1 Timothy 5:17
Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine.
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeChrysostomClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBVWSWESTSK
(17) Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.—More accurately rendered, “Let the elders (presbyters) who rule well.” The consideration of the position and qualifications of certain ruling elder women (the presbyteral widows) reminded St. Paul of certain points to be impressed on Timothy connected with the rank and honour due to the more distinguished presbyters associated with him in the Ephesian congregations.

Attention should be directed here to the vast powers intrusted to the “presiding presbyter” of such a Church as Ephesus (to use the title of Bishop in the ecclesiastical sense would be as yet an anachronism. It probably was, however, of general use within thirty years from the date of the Epistle, certainly before the close of the century). In addition to the general office of supervisor, one in the position of Timothy evidently had the distribution of the several grades of honours and remuneration among the presbyteral order (1Timothy 5:17; 1Timothy 5:21). To him, as presiding elder, belonged the functions of supreme judge in all matters ecclesiastical and moral, relating to the varied officials of both sexes connected with the Church. The right of ordination which, when the Apostles and the first generation of believers had passed away, became the exclusive work of the bishop, is here (see 1Timothy 5:22) specially intrusted by an Apostle to Timothy, the chief presbyter and apostolic representative in the Church of Ephesus, in the words: “Lay hands suddenly on no man.”

The elders (presbyters) to whom Timothy was to accord some special honour, were those who, in the congregations and Christian schools of so great a city as Ephesus, in addition to their many duties connected with organisation and administration, were distinguishing themselves in a marked manner by their preaching and teaching.

Among the devoted and earnest presbyters in these Asian churches, some there were, doubtless, who possessed the special gift of teaching, either in the class-room or the preacher’s chair. Those who, possessing, well and faithfully exercised these invaluable gifts were to be in some way preferred by the chief minister. The “double honour” (timè) is a broad inclusive term, and seems to comprehend rank and position as well as remuneration—victu et reverentiâ, as Melancthon paraphrases the words “double honour.” Timothy is here directed to confer on the more distinguished of the order of presbyters, official rank and precedence, as the reward of faithful and successful work.

1 Timothy 5:17-18. Let the elders that rule well — Who approve themselves faithful stewards of all that is committed to their charge; be counted worthy of double honour — A more abundant provision, seeing that such will employ it all to the glory of God. As they were the most laborious and disinterested men who were put into these offices, so, whatever any one had to bestow, in his life or death, was generally lodged in their hands for the poor. By this means the churchmen became very rich in after ages. But as the design of the donors was the general good, there was the highest reason why it should be disposed of according to their pious intent. Especially they who labour — Diligently and painfully; in the word and doctrine — That is, in preaching and teaching. For the Scripture saith, &c. — See on 1 Corinthians 9:9.5:17-25 Care must be taken that ministers are maintained. And those who are laborious in this work are worthy of double honour and esteem. It is their just due, as much as the reward of the labourer. The apostle charges Timothy solemnly to guard against partiality. We have great need to watch at all times, that we do not partake of other men's sins. Keep thyself pure, not only from doing the like thyself, but from countenancing it, or any way helping to it in others. The apostle also charges Timothy to take care of his health. As we are not to make our bodies masters, so neither slaves; but to use them so that they may be most helpful to us in the service of God. There are secret, and there are open sins: some men's sins are open before-hand, and going before unto judgment; some they follow after. God will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make known the counsels of all hearts. Looking forward to the judgment-day, let us all attend to our proper offices, whether in higher or lower stations, studying that the name and doctrine of God may never be blasphemed on our account.Let the elders that rule well - Greek, πρεσβύτεροι presbuteroi, Presbyters. The apostle had given full instructions respecting bishops 1 Timothy 3:1-7; deacons 1 Timothy 3:8-13; widows 1 Timothy 5:3-16; and he here proceeds to prescribe the duty of the church toward those who sustain the office of elder. The word used - "elder" or "presbyter" - properly refers to age, and is then used to denote the officers of the church, probably because the aged were at first entrusted with the administration of the affairs of the church. The word was in familiar use among the Jews to denote the body of men that presided in the synagogue; see the Matthew 15:2 note; Acts 11:30; Acts 15:2 notes.

That rule well - Presiding well, or well managing the spiritual interests of the church. The word rendered "rule" - προεστῶτες proestōtes - is from a verb meaning to be over; to preside over; to have the care of. The word is used with reference to bishops, Titus 1:5, Titus 1:7; to an apostle, 1 Peter 5:1; and is such a word as would apply to any officers to whom the management and government of the church was entrusted. On the general subject of the rulers in the church; see the notes on 1 Corinthians 12:28. It is probable that not precisely the same organization was pursued in every place where a church was established; and where there was a Jewish synagogue, the Christian church would be formed substantially after that model, and in such a church there would be a bench of presiding eiders; see, on this subject, Whately's "Kingdom of Christ delineated," pp. 84-80. The language here seems to have been taken from such an organization. On the Jewish synagogue, see the notes on Matthew 4:23.

Be counted worthy of double honour - Of double respect; that is, of a high degree of respect; of a degree of respect becoming their age and office; compare 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13. From the quotation which is made in 1 Timothy 5:18, in relation to this subject, it would seem probable that the apostle had some reference also to their support, or to what was necessary for their maintenance. There is no improbability in supposing that all the officers of the church, of whatever grade or rank, may have had some compensation, corresponding to the amount of time which their office required them to devote to the service of the church. Nothing would be more reasonable than that, if their duties in the church interfered with their regular employments in their secular calling, their brethren should contribute to their support; compare notes on 1 Corinthians 9.

Especially they who labour in word and doctrine - In preaching and instructing the people. From this it is clear that, while there were "elders" who labored "in the word and doctrine," that is, in preaching, there were also those who did not labor "in the word and doctrine," but who were nevertheless appointed to rule in the church. Whether, however, they were regarded as a separate and distinct class of officers, does not appear from this passage. It may have been that there was a bench of elders to whom the general management of the church was confided, and that a part of them were engaged in preaching; a part may have performed the office of "teachers" (see the Romans 12:7 note; 1 Corinthians 12:28 note), and a part may have been employed in managing other concerns of the church, and yet all were regarded as the προεστῶτες πρεσβύτεροι proestōtes presbuteroi - or "elders presiding over the church." It cannot, I think, be certainly concluded from this passage, that the ruling elders who did not teach or preach were regarded as a separate class or order of permanent officers in the church. There seems to have been a bench of elders selected on account of age, piety, prudence, and wisdom, to whom was entrusted the whole business of the instruction and government of the church, and they performed the various parts of the duty as they had ability. Those among them who "labored in the word and doctrine," and who gave up all their time to the business of their office, would be worthy of special respect, and of a higher compensation.

17. The transition from the widow presbyteresses (1Ti 5:9) to the presbyters here, is natural.

rule well—literally, "preside well," with wisdom, ability, and loving faithfulness, over the flock assigned to them.

be counted worthy of double honour—that is, the honor which is expressed by gifts (1Ti 5:3, 18) and otherwise. If a presbyter as such, in virtue of his office, is already worthy of honor, he who rules well is doubly so [Wiesinger] (1Co 9:14; Ga 6:6; 1Th 5:12). Not literally that a presbyter who rules well should get double the salary of one who does not rule well [Alford], or of a presbyteress widow, or of the deacons [Chrysostom]. "Double" is used for large in general (Re 18:6).

specially they who labour in the word and doctrine—Greek, "teaching"; preaching of the word, and instruction, catechetical or otherwise. This implies that of the ruling presbyters there were two kinds, those who labored in the word and teaching, and those who did not. Lay presbyters, so called merely because of their age, have no place here; for both classes mentioned here alike are ruling presbyters. A college of presbyters is implied as existing in each large congregation. As in 1Ti 3:1-16 their qualifications are spoken of, so here the acknowledgments due to them for their services.

Who these elders are here intended hath been a great question: it is plain they are not such only as are preachers. They are such as are,

worthy of double honour. The learned Mr. Pool, in his Latin Synopsis, giveth us an acconut of the most opinions about it:

1. Some judging them some of the elder sort of the members of the church, joining with the ministers in the government of the church, but not meddling with preaching, or administering sacraments.

2. Some judging by elders here are meant such as had been ministers, but being aged were superannnuated.

3. Others understanding by it the civil magistrates; which seemeth of all other opinions least probable, because at this time there were no such members of the Christian church.

4. Others think that deacons are here by that term understood, who being church officers have the name of elders given to them.

5. Others understand by elders the ordinary pastors of churches, that resided with their flocks, in opposition to apostles and evangelists: this seemeth less probable, because, there were no such in the primitive church but did labour in the word and doctrine.

6. Others think that some such are meant, as were not so fit for preaching, but yet administered the sacraments, prayed with the church, and privately admonished exorbitant members; but we shall want a good proof, either from Scripture or other authority, of any such officers in the primitive church.

I shall not determine which of these opinions is rightest, but leave the reader this own judgment. Whoever are here meant by elders are declared worthy of double honour; by which is understood either abundant honour, or else (as some say) respect and reverence, and also maintenance.

Especially they who labour in the word and doctrine; but especially such as take pains in preaching the gospel. Let the elders that rule well,.... By whom are meant not elders in age; though such ought to be honoured and respected, and to have a proper maintenance either from their children or the church, when reduced, and incapable of helping themselves; but then this is what should be done to all such persons, whereas the elders here are particularly described as good rulers and labourers in the word and doctrine; besides, elders in age are taken notice of before; nor are civil magistrates intended, such as were called the elders of Israel; for though such as discharge their office well are worthy of honour, yet it does not belong to any of them to labour in preaching the doctrine of the Gospel: nor are deacons designed, for they are never called elders in Scripture; nor is their work ruling, but serving of tables; nor does the ministry of the word belong to them as such; nor is any maintenance allowed them from the church on account of their office: nor are lay elders meant, who rule, but teach not; since there are no such officers appointed in the churches of Christ; whose only officers are bishops or elders and deacons: wherefore the qualifications such are only given in a preceding chapter. There are no other that rule in churches, but such who also speak to them the word of God; wherefore by him that rules, and the labourer in word and doctrine, are not meant two distinct orders, but different persons of the same order; some of these ruling well, but do not take so much pains in the ministry of the word; while others of them both rule well and labour in the word, and who are to be reckoned deserving of the honour hereafter mentioned. These are called "elders", because they are commonly chosen out of the senior members of the churches, though not always, Timothy is an exception to this; and because of their senile gravity and prudence, which were necessary in them: and they may be said to "rule", because they are set in the highest place in the church, and over others in the Lord, who are to submit themselves to them, and obey them. Christ's church is a kingdom, he is King of it, and his ministering servants are rulers under him; and who rule "well" when they rule not with force and cruelty, or lord it over God's heritage; but when they govern according to the laws which Christ the King and lawgiver has prescribed; when they explain and enforce those laws, and show them to the people, and see that they are put in execution and when they discharge this part of their work with diligence and prudence. Now let such be

counted worthy of double honour; which some understand of honour in this world, and in the world to come, and which they have; they are honoured now by Christ, though reproached by the world, by being called unto, qualified for, and succeeded in the work of the ministry; and when they have faithfully discharged it, they will be honoured by him hereafter, and be introduced into his joy with commendation, and shine as the stars for ever and ever. But rather this is to be understood both of that outward respect that is to be shown them by words and actions; and of a sufficient maintenance that is to be provided for them; in which sense the word "honour" is used in this chapter before; See Gill on 1 Timothy 5:3, and some think that the comparison is between the widows before mentioned, and these elders; that if poor widows in the church are to be honoured and maintained, then much more the officers of it; these are worthy of more honour, even of double honour, or, a larger and a more honourable main tenant: and indeed this seems to be the meaning of the word "double" when used both in an ill and in a good sense; see Revelation 18:6 and is an allusion to the firstborn among the Jews, who was to have a double portion of his father's goods, Deuteronomy 21:17 and so may here signify, that the ministers of the Gospel ought not to have a short and scanty, but a large and honourable maintenance.

Especially they who labour in the word and doctrine; which lies in a constant reading of the Scriptures, the word of God, and diligently searching into them, and comparing them together, in order to find out the mind and will of God in them; in a daily meditation upon them, and study of them; and in frequent and fervent wrestling with God, or prayer to him, to give an understanding of them; and in endeavouring to find out the sense of difficult passages, which are hard to be understood; and in providing for the different cases and circumstances of hearers, that everyone may have a portion; and in the choice of apt and proper words to express truth in, to the capacities of all: this is labouring in the word in private; besides which there is labouring in doctrine, in public; in preaching the Gospel constantly, boldly, and faithfully; in holding it fast against all opposition, and in defending it by argument, both by word and writing. The phrase seems to be Jewish, a like one is often to be met with in Jewish writings: Rabbenu was sitting ,

""and labouring in the law" before the congregation of the Babylonians at Tzippore (b);''

and again (c),

"R. Jonah gave tithes to R. Acha bar Alia, not because he was a priest, but because he , "laboured in the law";''

and they say (d),

"there is no greater reward for a man in the world, as for him , "who labours in the law";''

hence we read (e) of , "the labour of the law", which they say the mouth is made for, and of labourers in the law (f); and such persons they judged worthy of the greatest respect, and to be preferred to others. For, they say (g),

"if a congregation is obliged to give a salary to a doctor (or ruler of the synagogue), and to a minister of the congregation, and it is not in their power to give to both; if the ruler is a famous man, and great in the law, and expert in doctrine, he is to be preferred, but if not the minister of the congregation is to be preferred.''

(b) Bereshit Rabba, sect. 33. fol. 28. 3.((c) T. Hieros. Masser, Sheni, fol. 56. 2.((d) Zohar in Gen. fol. 60. 4. & pasira. (e) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 99. 2.((f) Derech Eretz, fol. 17. 4. (g) Jore Des, Tit. 251. sect. 13.

{14} Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of {e} double honour, {f} especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

(14) Now he gives rules, and shows how he ought to behave himself with the elders, that is to say, with the pastors, and those who have the governance in the discipline of the church, who is president of their company. The first rule: let the church or congregation see to this especially, as God himself has commanded, that the elders that do their duty well, are honestly supported.

(e) We must be more concerned for them, than for the rest.

(f) There were two types of elders: the one dealt with the government only, and looked to the behaviour of the congregation; the other in addition to that, dealt with both preaching and prayers, to and for the congregation.

1 Timothy 5:17. In this and the following verses Paul instructs Timothy as to his behaviour towards the presbyters.[187]

οἱ καλῶς προεστῶτες πρεσβύτεροι διπλῆς τιμῆς ἀξιούσθωσιν] On καλῶς προεστῶτες, comp. 1 Timothy 3:4. The contrast to the elders “who superintend well,” is formed by οἱ ἁμαρτάνοντες, 1 Timothy 5:20, not merely, as van Oosterzee thinks, “those who distinguish themselves less in their office;” καλῶς does not denote a special distinction, but conduct worthy of the office.

Chrysostom explained τιμή by θεραπεία καὶ τῶν ἀναγκαίων χορηγία; de Wette translates it directly by “reward.” True, τιμή does occur in classic use in the sense of “present, reward”; but the context by no means demands that meaning here (in opposition to de Wette). We must keep here to the general meaning of τιμή, “honour,”—as in 1 Timothy 6:1 (comp. also τιμᾷν, 1 Timothy 5:3),—although we may grant that the apostle was thinking particularly of the honour which the church was bound to show to their elders by presenting them with the means necessary for their support. It is quite erroneous to interpret τιμή of a maintenance definitely fixed. The adjective διπλῆς is taken by most expositors in the wider sense; but though in the use of διπλόος it is not necessary to urge an accurate measure, still it is never equivalent to πλείων. It is certainly wrong to refer (see de Wette on the passage) the διπλῆς here to the heavenly and earthly honour (Ambrosius), or to the distinction between respect and reward (Matthies), or to the double portion of the first-born (Grotius), or to the double portion which, according to the Const. Apost. ii. 28, the presbyter received in the oblations (Heydenreich and Baur); all these references are arbitrary. The double honour here is that which comes to the presbyter on account of his office (not, as Hofmann thinks, on account of his age[188]), and that which he obtains by filling his office well.

μάλιστα οἱ κοπιῶντες ἐν λογᾷ καὶ διδασκαλίᾳ] On κοπιῶντες, comp. 1 Timothy 4:10. Wiesinger says rightly: “we need not seek any special emphasis in κοπιῶντες: those who toil and moil in opposition to those who do not; κοπιάω is used, as elsewhere, of the teacher’s arduous vocation.”

The preposition ἐν denotes that λόγος κ. δ. is the sphere in which the work takes place (van Oosterzee).

λόγῳ καὶ διδασκαλίᾳ is not to be taken as an hendiadys. Λόγος is more general, διδασκαλία more special. Special stress is laid here on the latter, because activity in teaching was of special importance as a bulwark against heresies. This addition does not prove that at the time when this epistle was composed there was a clear distinction between ruling and teaching presbyters (in opposition to de Wette and Baur). The apostle might quite well have used the same expressions, although the individual superintendents laboured according to their gifts and free determination, not according to fixed rules.

[187] Strange to say, Hofmann asserts that in ver. 17 πρεσβύτεροι are not the presbyters, but “the men of advanced years, from whom the superintendents were chosen, and out of these the apostle exalts those who occupy this office worthily.” Only in ver. 19 does he think that πρεσβύτερος is used in the official sense.

[188] It might even be a younger man who filled the office of a presbyter.1 Timothy 5:17-25. What I have been saying about the support of widows reminds me of another question of Church finance: the payment of presbyters. Equity and scriptural principles suggest that they should be remunerated in proportion to their usefulness. You are the judge of the presbyters; in the discharge of this office be cautious in accusing, and bold in rebuking. I adjure you to be impartial. Do not absolve without deliberate consideration. A lax disciplinarian is partner in the guilt of those whom he encourages to sin. Keep yourself pure. I do not mean this in the ascetic sense; on the contrary, your continual delicacy demands a stimulant. But, to resume about your duties as a judge, you need not distress yourself by misgivings; you will find that your judgments about men, even when only instinctive, are generally correct.17. the elders that rule well] The perfect part. with present neuter signification. The verb itself is peculiar to these Epistles, except Romans 12:8, ‘he that ruleth with diligence,’ and 1 Thessalonians 5:12, ‘that labour among you and are over you; and is used of the management ‘of a house,’ in 1 Timothy 3:4-5, ‘of children,’ 1 Timothy 3:12, and of the mastery ‘of good works,’ Titus 3:8 (where see note) and 14. The word is too general to draw from it the meaning of ruling elders as distinguished from teaching elders. Doubtless ‘government’ was the foremost thought in the selection of an ‘elder’ because someone must give orders ‘for order’s sake.’ But the above passage from the earliest of the Epistles, the 1 Thessalonians, shews us the three chief functions of the ministry already blended: (1) that of the laborious servant, ‘that labour among you,’ the same word as here, ‘who labour;’ (2) that of the leader and head in things spiritual, ‘are over you,’ as here ‘that rule;’ and (3) that of the teacher and counsellor, ‘and admonish you,’ as here ‘in the word and in teaching.’ As Bp Lightfoot puts it in his ‘Christian Ministry’ Ep. Philipp., ‘The work of teaching seems to be regarded rather as incidental to than as inherent in the office: “double honour shall be paid.… especially to such as labour in word and doctrine,” as though one holding this office might decline the work of instruction.’

double honour] The word has been defined on 1 Timothy 5:3; and includes, though it is not confined to, money payment: this is clear from the next verse.

they who labour in the word] The meaning of the Greek word comes out with especial force in 2 Timothy 2:6, the husbandman that laboureth, that really toils ‘with honest sweat week in week out.’ So Matthew 11:28, ‘Come unto Me all ye that labour,’ A.V., where the Prayer-Book in the ‘comfortable words’ renders ‘all that travail.’ Surely our word ‘labour’ has lost some of its strength now since the time when it represented toil and pain like the ‘labour pains’ of ‘a woman in her travail.’ It is right therefore to lay stress on the word here in reading the passage.

in the word and doctrine] Rather, in speech and in teaching. ‘In speech:’ the exact phrase has occurred 1 Timothy 4:12, and seems to describe the ordinary intercourse (cf. Colossians 4:6), while ‘in teaching’ describes the sermon, or lecture, or lesson, the word being characteristic of the present stage of the pastoral office; see note on 1 Timothy 1:10.

17–25. Timothy’s duties in regard to Presbyters

Timothy’s official treatment of the presbyters follows, and his personal bearing as requisite for this. The same general subject runs throughout, though (as noticed above on 1 Timothy 5:16), the absence of the connecting particles indicates some fresh aspects of it introduced with the more broken style of older age. The dark shading of the picture is dark if it is taken as applying to the permanent state of the Church and its clergy. But if we bear in mind that Timothy was not so much the settled Bishop of Ephesus as the authoritative delegate of the apostle for a specific mission, with ‘temporary functions which would now be called episcopal,’ so far from stumbling at this view as inconsistent with the praise given to Ephesus in this respect, Revelation 2:2, ‘I know thy works … that thou canst not bear evil men, and didst try them which call themselves apostles, and they are not, and didst find them false,’ we shall rather see in it the proof of Timothy’s faithful and successful efforts to put down laxness and restore the high ideal of the ministerial office to which he is here urged. This will hold good, whether we take the earlier and more probable date (a.d. 69), or the later (a.d. 96), assigned to the Apocalypse. See Introduction, pp. 19, 20, 66.1 Timothy 5:17. Διπλῆς, double) On account of their being older, and on account of their office. The eldership involves of itself veneration on account of age. Even Peter opposes the elders to the younger men (νεωτέροις), and yet he speaks as concerning an office, 1 Peter 5:5; 1 Peter 5:1, etc. Double, i.e. large, Revelation 18:6.—μάλιστα, especially) Some then were able to rule, and to rule well, although they were not employed in word and doctrine, viz. in sacred studies, and in the instruction of others. But those who had been so employed (κοπιῶντες), were less at leisure for working, and for acquiring fortune, and were worthy of compensation.Verse 17. - Those for they, A.V.; in teaching for doctrine, A.V. The elders (πρεσβυτεροι) here in its technical sense of "presbyters," which in the first age were the ruling body in every Chinch (see Acts 14:23; Acts 20:2, 4, 6, 22), after the analogy of the elders of the Jews. Rule well (at καλῶς προεστῶτες). The presbyters or elders were the chiefs, rulers, or presidents, of the Church (see Romans 12:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:12; and above, 1 Timothy 3:4, 5). It seems that they did not necessarily teach and preach, but those who did so, laboring in the Word and teaching, were especially worthy of honor. Double honor (see note on ver. 3) means simply increased honor, not exactly twice as much as some one else, or with arithmetical exactness. So the word διπλοῦς is used in Matthew 23:15; Revelation 18:6; and by the LXX. in Isaiah 40:2; Jeremiah 16:18; and elsewhere also in classical Greek. And so we say, "twice as good," "twice as much," with the same indefinite meaning. The Word and teaching. The "Word" means generally "the Word of God," as we have "preach the Word," "hear the Word," "the ministry of the Word," "doers of the Word," etc. And although there is no article before λόγῳ here yet, considering the presence of the preposition ἐν, and St. Paul's less careful use of the article in his later Epistles, this absence is not sufficient to counterbalance the weight of those considerations which lead to the conclusion that "laboring in the Word" refers to the Word of God. The alternative rendering of "oral discourse" or "in speaking" seems rather weak. Teaching would mean catechetical instruction and similar explanatory teaching. Labor (οἱ κοπιῶντες); a word very frequently used by St. Paul of spiritual labors (Romans 16:6, 12; 1 Corinthians 15:10; Galatians 4:11; Colossians 1:29, etc.). The elders that rule well (οἱ καλῶς προεστῶτες πρεσβύτεροι)

For that rule well, see on καλῶς προΐστάμενον ruling well, 1 Timothy 3:4. The phrase is peculiar to the Pastorals. See on 1 Timothy 5:1.

Double honor (διπλῆς τιμῆς)

This at least includes pecuniary remuneration for services, if it is not limited to that. The use of τιμή as pay or price appears Matthew 27:6, Matthew 27:9; Acts 4:34; Acts 7:16; 1 Corinthians 6:20. Double, not in a strictly literal sense, but as πλείονα τιμὴν more honor, Hebrews 3:3. The comparison is with those Elders who do not exhibit equal capacity or efficiency in ruling. The passage lends no support to the Reformed theory of two classes of Elders - ruling and teaching. The special honor or emolument is assigned to those who combine qualifications for both.

Those who labor (οἱ κοπιῶντες)

See on 1 Timothy 4:10. No special emphasis attaches to the word - hard toiling in comparison with those who do not toil. The meaning is, those who faithfully discharge the arduous duty of teaching. Comp. Hebrews 13:7.

In word and doctrine (ἐν λόγῳ καὶ διδασκαλίᾳ)

Better, word and teaching. Word is general, teaching special. In word signifies, in that class of functions where speech is concerned. The special emphasis (μάλιστα especially) shows the importance which was attached to teaching as an antidote of heresy.

1 Timothy 5:17 Interlinear
1 Timothy 5:17 Parallel Texts

1 Timothy 5:17 NIV
1 Timothy 5:17 NLT
1 Timothy 5:17 ESV
1 Timothy 5:17 NASB
1 Timothy 5:17 KJV

1 Timothy 5:17 Bible Apps
1 Timothy 5:17 Parallel
1 Timothy 5:17 Biblia Paralela
1 Timothy 5:17 Chinese Bible
1 Timothy 5:17 French Bible
1 Timothy 5:17 German Bible

Bible Hub

1 Timothy 5:16
Top of Page
Top of Page