle," "peaceful," and "indifferent about money"). 1 Timothy 3:3Given to wine (πάροινον)

Only here and Titus 1:7. The verb παροινεῖν to behave ill at wine, to treat with drunken violence, is found in Xenophon, Aeschines, Aristophanes, and Aristotle. Once in lxx, Isaiah 41:12. Rev. renders brawler, which is not definite enough. Better, quarrelsome over wine. See Aristoph. Acharn. 981: παροίνιος ἀνὴρ ἔφυ which Frere renders "behaved in such a beastly way." Cicero, ad Att. x. 10, uses παροινικῶς equals insolently.

Striker (πλήκτην)

Only here and Titus 1:7. Some soften down the meaning into a pugnacious or combative person. In any case, it is a peculiar state of things which calls out such admonitions to Bishops.

Not greedy of filthy lucre


Patient (ἐπιεικῆ)

Better, forbearing. The word occurs Philippians 4:5, and ἐπιεικία forbearance in 2 Corinthians 10:1, where it is associated with πραΰ̀της meekness. From εἰκός reasonable. Hence, not unduly rigorous; not making a determined stand for one's just due. In 1 Peter 2:18; James 3:17, it is associated with ἀγαθὸς kindly, and εὐπειθής easy to be entreated. It occurs in lxx.

Not a brawler (ἄμαχον)

Better, not contentious.

Not covetous (ἀφιλάργυρον)

Only here and Hebrews 13:5. olxx, oClass. Φιλάργυρος money-loving, Luke 16:14; 2 Timothy 3:2. Rend. not a money-lover. The word for covetous is πλεονέκτης. For the distinction see on Romans 1:29.

This admonition is cited by some writers in support of the view that the original ἐπίσκοπος was simply a financial officer. It is assumed that it was prompted by the special temptations which attached to the financial function. Admitting that the episcopal function may have included the financial interests of the church, it could not have been confined to these. It can hardly be supposed that, in associations distinctively moral and religious, one who bore the title of overseer should have been concerned only with the material side of church life.

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