What bishops are not (1 Tim. 3:3)

“The bishop must

Not be a drunkard,

Nor violent,

But gentle,

Not quarrelsome,

And not a lover

Of money.”

μὴ πάροινον, μὴ πλήκτην, ἀλλὰ ἐπιεικῆ, ἄμαχον, ἀφιλάργυρον,

Paul said, “The bishop must not be a drunkard (μὴ πάροινον), not violent (μὴ πλήκτην), but gentle (ἀλλὰ ἐπιεικῆ), not quarrelsome (ἄμαχον), and not a lover of money (ἀφιλάργυρον).”  Only this letter to Timothy used this unique word πάροινον, that means given to wine, drunken, or quarrelsome, and the word πλήκτην that means a striker, a contentious person, or a brawler, and the word ἄμαχον, that means abstaining from fighting, peaceable, or not contentious, as well as the word ἀφιλάργυρον, that means not loving money or not avaricious.  Only the Pauline letters used this word ἐπιεικῆ that means equitable, yielding, gentle, mild, forbearing, fair, reasonable, or moderate.  Once again, Paul used a lot of unique words to describe what a bishop should not be.  Obviously, he should not be a drunkard or lover of wine, nor a violent person.  However, he should be gentile or moderate, not starting arguments, and not a lover or money or avarice.  These were clear demands for anyone who wanted to be in charge of a Christian community as an overseer or bishop.  Could you meet the demands of being a bishop?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.