1 Timothy 3
International Standard Version Par ▾ 

Qualifications for Leaders in the Church

1This is a trustworthy saying:a

The one who would an elder be,

a noble task desires he.

2Therefore, an elder must be blameless, the husband of one wife,b stable, sensible, respectable, hospitable to strangers, and teachable.c 3He must not drink excessively or be a violent person, but instead be gentle. He must not be argumentative or love money. 4He must manage his own family well and have children who are submissive and respectful in every way. 5For if a man does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church? 6He must not be a recent convert, so that he won’t become arrogant and fall into the devil’s condemnation. 7He must be well thought of by outsiders, so he doesn’td fall into disgrace and the trap set for him bye the devil.

8Ministers,f too, must be serious. They must not be two-faced,g addicted to wine, or greedy for money. 9They must hold firmly to the secret of the faith with clear consciences. 10But they must first be tested. Then, if they prove to be blameless, they may become ministers.h 11Their wivesi must also be serious. They must not be gossips, but instead be stable and trustworthy in everything. 12Ministersj must be husbands of one wifek and must manage their children and their families well. 13Those ministersl who serve well gain an excellent reputation for themselves and will have great assurance by their faith in the Messiahm Jesus.

14I hope to come to you soon. However, I’m writing this to you 15in case I am delayed, so that you may know how to behave in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. 16By common confession, the secret of our godly worship is great:n

In flesh was heo revealed to sight,

kept righteous by the Spirit’s might,

adored by angels singing.p

To nations was he manifest,

believing souls found peace and rest,q

our Lord in heaven reigning!r

a 3:1 This formula accompanied early Christian sayings on which full reliance could be placed.
b 3:2 Or devoted to his wife; lit. a man of one woman
c 3:2 Or able to teach
d 3:7 Lit. outsiders, lest he
e 3:7 Lit. the trap of
f 3:8 Or Deacons
g 3:8 Lit. double-worded
h 3:10 Or deacons
i 3:11 Or Women
j 3:12 Or Deacons
k 3:12 Or devoted to their wives; lit. men of one woman
l 3:13 Or deacons
m 3:13 Or Christ
n 3:16 What follows probably represents an early Christian hymn or creed.
o 3:16 Other mss. read God
p 3:16 Lit. he was seen by angels
q 3:16 Lit. he was believed in the world
r 3:16 Lit. he was taken up in glory

The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1
Copyright © 1996-2012 The ISV Foundation

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