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THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL TO TIMOTHY - Chapter 3 - Verse 8

Verse 8. Likewise must the deacons. On the meaning of the word deacons, See Barnes "Php 1:1".

On their appointment, See Barnes "Ac 6:1".

The word here evidently denotes those who had charge of the temporal affairs of the church, the poor, etc. No qualifications are mentioned, implying that they were to be preachers of the gospel. In most respects, except in regard to preaching, their qualifications were to be the same as those of the bishops.

Be grave. Serious, sober-minded men. In Ac 6:3, it is said that they should be men of honest report. On the meaning of the word grave, See Barnes "1 Th 3:4".

They should be men, who, by their serious deportment, will inspire respect.

Not double-tongued. The word here used —dilogov does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament. It means, properly, uttering the same thing twice, (from div and legw,) and then deceitful, or speaking one thing and meaning another. They should be men who can be relied on for tile exact truth of what they say, and for the exact fulfilment of their promises.

Not given to much wine. See Barnes "1 Th 3:3".

The word much is added here to what is said (1 Ti 3:8) of the qualification of a bishop. It is not affirmed that it would be proper for the deacon, any more than the bishop, to indulge in the use of wine in small quantities, but it is affirmed that a man who is much given to the use of wine, ought not, on any consideration, to be a deacon. It may be remarked here, that this qualification was everywhere regarded as necessary for a minister of religion. Even the heathen priests, on entering a temple, did not drink wine.—Bloomfield. The use of wine, and of strong drinks of all kinds, was absolutely prohibited to the Jewish ministers of every rank, when they were about to engage in the service of God, Le 10:9. Why should it, then, be any more proper for a Christian minister to drink wine, than for a Jewish or a heathen priest! Shall a minister of the gospel be less holy than they? Shall he have a feebler sense of the purity of his vocation? Shall he be less careful lest he expose himself to the possibility of conducting the services of religion in an irreverent and silly manner? Shall he venture to approach the altar of God under the influence of intoxicating drinks, when a sense of propriety restrained the heathen priest, and a solemn statute of Jehovah restrained the Jewish priest from doing it?

Not greedy of filthy lucre. See Barnes "1 Ti 3:3.

The special reason why this qualification was important in the deacon was, that he would be intrusted with the funds of the church, and might be tempted to appropriate them to his own use, instead of the charitable purposes for which they were designed. See this illustrated in the case of Judas, Joh 12:6.

{a} "be grave" Ac 6:3 {b} "not given" 1 Ti 3:3; Le 10:9

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