Women Deacons, Deacons’ Assistants, or Wives of Deacons? -- By: Alexander Strauch
EmJ 1:3 (Win 92) p. 195
Women Deacons, Deacons’ Assistants, or Wives of Deacons?1
In 1 Timothy 3:8–9 Paul lists five character qualifications for deacons:
Men of dignity
Not addicted to much wine
Not fond of sordid gain
Holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience
After giving these qualifications, he insists that each candidate for deaconship be publicly examined and approved before serving as a deacon: “And let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach” (3:10).
Then, in verse 11, by means of the word “likewise,” Paul introduces a new class of people who are closely associated with deacons. Paul lists four character
EmJ 1:3 (Win 92) p. 196
qualifications for this group of people, indicating that this third group also must serve the church in some way. People in this group must be:
Not malicious gossips
Faithful in all things
Finally, in verse 12, Paul resumes his list of personal character requirements for deacons: “Let deacons be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households.”
To help visualize what we have just stated, 1 Timothy 3:8–13 is divided below into four sections.
Deacons [male] likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience (verses 8–9).
And let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach (verse 10).
Γυναῖκας [gynaikas, women/wives] must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things (verse 11).
Let deacons [male] be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households (verse 12).
Who is this new group of people called γυναῖκας (pronounced goo-NAI-kas, t...
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