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John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - 1 Timothy 3:1

Verse 1 1It is a true saying Chrysostom thinks, that this is the conclusion of the preceding doctrine. But I do not approve of the opinion; for Paul commonly makes use of this form of expression as a prelude to what he is about to introduce, Besides, in the former discourse there was no need of so strong an affirmation; but what he is now about to say, is somewhat more weighty. Let these words, therefore, be received as a preface intended to point out the importance of the subject; for Paul now... read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - 1 Timothy 3:2

Verse 2 2A bishop, therefore, must be blameless The particle therefore confirms the exposition which I have given; for, on account of the dignity of the office, he concludes that it is requisite that he be a man endowed with rare gifts, and not any person taken out of the crowd. (48) If the expression used had been “a good work,” as the ordinary translation has it, or “an honorable work,” (honestam ,) as Erasmus has translated it, the inference would not have been suitable. He wishes a bishop... read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - 1 Timothy 3:3

Verse 3 3Not addicted to wine. By the word πάροινον, (56) which is here used, the Greeks denote not merely drunkenness, but any intemperance in guzzling wine. And, indeed, to drink wine excessively is not only very unbecoming in a pastor, but commonly draws along with it many things still worse; such as quarrels, foolish attitudes, unchaste conduct, and other things which it is not necessary to describe. But the contrast which is added shortly afterwards, shews that Paul goes farther than... read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - 1 Timothy 3:4

Verse 4 4Who ruleth well his own house Hence it is evident, that Paul does not demand that a bishop shall be unacquainted within human life, (59) but that he shall be a good and praiseworthy master of a household; for, whatever may be the admiration commonly entertained for celibacy and a philosophical life altogether removed from ordinary custom, yet wise and thoughtful men are convinced by experience, that they who are not ignorant of ordinary life, but are practiced in the duties of human... read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - 1 Timothy 3:5

Verse 5 5And if any one know not how to rule his own house (61) This argument, drawn from the less to the greater, is in itself manifest, that he who is unfit for governing a family will be altogether unable to govern a people. Besides that it is evident that he is destitute of the virtues necessary for that purpose, what authority will he have over the people, seeing that his own house makes him contemptible? read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - 1 Timothy 3:6

Verse 6 6Not a novice There being many men of distinguished ability and learning who at that time were brought to the faith, Paul forbids that such persons shall be admitted to the office of a bishop, as soon as they have made profession of Christianity. And he shews how great would be the danger; for it is evident that they are commonly vain, and full of ostentation, and, in consequence of this, haughtiness and ambition will drive them headlong. What Paul says we experience; for “novices” have... read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - 1 Timothy 3:7

Verse 7 7A good report from those who are without. This appears to be very difficult, that a religious man should have, as witnesses of his integrity, infidels themselves, who are furiously mad to tell lies against us. But the apostle means, that, so far as relates to external behavior, even unbelievers themselves shall be constrained to acknowledge him to be a good man; for, although they groundlessly slander all the children of God, yet they cannot pronounce him to be a wicked man, who leads... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - 1 Timothy 3:1

Faithful is the saying for this is a true saying , A.V.; seeketh for desire , A.V. Faithful is the saying (see above, 1 Timothy 1:15 , note). This manifestly refers to what follows, not, as Chrysostom and others, and margin of the R.V., to the saying which precedes, in 1 Timothy 2:15 . Seeketh ( ὀρέγεται ); literally, stretches out his hands after . It is peculiar in the New Testament to the pastoral Epistles and the Epistle to the Hebrews, though common in... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - 1 Timothy 3:1

The apostle, having in the previous chapter regulated the worship of the congregation and placed it in the hands of men, not women, now proceeds to describe the qualifications of the pastors of congregations, as if to imply that the pastorate did not belong to all men. I. THE OFFICE OF PASTOR IS A GOOD WORK . "Faithful is the saying, If any one seeketh the office of pastor [or, 'bishop'], he desireth a good work." 1. The office in question was held by persons called... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - 1 Timothy 3:1-13

I. QUALIFICATIONS OF A BISHOP . Preliminary direction to Timothy . "Faithful is the saying, If a man seeketh the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work." The Scripture idea of the episcopate is that of oversight , viz. of souls. A bishop was one who had the duty of overseeing a congregation in spiritual matters, being, in respect of gravity and dignity, called presbyter or elder. Timothy was to encourage any who sought to enter into the episcopate. The saying in Christian... read more

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