John Calvin Complete Commentary - 1 Timothy 3:8 - 3:8

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John Calvin Complete Commentary - 1 Timothy 3:8 - 3:8

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8Likewise the deacons There is no reason why the diversity of interpretations should lead us to entertain any doubt. It is certain that time Apostle speaks of those who hold a public office in the Church; and this refutes the opinion of those who think that domestic servants are here meant. As to the view given by others, that it denotes presbyters who are inferior to the bishop, that is without foundation; for it is manifest from other passages, that the term bishop belongs alike to all presbyters. (63) All are constrained to acknowledge this; and more especially a passage in the first chapter of the Epistle to Titus proves clearly that this is the meaning. (Tit_1:7.) It remains to be stated that we understand “ deacons” to be those who are mentioned by Luke, (Act_6:3,) and who had the charge of the poor. But those who wish to have a more full account of the duties of deacons may consult the Institutes. (64)

Grave, not double-tongued The first four virtues, with which he wishes them to be endowed, are of themselves sufficiently well known. Yet it ought to be carefully observed that he advises them not to be double-tongued; because it is a vice which it is difficult to avoid in the discharge of that office, and yet ought, more than anything else, to be kept at a distance from it.

(63) “Que le nom d’ estoit commun a tons prestres. et qu’ prestre et evesque il n’ a nulle difference.” — “ the term bishop was common to all presbyters, and that there is no difference between presbyter and bishop.”

(64) See Calvin’ Inst. of the Christian Religion, vol. 3.