Tuesday, March 8, 2016

1 Timothy, Day 2 Readings

Qualifications of Church Leaders   

Today's reading offers the basic personal qualifications for people who wish to serve as official leaders in the congregation.  In this portion of the letter that includes the positions of bishop and deacon.  In order to be qualified, people must not only be people with true faith, but they must also be recognizable as leaders by the wider (that is, the non-Christian) community.  A key part of this is based on marriages; the implication seems to be that people must be loyal to their spouse and not have other extra-marital relationships.  (Sometimes it has been taken to slight people who are married multiple times, but elsewhere in the letter widows are encouraged to marry again, so it probably is referring to infidelity.)

Bishops seem to have been responsible for the congregation's money (sort of a combination CEO and treasurer), so they needed to have demonstrated an ability to handle money outside of the church in their own households, as well as having good moral character.  Deacons could be male or female and probably handled a variety of church affairs (which are hard to figure out from the description).  They too needed to be upstanding moral figures in order to be official leaders in the church.

Read 1 Timothy 3:1-16  (NIV)   (NRSV)   (CEB)
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Reading the Bible in Its Entirety

If you are planning to read the Bible in its entirety, you should read 1 Timothy 3 today.