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THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL TO TIMOTHY - Chapter 3 - Verse 3

Verse 3. Not given to wine. Marg., "Not ready to quarrel and offer wrong, as one in wine." The Greek work (paroinov) occurs in the New Testament only here and in Tit 1:7. It means, properly, by wine; i.e., spoken of what takes place by or over wine, as revelry, drinking songs, etc. Then it denotes, as it does here, one who sits by wine; that is, who is in the habit of drinking it. It cannot be inferred, from the use of the word here, that wine was absolutely and entirely prohibited; for the word does not properly express that idea. It means that one who is in the habit of drinking wine, or who is accustomed to sit with those who indulge in it, should not be admitted to the ministry. The way in which the apostle mentions the subject here would lead us fairly to suppose that he did not mean to commend its use in any sense; that he regarded its use as dangerous, and that he would wish the ministers of religion to avoid it altogether. In regard to its use at all, except at the communion or as a medicine, it may be remarked, that a minister will do no injury to himself or others by letting it entirely alone; he may do injury by indulging in it. No man is under any obligation of courtesy or Christian duty to use it; thousands of ministers of the gospel have brought ruin on themselves, and disgrace on the ministry, by its use. See Barnes "Mt 11:19, See Barnes "1 Ti 5:23".

 

No striker, he must be a peaceable, not a quarrelsome man. This is connected with the caution about the use of wine, probably, because that is commonly found to produce a spirit of contention and strife.

Not greedy of filthy lucre. Not contentious or avaricious. Gr., Not desirous of base gain. The desire of this is condemned everywhere in the New Testament; but it is especially the duty of a minister of the gospel to be free from it. He has a right to a support, See Barnes "1 Co 9:1"; and following, but there is nothing that more certainly paralyzes the usefulness of a minister of the gospel than the love of money. There is an instinctive feeling in the human bosom that such a man ought to be actuated by a nobler and a purer principle. As avarice, moreover, is the great sin of the world—the sin that sways more hearts, and does more to hinder the progress of the gospel, than all others combined—it is important in the highest degree that the minister of religion should be an example of what men should be, and that he, by his whole life, should set his face against that which is the main obstruction to the progress of that gospel which he is appointed to preach.

But patient. Modest, mild, gentle. See the word (Gr.) in Php 4:5; Tit 3:2; Jas 3:17; 1 Pe 2:18, where it is rendered gentle. The word means that the minister of the gospel should be a man of mild and kind demeanour, such as his Master was.

Not a brawler. Comp. 2 Ti 2:24. That is, he should not be a man given to contention, or apt to take up a quarrel. The Greek is, literally, Not disposed to fight.

Not covetous, Gr., Not a lover of silver; that is, of money. A man should not be put into the ministry who is characteristically a lover of money. Such a one, no matter what his talents may be, has no proper qualification for the office, and will do more harm than good.

{1} "Not given to wine" "not ready to quarrel and offer wrong, as one

on wine"

{a} "not a brawler" 2 Ti 2:24

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