Qualities of a bishop (1 Tim. 3:2)

“Now a bishop

Must be

Above reproach,

Married only once

To one wife,

Temperate,

Sensible,

Respectable,

Hospitable,

And an apt teacher.”

δεῖ οὖν τὸν ἐπίσκοπον ἀνεπίλημπτον εἶναι, μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρα, νηφάλιον, σώφρονα, κόσμιον, φιλόξενον, διδακτικόν

Paul said, “Now (οὖν) a bishop (τὸν ἐπίσκοπον) must (δεῖ) be above reproach (ἀνεπίλημπτον εἶναι), married only once to one wife (μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρα), temperate (νηφάλιον), sensible (σώφρονα), respectable (κόσμιον), hospitable (φιλόξενον), and an apt teacher (διδακτικόν).”  Only this letter to Timothy used this unique word ἀνεπίλημπτον, that means without reproach, irreproachable, or never caught doing wrong, and the word νηφάλιον, that means sober, not intoxicated, temperate, and vigilant, as well as the word σώφρονα that means of sound mind, self-controlled, temperate, and modest, and the word, κόσμιον, that means orderly, virtuous, decent, or modest, as well as the word φιλόξενον, that means loving strangers or hospitable, and finally the word διδακτικόν, that means apt at teaching or able to teach.  Paul then listed the qualities of a good bishop with a unique set of words.  He set some pretty high standards.  First of all, this Christian bishop or overseer had to be above reproach.  He had to have only one wife and married only once.  This might have eliminated some of those who wanted to be episcopal leaders.  Then Paul listed their qualities or characteristics that were demanding also.  They had to be temperate, sensible, respectable, and hospitable.  They had to have a very sensible virtuous sober self-controlled character, open to strangers.  On top of all those personal characteristics, they also had to be good teachers.  They might have a hard time finding these kinds of leaders to be the overseers or bishops of their local communities.  Would you be a good bishop?

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