Women Deacons, Deacons’ Assistants, or Wives of Deacons? -- By: Alexander Strauch

Journal: Emmaus Journal
Volume: EMJ 01:3 (Winter 1992)
Article: Women Deacons, Deacons’ Assistants, or Wives of Deacons?
Author: Alexander Strauch


Women Deacons, Deacons’ Assistants, or Wives of Deacons?1

Alexander Strauch2

In 1 Timothy 3:8–9 Paul lists five character qualifications for deacons:

Men of dignity
Not double-tongued
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

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:

Dignified
Not malicious gossips
Temperate
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...

You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
Click here to subscribe
visitor : : uid: ()