Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


1 Timothy 3:8

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Likewise must the deacons - The term deacon, διακονος, simply signifies a regular or stated servant: from δια, through or emphatic, and κονεω, to minister or serve. See it explained in the note on Matthew 20:26. As nearly the same qualifications were required in the deacons as in the bishops, the reader may consult what is said on the preceding verses.

Grave - Of a sedate and dignified carriage and conduct.

Not double-tongued - Speaking one thing to one person, and another thing to another, on the same subject. This is hypocrisy and deceit. This word might also be translated liars.

Not given to much wine - Neither a drunkard, tippler, nor what is called a jovial companion. All this would be inconsistent with gravity.

Not greedy of filthy lucre - See on 1 Timothy 3:3; (note).

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Likewise must the deacons - On the meaning of the word “deacons,” see the notes on Philemon 1:1. On their appointment, see the notes, Acts 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 Acts 6:3, it is said that they should be men “of honest report.” On the meaning of the word “grave,” see the notes on 1 Timothy 3:4. They should be men who by their serious deportment will inspire respect.

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

Not given to much wine - see 1 Timothy 3:3. The word “much” is added here to what is said 1 Timothy 3:2 of the qualification of a bishop. It is not affirmed that it would be proper for the deacon, anymore 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 pagan 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; Leviticus 10:9. Why should it then be anymore proper for a Christian minister to drink wine than for a Jewish or a pagan 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 pagan priest, and a solemn statue of Yahweh restrained the Jewish priest from doing it?

Not greedy of filthy lucre - notes, 1 Timothy 3:3. The special reason why this qualification was important in the deacon was, that he would be entrusted 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, John 12:6.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The deacons were at first appointed to distribute the charity of the church, and to manage its concerns, yet pastors and evangelists were among them. The deacons had a great trust reposed in them. They must be grave, serious, prudent men. It is not fit that public trusts should be lodged in the hands of any, till they are found fit for the business with which they are to be trusted. All who are related to ministers, must take great care to walk as becomes the gospel of Christ.
Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 (EGW), 914-5

“It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me”—not through confessionals or priests or popes, but through Me, your Saviour. “Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” This is the absolute Godhead. The mightiest created intellect cannot comprehend Him; words from the most eloquent tongue fail to describe Him. Silence is eloquence. 7BC 914.1

Christ represented His Father to the world, and He represents before God the chosen ones in whom He has restored the moral image of God. They are His heritage. To them He says, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” “No man knoweth ... the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” No priest, no religionist, can reveal the Father to any son or daughter of Adam. 7BC 914.2

Men have only one Advocate, one Intercessor, who is able to pardon transgression. Shall not our hearts swell with gratitude to Him who gave Jesus to be the propitiation for our sins? Think deeply upon the love the Father has manifested in our behalf, the love that He has expressed for us. We cannot measure this love. Measurement there is none. We can only point to Calvary, to the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. It is an infinite sacrifice. Can we comprehend and measure infinity? ... 7BC 914.3

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
Counsels on Diet and Foods, 466

801. Do you not remember that we have an individual accountability? We do not make articles of diet a test question, but we do try to educate the intellect, and to arouse the moral sensibility to take hold of health reform in an intelligent manner, as Paul presents it in Romans 13:8-14; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; 1 Timothy 3:8-12.—Manuscript 1a, 1890 CD 466.1

802. On one occasion Sara [McEnterfer] was called to a family at Dora Creek, where every member of the household was sick. The father belonged to a highly respectable family, but he had taken to drink, and his wife and children were in great want. At this time of sickness there was nothing in the house suitable to eat. And they refused to eat anything that we took them. They had been accustomed to having meat. We felt that something must be done. I said to Sara, Take chickens from my place, and prepare them some broth. So Sara treated them for their illness, and fed them with this broth. They soon recovered. CD 466.2

Read in context »