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. Chapter 5.

Duties toward Others

1 Never be harsh with an elder; appeal to him as if he were your father. Treat the younger men as brothers, 2 the older women as mothers, and the younger as your sisters, in all purity.

3 The status of widow is to be granted only to widows who are such in the full sense. 4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, then they should learn as their first duty to show loyalty to the family and to repay what they owe to their parents and grandparents; for this God approves. 5 A widow, however, in the full sense, one who is alone in the world, has all her hope set on God, and regularly attends the meetings for prayer and worship night and day. 6 But a widow given over to self-indulgence is as good as dead. 7 Add these orders to the rest, so that the widows may be above reproach. 8 But if anyone does not make provision for his relations, and especially for members of his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

9 A widow should not be put on the roll under sixty years of age. She must have been faithful in marriage to one man, 10 and must produce evidence of good deeds performed, showing whether she has had the care of children, or given hospitality, or washed the feet of God's people, or supported those in distress—in short, whether she has taken every opportunity of doing good.

11 Younger widows may not be placed on the roll. For when their passions draw them away from Christ, they hanker after marriage 12 and stand condemned for breaking their troth with him. 13 Moreover, in going round from house to house they learn to be idle, and worse than idle, gossips and busybodies, speaking of things better left unspoken. 14 It is my wish, therefore, that young widows shall marry again, have children, and preside over a home; then they will give no opponent occasion for slander. 15 For there have in fact been some who have taken the wrong turning and gone to the devil.

16 If a Christian man or woman has widows in the family, he must support them himself; [Some witnesses read: If a Christian woman has widows in her family, she must support them herself.] the congregation must be relieved of the burden, so that it may be free to support those who are widows in the full sense of the term.

17 Elders who do well as leaders should be reckoned worthy of a double stipend, in particular those who labour at preaching and teaching. 18 [ Dt.25.4. ] For Scripture says, 'You shall not muzzle a threshing ox'; and besides, 'the worker earns his pay'.

19 [ Dt.17.6, Dt.19.15. ] Do not entertain a charge against an elder unless it is supported by two or three witnesses. 20 Those who commit sins you must expose publicly, to put fear into the others. 21 Before God and Christ Jesus and the angels who are his chosen, I solemnly charge you, maintain these rules, and never pre-judge the issue, but act with strict impartiality. 22 Do not be over-hasty in laying on hands in ordination, [Or: in restoring an offender by the laying on of hands.] or you may find yourself responsible for other people's misdeeds; keep your own hands clean.

23 Stop drinking nothing but water; take a little wine for your digestion, for your frequent ailments.

24 While there are people whose offences are so obvious that they run before them into court, there are others whose offences have not yet overtaken them. 25 Similarly, good deeds are obvious, or even if they are not, they cannot be concealed for ever.

<< | I Timothy: 5 | >>

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