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1 Timothy 3:7 – An ideal testimony also from those outside

11-12-2023 - Posted by Hans

Yet he must have an ideal testimony also from those outside, that he should not be falling into the reproach and trap of the adversary.

Timothy would not only have an eye for the qualities of the supervisor, but would also take other factors into account. If the aspiring overseer were too young and inexperienced, being an supervisor could easily make him conceited (3:6). Paul then points out that the candidate must have an excellent testimony among outsiders. After all, he also represents to the outside world the word that sounds in the ecclesia and that should under no circumstances be discredited.

There is a libel that is unavoidable because the Good News entails that libel by definition. In 4:10 Paul says that he is being reproached because he comes out with the message that God is the Savior of all mankind, especially believers. That defamation is normal and actually an honor for the person it affects. But here (in 3:7) it concerns justified defamation of the outside world, for when the supervisor would exhibit reprehensible behavior. He would discredit the ecclesia and above all the word taught there and thus become prey in a trap of the diabolos.