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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Timothy 3:11

Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Even so must their wives be grave - I believe the apostle does not mean here the wives either of the bishops or deacons in particular, but the Christian women in general. The original is simply: Γυναικας ὡσαυτως σεμνας· Let the women likewise be grave. Whatever is spoken here becomes women in general; but if the apostle had those termed deaconesses in his eye, which is quite possible, the words are peculiarly suitable to them. That there was such an order in the apostolic and primitive Church, and that they were appointed to their office by the imposition of hands, has already been noticed on Romans 16:1; (note). Possibly, therefore, the apostle may have had this order of deaconesses in view, to whom it was as necessary to give counsels and cautions as to the deacons themselves; and to prescribe their qualifications, lest improper persons should insinuate themselves into that office.

Not slanderers - Μη διαβολους· Literally, not devils. See on 1 Timothy 3:7; (note) This may be properly enough translated slanderers, backbiters, tale-bearers, etc., for all these are of their father, the devil, and his lusts they will do. Let all such, with the vast tribe of calumniators and dealers in scandal, remember that the apostle ranks them all with malicious, fallen spirits; a consideration which one would suppose might be sufficient to deter them from their injurious and abominable conduct.

Sober - See on 1 Timothy 3:2; (note)

Faithful in all things - The deaconesses had much to do among the poor, and especially among poor women, in dispensing the bounty of the Church. They were not only faithfully to expend all they had got, and for the purpose for which they got it; but they must do this with impartiality, showing no respect of persons, the degree of distress being the only rule by which the distribution was to be regulated.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-timothy-3.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Even so must their wives be grave - Chrysostom, Theophylact, Grotius, Bloomfield, and many others, suppose that by the word “wives,” here, ( γυνᾶικας gunaikas), the apostle means “deaconesses.” Clarke supposes that it refers to women in general. The reason assigned for supposing that it does not refer to the wives of deacons, as such, is, that nothing is said of the qualifications of the wives of bishops - a matter of as much importance as that of the character of the wife of a deacon; and that it cannot be supposed that the apostle would specify the one without some allusion to the other. But that the common interpretation, which makes it refer to the wives of deacons, as such, is to be adhered to, seems to me to be clear. Because:

(1) it is the obvious and natural interpretation.

(2) the word here used - “wives” - is never used of itself to denote deaconesses.

(3) if the apostle had meant deaconesses, it would have been easy to express it without ambiguity; compare notes, Romans 16:1.

(4) what is here mentioned is important, whether the same thing is mentioned of bishops or not.

(5) in the qualifications of bishops, the apostle had made a statement respecting his family, which made any specification about the particular members of the family unnecessary. He was to be one who presided in a proper manner over his own house, or who had a well-regulated family; 1 Timothy 3:4-5. By a comparison of this passage, also, with Titus 2:3-4, which bears a strong resemblance to this, it would seem that it was supposed that the deacons would be taken from those who were advanced in life, and that their wives would have some superintendence over the younger females of the church. It was, therefore, especially important that they should be persons whose influence would be known to be decidedly favorable to piety. No one can doubt that the character of a woman may be such, that it is not desirable that her husband should be an officer in the church. A bad woman ought not to be entrusted with any additional power or influence.

Grave - notes, 1 Timothy 3:4.

Not slanderers - compare Titus 2:3, “Not false accusers.” The Greek word is διαβόλους diabolous- “devils.” It is used here in its original and proper sense, to denote a “calumniator,” “slanderer,” or “accuser.” It occurs in the same sense in 2 Timothy 3:3, and Titus 2:3. Elsewhere in the New Testament, it is uniformly rendered “devil” (compare notes, Matthew 4:1), and is given to Satan, the prince of the fallen angels Matthew 9:34, by way of eminence, as “the accuser;” compare Job 1:6-11 notes, and Revelation 12:10 note. Here it means that they should not be women who were in the habit of calumniating others, or aspersing their character. Mingling as they would with the church, and having an opportunity to claim acquaintance with many, it would be in their power, if they chose, to do great injury to the character of others.

Sober - notes, 1 Timothy 3:2.

Faithful in all things - To their husbands, to their families, to the church, to the Saviour.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". "Barnes' Notes on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-timothy-3.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

1 Timothy 3:11

Even so must their wives be grave.

The pastor’s wife

A good example is the pastor’s first ministry, and Paul associates the wife in this ministry, when he wishes the wives to be “grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.” This has been felt to be so important that in certain churches, those of Hungary, the minister has been made positively responsible for the conduct of his wife. He is everywhere so morally, and the responsibility is a grave one, the ministry may suffer considerably if it is not regarded. How much may the humours and vices of the wife (slander, avarice, negligence, display, etc.), compromise the respectability of the pastor? And conversely: Julian the apostate, observing that one cause of the success of the gospel was the purity in the manners of its followers, and especially its ministers, and wishing to enable paganism to compete with Christianity, ordered the pagan priests to maintain their wives, children, and domestics in the same sanctity of manners. (Vinet.)

Talebearing discouraged

Hannah More had a good way of managing tale-bearers. It is said that whenever she was told anything derogatory of another, her invariable reply was, “Come, we will go and ask if this is true.” The effect was sometimes ludicrously painful. The tale-bearer was taken aback, stammered out a qualification, or begged that no notice might be taken of the statement. But the good lady was inexorable; off she took the scandalmonger to the scandalised, to make inquiry and compare accounts. It is not very likely that anybody ever a second time ventured to repeat a gossipy story to Hannah More. Milton being asked if he intended to teach his daughters languages, replied, “No, one tongue is enough for a woman!” (E. J. Hardy, M. A.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "1 Timothy 3:11". The Biblical Illustrator. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/1-timothy-3.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

Women in like manner must be grave, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things.

Hervey summarized the three possible meanings of this verse, making it applicable to: (1) the wives of the deacons; (2) the wives of the elders and deacons; or (3) the women deacons.[32] Hervey, like so many present-day commentators opted for the third meaning, but this commentator is certain that the third meaning is wrong.

If the women in view here had been deacons, Paul would have called them deacons, which he certainly did not do; and furthermore, in the very next verse Paul said that deacons "must be husbands of one wife," leaving women out of sight altogether as possible holders of this office.

Both the KJV and Nestle Greek-English New Testament translate the word "wives" instead of "women" in this verse, and that is doubtless the correct rendition. It is alleged that the word "women" is ambiguous in the Greek, and well it may be; but in context the word has to mean wives. To make it read "female deacons" is a gross transgression of the word of God. This verse says absolutely nothing about any female deacons; and the supposition that it does would mean that no qualifications whatever are laid down for the wives of elders and deacons, a fault that no man has the right to charge against the apostle Paul. This verse on the qualities of officers' wives is absolutely mandatory to be observed. The wrong kind of wife can ruin any elder or any deacon; and to make the qualifications in sight here applicable to a whole new class of church officials would be to make Paul guilty of a very glaring omission.

But isn't Phoebe called a deaconess (Romans 16:1)? Yes, indeed; but policemen are also called deacons of God (Romans 13:4), the Greek word being the same in both cases (except for the gender). See exegesis on this in my Commentary on Romans under those verses. In this connection, it is proper to note that if Paul had meant these women to be installed as "deaconesses" he certainly knew the word and would have referred to them in this passage by their proper title. The New Testament word "apostle" is used in its both official and limited sense and also in a secondary and more general sense when applied to men like Barnabas and Silas, who were not, strictly speaking, "apostles." The view here is that "deaconess" as applied to Phoebe, in the same manner, does not mean that she was officially a deacon in the church of the Lord. It should always be remembered that deaconess translates the Greek word for "servant," and that, for centuries, the translators have rendered the word "deacon" only when the official church office was meant. But in the case of Romans 13:4 and Romans 16:1, they usually rendered it "servant." That is the way the KJV renders both places; and the gratuitous injection of the official title DEACON into Romans 16:1 in some subsequent versions is absolutely incorrect and misleading.

If churches were commanded to appoint women deacons, where is the record of it, either in the New Testament or in the custom of the historical church? When women deacons are appointed, they are appointed without divine authority and with no adequate list of qualifications to serve as guidelines for their appointment. If 1 Timothy 3:11 is to be construed as the standard for appointing women deacons, why, it may be inquired, did Paul list fifteen qualifications for elders, and four for so-called deaconesses? Such a view simply does not make sense.

ENDNOTE:

[32] A. C. Hervey, op. cit., p. 53.


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/1-timothy-3.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Even so must their wives be grave,.... Some instead of "wives" read "women", and understand them of deaconesses, such as were in the primitive churches; whose business it was to visit the poor and sick sisters of the church, and take care of things belonging to them; but it is better to interpret the words of the wives of the deacons, who must be as their husbands, "grave" in speech, gesture, and dress, of an honest report, a good behaviour, and chaste conversation; which will reflect honour and credit to their husbands:

not slanderers; or accusers, and so act like devils, as the word is sometimes rendered; for should they act such a part, and accuse either the poor, or any of the members of the church wrongfully, or on any trifling occasion, as persons addicted to this vice are wont to do, it would be of bad consequence: and they also should be

sober, temperate, not given to wine; excessive drinking is very scandalous in the female sex; and is the rather mentioned here, because women in the eastern countries were too frequently addicted to it:

faithful in all things; as in the marriage bed, so with whatsoever else they are intrusted with in the family, and civil concerns of their husbands; and this is the rather observed, because the wives of deacons may be sometimes intrusted with the church's stock in their husband's absence, to impart to the poor.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-timothy-3.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

4 Even so [must their] wives [be] grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

(4) Regard must also be had for the pastor's and deacon's wives.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/1-timothy-3.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

their wives — rather, “the women,” that is, the deaconesses. For there is no reason that special rules should be laid down as to the wives of the deacons, and not also as to the wives of the bishops or overseers. Moreover, if the wives of the deacons were meant, there seems no reason for the omission of “their” (not in the Greek). Also the Greek for “even so” (the same as for “likewise,” 1 Timothy 3:8, and “in like manner,” 1 Timothy 2:9), denotes a transition to another class of persons. Further, there were doubtless deaconesses at Ephesus, such as Phoebe was at Cenchrea (Romans 16:1, “servant,” Greek, “deaconess”), yet no mention is made of them in this Epistle if not here; whereas, supposing them to be meant here, the third chapter embraces in due proportion all the persons in the service of the Church. Naturally after specifying the qualifications of the deacon, Paul passes to those of the kindred office, the deaconess. “Grave” occurs in the case of both. “Not slanderers” here, answers to “not double-tongued” in the deacons; so “not false accusers” (Titus 2:3). “Sober” here answers to “not given to much wine,” in the case of the deacons (1 Timothy 3:8). Thus it appears he requires the same qualifications in female deacons as in deacons, only with such modifications as the difference of sex suggested. Pliny, in his celebrated letter to Trajan, calls them “female ministers.”

faithful in all things — of life as well as faith. Trustworthy in respect to the alms committed to them and their other functions, answering to “not greedy of filthy lucre,” 1 Timothy 3:8, in the case of the deacons.


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/1-timothy-3.html. 1871-8.

People's New Testament

Even so must their wives. The word in the Greek may mean women or wives. It is rendered wife in 1 Timothy 3:12. The Revision says, "Women must be, etc." I believe that the Old Version is nearer right. The duties of women generally are not spoken of in the midst of a discussion of elders and deacons. Either deaconesses are meant, or the wives of bishops and deacons; more likely the latter. We know that an injudicious wife may mar the work of a church officer.

Not slanderers. Not given to tattling.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.

Bibliography
Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". "People's New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/1-timothy-3.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Women (γυναικαςgunaikas). Accusative with δει ειναιdei einai understood (οσαυτωςhosautōs likewise) as in 1 Timothy 3:8. Apparently “women as deacons” (Romans 16:1 about Phoebe) and not women in general or just “wives of deacons.” See Pliny (Ep. X. 97) ministrae.

Not slanderers (μη διαβολουςmē diabolous). Original meaning of διαβολοςdiabolos (from διαβαλλωdiaballō Luke 16:1), the devil being the chief slanderer (Ephesians 6:11). “She-devils” in reality (Titus 2:3). “While men are more prone to be διλογουςdilogous double-tongued, women are more prone than men to be slanderers” (White).

Faithful in all things (πιστας εν πασινpistas en pāsin). Perhaps as almoners (Ellicott) the deaconesses had special temptations.


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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/1-timothy-3.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Their wives ( γυναῖκας )

Probably correct, although some find a reference to an official class of women - deaconesses (so Ellicott, Holtzmann, Alford). But the injunction is thrown incidentally into the admonition concerning Deacons, which is resumed at 1 Timothy 3:12; and if an official class were intended we should expect something more specific than γυναῖκας womenor wives without the article. A Deacon whose wife is wanting in the qualities required in him, is not to be chosen. She would sustain an active relation to his office, and by her ministries would increase his efficiency, and by frivolity, slander, or intemperance, would bring him and his office into disrepute.


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Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/1-timothy-3.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

Faithful in all things — Both to God, their husbands, and the poor.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-timothy-3.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

11.Likewise the wives He means the wives both of deacons and of bishops, for they must be aids to their husbands in their office; which cannot be, unless their behavior excel that of others.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/1-timothy-3.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

Ver. 11. Must their wives be grave] As themselves must, 1 Timothy 3:6. Gravity is such an elixir, as by contaction (if there be any disposition of goodness in the same metal) it will render it of the property. So that deacons’ wives cannot be otherwise than grave and gracious, having such husbands as is above described.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-timothy-3.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

1 Timothy 3:11. Even so must their wives be grave, There was as much reason that this should extend to the wives of bishops also; and as he begins the next verse with let the deacons, that is to say, as well as the bishops, be the husbands of one wife,—perhaps he might so design it. These wives were not to slander any body, and especially not to blast the characters of the poor to their husbands, and so cut them off from the charitable relief of the church. The deacons themselves are required, 1 Timothy 3:8 not to be sordidly covetous; and here their wives are ordered to be faithful in all things. These orders might be given, partly, to prevent their being tempted, or falling into the temptation of embezzling the public money. See Acts 6:1. &c.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/1-timothy-3.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

In the original it runs, Let the women, by which is meant either the deacons' wives, or the deaconesses, who were appointed to take care of the poor women, as the deacons were of the men; understand it of both; these qualifications are very excellent and well becoming of both; they ought to be grave and sober, not light and airy, no slanderers, not devils, says the original; the sense is, not railers, nor false accusers, but diligent and faithful in all business, and trusty in all affairs. It is not enough and sufficient that the ministers of the gospel themselves be of a grave and sober conversation, but their wives also must and ought to take special care that they demean themselves answerably to their place and station, and suitably to the character which their husbands bear; so must their wives be grave.


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Bibliography
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/1-timothy-3.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

11.] (The) women in like manner (who are these? Are they (1) women who were to serve as deacons,—deaconesses?—or (2) wives of the deacons?—or (3) wives of the deacons and overseers?—or (4) women in general? I conceive we may dismiss (4) at once, for Chrys.’s reason: τί γὰρ ἐβούλετο μεταξὺ τῶν εἰρημένων παρεμβαλεῖν τι περὶ γυναικῶν;—(3) upheld by Calv., Est., Calov., and Mack, may for the same reason, seeing that he returns to διάκονοι again in 1 Timothy 3:12, be characterized as extremely improbable,—(2) has found many supporters among modern Commentators: Luth., Beza, Beng. (who strangely adds, ‘pendet ab habentes 1 Timothy 3:9’), Rosenm., Heinr., Huther, Conyb., al., and E. V. But it has against it (a) the omission of all expressed reference to the deacons, such as might be given by αὐτῶν, or by τάς: (b) the expression of ὡσαύτως, by which the διάκονοι themselves were introduced, and which seems to mark a new ecclesiastical class: (c) the introduction of the injunction respecting the deacons, ἔστωσαν μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρες, as a new particular, which would hardly be if their wives had been mentioned before: (d) the circumstance, connected with the mention of Phœbe as διάκονος of the church at Cenchrea in Romans 16:1, that unless these are deaconesses, there would be among these injunctions no mention of an important class of persons employed as officers of the church. We come thus to consider (1), that these γυναῖκες are deaconesses,—ministræ, as Pliny calls them in his letter to Trajan (see note on Romans 16:1). In this view the ancients are, as far as I know, unanimous. Of the moderns, it is held by Grot., Mosh., Mich., De W., Wiesinger, Ellicott. It is alleged against it—(a) that thus the return to the διάκονοι, 1 Timothy 3:12, would be harsh, or, as Conyb. “on that view, the verse is most unnaturally interpolated in the midst of the discussion concerning the deacons.” But the ready answer to this is found in Chrys.’s view of 1 Timothy 3:12, that under διάκονοι, and their household duties, he comprehends in fact both sexes under one: ταῦτα καὶ περὶ γυναικῶν διακόνων ἁρμόττει εἰρῆσθαι: (b) that the existence of deaconesses as an order in the ministry is after all not so clear. To this it might be answered, that even were they no where else mentioned, the present passage stands on its own grounds; and if it seemed from the context that such persons were indicated here, we should reason from this to the fact of their existence, not from the absence of other mention to their non-indication here. I decide then for (1): that these women are deaconesses) (must be) grave, not slanderers (corresponds to μὴ διλόγους in the males, being the vice to which the female sex is more addicted. Cf. Eurip. Phœn. 298 ff., φιλόψογον δὲ χρῆμα θηλειῶν ἔφυ, | σμικράς τʼ ἀφορμὰς ἢν λάβωσι τῶν λόγων, | πλείους ἐπεισφέρουσιν· ἡδονὴ δέ τις | γυναιξί, μηδὲν ὑγιὲς ἀλλήλαις λέγειν.

διάβολος in this sense (reff.) is peculiar in N. T. to these Epistles), sober (see on 1 Timothy 3:2, corresponding to μὴ οἴνῳ πολλῷ προσέχοντας), faithful in all things (corresponds to μὴ αἰσχροκερδεῖς: trusty in the distribution of the alms committed to them, and in all other ministrations).


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Bibliography
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/1-timothy-3.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

1 Timothy 3:11. γυναῖκας ὡσαύτως σεμνὰς κ. τ. λ.] No further hint is given as to what women he is here speaking of; only it is to be observed that these instructions regarding them are inserted amongst the rules for the diaconate, since 1 Timothy 3:12 continues to speak of the latter. They must therefore, at all events, be regarded as women who stand in close relation to the deacons—either the wives of the deacons or the deaconesses. Mack’s supposition, that they are the wives of the deacons and of the bishops, is quite arbitrary. The second view is found as early as in Chrysostom ( γυναῖκας διακόνους φησί), Theophylact, Oecumenius, Grotius, and others; de Wette, Wiesinger, and Hofmann also think it correct. The principal grounds for it are—(1) the word ὡσαύτως, which indicates that the apostle here passes (see 1 Timothy 3:8) to a new class of ecclesiastical persons (Wiesinger); and (2) the fact that the instructions given in this whole section are rather directions for election than exhortations to the persons named. On the other hand, the omisson of αὐτῶν (de Wette, Wiesinger) and the expression πιστὰς ἐν πᾶσιν, usually understood, as de Wette wrongly thinks, of conjugal fidelity, are of no weight.

Against this view, however, there are two circumstances which should be considered, viz., that the instruction regarding the deaconesses is inserted among those given to the deacons, and also that the apostle calls them quite generally γυναῖκες, instead of using the definite αἱ διάκονοι (comp. Romans 16:1). This makes it probable that by the γυναῖκες we should understand the deacons’ wives (so, too, Plitt). The reason of the special exhortation would then be, not, as Heydenreich says, that even the domestic life of the deacons should be considered, but that the office of the deacons, consisting in the care of the poor and the sick, was of a kind in which their wives had to lend a helping hand. Hence we can explain why the wives of the bishops are not specially mentioned.(129)

μὴ διαβόλους] διάβολος, as an adjective: “slanderous,” occurs only in the Pastoral Epistles, here and at 2 Timothy 3:3; Titus 2:3.

νηφαλίους] is not equivalent to ΄ὴ οἴνῳ πόλλῳ προσεχούσας, 1 Timothy 3:8; it is to be taken in the same sense as in 1 Timothy 3:2 (in opposition to Wiesinger, van Oosterzee).

πιστὰς ἐν πᾶσιν] “faithful in all things;” ἐν πᾶσιν forbids us to limit the command of fidelity to any one sphere; it is not merely faithfulness at home nor in the duties of the church that is meant.


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Bibliography
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/1-timothy-3.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

1 Timothy 3:11. γυναῖκας, wives) This depends on ἔχοντας, having, 1 Timothy 3:9. ὡσαύτως, in like manner) This refers to 1 Timothy 3:8.— μὴ διαβόλους, not slanderers) especially among those that are without.— πιστὰς, faithful) This refers to 1 Timothy 3:9.


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Bibliography
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/1-timothy-3.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Even so must their wives be grave: must their is not in the Greek, but supplied by our interpreters, and, as some think, ill, judging that he speaks here not of deacons’ wives, but of deaconesses, of such women as had the deacon’s office conferred on them, such a one was Phebe, Romans 16:1; but it may be understood of either, both ought to be not light, airy, tattling persons, but composed, serious, grave people.

Not slanderers; not devils, (so it is in the Greek), that is, persons given to railing and accusing others.

Sober: see the sense of that word, 1 Timothy 3:2.

Faithful in all things; who have approved themselves every way honest, and such persons as may be trusted.


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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-timothy-3.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Must their wives be grave; in selecting deacons, regard must be had to the character of their wives, for they will greatly help or hinder their husbands in their work. But many prefer to render, "must the women be grave"; that is, those selected to be deaconesses.


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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". "Family Bible New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/1-timothy-3.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

11. γυναῖκας ὡσαύτως κ.τ.λ. It is difficult to determine who the ‘women’ are, who are thus brought into the middle of the paragraph which deals with the qualifications of deacons. Excluding impossible interpretations, they must be either (a) the wives of the deacons or (b) the deaconesses of the Church. If the former we should have expected τὰς γυναῖκας αὐτῶν, if the latter, τὰς διακόνους; the Greek is quite as ambiguous as the R.V. ‘women.’ That there were deaconesses in the early Church, we know; the case of Phœbe (Romans 16:25) is familiar, and Pliny (Ep. x. 97) has mention of “duabus ancillis quae ministrae dicebantur.” A century later than Pliny we find elaborate rules as to the female diaconate laid down in the Apostolic Constitutions[526]. The ancient interpreters took this view of the passage, and it has been urged by many modern commentators that interpretation (a) is excluded by the absence of any corresponding regulation as to the wives of the ἐπίσκοποι, as well as by the silence of the writer concerning any domestic duties of the women in question. An argument e silentio is, no doubt, always precarious; and, further, it is to be remembered that a deacon’s wife would of necessity share his work which was largely occupied with the sick and needy, and it is thus intelligible that it would be necessary to have an eye to her character in the selection of her husband for the diaconate; whereas the wife of an ἐπίσκοπος is in no way partner of his responsibilities, and should not be permitted to meddle in the administration of the Church. The absence of any regulations for the bishops’ wives might be thus accounted for. But on the whole interpretation (b) seems to be more consonant with the usages of Christian antiquity, as well as with the general structure of the chapter before us, and with the fact that historically the deacons always chose their own wives without any reference to the judgement of the Church. We therefore translate (with Lightfoot[527]) γυναῖκας, deaconesses, and find here the earliest regulations as to the διακονίσσαι who in succeeding ages played an important part in the Church’s life[528].

σεμνάς. See above on 1 Timothy 2:2; this corresponds, of course, to σεμνούς of 1 Timothy 3:8.

μὴ διαβόλους. See note on 1 Timothy 3:6; the phrase corresponds to μὴ διλόγους of 1 Timothy 3:8.

νηφαλίους. See note on 1 Timothy 3:2; the word is here used in its primary sense of sober, and balances μὴ οἴνῳ πολλῷ προσέχοντας, 1 Timothy 3:8.

πιστὰς ἐν πᾶσιν. Faithful in all things. A general statement, but perhaps laid down here with special reference to the virtue of trustworthiness, which, in matters of money, was peculiarly demanded of the διάκονος, whether man or woman. See note on μὴ αἰσχροκερδεῖς of 1 Timothy 3:8.


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"Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/1-timothy-3.html. 1896.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

11. Wives—The Greek word may signify either woman or wife. The their is not in the Greek. The question thence arises, whether St. Paul means wives of the deacons, or deaconesses. Note Romans 16:2. The absence of any prescription for the wives of the elders seems very decisive in favour of the latter. The existence of an ordained grade of deaconesses in the early Church was recognised by Tertullian, Origen, and others of the ecclesiastical writers.

Slanderers—Not dealing in scandal and personal gossip.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-timothy-3.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘Women in the same way must be grave, not slanderers, temperate; faithful in all things.’

In a section dealing with church offices this can only refer to women deacons, in reality if not by title. Had it referred to wives we would have expected a similar mention with regard to the bishops and besides, would have expected it to follow 1 Timothy 3:12-13, and we do know that there were women deacons (see Romans 16:1-2). Thus women deacons were recognised functionaries in the churches. They would in fact be very necessary in order to cater for some of the needs of womenfolk, and in order to avoid such dangers as are probably portrayed in 2 Timothy 3:6, while in some social circles it may even have been a positive necessity. For some the intrusion of men might well not have been acceptable. They may well have been older women, and were mainly known for their practical ministry (Romans 16:2), but also possibly for the teaching of women in practical Christianity (see 1 Timothy 5:5; 1 Timothy 5:10; Titus 2:3-5), although this would inevitably involve some doctrine. It would only secondarily, however, be that of the authoritative voice of the church.

The requirements for these ‘women deacons’ were similarly strict. They had to be grave, taking life and the prospect of their position very seriously, not slanderers who would pass on gossip about those whom they visited, temperate and wise, and ‘faithful in all things’ (absolutely trustworthy). The word for slanderers is diabolos which is the name also of the Devil, but means ‘the Slanderer. Its use as signifying ‘slanderers, backbiters, gossipers’ is found in classical literature, and is well in place here, however in view of the earlier references to the Devil (1 Timothy 3:6-7) we might well consider that Paul intended that idea to be found within it. Thus ‘women who do not behave like the Devil’ in his insidious, deceitful and untrustworthy ways, possibly even having in mind that some of this number had been passing on the false teaching that he has previously decried..

The position of this verse in the chiasmus suggests that Paul was deliberately highlighting this unusual ministry of women deacons, and that he therefore saw it as important. The lack of an official title suggests an early rather than a late date.


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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/1-timothy-3.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Does this verse refer to female deacons? [Note: Robertson, 4:575; Towner, The Letters . . ., p265; et al.] Historically most interpreters have preferred this view. [Note: Mounce, pp203 , 207-12.] Others believe it refers to the wives of male deacons. [Note: Knight, pp171-72; Mounce, p204; et al.] Still others believe it refers to unmarried women who assist the deacons. Exegetically it is very hard to decide. [Note: See Robert M. Lewis, "The "Women" of1Timothy3:11 ," Bibliotheca Sacra136:542 (April-June1970):167-75; Charles C. Ryrie, The Place of Women in the Church, pp85-91; and Herbert Frohnhofen, "Women Deacons in the Early Church," Theology Digest34:2 (Summer1987):149-53.] I think it probably refers to female deacons for the following reasons. First, there is nothing about the office as such that would exclude a woman. Second, it seems unusual that Paul would prescribe qualifications for wives of deacons but not for wives of elders. Third, the fact that he inserted special qualifications for women in his list of deacon qualifications seems to indicate that he considered these women as deacons.

Paul described Phoebe as a deaconess (servant, Gr. diakonon) of the church in Cenchrea in Romans 16:1. This may mean she was simply a servant of the church. However the term he used allows for the possibility that she occupied the office of deaconess in her church.

"The office of deaconess is not certain in the New Testament church, but the preponderance of evidence suggests that women had this ministry, for it is certainly seen in the postapostolic period." [Note: H. Wayne House, "The Ministry of Women in the Apostolic and Postapostolic Periods," Bibliotheca Sacra145:580 (October-December1988):390. Cf. Hendriksen, pp132-33; and Fee, 1,2Timothy ..., p88.]

The apostle cited four special qualifications for these women.

7. "Dignified" means worthy of respect (Gr. semnas, 1 Timothy 3:8).

8. "Not malicious gossips" (Gr. diabolos) describes those who do not slander others.

9. "Temperate" (Gr. nephalious) means well balanced (elder qualification #3 , 1 Timothy 3:2; cf. Titus 2:2).

10. "Faithful in all things" (Gr. pistas en pasin) means completely trustworthy.


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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/1-timothy-3.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

1 Timothy 3:11. Even so must their wives. The mention of women in this parenthetic way is, in any case, remarkable, seeing that the writer returns to the deacons in the next verse. The English of the Authorised Version is a possible rendering, but the absence alike of the article and the pronoun in the Greek, and the obvious parallelism with 1 Timothy 3:8 (διακόνους ὡσαύτως —γυναικὸς ὡσαύτως ), make it far more probable that St. Paul is speaking of the women who had a like work, the deaconesses of the Apostolic Church, to whom he refers in Romans 16:1, Phoebe, the servant (διάκονος) of the Church at Cenchrea.’ As there was no feminine form of the word, it was necessary to use ‘women;’ but it is clear that we are dealing with qualifications for office, not with general advice applicable to all. The functions of these deaconesses (the ministrœ of whom Pliny (Ep. x. 96) speaks in writing to Trajan) were probably analogous to those of their male colleagues—the distribution of alms to their own sex, caring for the sick, nursing orphan children, instructing female converts, and helping in the administration of their baptism.

Not slanderers. The word so translated is that which commonly appears as the name of the devil, as the great slanderer and accuser of man and God. The Pastoral Epistles are the only part of the New Testament in which it appears in its generic sense.

Faithful. Chiefly in the sense of ‘trust-worthy ‘ in all the details of their work.


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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/1-timothy-3.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

1 Timothy 3:11. γυναῖκας: Sc. δεῖ εἶναι, not governed by ἔχοντας (1 Timothy 3:9). These are the deaconesses, ministrae (Pliny, Ep. x. 97) of whom Phoebe (Romans 16:1) is an undoubted example. They performed for the women of the early Church the same sort of ministrations that the deacons did for the men. In confirmation of this view it should be noted that ὡσαύτως is used in introducing a second or third member of a series. See on 1 Timothy 2:9. The series here is of Church officials. Again, the four qualifications which follow correspond, with appropriate variations, to the first four required in deacons, as regards demeanour, government of the tongue, use of wine, and trustworthiness. And further, this is a section dealing wholly with Church officials. These considerations exclude the view that women in general, as R.V. apparently, are spoken of. If the wives of the deacons or of the clergy were meant, as A.V., it would be natural to have it unambiguously expressed, e.g., by the addition of αὐτῶν.

διαβόλους: slanderers. While men are more prone than women to be δίλογοι, double-tongued, women are more prone than men to be slanderers. See Titus 2:3. The term is predicated in 2 Timothy 3:3, not of men, but as characterising the human race, ἄνθρωποι, in the last days.

νηφαλίους: see note on 1 Timothy 3:2.

πιστὰς ἐν πᾶσιν: It may be that, as Ell. suggests, this has a reference to the function of deaconesses as almoners, a possible inference from Constt. Apost. iii. 16. But more probably it is a comprehensive summary with a general reference, like πᾶσαν πίστιν ἐνδεικνυμένους ἀγαθήν, Titus 2:10.


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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/1-timothy-3.html. 1897-1910.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

1 Timothy 3:11. Even so must their wives — Namely, the wives of the deacons; be grave — Serious in their deportment; not slanderers — Or false accusers of the brethren and others; sober — Or watchful, (as νηφαλεους may be rendered,) for occasions of doing good, and guarding against every temptation to evil; faithful — To God, their husbands, and the poor; in all things — Committed to their care, lest their imprudent and unfaithful conduct should bring the character of their husbands under suspicion. The apostle, however, may be understood here, as not only speaking of the wives of the deacons and bishops, but of the believing women in general, and particularly of those who were invested with any office in the church. So the Vulgate interprets his meaning, having here, mulieres similiter pudicas, the women in like manner must be modest. Chrysostom also, and the Greek commentators, with most of the Latin fathers, were of opinion that the apostle, in this passage, is speaking both of those women who, in the first age, were employed in ministering to the afflicted, and of those who were appointed to teach the young of their own sex the principles of religion. As the manners of the Greeks did not permit men to have much intercourse with women of character, unless they were their relations, and as the Asiatics were under still greater restraints, it was proper that an order of female teachers should be instituted in the church for instructing the young of their own sex. These, it seems, were generally widows, Clement of Alexandria reckoning widows among ecclesiastical persons, Pædag., lib. 3. c. 12; and Grotius tells us that these female presbyters, or elders, were ordained by imposition of hands till the council of Laodicea.


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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/1-timothy-3.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

===============================

[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Non detrahentes, Greek: me diabolous.


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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-timothy-3.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

“Women must likewise be”: “Even so much their wives be” (KJV, Con, Ber, Phi). The term translated “women” can refer to either a married or unmarried woman, and its meaning is determined by the context. The term “likewise” indicates that a new category is being discussed. These woman are neither elders nor deacons.

"In Romans 16:1 Phoebe is described as a "diakonos" (RSV "deaconess"), but since the form is masculine, without the article, and since the first indications of an office of ‘deaconess’ appear only in the third century, it is highly doubtful that the verse refers to a specific and definite church office. The "women" of 1 Timothy 3:11 prob. refers to the wives of deacons" (Zond. Ency. “Deacons” p. 49)

The women under consideration are not female deacons, but rather the wives of the deacons and elders. “Even so must their wives be” (KJV). 1. “In 1 Timothy 3:1-16 the “offices” are clearly named, “office of a bishop” (3:1); “deacons” (3:8), “serve as deacons” (3:10). Paul said, “women” and not “deaconesses”. If an official class were meant here, we should expect something more specific than “women or wives” without the article” (Vincent p. 236). 2. Very little is said about these women, in contrast to the qualifications for deacons. Nothing is said about whether these women are to be married or have children, because they are the wives of the men mentioned in this context. 3. It is often argued that Phoebe was a deaconness (Romans 16:1). She is called a “servant”, but that doesn’t demand that she was a deacon. Various other Christians are also called “servants”, but we never assume that they were deacons (Ephesians 6:21; Colossians 4:7; 1 Timothy 4:6). Paul also calls himself a “servant”, but we know that he wasn’t a deacon (1 Corinthians 7:8=1 Timothy 3:12), because he didn’t have all the qualifications (specifically, a wife or children). In like manner, Phoebe was a servant, but she wasn’t a deacon, because she wasn’t the husband of one wife. F. LaGard Smith notes, “A possible rendering of the word “servant” is the word “deaconess”, at least if one overlooks the fact that only the masculine form of the word “deacon” is found in Scripture. (There is no feminine form of the Greek word for deacon)….because the passage (1 Timothy 3:11) is sandwiched between various qualifications for deacons, the most natural reference would be to the wives of those being considered for deacons..” (Men Of Strength For Women Of God, p. 216).

“Dignified”: “Their wives should share their serious outlook”. The same word was used in 3:8. And especially those matters where a degree of soberness and serious resolve is needed.

“Not malicious gossips”: “Women of discretion and self-control” (Phi). The spouse of the deacon must also be trustworthy and able to control her tongue. Due to the work of her husband, she must not make a wrong or selfish use of the confidential information to which she has access. The word “malicious” indicates that she cannot be a woman who is hypercritical or one who is bent on finding fault with others.

“But temperate”: Clear-headed, self-controlled, circumspect, like her husband, neither can she be addicted to much wine.

“Faithful in all things”: “Trustworthy in every respect” (Arndt p. 664); “Women who can be trusted” (Phi). Faithful in keeping secrets, faithful in keeping appointments, faithful to her husband, her children, and faithful to God. I am impressed that God mentions that their wives must also have moral character. In the ancient world and even in modern times, the wives of successful men are often left in the background. In fact, the wives of some successful men in our modern history have been emotionally unstable, alcoholics, and so on. The kingdom of God is not organized like a corporation or congress (Matthew 20:24-27). God feels that the wife of an elder or deacon has a very valuable role. Her character can increase his effectiveness, or she can make him ineffective. In the book of Proverbs the husband of the worthy woman sits among the elders of the land (31:23), but it seems inferred that he might not be sitting there, if he had married a woman who lacked character.


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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/1-timothy-3.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

slanderers. Greek. diabolos, adjective sober. Same as "vigilant", 1 Timothy 3:2.

faithful. Same as "true", 1 Timothy 3:1.


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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-timothy-3.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

(Their) wives - rather, 'women;' i:e., deaconesses. For there is no reason that special rules should be laid down as to wives of deacons, and not also as to wives of bishops. Moreover, if wives of deacons were meant, there seems no reason for the omission of "their." Also [ hoosautoos (Greek #5615)] "even so" ("likewise," 1 Timothy 3:8; "in like manner," 1 Timothy 2:9) denotes a transition to another class of persons. Also the omission of domestic duties in their case, though they are specified in the man (1 Timothy 3:12). There were doubtless deaconesses at Ephesus, such as Phebe was at Cenchrea (Romans 16:1, "servant;" Greek, deaconess), yet no mention is made of them in this letter, if not here; whereas, if they be meant, 1 Timothy 3:1-16 embraces in due proportion all offices of the church. Naturally, after specifying the deacon's qualifications, Paul passes to those of the deaconess. "Grave" is said of both. "Not slanderers" answers to "not double tongued" in deacons; so Titus 2:3. "Sober" answers to "not given to much wine" in the deacons (1 Timothy 3:8). Thus, he requires the same qualifications in deaconesses as in deacons, with such modifications as the difference of sex suggested. Pliny, in his letter to Trajan, calls them 'female ministers.'

Faithful in all things - of life as well as faith. Trustworthy as to the alms and their other functions; answering to "not greedy of filthy lucre" (1 Timothy 3:8) in the deacons.


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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-timothy-3.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

Their wives. The Greek word may mean either women or wives. The fact that no mention is made of the church leader's wives implies this is something special. Johnson thinks these are either deaconesses or the wives of the church helpers. Probably these were wives who were also church helpers themselves. Many things a church helper would be required to do, could only be done by a woman, especially in the East. See notes on Romans 16:1-2; Acts 6:1-6; 1 Timothy 5:9-10.


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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". "The Bible Study New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/1-timothy-3.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(11) Even so must their wives . . .—The position of this solitary charge, respecting deacons’ wives, in the midst of regulations concerning “deacons,” is, of itself, almost decisive against the translation of the English version, adopted also by Luther and many others. The question naturally occurs—why are deacon’s wives especially referred to, while nothing has been said respecting the wives of presbyters? Then, again, why should the choice of Timothy in the matter of his selection of a deacon be hampered with any special requirements in the wife of the candidate for the holy office? The literal translation of the Greek words would be, Women in like manner must, &c. These women, St. Chrysostom and most of the ancient expositors affirm, were deaconesses.

It is certain that there were women holding a kind of official position as deaconesses in the early Church; nor is it probable that these deaconesses were, as a class, confined to the restriction of age referred to in the direction respecting a band of widows devoted to works of mercy (1 Timothy 5:9-10). These widows seemed to have been in the first instance a class or order apart from the ordinary deaconesses.

Phebe of Cenchrea (Romans 16:1), Euodias, and Syntyche (Philippians 4:2), probably the organisation alluded to (Acts 9:36-41) as existing at Joppa, of which Dorcas was the chief, may be cited as instances from the New Testament of the employment of these women-servants of the Church. In the next century the Proconsul Pliny, in his famous letter to the Emperor Trajan, distinctly alludes to these Christian deaconesses, in the words, “ancillæ quæ ministræ dicebantur.” “In the Western Church,” says Professor Reynolds, “the order did not cease to exist until the fifth century, and was continued in the Greek Church till the twelfth. The deaconess vanished into the cloister until partially revived in comparatively modern times.”

Be grave.—The same word is used as in the case of the deacons. These deaconesses, too, must, with their modest behaviour, with their sweet, decorous gravity, as it has been well said, “inspire reverence having the halo of purity and sanctity about them.”

Not slanderers.—A woman’s most ready weapon is ever her tongue. She is, with all her noble, generous qualities, often quick-tempered, passionate, impulsive, jealous, and this weapon, always ready for attack or defence, is too often unsheathed. The professed servant of the Lord must show a high example to her sisters in self-control.

Sober.—Should be abstemious, even self-denying in the pleasures of the table.

Faithful in all things.—These deaconesses, from their position, would become the depositaries of many a household secret; to those confiding in them in moments of trouble they must be true; scrupulously honest also in their distribution of alms; faithful, too, in the holy instruction they would be often called on to give in the course of their ministrations.


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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-timothy-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
their
Leviticus 21:7,13-15; Ezekiel 44:22; Luke 1:5-6; Titus 2:3
be
not
Psalms 15:3; 50:20; 101:5; Proverbs 10:18; 25:13; Jeremiah 9:4; Matthew 4:1; John 6:70; 2 Timothy 3:3; Titus 2:3; *Gr:; Revelation 12:9,10
sober
2; 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8; 2 Timothy 4:5; Titus 3:2; *Gr:; 1 Peter 5:8
faithful
1:12; 6:2

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-timothy-3.html.

1 Timothy 3:11. "Even so [must their] wives [be] grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things."

"Their wives must be grave" Actually the term "wives" is not found - it is the thought of women. I assume from the context that text easily allows for women in a special ministry as the bishops and deacons - that of serving their Lord in a specific capacity.

Ray Stedman mentions, "The apostle now turns to women deacons. It is true that this word "women" here can mean the wives of the male deacons, but I do not take it that way, largely because there is no corresponding treatment of the wives of elders in the preceding passage. If Paul was concerned about how the wives of the deacons behaved, he would likely have been concerned about the way the wives of the elders behaved, but he does not say anything about them."

Stedman and others take this to show that there can be female deacons. This might be a possible interpretation, but in my mind there seems to be here a listing of offices and qualifications, thus there are elders, deacons, and deaconesses.

Verse twelve indicates to me that deacons are to be male. (Husband of, and running the house well.)

In Romans 16:1 ("I commend unto you Phoebe, our sister, who is a servant of the church which is at Chenchreae.") The term servant is the same word as used in Timothy - it seems to show the office of deaconess, servant - deaconess literally.

There is no indication in the text that these women are linked to the deacons, other than by similarity of ministry.

To have deacons and women that do this work that are "deacon"s wives," as the text mentions, is not inappropriate, however the deacon"s wives here in the text are probably not wives. They are just a group of women doing a work that should have the following qualifications.

"not slanderers" is literally "not devils." The Greek term is "diabolos" and it is normally translated devil - false accuser is another translation of the term.

I suspect gossips would be another term that could be used. I think that we all know what a gossip can do to a person or a church. They can ruin many years of good work in a single mouthful.

A pastor we knew was accused by one of the women in the church of making obscene phone calls. She had no proof and there were very few that believed her, but within a few months that man"s ministry was ruined in the town and he was forced to move on for the churches sake.

Another account might illustrate the power of the tongue. " Abraham Lincoln"s coffin was pried open twice. The first occasion was in 1887 , twenty-two long years after his assassination. Why? You may be surprised to know it was not to determine if he had died of a bullet fired from John Wilkes Booth"s derringer. Then why? Because a rumor was sweeping the country that his coffin was empty. A select group of witnesses observed that the rumor was totally false, then watched as the casket was resealed with lead.

"The second time, fourteen years later, the martyred man"s withered body was viewed again--this time by even more witnesses. Why again? For the same grim purpose! Rumors of the same nature had again implanted doubts in the public"s mind. The pressure mounted to such proportions, that the same ghoulish, grotesque ceremony had to be carried out. In spite of the strong protests of Lincoln"s son Robert, the body was exposed a second time. Officials felt the rumors should be laid to rest along with the Civil War president. Finally -- the corpse was permanently embedded in a crypt at Springfield."

"soberminded" relates to a controlled mind and manner. The mind of someone controlled by alcohol would be the contrast. The idea of temperate or moderate in things would be involved also I would think.

"faithful in all things" would cover all areas of life, her marriage, her church work, her mothering role - everything.

She should be faithfully doing the things that she is involved with, and doing a good job at all. If she can"t do the good job in all areas along with home life then she probably shouldn"t be involved in the church for her home will suffer.


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Bibliography
Derickson, Stanley. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:11". "Stanley Derickson - Notes on Selected Books". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sdn/1-timothy-3.html.

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Saturday, February 23rd, 2019
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