The role of women (1 Tim. 3:11)

“Women!

Likewise,

They must be serious,

Not slanderers,

But temperate,

Faithful in all things.”

γυναῖκας ὡσαύτως σεμνάς, μὴ διαβόλους, νηφαλίους, πιστὰς ἐν πᾶσιν.

Paul said, “Women (γυναῖκας)!  Likewise (ὡσαύτως), they must be serious (σεμνάς), not slanderers (μὴ διαβόλους), but temperate (νηφαλίους), faithful in all things (πιστὰς ἐν πᾶσιν).”  Only the Pauline letters used this word σεμνάς that means reverend, venerable, serious, honorable, grave, or dignified.  Only this letter to Timothy used this unique word νηφαλίους, that means sober, not intoxicated, temperate, or vigilant.  Paul seems to imply that women or the wives of the deacons have a role to play in service to the developing Christian Church community.  Unlike, the silence of women in the preceding chapter, they may have served at tables or helped with the baptism of other women.  They may in fact have been female deacons or deaconess.  Once again, Paul wanted women to serve who were serious not frivolous, not slanderers, but temperate or sober.  Of course, they had to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ in all things.  Are you serious and temperate?

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