Peter Barnes | 1 Timothy 3:8-13
THE QUALIFICATIONS OF DEACONS
Deut. 24:5-22; 1 Timothy 3:8-13
– two distinct offices: elder/overseer in 3:1-7 and deacon in 3:8-13; like two prongs on a fork, not rungs on a ladder i.e. the deacon is not a trainee elder
1. Deacons must be godly.
– 3:8 – like the elder in 3:3; also 3:12 is like 3:2, 4-5 regarding the home; 3:10 – test or evaluate first
2. Deacons must hold to the faith rather than teach it.
– elders must be able to teach (3:2); deacons hold to the faith (3:9); must be a genuine Christian
3. Women deacons?
– 3:11 – can refer to women (RSV, NASB) or wives (NKJV, NIV, ESV)
(a) No parallel qualifications for elders’ wives in 1 Tim. 3:1-7; (b) Paul does not say ‘their’ wives; (c) Deacons are not covered by the prohibition in 1 Timothy 2:11-12; (d) Phoebe is a deacon or servant (Rom. 16:1-2); (e) There were women deacons (or deaconesses) in the early Church.
4. The work of deacons is commendable.
– 3:13; in itself, not as a stepping stone to the eldership; the work of Christ is ‘to deacon’ (Mark 10:45)