Section 15, Chapter 4
What sort of men are to be admitted into the clergy. The church is the pillar of truth.
3:1. A faithful saying: If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth good work.
3:2. It behoveth therefore a bishop to be blameless, the husband of one wife, sober, prudent, of good behaviour, chaste, given to hospitality, a teacher,
Of one wife. . . The meaning is not that every bishop should have a wife (for St. Paul himself had none), but that no one should be admitted to the holy orders of bishop, priest, or deacon, who had been married more than once.
3:3. Not given to wine, no striker, but modest, not quarrelsome, not covetous, but
3:4. One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all chastity.
3:5. But if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?
3:6. Not a neophyte: lest, being puffed up with pride, he fall into the judgment of the devil.
A neophyte. . . That is, one lately baptized, a young convert.
3:7. Moreover, he must have a good testimony of them who are without: lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
3:8. Deacons in like manner: chaste, not double tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre:
3:9. Holding the mystery of faith in a pure conscience.
3:10. And let these also first be proved: and so let them minister, having no crime.
3:11. The women in like manner: chaste, not slanderers, but sober, faithful in all things.
3:12. Let deacons be the husbands of one wife: who rule well their children and their own houses.
3:13. For they that have ministered well shall purchase to themselves a good degree and much confidence in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
3:14. These things I write to thee, hoping that I shall come to thee shortly.
3:15. But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
The pillar and ground of the truth. . . Therefore the church of the living God can never uphold error, nor bring in corruptions, superstition, or idolatry.
3:16. And evidently great is the mystery of godliness, which was manifested in the flesh, was justified in the spirit, appeared unto angels, hath been preached unto the Gentiles, is believed in the world, is taken up in glory.