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1 Timothy 3:13

    1 Timothy 3:13 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    For they that have served well as deacons gain to themselves a good standing, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    For those who have done good work as Deacons get for themselves a good position and become free from fear in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

    Webster's Revision

    For they that have served well as deacons gain to themselves a good standing, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

    World English Bible

    For those who have served well gain for themselves a good standing, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    For they that have served well as deacons gain to themselves a good standing, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

    Definitions for 1 Timothy 3:13

    Deacon - Servant; attendant.

    Clarke's Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:13

    That have used the office of a deacon well - They who, having been tried or proved, 1 Timothy 3:10, have shown by their steadiness, activity, and zeal, that they might be raised to a higher office, are here said to have purchased to themselves a good degree, βαθμον καλον· for, instead of having to administer to the bodies and bodily wants of the poor, the faithful deacons were raised to minister in holy things; and, instead of ministering the bread that perisheth, they were raised to the presbyterate or episcopate, to minister the bread of life to immortal souls. And hence the apostle adds; And great boldness in the faith; πολλην παρῥησιαν, great liberty of speech; i.e. in teaching the doctrines of Christianity, and in expounding the Scriptures, and preaching. It seems to have been a practice dictated by common sense, that the most grave and steady of the believers should be employed as deacons; the most experienced and zealous of the deacons should be raised to the rank of elders; and the most able and pious of the elders be consecrated bishops. As to a bishop of bishops, that age did not know such. The pope of Rome was the first who took this title. The same office, but not with the same powers nor abuse, is found in the patriarch of the Greek Church, and the archbishop of the Protestant Church. As the deacon had many private members under his care, so the presbyter or elder had several deacons under his care; the bishop, several presbyters; and the archbishop, several bishops. But I speak now more of the modern than of the ancient Church. The distinction in some of these offices is not so apparent in ancient times; and some of the offices themselves are modern, or comparatively so. But deacon, presbyter, and bishop, existed in the apostolic Church, and may therefore be considered of Divine origin.

    Barnes' Notes on 1 Timothy 3:13

    For they that have used the office of a deacon well - Margin, "ministered." The Greek word is the same as deacon, meaning ministering, or serving in this office. The sense would be well expressed by the phrase, "deaconizing well." The "word" implies nothing as to the exact nature of the office.

    Purchase to themselves - Procure for themselves; see this word explained in the notes on Acts 20:28.

    A good degree - The word here used (βαθμός bathmos) occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It means, properly, "a step," as of a stair; and the fair meaning is that of going up higher, or taking an additional step of dignity, honor, or standing. So far as the "word" is concerned, it may mean either an advance in office, in dignity, in respectability, or in influence. It cannot certainly be inferred that the apostle referred to a higher grade of "office;" for all that the word essentially conveys is, that, by exercising this office well, a deacon would secure additional respectability and influence in the church. Still, it is possible that those who had performed the duties of this office well were appointed to be preachers. They may have shown so much piety, prudence, good sense, and ability to preside over the church, that it was judged proper that they should be advanced to the office of bishops or pastors of the churches. Such a course would not be unnatural. This is, however, far from teaching that the office of a deacon is a subordinate office, "with a view" to an ascent to a higher grade.

    And great boldness in the faith - The word here rendered "boldness" properly refers to boldness "in speaking;" see it explained in the Acts 4:13 note; 2 Corinthians 3:12 note; Philippians 1:20 note. But the word is commonly used to denote boldness of any kind - openness, frankness, confidence, assurance; John 8:13, John 8:26; Mark 8:32; 2 Corinthians 7:4. As it is here connected with "faith" - "boldness in the faith" - it means, evidently, not so much public speaking, as a manly and independent exercise of faith in Christ. The sense is, that by the faithful performance of the duties of the office of a deacon, and by the kind of experience which a man would have in that office, he would establish a character of firmness in the faith, which would show that he was a decided Christian. This passage, therefore, cannot be fairly used to prove that the deacon was "a preacher," or that he belonged to a grade of ministerial office from which he was regularly to rise to that of a presbyter.

    Wesley's Notes on 1 Timothy 3:13

    3:13 They purchase a good degree - Or step, toward some higher office. And much boldness - From the testimony of a good conscience.