Parallel Bible VersionsNASB/KJV Study BibleGreek Bible Study Tools

1 Timothy 3:2

New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995) [2]
— An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
King James Version (KJV 1769) [2]
— A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
English Revised Version (ERV 1885)
— The bishop therefore must be without reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, soberminded, orderly, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— The bishop therefore must be without reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, orderly, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— The overseer then must be irreproachable, husband of one wife, sober, discreet, decorous, hospitable, apt to teach;
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— It is needful, then, for, the overseer, to be irreproachable, a husband, of one wife, sober, of sound mind, orderly, hospitable, apt in teaching,
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— it behoveth, therefore, the overseer to be blameless, of one wife a husband, vigilant, sober, decent, a friend of strangers, apt to teach,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— It behoveth therefore a bishop to be blameless, the husband of one wife, sober, prudent, of good behaviour, chaste, given to hospitality, a teacher,
Geneva Bible (GNV 1560)
— A Bishop therefore must be vnreproueable, the husband of one wife, watching, temperate, modest, harberous, apt to teache,
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— A Bishop then must be blamelesse, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behauiour, giuen to hospitalitie, apt to teach;
Lamsa Bible (1957)
— He who becomes an elder must be blameless, the husband of one wife, alert mentally, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, and apt at teaching;
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— But it behoveth that a presbyter be as that blame be not found in him; and that he be the husband of one wife; (a man) who is of a vigilant mind, chaste, and orderly, and a lover of guests, and instructful;
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— And an elder ought to be such, that no blame can be found in him; and he should be the husband of one wife, with a vigilant mind, and sober and regular [in his habits], and affectionate to strangers, and instructive;

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
A bishop 1985
{1985} Prime
From G1909 and G4649 (in the sense of G1983); a superintendent, that is, Christian officer in general charge of a (or the) church (literally or figuratively).
then 3767
{3767} Prime
Apparently a primary word; (adverbially) certainly, or (conjugationally) accordingly.
must 1163
{1163} Prime
Third person singular active present of G1210; also δεόν [[deon]], {deh-on'}; which is neuter active participle of the same; both used impersonally; it is (was, etc.) necessary (as binding).
<5748> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - No Voice Stated (See G5799)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 1612
be 1511
{1511} Prime
Present infinitive from G1510; to exist.
<5750> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - No Voice Stated (See G5799)
Mood - Infinitive (See G5795)
Count - 135
blameless, 423
{0423} Prime
From G0001 (as a negative particle) and a derivative of G1949; not arrested, that is, (by implication) inculpable.
the husband 435
{0435} Prime
A primary word (compare G0444); a man (properly as an individual male).
of one 3391
{3391} Prime
Irregular feminine of G1520; one or first.
wife, 1135
{1135} Prime
Probably from the base of G1096; a woman; specifically a wife.
vigilant, 3524
{3524} Prime
From G3525; sober, that is, (figuratively) circumspect.
sober, 4998
{4998} Prime
From the base of G4982 and that of G5424; safe (sound) in mind, that is, self controlled (moderate as to opinion or passion).
of good behaviour, 2887
{2887} Prime
From G2889 (in its primary sense); orderly, that is, decorous.
given to hospitality, 5382
{5382} Prime
From G5384 and G3581; fond of guests, that is, hospitable.
apt to teach; 1317
{1317} Prime
From G1318; instructive ('didactic').
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

1 Timothy 3:2

_ _ The existence of Church organization and presbyters at Ephesus is presupposed (1 Timothy 5:17, 1 Timothy 5:19). The institution of Church widows (1 Timothy 5:3-25) accords with this. The directions here to Timothy, the president or apostolic delegate, are as to filling up vacancies among the bishops and deacons, or adding to their number. New churches in the neighborhood also would require presbyters and deacons. Episcopacy was adopted in apostolic times as the most expedient form of government, being most nearly in accordance with Jewish institutions, and so offering the less obstruction through Jewish prejudices to the progress of Christianity. The synagogue was governed by presbyters, “elders” (Acts 4:8; Acts 24:1), called also bishops or overseers. Three among them presided as “rulers of the synagogue,” answering to “bishops” in the modern sense [Lightfoot, Hebrew and Talmudic Exercitations], and one among them took the lead. Ambrose (in The Duties of the Clergy [2.13], as also Bingham [Ecclesiastical Antiquities, 2.11]) says, “They who are now called bishops were originally called apostles. But those who ruled the Church after the death of the apostles had not the testimony of miracles, and were in many respects inferior. Therefore they thought it not decent to assume to themselves the name of apostles; but dividing the names, they left to presbyters the name of the presbytery, and they themselves were called bishops.” “Presbyter” refers to the rank; “bishop,” to the office or function. Timothy (though not having the name) exercised the power at Ephesus then, which bishops in the modern sense more recently exercised.

_ _ blameless — “unexceptionable”; giving no just handle for blame.

_ _ husband of one wife — confuting the celibacy of Rome’s priesthood. Though the Jews practiced polygamy, yet as he is writing as to a Gentile Church, and as polygamy was never allowed among even laymen in the Church, the ancient interpretation that the prohibition here is against polygamy in a candidate bishop is not correct. It must, therefore, mean that, though laymen might lawfully marry again, candidates for the episcopate or presbytery were better to have been married only once. As in 1 Timothy 5:9, “wife of one man,” implies a woman married but once; so “husband of one wife” here must mean the same. The feeling which prevailed among the Gentiles, as well as the Jews (compare as to Anna, Luke 2:36, Luke 2:37), against a second marriage would, on the ground of expediency and conciliation in matters indifferent and not involving compromise of principle, account for Paul’s prohibition here in the case of one in so prominent a sphere as a bishop or a deacon. Hence the stress that is laid in the context on the repute in which the candidate for orders is held among those over whom he is to preside (Titus 1:16). The Council of Laodicea and the apostolic canons discountenanced second marriages, especially in the case of candidates for ordination. Of course second marriage being lawful, the undesirableness of it holds good only under special circumstances. It is implied here also, that he who has a wife and virtuous family, is to be preferred to a bachelor; for he who is himself bound to discharge the domestic duties mentioned here, is likely to be more attractive to those who have similar ties, for he teaches them not only by precept, but also by example (1 Timothy 3:4, 1 Timothy 3:5). The Jews teach, a priest should be neither unmarried nor childless, lest he be unmerciful [Bengel]. So in the synagogue, “no one shall offer up prayer in public, unless he be married” [in Colbo, ch. 65; Vitringa, Synagogue and Temple].

_ _ vigilant — literally, “sober”; ever on the watch, as sober men alone can be; keenly alive, so as to foresee what ought to be done (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8).

_ _ sober — sober-minded.

_ _ of good behaviourGreek, “orderly.” “Sober” refers to the inward mind; “orderly,” to the outward behavior, tone, look, gait, dress. The new man bears somewhat of a sacred festival character, incompatible with all confusion, disorder, excess, violence, laxity, assumption, harshness, and meanness (Philippians 4:8) [Bengel].

_ _ apt to teach — (2 Timothy 2:24).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on 1 Timothy 3:1-7.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

1 Timothy 3:2

Therefore — That he may be capable of it. A bishop — Or pastor of a congregation. Must be blameless — Without fault or just suspicion. The husband of one wife — This neither means that a bishop must be married, nor that he may not marry a second wife; which it is just as lawful for him to do as to marry a first, and may in some cases be his bounden duty. But whereas polygamy and divorce on slight occasions were common both among the Jews and heathens, it teaches us that ministers, of all others, ought to stand clear of those sins. Vigilant, prudent — Lively and zealous, yet calm and wise. Of good behaviour — Naturally flowing from that vigilance and prudence.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

1 Timothy 3:2

A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of (b) one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

(b) Therefore he that shuts out married men from the office of bishops, only because they are married, is antichrist.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

Titus 1:6-9 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. ... Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.


1 Timothy 3:10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being [found] blameless.
Luke 1:6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
Philippians 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

the husband:

1 Timothy 4:3 Forbidding to marry, [and commanding] to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
1 Timothy 5:9 Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man,
Hebrews 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;


Isaiah 56:10 His watchmen [are] blind: they are all ignorant, they [are] all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.
1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

of good behaviour:
or, modest


Romans 12:13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
Titus 1:8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
1 Peter 4:9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.


2 Timothy 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all [men], apt to teach, patient,
Random Bible VersesNew Quotes

Chain-Reference Bible SearchCross References with Concordance

Is 56:10. Lk 1:6. Ro 12:13. Php 2:15. 1Ti 3:10; 4:3; 5:9. 2Ti 2:24. Tit 1:6, 8. He 3:14; 13:2. 1P 4:7, 9; 5:8.

Newest Chat Bible Comment
Comment HereExpand User Bible CommentaryComplete Biblical ResearchComplete Chat Bible Commentary
Recent Chat Bible Comments