John Calvin Complete Commentary - 1 Timothy 3:6 - 3:6

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John Calvin Complete Commentary - 1 Timothy 3:6 - 3:6


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6Not a novice There being many men of distinguished ability and learning who at that time were brought to the faith, Paul forbids that such persons shall be admitted to the office of a bishop, as soon as they have made profession of Christianity. And he shews how great would be the danger; for it is evident that they are commonly vain, and full of ostentation, and, in consequence of this, haughtiness and ambition will drive them headlong. What Paul says we experience; for “” have not only impetuous fervor and bold daring, but are also puffed up with foolish confidence, as if they could fly beyond the clouds. Consequently, it is not without reason that they are excluded from the honor of a bishopric, till, in process of time their proud temper shall be subdued.

Lest he fall into the condemnation of the devil. The judgment or condemnation of the devil may be interpreted in three ways; for some take Διαβόλου (of the devil) to mean Satan; and others, to mean slanderers. I give the preference to the former view; because it rarely happens that “” means slander. But again, “ judgment of Satan” may be taken either actively or passively. This latter sense is adopted by Chrysostom, with whom I willingly agree There is an elegant contrast, which heightens the enormity of the case, “ he who is placed over the Church of God fall, by his pride, into the same condemnation with the devil.” Yet I do not reject the active signification, namely, that he will give the devil occasion for accusing him. But the opinion of Chrysostom is more correct. (62)



(62) “ words εἰς κρῖμα ἐμπέσὟ τοῦ Διαβόλου are, by most expositors ancient and modern, understood of falling into the same condemnation and punishment that the devil fell into through pride, which is supported by the authority of the Pesch. Syr. Several eminent expositors, from Luther and Erasmus downwards, take τοῦ Διαβόλου to mean the “” or slanderous enemy of the gospel, the noun being, they say, used generically of those who seek an occasion to calumniate the Christians; but, as Calvin observes, ‘ rarely happens that “” means slander.’ Moreover, the expression Διάβολος would thus have to be taken of just condemnation.” — Bloomfield.