Questions to Consider
1. Recall that when the Bible was written, there were no chapter and verse numbers. (Those were added much later.) First Timothy would have read like one long, continuous letter or e-mail. So let’s reconnect the end of chapter 2 to the beginning of chapter 3. Click here, then click on the “options” icon and uncheck the box next to “verse numbers”.
Now read the passage, noting the flow of thought and how the end of chapter 2 is interconnected with chapter 3. What is the main idea of this passage? How does this passage demonstrate that God views both men and women as having important roles to play in the life of the church in Timothy’s day and now? Is the role of men or the role of women discussed first in this passage? How could the phrase “ladies first,” the idea of chivalry, and the biblical concept of servanthood describe this passage? Describe how men biblically filling out their role of leadership is actually serving the women (and other men) of the church.
(OK, now click the verse numbers back on and return to 1 Timothy 3 – link above.)
2. What is an overseer? Name two terms we more commonly use today for the office of overseer. What is a deacon? Read Acts 6:1-6. What was (and is today) the main duty of the pastor/elder versus the main duty of the deacon?
3. Make two 4-column charts, one for pastors/elders, one for deacons. In the first column of each chart, list each qualification for the office. In the second column, explain what that qualification means. (For example: What does it mean to be “sober-minded” or “double-tongued”? In the third column, explain why this qualification is important in the character of the man and/or in carrying out the duties of the office. In the fourth column, place a check mark if this is a requirement for both pastor/elder and deacon. Which of the qualifications are common to both offices? Which are different? Explain the reasons for the commonalities and differences in qualifications. How is it beneficial to the church for men in these offices to have these qualifications?
4. Describe how verses 14-16 could serve as the key verses or a summary statement for the books of 1&2 Timothy. Closely examine the two parts of verse 15. Which is the “what to do” part, and which is the “why we’re to do it” part? If 15 tells us the “what” and the “why,” what does 16 tell us?
5. As you’ve read through Old Testament books, have you ever noticed how many times God reminds His people of who He is and what He has done when He’s speaking with them? Refresh your memory, and compare this OT way of God with the NT way we’ve seen God remind His people in 1 Timothy of who Jesus is, and that every “what,” “how,” and “why,” of His instructions always points back to the “Who” of Jesus.
1. If you’d like to study more about the differences between God’s role for women in the church and men in the church, check out these articles:
•Rock Your Role FAQs
•Jill in the Pulpit
•The Mailbag: Deaconesses…That’ll Preach!
2. Do some research on how your church selects men for the position of pastor, elder, and deacon. Are the qualifications in 1 Timothy 3 (and Titus 1) the highest priority in the selection process? Are there other qualifications (seminary degree, age, etc.) your church requires for these offices? Are these extra qualifications biblical and wise, or unbiblical?
Suggested Memory Verse